Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coming "home" and giving back

This year has been a real roller coaster ride for fans. Then during hiatus when we thought the ride was ending, it became an extreme roller coaster ride. 

But we are all going back to Hawaii !

The H50fanatics are excited to be seeing each other again, along with the fans who live in Hawaii and the ones who are flying in from all over the world.  This includes the friends we met last year, those we've met this year on twitter, and friends we have yet to meet. We are looking forward to meeting all of you.

So much of the magic of coming to Hawaii for Hawaii Five-0 has been the fan experience. We know it would be impossible to separate it from the "show" experience.  Last year's trip was over way too quickly. This year, we've decided to stay a little longer. We have a long wish list for the things we didn't get to see and do last year, and we definitely intend to do them all of this September.

The elephant In the room

After we left Hawaii last year, we began to  decide when we would come back. We knew we wanted to return, but weren't sure when to come back.  We talked about the opportunities that going during what we referred to as "off-SOTB season" had for seeing filming, versus going when we might be able to see the red carpet event and the season premiere.  Being there when hundreds of other fans would be there was a definite consideration for us.  In the end, we decided that to be there with the other fans for a possible premiere was what we wanted to plan for.

Anyone that has ever planned a group vacation across the country, with various work commitments,  travel schedules, family commitments and their needs, unanticipated family and economic emergencies, knows how tricky this has been for us. The motivation was there and all plans were eventually set in place.

This year's SOTB announcement was a stunner for all of us in so many ways.  A definite shock with so many extreme emotions to process. It would have been so upsetting not to have any additional  photographs of the stars this year, to add to those saved from the past two seasons.  In that regard, it's good that the decision was finally made to have SOTB.  We aren't privy to the discussions leading to the cause of the delay in the announcement,  but we dealt with it and got back to the business of packing.

Its wonderful that weeks ago, before any definite news had been announced, our friends  @alohabruce, @alohayaling,  along with @H50undercover and @wendiejoy,  stepped up to plan events for all the incoming fans . With no information at all about a firm date, they planned a tweet up, a tour, a luau and offered many more suggestions for informal events to truly make travelers feel welcomed.   

Giving back for all that we have been given

The H50hana experience has been an emotional and passionate one for most of us. Since meeting through social media and creating long lasting friendships, its made us realize how lucky we really are to have each other. 
Since we were so blessed to have met each other, we want to share our Ohana with others.  Take a moment and read Wendie's Five-0 Redux blog to see how you can participate in helping to give back and support a wonderful charity this year. Wendie decided to ask Ellen to make a quilt to raise money for this charity. Proceeds from your donations, will all go to, The Wounded Warrior Project .

Alex O'Loughlin would have participated in the Stray Dogs Tough Mudders this fall. Due to scheduling conflicts, he will be unable to participate. The Stray Dogs Tough Mudders is an obstacle course relay that raises awareness for The Wounded Warrior Project. We believe his fans will step up to donate to this worthy cause in his name. We hope that all Hawaii Five-0 fans will want a chance to own this special quilt, and will help us to help others in need.

And for us? 

Just liked we talked about on the day we left our lei's on this statue shown here...we are returning All of you know that the H50fanatics will enjoy playing hard, sleeping very little, enjoy basking in the the sun, and enjoy seeing and meeting up with our Ohana, new and old. 

See you soon O'ahu - its been WAY TO LONG !!!!!!!!!

Aloha for now!
Ellen, Stacey, Deb and Maddy


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunset on the Beach – so much more than a season premiere

This blog’s mission has always been to celebrate the fact that the four of us were strangers, became Ohana by meeting online, and decided to fly to Hawaii to vacation together for Sunset on the Beach last year.
If you don’t have the time to catch up and read our story from the beginningof last years events, or of our quilt quest, then let us summarize for you how we feel about SOTB, and what Hawaii Five-0 has brought to our lives.

