Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 4 O'ahu Style!

On the fourth day, instead of just a plain old run around the park, we opted for a run to the entrance of the Diamond Head State Monument and Park (up hill, with backpack) so we could get in on some early morning hiking action. We headed out from the hotel about 6:45 am expecting some cooler weather, but we instead celebrated Sweat Fest 2009. Such an awesome festival.

Why did we run to this park? So we could hike in and to the top of another O'ahu crater, a.k.a the big hill visible from our hotel... you can't be that close and leave it be. So we hiked, Sweat Fest ensued and we made it to the top.
Et voilĂ ! Le top!
Perdy, ain't it?

To the north (that is the direction this photo was taken, you don't actually need to turn to the north - you aren't in Hawaii... sorry, that was mean. If I upset you with by bloggy attitude, I will take you to O'ahu to make amends. Forgiven? Oh good.) anyway, to the north, you can see the park we ran around, ALL the Waikiki hotels and the zoo! (Foresty green area).
Here is the view to the west. Schbddd...blurrbsasd...lblalre... (Use your words.)... OCEAN! (That last bit is a shout out to my Mamz. I sometimes had trouble getting words out when I was a youngin, I needed her extra encouragement. Thanks Mamz! I speak good!)
This is when I fell off the top of Diamond Head. Don't worry, I survived.

We then made our way back to the hotel and waited in anticipation for our VIP pick-up to take us to the "Mini-Coupe" rental place. We were planning on renting a car at the end of the trip but we were itching to get out of Waikiki again, enter the "mini-coupe" - a two seater scooter of sorts. We opted to stick with a standard mini without the bells and whistles - meaning it turned out to be THE BUMPIEST RIDE EVER. Unless maybe your name is Humpty Dumpty, than you win for a more bumpy experience. Regardless of the bumps, we still made it back to Kahala to visit a Hawaiian Whole Foods (We got apple bananas!!!! YUM!!!!) and to Honolulu to cruise around China Town.
Duncan went super fast in this baby... like 20 miles per hour!
SO Fast and scary... we are parked...

But this baby did get us to Ono Hawaiian Foods, shockingly, one of the few places in Honolulu/Waikiki that serves REAL Hawaiian food. Lau lau, chicken long rice, haupia, poke, lomi lomi salmon, kalua pig, poi... they've got it all. And it all is delicious. They even have the amazing Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes. I want them on the mainland.

After feasting Hawaiian-style, we opted to return the coupe in early and begin our search for a sunset catamaran cruise. Which we found, and it was awesome. We rode on the Na Hoku II for a few bucks, which included 90 minutes of cruise time, an open bar, and an incredible experience.
About to push off, we enjoy some Buds in "the net".

We cruised out past Diamond Head (Hey! We hiked that!) - and it got FUN. For most of the time, we were the only two out in the net. Why? Because that is where you get wet.

You can't do something like this in Washington, you would freeze to death, so we savored every second of crazy splashy thrashy time. Eventually, a group of surfer dudes joined us out on the net, and we all enjoyed the splashing together.

We headed back to Waikiki, they took the sails in, turned the motor off and let us jump off the boat while the sun set. It was a great way to finish the day. Betsy and Duncan approved!

I can't believe I forgot, because I forced Duncan to - but we went to the Shorebird for din-din that night and Dunc totally sang some kick-ass karaoke, James Taylor style. Oh, and I guess we ate some food... at 50% off!

Thank you to our Mini-Coupe VIP driver that informed us of the pile of coupons sitting in our hotel. The restaurant was good, a cook-your-own meat sort of place. I opted to cook my own pineapple and garlic toast, whatever floats your boat. Most importantly after 9pm every night they host karaoke. Upon hearing this, I immediately told Duncan that he needed to sing, because he is the best singer in the world. No bias. He tried to get me to sing too, but he just makes me look real bad, and I much prefer to listen to him than try to perform myself.

Finally after 3 rotations of the same tourists from Kansas, Wisconsin, and wherever, three songs from the host, and a terrible performance by a group of three girls, Dunc had had enough and couldn't resist the microphone. He destroyed the house with his rendition of James Taylor's "Fire and Rain". Perhaps not destroy, because it is a relatively depressing and slow song, but he did sound great and received multiple compliments from strangers. Including something like - small British man walks over to our table - "I just have to say, I came all the way from England, and you are one of the best singers I have ever heard." You get the idea. Anyway, I was super proud. That is all.

Love you Dunc!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Wha happened to Day 1? Never fear, Duncan detailed our first hours in O'ahu over on his blog. Read, enjoy, be impressed, be angered, be happy!

As for Day 2, we had EVEN MORE adventures.

First off, Duncan suggested that we run every morning. Being a fan of all things fitness related, and currently able to run (Hooray!), I agreed. Thus, we ran. And run we did. Here was our loop, which seems a harmless 2 miles...

But you must remember, we were in Hawaii. You know, close to the equator? You know, REALLY hot and humid. Not that we are complaining, just saying that running in that weather is a wee bit different than running in Seattle.

We ran, we sweated, and then we walked to the nearest grocery store for cheap breakfast creation. We packed granola and planned to add yogurt and fruit to create a more wholesome and delectable meal. Fortunately, we found Food Pantry - glamorous right? Well, it was teensy and overpriced, but we got our yogurt, kiwis, bananas, pineapple, oranges and full bellies. Nom nom. In fact, we dined on this breakfast with mild variations every morning on our lanai overlooking Diamond Head and the ocean. Not too shabby.

With breakfast in our bellies, we decided to head out for some beach time, followed by shower time, followed by HAMMER TIME! Maybe not, but if Oscar was there, you bet your boots (or Hammer Pants) that we would have danced.
Betsy with clean feet, ready to walk!
On our windy lanai... pretty though, ya?

