Thursday, June 23, 2011

oahu food blog

We trudged up and down Diamond Head today and then watched people trying to surf at Waikiki.  Due to being a little worn down I'm just posting food pics tonight.  Mind you, we've eaten more than what's up here but we didn't take pics of everything - this is what we remembered to do.

Water, Pomegranate Iced Tea, Cesar Salad and Pineapple Iced Tea from the YWCA in 

Pulled Pork with fresh greens, garlic aioli and onion rings from the YWCA.

Seared Tuna with Bacon, some kind of special sauce, fresh greens and onion rings.  Like the other food, its all local and organic.  YWCA are rock stars!

Mai Tai's from Duke's Surfer bar (not the correct name) in Waikiki.

More from Duke's:

Sashimi (Ahi) w/pickled ginger.

Duke's Hot Wings &...

Duke's fries.

Lava flow?  Unsure of name and this was standing upright in the foto, don't know how to flip it properly for the blog.  

Missing food includes really cruddy Cesar salad and ok tasting but bad for the bod calimari and popcorn shrimp from a place in Hale'iwa.  Also a most awesome breakfast of coffee, grapefruit juice, sweetbread french bread and Huevos Rancheros with avacado from an awesome restaurant in Hale'iwa plus the little breakfasts and snacks we've had at the condo.

This is the pod containing the mysterious nut that may not be fit for human consumption but was tossed over the lanai railing before I could figure out what it was.

I found this on the beach and I suggested we try out our Iron Chef skills until Vickie noted that something else had already consumed whatever was inside.

Mahalo for reading; another blog to come soon.  


Sunday, June 19, 2011

aloha oahu (days one and two)

Aloha from Hale'wa Oahu B&BS readers - as promised (or warned depending on your perspective), I'm blogging from sunny Oahu Hawaii!  My friend Vickie and I are vacationing this week here on the North Shore.  So far things have been fairly uneventful but here's what's happened so far:

My bud Carrie drove me to the airport at the 'butt crack of dawn' (4:50am) on Friday June 17th.  She took the scenic route so I was able to see the sunrise over the Atlantic before I was trapped inside two different flying metal objects for roughly 13 hours.  The first flight took me from Boston to Phoenix.  The views were pretty amazing - as I'm sure some of you know, it's like flying over a topographical map that you mess around with in elementary school.  I'm not sure if I actually flew over Yucca Mountain but this foto (from google images which is where all the pics are coming from since my camera broke and I'm unable to download the sim card at this point in time), shows a bit of what I saw, well without words written on it.
Most of the people on my flights listened to ipods, watched movies, slept or read - very few were looking out their windows to see the sights.

I got to hang out at the Phoenix airport for a little over one hour. It was around 9am AZ time so I thought I'd grab an egg sandwich since all I'd eaten was a granola bar.  My choices were Burger King hamburgers, Pizza Hut pizza, some sort of deli with sandwiches or a 40,000 calorie cinnabun.  After walking around the airport for about 30 minutes (I needed to stretch anyway), I settled on peanut butter crackers and an almond/coconut snack thing.  All I can say about the food there is 'epic fail'.

I left Phoenix around 10 am and the continental US around noon I think - I wrote the time down but can't find it - I think its on my travel docs which I believe are in the car.  From there until 2:15pm HI time, all there was to see were clouds and blue sky.  

One of the interesting things about the HI airport is that in some of the gates, people can meet you there so the security isn't as tight as other airports I've been at.  If you want a Lei you have to purchase it and there's very little to do at the airport.  All the shops on the level we were at were closed and there were very few people around.  I made my way to the car rental place (via two shuttles) and then waited in line to get the car Vickie reserved. Needless to say, it's fun to drive especially with the top down.

Since I had about five hours to kill, I went driving up the Wai'anne (Leeward) coast - its the side of the island that Pearl Harbor is on.  I saw some beautiful scenery and went for a walk on the beach at Kea'au Park, stuck my feeties in the water and just sat for a few minutes.  It was beautiful and made me appreciate the space we have on the mainland as I started to feel a bit claustrophobic knowing that I was on an island and I believe closer to Fiji and Guam than California - for sure closer than Maine.  The pace here is certainly laid back.  

Sociology sidenote:  there's a lot of poverty here - I saw a number of homeless people and many houses that looked like they were barely standing; often near large highrises and fancier homes.  This became more apparent as I drove to a tip of the island, to Ka'ena Point State Park where there also happens to be an Army Satellite Tracking Station.  Of course there's military people and bases all over Oahu.  Close to the tracking station, there were a lot of people camping and also squatting on the beach.  I drove by an area close to the state park where people were walking up to cars and selling things.  I'm sure you can sort through my innuendo here.  Oh, I saw a ferret zip across the road here.  Here's a picture of the point: 

Around 6pm I realized that I should probably eat something - it was midnight EST and all I'd eaten was nutty stuff and needless to say I was very tired.  So I meandered back toward Honolulu and found a built up area that had food at Battle Point Harbor.  I ended up getting a yummy sandwich at a local fast food-type place called Aloha something - Aloha Eats maybe.  They had food that was grown locally and it was fresh so that was awesome.  I also managed to buy a hat, which looks ridiculous on me but it'll be good for hiking and boating and such in ME, not just laying on the beach in HI and then I found this exotic department like store 
where I got some waterbottles that are non-bpa (or whatever the bad plastic is) and has a thing in it that you can freeze to help keep your beverage cool.

