The never-get-away getaway

September 29th, 2009
By

Those of you who regularly follow my Twitter feed know that I took a few days off last week to go to the Big Island for a bit of R&R. Here, have a picture of the beachfront outside the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort:

To all reading this entry outside of Hawaii, please, feel free to feel jealous. ^_~

While I was on the island — Hilo for one night, Kona for two — I had every intention of just kicking back, reading a few books and manga, maybe take a few notes on what I read for future reviews in Otaku Ohana. I ended up plowing through just one book while in Hilo, though: one of the books in Viz’s new Haikasoru line, Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s All You Need is Kill.

I’ll have a review up as soon as I can clear some time out of my suddenly busy schedule, but there is one passage that caught my eye that bears mentioning at the moment. In the book, humanity is struggling to survive against invading aliens known as Mimics, and one of the best human fighters in this war is Rita Vrataski, the pride of Pittsfield, Ill. A flashback sequence finds a younger Rita with her father visiting an old man who sells coffee … or at least, what little authentic coffee is left on the planet.

“How about these — now these are really something,” the man tells Rita. “Premium Kona coffee grown on the Big Island of Hawaii. Seldom find these even in New York or Washington. Just smell that aroma!”

I jolted up from bed, where I was reading this book. Kona coffee? Mentioned in a book I just happened to take along with me? On an island where that very region was sitting a lengthy drive across the island away? This was too cool.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, the sample the man holds is also one of the last specimens in existence; as Rita quickly points out, the islands have already been steamrolled, courtesy of the Mimics.¬†And here I thought that if the islands would go down to an alien invader, it would’ve been to those pesky coqui frogs that seem to have taken over Hilo.

That would’ve been the end of this entry were it not for a chance find in Kainaliu, a small town a few miles south of Kona. It has to do with this place:

Places like these, and not the tourist traps, make me feel truly blessed to be in Hawaii.

Welcome to the H. Kimura Store, one of those cluttered old-timey places that sells assorted fabric and dry goods. Quaint little business, and one that I probably would’ve never stopped into were it not for my travel partner on this trip, my mom, who totally loves going into places like these. I dropped her off, went walking around for a bit, and then returned to pick her up.

And that’s when I saw what may well be the COOLEST. FABRIC. PRINT. EVER:

C'mon, tell me this isn't the coolest fabric ever. Because it IS.

This, as a quick Google search later pointed out to me, is the Red Thunder Flower design from Alexander Henry Fabrics, a fabric maker based out of Burbank, Calif. For the record, it’s $10.69 a yard at Kimura’s (which, to my knowledge, does not have a Web site, so you’ll just have to visit it next time you’re on the Big Island; that’s just how awesomely old-timey it is). I bought two yards and immediately commissioned my mom to make a pillowcase out of it, which she will finish … umm … sooner or later. (Hey, she’s a busy woman.)

The moral of the story: No matter how much you try to get away from otaku-related things, you will always run into otaku-related things. Embrace your fandom, folks.

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