Let me start by saying thank you to the Starbucks for opening your doors at 5am because a warm cup of coffee out of the elements has never felt so good.
Alright, so that was a hell of a trip out here, just saying! A 5:45am flight took me into Atlanta connecting at 10:55am EST, to LAX connecting at 2:55pm PST, to HNL at 6:30pm HST to the bus at 7:30pm HST then finally to the Pupukea, North Shore at 11:00pm (4:00am EST)
So yeah, a solid 23 hour day worth of traveling… Thanks to Mel, the 2 hour bus ride was much more enjoyable.
I was in Hawaii for all of an hour and as fate would have it, I met, Mel, a massage therapist from Maui, originally from Canada that booked a flight to come watch the contest too. I got on the bus and the bus driver said, “that’ll be $2.50 but please go pay the girl over there because I don’t have change and she gave me too much.” Well, that was easy… Pretty blonde, world traveler, massage therapist, surfer, lives in Maui, yep those are all good things; as you can imagine there was plenty to talk about.
After exchanging numbers we went our separate ways at the Pupukea bus stop, near Food Land, and I set off into the night to find a place to string up my hammock.
Stumbling off the lava rock asphalt road, down the hill near Shark’s Cove I found two nice size trees where I made my bed for the night. Oh, you’re probably wondering why I’m not staying in a hotel or a hostel?
One thing you need to know about the North Shore of Oahu is that it is COUNTRY. There is no such thing as the Motel 8 or Best Western out here, there’s one resort called Turtle Bay, it’s been here for decades, that’s it and the locals like to keep it that way. Yeah, there really aren’t any accommodations out here unless you want to spend a lot of money on a rental house which isn’t in my budget at this point.
Ok, so the hammock idea was great, in theory, but one thing I was hardly prepared for, was rain. Fortunately, my dad told me to get a pancho when I chatted with him in LA but the best I could do was purchase a roll of 30 gallon trash bags from a gas station near the transit station in Wahiawa.
Dad was right… It started drizzling as I was stringing up the hammock then full on down pouring right as I was settling in. If you can imagine this, I put a trash bag on like a shirt, punching holes in the top for my head and on the side for my arms, then put another one on like a pair of pants. Fun right? Needless to say between the rain, the wind, and being sketched out about the area, I may have slept a total of 3 hours. On a very positive note, I could tell the swell was SOLID because the boisterous waves crashing in the background were super loud.
The sun hasn’t risen yet but the roosters are crowing (literally) so I assume it will be soon. I basically opened the Starbucks and I’m half way done with my tall Christmas blend with soy milk and honey, which, if you know me, means I’ve been here a while. Gotta say, I’m loving all the people starting to pour in here at the only coffee shop around (one table starbucks, super cozy). In the past hour, it’s certain that I’ve witnessed legends, in their own right, come and go. Waiting to look up and see one of the tour guys walk in. After all, EVERYONE is here. Ok, just rambling now…
I’m going to start walking down to the event. You can tune in live here