You kids are all too astute, and as much as I would have LOVED to visit the Dominican Republic, HAWAII is in fact the correct answer! I went with my taiko group and we performed 4 shows – all joint shows with local taiko groups who kindly shared their drums and prevented us from having to lug 80 tons of equipment across the Pacific.
What was so awesome about doing these joint shows was meeting so many cool people, all people who lived, breathed, worked, and ate lots of delicious spam on the islands and therefore showed us the real-life side of Hawaii, not just the Waikiki-touristy-trap side of Hawaii. Not that I would have really known the difference because it was my first time ever (yes, EVER) setting foot on the islands. It was a great first trip since we got a preview of a few different places, spending a few days each in Honolulu, Maui, and Hilo. Each had it’s own unique vibe – Honolulu with it’s busy streets and colorful shops, Maui with its grassy plains and open skies, Hilo with its… mosquitoes. (Kidding, kidding! Check out the pics below to see what awesome stuff we actually did there.)
Anyway, even though a lot of the days were spent tech-ing/performing/steaming costumes (I can now wield a steamer like no other) inside of dark theaters rather than out on the beaches, I did feel like I got to see a good hunk of what Hawaii has to offer. I might have even gotten a LITTLE tan, just enough not to blind the world whenever I wear shorts. But enough with the rambling, on with the pictures! A few notes:
– This is a MONSTER picture post. Consider yourself warned. If you’re not paying attention the post might come right out of your monitor and maul your face.
– I used a vintage action on some of these that I found on flickr through a friend. It is absolutely awesome and upon finding it I applied it on every picture I’ve ever taken and ooh’d and aah’d for hours. Then I’d take the action off and I’d grimace because regular non-vintagy pictures just don’t cut it anymore.
– I didn’t get too many pictures in the theaters since I figured theaters are not a safe place for little ole (read: big, obvious) cameras. The few you’ll see are taken with my trusty point-and-shoot, because I figured it could handle the dangerous territory.
My first glimpse of Hawaii. I believe I was simultaneously yelling, “OH GOD IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL” while taking this shot.
We started off in Oahu. This is one of my first glimpses of Hawaii from the ground. Insert some more exciting yelling about how it “looks so Hawaii!!!” here.
Byron is ready to move.
Jimbo’s in Honolulu. This place has some of the best udon I’ve ever had in my life.
Next on to Maui! A shot of the TAIKOPROJECT girls.
Some Zenshin kids helping with the load-in:
Meet Jen. She was my photo buddy during the trip!
Maz, shot from the hip:
The gorgeous sugar cane fields (taken while driving, oh you know you’ve done it too):
The leaders of Zenshin Daiko own a candy store!
Tomomi outside the shop.
Our free day in Maui was spent at the beach!
My first taste of poke! How have I been missing out on this stuff for the last 25 years??
And then it was off to Hilo! We received a warm welcome:
Super loco. On the menu it said it came with a side of “salad”. I thought, ooh, some nice healthy salad with my 90,000 calorie loco! Turns out it was mac salad. Which is fine, because I know I was subconsciously hoping it was mac salad.
We all stayed at Bryan’s parents’ house which was huge and gorgeous and a party for your camera:
On our free day in Hilo we visited Akaka Falls (I giggled when I heard it because I’m immature. Oh look, I just giggled again right now.)
We also visited the Farmer’s Market:
And had some shave ice, because there is nothing worse than going to Hawaii and forgetting to eat shave ice:
Hilo was also where I had my first experience with a banyan tree. I thought it was incredibly fascinating, and so, tried to take a picture of it. This was before I learned that banyans are impossible to take pictures of. They’re like, too big, or something. I spent the rest of the trip figuring that out. Here’s one of my better shots, and it was taken from a car, that was moving:
After Hilo it was back to Honolulu! Some shots at the Hawaii Theatre:
Another girl shot, concentrating hard because you know, point-and-shoots, tough stuff.
The show in Honolulu was especially meaningful to me since my parents & sister were there! Apparently when I told them I would be going to Hawaii with my group, they decided to make a trip out of it, since they had never been before either. Yes, we are a family of Hawaii n00bs.
A few shots at Waikiki, where they were staying:
Oh look, another banyan!
My little sister, who is a kickass photographer:
After hanging out with the fam I met back up with taiko peeps for a farewell BBQ. This shot below was of some kind of exciting finish-your-bag-of-juice competition but all I could think about was how pretty the light was and how I wanted everyone to stand there, for as long as possible, all the time.
This is the last banyan shot I attempted. This one has some sort of alien growth on it and sprouts flowers that look like streetlights:
These flowers on the other hand are a photographer’s best friend:
Phew, that’s all folks! Back to real life and a promise to attempt to update more frequently! Thanks for reading!! :)