Saying 'Aloha and Goodbye', Itasha-Style (Itasha In Hawaii)
Saying 'Aloha', Car-Style
In case you have not been following my Instagram profile, I am currently in the middle of moving off Oahu. As I have wrapped up my undergraduate degree here at HPU, the time has come for me to move on with my life. Whether it be finding a job, applying for a master's program at another school, or something in between, the reason why I came here to Oahu 4 years ago is no longer pertinent to my life. Plus, given the current situation COVID-wise among other things, it would make sense to move closer to home to be safe at my roots.
So as I sit here, typing up this week’s blog post in a 2-star hotel in the center of Waikiki (my temporary home until I fly out), I’d thought I would dedicate this week’s blog post to the cruise my team did to send me off to my next chapter.
We started as with any cruise here on the island in a parking area. I put my panning skills to good use as we all started to roll in.
After a brief driver's meeting and words of thank you by me, we rolled out: our leads in their Rem Subaru WRX leading the way. (Subaru is still a loser for rejecting her, in my opinion.)
On our way to our first stop, we came across a few muscle cars in the fast lane; also out on a Saturday drive. Which caused some of us to split ways as we reached downside.
We managed to regroup at the first stop. While there the same group of muscle cars we encountered on the highway came to our side; I thought we were going to be in a standoff or something. Turns out they noticed our decorated cars and they were interested in seeing them in person.
After a brief moment talking story and exchanging social media accounts, we set off for the rest of the cruise.
Being the weekend, there were many people out at the beach as we drove through Waimanalo: observing a bunch of weeb-ified cars passing by.
Next stop Windward side was He’eia Boat Harbor, after a complicated three-point turn we all had to navigate (and one person flew over a quite large dip in the road).
At this point, we were getting quite hungry, and it was about to approach 3 PM. We all decided to haul it straight to Kahuku for the food trucks.
But not before we did a bit of ‘off-roading’ to the parking area.
This cruise marks only the third (and last one for a while) time I have been to Kahuku. I was so hungry I decided to double up as a treat to myself: BBQ Brisket first, then Giovanni's Shrimp (Scampi style) for the drive back.
Some people decided to head home early at this point, being about 4:30 in the afternoon.
Our team lead wanted ice cream from Haleiwa town, so for those sticking around for the circle tour, we headed there.
Crossing that very narrow bridge got more heads turning. Haleiwa town was slowly starting to open up again as shops and restaurants resumed business; we still got some attention even without the usual hordes of tourists that normally come here at this time of day.
After supporting the ice cream parlor (who as we learned, just opened up for the first time since lockdown today and was a one-man show as well), we signed off the end of the cruise.
I received a free t-shirt from one of our art sponsors as a going-away present: Thanks @rakugaki.rie!
Despite the notice for the cruise being sent out only a few days before, we still had a decent turnout. I personally didn’t need a big cruise with a lot of cars to send me off; just cruising and spending the day with some good people I have known on this island was enough for me.
There’s no doubt I will miss the car scene here on Oahu: it has helped me discover some important people to my life, helped fuel numerous creative content ideas, and established my name out there as a media rep. That is probably what every enthusiast here misses when they move off-island: the comradery of people who share the same passion as you.
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