Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, September 16: Finally A Gorgeous Day!

And, of course, it doesn’t come until our next-to-last day here. No vog, no rain, no drizzle, not a cloud in the sky. Larry and golf were still determined to snorkel, and now that they know where the Shark’s Cove is, they decided to head that way again, even if it was about an hour and a half drive. Quite a difference in number of people at the beaches from Saturday when they drove there. A weekday is apparently the correct time to go to the beaches. And for this trip, Larry stopped and let golf take pictures of the sugar mill ruins at Kualoa Ranch:

and the abandoned hospital (or whatever it is, they never found out -- if anyone knows, please add a comment and tell me).

The pretty weather resulted apparently from the winds driving the vog away, but it also resulted in a much rougher surf on the north shore. golf stood and looked at Shark’s Cove a long time before deciding it was simply too rough for her to go into the water and plan to survive. Even Larry agreed it was a little iffy.

So they repaired to Pupukea Beach, where I finally got to explore. However, the surf here was pretty strong too. Larry went in swimming and recommended that golf not do so.

Below is Larry standing on the shore on the right in the picture. You can see the surf breaking over the reefs further out, somewhat protecting the beach from the worst waves.

So she and I stayed on the beach where she took pictures of me. I was a little cautious at first,

but soon the sound of the surf was too much of a draw, and I finally got my feet sandy and wet!

Oops! Washed away! Water sneaked up and grabbed me before golf could rescue me!

After golf and I played with the pictures, she went back and sat on the beach towel and was just enjoying the view. It dawned on her that her phone might work and she could call her office and instill a little envy in those stuck in an office. So she called one of her bosses. When he answered his phone, she just started laughing because she hadn't really expected her cell phone to work there on the beach. She then talked to a couple of her co-workers, who were sufficiently annoyed at her to make the call worthwhile. She then decided to send them a picture; however, she wasn't very familiar with her own cell phone usage, and while she was trying to figure it out, the phone rang! It was Michael, just calling to see how she and Larry were doing and what they were up to.

Larry and golf wrapped it up here and headed south to change clothes and go play golf for the afternoon. Today they played at Hawaii Kai. At least their game there was better than at Ko'olau, and the weather was much nicer! But at the last green, Larry got a little silly.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Well, here I am at Ko’olau Golf Course.

This was NOT a fun day for golf and Larry. It was dreary, foggy, gray – and though they didn’t get rained on, it wasn’t the best “paradise” day. It was so bad, if they didn’t have pictures of golf at Ko’olau, they don’t even remember what they did this day. Unusual for them, they believe they just stayed at the horse ranch this morning and played on the internet, caught up on email, etc. golf remembers that Michael called to check in and see how they were doing, and she told him they were going to Ko’olau this afternoon.

golf was really looking forward to playing Ko’olau because of what she had read about it, and her game is so pitiful, it couldn’t get much worse. Unfortunately, her one strong point – her drive – did her no good here, because on this course, a good drive (on any other course) got her in trouble here because the fairways don’t “go” where you expect them to go – there are chasms of bushes and trees that will eat up your golf ball and not even burp to give you a hint as to where it got swallowed! And they found it frustrating that they would hit a good shot and see where it landed – they thought! – but when they got to where they had seen the ball land, it couldn’t be found. Both of them lost at least ten of the dozen balls they had bought with Michael at K-Mart on Sunday.
Note Larry's cheerful expression after this tee shot (no, that's not his ball just over his left shoulder or he would be walking in that direction to hit it again -- I think that's a flower petal or a piece of trash).
The arrow below points to a HUGE chasm that you really can't even see from this vantage point, so you think you can drive up close and then hit over it -- maybe it was closer than golf could tell or she had a longer drive than she normally does. Whatever the case, her ball disappeared into it. :-(

Frankly, I think a sunnier, prettier day made have made them more cheerful about the difficulty of this course, but the dreariness of the day just wore them down. For example, this is supposed to be a glorious view. Not on this day . . . .

golf did find some interesting flowers that she couldn’t identify, but she picked some and stuck them in an empty Diet Coke can to bring home and put on the coffee table in the apartment – after she knocked all the ants off them!
But . . . for a day in “paradise,” this was not the best one, okay? So I’m wrapping the report for this day up now. It’s too depressing to continue to contemplate.

