July 19th, 2021

Sorry, folks, but not a ton of pictures to share this week.  And an extra special apology to my Dad, who was looking forward to some photos from restaurants I visited this week. Here's some photos I did capture:

Kinda creepy, kinda cool wreckage behind Dillingham Airfield.
Ocean view from Kealia Trail hike. This was more of an "exercise" kind of hike. It was 1300+ foot elevation gain and just shy of eight miles.
At the summit of the Kealia Trail hike.
Had a few friends over for a late-night jam session. Cat played the ukelele, Shaggy picked up the harmonica, I was on guitar and we all did our best attempts at singing.

July 11th, 2021

It's been a really busy past couple of weeks! Lots going on, including a visit from my sister Rachel, taking a trip to Maui, prepping for a trip to big island and also planning my return to San Francisco at the end of August. Hard to believe my time in Hawaii will be coming to an end soon! And with my birthday, the trip to big island and some friends from mainland visiting, the next month will fly by. Anyways, here's lots of photos from the past two weeks:

On a boat with my sister, Rachel! Such a fun time, she had a couple friends who happened to be in the area and invited us along.
Hiking with my sister! We found this hidden trail that went along a ridgeline to get a nice view of the coast, and then doubled back and hiked the rest of the way to Ka'ena Point.
Out in Maui with some friends, this was on the road to Hana. From left to right: Aaron C, Sonal, me and Alice.
I snagged this photo in a beach on Maui. It was really cool how the trees perfectly framed the mountain ridgeline.
Beautiful coastline in Maui, on the road to Hana.
This one needs a further explanation! If you look closely in the reflection of my glasses, two of our friends are doing a photo shoot. So I told Aaron C to take a picture of me taking a picture of them taking pictures of each other. What he didn't know was that I put my camera on selfie mode, and therefore captured a picture of him taking a picture of me taking a picture of them taking pictures of each other :D
A beautiful coastline in Maui, on the trail to the Hanomanioa Light. It's black lava rocks with white coral sprinkled throughout. There was this surf break with 8 foot or so waves, and although you can't see them in this photo, some really talented surfers.
Another pretty coastline shot on the south shore of Maui.
Out to dinner with some friends! Left to right: Stephen, Kate, Mike, Carmen and me. Mike & Carmen have now left the islands, but I'm hoping to go visit them in San Diego sometime soon.
Birthday celebration! These are some friends who also are celebrating July birthdays, so we had a group party in Ala Moana park. Left to right: Jennifer, Guard, me, Supreet, Lewis and Brendan.
Surfers off the coast of Maui.
Wind surfers at the southern shore of Maui. There was about five of these folks out there, and my guess was they had to be professional with the strength of wind and size of the waves. They were regularly landing flips, 720's, etc. Very cool!

June 29th, 2021

Ugh, late again on the update! Things have been busy lately, but I've also just been slacking on getting on here to push things along. I've had a lot on my mind recently, both in the sense of some personal growth I'm going through as well as just general life changes. The big question on my mind recently is the rapidly approaching "leaving Hawaii" date, which is now less than two months away. I've talked with my manager, who has given me the thumbs up to continue working remotely indefinitely. So, I've now found myself with virtually nothing tying me to any particular geographical location. That freedom is awesome, and a great problem to have, but has also forced me to really start reflecting on what I actually want. Where do I want to live? What things are valuable to me, what isn't? What sacrifices and trade-offs am I willing to make? It's a lot to think about. Anyways, last week was great. I did some fun stuff, but once again didn't capture a ton of photos so it's largely undocumented for you folks. Here's what I do have:

