Sunday, September 19, 2010
Aloha! I'm boring the pants off myself saying that, but it's a great word, it means hello, goodbye, welcome, I love you and any manner of other nice greetings so really, it's the only Hawaiian word you need.
A trip has to be really good for me to say yes to spending a total of three days travelling across the world and back for four days actually on the ground but when the destination is Hawaii for Bravo's remake of Hawaii Five O, what else could you possibly say except aloha!
We flew United, and I really want to write nice things about them as their staff are quite sweet, polite, older than average steward crews, whch makes me like them more for being non-ageist, plus they bumped us up to a slightly higher class (the one that sits mid-way between economy or misery class and business, so basically, more legroom but no flat bed or flashy meals.)
One of the joys of flying is that you can't use your mobile (unless you're on Emirates, which will probably offer the first holidays to the moon as they are so avant garde and ahead of the competition) so it's licence to read uninterrupted and catch up on all the movies you've missed. Unless you're flying United. An antiquated miniscule screen with more plastic trim than screen, on the 11 hr LA leg, it offers a choice of 8 old-ish films on rotation so if you fall asleep or need the loo, you might miss a crucial scene.
Then horrors, after three hours at LAX in transit, on the next leg of 5hrs 50 mins, there was one drop down screen showing Mr and Mrs Jones, a complete piece of drivel which makes me worry that David Duchovny is one of my favourite actors. My advice - buy every mag and at least three new books in Smiths and you will be fine. No offence United, but you have the monopoly on London - Hawaii and a 19 hour journey would be so much more bearable with a decent Virgin-style on demand entertainment system.
Hawaii itself is just fantastic, words can't do it justice. Oahu is the most commercial island, with Honolulu and Waikiki, so I was expecting touristy and built up, but outside of those areas, it was amazingly unspolit. I can see why Jurassic Park was filmed there; the volcanic mountains are a sight to behold, and Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz left just before we arrived, having wrapped the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean at gorgeous Cockroach Cove.
Diamond Head and North Shore are the places for serious surfers (maybe in another 10 years I will be headed there) but Waikiki is great for beginner/me-style surfing so whenever I had a free couple of hours (no readers, it was not every day, contrary to Iain's belief that every work trip is merely a journo's holiday) I would hire a board for a couple of hours and head off there while my fellow journos hit the shopping. It's really saying something to admit that in four days, I didn't buy one solitary item of clothing, shoes, hat, bikini, CD, DVD, scarf, coat etc etc. The warm Pacific means no wet suits (yay) but also means I'm now sporting an attractive collection of friction burns on my knees, toes, under arms and cleavage! It was so cool though that I can't care too much. Standing up on that board in Waikiki was worth a thousand BCBG Maxazria T shirts.
Went to the beach premiere (see pic) to watch the pilot and then onto Nobu for a sushi and champagne fuelled party with the cast and crew. Nuff said. OK, it was AMAZING. And Kahala Resort where we were staying (thanks to our clued up pr Jakki) was the height of luxury. Saw Liam Neeson getting in the lift (and was tempted to give chase) and it's Cameron Diaz's fave hotel when she is on the island (only slightly sad that I missed her and her pneumatic beach bod.)
So now I'm back. Iain and the girls have become so adept at coping without me this summer that after the initial hugs and kisses followed by 'what have you bought me?' I slip into the background again, only to be told a day later to 'calm down, the house ran perfectly well without you and your telling offs and constant 'tidy your room' orders!' And that's just from Iain....At least Oscar is still not over the excitement of having me back, bless his chubby triple chin.