Five-0 Redux: Spreading the ‘Five-0’ aloha

Jul. 17, 2012 | 32 Comments

<em>The author and her family with Ellen Swedberg aboard Thumper. (Courtesy Ellen Swedberg) </em>

The author and her family with Ellen Swedberg aboard Thumper. (Courtesy Ellen Swedberg)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Like “Hawaii Five-0,” the “Five-0 Redux” has been on a bit of a hiatus these last few weeks, as yours truly travels for work and pleasure. In every city I have landed, I have had a few quick visits with several “Five-0″ fans who I have met on Twitter or Facebook. It seems as if every time I leave Hawaii, I am invited by a generous fan to have a meal together, visit their home, and in some cases, take a tour of their work or a ride on their boat.

Yes, folks, I am a lucky girl. I know I’ve written about fans before in the “Redux,” but in the last five months I have done some very cool things and met some amazing people all because of our mutual love of “Hawaii Five-0.”

July has been a good month for the fans. The July 9 blessing, which kicked off the third season of the popular show, renewed the fervor in fans as they began the countdown to mark the end of the dreaded doldrums of CBS repeats. As “Hawaii Five-0” began their shooting schedule, and a new wave of behind the scenes pictures showed up on Facebook and Twitter, fans are now tapping their feet a little faster as they wait for the September 24 return of McGarrett and the Five-0 crew.

As I have traveled throughout the continental U.S., I have been to three states and met five fans who I was honored to have shared a meal with, been guests in their home, and in one case, a guest on their boat. While we didn’t always talk of “Hawaii Five-0,” for the most part we talked about our families, our careers, and really bonded on a personal “in real life” level. I can say this over and over again, we “Five-0″ fans come from all walks of life and even though we share a common fangirl experience, I never would have met these five ladies if it were not for “Hawaii Five-0.”

<em>The author with Ellen Swedberg on San Francisco Bay. (Courtesy Ellen Swedberg)</em>

The author with Ellen Swedberg on San Francisco Bay. (Courtesy Ellen Swedberg)

I know, some people have criticized me and told me to “get a life,” but what kind of life would I have if I were not open to making new friends who share at least one similarity with me? Fortunately, I also found that we shared much more than just the love of a television show. Believe me, these women have lives, families, hobbies, causes, and careers — and contrary to popular belief — they do not constantly worship at the altar of Alex O’Loughlin. Well, four out of the five are pretty good odds, right?

In March, I traveled to San Francisco and met two fans — Ellen Swedberg and Terry from the “Hawaii Five-0 Undercover” blog. Ellen and her husband Brian graciously invited us to take a boat ride on the San Francisco Bay and Terry invited us to San Bruno to have dinner. I had met Swedberg during the September 2011 “Sunset on the Beach” activities, but I had only spoken to Terry via Twitter and Facebook. I was excited to see Ellen again and meet her husband Brian, who would be piloting their boat, Thumper, and taking us around San Francisco Bay.

We had a great time with Ellen and Brian, even though the seas were choppy and rough, it was clear skies and the view of the San Francisco skyline and Alcatraz were amazing. My husband, Patrick, as well as my son, Dakota, both got to drive the boat for a while, and Brian was a patient and excellent teacher. It was lovely to do something completely different from the norm and be able to make new friends.

<em>Fellow fans Mary Pitkin and Kate Mindak-Lopes. (Courtesy Mary Pitkin) </em>

Fellow fans Mary Pitkin and Kate Mindak-Lopes. (Courtesy Mary Pitkin)

We may have talked a little about “Hawaii Five-0” in the hours we were together — but mainly we talked about Ellen’s sons, her quilting, Brian’s position as a Harbor Master, the houseboat they had renovated, as well as their many sailing adventures. My Navy chief husband was in heaven, but for a girl who grew up near the ocean, but not “on” it, it was fascinating to learn something new — even if it was a little scary going up and down on those rolling waves.

We took BART from the city to meet Terry in San Bruno and have dinner with her at a very authentic Italian restaurant. Terry was nice enough to pick us up at the BART station — another first for us island folk — and as we drove to the restaurant, we talked as if we met every week to have dinner together. After we ate, which was pretty delicious, we really didn’t want to end our evening, so we drove over to the Shops at Tanforan, found a Starbucks, and camped out until the mall was closing. I know we talked a lot about “Hawaii Five-0,” but we also talked about family, funny blogger experiences, and I’m pretty sure I told Terry my life story.