Helped organize and attend a beach cleanup event with Sustainable Coastlines. We all headed out to a beach and filtered for microplastics, as well as did some trash pickup. It was very eye-opening for me, since the beach looks really pristine but tons of plastic waste is hidden in the sand :(
Out to dinner with some friends. From left to right: me, Sonal, Alice and Aaron C. This was at a voodoo-themed bar in Chinatown called Skull & Crown. The ambiance was really cool, and it lead to a super fun night as we ended up chatting with a guy at the bar who happened to own a few bars in downtown. He got us into an exclusive, invitation-only bar which just recently opened, and it was a really cool experience.
Out at Korean BBQ with a new group of friends I made recently. Really happy to meet these folks, and excited that some of them are from the San Francisco area so I'll be able to continue the friendships after I leave Hawaii. From left to right: Ishaan, Valerie, Hyerin, Kenn, Derek and me.
This one is a bit blurry, but my friend hosted a going-away party and it got a bit too rowdy for the apartment building's liking. We were asked to wrap it up and move elsewhere, so some of us decided to head to the beach and tell ghost stories. I was elected storyteller, which some people found really interesting while others apparently did not :D

June 21st, 2021

A little late on the update this week, sorry folks! It was a really good week, but unfortunately I did not take many photos at all. I went to Koko Crater and beat my previous record by a full minute. 14:56, which means there's only one person I know of who can beat me! But he's does multi-day marathons and is in really good shape - able to do it in 10 minutes and some change. Crazy! Other than that, spent most my week just hanging out with friends - nothing extraordinary, just kept it pretty mellow. Here's a couple photos:

Sunset at Koko Crater. I don't think I'll ever get tired of this view. This is actually half way up - we stayed at the top for an hour before deciding it wasn't going to be a good sunset. Only to have an amazing sunset on the hike down!
Out to dinner with some friends. From left to right: Blake, Adam, Alice, Sonal, Aaron C, and me :D

June 13th, 2021

This week was pretty fun, but not a ton to say. I had some friends over for a BBQ, went to some birthday party fun over the weekend and snuck some beach time in, as well. Here's some photos from this week's shenanigans:

Birthday celebrations on the beach.
Caught a rainbow during sunrise on Sunday.
Out at the beach with some friends. From left to right: Cat, Ryan, Supreet, Wes, me.
Rented a party bus that took us around the island! Lots of fun.

June 6th, 2021

Alright! It's been two weeks since I provided an update. This recent weekend was pretty relaxed, but the weekend before that I had some extra time off and went to Kauai with a group of friends. We had a great time, and there were a lot of photos to sort through. Here's the huge collection of photos, distilled into the highlights:

Here are some social photos of the group I went with. We rented a couple AirBNB's and had such a good time cooking and partying together.
One of the places we visited in Kauai was the red dirt canyons, north of Waimea. It was really beautiful to see the contrast between bright green shrubbery and bright red dirt.
We also went out hiking in Waimea Canyon state park.
This was the most epic lookout in Waimea Canyon. They would have these helicopter tours that would periodically fly through the canyon, and it was really something to look down on a helicopter flying below you.
And, of course, we also visited the beach a couple of times :)
We went out for a really nice dinner at Tidepools, and this was a Koi pond they had set up. What was really cool is that, if you look closely, there are a couple black swans! I actually didn't know black swans existed.
The absolutely most incredible waterfall I've hiked to in Hawaii. I'm bummed that we went there just a few hours before our flight back, so I didn't have a change of clothes and therefore couldn't swim.
This is from my favorite activity, a catamaran tour around the Nā Pali Coast. The whole coastline was the most awe-inspiring thing I've seen in my life.
Another section of the Nā Pali Coast.
A really great photo I captured of a waterfall off the Nā Pali Coast. There were a few waterfalls that poured into the sea, one of them so big that the captain was able to take the entire boat underneath the waterfall!
Everyone tired after a long day on the boat. I joined them shortly after taking this picture.
We also rented some ATV's and went on a tour through the island. It was awesome, but more "tour" than "ATV driving," unfortunately.

