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Sunday, August 30, 2009

What to do in Honolulu, Hawaii? Food

There is a song that makes me smile called Honolulu City Lights by Keola Beamer. It represents a moment for me when I am flying away from "home" and watching the lights as my plane takes off for the "main land". I now live in Pittsburgh, PA and whenever possible love to fly in or out in the middle of the night so I can see this type of beautiful.

Get a pair of Slippahs as by the time you leave you will get a sign like this as a souvenir:

I was speaking to a friend of mine from Canada and he is not the first person to say to me: "I am going to Hawaii, will you tell me some places to go?" I thought about it and decided I would post a Cheers to his luckiness to go to my hometown,....a little jealousy also. =) "Cheers"

If you are in Waikiki and are staying in Waikiki....Walk around, don't drive. Everything is walking distance....some further than others, but its not a horrible walk. If you are leaving Waikiki than it might be a little further than you expected. Take a hotel shuttle, drive or even the bus system. It was rated number 1 in the bad can you be if you are on an island? Called "The Bus". (click for link to their website) Decide what you want out of your might not need a car at all. Write down your musts and your goals for the trip and you can call your hotel and usually they are pretty helpful with giving you tips.....also check out the as they are the visitors bureau site and can have links to things I don't mention.

(my top 10)
By the way, you should go on a diet before and after the trip. During your trip....wear some elastic. =)

1. Dukes in Waikiki/or Hula Grill Waikiki
Best Pupus

Dukes is downstairs and has a more laid back "slippahs" atmosphere and Hula Grill is directly upstairs from them, with a little more of a dressed up atmosphere, I believe they would not turn you away though, if you had on the slippahs. If you are in Waikiki anyway, then by all means this is where you will have a good time, enjoy good food, and walk back to where you wanna go, or take a cab (parking is expensive).

My Menu Picks:
Dukes:CHINESE STYLE BEEF SHORT RIBS in a Ginger braised with fresh pineapple relish 18.95....You're on Vacation so you're gonna spend a little money on a dinner, might as well be this one. =) Okay, so maybe this isn't a pupu, but go ahead and share it and don't get anything'll be okay with that.

Hula Grill: SCALLOP AND LOBSTER POT STICKERS w/ a Guava Plum Sauce 10.50
"I would pay 10.50 for just the guava plum sauce!" I don't care for lobster, but this is the best representation of lobster I have ever had....don't share it! =)

2. Top Sushi Pick: Genki Sushi
This is my favorite for someplace local, laid back and reasonably priced. I always went to the one on Kapahulu Ave (even though it was a fight for parking.)....But it is worth it. This location is an old bank so you will see little left overs from its earlier business, like the bank vault doors.
When you go you will be given a table and along the side of the table there is a conveyer belt. The conveyer has your favorite "fast food sushi" already made up. Pick up your plates and stack them on the table when done. Each color plate has a price associated with it, so when done you might have 10 plates at 1.10 per plate, but you are totally satisfied. Don't worry you will have a picture menu to match what you want to eat, and if you don't see it, ask and they will get it for you. It is good sushi, so don't worry about getting sick! My favorite is pretty simple: the tuna sushi (rice, nori and tuna like in a tuna salad sandwich)believe me, it is yum!

3. Top Local Style Plate Lunch (two picks)
Irifune: Totally slamming Garlic Ahi(Tuna fish) Fried Rice! But you can only get it at lunch time (at least that is the way I remember it) Give them a call and tell them you want to know when they are making it. Sorry, no website.....yes it is totally local. Get it to-go and take it to the beach or beach park down the road (Kapiolani Park)....If my friend Pete is still cooking there, tell him I said "howzit!"

(808) 737-1141
563 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

L&L Drive in (pull up, go inside, pick your item at the counter, pay and sit or go)....I know I know, this is so popular if you are anywhere in California they are popping up as Hawaiians migrated and HAD to take it with them. These are all over the island so you won't have too much trouble getting to one. I would suggest the one at Ala Moana Shopping Center if you are doing a day of shopping, if you are in Waikiki, there is one there too on the main beach front.

