Weekend with the girls

I got to spend a weekend with the girls, High School friends, some of them I have known since first grade, on a staycation in Honolulu. It’s been a while since going on a vacation for many of us in the group. I was looking forward to being away from folks and not having my daily chores. No guilt, I would be only half-hour away, and my Mom knew that she could call anytime they needed me. And yes, I think they were happy to have a break from me.

I didn’t do my best at taking pictures. There are lots of picture-takers in the group. Here’s what I got.

Friday Night’s Adventures

A scavenger Hunt to get to our first destination of the weekend. These are our challenges to the hunt.

  1. Find a store that begins with the first letter of your first name
  2. Find Keeuamoku Seafood to pick up pupus
  3. Find the statues of Kamehameha and Queen Lili’uokalani and take a group picture of ourselves in front of the statues
  4. Find Skull & Crown, take a picture with the sign. 
  5. Skull & Crown is your final destination.
This was one of the only photo we remember to take our mask off. With the Kamehameha statue. Photo credits: Stephanie Takehara

I thought it was funny that the girl that lived on the mainland for 35 years was the driver of the scavenger hunt. Thank goodness I had great navigators, or we would be still on the search for these items.

Once all of us got to Friday’s final destination, Skull & Crown, it was time for pupus (appetizers) and drinks. Here’s all of us eating, drinking, and talking way too much. Cathy asked to bring her husband Allen along as it’s been a long, challenging year without a vacation. He was a trooper and didn’t get annoyed with all our jabbering. Group shot photo credit: Allen Takayama


Saturday’s Adventures

Oh my! What a day. We packed it like we weren’t going to have another chance: Afternoon tea at 11:00, Raku Ceramics event, roaming around Chinatown, shopping, getting ice cream, dinner in Waikiki, and more talking, drinking, and laughing at the end. I hope I’ll survive this weekend.

Tea at 1024 is a cute tea shop across the street from the Downtown Art Center (more about this location later) in Chinatown. We each picked our tea and teacup. I chose Vanilla Rooibus because I’ve been trying to eliminate caffeine from my life and like the taste. Here’s what we had. Everything was delicious, especially the scones and clotted cream.


Before we went to Tea at 1024, we found our way to Downtown Art Center to see what was showing. They had an annual Raku glazing/firing event. You could purchase a hand-thrown bowl, and you got to glaze it, and the raku team would fire for us. Several of us decided to to do it. We hurry to get into the last firing.

Meanwhile as the pots were fired we roam chinatown for interesting shops to browse and take advantage of their AC. We ended up making our way to Wing Ice Cream for a cool snack. This ice cream shop has unique flavors (pizza, we weren’t brave enough). I got a double scoop of “The Haole” and black sesame (I shouldn’t have done that).

Melt-y mess of goodness. Photo credits: Stephanie Takehara

We had dinner at Taormina in Waikiki. Taormina is a Sicilian restaurant with a Japanese Chef. Cathy and Allen have been there before and gave it a glowing review. We hopped in the minibus we rented for the evening. My disclaimer for the evening was that I wasn’t feeling great by the time we got back to the hotel. My choice for dinner may have been different if I felt better. I chose the Sea urchin “Ricci di mare,” Spaghetti sautéed with fresh sea urchin, light salt, and garlic. It was a creamy sauce from the sea urchin but a little bland. Maybe a little more salt or sea urchin. I think the duck, Pesci Misti, grilled mixed seafood, and Sarde e Finochetti, Spaghettini with sautéed sardine, fennel, anchovy, olive, caper, tomato paste and bread crumbs, were the winners tonight.

After dinner, we hung out in one of our rooms for more eating, drinking, and laughing.

Sunday Winddown

We had an early Dim Sum reservation at Jade Dynasty. We decided to sleep in (no 6:00 am walking), pack up, and move the car for the rest of the day’s events. Since coming back to Hawaii three years ago, I realize people in Hawaii like to stand in line for things. We got to the restaurant about 10:00, and people lined up already. Well, I survived dim sum without bursting, then off to the Van Gogh exhibit. Great use of fantastic artwork (wow, I still can’t believe they were allowed to do it), animation, projections, and ample space.

Well, I say we sure planned a jam-packed weekend and had a blast. I’m looking forward to the next event. Maybe a little less packed.

Who? How?

Who?!

Who is my perfect reader? Hmm, I’ve been struggling with that question for a few days since I saw it in my lesson. As I mentioned in my Hello post, I originally started to write for my family and friends to show them what was going in my world. Now that I want to bring in more people, this is an important question to figure out. 