Hawaii 5-0 has been an especially unique experience.  Friendships were made with people from other countries and from all across the United States, all because of connections made online talking about the show. These friendships range from checking in daily with each other online, chatting about plot, characters, and actors in chat rooms, to talking about weddings, births, illnesses and job concerns.

Friendships were formed from the love of this show, and solidified for many by participation in last years SOTB event. As a result, we've encouraged each other to pursue their creativity and push their limits to express their love for the show in many ways.  Some have shared their love of the show through their love of cooking . Others have been moved to write different blogs about the show, and even a novel was inspired by a love for H50's star Alex O'Loughlin. Still, others have made artwork, charms, and quilts;  not to mention the thousands of stories written by fans.

This special show has a network of behind the scenes volunteers who cannot help but talk about it whenever they can. Promoting a positive spin online, talking about the show locally in their towns, and generating whatever goodwill they can. It's not because they are ambassadors, but because they cannot help talking about their love of the "Show".

Sunset on the Beach is a chance of a lifetime to see the new season's premiere WITH the cast and producers, and maybe get a photograph of them on the red carpet. Its a chance for the H50hana to be together, share photos and messages with the rest of the Ohana who couldn't be there with us, and to show our support for our favorite tv show.

Still, to see the faces of the stars and producers was magical.  Last year, Daniela Ruah, Terry O'Quinn and especially Lauren German, were so surprised to hear the fans yelling and cheering for them when they hadn't even appeared on show yet.  Its a special thing to thank Hawaiians and mainlanders by giving us a sneak peak, but it's something else to have a place and a time to be standing in front of Bob Orci and Peter Lenkov just to  say "thank you" for giving us such a wonderful show, but in return to have them say "No, thank YOU for your support". That was just one of those moments we couldn't forget. 

We're VERY appreciative of what was given to us last year at SOTB2, and of the photographs and videos we've seen of SOTB1. We're appreciative of ALL that we've personally received as a result of this fandom. Last year, from the moment we left Hawaii we began to talk about coming back. Could we afford it? Was this crazy to do AGAIN? It's not an easy thing to do no matter what your circumstances. Some of us are married with young children, some are single, many are taking care of other family members or just have a job that doesn't allow them time off. Most of us cannot just write a check for the price of a Hawaiian vacation without careful planning.

Sunset on the Beach is a magical event that has no comparison to anything else we could have ever imagined. Fans from Australia, Germany, Canada and from all across the United States flew in to be with friends they had never met , all because of the show. We will be there to promote and celebrate this show as we do throughout the year online, except in September, we will do it together. We will have tweetups in restaurants, sight see, and enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer. Some may be lucky enough to find H50 filming downtown or bump in to one of the cast members buying a coffee at a local Starbucks. Whether there is a premiere on the beach, a smaller event for the cast to have a Q&A session with fans, a charity fundraiser or no event at all, this fandom will be there to rejoice in all that this show has given us. It would just be a shame if the cast didn't show up to party with us.

**On a side note, please read the Sunset on the Beach blog entry by our favorite blogger, Five-0 Undercover here .  Please leave your comments but remember to be respectful of others opinions.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Here's to us! A celebration......

Hard to believe its been just over a year since the H50Fanatics met. Even harder to grasp the idea that social media played such an integral part in bringing us together.  We've come a long way from pen pals and phone calls to keep in touch. Since the onset of computers and the internet, it has changed the way people meet.

That being said, lets take a page from one of our favorite bloggers, 50Undercover...

Things we've learned about each other....the H50Fanatics.