May 23rd, 2021

It was a pretty fun week! The top highlights for me were a BBQ I hosted on Thursday, and going paintballing with some friends. A buddy of mine also celebrated a birthday, which was a ton of fun. After the party died down, a couple of us ended up going to the beach late at night to play guitar and hang out. We just so happened to attract a few other random beach goers, some of which also played guitar and we ended up jamming for a few hours. That was a ton of fun.

Here's some photos from the week:

Funny photo my friend captured of a few of us walking up from Bellows Beach. Looks like it could be a dramatic movie poster if you ask me.
BBQ at my place! This was a ton of fun, and we had soooo much good food.
Some photos from the paintball event. We were doing pretty good, but eventually this group showed up that was active duty military, and also really into paintball. From that point onward, we were just target practice for them 🙃

May 16th, 2021

I forgot to update last week! I didn't realize until mid-week, and then decided to just roll two weeks of updates into today's. Things have been more and more routine, but not in the dull sense. Still working hard, playing hard, etc. Going on a lot of hikes, hanging out with a lot of fun people, trying not to party too hard. Unfortunately, I've been really slacking on taking photos of anything. I promise to do better next week. Nevertheless, here's some pictures I did snag:

Another camping trip with friends. Great people, great food, great time!
Went to the top of Koko crater for the sunset again last week. I absolutely smashed my previous record of 18 minutes, clocking in this time at 15:52. I'm super proud of myself, most people don't even believe me when I tell them I can do it so quickly.
Another sunset photo from Koko crater.
Yes, this is yet another sunset photo from Koko crater! I really love the view up there.
This is from the Lanikai Pillboxes, it's a series of abandoned miltary bunkers. It's a pretty short hike, only an hour or so. But really beautiful views!
Another shot from the pillboxes (taken at the second one as seen in the previous photo). The beach you see in the photo is probably the most beautiful on the island for swimming. Warm water, calm surf, and the finest, softest sand you can possibly imagine. 
One more photo from the pillboxes hike, with (most of) the group of people I went with. That guy in the blue on the far right, Vassil, is the only person who can beat me to the top of Koko crater! He's at 15 minutes and some change.

May 2nd, 2021

Not a whole lot to say for this week. Keeping busy, and excited about the direction things are going. I just finished up performance reviews at work, and got some great feedback which was a nice highlight of my week. Here's photos:

A hen and her chicks, roaming around. There's tons of wild chickens out here.
I went kayaking to the Kaneohe Sandbar with some friends. Unfortunately, don't have a lot of photos of the kayak or the sandbar. But we did come across this super weird creature. It's a Light-Spotted sea cucumber, endemic to Hawaii.
Friday beach parties have become a regular event! They've been fun, and attract a really great group of people. Volleyball nets recently got incorporated.
I hosted some friends for a BBQ night at my apartment. The Cheerios were a strange contribution, but I'm not complaining :D
Some more photos from the BBQ.

April 25th, 2021

Good week! I'm starting to get better at finding a healthy balance of staying active, having fun and getting some relaxing introverted time in. My sleep schedule hasn't been consistent, but I've been getting enough which is good. Here's some photos from the week:

Party at the top of Koko crater! Someone brought a whole DJ turntable, they were fire dancing at sunset. Very cool experience, and I made it to the top in 18 minutes which I was really proud of.
Selfie at Sky Waikiki, a rooftop bar and restaurant. Overpriced, but great views and a cool atmosphere.
The view from our table.
Out hiking. Probably my least favorite hike so far, since there wasn't really anything technically challenging or noteworthy view-wise. But the people who came with were really fun to talk to, and there was a nice swimming hole!
The folks I went hiking with.
Taco Thursday (aka Friday Jr.) with some friends.