My perfect reader would be someone who enjoys the things I like to share. Probably a maker or someone who fancies things handmade. Or someone who likes my many views of the trail. A gardener would appreciate my Cora’s Garden feature for the blooms and fruits of her garden. Maybe a cook/baker who would like to read about my recipe testing for my family and friends. Oh! And there are my random postings of caregiving for my parents.

From the trail: when we were foraging for bamboo shoots.

It would probably serve me better if I focused my attention on one or two subject matters, but I’m a bit unfocused in my life at the moment. I feel my blog reflects myself, and narrowing it down to one or two areas just would be me. But goals will help the focus and hopefully the consistency

How?

Goal 1: Launch my Etsy shop and use my blog to help promote my shop.  

When

  •  before the end of 2021

How

  • Preview few pieces that are ready every two weeks to generate interest before the launch

Goal 2:  I would like to increase my daily average by 30%

When

  •  By the end of 2021

How

  • Use the scheduling feature to write posts ahead of time
  • Try writing some shorter post

Goal 3: Add a weekly feature.

When

  •  By the end of July 2021

What

  • A showcase of my favorite photos as I clean my collections up.

How

  • As I clean up my collections, create a folder of my favorite images
One of my favorites: my boys

Hiking: Poamoho Trail

Hiking this trail isn’t easy to come by. It’s a permitted trail, only allowing hikers and hunters on the weekends and federal holidays. The permit enables five people and one 4-wheel drive vehicle. It’s a 45-minute slow drive up a rutted (if it’s been raining, muddy) road. But once you arrive, it is all worth the effort.

My effort was very minimal as I was one of the five that didn’t have to apply for the permit or drive the truck. All I needed to do was to arrive at the meeting places at a reasonable hour (7:00). I’m a lucky girl (really an old lady). Haha.

Beautiful day for a hike

Our group of five hiking friends that met through my cousin, “E.” There was “L,” “J,” “R,” “E,” and myself. Pretty well paired with each other as hiking ability goes. Several of them have excellent knowledge of fauna and birds on the trail. Always nice to have that on a hike.

The trailhead

The weather was beautiful; winds picked up from earlier in the week. Sunny, with a minimal amount of clouds. It had been dry the previous days before making the mud at a minimum.

The trailhead looked different because of the tall grasses surrounding the sign. Hiker “L” heard the trail upkeep might be lacking because of the quarantine. Grasses were tall but still walkable.

It has been at least two years since I last hiked the trail. It was a similar type of day; dry and sunny. I’m happy because of the stories I’ve heard slipping, sliding, and walking out mud up to mid-calf doesn’t sound like fun.

On the way up, we were met with a brisk breeze around every corner, making corners something to look forward to. The trail was narrow, on foot in front of the other in places. Making it a good workout on our balance.

Much of the Strawberry guava was past it’s prime. The fruit flies were swarming in those areas (needed to breathe through our nose or get a mouthful). And where there wasn’t guava, there were ferns. I’m not sure what type of fern, but a sturdy variety as it saved me from falling into the mud.

Once you reach the summit, you understand why this is one of the beautiful hikes in Hawaii. You can see all the way to the east side beaches. On this day, the breeze was more than a breeze but a Pali Lookout style winds.

We had our rest and back on the trail. It was as comfortable as the morning as the sun had risen high in the sky. Turning the corners, we were not greeted with a gust of wind. But we made our way to the last bench for orange slices and the last of the water to get us out to our truck.

We all feel accomplished finishing the 7 miles and dreaming of our next hike together.

Random things

Of what I’ve been doing lately.

Frogged (ripped out)

yarn from Japan

Started this cowl, found a mistake, got irritated, frogged.

Actually been frogging most things these days. Knitting isn’t making happy. After I bought all this beautiful yarn from Japan, I’ve decide to take a break to let my knitting.

Baking and Jamming

Cooler weather brings baking and jamming–banana chocolate chip bread, caramelized onion, carrots, and pepper quiche, custard pie, pickled veggies for salads, mixed berries jam, almond shortbread, and blueberry custard pie.

Sunset, Beer and Friends

Last minute sunset outing with friends.

Keep on hiking

Sights from my many hikes at Aiea Loop Trail. Maybe one day I’ll get others to another trail.

Sleepy cats

Orange and Ollie napping around the house. Ollie is usually up high, too hard to get a shot.

Many Views of Aiea Loop Trail

I’ve hiked Aiea Loop Trail 4 times since the beginning of June. It’s become my training hike for my to Japan. It’s a beautiful hike with gradual ups and downs under the cover of the forest from the morning sun. It’s well traveled trail with trail runners, solo, pairs, groups, familes and very well behaved dogs. There’s strawberry guava and lilikoi to be found (not really hiding). I think a couple more times and then I’ll up my distance on a longer hillier hike. Anyone want to come?

Hike with T

With E uphill

On my own

With the Waipahu Crew