Clean and hungry we headed to the South Shore Grill (recommended by one of Dunc's fellow team-members and resident surfer dude, Aaron).
This place is DELISH to the max. Duncan enjoyed the "Mixed Plate" with short ribs, chicken, and fish taco (he liked.) And I had the grilled mahi mahi sandwich with a macadamia nut pesto (I liked). Seriously yummy.

On our way back to the hotel, we stumbled upon a little garden park with crazy cool sinky grass.
Our sandals enjoy the sinky grass.
Enjoying the Hawaiian sunshine and pretty garden.
Dunc hiding goblin-style in the trees. He would make a terrible goblin, too smiley! And pleasant.
Pretty trees. My favorite flowering Hawaiian tree.
Duncan ponders life in the garden. Should we move here? Hmmmm.
Done pondering, Duncan decided to climb around like a crazy monkey. He did a fine job. He is better at being a monkey than a goblin. Fine by me, I would much rather hang out with a monkey than a goblin. Wouldn't you?

After the garden, we decided to head out on "the Beach Bus" - TheBus #22 - to explore the eastern coast of O'ahu. We actually ended up jumping on the 23 which seemed as if it would go the same way. It did have the same final destination, Sea Life Park. We ended up touring through Kahala and Hawaii Kai inland and crept back towards the coast at "Sandy Beach" - sounds great right? Let's stop there! We did, and the bus dropped us off about half mile away. Oh well, we will hoof it... but where is the beach? The SANDY BEACH?
Pretty. But where is the sand?
We have no idea, but we are in Hawaii!!!!

Turns out, Sandy beach was just a bit further down the coast, and we were just too lazy to look. We got on another bus before thoroughly exploring and got off at Makupu'u/Sea Life Park. The park wasn't quite what we were looking for, and Makupu'u Beach was very enticing.
Especially for Duncan. See him drawn to the crazy big crashing waves? He liked to free-style body surf in them, which scared me. So I just stared at him intensely, ready to save his life with my non-existent lifeguarding skills.
See the warnings on the beach? And the massive waves?
Beautiful, but dangerous. (That is Rabbit Island out there in the distance.)

Fortunately, no one died at the beach. Although, the lifeguard (with actual skills) did have to dive in after someone... really comforting for me...

It was a wonderful second day of Island exploration. We watched yet another lovely Hawaiian sunset. And crashed fairly early (the sun sets there at 7pm, and freaked us out, sleep wise) in preparation for Day 3!

Our feet prints! In Hawaiian sands!!! We have an Oregon coast version too. Not quite as exotic.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Real Land of Soy and Agave... right here.

This is me in my Betsy Heaven.

Here I am getting kiss attacked (the only Betsy-approved attack besides: hug attacks, tickle wars and sneak raspberry attacks) by the very noble and loving Napoleon and his adorable, yet star-crossed, lover and former neighbor Sophie.

Up until last weekend, Sophie lived right next door with her parents Kathy and Aaron. Unfortunately, for us, Kathy is a super smart and now graduated MD who was offered a residency in the DC-area. After graduation, Kathy and Aaron packed up the house and moved across the country, leaving Sophie in Oregon with Kathy's parents until they can figure out a good way to move her, and Napoleon without his dearest love (besides Duncan and myself OF COURSE... Right Oly? Right Retsy! Ri rove rou and Runcan rore ran ranyone rin ra role ride rorld. - for those that don't speak Napoleonic: "Right Betsy! I love you and Duncan more than anyone in the whole wide world." - he is a very wise dog, and he almost has the English language down).

So obviously, last week I spent a ton of time with Sophie and had to photograph her. These may be evidence of why Kathy and Aaron decided not to offer us the opportunity to keep Sophie until they figured something out. Meaning, I would have stolen her from them. Like I said, Kathy is super smart and she knows how to keep her dog safe from grabby, yet loving, neighbors.

I give you, an ode to dogs. Or rather, an ode to Sophie and Napoleon.

Oly has known Soph since she was a wee pup. Kinda of makes him a cradle-robber. But a cute one, so it doesn't count.

Yes, she is as soft and crazy as she looks. It is the best kind of crazy.

You want an example of "the best kind of crazy"? I just happen to have one:

This is me trying to get Sophie to pose for a photo of just the two of us. It was a valiant attempt. Here is the best Duncan could capture of me and Captain Crazy:

At least she is still... but she isn't looking at the camera and I look real special. If you are lucky enough to have viewed some of my baby and childhood photos, this does not come as any sort of surprise. I have a long history of special photos.

And, I love dogs.

The End. Of this post, not my blog. I will be back to report on my most recent Kitchen Adventures: Indiana Evans and the Quest for the Rhubarb Pie, Raiders of the lost Tikka Masala and my favorite, Pineapple! Wouldn't "Pineapple!" be a great title for an adventure novel? I'd read it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This is by no means a real post. Well technically it is "real" - meaning that it exists in "reality", buuuut since it is going to be only a few sentences, I deem it UNreal. Booyah. Fake post coming your way!

I follow The Pioneer Woman everyday, she is adorable, smart and talented and posts uh-mazing recipes; a few of which I have attempted (see orange rolls and look forward to my next post about Pastor Ryan's homemade Chicken Tikka Masala... yuuuuuuum, times a thousand, plus 5). But today, I am here to send you all to the most adorable post in the history of Pioneer Woman's posts. Also, she is a fabulous photographer, so be prepared to enjoy some of the bounties of her labor and be awed by her skills. Go, now, and be adorablized. (New word! Go me! Take that Webster!)

Betsy's shared items

There was an error in this gadget