I'm writing this (on my PDA) on the patio outside the little vacation rental we're staying at in Honolulu, after a pleasant and caffeine-laden breakfast with Tom at a nearby café.
Our interisland flight from Kona left yesterday around 3:30. (Tom had already dropped Hamlet off at the place he'll be boarding for the five days that he and Tigris are here.) After getting the rental car and checking in at the rental property, we took off for a New Year's Eve party a friend of Tom's and Tigris' was having.
I should pause here to mention that on the way from the airport, I was blown away by the mountains on O'ahu. They are stunning. The mountains on Hawai'i (which I've seen described as the newest land on the planet; not sure if that's true, since there are many other active volcanoes and some of them are on islands) are gently sloping, and the most striking features of Hawai'i (Island, more commonly referred to as the Big Island) are the fresh lava plains. But the mountains on O'ahu are just stunning - steep, jagged, abundant, and verdant. The beauty and variety of the Big Island are incredible, but I think I may like the natural beauty of this island even better - although something must be said for the fact that parts of the Big Island don't even look like the planet I grew up on.
On the way to the party we stopped for a quite delicious dinner at a restaurant that I think was called Otaru and proceeded to Tigris and Tom's friend's house in (if I'm remembering correctly) Ewa Beach. The theme of the party was "nearly-naked formal", and since I had not packed for such an event (silly me), I made do with a velvet capey-robey thing that Tigris lent me and some boring black undies. No fishnet, sigh. Tom looked fab in a tux. (I cheated on the "formal" part, and he cheated on the "nearly naked" part. A couple people who showed up cheated on both.) Tigris' outfit was also excellent, but I'm not going to describe it save to say that as befits a Tigris it involved some velvet, and she positively glowed.
[Continued on the airplane:] We started off playing "killer Uno", and around 11:15, the five of us who were left got into the hot tub to ring in the new year in comfort. The party host has a lovely view downhill over Honolulu from his hot tub, and we had fun hanging out and chatting and watching (mostly unofficial but still perfectly respectable) fireworks over the city. Our host's neighbours on the other side of the house were setting off their own fireworks, which we couldn't see directly, but which illuminated the trees below us quite brightly, casting a shrinking shadow of the house as they rose. At midnight we had a champagne toast. Our host's cousins had been calling every hour before then to mark the coming of 2003 in various time zones, but had fallen asleep between Pacific Standard Time and Alaskan, so he took the liberty of calling to let them know 2003 had come to Hawai'i, and we all yelled "Happy New Year". I think we were talking to voicemail, but it's the thought that counts.