In my last post about my Hawaii trip, I made a few statements about all of the things I don't like about being here. To be fair, I think I should point out some of the good things I've found.
My second day here was a Saturday. I woke up early for no reason I can think of and decided to drive East until I ran out of island. Here's what it looked like:
I ended up following the highway back around to Honolulu, but along the way I stopped at one of the scenic overlooks:
On my third day here I decided to stop and take a few pics of the USS MISSOURI at sunset:
Somewhere in the middle of my first week I headed out to the west end of the island to find some solitude. It worked. Here's what I found:
When I got to the end of the highway, I stopped on the side of the road to marvel at the view:
For a moment I wondered why there was nobody else around, but then I noticed the signs:
Right across the street there was a nice, quiet beach, comfortably devoid of homeless people:
For contrast, a few days later I wandered down to Waikiki Beach:
Where there was no shortage of sunbathers:
Not all of which were nice to look at:
While I've been here, I have had plenty of chances to catch up with old shipmates and meet new friends. I had lunch with Bill Ziezulewicz, one of the guys who used to work for me aboard USS CUSHING. He's a reservist now and leaving for an individual augmentee deployment to Afghanistan. Just like I was, he's going out there with absolutely no idea what he'll be doing.
I also stopped by for dinner with Matt Powel and met his wife Alice for the first time. Matt stayed in the Navy and is now serving as department head aboard an Aegis cruiser here in Pearl Harbor. It was great to catch up over dinner and drinks and Alice gave me the rundown on a handful of places I have to go for shopping and sightseeing.
On Friday I ended up meeting a handful of guys who I've previously only known from various costuming forums. We spent the evening "talking story" as they put it; trading tips and tricks and prop-building ideas. All the while the guys were showing off their collection of pieces and parts (some of which I'd made and sold to them) and it was a genuine good time. While I was there, I decided I really need to find and/or build one of these rifles:
Of course, it looks a little bit huge next to me ('cause I'm a little short for a clone trooper):
The next day I ended up going to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. This ended up being a row of tents and kiosks wrapped all the way around the local sports stadium:
I made two laps through the whole thing (which took about two hours) and was amazed at how many t-shirts I didn't need:
On the subject of things I didn't need, there were all sorts of random things made out of seashells and fish:
Yes, those are pufferfish lamps.
Otherwise, I've mostly been trying to stay off of the beaten path and avoid the bulk of the crowds and the noise. While I've been doing that, I've been amazed by all of the exotic local birds*:
More on them some other time.
*Yes, that's just a chicken.