Saturday, October 1, 2011

H50 Fan Tour Sept. 11, 2011

Today we walked, drove and drooled through all the places our favorite 5-0 team has done filming for season one.  We all met at 9:30am in the lobby of the Park Shore Hotel; Starbucks in hand of course. As we awaited the bus to pick us up, we all had one place on our mind that was on the tour, The Bayer Estate.  McG's house in all it's glory. Unfortunately, we had to wait as it was the last stop of the day.

The bus arrived and we piled on. We were greeted by our favorite travel agent, Bruce Fisher and his lovely wife,Yaling along with our favorite Five-0 team, @LisaLisa98, @KeithSato, @WendieJoy & @H50Undercover. Remember, H50undercover  revealed his identity to us earlier this week; however we do not speak his real name (kinda like Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter). He is lovingly known to us as JBob.  JBob and Wendie led the tour with a colorful and entertaining commentary. Each location we'd pass by or stopped at included some intriguing ghost stories narrated by Wendie. Hawaiian folk lore at its best.

The list of places to see or stop at went something like this:

Ala Moana Park. Our beloved Five-0 cast films here a lot. Whenever you see the Wailoa Shave Ice or Kamekona's shave ice stand, this is where they are.

In addition to seeing the area around the park, we passed the yacht club used for the tsunami episode, Kai E'E,

the Wailana Coffee house (this was used not only in season 1 but recently in season 2 Epi 02).

The Hilton Hawaiian village, and The llikai Hotel. (This was used in the opening credits. McG does that head turn to look into the camera on the top floor of this hotel.)  Then we made our way past the heart of the Five-0 show, the production studios, 605 Kapiolani. It looked like any other bldg in town. The best parts were on the inside. All the sets, the green screen for the internal cargument segments, the computer table, the Five-0 HQ offices et al.

Slowly, we made our way through downtown. Yes, we're off to Five-0 HQ. All the major buildings  you'd see in the show. The post office, Ali'olani Hale, King Kamehameha Statue, and the I'olani Palace. Our driver pulled over on the side street and we all grabbed our cameras and headed out. With our jaws dragging on the ground, we slowly came upon the King Kamehameha statue. We were there. The place our favorite cast has walked so many times before. Of course we all stopped to take individual & groups pictures.

As we drove towards our next destination, we passed by The State Capitol, Washington Place, the Eternal Flame, and the Governor's Mansion.  Our tour had taken us past so many of Hawaii's well known landmarks. Then, we were in the presence of a landmark that all haloe tourists have on their list of places to see; the Aloha Tower. We didn't stop there, just did a drive-by. What a site to see. Since we had several minutes to kill before our next stop, we watched some H50 episode clips to remind us of what episodes we saw these locations in.                                                                                                           

As we drove down the H1, 2 or 3 (I can't remember which one?) we headed towards the Pali Lookout. We gradually made our way up the mountain. The bus driver found a shady spot to park and we made our way off the bus and up a long path. As we walked up the pathway to the top of the lookout, we could see a peek here and there of our surroundings. All around us were these amazing , lush,green mountains full of crevasses. They alone were so beautiful and majestic to look at. As we approached the overlook, we all just held our breath. At the end of the path was the most amazing view of Hawaii we've ever seen. There in front of us was Waimanalo Valley, the Pali Highway cutting through the valley below, and Hanauma Bay in the distance with its sparkling blue/green waters. Trust us when we say, these pictures do not do this or any other part of Hawaii justice. You've gotta see it for yourself.


After taking in the view from above the valley, we soon boarded the bus once again and made our way into the valley, passing through Waimanalo, past the Makapu'u Beach and lighthouse, the Halona Blow Hole and Hanauma Bay. Just breathtakingly beautiful.

After driving around for an hour, it was time for lunch.  We stopped at the Koko Marina Shopping Center to eat. With a plethora of places to eat, we didn't know where to go first. Stacey, Deb and I decided to try the Loco Moco. Stacey had the traditional meat one. I had some kind of seafood combo and Deb had the chicken and shrimp. Ellen ate at a new cafe across the way. She had chicken of some kind. Do you really care? Just know everything we ate was delicious! After lunch some of us decided to have some ice cream. Bubbie's mochi ice cream was da bomb! I don't recall what flavor I had but it was so good. @LisaLisa98 insisted I try it and I'm glad she did. I also had a cup of mint chocolate chip. So much tastier than back home in New Jersey. Lunch was over and it was time to get back on the bus. Last stop, the Bayer Estate.

So we finally arrived at the The Bayer Estate.  As we all filed into the front yard through the gate shown above, a familiar sound filled our ears. You guessed it, The Hawaii Five-0 theme! It was rigged to go off when we came in. The family that now owns the estate, the Mirakitani Family, greeted us as we walked in. Even their dog got greeted us in true Five-0 fashion. In staying with tradition, we were asked to remove our shoes before entering their quaint home.

So how familiar does all of this look to you? Then you can imagine how we all felt walking in the footsteps of McGarrett himself. It was so surreal! Looking at the staircase he walked down in Ke Kinohi, walking out through the doors out to the lanai into the backyard and seeing the famous "chairs" that he and Danny sat in having beers in the Pilot episode. (not exactly the same chairs but close enough) Of course, we all took turns taking pictures in them. LOL   

Oh yeah, and the view was beautiful from here.

After our pictures, we were invited to have refreshments, compliments of the family, on the lanai. Mochi ice cream and assorted beverages for all.

Then, we made our way back into the house. We floated around the dining room, back through the living room and into the kitchen. Just across the hall from the kitchen was McG's bedroom. (which in the H50 episodes it's shown upstairs.) When we walked into the bedroom, there it was...the brass bed McGarrett and Catherine were in together in Nalowale. Once again, many pictures were taken in this room and on this bed.  *wink wink* 

After lying in McG's bed and wishing he were there with us, some of us went back upstairs to look around. Again, very familiar rooms. Den, another bedroom and the balcony off the back of the house we see in many aerial shots of the home. 

Unfortunately, the time had come for us to go. Couldn't believe an hour could go by so fast. Some of us found the owners and thanked them for their hospitality and for allowing us to roam around freely taking pictures and drooling.  As we headed for the front door, one of the family members recognized us from the article that Mike Gordon (a.k.a. @CrankyDad) had done in Friday's Star Advertiser. She asked us to sign the article for her. Of course, we obliged. She also asked if we had seen "the bed" where McG had been. 2 of us did and 2 of us didn't. She insisted that we take a picture on the bed together before we left. It as a crowning moment to the day. The H50Fanatics were enjoying our 15 minutes of fame once again. 

We'd like to thank The Mirakitani Family for their hospitality, generosity, and for allowing us to invade their home for one glorious hour. Mahalo and Aloha nui loa to the entire family!

This had concluded our Hawaii Five-0 location tour. For their first attempt at a tour, Bruce, Yaling, Wendie, H50Undercover, Lisa and Keith had all done a wonderful job. It was very informative, interactive, and best of all, they gave a lot of Hawaii Five-0 fans memories to last a lifetime. Mahalo for the effort and Aloha nui loa one and all.


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