More cheerful reports for the next day in Hawaii (Tuesday, September 16), I promise!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Interruption! A Bit of Catch-up . . . .

After my last post, there were a couple of questions, so I'm interrupting the chronological sequence of the Oahu report to stand here at my laptop and clarify a bit about the tape Michael showed us at K-Mart.

When Larry and golf had picked out their golf balls and found Michael in the electronics section, showing the Frank Sinatra tape, they were really surprised. golf told me later that she had no idea Michael had even brought the tape along (she was sitting in the back seat in the car, so she didn't see that he was holding it). Michael had actually taken the tape to the restaurant in the hope that it had a VCR, but it didn't, so he took it along when he led Larry and golf to K-Mart. He said he was lucky there was that combination TV/VCR/DVD where he could play it -- and I think he was probably very brave to try it in the first place! The tape could have or been defective after not being played for 20 years and could possibly have jammed and gotten stuck in the player! But it didn't -- whew!! -- so they were able to view it safely and see an example the kind of "home movies" Michael has.

And they certainly enjoyed seeing it! (golf didn't notice any customers paying any attention to them or the video that was showing, but then with three people grouped around the TV watching it, there wasn't much room for anyone else to see anything!)

The tape showed, basically, some "behind the scenes" shots of the crew and the actors setting up different scenes. The ones with Frank Sinatra showed him setting up with lighting and sets to do the scene where he punches the mirror with his fist. He was chatting with the crew and helping get things set up. There were a couple of test shots where he was working on getting the movement correct and then he does the punch and shakes his fist in pain from "hitting" the mirror. It seemed rather chaotic and crowded, but I guess that's what it looks like on a real filming set (as I don't personally know anything about this, unfortunately). Then there were some videos of the setting up for the still picture of TS and FS for the cover of TV Guide -- you remember that cover picture, don't you? In Michael's video, Tom and Frank were moving around in different positions for different shots, one right, one left, one high, one low, etc. So it left the impression that the guys posed for a lot of shots and then one was later chosen to be the cover picture. At one point in their moving around to try different angles, it looked as though Tom, who was sitting at a higher level than Frank right then, leaned over and kissed Frank on the top of his head! What a disarmingly sincere way to show his admiration and respect!

In addition, there were some scenes with Carol Burnett where she was in the set for Magnum's guesthouse apartment. She was moving around and chatting with people, then she got up in what looked like a tall director's chair and sat there, while, we guess, they were checking the lighting on what she was wearing and so on.
That's about it for this post. More later.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday, September 14 – Viewing the Lost MPI Treasures and the Byodo In Temple

Last night, I said to golf, “golf, aren’t you supposed to be getting in touch with the MPI crew member who still lives here? You know, he has props and stuff that you’re supposed to look at, right?” golf looked at me in total shock: “My god! I forgot! How could I forget when all I’ve been doing is looking for filming locations?”

First thing this morning, she emailed this gentleman (whose email address she already had from previous email contact) and then hoped to hear from him sometime today. She had given him her cell phone number, and when she finally turned the laptop over to Larry, she went back inside and found two missed calls on her cell phone. Good grief! How embarrassing! She hadn’t expected to hear that quickly. She returned the call and spoke with him for a while, arranging when and where they could meet. She and Larry were to meet him at his storage facility at 10:30. He was reluctant to reveal his identity, so golf just “named” him Michael – and Michael he shall stay for the duration.

Larry said golf had to drive this time, since she was always picking at his navigational skills, so again she didn’t get pictures of the Pali tunnels or have the chance (or the time!) to look for the Walker Estate. Now Larry was the navigator, and they got lost anyway!! Had something to do with the H-1 splitting and they took the north leg instead of the south one and ended up about six blocks north of where they needed to be. Apparently golf can read a map (sort of), so when she stopped and looked at the map, she was able to figure out where they went wrong, where they were, and where they needed to go. Well done, old girl (except for the getting lost in the first place part, and she’s still blaming Larry for that and sticking to that story).

