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May 26, 2006

Vacation Review: Kailua, Hawaii

Tags: Recommendations — 6:12 am Comments (3)

Summary:

Kailua is a great place to stay when visiting Oahu for folks looking for a “real” Hawaiian experience, enjoying the local life and just hanging out on beautiful beaches. Kailua beach and Lanikai beach (same area) are two of the nicest beaches in the world and not too many folks around which make it even nicer.

more photos

Highlights:

  • Lanikai and Kailua beaches: blue clear, relatively calm waters. Swimming areas and great views of the “Mokes” islands and flat island. Lots of activities like kayaking and windsurfing available. Not crowded at all. Surprisingly and happily very, very few people on the beach. Stop by Kalapawai for coffee and snacks before heading to the beach. Also check out Island Snow for shaved ice.
  • Buzz’s Steak and Seafood was surprisingly excellent. Ate there twice. Lanikai Juice for smoothies and their Acai bowl was also very good. Maladasas, or Portuguese donuts are excellent from Leonard’s Bakery. Also, Boots and Kimo’s for breakfast in Kailua was also yummy, banana pancakes w/ mac nut sauce is their specialty.
  • Kailua’s Thursday night Farmer’s market was killer. We had our best dinner of the night there and got a pork lau lau plate for $9. We spent maybe $30 that whole day on food. Rachel Ray has nothing on me.

Lowlights:

  • Stay away from all the tourist traps especially Polynesian Cultural Center and their luau. Waikiki is cool for people watching but that’s about it. There are better beaches out there.
  • Sam Choy’s restaurant (his flagship one) was pretty disappointing. Sam Choy is like the Emeril Lagasse of Oahu but Emeril’s restaurants are actually pretty good. I wasn’t impressed at all with the dinner we had. Wasabi cheesecake topped w/ Ahi poke, that would be a cheesecake w/ raw fish on top. Enough said.

Logistics:

  • Used Kayak.com and Orbitz to shop around and we finally booked our flights directly w/ Hawaiian Airlines. Used Budget for car rental, and stayed at Papaya Paradise B&B (actually her daughter’s place right next door – she also has vacation rentals) in Kailua. I don’t believe there are any big hotels in Kailua, it’s a relatively small town and not very touristy at all.
  • We also went to Haunama Bay for snorkeling. It’s a nice beach/location as well. The North shore also has some great beaches but not very swimmable. Waimea Bay is nice as is Sunset Beach.
  • Weather wasn’t the best in May, cloudy w/ intermittent showers. Another week or two and it would probably have been a little more perfect.
  • We missed out on hiking Diamond Head this time and hanging out at North Shore beaches some more.


February 14, 2006

crocs footwear

crocs

This is my second or third post on footwear. I only own a few pairs of shoes, that’s why I guess I talk about the one’s I do have. Anyway, I talked about Keen sandals the last time, and they’re great, I wear them just about every day.

It was at Ironman Canada though where we ran into the Men’s winner, Chris Lieto at the airport that I saw these sandals. He was wearing these Crocs (picture in the photo isn’t me) in a bright yellow. They looked really funky, and I thought they were like some special Ironman secret.

Anyhow, I saw these sandals at a store and I think I’m going to grab a pair. They’re very chic looking and I saw another person wearing them today during lunch. They’re not going to be for everyday wear. Just for wearing after working out and for going to the beach.



January 30, 2006

Restaurant Review: Gary Danko

Too much IE talk, so need to balance me out a bit. Tine and I went to Gary Danko for b-day dinner, one of the coolest dining experiences in San Francisco, and the cost reflected it. I had the 5 course dinner, she had 3, we also had champagne and a half-bottle of wine.

We had a sommelier recommend the wine, a 1999 Calera Selleck Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir. We had about 4 or 5 more people fussing over us too, serving us bread, water, food, the cheese course, welcoming us, open the door to the bathroom — service was pretty good.

I had caviar/oysters, lobster, duck, cheese and this killer chocolate mousse with marscapone sorbet. Tine had risotto, frog’s legs (yum), and souffle.

It was our second time at the restaurant and hopefully not our last. I’ll come up with an excuse to go there again next year. It’s a pretty ridiculous dining experience.

So back to the bathroom. Gary Danko is probably the best place to go to the bathroom in San Francisco. The bathroom is well decorated, they play new age music so if you need to go #2 you’re all relaxed, there’s a water fountain, lovely hand soap and lotion, rolled up individual towels, and little Gary Danko stickers on the toilet rolls that are folded up. I wonder if we can get some of this stuff done at the office.



September 11, 2005

my Keens, or the end of my Birkenstock era

keen's
I’ve been wearing Birkenstocks to work everyday since March 1999. I have two pairs, a black pair and a brown pair and I’ve resoled them both numerous times.

I thought it was time for a change and couple weeks ago, I started wearing Keen sandals. They’re very comfortable and seem to be well designed. I do hope they last a long time or I’ll just have to pull out my Birkenstocks again.



May 10, 2005

Tom Bihn Bag is In

lgcafecocoawasab.jpg
I finally got a new laptop bag, err, cafe bag, make that man purse. It cost a bunch, took a while to get here, but it’s nice.

Thanks to Scott Collins on the tip.



March 30, 2005

Shopping Spree

I’ve been on a little shopping tear lately. Here’s what I(we) have bought:

– ordered (not yet bought) a new car
cast iron dutch oven for camping (on sale! @Amazon)
GoldTouch keyboard (ergonomically sound)
Humanscale keyboard tray
Tom Bihn cafe bag (it’s NOT a purse!)
– iCurve laptop stand

Our home office is coming together and becoming ergonomically correct. Already have Steelcase Leap chair that’s pretty awesome and our furniture is nice too. I have some more kitchen stuff to buy and then get some more shirts to wear to work. It’s getting to be pretty bad when I have Firefox and Mozilla polo shirts as shirts I wear on the weekend (not that I mind, but just shows I need more clothes).



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