After Terry dropped us off at BART and we headed back into the city, my son asked me how I knew “Aunty” Terry. “Because of “Hawaii Five-0,” I said. When he said, “Wow, Mom, you know a lot of people because of McGarrett,” I had to laugh.

<em>Chance meeting: the author with fellow fan and writer Kate Davies. (Courtesy Kate Davies) </em>

Chance meeting: the author with fellow fan and writer Kate Davies. (Courtesy Kate Davies)

While Steve McGarrett may not have directly introduced me to all of these very cool and amazing people, the show seems to be my gateway to fantastic places and new friends. When I arrived in San Diego in June to attend a technology conference, I basically thought I would be attending workshops and hearing a lot of new information about what new tech gadgets I could use for work. But I had no idea that a fellow “Hawaii Five-0” fan and writer, Kate Davies, would also be attending the conference. Until I sent out a Tweet about the opening keynote — and Kate tweeted me back saying she was at the same conference — I know, small social media world.

We met for lunch the following day and talked about Kate’s books and her writing, as well as our families and careers. We talked very little “Hawaii Five-0” since we read each other’s blogs and knew about that part of our lives, so we covered what we didn’t know. It was really great to take a short break from a work conference to have face-to-face time with a Twitter friend, and to find we had a lot in common—writing, family, as well as professions. And of course, “Hawaii Five-0.”

After San Diego, I made my way south, where I met up with my husband and son to stay with dear friends in Alabama. As a side trip, we were also going to spend a week in South Carolina and drive to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. When I tweeted our plans, another Twitter friend Kate Mindak-Lopes invited us to stay with her and her husband Rob Lopes and visit the race shops around their home. Rob is the tire specialist for Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Hendrick Motorsports, and he and Kate opened their home and their arms for us.

<em> "H50 meets NASCAR: The author with Rob Lopes and Kate Mindak-Lopes." (Photo Courtesy of the author) </em>

My family was thrilled to meet Rob and get a special tour of his shop at Hendrick, and Rob gifted us with official Dew Crew ball caps, and signed Dale Jr. Hero cards. We all had lunch together the first day we arrived and we were joined by blogger Mary Pitkin Alex O’Loughlin.org. Mary is a very knowledgeable and gracious lady and we had fun talking all things Alex O’Loughlin, but we spent more time getting to know each other and talking about Hawaii and other traveling adventures. It was an impromptu Tweetup, and I was glad I had been invited.

We had planned on only staying one day and night, but Kate and Rob invited us to stay another day so that we could see more race shops and get a chance to visit the Dale Earnhardt Sr. museum, Richard Petty Motorsports — where we met the King of NASCAR himself — and to be able to spend a day at the Hall of Fame. But the best part of staying another day was being able to spend more time with Kate and Rob. We talked a lot about racing and NASCAR — Kate was really surprised that there were race fans in Hawaii. I think our family is in a small minority, but even if we didn’t like racing, we definitely would have clicked with Rob and Kate.

<em>The King of Nascar: The Burbridge's pose with racing legend Richard Petty. (Courtesy Wendie Burbridge) </em>

The King of Nascar: The Burbridge's pose with racing legend Richard Petty. (Courtesy Wendie Burbridge)

It is amazing to me how a television show can bring together vastly different, yet like-minded, people. I probably could write pages and pages about all the wonderful people I’ve connected with in person, in social media groups, as well as at fan events. But no matter where I meet up with them, we all have one thread of connection — and that would be being fans of “Hawaii Five-0,” the actors, the characters, the storylines, and of course, Hawaii. And while I like to think “Five-0″ spreads a lot of aloha every week it’s on television, so do the fans of the show, all of which I am lucky to have experienced.

Redux Side Note:

This week’s repeat was “Pū‘olo,” and next week will be a repeat of “Mai Ka Wā Kahiko,” both pretty Danny-centric episodes.

If you missed the July 9 blessing of the opening of season three, there are pictures and a wrap up of the ceremony posted on the Pulse.