April 19th, 2021

A little late on the update this time around - I'd like to say Sunday was especially busy, but in reality it just slipped my mind. Last week I made more of a focused effort to dial back a bit - I was overcommitting and over-exerting myself, as mentioned a few times in the previous entries. Nevertheless, still manged to have some fun. Here's some photos from the week:

Alice's birthday party! She had these big mirrors in her apartment which made for this freaking sweet selfie!
Picked up some paint at a local hobby store, and a buddy from work 3D printed and shipped the model for me. Happy I found a way to continue one of my favorite hobbies :D
My friends Stephen & Kate had the clever idea to host a ravioli making party!
Selfie! Around the table, left to right: me, Adrianne, Stephen, Kate, Erica, Arlin
The finished product, just as delicious as it looks.

April 11th, 2021

It's very hard to believe that I've been living in Hawaii for almost two months now. It seems like simultaneously a lifetime ago, and just a short while. I feel like I've grown and changed a lot, and excited for more adventures to come! This week was kind of rough, though - I've been slowly slipping from my normal eight hours of sleep into around five, and that hasn't been sustainable. My body, as it turns out, really does need sleep! Aside from that, I had three friends who all left Hawaii this week, which is kind of a bummer. Meeting lots of new people out here is bittersweet, since almost all relationships are ultimately transient.

Aside from that, had some good times as well. Went to a few going away parties, and went on my first camping trip since being here. As usual, here's photos:

This was Bellows Beach, which is where we camped. Normally it's off-limits to civilians, but a few people we went with are either active or former military, so we were able to get in.
More photos from the camping trip.
This is Waiakeakua Falls. It was a good hike, there was a hidden area with even more waterfalls past this. If you look on the left of the waterfall, you can see a shortcut rope!
More photos from the hiking trip - once again, ignoring warning signs, sorry Mom! The group pictured was only half of the total people who came, believe it or not. And the final picture is this super weird plant that was there. It looked like an alien tentacle.
View from the hike. I'm fairly certain those flat-top trees are Albizias, but not entirely sure.
An old-school polaroid taken from one of the going-away parties I went to this week. From left to right: me, Shauna, Mike, Jani, Marina, Aaron, Kaila.
Me and the other Aaron, at the park watching the sunset.

April 5th, 2021

I had a really busy day yesterday, so this update is going in on a Monday. Last week was really good - work was kind of frustrating as I've been spinning my wheels on an issue that has proven to be more trouble than it's probably worth. I also really wore myself out with activities - not getting enough sleep and probably over-exerting myself physically. But I still had a ton of fun! I went out on a sunset boat with a group of friends, went to a couple really cool hikes and found some really good restaurants. Here's photos:

At the "China Walls," a place where people come to surf, swim, jump and party.
I'm on a boat! Me being goofy, I was asked to shake my money maker...
We might have ignored the warning signs...
View halfway through the hike to Crouching Lion lookout.
This was the Crouching Lion hike. If you look closely, you can see there are people! The end of the hike was along this treacherous cliff side.
The start of this hike up Koko Crater. 1000+ ft elevation gain, and quite the workout.
This is at the end of the Koko Crater hike. Really beautiful!
Another shot from the top of Koko Crater.
Some more photos of me ignoring warning signs and getting too close to cliffs. Sorry, Mom!

March 28th, 2021

What an awesome week! Work has been going really well, and I had a three day weekend so I was able to cram a lot of fun in. I've been skating more and happy to find that things are slowly coming back to me. Definitely not "like riding a bike" but I'm picking things up quicker than I would have otherwise. Aside from that, I went on what was hands-down my favorite adventure so far: a kayak and hike on Chinaman's Hat. On Saturday night, I also bought some board games and had a couple of friends over, and we had some really interesting discussions. They're all world travelers, and were born in countries outside the US, so it was really interesting to have a few drinks and get into some deep conversations about life.

Lots of photos to share, here we go:

Managed to find a pretty authentic Turkish restaurant, it was really good!
Board games and pizza night with some friends.
Heading out to the island!
Yours truly, first time in a kayak in the ocean. It was more scenic than whitewater, but less exciting :P
A good shot that gives perspective of what the hike was like. Believe it or not, I did the whole thing barefoot! That is the true Hawaiian way, it's fairly common to see locals running around with no shoes.
On the way down, where the people who stayed at the bottom looked like ants!
Beautiful wide-angle photo from the island.
Some random other photos from the kayaking trip.