At the storage facility (they were expected something like the grouping of garages we see around here), they found a HUGE building. Apparently storage is a big business in Hawaii (or at least Honolulu). They left the car (and me!) out on the street and went in to the office where they were advised that they were expected and that Michael was gathering things from his area and would be joining them shortly. They also had time to realize that they could park in the building (probably safer in this industrial area, at least according to what everyone told us while we were there), so golf moved the car into the parking area inside.

I think Larry went out for a cigarette, then as he was coming back in, there was suddenly a man there with a hand cart and some boxes and Larry was helping him get the door open and into the lobby area. They introduced themselves, then golf was brought into the loop, and Michael led them back to a conference room. He pointed out the VCR player but apologized that it wasn’t hooked up so he could show them some of the VHS tapes he had. He said there was one he particularly wanted them to see, but . . . .

At that time, he began putting things on the large conference table. The first was a Hawaiian shirt that he identified as being from “Memories Are Forever” (the print of this shirt was used in two different versions in MAF; and James, the moderator for, was able to point out that this actual shirt, though perhaps used in Memories Are Forever, was definitely worn by TM in “Foiled Again,” with the exact arrangement of the print as in the shirt Michael had). Golf can’t remember the exact order of how all these magical things were presented, but the following items were brought out and shown to Larry and golf:

Shooting scripts with different colored pages showing the different revisions; the three “Robin-1” license plates (the actual state-issued one, the mock-up because the actual plate was at risk of being stolen any time the car was parked and not guarded, and a duplicate of the mock-up in case the mock-up did get stolen, the first two of which had cropped corners so the corners wouldn’t stick out and show around the license plate frame on the Ferrari); TM’s MIA bracelet with Kenneth Lancaster’s name and date; the broken Ray-bans from “Solo Flight”; the base and stub of broken glass from the A.A.P.I. award Magnum (TM) won in “A.A.P.I.,” which, it was implied, was broken at the end of the episode, and an unbroken version of the same award in case the first one got broken by accident (Michael told us that he suggested that the unbroken one be rigged to look as though it had been glued back together, and it was agreed that that should be done, and Michael put squiggly lines of glue on the back of the unbroken glass to imitate the appearance of glass pieces’ being glued back together; he said he thought it was on display in the guest house in the following episode [but so far golf has been unable to spot it in a subsequent episode, but everyone is still looking – so if anyone reading this has spotted it, please post a “Comment” and let me know in which episode to look for it so I can tell golf and she can try to get a screenshot of it]); Larry Manetti’s original team ring, which was lost and replaced, then the original was found; a brass team ring used by stunt doubles; the black onyx pinkie ring worn by Alan Hale in “All Thieves on Deck” and the test tube with a strip of film in it, hidden in the tiki statue in the same episode; numerous crew Christmas or wrap gifts (gimme cap, key ring, watch, belt buckle, etc. – all “personalized” to MPI logos/themes); Mac’s military identification; Magnum’s wallet containing driver’s license, PI license, picture of him and Michele – with “filler” of gas cards of Tom Selleck, along with his SAG card and an insurance card; some cough drop wrappers when TS was sick during the filming once and kept having to suck on the cough drops; a keyring (and duplicate back-up) of a key ring with an ornament shaped like a basketball player with his arm raised to dunk; the paperback book used in “The Treasure of Kalaniopu’u” (the “guts” of which was actually a Joyce Brothers book – Michael told us that the art department back in Los Angeles would work up cover art such as this for a book needed on the set and would use anything on hand as the actual pages of the book [Magnum-Mania folk have found similar conditions when a newspaper is shown – the article being used in the show is worded correctly – other columns around the main article are usually nonsense]); a military combat knife used in one episode; a brass Doberman Pinscher dog statue that appeared to have been broken off some kind of award; pieces of Higgins’ balsa wood “Bridge over the River Kwai” (blown up by TM in “Paper War”); the headless rubber chicken and the head from “Paper War” (Higgins’ payback to TM for blowing up the River Kwai model) (but these had “petrified” and the body was a wadded up lump since it had been stored for 20 years stuffed in a bag) (Michael also explained that the taped-neck one later used was not the one whose head had been cut off but an intact one on whose neck they just put tape to make it look as though the head had been cut off and taped back on); a clapboard from March 4, 1988; the necklace worn by the ghost boy in “Rapture,” plus another one with sand glued on it to be used when the necklace was retrieved from the ocean floor (but the clean one ended up being used); a cardboard sign used by Higgins to protect one of his orchids, the Cereus Mandevillus; the hockey mask from “I Never Wanted to Go to France Anyway”; TM’s hospital wrist tag from “Limbo”; the earring lost by Linda Lee Ellison in the first episode of “Resolutions” that she picked up from the gutter; a couple of stainless steel pocket knives used in one episode, one sharp, one dull so it wouldn’t cut a neck when held up against the neck; the brass lighter TM used in “Murder by Night” to light his cigars; a brass pocket knife still in its box; uncut pictures of cast and crew baseball games; Betamax tapes of discarded dailies; VHS tapes of miscellaneous folks’ “home movies” on the set taken with a full-size VHS-tape camcorder; a couple of pairs of gag glasses that Tom Selleck used to play practice jokes on other cast members while filming – Michael recalled one time that the close-up was to be on John Hillerman, opening a door to Tom Selleck and Selleck was wearing the gag glasses and cracked Hillerman up. golf did ask about the bearded lady picture discussed on the Magnum-Mania site and was able to determine that it was only the picture of the Queen over the safe that had the added beard (in "Paper War"); therefore, a closer look at the picture that looks like it has a beard IS only a shadow.

