The end of vacations…

Yup, all good thing come to an end eventually. I am back in my cozy apartment here in the Midwest. That being said, I had an amazing time on Hawai’i. The weather was nice, the sea was warm, even when it was raining it felt nice. Back here, it’s pretty cold and windy. Oh, well…

After a couple days hiking in the mountain, it was time to get a change of scenery. What’s better than a hotel room with view on the beach in Waikiki? Why a Disney operated resort! (as pictured above)

It was quite an exciting place. They have some amazing restaurants, Swimming pools with tubes and a lazy river. They even play classic Disney songs sung in Hawaiian in the elevator (they did not sell the CD though, a bit of a shame).

While we were staying there, we would go do museum visits/sightseeing in the morning and just relax in pools in the afternoon. Among the cool places we visited, I think the Bishop museum and the Pearl Harbor museums were very impressive.

The Bishop Museum has very impressive collection and exposition on traditional Hawaiian culture. They also have a nice science building where they explain how the islands were created. They even had a molten lava demonstration twice a day, we did not get to see it, but that sounds awesome. They also had an easter island head just outside for some reason, and a Wilson volley ball…

Pearl Harbor is also pretty cool, though you might find it boring if you are not a History or military buff. Among the things you can visit are the Memorial proper (which we did not get to do because of wind condition), the battleship Missouri (which has has guns so big, they are as heavy as a space shuttle), a Submarine (always cool) and a couple hangar full of cool planes (The hangar still has window panes with bullet holes from the attack).

On the less serious and more tourist front, there is always the dole plantation, where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about pineapples. They also have what is supposed to be the biggest hedge-maze in the world, whatever that’s worth. They also have a bunch of pineapple related goodies in their massive store.

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The worst part of leaving Hawaii is to prepare for the weather difference. It was freezing cold in Nebraska but it was nice and warm in Honolulu. So you either arrive in shorts and T-shirt in freezing cold weather, or you dress like a eskimo in 80 degree weather and sweat like a beast. A bit of a catch-22 dilemma if you ask me.

I’ll probably post around New years with like resolutions or whatever. I also saw the latest Star Wars movie, but I feel like I need to see it a couple more time before I can properly do a write up about it. Anyways, Happy Holidays and all that. Have a merry holidays!

Hiking in the mountains.

There is nothing like hiking to stretch your legs after running long distances. Well, we did take a slow day to visit around the down town area, and visit the old royal palace and such.

On Tuesday we went to the Diamond Head crater. It used to be a military outpost and has a pretty easy trail that brings you to the top of the rim. It does end with a couple steep flights of stairs though.

It is pretty cool walk, but can get a bit crowded. There is a bus stop that tends to drop tourists in group.

For the more adventurous hiker there is the Manoa Falls trail / ‘Aihualama Trail. The Manoa falls are pretty famous and the trail is pretty easy and you’ll get there is 10 to 20 minutes.

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That sign says “Danger Falling rocks”, but people still go swimming in the river…

But once you have reached the water fall, another trail starts: the ‘Aihualama Trail, which will bring you all the way to the ridge of the mountain. It is not too hard for a seasoned hiker but it’s best to take it slow. It was pretty humid and there was quite a bit of mud on the trail when we went. Some proper hiking shoe are recommended, and don’t bother try to do it in flip flops.

Oh and check this out:

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The elevator still worked just fine, but it doesn’t bode well when you start seeing error messages in an automated system…

 

Hawaii race day…

Aloha! Everywhere you go, Aloha! Go to the convenience store, Aloha! Go to the bar for cocktails, Aloha! And when you are done, Mahalo! I am pretty sure the locals don’t use those words that much.

Anyways, yesterday was the big race day! That was quite exciting, even though the start was at 5 in the morning. It was not to hard to wake up early because of the jet lag you have from arriving from the continental America a couple days before. We went to the convention center on Saturday to get our stuff, a realized how popular this marathon was in Japan. The vast majority of the staff was from japan, and only a few local staff. Even the merchant that came to the expo had mostly Japanese speaking staffs. With hindsight, since the main sponsor for the marathon was JAL, literally Japan Air Line, I shouldn’t have been that surprised.

