Category Archives: places

comings and goings

we got back from hawaii on friday, the 22nd. this morning, at 9:00 am, i took moe to the airport so she could fly out to las vegas, where she will be until wednesday. i think the dogs may have an inkling that she will not be returning today, but when they know for sure, they’re going to be PISSED OFF!!

we got to o’ahu on the 13th:

180613 first honolulu sunset
180613 first honolulu sunset

our plane landed, we were met by micah at the airport and whisked away to dinner, which was poke and pork chops. then we proceded to the Diamond Head Beach Hotel & Residences, on Waikiki. the next day we went to the honolulu zoo and were given a private tour of their veterinary facilities, and went to kaimana beach, which was on the same block as the hotel, which is where monique took a picture of me on the beach:

180614 salamandir on kaimana beach
180614 salamandir on kaimana beach

the bright green rash guard would come in handy in the next few days. we went snorkling at kaimana on friday, and i was still getting my feet under me (figuratively speaking), which meant that i was pretty exhausted when we went in, and wasn’t particularly ready to take on an activity that was guaranteed to exhaust me even further. i didn’t do too badly, but i was glad to have a piece of clothing that differentiated me in the water, so that i could be rescued more easily, if necessary.

after we went snorkling, we went on a dolphin swim at dolphin quest, which was exciting, but kind of sad at the same time. i’m sure that if i (and, by that, i mean moe) weren’t so educated about animal behaviour (and dolphin behaviour, specifically), it would have been a lot better, but, as it was, there were a lot of cues that weren’t followed through on, and the dolphins were basically offering behaviours that weren’t getting rewareded enough that they were getting confused. we did get pictures, though, and most of the other people didn’t even notice.

180615 salamandir and dolphin
180615 salamandir and dolphin

also, friday was my friend, and long-time band-mate Howlin’ Hobbit‘s birthday, so i went out and bought a postcard, and sent it to him.

180616 kahalu'u
180616 kahalu’u

180616 waiahole poi factory
180616 waiahole poi factory
on saturday (which, coincidentally, was International Sea Turtle Day) we went to the “north shore” to see “the property”, which, if everything goes the way micah has planned (which is still quite questionable), we may actually be living there one day in a few years. it’s all pretty much a secret, now, though, so i may have to take this photo down. we also visited the waiahole poi factory on king kamehameha highway, just north of “the property”.

we, then, proceded to drive around the north shore, where we saw the coincidental sea turtle. the photo tag says that it was at wahiawa, but i don’t think it was there, and i’m not sure where it was, because i was totally lost at that point.

180616 sea turtle
180616 sea turtle

on sunday, moe and micah took off to do some veterinary-slash-“property”-related stuff and i was left on my own to wander through downtown honolulu, and buy an authentic hawaiian aloha shirt:

180618 salamandir aloha shirt
180618 salamandir aloha shirt

naturally, i bought the most seizure-inducing colour pattern i could find. 😉 so, on tuesday, moe made me go out and buy shirts that weren’t so seizure-inducing. but before then, on monday, while i was wandering around in honolulu, a valet from some fancy hotel, out of the blue, asked me if i knew where he could get dimethyltryptamine, which, he said, was because i looked like a hare krishna devotee…
180619 salamandir waikiki
180619 salamandir waikiki

180618 diamond head hotel from kapiolani park
180618 diamond head hotel from kapiolani park
180618 kapiolani park from diamond head hotel
180618 kapiolani park from diamond head hotel

i wanted to mark up the following pictures with “we stayed here” and “here is where i took the picture from” circles and arrows, but, once i looked at them, it seems pretty obvious. this is the diamond head hotel & residences from kapiolani park, and the park from our hotel room.

figure it out for yourself. 😉

on tuesday, i went out and bought four other aloha shirts that were not so seizure-inducing. i paid $65 for the seizure-inducing shirt, which, apparently, was a pattern that they don’t produce any longer (big surprise), which increased its value. on the other hand, i bought four shirts for $35 from a thrift store (savers, also known as value village), including three “vintage” shirts that were actually made in hawaii (one was an original “Hilo Hattie” shirt with coconut shell buttons), which should have increased their value, and one that was made in korea.

on wednesday, we tried to go snorkeling at hanauma bay, but, even at 9:00 in the morning, it was so crowded with tourists that we were turned away even before we were able to drive into the park, so we went down the road a few miles to waimanalo beach, which was totally deserted…

