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Archive for September, 2015

✈ Travel | Kaua’i

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KAUA’I PARADISE

This summer included a girls’ reunion week on the majestic island of Kaua’i. A reunion, of sorts, because the gal pals I met up with live in three different countries, and we haven’t seen each other for almost 8 years!?! I know, seriously. We used to live in the same city, once upon a time — and then we went to all points across the Pacific Ocean (south, north, east, west).

So, I had no idea what to expect from Kaua’i — I came there with clear mind and open heart to just discovery its beauty and warmth. It showed up in spades.

HURRICANES x2

I had a layover in Seattle, where CNN informed me that two hurricanes were hurling towards the islands of Hawaii. TWO. You know what they look like on TV? Whirling dervishes, my friend.

Not to worry, by the time the first hurricane made its way to Kauai, it was downgraded to a tropical storm, what with Big Island and Maui getting the brunt of it. We had one day of morning rain. That’s it. The second hurricane decided to change course and it deviated north, away from the islands, and that was that.

*MY RECOMMENDATIONS*

So here is what’s most important to you. We beached. We snorkelled. We hiked. We chilled. We shopped. We explored. We ate. We ate. And we ate. You basically drive around the outskirts of the island in one big loop. We stayed on the east-side of the island in Kapaa, which is basically between the North Shore and the South Shore, and a tad north of Lihue, the capital. Kaua’i is not as bustling as Oahu or Maui, it’s more of a nature enclave, and thank goodness for that. These are the sights and eats and in betweens we enjoyed the most:

WAIMEA CANYON

Oh holy wonder. It’s apparently called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific with a chasm over 3,000 feet deep. You’ll drive up and stop along the way for lookouts that crop up every here and there. There’s a variety of hiking trails you can take too, but the easiest one is Cliff Trail, which is 3.2 km (2 miles) long.

♡ NORTH SHORE

Lush green mountains. White sandy beaches. Clear blue ocean. Surfers. Bikinis. Fish. Pure love. The best beaches on the island are situated here — but get there before 10:00 or else you’ll be driving around looking for parking.

NA PALI CLIFFS

WALUA FALLS

PO’IPU BEACH PARK

MAKUA (TUNNELS) BEACH

HAMURA’S SAIMIN STAND

Somewhat hidden from the main road, so you better have GPS to figure out where to find it. Saimin = ramen, if you’re wondering. The lineup is ridiculous and the place is this slapshot diner, with the cutest Nikkei women running the kitchen.

I love their noodles — chewy, long, just right. Their broth tastes subtle like a really good ramen shop in the backalleys of Shinjuku have to offer. This is a good thing. Sometimes noodle broth in North America is too salty to appease North American tastebuds. There’s tons of bowl sizes, toppings to choose from, but I went for the prawn.

We sat with locals, including “living treasure” Beverly Muraoka (hula queen). Her family was there to celebrate her honour at the Kauai Museum (but the hurricane threat postponed the event until October). So friendly and lovely!

After you finish your saimin, enjoy a piece of lilikoi chiffon pie. Oh.my.word. Best thing ever. Lilikoi = passionfruit. A spo

ORIGINAL JO JO’S ANUEANUE SHAVE ICE

OMOIDE BAKERY & WONG’S CHINESE DELI

TAHITI NUI

OASIS ON THE BEACH

PACO’S TACOS

JAVA KAI

MERMAID’S

KAUAI COFFEE PLANTATION

CHICKENS

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COUCH POTATO 101

Can I say my excuse is that it is always rainy, dark and dreary in my part of the world — which just begs one to curl up on the sofa and get caught up with TV shows? Much more so with the signing up to Netflix *shake fist* — brain drain.

I am just catching up on all those shows everyone raves about. I’m liking: Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Damages, The Bridge, Firefly, Call the Midwife, Suits, The Good Wife, Homeland, The Bletchley Circle, Luther, Sherlock, The Fall, House of Lies, Veronica Mars, Dexter, Covert Affairs…but am not feeling Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, Community, Portlandia.

Oh no? Have I lost credibility? Have I lost the perception of being hip and cool? Yeah, yeah, I can’t pretend to like something just to seem hip and cool, sorry. I’m not saying those shows aren’t any good, of course not, but I just can’t get into them. I have heard the ones I’m not feeling are a slow burn at first, but if I wait it out, it will get better.

FALL 2014

Now, on regular ‘ol TV (we only have basic cable), I’m waiting for the return of Scandal and The Blacklist and The Mindy Project. But hello-on-wheels, I’m intrigued by the following new TV shows arriving this new fall. Dammit. I cannot let TV overrule my life!

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