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The course of the marathon.

We bought a few things from some of the merchant, learned about other races like the lake Tahoe’s Super Triple, and then went shopping at the Ala Moana mall. That mall is really weird because it is literally surrounded on all sides by its multi story parking lot, so you have to walk through part of the parking lot to get to the mall proper.

The rest of the afternoon was just relaxing and prepping for the race the next day, putting the bibs on the shirts, packing and breakfast for the next morning, setting alarms, and have a nice dinner for carbo-loading.

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“This must be just like livin’ in paradise!!”

Sunday, 3:50 am: Time to wake up a get ready for the big race, and the not so big race! Everyone was quite excited:

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Me and my sister at 4:20 am. Read to run!
The start was next to the Ala Moana mall and there was quite a crowd. Supposedly around 25,000 people signed upon for the marathon and about 1200 ish for the walk. As one might expect, it was also most Japanese people. I don’t think I have been around so many Japanese since I left japan over five years ago. There a couple things to note about the Hawaii marathon:

1) there are not cut of time for the race, which means you can actually just walk the whole 26.2 miles to the finish line. That meant that even though the 10k starts half an hour after the marathon, there was a ton of people at the end of the marathon just walking. That hampered our run of the 10k quite a bit. That being said, we did pretty well matching our previous time at around 1 hour and 25 minutes (there was no official time tracking for the 10k since it was ‘walk’, so this is only technically an estimate). The big difference is that I felt much better than the 10K from Omaha. The additional training I have done really made a difference in my stamina and my ability to run for longer stretches. We went on to walk at least another 5K that day and it did not feel like I had run 10K in the morning.

2) Since it pretty easy to sign up, people show up in funny costumes. We saw a guy in a samurai outfit, complete with sword and banner, there was a bunch of fire fighters in full protective gears and oxygen bottles, there was guy carrying a barbell with about 70 pounds worth of weights on it, a couple dudes in soccer ball costumes, and many others.

And what do you get for finishing the 10K walk? this certificate!

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Very exciting. What about the marathon medal you ask? It’s pretty cool.

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My sister ended finishing the Marathon in just over 6 hours, which is not bad for her first marathon, and there were a lot of people who finished after her too. Overall, pretty awesome day. The rest of the day was pretty chill, my sister and father went to get massage while my mother and I went to the beach. Nothing will relax sore muscles like swimming in the ocean I tell you.

Vacation!!!

Ahh, Finally some well deserved vacation time! And as you could have guessed from that top picture, I’m currently in Hawaii! Extremely exciting!  The cool thing was that on my way there, I had a widow seat and had some amazing view as we approached the island.

IMG_20151211_191122Doesn’t that look like “Jurassic Park”? Well it should because that where they filmed it. And “Lost”. And many other movies and TV shows. Anyways, It is quite a place to be at. I’ll be here for a little over a week and I’ll try to post some cool pictures for you guys to enjoy.

Tomorrow is the Hawaii Marathon, which my sister and father have signed up for, So good luck for them.  My mother I am signed up for the 10K “walk”, though we’ll try to run it. No medal for the 10k this time but hey, it’s the experience that counts. After that it’s going to be all hiking, son tons and tons of photos of jungles.

On a more tech related note, check out this elevator call buttons they use at the hotel:

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Instead of pressing a direction, you have to input what floor you want to go to and it will tell which elevator to take. Each elevator only get maybe 6 or 7 destinations so you can’t just jump into the first open elevator. Also if you take the wrong elevator, there are no accessible buttons inside the elevator cab, they are all locked behind a panel. Pretty cool elevator system but quickly gets overwhelm when to many people try to use it at once.

Anyways, More Hawaiian adventures are coming! To finish this post here is a cool picture of today’s rising sun:

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