Ellen: @ess270

Ellen began her twitter life 2/12/2011
Lives and works in Santa Rosa, CA
Married for 26 years to Brian and has 2 sons 
She's a very talented, award winning quilter
Loves chatting with Deb while having her morning coffee
Was the 1st of us H50fanatics to meet Alex O'Loughlin
in person (up close & personal)
Spends her weekends boating with her husband
  (see delta-delphie.blogspot.com)
Has a mild (cough cough) obsession with Alex O'Loughlin
Mick St. John is her favorite Alex character
Flew to Hawaii in Sept 2011 to meet fellow H50 fans and
saw the Season 2 premiere of Hawaii Five-0 on a beach in Waikiki


Deb: @mickmcgarrett

Began her twitter life 12/20/2010
Lives near Newman, IL..works in Urbana, IL
She's a Critical Care Nurse for 28 years
Lives on a corn & soybean farm with her husband, Almost McG
Happily married for 29 years
Has 2 beautiful children
The longer you know her, the funnier she gets
 (seriously, she's hilarious)
She is afraid of mice but not much else..snakes too!
HUGE ILLINI basketball and volleyball fan.
 (yeah, the basketball is painful sometimes)
Flew to Hawaii in Sept 2011 to meet fellow H50 fans and saw
the Season 2 premiere of Hawaii Five-0 on a beach in Waikiki..AWESOME!

Stacey: @Staceyj64

Began her twitter life 2/15/11
Lives and works in Seattle, WA
Loves spicy food, shopping, and hanging out with her friends
Knows more about Alex O'Loughlin than anyone Ellen's met
 (show her a pix, she'll name the scene)...we call her "the Alexopedia"
She has a beautiful daughter and a son
Stacey works too hard
Flew to Hawaii in Sept 2011 to meet fellow H50 fans and saw
the Season 2 premiere of Hawaii Five-0 on a beach in Waikiki

Maddy: @MaddyRico50

Began her twitter life 3/9/2011
Lives in Iselin, NJ
She has a beautiful daughter
Works as a Customer Service Rep. in the transportation
industry for over 20 years
Went back to school in 2008 to become a Massage Therapist
Loves gardening, photography, listening & singing any kind of music
Became a fan of Alex O'Louglin in 2010 after watching Hawaii Five-0 premiere
Loves Hawaii Five-0
Now owns every movie and tv series Alex has ever done
She would do anything for the people she's closest with (Truth)
Can rock "Sweet Caroline" and sings "Crazy" better than Patsy Cline..for realz..
Loves the New Jersey Devils
Flew to Hawaii in Sept 2011 to meet fellow H50 fans and
saw the Season 2 premiere of Hawaii Five-0 on a beach in Waikiki
Plans on moving to Hawaii one day

So, do ya see the common denominator here folks?  Hawaii Five-0 and Alex O'Loughlin have truly brought four strangers together from across the country. Meeting each other in Hawaii was a blessing for all four of us. We cannot thank Peter Lenkov enough for bringing back Hawaii Five-0.  Without the show and twitter, we would have never met.

The reality is this. You have to try new things. Social media too. You never know where it will lead, or who it will lead you too. In our case, it lead us to each other. Soul sisters at heart, Ohana for life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A visit from Ohana. Stacey's Coming to NJ! 3/24/12

It all started with a promise to her daughter, Nicole; a shopping trip to NYC for her 21st birthday. Visiting me in New Jersey was just a bonus!

During the afternoon, I received a text from Stacey when she and Nicole were boarding their plane. I couldn’t keep from smiling. I missed my bestie and fellow H50fanatic. I had the rest of the afternoon and evening to wait until they would arrive. They weren’t landing until 11:30pm that night. I had a hockey game to go to, so that kept my mind occupied while I waited. After the game was over and I got home, Stacey texted me they were finally here.

I got comfy, grabbed my car keys and headed to the airport. On the way there, I received a text from Stacey that they would be waiting outside at the passenger pick up area. As I approached the terminal to pick them up, I could see her and Nicole waving me down. I got out of my car so fast to give her and Nicole a big Jersey hug. I was so happy to see them. Of course, we couldn’t hang there to revel in the happiness; airport security was around to chase you away. So, we loaded the car and headed home.

