Feel the Power

By: leelefever on January 5, 2006 - 7:42pm

I just had to share this photo from Kaena Point.  Despite having our car broken into, the waves and scenery were amazing.  The waves have such power that they give me goosebumps...

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Watch Your Back (and your belongings) at Kaena Point

By: leelefever on January 5, 2006 - 7:38pm
I guess you could call this the yin and yang of Hawaiian beauty.  This morning we got up and left the house by 6:30AM to go out to Kaena Point, which is the western most point on Oahu, Hawaii. We saw a couple of dirtbags hanging out at the trailhead and remembered to remove everything important from the car before heading out on the 2.5 mile hike to the point.
When I got out of the car, one of the guys walked over to me while I watched the waves and said "Nice waves yah, time to go get the surfboard".  I immediately thought- this is bullshit, those waves are not in a surfable spot and he ain't no surfer. But, we went on, knowing our valuables were with us and the car is a rental.
Sure enough, we returned to find the back window of the Ford Escape smashed, with pieces of safety glass everywhere.  It sucks and I'd like to punch those dirtbags in the face, but we both have solace in one thing- they stole 2 old towels and that's it. All that trouble for 2 towels. At this rate, these guys and their tiny brains are going to be in jail before we get to Singapore.
I always picked on Sachi about what I call her family's "5 layers of Sullivan family security", but now I understand. Hawaii is beautiful, but it comes with a price. Watch your back everywhere, but especially Kaena Point.

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Microbiology Memories on Sunset Beach

By: sachilefever on January 4, 2006 - 7:25pm

We listened to the waves of Sunset Beach and sat under the sun this afternoon. After a few minutes of feeling the warmth Lee was snapping shots of the waves, but my mind started focusing on Thymine Dimers.


My memory of Microbiology classes reminded me that when certain UV rays are absorbed by your DNA, two Thymine components in your DNA can be fused together (a Thymine Dimer) which can cause mutations in new proteins. Most of these mutations aren't bad. But sometimes laying in the sun too long can lead to very bad things.


I think about it every time I relax in the sun. And in a few days we're heading to countries with much higher levels of UV radiation!


Yes, Lee laughs and calls me a huge nerd.
Ahh, where the mind will wander when it's allowed to relax. 

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Da North Shore of Oahu, Brah

By: leelefever on January 4, 2006 - 6:33pm

Every time we come to Hawaii, I always try to get out to the North Shore.  It's partly the fact that it's a very cool place, with some of the best and biggest surf in the world, plus, it's just a naturally beautiful sight to see.  I can sit and watch big waves crash all day.  There is a very big part of me that wants to be out there surfing, but that would surely be a trip-ender at this point.  I don't claim surfing skillz, at that level anyway.



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On Location: Hawaii

By: leelefever on January 3, 2006 - 11:22am
Our time so far in Hawaii has been marked by relaxation, exercise and food, lots of food.  Sachi's Mom is a wizard in the kitchen and there is always some wonderful smell wafting across our noses. 
All this food represents a bit of a conundrum for us. We're heading for places where people wear little clothes and we'll be emulating the locals I'm sure. While neither of us have problems with weight, I'm personally weighing more than I ever have at the moment and would prefer to start the trip on a less giggly foot.  We've heard conflicting reports about how travel affects weight.
Another conundrum regards being in Hawaii, but not taking advantage of the islands as most people would.  For instance, we're on Oahu, where Honolulu is located. We would tell people to really experience Hawaii, go to an outer island like Kauai. Yet, here we are for 7 days.  We looked seriously at going deep sea fishing which would have cost about $400 for two people. But we chose not to go.
Why? It's all about opportunity costs.  Hawaii will always be here for us, it's comparatively easy. Islands off the coast of Malaysia are not so easy, so we'll trade Hawaiian islands for Malaysian ones.  The same is true for fishing- we'll trade deep sea fishing in Hawaii for doing it in New Zealand. Each dollar we spend in America is a dollar we could spend in a place we may never visit again. It helps too that our dollar may buy more.
We're also saying goodbye to the last bits of Americana.  There can't be a better example than this, which we found on a walk around the neighborhood:

New Years In Hawaii

By: leelefever on December 31, 2005 - 8:12pm

I think we're both pretty jet lagged, which seems to be giving us headaches.  I'm not sure that we'll be partying too much tonight, and I'm not sure we'll even make it to midnight.  Midnight will be 5am in the time zone we're used to, though we're committed to getting on schedule.

