Monday 5 December 2016

Winding around, also up

Gary Sinise and me, we’re like that, you know. Near enough. I once sat in his chair on a NCIS-NY set that I came across in Brooklyn and watched him do a scene (inspecting the body of a drowned mermaid). I helped myself to a banana from the snack table too – at the invitation of an extra, so it was pretty much official. And now here he is again, performing with his band on the beach at Waikiki tonight, giving a speech about supporting veterans, asking how many people had been to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans – not many hands went up, apart from mine – and getting excited about being MC at the 75th Commemoration of Pearl Harbor on Wednesday. I tell you, with vets being wheeled away by young servicemen in fatigues, everyone standing and applauding, and then all singing along to some nationalistic song that I didn’t recognise, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house (apart from mine, natch).

Sitting on the sand listening to the music in the warm dark, part of a mixed and friendly crowd, waves breaking nearby, planes blinking overhead past a young moon, skyscrapers lit up all along the beach behind, eating sticky (and sandy – oops) ribs… it was a nice way to end a moderately busy day.

This afternoon we went on a half-island tour with E Noa. Our driver, "Cousin Brendon", chattered all the way round – literally – but he was pleasant and keen to please, and interesting enough. Hearing that the houses on the peaks command prices up to $25 million, I understood about the Gucci, Prada, Tiffany etc shops I never broke stride for this morning as I explored Waikiki (ABC Stores are more my level – and my! What a lot of them there are!)

We slipped around the coast beneath Diamond Head; oohed over the shallow clear waters of Hanauma Bay, famed for its snorkelling; watched the surfers at Sandy Bay, Obama’s favourite beach; stopped at Waimanalo Beach to eat Dave’s delicious icecream (coconut and macadamia, though it was hard to choose a flavour); and climbed up to the lookout at Nu-uanu Pali, where the slopes are precipitously steep and the views extensive but more astonishing is the sign warning of bees in high winds – because they become like bullets then, apparently. We completed the circle through Honolulu, passing its glass towers where all the white-collar work happens, and the busy port.

Things are hotting up in preparation for the big event on Wednesday. Let’s hope the weather is too.

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