Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mahalo Nui Loa! An open letter of thanks from the H50Fanatics

We've all heard about the whole "Aloha spirit" thing from our friends who have vacationed there and those who live there. Until we actually went to Hawaii and experienced it for ourselves, we never really understood what that meant. Aloha spirit is a culmination of cultures, people, smells, foods, and the beating of one giant heart. From the moment you set foot off of your flight, until the moment you go home, you're surrounded by it. The only way to describe it is this. You're wrapped in a cocoon of warmth, love and peace all at the same time. All the cares in the world are erased by a simple smile and greeting of "Aloha, welcome to Hawaii."

The people alone are so kind, gentle and do not judge you. Even though your only a visitor, (Haole) you're treated like one of the family. (Ohana) We've accumulated so many new friends from this adventure, we felt the need to say Mahalo (thanks) for making this the best vacation for us ever.

From Madaline:

To all of my Twitter friends that accepted me as a follower, let me into you lives, and enjoyed countless hours of talking about our favorite show, Hawaii Five-0, it's amazing cast, crew and producers...Mahalo! We're all now and forever bound together as Five-Ohana!

To Bruce Fisher and his wife Yaling, what can I say. If it weren't for you and Hawaii-Aloha travel I would have never been able to afford this trip. You found me on twitter struggling to make my plans for the Hawaii Five-0's premiere along with so many others. Your advice about the pay as you go plan, and help with booking my accommodations and flights, made this trip a reality. The many hours you've spent planning the four days of events have not gone without notice. I will never forget the hospitality or kindness you shared with me and the group the entire week we were there. Mahalo nui loa for making me feel so welcome.   \m/ ^_^ \m/

To Mike Gordon (a.k.a. @CrankyDad), thank you for taking an unknown woman from New Jersey and giving her the15 minutes of fame she thought she'd never have. Your article about my adventure with my twitter friends was truly amazing.  Mahalo

To Wendie Burbridge, H50undercover, (a.k.a. JBob) LisaLisa98 & Keith Sato, mahalo nui loa for making this haole part of your Ohana. You were all so kind to hang out with me and my new friends. I loved spending our H50 tour with all of you and learning all about your beautiful home state. Because of you, I've taken a piece of Hawaii home in my heart. I look forward to coming back to Hawaii and sharing new experiences with all of you over and over again. Please keep in touch!

To Amy Bakari for making SOTB a real adventure. I still can't believe the cajones on you girl! Got a palm tree moved! WOOT! You are truly an amazing and determined individual. I thank you for helping us with our "quest".

To Peter Lenkov for bringing back Hawaii Five-0. By utilizing social media to reach your fans, a group of people were brought together by talking about your show on Twitter and Facebook. Without this show, I would have never met my new Ohana. The cast camaraderie shows the true meaning of friendship, family and the aloha spirit each week through your great story telling. You and your writing staff continue to amaze me every week with the twist and turns thrown at us. Continued success with the show and with all of your new endeavors.  Mahalo!

To my new Ohana..Stacey, Deb and Ellen. Without you, I would have never made it to Hawaii. You all encouraged me to stay positive when I thought this trip was an impossibility. I'm so glad I listened to my heart and ignored the naysayers who thought I was crazy to jump on a plane, fly to Hawaii and meet perfect strangers. I love you all for making this the best vacation of my life. *MUAH*

From Ellen:

Overall, a lot has been said about the aloha spirit but I NEVER really understood or felt what that meant until we got to Hawaii.  The Aloha spirit is pervasive – like the smells and the feel of the islands – it’s in the strangers we met everywhere during our week in paradise.  But we felt it immediately with all the five0s that we “met” for the first time after chatting for months and those that we truly met for the first time who joined us on this adventure.

But of course a few stand out~

Bruce took this from the beginning to create something incredibly unique and done by fans for fans – which came to mean much more to me once we were there.  The feeling of Ohana was with the group from the minute we arrived and continues today.   Yaling welcomed all of us into her home with such grace, I’m so glad to have met her and look forward to staying in touch.

Wendie – you made Hawaii so real for us, not only on the tour but just by being who you are – a natural ambassador.

JBob – you were not what I expected, I’m glad you spent so much time with us, and wish you would have spent more (next year for sure!). *hugs*

Lisa-  you were so wonderful to us, I want your life – to be in Hawaii and welcome visitors who share in your love of all things five-0.  Keep it up girl !!! (and see you soon).

Keith - who can hold his own with this wild group - a special man for sure

Amy- You CRAZY Woman!  So glad we got to know each other, who knew you could get so close staking out a piece of sand on a beach!  Mahalo for everything - and I mean everything! Can't wait for next year.
Mike – who was a stranger to us and from the moment we “met” online we were all instantly put at ease.  Mahalo for helping to make this the week of a lifetime.