I ALWAYS order the Chicken Katsu Mini plate (not so mini) Scoop Rice, Scoop Mac Salad, and lots of Katsu style chix deep fried......and don't forget the secret recipe Katsu Sauce! this is under $5.00 and the tasty yum yum yummiest straight to your waistline type food....I did say to where elastic, right?

4. Best Shave Ice: (Two Picks)
Matsuyamas Shave Ice, Haleiwa

If you take a drive to the North Shore, than you might as well head over to Haleiwa (pronounced: Hah-Lei-Eve-Ah) because you are already there. The Shave Ice is light and melts to the touch, topped with your favorite flavors......I need a shave Ice machine! You will head here if you are looking for some surf watch. These are big waves people so unless you are a pro, check with your nearest lifeguard on whether you are clear to get in, you will see the "Don't go beyond this point" "Dangerous Waves" all over the beaches here. Its nice to sun bathe and check out some hotties (girls and guys). Check with the local papers to find out if there is a surf competition going on while you are in town. You may want to see it, or avoid the crazy parking situations. (I think its worth it to go)

Island Snow, Kailua Seriously, You have to get Shave Ice. If you don't make it to the North Shore, than you gotta go to the Windward side. Island Snow is the best place to get it over this way. My family all lives in Kailua and it is my favorite place to go. Relaxing, Welcoming, Beautiful. Go to Kailua Beach (boat ramp or Lanikai-Mokulua Isles).

5. Best Breakfast spots: all second to Moms cooking of course! One for the Tourists and one for traveling to my favorite neck of the woods:

In Kailua: Boots and Kimo's

...My favorite and the reason to go: Macadamia Nut Pancakes....not just any mac nut pancake, the vanilla cream butter topping and mac nut chunks throughout are to die for. This place is small so be willing to wait cause its a local favorite and worth it.

Waikiki or "Waiks" as we like to call it:

Wailana Coffee House

(24 hour-better than most)
Address: 1860 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815 808.955.1764
Close enough to Waiks between Waiks and Ala Moana Shopping Center. I used to live a couple blocks from here. Super good at any hour. For my friend, you can walk here from where you are staying.

6. Best Burgers:
Teddy's Bigger Burgers Kapahulu (Waikiki)

Check out the website. These are definitely bigger and better then the norm. Tastier too......get the sauce!

7. Best Bakery:

Leonard's Bakery
933 Kapahulu Ave., 737-5591

This Bakery is a family MUST. You have to get the tasty donuts called "Malasada's". This place is so good, it even made it on the Food Network for top ten Donuts in the U.S. Yup Top Ten. And it wasn't the bottom of that list either. Hawaii, Represent!

8. Best Desserts:
Don't get this mixed up with Leonard's and the Malasada's...Malasada's aren't counted as desserts in my book....its a staple. If you want to celebrate with a nice flavorful Island style cake, get it from them.

Liliha Bakery
515 N. Kuakini St., 531-1651

The famous Coco Puffs (yum) or the Guava Chiffon(favorite) or the Chocolate Haupia Chiffon(other favorite) get my drift. go to this place. I don't care if you are visiting, you can take it to your conference or meeting to share with a couple of friends.......seriously, you'll get a promotion! (Will, I mean YOU!)....or eat between the two of you and slice it up and give the rest to the Front Desk Staff at your Hotel....they will appreciate it, really....tourists don't usually do that and it is a customary thing us Hawaiians often do for each other.

9. Best Alcoholic Beverage with a smile
.....Now...this depends. Are you looking for a late night party scene or a quaint sit down talk to each other setting?

Packed-young crowd
Kelley O'Neills
(packed with people-college crowd)
311 Lewers St
Honolulu, HI 96815-2344
(808) 926-1777
I decided not to link to their website as it wasn't the best type of organized

I have a few stories NOT to tell you about Kelley's but mostly, its a lot of fun if you are going later like after 11pm. Before than, its laid back and chill(not many people) after that Whoa! you better not give stink eye to the door person and be patient for your favorite beer. If you think this is cool, look across the street at Moose's Bar, and they are pretty packed also. Sometimes, you can't get in. As for me, I am into Kelley's over Moose's, but that was my crowd.