Pictures of individual items can be seen if you click on the link below my picture. (can you see the miniature team ring I'm wearing on MY ring finger??)

Click here
Larry and golf looked at all these things as Michael pulled them out and discussed them. Golf was just in awe, thinking of all the Magnum-Mania folk who would have fits to see and perhaps own some of these things. Once they had everything spread out on the table, Michael suggested that Larry and golf take pictures of everything, and they did so, as they both had cameras. In the middle of the picture-taking, Michael asked where I was!!! Golf told him I was out in the car, and he suggested she should get some pictures of MGI (me, me, ME!!) with all this stuff. She was delighted to take him up on his offer, and I was THRILLED that I got included. I was also very flattered that Michael remembered me and asked about me.

Golf decided the best picture for me was to be wearing Manetti’s ring with the MIA bracelet around my waist. The ring, of course, wouldn't fit over my hand, so she rather unceremoniously popped my hand out of my wrist socket, stuck the ring on my arm, and punched my hand back in place. But I didn’t really care. I was wearing a team ring! And the MIA bracelet! And sitting with the remains of Higgins’ bridge; a decapitated, ossified rubber chicken; Magnum’s wallet; and his broken Ray-bans. Two really exciting experiences for me on this trip – first the tidal pool and now actual props from the show itself! Wow!

Michael and golf discussed what he planned to do with the items. He would like to sell them all as one lot, if possible. However, at this point, he simply does not know what all he has because he hasn’t been through all the boxes in storage and won’t be able to get to them until late in October. Golf suggested that he get a little portable dictator; and as he goes through the boxes, he can describe/identify what he has – she thought it would be a lot less trouble simply to say something that to stop and have to write everything down. She has the equipment to transcribe his dictation, so she told him if he would like to do that and mail her the tapes, she will be happy to work up an “inventory list” for him.

Golf had asked questions of Michael while they were looking at the items. After seeing the film strip in the test tube from ATOD, she asked if he had the ki’i from the Simon & Simon cross-over episodes. Michael advised that he hadn’t been with the show during the filming of that episode; he was with the show only after the first couple of seasons and stayed through till the end. One thing she asked about was the story in Larry Manetti’s book that the Ferrari was towed almost all the time. Michael advised that that was not accurate, the only time the Ferrari was really towed was when they were filming close-ups of TM driving, e.g., a shot where he was doing his voice-over narration but he was driving the car. With that going on, all the cameras and lights and equipment would be strapped/hooked to the car so he couldn't see where he was going, of course, so in those instances, the car would be towed so the viewer saw the scenery moving behind him. Golf assumes this would be the case also, if there were close-ups of him with someone riding with him in the car. I believe he also said that he never watched the show when it was on and hasn’t seen it that much in syndication, so his memories of certain episodes are only from what he remembers of being there, not of watching the episode later on TV.