March 21st, 2021

What an exhausting week. I had to cancel some plans I had today just so I could catch up on some chores around the house and relax for a bit. When I first came out to Hawaii, I made a lot of effort to meet new people, get involved in regular activities, etc. Now it feels like I have the opposite issue - trying to juggle everything at once and manage my schedule has been getting difficult. But, it's hard to complain too much, especially coming out of a year of social distancing and isolation, it's nice to have lots to do. I've made friends with another group of people who like to play board games, one of my favorite lazy night social activities. I wasn't able to bring any of my games with me, so I'm happy to have met up with some people who can supply the games.

This week I finally made my way to North Shore to go hiking at Ka'ena Point Trail. Here's some photos from the week:

I took a bunch of good photos, but had sunscreen on my camera lens and didn't realize it until afterwards. Oops...
How they managed to get three people on a moped is beyond me, but I was giggling pretty good.
Notice the skateboard on the couch! I'm having a blast coming back to a favorite teenage activity as an adult.
Road trip to the North Shore with some friends! My buddy (also Aaron) rented a convertible. What better way to get around in Hawaii?
Came across this very relaxed Hawaiian Monk Seal on the beach. Absolutely adorable!
Here's the whole group of folks for this week's hike. Not the normal group I go with, almost everyone here was also Google employees out visiting Hawaii.
Epic photo! Not me in the picture, but me behind the lens.
This is the final destination at Ka'ena Point.
Yours truly, at Ka'ena Point.

March 14th, 2021

The time change is upon us! Hawaii doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time, and so virtually everyone else in the mainland jumped forward an hour today. I'm now back three hours from the west coast, and six from the east. The bad part is having to get up earlier for work, and coordinating times with people is now harder (especially you east coast folks). The good part is I now get done with work earlier, and have plenty of daylight to burn. This past week I joined some friends for a fancy Japanese steakhouse, did some hikes, explored some side streets...the usual! The weather out here was especially terrible this week, though. We've been under flood watches and warnings all week, with some folks outside Honolulu having to evacuate. Luckily, I'm in the city and on a high floor, so it's not a huge safety concern. But the near-constant rain was a bit of a bummer.

Anyways, here's some pictures for the week:

Japanese steakhouse, an assortment of A5 Wagyu beef. Really good, also really expensive!
Also from the Japanese steakhouse, this was "meat sushi" as the translation read.
Chinatown market. Really cool place with tons of interesting and fresh fish, pork and veggies.
Funny photo of a bird I took. The birds out here are fearless, and will happily swarm you for a bite of food.
Pretty waterfall while out hiking.
Another shot of a pretty waterfall. My second time to this spot, but still fun!
Lunch at the park after hiking. The group just keeps getting larger!

March 7th, 2021

Writing this one on the verge of sleep. It's been a busy week, and I was out a bit later than planned last night having some drinks with new friends. That did not mesh well with getting up at 5 AM to go hiking. I'm having a great time meeting new people, adventuring around and exploring. On Thursday I was invited to a friend's birthday party, and requested to bring over my guitar and entertain with another guy I met out here - he's also on the tail end of a break up, moved from the east coast, is an engineer at Google, plays blues guitar and is named Aaron. What are the odds of that? On Saturday I went out snorkling and sailing on a catamaran, which was great fun. We saw some pretty coral reefs, some fish and a couple of sea turtles. I don't have any pictures at the moment, waiting on the person I went out with to send them over. Here's some other nice photos from this week:

Found this cool summit and view while out biking one afternoon.
The iconic Diamond Head mountain.
Found some prawns while out hiking!
Waterfall and swimming hole! The picture is deceptive - it was about a 20 foot waterfall.
Lots of "Jurassic Park" vibes while hiking through the rainforests.
Me and a few folks decided to go to the top of the waterfall. This was the start of about a 15 foot, nearly vertical climb. Pretty intimidating for me, but worthwhile!
Selfie from the top of the waterfall. This was as close to the edge as I was willing to go.
A pretty large group of hikers came out with us this weekend!