Chill with beach side:
The Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian (The Pink Hotel)

. Although it may seem uptight at first, in the hours around sunset this is a local favorite to go to. You can't take your drinks off property (but remember you are in the US and there are still liquor laws in Hawaii)

Overall, drinks are drinks. You can get a good drink with a good atmosphere just walking around and finding something close to where you are staying. walk along Waikiki beach and you will see about 20 beach bars that catch your eye.

10. If you checked out all of the above and you are still looking for number 10, then you are probably going to need another dress size before you go home, or go on the poor diet from spending all your money in Hawaii.

Best Manapua (A.K.A: Pork filled steam buns or baked):
Char Hung Sut-
this link is to another blog called ONO Kind description of the place....
64 N. Pauahi St., 808-538-3335 Downtown area.

Call ahead and order for pick up early....I mean early, they usually sell out by 6-7 am of the favorites. Be prepared, if you call, they speak quick and "Diner-Like" you better figure out what you want. ask around if you don't know. not typical restaurant or bakery like setting. This place is a whole in the wall "Warehouse" type place. You walk in and think you are in the wrong place. Go to the counter (be aggressive-but don't cut in line) and tell them you want 6 steam manapua's and 10 pork hash, this will feed you and your tag a longs as well as those new friends you met at the hotel. Look at the wall for the full menu, but if you want what I get....order the Manapua & pork hash and ditch out. Filled with Sweet Red Pork. It is delicious! reminds me of a sweat shop.(Chinese food) By the way, if you have befriended people at the hotel you might be able to get them to freeze the left over food, this is often brought over the water to California by my family to those craving the tasty treat.....might be too far for trip to Pittsburgh...sorry!

Hope you liked my food picks....I miss it!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Phone Blues

bah bah da da dum

I got the phone blues

bah bah da da dum

Its broken in three ways

bah bah da da hum

It won't let me receive calls, see incoming calls from my friends or search my current list

bah bah da da dum

OHHHHH, I got the phone blues!

I know it's time, the darn thing is ancient.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dream Big and Magical things will happen to you....

I just love this commercial. This commercial should be the metaphor for all of our lives.


I'm washing dishes right now......and random stuff

Did you all know they have those new gadgets called "Dish Washers". And by gadget, I am referring to a machine, not a human being...a.k.a. "Antibloggedy". Actually, It has been 3 years since I have had one on in my home! OUch! The much needed handy dandy scrubbing cleaning unit is my most "precious". it's MINE! Don't touch it, unless you want to fill it with MY dirty dishes and go ahead and press "sanitize" while you are at it.

Love it.

We decided not to take the white plastic cover off the front steel finish until we are closer to the end of renovations (so....I'm thinking 2-3 years?!.....not kidding)


Other News:
Kai is holding a good long term memory. She just brought up a "fall in the pool" incident from May when we were in California. Also, when the California Cow contest/auditions commercials come on she asks when we are going to California....and she says California correctly! I think she loved hangin with her cousin's: Lil Rambler and Cousin N. I think she also loved hangin with Nana and Papa.

Violet pulls off her diaper and walks over to the potty chair and sits down. She hasn't gone into IT yet as there was some confusion between the potty chair and the green ikea kids chair that was in the living room. Thank goodness for wipe-able surfaces!

I tried to assist in installing a deadbolt on our front door.......the thing is a hollow door! anyway, I went to the construction junction after destroying part of the stupid door to find another one that was more secure.....(by the way, if I wanted one hollow like mine, it costs $5.00 there). I was frozen with indecision and ended up without anything. I am going back tomorrow for the $55.00 Metal Door that will keep out the honest people. By the way, "Construction Junction" is Pittsburgh’s only non-profit building material reuse retailer. They take old materials when people are deconstructing homes, businesses and churches and sell what they can to the public, keeping a ton of building materials from the landfills. Super Awesome if you are in Pittsburgh or the nearby area, they have a cool concept to model after. The stuff there is unique and hard to find. Check out the webpage, its worth it:

That's all for my weekend tales.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Just a New Post

I haven't had much to say the past week. With the "changes" I am attempting to make I have had nothing in my mind except for the current affairs.