180620 waimanalo beach
180620 waimanalo beach
because of the stinging jellyfish
180620 waimanalo beach
180620 waimanalo beach
but there were a few kids who had ignored the signs and were going in the water anyway. we were too smart for that kind of jazz, though, so we went back up the road a couple miles, not quite to hanauma bay, to the HURL facility at the Makai Research Pier, where we actually were able to get in the water and snorkle around for a couple of hours. i did a lot better, this time, and didn’t scare moe so much. 😉

although we did have an unfortunate incident at the end, involving a pile of shit that was not-very-deeply buried in the sand in the same vicinity that we left our non-snorkeling clothes which disturbed us a fair amount when we discovered it… 😠

thursday was our 20th wedding anniversary. we checked out of the hotel, and went to micah and shaya’s place, hung around for a while, and then went to the Honolulu Museum of Art, had a beer at the BeerLab on university street, had dinner at the sunrise restaurant, and came home.

i didn’t sleep very well on the red-eye that we took (approximately 5½ hours, with approximately 1 hour of actual sleep). we arrived home on friday, had a “recovery day” on saturday, and then, this morning, i drove moe to the airport so that she can fly out to las vegas.

travellingnillevart

on wednesday, 180613, one week from today, moe and i are leaving for 10 days in hawai’i, in celebration of 20 years of wedded bliss.

in other words, we have been together twice as long as was predicted by my mother-in-law on our wedding day. we’re now looking for a new place for her to live, since she is in the process of being kicked out of the home that she’s lived in ever since moe was 16. i hope she remembers her prediction, some day. 😕

it will be the first time i have travelled away from the continental united states, my first trip to honolulu, and only the second time moe and i have flown together. fortunately, we’re not going to the same island that is currently spewing vog and laze everywhere, but we are going to visit micah and shaya, whose wedding was the first time moe and i had ever flown together.

i contributed to the building of the kadavul temple on kauai, but the first public tour of the temple is the day we return, 22 june, so i won’t get a chance to see it, which is sort of a disappointment.

on the other hand, micah has connections in the marine mammal world, and has arranged for us to swim with dolphins, and get a private tour of the honolulu zoo, while we’re there… and, rumour has it that he’s tracking down a half ounce of hawaii’s finest for me, because of the fact that, despite the fact that both washington and hawaii are medicinal cannabis states, for some reason they don’t have a permit-sharing plan that would allow me to bring my own cannabis with me.

i guess i’m supposed to be excited about this… maybe i am. who knows.

wononskopomuc

Thonotossasa, FL 160530
Thonotossasa, FL 160530
i got an incense order, today, from lakeville, connecticut. lakeville is in the vicinity of two lakes which rival puyallup for odd native american place names: wononskopomuc, and wononpakook.

for a long time i was under the impression that puyallup was about as strange a native american place name as you could find anywhere… then i encountered thonotosassa, florida, and now this

wononskopomuc
wononskopomuc

whoosh

tomorrow i’m flying to santa rosa for a friends’ wedding. we’ll be back sunday. this will be the first time that both me and moe have travelled together on an airplane. moe has travelled by herself quite a bit, and i have travelled some, but we haven’t done so together until this weekend, when we are flying home from santa rosa, by way of portland.

before may of this year, i haven’t flown anywhere since i went to san francisco with the big bois with poise in 2012. before that, it was in 1998, when i flew to boston for training at software dot com, pre-openwave. it’s been a matter of choice, as well as the fact that i couldn’t have afforded it, even if i had wanted to travel somewhere.

so, since may, i have spent more time flying places than i have in almost 20 years.

i still can’t afford it, mostly. in spite of that, it’s kinda cool and kinda scary, especially since, this time, i will be transporting 500 corsage pins (in my checked luggage) for my "fellow travellers"… 😉

finally…

so, i made it to orlando and warrensburg and i got back without too much difficulty.

i got to orlando, and went to Wonder India, which is, truly, an international warehouse of all things india. not just incense, but packaged food products, housewares, clothing… if there is a local indian shop in the united states, it is probably supplied by Wonder India. the guy who i have been working with, one Karan Manglani, apparently quit his job without telling anyone, and i don’t know what’s going on with their “info@” address, but i got the name and phone number of the guy who i’m supposed to call. i haven’t yet called him, but i will soon, ’cause i’m running low on aparajita.

then i went to joe’s house, but joe wasn’t there and his partner looked like he had just woken up (it was fairly early in the morning), so i went to the beach, which, for orlando, means “out of town”. i headed east, and saw signs pointing to cocoa beach, which i’ve heard of, so i headed that way, but i took the wrong exit and ended up in titusville, instead of cocoa. titusville is the home of the world-famous canaveral national seashore, and, as it was still fairly early, nobody except a few naked people were present on Playa Linda, where i meditated for a few hours.

canaveral national seashore 160524
canaveral national seashore 160524

then i had dinner at the world-famous “Dixie Crossroads” in titusville, which was okay seafood, but it didn’t hold a candle to west-coast seafood. even ivar’s has approximately equivalent food. makes me wonder, a lot…

dixie crossroads 160524
dixie crossroads 160524

i went to epcot with joe the next day. joe is an old man, which is saying a lot, because joe and i are the same age. it’s kind of like rick: i keep on thinking that they are the same people i knew a long time ago. they are, but they’re both a lot older now, and that means that they’re not in the best of health. i am also not in the best of health, because i have experienced a brain injury, but apart from that, i haven’t suffered the ravages of old age like my friends rick and joe have.