Michael explained that there were usually four of each Hawaiian shirt for Selleck. Two for shooting scenes, one for back-up in case of damage to the shirts, and one for the stunt double. He said there were occasions when Selleck would mess up a shirt at the lunch break and have to switch to a back-up.

Michael said that Ms. Anderson was a real animal lover and had many different animals at the estate frequently, pigs, goats, dogs, etc. He said that, because of this, the crew would have to clean up the estate grounds before they could film. He told that the production company was always very generous with gifts to the crew at Christmas and at wrap (end of the season) each season, with some little gifts and some a little more significant (the final wrap gift after the end of the eighth season was a Rolex watch).

Golf asked about Lt. Tanaka, and Michael said, yes, he had been a lawyer when the show was filming and he used to see him around town, but he thought he was retired now. He almost always saw Tom Selleck when Tom would come back to Honolulu, but he had had virtually no contact with the rest of the cast since the show ended. I believe he said Tom would usually find out where he was working and come visit him on a set.

Golf told him about how they might go to some filming locations if they could find them and that rubber chicken from the MM site had created the filming locations “map” on Google Earth. She went out to the car and got her laptop and showed RC’s locations guide to him.

At this point, I guess golf, Larry, and I had spent a couple of hours with him. Michael asked what they were doing that afternoon and they told him they would probably go play golf. He asked if they had been to the Byodo In Temple yet; they had not; he highly recommended it. Michael then asked if they were hungry. Larry said, “I can always eat.” So Michael asked if he could take them to lunch – how very gracious! He called a restaurant whose number was programmed into his cell phone, found out mahi-mahi was the catch the day, asked if they needed reservations (they did not), so he asked golf and Larry to wait while he put all the stuff back in his storage unit and then they could go to lunch. Larry said he would be happy to drive and Michael could direct them to the restaurant.
Michael directed us to Sam Choy’s at 580 North Nimitz Highway. Food ignoramus that golf is, she didn’t know it was the restaurant of the celebrity chef, cookbook author, TV show host and award-winning restaurateur. Michael seemed to be known there, so Larry and golf guessed that he was a regular.

(I was left in the car, but I really wanted to go in for pictures inside the restaurant; however, I acknowledge that such a photo op for me might have been pushing Larry just a LITTLE too far.) Michael told golf to take her laptop in so it wasn’t stolen out of the car. Oahu residents seem to be really worried about rental car thefts! Michael told golf and Larry that, if they are going to leave anything in the car, which he strongly advised against, what they need to do is put the stuff in the trunk before they get to their destination, because the thieves watch people get out of their cars, stash the valuables in the trunk, then the thieves know which cars to break into.

In the restaurant, there was a huge lunch buffet spread for $27.99, but both golf and Larry decided they couldn’t eat $28 worth of food for lunch, so they decided to order from the menu. Everyone got the mahi-mahi. During lunch, Michael told golf and Larry a little about his background and how he came to work with Magnum, P.I. golf asked him about some other stories she’d heard about the show – for example, the regular guys got rather annoyed with Angela Lansbury and her female cohorts during the shooting of “Novel Connection” because the ladies always took so much time with their makeup and slowed down shooting. Michael said he didn’t remember that, particularly, but Ms. Lansbury brought a large, old-fashioned alarm clock to the set on her first day there – the kind with the bell caps on top and the little hammer that ricochets between them for the sound – set it for 6 p.m., and when it went off, she simply got up and left. He explained that this was very unusual on the MPI set because almost everyone there was very dedicated to the show and would spend the extra time to help each other finish up a scene. He elucidated with the example that they’re shooting a scene where everyone is sitting down having lunch, as we were, for example, and they do the full shots, then the close-ups for certain lines. Generally, the other actors who were not having close-ups shot would stay and say their lines so the close-up-ee would have the correct dialog to react and respond to. Ms. Lansbury wouldn’t do this, of course, not if it went to after 6 p.m.