The first order of business was to tweet and Facebook a picture of Stacey and I together. Some peeps were actually waiting for it. 
 After that was done, the catching up and weekend plans began. Thank goodness it was a Friday night. Stacey, Nicole and I were up talking until 3 a.m. My daughter, Abbey, finally came home from work at 2 a.m. so she could join in the fun. She and Nicole hit it off so well, that a 2nd generation Ohana was born that very night. Unfortunately, she and Nicole would not be able to hang out until Monday night due to Abbey’s work and school schedule. Trust me, the wait was worth it. Pictures speak a thousand words. J

Since this was a shopping weekend, I decided to take them to Peddler’s Village in PA on Saturday for our first shopping excursion. The drive was lovely even though it was a gloomy, overcast day. We wound our way through western NJ and into PA. Once we got to the village, we walked around and hit every shop. Nicole had a lot of fun trying on hats in this one store. Damn her…she looks fabulous in all of them.

We headed into the Leather Shop. That was a big mistake, HUGE! Look at what Nicole found to try on. You’re looking at real fox fur. A mere $4,500.00. It was a beautiful jacket though.

After a while, a rain shower hit the area so we decided it was time to stop shopping and head to the Cock & Bull for lunch. No, I’m not kidding, that’s the name of the restaurant. See…

Lunch was over and it was time to walk it off. There were plenty more shops to hit that afternoon. The showers stopped and the sun was trying to peek out. Along our walk, we stopped to take some pictures to remember the trip by.

Stacey and Nicole share a moment together by the pond. Awwwww!

The last stop of the day was my favorite shop, Skip’s Candy Store. Any nostalgic candy you could think of was in there. It was very easy for us to spend almost $50 on our sweet tooth… each! We made one more stop on our way home. Once we got closer to home, we stopped at DSW for some shoe shopping. A girl can never have enough shoes.

 The ladies wanted a real“Jersey diner” experience for dinner so we headed over to the Menlo Park Diner. This place had a jukebox at each table and a menu that read like an encyclopedia. Most of them do. We chowed down and made our way home.

We took a survey of our purchases, kicked off our shoes and snuggled up to the tv to watch, what else, the past Monday’s episode of Hawaii Five-0.

Stacey and I caught up with fellow H50fanactics Ellen and Deb online. We sent the few pictures of our adventures in the village and caught up with them on the day’s events. Our plan for Sunday was shopping in NYC. This would be Nicole’s very first trip ever to the city.

Sunday morning…time to rise and shop! We met up with my sister Maria and headed to the train station. There was no way in hell any of us were driving in NYC. When we finally arrived and headed to the nearest place that served coffee, we were hoping for a Starbucks but settled for Krispy Kreme instead. We were determined to hit as many stores as humanly possible today. Remember, we were all walking city blocks. That’s a lot of walking.
Our first stop, Macy’s on 34th Street. As we approached the side entrance, we noticed Nicole frantically looking for something. She realized her cell phone was missing. She must’ve left it on the train, because she had it while taking pictures, but sat it down at some point. Nice way to welcome her to NYC for the 1st time. So our first stop was not Macy’s after all. We hit the closest Sprint store to have her phone turned off.  Luckily, there was one right across the street. After taking care of that nightmare, we finally headed to Macy’s.

This was the first time any of us had ever been inside this store. Did you know that this store has 9 floors? OMG! We didn’t know where to go first. We grabbed a directory and headed to the 4th floor juniors dept. for Nicole. I think we spent 2 hours in there just watching her try on assorted outfits. 

As the day progressed, we stopped for lunch at TGIFridays. The day was spent walking from 34th Street to 52nd between 5th and 7th Avenues. We window shopped, stopped into St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center to enjoy the sites before heading back to Penn Station for the ride home.
All in all, the weekend of shopping was a blast. I think Nicole got a lot of wonderful new clothes and boots to last her a while.

