A Sunset on the Beach 2 Fan Experience

HAWAII FIVE-0
SUNSET ON THE BEACH
Season 2 Premiere
“The Ultimate Fan Experience”
Candy Abrams
September 2011

Wow, where on earth to begin…? Well, we know this whole journey that was Sunset on the Beach #2 begins on a beautiful tropical beach in Hawaii, but my personal trip begins in good old Dayton, Ohio. To be honest, I began as a reluctant fan of Hawaii Five-0. I had followed the career of Alex O’Loughlin and was excited to see that his talent was to be used again on CBS. I was glad to see them finally give him the action-packed series he deserved. But I was reluctant to watch a re-boot of a much-loved series like Hawaii Five-0. Sometimes you just can’t improve on perfection. Also, I was a little bitter that it would be bumping my beloved CSI:Miami to another night. How dare they??? Well, after seeing the 1st episode I was hooked. Not hard to see why…it’s a great show! But how does a casual fan of a TV series end up flying 5000 miles to watch a single episode on a beach in Waikiki? I’m still not sure…but I’m really glad I made the journey!

I was a little late to the social media frenzy that surrounded this hot new show. I had been on Twitter, but had no clue as to how it worked or how you could really “socialize” on such a vast and random network. Determined to find other fans of the show I jumped into the social scene and began to connect with other fans. Immediately I began to find people that were not only fans of H50, but simply wonderful people! I had no idea that there were so many people that shared a lot of the same passions as mine. TV, movies, music, actors…you name it and there was someone else that shared my interests. This made it easier to connect with H50 as a fan. I realized that I was not the only one obsessed with it! Every Monday we were there watching together; critiquing each episode, analyzing every plot twist, and developing our own theories. It was like we were part of a global water cooler discussion!

All of these connections began to develop and soon we were all talking of descending on Hawaii en masse to watch the season #2 premiere together. We spent the whole summer fretting over what would happen to our beloved 5-0’s. Would McGarrett be convicted of murder? Would Kono be sent to jail for theft? How will Danny reuniting with his ex affect his career? And how could Chin go back to work for the force that accused him of corruption? These were questions that began to gnaw away at us all. I think we made up our minds that we needed to see how it all resolved itself as soon as humanly possible…and if that involved a vacation to Waikiki, then so be it! There were many of us that simply couldn’t wait the extra 9 days to watch the next chapter begin on TV. We needed to be there to see it happen in person.

This is where my fun really began. I spent a lot of time debating the reasons to attend SOTB. Could I afford to go? Could I afford NOT to go? Was it worth it just to see a TV show? I asked myself a lot of tough questions before actually buying my ticket. In the end, I decided that you only live once. What better reason to go than to be able to say: I’m going to Hawaii for a vacation. Not just because of a TV show, but just to reward myself for all the hard work I do every day. I dragged my sister into the fray and bought our tickets. Damn it, I’m going to Hawaii!!!

I didn’t really have much time to let it sink in that we were actually going to the islands. It was a place I had ALWAYS dreamed of visiting, but had never really thought it possible. I have to confess my dreams of Hawaii had begun not with H50, but with Elvis Presley. I grew up a huge Elvis fan and watched his movies from Hawaii with awe and wonder. Is there really a place like that on earth and how do I get there??? And now that I’m actually going…what do I wear???

I booked my travels with Bruce and Yaling Fisher of Aloha Travel. They had put together the ULTIMATE H50 experience! Parties, a luau and of course the premiere itself was on the agenda! There was even the ultimate H50 fan tour! It was sort of the “as seen on TV” tour! They had planned to keep us busy the whole weekend and they really outdid themselves!

My sister and I began our trip on September 8th very early in the morning. We flew out of Dayton…the Birthplace of Aviation, thank you very much…at 6:30am. I have flown before, but never this far! A quick flight to Dallas and then a long wait for our flight to Honolulu. We arrived at Honolulu International airport at around 2pm. It was a long flight, but the timing was great! We had all afternoon to settle in before our 1st event of the long H50 weekend.

Many of us from the online community planned to meet when we all arrived in Hawaii. This would be the 1st time most of us had ever met in person. I was nervous and excited all at the same time! We met up at Tiki’s on Waikiki beach. There were hugs and laughs and pictures and gabbing! I met many of the people that I had been speaking to online for nearly a year. It was so great to finally put faces to names, and voices to the words we had shared for months. It may have been the 1st time we met in person, but it was truly a family reunion! The H50 Ohana had arrived and we were ready to party!

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