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Arashi Blast In Hawaii -- Part 1 -- Flying on Friday


It started with a 5am drive to the airport. It was chilly, but not too bad by Bay Area standards. Ze Mudra woke up at 4am to feed me, drive me, and cheer me on. It sure is amazing how mothers can be so dedicated.

My flight had a stop over at LAX. I was trying to save $50 by taking a connecting flight. In retrospect, I should have just saved time instead. But if I had, a wonderful meeting wouldn't have happened. LAX is massive. From the airport gate, we were lead to a shuttle which drove us to our plane. The shuttle ride wasn't too far, 5 mins by my count, more or less. Probably because of all my excitement it felt so horribly long.

I got on board, and found my seat. I shoved my suitcase in the overhead bulk. My MatsuJun tag dangled and the Japanese lady sitting behind my row noticed it quite quickly. She asked if I was going to the concert, as apparently she was, too. She couldn't contain herself either and we just started fangirling on the plane as the other passengers were boarding. She thought MatsuJun was my ichiban, until showed her Nino and Sho attached to my backpack. She showed me a picture of her son, who she so endearingly called "my nino." He did look like him, which made me want to call her "okasan!" Her friend was shaking her head during the entire exchange.

Doing my storyboard half of the 5 hour flight.
Jannie was already waiting for me at my gate. She waited 2 hours in the airport. We hugged. We screamed. We fangirled. All three minutes at the gate. I just met this person for the first time offline. We didn't need pleasantries. We just went ahead like we've been together for years and only last seen each other yesterday. This is fangirl friendship. Transcends race, space, and timezones.

Took us sometime to get our rental car. Both of us were first time visitors in Hawaii. But we have guts (because that's an Arashi song), and we have GPS. And soon as we got the car, we were on the road to Ko Olina.

There was heavy traffic on the way. I was annoyingly genki while driving. Jannie was navigating. For a driver who hasn't had a year driving experience, this was troubling. The excitement has taken over. It steaming out of my pores. But we got there safe. And I didn't run a fangirl over, which was a fete onto itself. The whole area was teaming with women. It was ridiculously crowded. I'm amazed I was able to manouver. :O

Parking was a breeze for $10. We found ourselves buying merch quite quickly, too. There was no line, and the items were easily accessible. The merch were a bit expensive, though. Fangirl needs are far more expensive than a gambling problem. I bought a penlight, a bag, and a shirt. Then I bought other people's orders.

We walked around a little and found the Arashi exhibit. Apparently, it was for club members only, so we weren't let in. We took pictures from outside the rope, making do with what we can have.

A little anecdote about this exhibit:
A couple were walking a little behind us. An African American man and an Asian lady, holding hands. They also wanted to go in the exhibit. Personally, I wanted to take a picture of all the con shirts. Jannie wanted a picture with the standees. We were disappointed we weren't let it. However, the black dude was even more disappointed, he was kicking the dirt. I was confused if he wanted a take a pic of his girlfriend with the standees, or take a pic with it. Arashi fans' boyfriends -- if not the most understanding, they're even bigger fanboys.

One bite of Loco Moco burger
and I was full. 
Having nothing else to do, we decided to leave and check in the hotel. That was another hour drive with me driving and jumping in my seat. I know. 危ないので。 We had dinner of Loco Moco burgers at the Royal Hawaiian Center food court. Who would have thought boogers would be this delicious. Very heavy, though. So if you're gonna get some, be ready to share or throw half away. It is also possible that I'm just too small for it.

At this point, we were both exhausted and crashing. Back at the hotel, we charged our phones and watched the news for anything Arashi.

We had a slight mood pick up when concert reports poured in at around 9-ish to 10pm. The excitement fuelled us a bit. It was a spurt. And then we were asleep.


P.S. I forgot to bring pyjamas.
Everyone's response? Leave the door open for Nino. LOL

Our hotel.

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