Michael asked what golf and Larry would be doing for the rest of the day, and Larry responded that they might go play golf if they could find somewhere to buy golf balls, they were running low. Michael said there was a K-Mart right across the street, did K-Mart carry golf balls? Then they went through this long involved spiel of Larry’s explaining he usually played with Maxfli golf balls, Michael tried to find K-Mart’s phone number in his cell phone, not there, got a phone book, called K-Mart and determined that they didn’t carry the Maxfli balls. At this point, golf and Larry couldn’t be picky. So after lunch, Michael directed Larry to K-Mart, which was sort of across the street, it was just a one-way street in front of the restaurant so they had to go around the block to get there. (The red arrow in the picture below is Sam Choy's; the yellow arrow is K-Mart.)

At K-Mart, Michael again insisted that golf carry her laptop in, just in case, and explained again how thieves look for the bar code on the front window to identify rental cars so they know whom to steal from. Once in the store, golf and Larry went to get golf balls and then found Michael in the electronics section, where he had found an all-in-one TV-cum-DVD-and-VHS-player, and he had brought in his VHS tape of Frank Sinatra and Carol Burnett “behind the scenes” – he really wanted golf and Larry to see this so they would know the kind of videos he had on tape. He told them how, when Frank Sinatra was on the set, everyone was told to always call Sinatra, “Mr. Sinatra.” The first time someone said this, Sinatra said, “Call me Frank.” And then everyone did. Even though Michael was working with Tom Selleck, et al., he seemed to be pleased and rather awed to have been around Frank Sinatra. I certainly can understand that! Of course, not being in show business themselves, golf and Larry would probably have been plenty impressed, just to have been around “TV star” Tom Selleck. (Well, maybe not Larry, he’s pretty laid back about things like that.) While they were in the check-out lane, golf doesn’t remember how it came up, but she mentioned that Larry looked rather like a cross between Gerald McRaney and Jeff Foxworthy. Michael said he knew Gerald McRaney. Then he was kind enough to say golf looked a little like Hope Lange – “Do you know who that is?” golf said she did and thank you very much!
Michael directed them back to the storage facility to drop him off. As Michael got out of the front seat and golf got out of the back to move to the front, she asked Michael if she could give him a “thank you” hug. He consented, and she was delighted to hug him and thank him for his time and lunch – and just all the fun they had had with him. As she got in the car, he said, “Cute shoes!” (she was wearing her lime green sneakers that Larry makes so much fun of!)

So golf and Larry headed back to the windward side of the island. Golf was really stoked! She had had SO much fun meeting Michael and seeing the MPI stuff (that’s what Michael calls it – he said it meant a lot to him when he collected it but now, twenty years later, it was just “stuff”). This was everyday work to him – to MPI fans, it’s the most unusual, unique, and one-of-a-kind (that’s redundant, isn’t it?) things to see. Okay, it’s not like the most valuable stamp in the world to a philatelist, but these things are very special to MPI fans because they’ve seen them in the show, followed their “history” in the show (for some props repeatedly seen – license tag, River Kwai bridge, rubber chicken). Just think of some item – a favorite toy for your childhood, a piece of clothing that always made you feel good/pretty/handsome when you wore it -- just something you owned in the past that was really special to you but you no longer have it. It doesn’t have to be unusual or valuable, but it’s meaningful to you. That’s what these props would be to MPI fans. And golf cannot adequately express how lucky and fortunate she felt to have been on Oahu when Michael was available and had the time to show these items to a representative of the Magnum-Mania site.

It seemed to be getting cloudy again as they headed back over the mountains, but based on Michael’s recommendations, they went to the Valley of the Temples to see the Byodo In Temple.

Golf particularly wanted to see it because of the scene with TC in the Little Bird (MD500) and TM in the Kiowa (Bell 206) hovering over the pool in front of the temple.

Wow! Look at the difference between the growth of the trees -- current picture on the left, the scene from Part 2 of "Did You See the Sunrise?" with TC in the Little Bird on the left and the Kiowa (Bell 206) on the right!!