From Deb:

I struggled with the decision to go to SOTB2. The money, how would my husband, family, friends react to me wanting to do something really out of character for me. The more time I spent talking w/ Ellen, Maddy & Stacey and all the twitter/facebook Ohana, the more I wanted to go. I just knew this was something I had to be a part of. So I worked up my courage, broached the subject w/ my husband and the rest is history! This vacation is definitely one of the top 10 weeks of my life!
Meeting the other 3 H50fanatics and feeling like I've known them forever was amazing. I miss them every day, even tho we tweet, FB and text. The local Hawaii folks were so fun and welcoming. Thanks to Wendie (and Chief), Lisa, Keith, J-Bob,and Monica. Then there's Bruce and Yaling who got this whole thing off the ground! You all made it extra special. Oh almost forgot! Also Mike Gordon for our "15 minutes of fame" Really weird to get recognized on the street in a place you are visiting. Just a tiny, tiny sliver of what our favorite celebs have in their lives. One more, Kait, at Queen's Surf Cafe & Lanai....your food was delicious and well-priced!
Meeting and putting faces to all the other twitter/FB people equally incredible! I have a whole new circle of friends brought together by our common love (obsession??) for Hawaii Five-0. Not gonna name names for fear I'll miss someone. I look forward to staying in touch and seeing all of you again next year. I am already saving for it!
No more or I will start crying. SO looking forward to seeing all of you again next year or sooner. Planning a #H50 tweetup in Indianapolis some time in the next month to see Candy, Cindy and a couple other Midwesterners that weren't able to attend SOTB2. Tweet/FB if you want in!
In closing, I would say YES Alex, Twitter and Facebook can be used for good. Without them I wouldn't have had this fantastic experience (I understand why you don't want to though!) xoxoxoxo Special thanks to Maddy for all her hard work on telling "our" story!

From Stacey:

Where to begin?

When I set out on this journey back in September, I had no idea what to expect. I was getting on an airplane and flying thousands of miles to a place I’d never been, to meet three women I had never met in person (Maddy, Ellen, and Deb), room with one of them for 8 days, sit on a beach with 10,000 screaming fans to watch a premiere of my favorite television show, hoping to give a gift to my favorite actor, and if that wasn’t enough, have our adventure told in the local Hawaiian press. Wow, what an adventure I had planned for myself. If this was a test, I passed with flying colors!!

My adventure of a lifetime wouldn’t have been possible without the help and new friendships of several people. So I say MAHALO NUI LOA to…

Bruce and Yaling Fisher – for all you did to organize our trip and group activities. You spent tireless hours for a group of people you didn’t know, and yet pulled off a fantastic event!

My new Hawaiian Ohana (Wendie, J-Bob, Lisa, Keith, and Monica) – the tweetups, the tours (the Bayer Estate will always hold a special place in my heart and scrapbook!), and all of the time you spent entertaining us, YOU ROCK!

Mike Gordon – how you sold your editor on our story, I’ll never know. You took 4 women from completely different parts of the country and made them famous for a few days. The amount of people who recognized us and asked us about our quest in getting the quilt to Alex was amazing!

Amy Bakari – what can I say about you woman, you have GOT to be the most determined woman I have ever met. You helped us keep our eye on the ball and reminded us of what was important.

Kait from Queen’s Surf Café & Lanai – Our luau and brunch were amazing! But most of all, that homemade chili of yours was a scary doppelganger for my mom’s and made me feel at home. And seeing the expression on your face when I guessed the secret ingredient was priceless. By the way, the secret ingredient is… go ask Kait!

Peter Lenkov – To find new ways of entertaining critics and the general public is a tough task, one that you, your team of writers and production staff, not to mention the great talents of your cast, have mastered flawlessly. Thank you for giving us back our Mondays! Oh, and the cocopuffs at 6AM on the beach weren’t bad either.  And please... more shirtless McG!

Alex – Mahalo for giving me a reason (several reasons) to go on this journey. I’m glad you got the quilt. Enjoy it and enjoy all of the many successes coming your way. You deserve it!

And last but not least… I raise a glass (ok, it’s a Corona) and say cheers to my new lifelong friends: Maddy (roomie!), Ellen, and Deb. What can I say? I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. I love you ladies! And… WE DID IT!


  1. I'm weeping reading this- i love you guys! You are such genuine and lovely ladies:) thanks for posting this! It's been my pleasure showing you my home and i hope you all can come back soon or when i'm near you all we can visit again and you can show me your 'neck of the woods':)

    And sometimes "haole" means something mean or nasty, but really it just means any foreigner... well, you all are no longer foreign to me:) much love, Wendie XOXOXOXOXO!

  2. Wow blown away!! You guys we're filled with Aloha before you ever got here. Yaling and I will cherish the memories and look forward to doing it all over again next year.

    We love you all,

    A hui ho

  3. Ladies, All our hearts are fuller for having met one another. Aloha to you!

  4. Great job ladies! Beautiful article, we can all feel the love and genuine friendships that have formed through this incredible experience! It will forever be part of our lives. One day we will be sitting in our rocking chairs telling our great grandchildren all about our adventures and the wonderful friends who made it all happen. Aloha! Janelle

  5. You ladies rock! It was an honor to be a part of yours and everyone's SOTB journey.

    To more H50Madness (that will forever drive PML insane) and to more AOLAddiction.