Posts Tagged 'Travel'

Maui 2015 – Day 3

On day three we headed Upcountry to Kula Country Farms for their pumpkin patch. They’re open daily during this season and have snack vendors, fresh produce stand, rabbits and mini horses that you can pet, and a big patch of farm-grown pumpkins.

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Kula is a beautiful town high up on the slopes of Haleakala and is noticeably cooler than down in Kahului. Once we stepped out of the car, we were greeted by a breeze that felt like air conditioning! We let Nomz pick three small pumpkins to take back to Oahu.

For lunch we drove down the road to Kula Bistro, a charming restaurant across from the historic Morihara Store. Across the street Nomz got to see some beautiful horses up close while waiting for our table at Kula Bistro.

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Since we got there early, they were still serving breakfast. My Vegetable Frittata and D’s Blueberry Pancakes:

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Upcountry Maui is one of my favorite places on the island, with its cool air, charming farm stands and horses, cows, and goats all over the place.

With tummies full and suitcase heavy with pumpkins, we said goodbye to FIL and D’s beautiful home island and headed back to Oahu. Until next time!


Maui 2015 – Day 2

After a good night’s sleep (there’s something so fun about sleeping all together on a king bed) and a breakfast of oatmeal and fruit in the hotel room, we spent the morning poolside. I made use of the free wifi while D took Nomz swimming.

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Then we picked up D’s Mom and headed to Waikapu for lunch at Kahili Restaurant located at the Kahili Golf Course. It was a bit overcast, but we had a sweeping view of the island from Haleakala to the Kihei coastline. Everytime I come here I am reminded of how beautiful Maui is, in a way that is so different from Oahu.

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I had the Asian Chicken Salad with Kula greens, D had the Chicken Caesar Salad and Nomz had Chicken Tenders off the keiki (kids) menu:

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For dessert we headed to Tasaka Guri Guri, where all of D’s childhood memories are frozen into a sweet treat in a cup. Guri guri is like sherbet, a little creamy, soft, and has a nostalgic flavor like candies of the past. They’ve been around forever (more than 100 years – they have a wikipedia page) and things are kept simple here.  There are only two flavors to choose from: strawberry and pineapple, there are no toppings of add-ons, and only cash is accepted.

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We headed back to the hotel for a quick nap and we got a workout and a walk on the beach in too. Then we met up with FIL at the Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course and putted around on the putting green. FIL even brought a mini putter for Nomz but she was more interested in lifting the flags from the holes. Dinner was at the Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes located right there at the golf course. The place was packed with locals enjoying their Saturday night and a Baldwin High School reunion group.

My Shrimp Linguine, Onion Soup En Croute, D’s Chicken Pasta:

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and for dessert we all shared Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Lilikoi Cheesecake.

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Kahili Restaurant

Address: 2500 Honoapiilani Hwy, Wailuku, HI 96793

Tasaka Guri Guri

Address: 70 E Kaahumanu Ave C13, Kahului, HI 96732

Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes
Address: 1333 Mauilani Pkwy, Kahului, HI 96732

Maui 2015 – Day 1

We’re on Maui! We had enough miles saved up to cover air, car and hotel so we decided to make a mini vacation out of visiting the grandparents.

As soon as we landed we headed to Sam Sato’s for lunch with D’s dad. This restaurant with an unassuming exterior always has a long line out the door.

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My first time eating dry min! D always raves about eating it during small kid time. Dry min it turns out, is saimin noodles with light oil and seasoning topped with veggies and charsiu. It’s almost like a buttery pasta dish. It is served with hot broth on the side, which you can eat on its own or pour over your noodles. Delicious!

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We also had the teriyaki beef stick and a cheeseburger.

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and some of their famous manju for dessert.

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Sam Sato’s
1750 Wili Pa Loop, Wailuku, HI 96793

After checking in and a quick nap at the hotel,

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we headed to FIL’s house in Pukalani for dinner with all the uncles and aunties. 1015 - 25

Flight to Honolulu

Because this is a red eye, probably the smart thing to do would be to skip the meal service and get as much sleep as you can on the six and a half hour flight. That way, you could beat the jet lag and get back to a full day of activity when you land in Hawaii. Yes, that would have been the smart thing, but my 食い意地 (obsession with food?) got the best of me…

Business class light meal service after take off: somen with ginger and sauce, yakitori with pineapple. Coconut ice cream.