And now for some pictures of some of the "critters" at the Temple:

The temple was beautiful, though it was gray and cloudy, and it probably would have looked better in full sunlight. And poor golf was dinner to every mosquito there! So – fair warning – if you go there – use bug spray. But golf did let me go see it too. I was quite the hit when sitting here:

(Is this sacrilege?)

I’m not sure anyone knew who I was, but as golf was taking pictures, they stopped and took pictures too.

Well, this is enough for today. golf says she doesn't even remember what they did that evening, because she was still so excited about having seen all the MPI stuff. So . . . . "CUT! That's a wrap."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008 – The Tidal Pool, Chinaman’s Hat, and Shrimp on the Barby

My little patch of heaven in paradise -- on the wall at the tidal pool.

The gate to the estate, sand-covered stairs no longer visible in any form.

Larry expressed no interest in an early morning trip to the tidal pool (Philistine!!), so golf and I got up early to go by ourselves. We didn’t make it by sunrise, but it was shortly thereafter. At least it was low tide. Unfortunately, there were some locals around pole fishing, along with a couple of kids, who rather interrupted photo ops, but she worked around it as best she could.

Even though it was low tide, the beach was still only about 12-15 wide, and the sand was wet all the way up to the retaining wall and half-way up to the gate. Not much beach at all. So no one could sunbathe there now for any length of time or they would have to be willing to lie on wet sand under a towel or mat.

Even at low tide, the water is all the way up to the wall Magnum sneaked around to break into the gate on the beach and make the run to the Ferrari. "Work the lock. Don't look at the dogs."

From what golf could see of the tennis courts through the leaves, it looks as though no one has played tennis there for a long time – a lot of debris on the courts. The gates at the ramp to the boathouse look rather shabby, but the boathouse itself didn’t look that bad – wood doors or covers that she remembered as being broken or scattered or tilted in other pictures seemed to be intact and neat, at least, with the area around the base of the building cleaned up, though there were some cracks in the stucco (if that’s what it is).

(There is supposed to be a video here of the tennis courts, etc., but it's having a hard time loading. Check at the end of this post and see if it showed up there eventually.)

Try this:
See the discarded clothes on the boathouse ramp and the trash on the wall to the left?
I would kill to get up on that porch (but I'm too small to show up in a picture taken from here.)
In the long run, I doubt that we saw much of anything more than everyone has been able to see (or not see) at the estate due to the overgrown foliage. Golf did get up and walk along the top of the retaining wall in front of the boathouse, and she was appalled to notice all the trash along there where people had just left food wrappers or empty cans. She didn’t have a bag with her to carry the trash away or she would have cleaned it up. The wall has several substantial cracks.

The most excitement was right after the picture of her above was taken. Her back was toward the fence, to walk back to the camera she has left on the wall, when suddenly there was this rustling behind her and “Woof! Woof! Woof!” She nearly jumped out of her parrot shirt! She whipped around and there were two retrievers (best guess), a black one and a cream one. A voice called them back, and golf looked through the leaves to see a white-haired lady walking around to the side of the house. A hand went up in a sort of wave, that golf interpreted as, “There’s another Magnum nut . . . .”

Now, see, THIS was when golf should have called out, “Good morning, Ms. Anderson!” But the wimpy little doofus didn’t. She claimed she didn’t want to intrude, but those four words are hardly offensive, and Ms. A. might have stopped and spoken (she has been known to do so occasionally). Of course, if she HAD, golf wouldn’t have asked the right questions because she probably would have been too flustered. Dweeb . . . . Next time we go, I’m sticking a list of questions in her pocket or somewhere, write out a script for her – something!

I was going to try to get over the gate to chase Ms. A. down, but golf called me back and higher principles prevailed. In the meantime, the kids just would NOT stop playing on the concrete slab. Golf hadn’t particularly wanted to take pictures of me in front of a couple of kids (I can’t imagine why!), but she finally asked the kids if they would get off the slab so she could take pictures (they were putting gravel and sand on top of it – when asked why, they told her it was too slippery [with moss] to stand on so they were trying to get grit up there for traction [they didn’t use that word exactly]). When she put me up on the slab, the boys asked, “What is that?” She just responded that it was a Magnum action figure. Fortunately, the boys seemed to accept that without flinching noticeably (they probably didn’t know who Magnum was/is and were thinking “crazy haole”), but one found a big rock and put it up on the slab so it could be a chair for me to sit on while golf took a picture of me while I watched the sun rise.