Then I went and got Vickie at the airport.  We roamed around the streets of Honolulu looking for a 24 hr. Safeway so we could buy some food and then headed to Hale'wa on the North Shore.  We drove through the Dole Pineapple Plantation but could only smell the pineapples since it was dark out.  We ended up at our condo around 10 pm (4am EST).  We sorta saw the beach, had a little cocktail after I showered and then basically passed out.

The next morning, we woke up and realized that someone had put this in our front yard:
I'm not sure how we're going to be able to deal with this day in and day out!  Rumor has it turtles sleep on the beach at night, perhaps we'll go out tonight and look for them.  Yesterday we spent the day laying on the beach and swimming a little in the water.  Vickie and I have both finished our books - she was reading The Help and highly recommends it; I was reading The Partly Cloudy Patriot and liked it but not as much as Assassination Vacation (both by Sarah Vowell).  I'm about to start Vowell's new book Familiar Fishes which is about HI - hope Gretchen won't mind if I get some sand in it.  I should get to the water, Vickie's been out there for about 45 minutes without me.  

Here are some of the best quotes we've had so far: 

"When in doubt, when your camera doesn't work just smack it" [turns out it is a temporary fix].

"If your camera doesn't work, shut it off and wait five hours"  When I didn't do this Vickie said sternly "What did I say about five hours?"  [this didn't work either].

After I picked up a pod from the beach and started to dissect it Vickie said: "That's not an almond, smell it - it's something that birds it not people.  This is for wildlife not people" and then threw what was left of the pod over the railing and then said "sorry I pitched your nut".

"Real women have bellies".

When I was holding my camera to my ear to hear if it was trying to work Vickie said "That's a camera not a telephone".

"You can get cheap flowers like this in Seattle for like $5."
"You can get those in Maine too, you know like carnations and stuff".
"Why buy carnations when you can just go to a funeral and take them for free?"

Apparently it's Father's Day so I'll close with a foto of someone with their Dad at the Honolulu Airport.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Birthday visuals

Flowers from friends

Pretty baubles

Sweet treats

All add up to a great way to celebrate a birthday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

mystic beantown

June has certainly proven to be a busy month so far for us WOA (women of action).  Early June began with marking the completion of Kristina's garden. I think it is now about 10 ft. by 30 ft. and notice there's a new little herb bed outside fence (yes there's a fence made out of chicken wire which is supported by the poles).  Carrie would like you all to know that  she did not help in the garden this year but my friends John (the hammer) Messier and Gretchen (tiller queen) Legler did help me out in significant ways.

My friend Ruth had another successful show at Slates in Hallowell ME.  It was her cd release party and the concert went quite well.  For those who are interested in her music you can check out her website and/or friend her on facebook (Ruth Hill Fan page).  I'm her sometimes roadie / email gal.  It was an awesome show and if you like folk / acoustic music you'd probably like her stuff, its pretty great.

Carrie, who is sitting next to me reading a magazine in her kitchen, wants everyone to know that "one piece suits are the best bet if you want to look slimmer in a swimsuit.  Tankinis are particularly unflattering" (ShopSmart ; ) July 2011: 30).  This was actually a recent topic of conversation with my friend Gaelyn and I as I had to purchase a new swimsuit.  The old one still fit except in the behinder area which was saggy and would probably create a few uncomfortable moments for me if I wore it in public.  Carrie does not need to purchase a new suit this year.

I have been in Boston since Friday afternoon - I came down to celebrate Carrie's birthday, hang out with her friends and our mutual friends Lucy (from NC), Neil (currently residing in Worcester MA) and Sarah (who lives right down the road from said Carrie).  We decided that before I headed back North that we'd update people on our recent happenings.  I just asked Carrie if she remembered any of the 'funny' things we said yesterday she replied, "like what?".  This could be quite the dull post but alas, we will trudge along in the hope that maybe someone is slightly amused.

Friday night:  we went to Sarah's house to watch the "B's" game and while we were there we walked up her street to see the filming of I hate my dad which is some kind of new Adam Sandler film.  We were quite star struck seeing the crew breakdown the set and seeing clothes from the show - not.  While we arrived too late to see anyone famous / semi-famous (unlike my most recent brush with fame which was having David Strathain sit next to me at a conference) we were pleased to know that Wollaston MA can easily be transformed into looking like a neighborhood in the 1980's.  Aside from having fun with Sarah and friends, the Bruins lost that game and that's really all we'd like to note about that night.

