The bluest waters. Delicious food. Endless adventure. Emphasis on family. Where life moves slower and visitors seldom want to leave.
Where am I?
You've probably heard by now the Los Angeles Rams are headed to Honolulu, Hawaii in August for a preseason matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
Safety John Johnson III, Rams Legend Pisa Tinoisamoa and six cheerleaders visited the island this past weekend to connect with fans, promote the game, and — most importantly — showcase the ultimate Hawaiian experience.
Lucky for me, someone had to tag along to document their adventures. Check out what you can be doing when you visit in August!
Day One: Farrington Friday
First up on the schedule, Cleats for Character.
The former Rams linebacker and University of Hawai'i graduate, Pisa Tinoisamoa, arrived at Farrington High School mid-morning where he met with their football team.
And he didn't show up empty-handed.
The Rams donated 85 football cleats worn by players to the school for their varsity, JV, and youth teams.
Tinoisamoa also walked the student-athletes through his adverse journey to college ball and eventually the NFL.
Through this story, he emphasized the importance of decision-making, good character values and goal-setting.
The program ended with a Q&A, photo opportunities, and a sweet serenade of the Farrington alma mater.
For your true play-by-play, S John Johnson III is landing riiiiight about now.
Next, we headed to the first football camp at ʻIolani School.
Fun fact: Eight high schools from around the islands were represented, not just Oahu.
The teams were forced to intermingle as they were divided up by position where volunteer coaches were ready to lead them through individual drills.
Tinoisamoa shared words of wisdom for the next generation and assisted in the sessions giving pointers.
Day Two: Championship Saturday
The Rams Cheerleaders hosted a free cheer camp for 300 students in the ʻIolani School gymnasium.
The first session was just for the little nuggets: grades K-7.
The second was for the high school teams and did they ever bring it.
The six cheerleaders poured endless encouragement and energy into all 300 students that came through the door.
They taught across-the-floor routines and their actual sideline routines you see at Rams games.
The second session had so much talent that our cheerleaders had to keep increasing the intensity and had the schools each perform what they learned.
Hustling out of the gymnasium, through the common areas and out to the football field two of the cheerleaders met safety John Johnson III to address the players of the 7-on-7 Passing & Big Man Championships.
Johnson was locked into the tournament, commentating and engaging with all the players.
For the Big Man Challenge, Johnson was most impressed with the respect shown between each athlete during all the competitions.
He laughed and explained how they were helping each other back up, whereas in the league you get a puffed chest, flex and smug face looking back at you.
At the end of the 7-on-7 championship, Johnson presented the trophy to the Campbell Sabers.
Johnson and Tinoisamoa both took time to sign autographs, take pictures and speak more with the players and fans in attendance.
Day Three: Sunday Funday
After spending the previous two days impacting the community and promoting the game we all love, it was time to check out some activities organized by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
We started off the morning meeting outside of the Hilton Lagoon.
First activity: paddle boarding.
Johnson received instruction on best practices and how to know if your paddle is the right height.
Yup, you guessed it — a shaka's length above your head!
While Johnson spent his time practicing balance, switching up speeds, we chased him around in a paddle boat to capture it all. So yes, you can rent paddle boards, paddle boats, floating tricycles — you name it.
A culinary session at Mahina & Suns inside the Surfjack followed our morning on the lagoon, where Johnson got a taste of the island cuisine in a trendy, poolside atmosphere. The waitress explained every dish, drink and the relation to the island.
Definitely a place to add to your list!
Finally, there was only one way for this day to end that felt right: A sunset cruise.
Joined by fellow Rams staff and cheerleaders, we all hopped on the catamaran right from Waikiki Beach, navigated the building waves and set sail.
The two-hour boat ride featured a bright, beautiful (shocker) sunset and view of Diamond Head, the volcanic tuff cone on Oahu.
Fun fact: it was only fitting our sails were blue and yellow.
Confirmed: We are now even more excited (didn't know this was possible) for August and hope you are too!