Mike Gordon updated us on the season three television premiere in his “Outtakes Online,” and covered a Tweetup for local boy Karl Herlinger, who played “Toothpick” in the season two ender, in his Sunday “Outtakes” column.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/ssigafoos Stephanie Sigafoos

    Great read, Wendie! It looks like you’ve had a fabulous time on your vacation — visiting lots of awesome places and meeting some really wonderful people. (It’s a shame you didn’t have time to make your way north. I’m sure there are just a few of us who would’ve spoiled you all rotten ;)
    Let me go on record saying that Hawaii Five-0 is getting me on a planned flight to Oahu in September a lot faster than I ever thought I’d be there.  It’s amazing how the show has had a fan base come together the way this show has. Regardless of whether or not there happens to be a SOTB this year, I know people are still traveling from the mainland and internationally to be there. The planning and the money that involves is one thing, but to read about fans so excited to meet each other is amazing. I think we’re all looking forward to hanging out and getting in as many group activities as possible, whether or not we get up close to Alex or the rest of the cast.
    Safe travels home to you and your family. Can’t wait to meet in September!

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Thanks Stephanie! We’re planning a “North” trip soon- hopefully next summer. Lots of places I’ve never been. Can’t wait to meet you in Sept! I’m crossing my fingers for SOTB- but right now, I’ll be just as glad to meet friends and have a great time in Hawaii:) Talk soon! Wendie

  • Anonymous

    Great to have you back, Wendie! This summer really is going by fast with the blogging updates, the start up of Season 3 filming, the new BTS pictures. It really is amazing how varied the 5-0 fans are, but I think it’s fair to say they all are warm-hearted, friendly people who love to get together and share their lives with other fans - a true testament to the aloha spirit of H5-0!

    BTW– SAN BRUNO?? I was born and raised in San Bruno! Rode BART to work in SF for 5 years, shopped constantly in Tanforan Mall and just what Italian restaurant did you eat in as I’ve eaten in every single one of them on the Peninsula! Oh, nostalgia is setting in! (I still own a house there – it’s time to go home for a visit!)

    • http://twitter.com/Terrysagirl Terry

      The restaurant was Buon Gusto on Grand Ave in South San Francisco.

      • Anonymous

        Been there! 

      • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

        Thanks Terry! completely missed putting that in the article:) It was yummy! Thanks for showing us around and hanging out with us:) Hugs- Wendie

    • Diane

      I too am a Bruno girl.  Born and raised.  Buon Gusto is good.  West Coast Cafe on San Mateo Ave in San Bruno is another.  Tanforan is much better since they did the remodel. 

      Wendie, I hope you had a great time in the Bay area. It’s a great place to live, but I would not mind Hawaii.

      Great Article, glad to hear that H50 has fans from all walks of life, and that you showed we are all normal people with normal lives, who happen to love the same TV show and its characters.  Glad to have you back writing.  Can’t wait for the start of the season.

      • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

        We love the Bay Area- one of our favorite places to visit and travel through:) My family lives in the area so I’ve been there several times in my life, but I always see something or do something new when I’m there:) Thanks for reading- we are all just a bunch of normal people, huh? :) Aloha, Wendie

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      That’s so cool that you know the places we went to! It’s a nice area- we were fairly familiar with Tanforan Mall after staying near there in 2008. But that was before H50:) Hope you get back to your old stomping grounds soon:) Aloha, Wendie

  • http://twitter.com/H50undercover Officer 808

    LOVED THE WRITE UP!  You are Miss Aloha, spreading your joy and sunshine throughout the continental United States.

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Thanks Officer:) You need to do the same! The H50 peeps would love you:) 

  • http://twitter.com/SOlivia67 Sandy Barnes

    Great article!!!   I visited Honolulu in April because of the show Hawaii Five-0.   I wanted to see the paradise I watch on my TV each week in person and I was not disappointed.   It is truly a paradise.  So glad you had a wonderful trip to the continental U.S.   I live in North Carolina and am delighted that you enjoyed your time in our state.  

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Sorry we missed you in April! North Carolina was beautiful and the people are SO nice! I think I would have said that a million times in the post if I could. Thanks Sandy- let us know when you head back to Hawaii:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Anonymous

    WOW…what a great vacation going to such great places and meeting such wonderful people.  It’s so wonderful to have you back where we can read your great blog and wait for the start of the new season of H50.  But as you so eloquently put it we may have all met through our favorite TV show but we are so much more than that.  So great that you got to meet so many of our Ohana.  Next time come further northeast.  We in Philly and Jersey would love to wine and dine you too! Welcome home sistah!