I did get a chance to go to a beautiful wedding in West Virginia. We stayed at Oglebay Country Club and boy is that place "F.A.N.C.Y."! Nice Hotel Room, surrounded by beautiful Country Club views, all I was missing was someone to fan me with a big banana leaf poolside.

Here is a picture of almost 3 year old Kai walking into the middle of the dance off in the Sikh Wedding about inclusive, our friends had a top floor reception that was on the fourth floor of an old Brew House, on the first floor, with an open center view from above they had a magician for the 20+ children, and they had a Kids food section, kids this, kids that.....can you say make us all feel at home?!! The kids had a blast, everyone loved the children and we felt like we could let our guard down.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Military Funeral

Sgt. Ryan H. Lane of Castle Shannon, PA.
Laid to Rest at National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville PA
Services at Bethany Presbyterian Church, Bridgeville PA

I have never attended a Military Funeral. This one, in particular was Incredible and Unique, I mean that respectfully. It was fitting to someone who sacrificed for so many. He left behind his wife Valerie, his 3 brothers, his Parents and Grandmother Ruth as well as a church full of family and friends. Ryan was the son of a former Police Chief, Harold Lane. In this connection to the Police Department and the Marines there was great respect and honor everywhere. As I drove off the freeway exit, toward the church, I could see the American Flags and the Lights of the Police vehicles. I approached the church Parking Lot and there was a police officer stationed to stop traffic. Anyone there to attend the funeral had right of way. The traffic was stopped to let any of us pass through with out halt. I have to say that I was moved to tears by every bit of it: The Police Officers that stood there to pay respect to their former Police Chiefs son. The Patriot Guards whom stood guard for our fallen soldier, that stood tall for hours in the hot sun in their leather gear holding their flags tall, who kept the media at bay, who held back the protesters, who saluted and gave honor to a fine young man. The Soloist that sang Danny Boy, The Priest that gave comfort. His Brother who spoke for his lost brother. His Aunt that gave Eulogy. His Marine Brother who shared with us who he was to them as a Soldier, a Sergeant, a Brother, and a Friend. The people who came to show support, Standing on the roadside in the route of the 200+ car procession from the Church to the cemetery, A woman standing solo with a hand written sign with the words "Thank you" or the one who stood with a flag with her hand over her heart saluting the procession that took 40 minutes to pass the 3.3 miles. Through and the daycare center that had their kids stand with their flags waving at us passing by. The many districts that sent a representing Police Car to escort the Soldier to the Cemetery. The Marines that stood tall for long periods of time, unmoving, in full Marine Uniform, did so with so much pride and honor to themselves and to Sgt. Lane, their brother. Bridgeville shut down the town for the time it took us to go from the Church to the Cemetery, their fire department had 2 Firetrucks with their ladders to full extension and an American Flag at the center linking the two trucks this was at the Church and their was another 2 at the cemetery for the procession of cars to pass under on the path to his resting place.

There was a full Military Salute, The Shooting of the Guns, The Fly Over, and his Casket Pulled by white horses through the Cemetery to his resting place at the top of the hill.....his final goodbye with the Man playing the bagpipes walking off into the distance, his sirens fading off, till silence. I was touched and have so much more pride in our Military Men and Women, their families that stand vigil waiting for them to come home.
I only took these four images, nothing with the flagged draped casket, or of the mourning family, I only wanted to remember the things that were done in his honor.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hair Cuts by a 2 year old....

Yes, thats right, a hair cut BY a 2 year old.

Kai found a pair of kids safety scissors in the living room...I don't know exactly where.

She came up to me a handed me a curl from her head.

The end.

We had a little talk.