Writing Time, Island Style

The only activity that hasn’t been as frequent as I’d like on this nomadic tour of the U.S. is my writing routine. I finally got on track in early April and have been doing better, but then I hit the Hawaiian islands and promptly went tropically lazy!

As it turned out, my sons’ apartment isn’t conducive to writing time, nor are there many coffee shops in Honolulu. Seems this culture embraces tea (particularly bubble tea) far more than coffee. Other than a few scattered, tiny Starbucks, did not find an effective place to spend morning hours writing until a few days ago when I discovered Whole Foods in downtown Honolulu.

Besides being one of the most amazing Whole Foods I’ve been in, they have a large outdoor patio with lots of varied seating that, when combined with some good coffee from inside and their famous by-the-pound breakfast bars, I’m all set! It’s about a 15-min. drive from the boys’ apartment to downtown Honolulu, but since I’m “commuting” around 7 a.m., traffic’s not horrible yet (it’s horrible just about all other hours of the day – think L.A. traffic and you get the picture).

While I can’t get down there everyday, I’ll be content with 3-4 times/week spending 3-4 hours there. And as a bonus (as if the consistently pleasant weather here isn’t bonus enough) Whole Foods is a short walk to the in-town beach (photo below). Island style, indeed.


My absence here is by way of taking a few months off from van life, first to stay with friends in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a few weeks then later flying to Honolulu, Hawaii to visit my two sons. Sadly, Tamasté could not go Hawaiian, so while I’m gone he’s taking a long nap parked in Fort Collins.

I landed in Hawaii on April 28 after a long flight from Denver. As expected, Hawaii is ripe with glorious photo opportunities but they haven’t happened yet due to timing and weather. Mostly I’ve relaxed with sons by enjoying island food (and discovering a new fondness for bubble tea), watching a lot of movies, and generally hanging out. An excellent way to break from the routine of van life for a bit.

I’ll be back on the road again around Memorial Day weekend, and expect to be back to posting here more regularly by then. In the meantime, we’ve planned a few awesome Hawaii hikes next week when the weather will be better for photos, so expect some eye candy then!

When Right is Wrong and Left Isn’t Much Better

One of the interesting aspects of traveling is the opportunity to bushwhack, or the art of finding one’s way without a bloody clue where you are. Some fine moments of serendipitous discovery have surfaced from these fearless jaunts into parts unknown, no doubt enhanced by the fact I’m a guy who adheres to the Guy’s #1 Rule of the Road:  don’t ask for directions. Thus, I can grasp that pure sense of victory, assuming I eventual find my way somewhere.

Last weekend my trip to Chicago ended with an “adventure” into parts of South Chicago I really shouldn’t have been. My brother and I decided to play golf Sunday morning before his plane, and we literally picked a course out of the yellow pages that was on the way to Midway Airport. As luck would have it, Midway and the course were in the general direction I needed to go, mainly heading south on I90.

After a brisk round of 18 holes, 14 or so on which we actually had the energy to play (the others being completed as a badge of honor, more or less), I dropped him at the airport and proceeded towards I90…or so I thought. I never found the on-ramp as shown on the map, and what signs were there led me in a big circle. 45 minutes later, I decided to bushwhack my way there whatever means I could figure out from within the confines of my car, which at the time consisted of my 10-year-old Rand McNally road atlas.

If you’ve caught my drift so far, then you realize I was cruising the ghettos and near-slums of deep South Chicago, driving along and taking turns as though I knew what I was doing (which I didn’t). I did eventually find a combination of streets to navigate that led me to an on-ramp some five miles away and a mere 90 minutes after dropping Bro off at the airport. I was finally Ohio-bound, another successful bushwhack notch to my credit “without asking for directions.” That would have been unmanly, unheard of, and unnecessary…despite the fact it would have saved me at least an hour’s wandering through parts unknown. Lessons Learned for next time? Nah, once a guy always a guy.

Blogging from Chicago

Blogging from Chicago…or more exactly, the Apple Store on Michigan Ave. Trying out the Macs with an eye towards getting one…assuming I can still run Windows (you can) to support old projects. Tried out the iPhone, almost bought it on the basis of what it does WITHOUT the phone part! Amazing. This place, the Apple Store, is a dangerous place. Suggest anyone with a weakness for cool tech toys stay away…far away.

Eating lots of incredible food, but fortunately walking my ass off as well! Doing everything by foot, and probably putting in 4-6 miles/day, although it feels like a lot more.

Serindipity highlight of the trip (so far) was stumbling onto the Newbury Library Book Fair, with some 100,000 books for sale. Those who know me are aware that books are opiate to me, so of course I had to stop and browse. Three hours later, a bag full of heavy books, and 15 blocks from the hotel! Not the best planning, but…

More when I return, the usual travel pix, and a report on our golf game Sunday morning (brother and I), at a course we literally just picked out of the yellow pages. Should be fun.