Carrie's birthday Saturday:  While Carrie worked at another thrilling Curry Orientation, I picked up the house a little and did some food prep for her birthday gathering.  She actually got up early to make cupcakes for the event.  In the afternoon I went and met our friend Lucy (who I worked with at Warren Wilson College in Asheville NC), for lunch in Boston.  She is in town taking a two-week education leadership seminar.  Lucy and I enjoyed seeing people who were all dressed up in their rainbow gear for GLBT Pride.  We also saw bands of roaming pirates around Faneuil Hall - seriously - there were tons of younger folks with pirate outfits on, we believe it was tied to a pub crawl connected to a fundraiser for a deadly disease but we have no supporting evidence.  Lucy and I returned to Wollaston where we helped Carrie prep a whole bunch of yummy food and then parteeeeeeeee into the early AM, well actually late night.  Rumor has it there was a dance competition when Neil and I were taking Lucy back to her hotel but again, there's no supporting evidence that this occurred.  [Note from Carrie: The evidence is the 14 people who witnessed it -- Kristina is jealous she missed it!]

Sunday - meeting Andy in Mystic: part one: unhappy worker goes back to orientation to make sure students fill out the CPI correctly.  This is a simple assessment tool for incoming students which consists of 100 questions.  Carrie's favorite story involves a student filling in the dots to 183 and then pretending she wasn't doing it.  Ah, higher ed.   Part two: we head down to Mystic CT to hang out with her pals Ned and Itzik.  Ned's family owns a house on Masons Island (which is part of Enders Island) and they rent it out to tourists so we went down to chill on the porch, gaze at the ocean, eat and help make beds for the first batch of tourists for the season.  Enders Island used to be owned by a Dr. Enders somebody and it now is a retreat run by the Catholic Church.  It has a beautiful chapel with really cool contemporary stained glass windows (done in an arts and crafts style to match he main house on the island and so you can see lots of ocean) and a mummified hand of St. Edmund, which looks nothing like this:

His hand & forearm have a faded red silk glove thing on it with fingers exposed and the ring finger has a loop of the glove around it.  My guess is so it doesn't fall off since there's no elbow to hold it on.  Its in a case with other religious artifacts - little medals and pins with pictures and jewels on them.  While we really went to see the arm, the island itself is very beautiful and it was a lovely walk to have before dinner and our partial viewing of the movie Seven which was not so lovely.  We missed the end because we had to eat dinner but no one seemed that disappointed once I told them what happened.

I do think though that one of the highlights of the trip was meeting Andy.  As we were walking to see St. Edmund's hand, Ned has us make a detour through some bushes in someone's yard (attached to a big fancy house of course).  In the bushes was a clearing and there laid Andy.  Don't be afraid, it wasn't a real person, although it did startle Carrie.  Andy is a concrete statue of a young man (naked!) that was made in 1963.  Ned talked about how the statue caught his eye when his parents bought their house; at that time, Andy was standing upright.  We then talked about how we would rescue Andy - he looked fairly heavy and that he may have broken his legs when he fell over.  If Ned gets the statue (he's going to contact the people in the big fancy house) then we'll let you know what happens to him.  We think he'll be moving to Jamaica Plain MA.  At that time, if appropriate, we'll send fotos.

Carrie also demonstrated her mad skillz as a saver when we went to BigY to buy TP for the Mystic house.  We needed to get a large amount since 10 ladies would be staying at the place in a week or so.  After roaming around the feminine hygiene and diaper aisle, we located the goods and kizang!  there was a sale going on if you had a BigY card.  So after minutes of debate, Carrie headed over to the customer service counter and signed up for a card.  Since they are excited to have new customers, she also received some gold and silver doubloons.  Apparently Itzik was pissed off the first time they went there as he thought they only gave change in doubloons.  We played with the coins, grabbed an 18 double-roll pkg of TP and then cashed out.  We were a bit miffed that we couldn't use the doubloons to pay as we were buying things that weren't on the magical pirate doubloon list but when we were leaving, I did note that we could have gotten a fee mylar baloon with one of our doubloons.  We saved $5.71 - Take that Extreme Couponing (and one new mama of twins in Cary NC).

We headed back yesterday with some fine boutique items we purchased in Mystic (including a birthday gift for a friend of KWs) and one gay man who endured the backseat of the Saab which blasts hot air instead of cool.  Carrie's planning to call Saab this week but isn't too concerned since she never rides back there or in the passenger seat.  Apparently the driver's seat has full AC.  Kristina is on her way back to ME to work on finalizing an article, mow the yard and pack for her return to beantown in two days as she flies out to Oahu on Friday at very early in the morning.  Carrie will be resting to prepare for taking KW to the airport at the "butt crack of dawn, when no human should be awake" (CC).  

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far, we're a bit concerned about your boredom level (jk!).

xoxox the employed WOA cc and unemployed WOA kw

go Bs!