August 29th, 2021

Goodbye for now, Hawaii! I'm a bit sad to leave, but also excited for the adventures I know are waiting me on the other side of the ocean. I'm happy for the friends I've made, and happy that many of those friendships will continue on. In a lot of ways, I also think I'm ready to move on. There are so many things that I learned about myself and so many ways I grew in Hawaii. But I also feel like that learning curve was starting to flatten, and that I was beginning to fall into normalcy and routine. Living a normal life in Hawaii is certainly exciting, but I'm ready to push myself further and see what else I can explore and how else I can grow!

Anyways, here's photos from the last week, plus a bonus one that I had to get scanned so it's a bit late:

This was at a Luau I went to - finally got to see one! And I believe this might be the best photo I've ever taken. All our poses are so dynamic and balanced. And we didn't plan it all! Just asked someone to snap a photo and this was it.
Another photo from the Luau. From left to right: Shawn, Alice, Aaron C, Sonal and myself.
From a going away party I hosted. Unfortunately the camera glare didn't lend itself well - maybe I'll look into getting the photo edited. From left to right: Hailey, Cat, Dave, myself, Terrence, Stacey, Adrianne, Dave, Erica and her puppy Bailey :D
Some of (maybe THE) best ramen I've ever had at a place called Ramen Ono-Ya.
Bonus photo from Big Island! This one was originally a print, and it took a while for me to set aside the time to scan and upload it.
A final, poetic send-off from Hawaii. I woke up early, grabbed my guitar and headed to the beach. I played for a couple hours, and then followed tradition by returning my lei to the earth.

August 22nd, 2021

It was a great week! My brother came out to visit me here in Hawaii, and it was an awesome way to cap off my time here. Next Saturday I'll be heading back to San Francisco for a short spell, then moving on with my travels. Here's photos!

Me and my brother, JD, at the top of Koko Crater. Always a great workout, and we got there just in time for the sunset.
A photo from the Makapu`u lighthouse trail.
A photo of the actual Makapu`u lighthouse!
Me and JD went on a submarine! This was a really cool experience. They take you down 100+ feet underwater to see some sunken ships, planes and reefs.
A shot from inside the submarine.
Cool photo of the captain of the submarine. They used to have locations worldwide, but shut them all down due to COVID. This is now the only publicly available submarine in the world!
The marine life surrounding a sunken ship.
A photo from Diamond Head crater. This is an iconic hike that I'm glad I managed to go on before leaving the islands.
The view from the top of Diamond Head crater. While beautiful, it wasn't my favorite hike on the island. Pretty crowded, and not much technically challenging.
Hanging with some friends on the beach, playing guitar, ukelele and singing! From left to right: Cat, KK, me, JD, Aaron.
Another photo of the beach jam session. The birthplace of the hit single Purple Woman. If you know, you know. From left to right: Aaron, Aaron, JD, Rosie, Cat.

August 15th, 2021

I'm back from big island! And with plenty of photos to share:

My remote office :D Nice place to work, and quiet enough to take conference calls in peace.
Some shots from a hike into Waipi'o Valley. This place was surreal. It was the most calming and tranquil place I've ever been. There are wild horses that roam around the valley, if you look closely at the bottom left photo you can spot one!
A black sand beach in Waipi'o Valley. The valley has a rich history and culture significance in Hawaii. It is considered sacred land, and was the home and burial site of many Hawaiian kings.
View from the trail into Pololū Valley. I went for a long hike down the cliff I was standing on for this photo, through the valley and up and over the other side.
This is a shot of the valley itself.
And here's a photo from the valley, looking at those ridges. If you look REALLY closely, you can spot a herd of cattle grazing of the far shore of this river.
This is a black sand beach that was in the valley.
Another photo from the valley. As you can see from all the pictures, I found it really beautiful here!
This was what locals call "Narnia." Google Maps doesn't have it, but here's the GPS coordinates. Depending on how you count, there was 5-7 waterfalls right here! You can easily spot two or three in this GIF. Really beautiful area, and still mostly hidden from tourists. It's on government property with some scary sounding signs on the trailhead, so I think that's what keeps folks away.
I half-mindedly snapped a photo of this feral cat I ran into while out and about. I really ended up liking it artistically, though. The composition and lighting turned out nice, and I happened to catch the pretty unfriendly cat in a neutral pose. Moments later he hissed at me and was not happy.
A pretty shot of the coastline at sunset. This was somewhere on Kohala Mountain Rd.

August 8th, 2021

My time in Hawaii is rapidly coming to an end. I'm in big island for the next week, then my brother will be visiting me for a week after that, and then I'll be leaving the following Saturday! The month will be over before I even know it. My plans after I leave will be to go live in San Francisco for a couple months, then back to Atlanta for the holidays, and then wherever the wind takes me after that. I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to visit a couple friends in France, but will likely kick it around the US for a bit more before then. Maybe New Orleans or Miami? Open for suggestions!

