Aloha

Hawaii, you’ve always eluded me. Your time is running out. Next month, I will finally be hula dancing my way across the Pacific, and hitting the breathtaking beaches of Honolulu. When I was in high school, I wanted to visit the Hawaiian islands after graduation, but life managed to get in the way. I intended on attending graduate school in Hawaii, but the out of state tuition waved me off.   Thankfully, an opportunity at work has finally given me the foothold I need to kick off my shoes, roll around in the sand, and work on my tan.

{Aloha, Baby!}

This Jersey Girl has called the Sunshine State home for over twenty years now. I’ve been to California a handful of times throughout the winter, but I’ve only seen the Pacific Ocean from it twice (Venice Beach at 11, and Golden Gate Park at 31). I’ve crossed the Pacific multiple times, but only traveling to and from Japan, and taking one trip to Malaysia back in 2005. It’s high time for me to pick up an aloha shirt, a coconut bra, and get lei-ed.

The biggest decision weighing on my mind is maximizing my layover time by exploring and tourism, or simply laying on the beach under an umbrella and attempting to get a tan (yes, First World Problems, I know). In between flights, I do need to rest, but I am wondering if I would be remiss to tune out the world and get lost on the beach somewhere. With work responsibilities popping in an out of my schedule throughout the two and a half weeks worth of island hopping between Hawaii and Japan, I can’t afford any sun burns or dehydration. Catching up on my reading sounds like a fantastic idea.

In mid-May, I have a 73 hour layover in Honolulu, so I am thinking that would be the ideal time to partake in the local culture and exploration of the tourist attractions. I want to pay homage to the historic site of Pearl Harbor, but like my visit to the Peace Park in Hiroshima, I need some time to process and take in the magnitude of such a hallowed place. As an American who is a  Japanese-speaker (and former resident of Japan), both locations carry a heavy weight and incredible emotional impact, especially as a flight attendant working flights between the US & Japan. Somewhere, I need to sneak in some language study time, but traveling with classmates and other language speakers, I am excited with plenty of chances to practice.

{Return of the Train-cation}

While reviewing my travel plans, I realized my trips overlapped several weekend days, so I decided to chase up a local running shop. Thanks to the Running Room Honolulu, I not only learned that there was a race which coincided with my downtime, but it was taking place less than a mile from my layover hotel. Thinking forward to November, I realized with the commitment of running the New York City Marathon looming overhead, training needed to start about a month ago. Without hesitation, I signed up for the Jamba Banana Man 5K, and now I am looking forward to chasing folks in banana costumes and promises of free smoothies!

Photos:

  1. Cast of the new Hawaii Five-O
  2. Kate Becksinsale (‘Nurse Lt. Evelyn Johnson’) in Pearl Harbor
  3. Josh Holloway (‘James Sawyer’) in LOST
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