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Hey Linda! Not home yet! Few more days before I head back to Hawaii. By my next Redux I’ll be back in the islands. Chief has some plans for Philly- he wants me to try a REAL Cheese Steak:) Mahalo for the support:) Aloha, Wendie

      • Anonymous

         That would be so awesome!  Tell him that the USS New Jersey is docked right across the Delaware River from downtown Philly…he should enjoy that.  She’s the sister ship of the Mighty Mo!  It would be sooooo awesome if you guys came here.  I KNOW Steph and Joey would be with me on this too.  What a great tweetup THAT would be!!!

        • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

          Linda! Chief’s FIRST ship/tour of duty was ON the New Jersey! That may be the selling point to get us there:) That’s why he loves the Mighty Mo so much- he takes people there all the time b/c he knows it just like his New Jersey. He’ll be thrilled! :) Would be a crazy tweet up:) Thanks hon:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Anonymous

    Great vacation, great people, great stories and wonderful memories! Wendie if you ever find yourself in the NYC area – I’d absolutely love to meet  you and treat you to dinner! Sorry, I don’t own a boat, but we can take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty!!! Someday I’d love to visit Hawaii – its on my bucket list!! For the moment though I’m looking forward to the new season H5-0 and making more friends! As Linda said, we are so much more than our love of H50!  Welcome back!!

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      NYC- dream place! We’re hoping to make it there soon- so I will keep you posted:) Mahalo of the offer of your Ferry:) Would be great! Aloha, Wendie

      • Anonymous

        Please do – the offer always stands!! Would love to show you the City that Never Sleeps!!

        • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

          I hope we follow each other on FB or Twitter- if not- follow me here and we can connect that way:) Would be great to know someone in NYC to show me the big city ropes:) http://www.facebook.com/WendieBurbridge
          Aloha, Wendie

  • Anonymous

    Wendie,
    Great article about your travels in CONUS. Would love to show you the Rock Hall in Cleveland if you get to the Midwest. Plus the is a local sports bar where the bartender promised he knows how to make a Blue Hawaiian??
    Paul

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      I always like to try a Blue Hawaiian in any state:) Thanks Paul! Aloha, Wendie

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLZ6VLPARQHH4EP6I2OZ6JR7Q AmyD

    What a neat article! Now you have to come to Houston so I can show you the city. ;-) 

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Thanks Amy! I’ve flown into Houston, but never checked out the city- one day:) Aloha, Wendie

  • http://twitter.com/NeilYamamoto Neil Yamamoto

    hey Cuz! Awesome that you all got to do so many neat things while on your trip… We should meet up/tweetup and you can share all the awesome stories you have to tell.  BTW, thanks for loaning Chief to us for a few days once you get back.  <3 ya cuzzo! ;o)

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Chief needs to do some real Navy things- but he’s definitely a good sport when I drag him to do H50 things- plus he likes you crazy H50 fans:) Thanks for the support Neil! ~Wendie

  • Anonymous

    Aloha Wendie from SoCal!
    Glad you had a great time in San Diego.  Would have tagged up if knew you all were coming. I could have give everyone a ride in the Five-O green machine!  Ha!  Is  the premier for sure on Sept 24th?  Have not heard about Sunset On The Beach this time.  KHON folks I called seemed to think there won’t be one.  Please let us know.  We want a beach party!  And access to the Ilikai!  Ha!  I’ll be seeing Taryn Manning in a couple of weeks and will ask her too.  Looking forward to your blogs again.  Hello to all the gang!
    Mahalo,
    Big Al in the OC

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Awww! Al! Sorry I missed you! It was a business trip and I really didn’t expect to meet up with anyone! Seeing Kate was definitely a good fluke:) Not sure about SOTB12- doesn’t look good:( but you know I will keep you posted:) Aloha, Wendie

  • janice stastny

    Wow Wendy sure sound slike you had a very interesting and adventurous July..i always love reading you colums, hopefully one day we will meet again, maybe next yr i hope..
    Mahalo 
    Jan 

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Jan! Hope you are well! Thanks for reading:) Big hugs- hope to see you soon! XO Wendie

  • janice stastny

    Wow Wendy sure sound slike you had a very interesting and adventurous July..i always love reading you colums, hopefully one day we will meet again, maybe next yr i hope..
    Mahalo 
    Jan