February 28th, 2021

A great week! It was my first one back at work, which felt strange...somehow both working and still on vacation? I can't complain, though! I managed to stay productive, and working on California time means I've been getting up early enough to see the sunrise from my apartment, as well as getting done early enough to still have lots of daylight to burn.

I've been staying busy outside of work - exploring a lot on my own, but also meeting people along the way. I've been lucky enough to be welcomed into the social group of some guys I stayed with my first week out here, and have been playing soccer with them on Thursdays. I also met a really nice group of people on a website called Meetup, and have been going to the beach to play Spikeball on Wednesday and out hiking on the weekends. Lots of photos to share:

Beautiful little cove I found away from the city while I was out exploring.
I love this photo! I was on a bench reading a book, this was the view. Very relaxing!
Sunrise from the apartment! Not a bad way to greet the day...
Thursdays I've been playing soccer at this beautiful coastline park.
Waterfall hike! There were some photographers with us, will share better pics later.
I took a Hawaiian cooking course with Linda! I could write a book about her interesting life.
Along with all the cute puppies, Linda also had a pet pig! She named him Bacon lol

February 21st, 2021

It's been a busy past couple of weeks! The move to Honolulu was mostly smooth - a few bumps along the way, but that's to be expected. I rented an AirBNB for the past week, and just settled into my own condo yesterday. I've already met some really interesting and nice people out here, and got a lot of exploring in.

This is my first experience traveling alone, and it's been both freeing and crippling at the same time. Lots to do, nobody to share with! I'm enjoying myself, though, and excited about the things I have planned for the next few weeks: hiking, scuba diving, surfing and soaking in the sun! Oh...and maybe working, if I find the time.

Waikiki Beach, just a block over from where I'm staying!
Honolulu, with Diamond Head looming behind it.
One of the hikes I went on featured this beautiful waterfall!
Selfie from the couch in the new condo! Bringing the bike was a pain, but worth it.

February 7th, 2021

Finally getting some time to rest after a long weekend of packing, cleaning and moving. Virtually all of my belongings are now in a storage unit, and the rest is either getting donated, sold or coming with me to Hawaii! Can't believe I'm less than a week away - it still feels like there's so much to take care of.

This morning, I had some errands to run before the movers arrived. While out and about, I discovered a bakery that had just opened their doors for the day. I don't normally eat breakfast, but I couldn't resist the allure of a fresh baked, cheesy sausage roll. I took it to the nearby park for a brief moment of respite, and it was just as good as I was hoping! I'll definitely miss the great local food here.

Fresh, cheesy baked sausage roll at the park!

January 31st, 2021

A few years ago, I removed myself from most social media sites for a variety of reasons, and in retrospect I'm pretty happy with my decision to do so. Now I just need to work on getting Reddit out of the equation, as well...

Anyways, last year I also accepted an offer with Google and relocated to the opposite side of the country. This put some literal and figurative distance between me and my friends, family and potential stalkers. In a couple of weeks, I'm adding another 2000+ miles onto that gap by moving to Hawaii, since I'm working remotely anyways and tired of paying San Francisco bay area rent. And with the aforementioned lack of social media, some people wanted to be able to keep up with what I'm doing, see pictures, etc. But I'm insistent on not signing back up for those abandoned social media accounts, so here we are. My very own blog!

Here's what I did this weekend - went for a bike up the east foothills in San Jose. It's about ten miles from my apartment, and the climb up sucked! But going down was very, very fun. Pics, or it didn't happen:

Halfway up at this point!
Near my final destination. I didn't make it to the top!