Monday, May 01, 2006

Little waves on the north shore

I just pushed the camera out the car window and shot without looking...
didn't realize my Home Shopping Network hands would be in it. Doesn't it look like I'm trying to sell the camera?

Ko Olina at sunset

Our favorite lagoon is abandoned and romantic...

In Oahu

Ah, Hawaii. Here is our favorite place to swim, the Ko Olina lagoon. It’s a manmade series of lagoons with rock walls to break the waves. It’s pretty exciting to swim in the tranquil water and watch the fearsome breakers dashing against the rocks – like being indoors in the middle of a lightning storm.

I swam at Makaha, which is unprotected, and what a difference. Hard to explain how powerful the undertow is. Just walking along the surf, no deeper than my ankles, I was literally afraid I would get knocked over. It just pulls. I swam in maybe three feet of water and definitely got the sense that only vigilance kept me from being swept out to sea. I’m chicken but I almost died in skyscraper-sized surf in Maui a few years ago, so I learned my lesson from the sea.

Hilariously, Waikiki is not safe to swim in right now (sewage problem)… one of the world’s most exclusive beaches is untouchable.

A marine biologist student I met on the bus explained to me, though, that two currents fork around the island, so beaches on the leeward side or on the north shore are fine.

I’ve been taking some bus trips on my own since Alan is working. Everyone is really nice and I’ve had good talks with fellow busriders and with drivers. Very friendly.

We did a nice hike today in Makiki and drove out by Koko Head which is gorgeous.

As for writing: it took me a few days to settle in and open the laptop. But I’m happy with my production so far: three days of writing and 16 double-spaced pages to show for it. One scene involves a man planning a sophisticated dinner so I took some cookbooks out of the library (yes, I’m such a dork I got a library card already. The library in Kapolei is gorgeous) and enjoyed looking at the recipes. One recipe requires you to start cooking 2 weeks beforehand! (Duck confit)

I’ve been reading a collection of short stories by Andre Dubus III, one of which was the basis for the movie In the Bedroom. What an amazing writer. I hope the folks at Chabot are enjoying House of Sand and Fog. Remember, always open your mail even if you're depressed and thought you dealt with the county already!

Seattle airport

Here’s a picture from the airport. A boy was kneeling counting the rings in the translucent image of a redwood. He never saw me on the other side of the glass. His dad eventually joined him and they were pointing and counting together, but their shadows merged and looked monstrous so it didn’t make a nice photograph like this one.

Pirate store

In case you can't read the sign, the pirate's joke is "How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced?"
Answer: a buccaneer.

Hello Seattle

Seattle is a beautiful city.

I had a five hour layover there, because of course when flying from Oakland to Hawaii the most expeditious route is to go north…. When you’re using a frequent flyer coupon you go where the airline tells you, without complaining. Well, maybe just a little complaining.

Anyway, Seattle is fabulous and it was totally worth it. I love their public transportation system. Downtown, the buses are all free, and the routes/schedules are very easy to figure out. I took a bus from the airport and walked along the waterfront. There’s a great view across the water of snow-capped mountains (look at the background of the photo of a boat being lifted by a crane). I was excited to find a Pirate store… in my car, 9/10s of the time I am listening to my pirates sing on a cassette. I almost bought a mini pirate bobblehead for my dashboard.

I also went in Ye Old Curiosity Shop. Fascinating for a look at the morbidity of last century’s collectors. But I was distressed to see that they were also selling fudge! I mean, after looking at the shrunken human heads with their overly-long eyelashes and the mummified woman whose flesh was ravaged by larvae and the sad, curled-up stillborn fawn and the momma cat and kittens, all poisoned by eating a poisoned rat, my last thought is of “What can I put in my mouth?” Especially given that the fudge seems to be manufactured on the premises.

Pike’s Market is fun to wander around in… but if you enter at street level on one street, it’s impossible to figure out how to exit on the parallel street, which I needed to do to find my bus back to the airport. Construction around the structure didn’t help, either… A nice shoptender kindly left his till and walked me up two or three flights – how counterintuitive to ascend when you are trying to exit; this never would have occurred to me!

I’m so glad I had a chance to see Seattle (my first but not last time). I can’t wait to return.