To help, Sachi's mom is putting together some homemade sushi and some jook, which is a chinese chicken and rice gruel (comfort food).  Some where along the way, I started calling it "gak", which is now a family joke. 

I'm sure it's no suprise, but in Hawaii, New Years is all about firecrackers. We've already heard a bunch of people lighting the traditional 10,000 firecrackers, which welcomes the good luck for the year.  You have to have a permit to have 5000 firecrackers that costs $25 and does not include the firecrackers. 

I was amazed by this story today.  A hawaiian guy got in the water with a 17 ft. great white shark. That buggah is big. Here is one of the photos:


Photo by Juan Oliphant  

I'm a little more knowledgeable about the islands as of today.  We went to the Bishop Museum, which is all about Hawaiian and Polynesian history, along with a Science Adventure Center.  The museum was in need of a little maintenance, but was well done. I wasn't impressed with the Adventure Center, which is new and more for kids.

            Fake Eruption                                Real Shark Tooth Sword

Happy New Years!  See you in 2006

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Leaving the Islands - Seattle bound

By: leelefever on November 7, 2005 - 4:18pm

We're headed back home and to normal life for a while. We'll be back to Hawaii around New Years, just before we REALLY leave. Aloha!

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What Are You?

By: leelefever on November 7, 2005 - 10:28am

That question is something I've only heard in Hawaii.  In Seattle and other places on the mainland, people tread lightly in discussing race, nationality or ethnicity.  I could not imagine meeting someone in Seattle and asking "What are you?"

Not so in Hawaii. Hawaiians (which I'm using to mean people from the state, not just by heritage) have no problem asking, quite bluntly "What are you?", meaning what ethnicity, or race.  To outsiders, it seems pretty odd.

Hawaii is a big melting pot of many races and nationalities. Of course you have your Caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Philipino, Vietnamese, but what's interesting is that Portuguese is mixed in as well.  The Portuguese settled in Hawaii starting in the early 1800's.  Most left the islands off the coast of Portugal and worked in sugar cane fields in Hawaii.

With the melting pot comes a lot of mixing of races, which is very normal and expected in Hawaii (Sachi is half-japanese).  "Hoppa" "Hapa" is the word that usually connotes a mixed race person.

 Below is census data about Hawaii's racial makeup based on US Census data.  I think it's particularly interesting that 21.4% of the population is two or more races.


Race:                                             Population      Percent

White, Caucasian                              294,102          24.3%

Black, African American                      2,003             1.8%

American Indian/ Alaska Native            3,535             0.3%

Asian                                              503,868          41.6%

Hawaii Native / Pacific Islander            113,539          9.4%

Other Race                                      15,147           1.3%

Two or More Races                           259,343          21.4%

Hispanic or Latino                             88,699            7.2%

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By: leelefever on November 6, 2005 - 4:45pm


There are a few spots on Oahu that are close to Honolulu, but don't really get the tourist traffic. One of the local favorites is called Sandy Beach, or "Sandys". 

If I could paint a picture of what a Hawaiian beach should look like, it would look a lot like Sandys.  Fine light colored sand, palm trees, ocean in 5 shades of blue, crashing waves, surfers, boogie boarders, skim boarders, tan bodies and the smell of cooking food in the air.

At the same time Sandy's makes me feel very haole.  Walking down the beach, I felt like people had to squint from the reflection off my lily-white skin.  I'm sure the local boys picked me out as a tourist.


 The surfable waves break out on a reef, but the shore break is ridden by the boogie boarders and body surfers.  I've never seen waves break on the shore the way they do at Sandys.  The stack up 4-6 feet high and crash on bare sand, which makes for pretty hardcore body surfing.  I got pulled over the falls a few times and held against bottom- and I was only there taking pictures.


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Sushi Gluttony

By: leelefever on November 5, 2005 - 7:12pm

I would say that I've eaten more raw food than cooked food in all my trips to Hawaii, and I think that is a very good thing. Hawaii knows good  sushi.


Poke is usually raw tuna in a marinade of something like sesame oil and other garnishes.  It doesn't look great, but the spicy version below is da grinds (I'll write it, but not speak it).


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