Breakfast before landing: French toast with blueberry sauce, fresh fruit, kalua pig omelet. Yum!


This concludes my Babymoon Tokyo 2012 Report. Thanks for bearing with me! I just wanted to record everything so it helps me remember what I did and how I felt on the trip. Hubby and I had a wonderful time and are so glad we had this time together.

Last Dinner in Tokyo


Hawaiian Airlines departs from Haneda Airport around midnight, giving Japan goers time for a full day of sight seeing before heading back to Hawaii. We had our last meal in Tokyo at the airport before boarding our flight.

Haneda Airport’s international terminal is brand new and sparkling clean. They have a beautiful Edo period themed shopping and restaurant promenade on the fourth floor. We chose Hyakuzen, a traditional Japanese restaurant for our last supper.

Bakudan Kakiage Teishoku (¥1890).


Otsukuri (sashimi) Teishoku (¥2500). The side dishes were presented so beautifully.



Good bye Tokyo! We will miss you…

Haneda Airport International Terminal

Dirt Cheap Eats: Sukiya!


Strapped for cash? Head to Sukiya, where ¥200 will get you breakfast and ¥400 will get you a satisfying lunch. On day 3 for lunch, we found ourselves in Sukiya at Shibuya for lunch. Sukiya is a major national fast food chain specializing in gyu-don (beef bowls). Sukiya and Yoshinoya are kind of like the McDonalds and Burger King of Japan. You can build your own meal by first selecting the desired size of gyu-don, ranging from mini to mega size, and adding on toppings, miso soup, raw egg, and side dishes to your liking. In addition to gyu-don, they also have curry rice, hamburger steak and other entrees.

Hubby got the medium-large sized beef bowl with takana and mentaiko mayo topping (¥480) and a side of macaroni salad (¥40).


I got the mini gyu-don (¥230) and made it a set by adding on tonjiru and raw egg (¥130) and salad (¥100) for a total of ¥460 only!


What a deal!

Breakfast Day 3


Headed out to a morning of sight seeing, we stopped by a nearby cafe for breakfast. Hubby’s cheese dog and caramel latte set (¥620).


My ham, egg and pesto sandwich set (¥430).


Japan’s cafe selections are now largely espresso based, allowing for customization of flavors and soy milk, etc., but the one thing I still find hard to find here is a caffeine free alternative. Decaf is still hard to come by, so I carried my own rooibos tea bags around. But even that level of customization can face some bumps in a culture where efficiency and convenience trump individualization and special dietary requests. I had to laugh when reenacting my ordering scene to hubby who was saving a table for us:

Me (in Japanese): “I’d like the morning set A please”
Cashier: “What drink would you like with your set?”
Me: “May I have a cup of hot water?”
…long pause…
Cashier: “Um, the set only comes with your choice of these drinks (pointing to menu): coffee hot or iced, tea hot or iced, cappuccino, cafe latte”
Me: “So… would I be able to select the hot tea, just without the tea bag?”
….confused silence…
Hoping to buy some sympathy, I volunteer, “I’m pregnant and am trying to limit my caffeine intake”.
Cashier: “Oh, OK…”, looking really unsure

But listening to the cashier converse with the barista was another funny episode.

Cashier: “One cup of hot water please”
Barista: “What?”
Cashier: “So like a hot tea, but with no tea bag”
Barista: “So should I make tea and remove the tea bag?”
Cashier: Whispering now and glancing towards me “No, she wants just hot water, in a cup…”
Barista: “Oh, all right…”, peering over the counter to catch a glimpse of the weirdo who ordered the hot tea without tea.

With so many millions of people living in this metropolis and navigating such a complex city, I think a certain level of rigidity, conforming to the options provided to you, and following the norms is necessary. It’s what makes the city function so smoothly. Hubby and I enjoyed re/discovering these and other cultural nuances on our trip, and we tried very hard to be good visitors by walking on the “right” side of the subway station, standing on the “left” side of the escalators, and to otherwise not disrupt the pulse of this awesome city. At the same time, we had to laugh at instances like the hot tea, or when I got scoldings from an employee at the art exhibit for stepping 1 step out of the white taped square we were supposed to stand within while waiting for the elevator.

Anyway, after enjoying my delicious breakfast and rooibos tea, we headed to Asakusa to visit the famous temple where once again, we were treated to a view of beautiful cherry blossoms.


February 2019
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