Golf looked inside the slab to see if she could spot any way water or debris would be flowing into the tidal pool, but the “floor” inside the slab was totally sand – the drainage hole must have filled up with sand the way the stairs at the gate have been covered.

So we had a good time, but it would have been more fun to just be by ourselves.

Back at the ranch, Larry was up and about, so Larry and golf put on the swimsuits, went through Kailua and got golf a new snorkel mask and headed north, the long way, driving all around Kaneohe Bay on Kaneohe Bay Drive until it intersected with Kamehameha Highway, where they turned north. It was great, just driving along the coastline.

The first stop was Kualoa Regional Park (after passing the Kualoa Ranch, a filming location – do I see macaw feathers flying around? [“Oops!” (“Birdman of Budapest”)], which is the beach park off which Chinaman’s Hat (technically Mokoli’i Island) rests. A lot of locals were camping and cooking out here, but we got pictures, of course.

We sure couldn't see how you could walk out to the island at low tide! Hard to believe that long stretch of water is only 3-4 feet deep?

This is when we started noticing the haze over and around the mountains and the dark clouds. We later found out this haze is what is known locally as “vog” – volcano ash blowing over from the Big Island via the Kona winds and mixing with local fog to make vog. Mixed with the rain clouds and humidity, this was what was making so many areas seem so dreary and rainy/drizzly.
Right on the road north of the ranch entrance are the ruins shown below. We weren’t sure if these were from an early ranch house or what. Map says “Sugar mill ruins – in operation 1863-1871” but it doesn’t look like a very big sugar mill.

(Don't you hate how electric lines so frequently ruin a good picture in Hawaii?)

Back in the car, golf was reading off the map, looking for all the beach parks along the route, and id’ing them as we drove by. There were about a dozen or so that we could identify, and most were quite crowded with locals out camping for the weekend. Parking was at a premium. Went through Hau’ula and Laie, passing the Polynesian Cultural Center. Passed Kahuku (municipal) golf course, but never did figure out how to get to it, as it seems to merge with the golf courses at Turtle Bay (but golf and Larry weren’t planning on coming this far north just to play golf, with four courses close by the ranch). Finally past Sunset Beach Park (no available parking spaces), Ehukai Beach, then Pupukea Beach (no parking spaces).

We were able to get one as someone left at Ehukai Beach, and we believed the Shark’s Cove was to the right of where we parked. We walked down there, but the rock-enclosed area of the cove looked too shallow for snorkeling – there were parents and toddlers there. Beyond that was Shark’s Cove, but it didn’t look very inviting (with respect to golf's limited swimming skills [or lack thereof], and golf and Larry weren’t sure that was where they were supposed to find good snorkeling, so at this point, they weren’t going to try.

They went back to the car, got their towels and snorkel gear, and walked over to Pupukea Beach, where they did go in.

They found the snorkeling much better here than at Hanauma Bay, so they stayed in the water for about an hour. Due to the crowd, golf wouldn’t take any pictures of me here, but she did when they came back here on Tuesday, September 16.

Rather ungracefully, both golf and Larry shed their swimsuits behind car doors and beach towels in the parking lot, putting on their dry clothes for the long ride home, while I snickered at their antics because there were concrete block restrooms (where they could shower and change) 20 yards from where they were parked!

On the way back, they kept noticing all these roadside trailers selling shrimp. They thought it would be a good idea to stop and get some to take home and cook, but all of these were little restaurants (though that's rather complimentary as to the structures) and were serving the cooked meals, not selling raw shrimp. :-( So they just went to the Safeway in Kailua on the way home and got some fresh shrimp at the seafood section there and went home and had surf'n'turf in their outdoor dining room.

And, thus, the end of another day in paradise.