Monday, June 25, 2012

Outdoing my dreams & Hawaii: Day 1

You know that moment, right when wake up, when your realize your dream is a dream and you've got about 33 seconds to soak it all up before all those unbelievable memories fade away to oblivion? You try desperately to keep dreaming, mostly because you want to see what happens next, but partly because you know that whatever you're about to do that day just wont be as interesting as trying to figure out why you're pitching at the World Series and no one seems to notice you're naked.

If you've hung around me long, it's likely you've put up with some rambling about how awesome my dreams are.  Exciting. Passionate. More vivid than double rainbows. The kind leave me disappointed the moment I regain consciousness. Maybe you've enjoyed a similar nightlife, but if not, I'll explain a bit.

Every night, as my eyes settle, muscles soften, and I slowly drift towards REM, my mind is hard at work finding new ways to acquire that addictive adrenaline rush derived only from battles of uncertain outcome. I soon become wholly engulfed by wars of purpose and resolve, a thrill not in the least diminished by the plethora of fierce romances set to scenery composed only of beautiful memories. But this frequent blessing doubles and a reminder of my comparatively duller real life and often has me inquiring, rather pessimistically, whether real life can ever compare.

Every so often, my hope is restored when the thrill and beauty of true life experience at last rivals my dream life. It is on these rare occasions that I am so smitten with my wide-eyed ventures that I hardly give my dreams the time of day, so to speak. And that's if I remember them at all.

The most recent of these real life event's was on my latest trip to Hawaii a couple week ago. Since I've been meaning to get back into blogging for the past year (I've at least filled a couple journals), I figured now's a good time to start. Since I could really a lot to say, I'll keep it simple by just posting couple of different journal entries (slightly edited so they make sense to people who aren't me). If you hate reading you can just look at the pictures. Whatever. I don't judge.

Hawaii. Day 1:

This morning I woke up at six in one of the LAX airport's many already busy terminals, just in time to catch the early flight to Honolulu. Since I was blindfolded, ear-plugged and tucked tightly in my sleeping bag, which was wedged behind a couple chair-benches jetting from the wall, I was neither bothered by the mad flux of passengers, nor did they seem to notice my choice encampment. In fact, my semi-awkard position seemed perfectly off the radar to all but a few curious youngsters who stared shamelessly as I counterbalanced my disheveled appearance by slipping on some slacks and a button-up. People treat you better when you dress nice.

Thanks to the arc of the planet and the invention of time changes, I was in Hawaii by 11am. Having travelled the last grueling 4500 miles by sitting on my kush-tush and sipping Seattle's Best Coffee, I felt the five mile stroll from the airport to Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu (the only royal palace on American soil) would be good for my body and soul. I had read about 150 pages of Hawaiian history on the way out, so the trek would allowed me to geek out over the historical sights I read about while providing opportunities to swing through local shops to get a vibe of the culture on the way over.

Among the first notable places I stopped was Burger King. Having spent a couple weeks on Oahu a year ago, the lack of huts and hula skirts didn't surprise me, but there are other important, yet more subtle idiosyncrasies that can teach you much about a place, if you pay attention. Things like the price of burgers as compared to those in LA and Atlanta. Things like who works at the Burger Kings and how the customers interact with each other in the lines. What languages you overhear and how parents dress their kids. All these things, if you pay attention as you roam, can reveal a lot.

After a delicious and familiar lunch, I set out on the rest of my journey. With the first couple miles, I found out the location of a local homeless camp, cruised through some seaside parks, figured out the primary bus routes, and scoped general layout of my surroundings. I walked through Chinatown, absorbing fragrant oils mixing midair with the somewhat less pleasing aroma drifting out of the open air meat market. I passed the club we had rented out for Invisible Children's 25 event last April, the college I had previously planned to attend, and other familiar spots, adding a healthy shot of nostalgia to my new explorations.

After a while, I caught a bus to Waikiki to rent a moped. Cruising an island on a moped has always been dream of mine, so I booked it for a solid 34 hours, time of which I made excellent use.  My first journey would be a dangerous and slightly stupid/awesome night ride over the Pali Highway. I survived and made it to Mahealani's house in Kailua on the north side of the island. Mahea is a friend and fellow IC supporter who had not only been a huge help to my Invisible Children team on our last visit, but who had proven herself to be a hostess and tour guide of the highest caliber. After kicking it with her family and and her friend Orrin tonight, we decided to wake up at 5 for a sunrise hike. Straight stoked yo.