I love arriving in Hawaii. Walking off the plane you can feel the aloha. There is a great tropical feel, the humidity, the breeze, the island spirit. It was so exciting to be back, the first time since I had moved from the island. I was happy to be back, happy to be on state 50 of 50, happy to finish my meetings, and see my friends.
My time in Hawaii was longer than other states as I had more people to see and even then, it was short changed. As is, the format of this blog is slightly varied, with some aspects in chronological order and other aspects just discussed briefly as I don’t want to be writing for hours and hours and hours…
Upon arriving, two friends of mine picked me up. I had the privilege of being best man in their wedding and they had been a critical support system for me during my journey. They would provide encouragement, advice, and a sense of normalcy. Leveraging their connections, I had multiple places to stay during the journey as well. Oh and of course there is more, they also helped to fund some beers in St. Louis and my experience at Café du monde.
After some massively big and wonderful hugs, we chatted away and made our way to the store and then their house. While in the store, I saw a spam musubi and had to snag one. It is a piece of fried spam on top of a bed of rice and wrapped with seaweed. When I first moved to the island I thought it was weird and was surprised how many people ate and liked them. Then I tried it. It was still a bit weird. It wasn’t until a few more tries that it really started to become something I liked. What really helped was getting one nearly every round of golf at the turn. Something about the salty spam with rice just went well with the beer!
We ate some food and then that night there was a costume mixer at a Velocity Moto. It was a fun experience as my friend had an internship at that place a while ago. He could drop all sorts of car knowledge which was interesting. It was fun being around the cool cars, and I especially enjoyed the free beer and food. Of course, I didn’t pack a costume, but it didn’t matter as my friends had an extra one for me. It was used for a different Halloween party as well!
The next couple of days were for some friend fun time before the meetings got started. Upon moving on to Hawaii, I had contacted owners and had 3 of 4 owners lined up which was a huge relief. I felt confident I could get a gym when I said it’d be number 99 of 100.
Some of the festivities included a nice breakfast with another set of friends over on the windward side at Cinnamon’s. I went with a loco moco, which is rice, hamburger patty, eggs, and gravy. Classic. I used to get a loco moco at any restaurant I went to. My favorite is on the north shore at papa oles with the mushroom gravy.
I had a chance to parasail for the first time in my life! It was kind of fun to return to where home used to be and do some activity I had seen a lot but never bothered to give it a go. Well, my kind friends I was staying with told me we were going, and my ticket was covered. Amazing kindness.
That night, we had a poke fest. Poke is marinated, raw fish cut in cubes that is delicious. We went to a supermarket and got a few different kinds and went to town on it. So good. Another epic food experience was Korean BBQ, not once but twice! The first time was with another set of friends who I was happy to have a chance to see. The second was with my buddy I was staying with for the trip.
The day started with a weight crushing experience, followed by stand up paddle board yoga. This means you are on an anchored paddle board and you perform yoga. It was a good practice, especially since we had felt the prior workout during the poses. After both workouts, we ate a ton at an all you can eat Korean BBQ place.
Getting into my meetings, my friends said they would work with me to let me use a car, or we could carpool and so forth. I found a gym rather close by and decided to walk it. I popped in and the owner was interested but wanted his co-owner there too. He asked if I could come back and that I did. The gym was CrossFit Zeus and I heard how complimentary skill sets and a desire to keep the gym together led to taking over the gym. I also appreciated the fun in the video for @liftnbrews social media and for the offer to workout -I had too many activities packed already.
The next day I had gym meeting number 100 with Arkaios CrossFit and heard how it not only takes a willingness to work hard, but a desire to do so that leads to good outcomes. It was a delightful experience and I was feeling pumped at getting the gyms done, yet still reserved with two more meetings remaining.
For the last two meetings, my friend wanted to come with me and I said sure as long as the owners were ok with it. The first meeting was with Lanikai Brewing, which I was excited for as I had been there before and even bought a T shirt as I liked the vibe and great beer. They have since opened up a bigger area to really enjoy the beer which is quite exciting. During the meeting I heard how identifying ways to make a profitable and green brewery led to this venture. After the video, the owner was so kind to give me some beer bottles to celebrate the accomplishment and another shirt! It’s been fun and yet a little jealous hearing my friends returning there without me since then.
The last meeting, number 100 brewery and meeting number 200 was with Aloha Beer Company where I heard how many years in the industry led to a vision for the beer and brewery. After the video, he asked if we wanted to sample some beers, which I delightfully said yes. It was nice to try a good variety and a red IPA in particular was good. The owner was kind to offer up information regarding the beers and styles too during the tasting.
Walking out of the brewery with my friend I was beaming. It was an ecstatic feeling and also that of a relief, of being done. I let out a WOO! Then laughed, shared the moment with my friend and sent some quick videos to some people celebrating.
It is one heck of an accomplishment that WE made happen. While I physically went to all these places and had the meetings and adventures, I couldn’t have done it without the help from all those involved. I turned to friends and family through technology time and time again. Through the fun, through the difficulties, and even just the even keel. Without so many friends and family members to stay with and mooch food and other gifts it would’ve been but a fraction of the fun. Without the kindness of strangers, the struggles would’ve been greater, and I would have not gained nearly as much knowledge as I did. I’m grateful to all of them and to everyone that has read a blog. It truly makes me feel happy and appreciate life.
I finished the rest of my Hawaii trip with some more fun with friends, some good dinners, some beach time, some hikes, and just relaxing. I told myself I’d get around to typing up notes, but I put it off. I just wanted to relax and not worry about anything.
Now that I’ve finished the blogs for the story aspect of the journey, my focus is shifting to some thank you notes. I also need to finish typing up notes from all my meetings and aggregating that as a resource.
With Lift N Brews I’ll continue to sell my merchandise and create cool products for people that like to lift and drink beer. Again, it is a tremendously small business and any help you provide spreading the word makes a world of difference.
I will continue to blog as blog worthy events present themselves. It will vary somewhat, but typically be concerning lifting and/or beer.
If anyone has questions for me, I most certainly welcome them and can look to use them as a prompt for a blog as well. Feel free to Contact me.
Thank you again for reading and the support of LIFT N BREWS 😊