Since I had no days to take off, Monday was back to work for me. Stacey and Nicole decided to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I loaned them my car for the day and Stacey had her Google map ready to go. Setting off on what should’ve been a 40-minute drive tops, turned into a 90-minute drive because Stacey got lost. But, rest assured, they made it just in time to catch the ferry. It had to be the windiest day of all. They survived the ferry ride out to both islands although the water was very, very choppy. Once the tour was over, they headed back to my house to meet up for dinner. Once again, Stacey got lost the closer she got back to my house. Somehow, with no battery left on her cell phone, she navigated her way back and made it to my house before I got home from work. (Quote from Stacey “And they say driving in Seattle sucks? OMG, I will NEVER drive in Jersey AGAIN! I felt like a local driving in Oahu compared to Jersey!")

Once everyone was back home, I cooked for the first time since Stacey and Nicole arrived (we ate out all of our other meals), and wanted to make them one of my family’s favorites… Arroz con Pollo. I’m pretty sure I saw Stacey and Nicole eat seconds, maybe even thirds. It was a huge hit!
After dinner, Abbey and I decided to give Nicole an early birthday party...Jersey style. We bought her an ice cream cake, sang Happy Birthday to her, made her blow out the candles and then served the cake.  Well almost.  As you can see, the girls had other ideas about that cake and sharing it.

 That evening, we watched… ya, wait for it… Hawaii Five-0! While watching, Stacey and I were of course commenting on something to do with Alex (surprise, surprise) and one of us mentioned Moonlight. Nicole had an instant epiphany and said “Mick and Steve are both Alex?!” Stacey instantly disowned Nicole and was planning on leaving her in Jersey. I don’t think Nicole would’ve minded at first (she has a boyfriend at home in Arizona waiting for her), her and Abbey were like sisters at this point. You would never have known they had only met 4 days before.

Tuesday came and Stacey and Nicole just hung around my house while I went to work. They had packing to do, because it was time to say goodbye later that evening. Once I got home from work we set out for the airport. Where did the time go? It seems like they had just arrived and now I was dropping them off at the airport. Lots of hugs were given as we said our goodbye’s.

Next up… SOTB 3 in 134 days!!

From Stacey and Nicole: Thank you, thank you for making our trip one to remember always. We had a wonderful time (minus the cell phone mishap and the getting lost in the car, LOL) and look forward to many more visits!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

San Francisco Bay hosts Oahu #H50 Ambassador

When I first became a part of this crazy #H50hana experience last year I never thought I’d be having friends visit on the mainland (which wasn’t even a word I used much before last year).  But here we were on an overcast and WINDY San Francisco Day – feeling the warmth of a week last year in September. 

Of course it poured all week and I worried, I mean ~ how does a gray day in the city compete with the time when @wendiejoy hosted us last summer in Waikiki ?  I shouldn't have worried, they brought the Aloha with them.

We met Wendie, Chief, and D-Bug at South Beach Marina.  It’s a great location just next to AT&T ball park and the Bay Bridge.  We left the marina and headed up the city front.  The plan was to skirt the city front on the way to the Golden Gate and maybe even get close to Alcatraz before heading over to Berkeley/Oakland then back to South Beach.   But as often happens with boating – the weather had other plans.  It was windy and very choppy on the bay so we ended up having a short boat ride.  It was a good thing that Chief was comfortable driving the boat, it was exhilarating on the bay to say the least.  Wendie and Ellen were able to sneak in a bit of Hawaii Five-0 talk but it was mostly a family visit and it was wonderful.  It makes the long wait til September just a little bit easier. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We're Halfway There!

Hey There!

It's mid March! To quote Jonathan Bon Jovi, we are "halfway there" and thanks to the news this week, we aren't "living on a prayer" any more. Hawaii Five 0 is renewed for a third season! Now all we need is for @plenkov to accidentally tweet the SOTB date again! All four of us fanatics have our reservations for SOTB2012 made. Thanks to Bruce & Yaling, we have the flexibility to change dates as needed!

Exciting things coming up for the H50fanatics in the next few weeks. Tomorrow Wendie (@WendieJoy) of Five0Redux is meeting up with Ellen in San Francisco. Ellen and her husband are taking Wendie,Chief and D-Bug on a boat tour of the bay.. here's hoping the weather clears for them!