EPCOT, actually an acronym that stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow – which i didn’t know, previously, was laughably outdated. the exhibits looked almost exactly like they were made in and for the late ’70s or early ’80s, and the geodesic dome wasn’t anywhere near as big as i had envisioned.

EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — with faux “northwest native” decor
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — with a minimum of tourists
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — “german” village
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — “chinese” village

it was really good to see joe again, and we made arrangements to have dinner before i left.

Joe Zimmer 160525
Joe Zimmer 160525
joe and salamandir 160525
joe and salamandir 160525

i had planned on spending a week in orlando, but with joe not being as available as i had first assumed, i was left with a few days that were, essentially unacounted for, so i spent the next day traveling to saint petersburg to visit a friend of monique’s, and her husband, who live in a hippie paradise, and had the cannabis that i was, by this time, severely lacking to make my trip tolerable. we also went to the dalí museum, which was OUTRAGEOUS!!! i saw the originals of the following artwork, and A LOT more. 8)

Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which, at 20 Metres Becomes A Portrait of Abraham Lincoln - Homage to Rothko (1976)
Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which, at 20 Metres Becomes A Portrait of Abraham Lincoln – Homage to Rothko (1976)
Lobster Telephone
Lobster Telephone
160526
160526

the tourist map that was provided by the hotel was printed upside down, i.e. “north” on the map was printed at the bottom of the map, as you held it upright, which i didn’t figure out until the day before i left. it was terrifically confusing, because i drove what i thought to be “south” on the map, for most of the day, before i ended up in Eustice, which is north of orlando, and i could not, for the life of me, figure out why until after i had returned to the hotel. joe informed me that this is because “tourists don’t want to go north from orlando”, but my impression is that orlando, generally, is a city that is one, big, enormous strip mall, from one end to the other, and anywhere would be preferable. seriously, i only found one indian restaurant, a hare-krsna related joint that was vegetarian, and closed. i’m relatively sure that there are other indian restaurants, but… come on, orlando… really??

on the other hand, orlando has some really cool stuff, which includes lizards (which i was unable to get photos of, despite the fact that they are endemic), trees that look like this:

160530 orlando
160530 orlando

and plants that grow in peoples’ front yards which look like this:

what is this plant? 160530
what is this plant? 160530

and wild birds that look like this:

what are these birds? 160530
what are these birds? 160530

all of which was very interesting, and would have been moreso if i had remembered to bring, or buy once i was there, sunscreen… unfortunately, i didn’t think to do so until the day before i left, which meant that a lot of my meanderings were at night, which means fewer photos.

puyallup” is no longer the most confusing place name i have ever experienced:

Thonotossasa, FL 160530
Thonotossasa, FL 160530

then, i flew from orlando to kansas city, missouri, where i rented a car and travelled to warrensburg, missouri. the first thing i noticed was the traffic lights in the middle of what would, ordinarily, be a freeway… and what appear to be “state highways” that, apparently, have names like “AA”, “BB”, “OO”, “X”, “Y” and “PCA” with no logical progression.

i met rosemary, my great-aunt, who i have never met “IRL” before, which was an interesting experience, essentially being included in her extended family, simply because we are related.

salamandir & rosemary 160531
salamandir & rosemary 160531

we actually had the time to go to Tightwad

Tightwad, Missouri - 160601
Tightwad, Missouri – 160601

and Racket

Racket, Missouri - 160601
Racket, Missouri – 160601

and we went to the (abandoned) Marshall Cemetary outside Knob Noster, to visit my great-great-grandparents’ graves

Marshall Cemetary, Knob Noster, Missouri 160601
Marshall Cemetary, Knob Noster, Missouri 160601
Charles Walter Hammond, died June 9, 1862
my great-great-grandfather, Charles Walter Hammond, died June 9, 1862

i also went to visit John William “Blind” Boone Park, in warrensburg

John William "Blind" Boone Park, Warrensburg, MO - 160602
John William “Blind” Boone Park, Warrensburg, MO – 160602

and i also visited the Johnson County Historical Society, where i got even more information about my great-grandparents and my great-great-grandparents.

then i flew home

Mount Rainier, from Kennewick - 160603
Mount Rainier, from Kennewick – 160603