As far as what's been happening recently, the weekdays were mostly uneventful, although on Wednesday I went out to a really nice cocktail bar in Chinatown that specializes in smoke-infused drinks. Friday after work I flew to big island, the last major Hawaiian island that I haven't visited. I planned on not planning - just finding a rural place far away from any cities and seeing what happens. I initially settled on a self-sustained, off-grid farm way out in the country. It was really cool, with the owners giving me a guide to show me how to harvest tons of locally grown veggies and such for food while I was there. Unfortunately I ended up having some unwelcome guests in bed with me. I woke up the second night being bitten by something, to find both bed bugs and centipedes in the sheets. I was able to get a refund on that place, and found another farm that is much better maintained in the northern portion of the island. Anyways, you've caught me rambling. Here's a ton of photos to share!

Some photos from Seaview Farms where I first stayed on big island. Eggs, cacao, papaya, peppers, onion, lime. Even basic ingredients like salt, oil and honey were all sourced from the farm!
Uncle Robert's farmer's market, which is near the farm I was at. I was surprised to find that the community in and around the farm was almost entirely counter-culture Americans. I was expecting native Hawaiian's, but ended up amidst a bunch of white people with dreads and tie-dye shirts.
Walking along some recent lava formations. It was cool to see the hardened lava, and the newly-formed life sprouting from the soil.
Especially in the back country parts of Hawaii, there's still a lot of animosity towards the US, tourism and the wrongs that were done. And for good reason, too. The more I learn of the history here, the worse it gets. A lot of emotion is captured in this simple statement: "USA Broke All 4 Treaties"
The coastline near Kaimu Black Sand Beach.
Beautiful view of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. No active lava this time around, unfortunately, but still awe-inspiring to see the magnitude of nature's wrath.
Another shot of the valley at the national park. It's said that Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and creator of Hawaii, resides here in the volcano.
Steam vents at the Volcanoes National Park. These are created as ground water seeps into the idle volcanoe underneath, evaporating and billowing out the surface.
I went as far up Mauna Kea as I could go (the Onizuka Center). To get to the actual summit, you need a certified 4x4 vehicle, which I didn't have. But my goal was to stargaze, and that's actually best at around 9,000 ft elevation due to the depleting oxygen levels higher up. So this was perfect!
Another great photo of the sunset at Mauna Kea. From this time onward, the temperature rapidly dropped to below 50 degrees. But seeing the milky way and all the universe open up was worth it. I also brought my guitar, and had fun providing live music. A lot of strangers thanked me for doing so!
The beautiful coastline while hiking at Onomea Bay Trail.
The view from the new farm that I'm staying at, after the last one ended in bug bites. This one is much more updated, and much cleaner. All's well that ends well!

And, by popular demand, here's some stuff from restaurants I visited:

Some smokey cocktails being created at Bar Leather Apron.
A firey cocktail being created at the same bar!
Some food from restaurants I went to. Teddy's Bigger Burgers is a local chain, and then there's a charcuterie board and pork bao. Of these items, I think the dried figs on that charcuterie board were my favorite.

August 2nd, 2021

It's been a couple weeks since my last update, and I have a ton of stuff to share. Between my birthday and some friends from the mainland visiting, I've been really busy. I had a couple parties to celebrate my birthday - one was a coordinated sunset boat cruise, and the other was a mostly impromptu BBQ with a smaller set of friends. Here's all the photos!

Justin came to visit me for my birthday! Rented a drop-top Camaro to cruise the island in style.
Party boat! Sunset cruise and snorkeling to celebrate my birthday :D
Went to visit the Byodo-In temple, which is a replica of a historic Japanese Buddhist temple.
Buddah statue at Byodo-In.
Beautiful view from Tantalus lookout at Puu Ualakaa state park. You could basically drive right up to this point, I was really surprised that it wasn't extremely busy.
Hanging out with some friends! Justin photobombing, Cat, me and Stacey.
More photos with friends! Cat, Justin, me and Dave.
Cat took this really funny photo. This was at my birthday BBQ, and the only public restrooms are at the pool (not the BBQ area). So we took a group of folks up, and this is me and Justin waiting not-so-patiently for people to finish using the restroom.
Some random food I had and remembered to take photos of. From the left, clockwise: avocado ahi poke from Hawaii Sushi, Japanese BBQ from Gyu-Kaku and eggs bendict from Koko Head Cafe. Ono grindz!
Out camping and griling with friends. Left to right: Dave, Alex, Cynthia, David, me, Erica, Justin and Adrianne.
Here's a video of me giving a speech at my birthday BBQ.
Me, Aaron Cohen and Cat jamming on some blues.

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.