Next weekend, Stacey and Maddy are meeting in New York for fun in the City. I KNOW they will have a great time! I'll wave as Stacey flies over me... sigh. The joys of living in flyover country.

I hope to have another 'Midwest tweetup' in Indianapolis soon with fellow SOTBer Candy and twitter friend Bonnie and my real life friend Cheryl. They are big #H50 fans too!

The four of us #H50fanatics still "talk" at least daily and usually WAY more than that...sometimes we have continuing conversations across varying forms of social media...text, facebook, email, twitter, actual phone calls... LOL.. We skype every now and then as well. We have even figured out a way for Ellen to watch H50 with the East/Midwest people via Skype and join in our lively FB chats w/ a few other SOTB friends & H50 fans! 

Where would we be without our social media?  #H50Nation forever!

ALOHA! Deb, Stacey, Maddy and Ellen.

SOTB2012 countdown: 25 weeks ( assuming 9/8/2012)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's Never Too Soon......Let the planning begin- #SOTB3

So we've heard that some of you are already asking about Sunset on the Beach 2012.  For those of you who don't know what it is, it's the premiere of Hawaii Five-0's 1st episode of their new season on the beach in Waikiki. Yes, literally on the beach.

We believe it's never too soon to start planning your trip.  Although we do not know what day the premiere will be, we do know that it usually lands somewhere around the second weekend of September.  That would be September 8, 2012 if we guess correctly.  Let me tell you, if they decide to have it that Saturday, you can expect a very, very, very large crowd. SOTB last year had approximately 10,000-15,000 people show up on Queens Beach. Check out this aerial view of the crowd from our hotel located right across the street.

 Here's what you should begin to think about. Some helpful tips if you will.

1. Plan, plan, plan.  Make a wish list of things you'd like to see, do, and accomplish while visiting Hawaii.

2.   Get yourself a great travel agent. We highly recommend our friend Bruce Fisher.  He worked with us last year to help us plan not only our trips, but he arranged our tweet-up, luau, brunch and tour of Hawaii Five-0 filming locations. You can read about it all in our past blogs.

Bruce, Yaling and their agents at Hawaii-Aloha travel can help you with airfares and hotel pricing, along with information on whatever adventures you can dream up while visiting. In our experience, as fans of the show themselves, Bruce and Yaling will listen to what you want your vacation to be,  (what kind of a mix of H50 and sightseeing you are interested in) and work very hard to find the best and most inexpensive rates possible. They have a wonderful "book now, pay later" program you can take advantage of, so paying for your trip won't empty your pockets. This was a blessing for those of us who couldn't afford to pay for our dream trip all at once. Going to Hawaii isn't cheap. Prices can range anywhere from between $1,000 - $2,000. If you want to go, with the help of good information and expert assistance, it can be done. You can click on the highlighted link we've provided for their contact information. Don't wait to book. Once events are planned, they will fill up quickly. From preliminary talks with Bruce and his lovely wife, Yaling, we're in for another fun-filled long weekend of wonderful events.

3. Speak to other Hawaii Five-0 fans and locals that were at SOTB last year. Get some helpful hints about the dos and donts while visiting. The places to eat, shop and some of their favorite places they visited while they were there.

4. Once your trip is planned and paid for, it's time to think about what to pack. We were told by locals and others that have visited the islands to pack light. There are no truer words spoken. If there is one piece of advice we can give you, it's just that... PACK LIGHT. You don't need 4 pairs of jeans, sweatshirts in case you feel cold and 6 pairs of shoes. Trust us this is all you need:
T-shirts, shorts, flip-flops (aka..slippahs), a pair of sneakers, bathing suit, suntan lotion, sunglasses, hat, camera, batteries, electronic charger cords (for camera/phone etc..) the usual toiletries and undergarments. Trust us, if you forget anything, there are ABC Stores on every corner. They carry everything you can think of. (or in this case, that you've forgotten.)

Trust us when we say, you're all in for a wonderful time. We'll talk again. Aloha for now.