hawaii

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We’ve been in Hawaii for almost a week catching up with family and friends.  We’ll share some memories in another post.  This one is dedicated to the amazing night we had with the Soul Signature Ohana.

When coming to Ohau this time I wanted to add more story from my right 1/2 sleeve onto my left and Kitty wanted to get her first tattoo. Lopeti (Raspets) was who had done my previous piece and we both wanted him to help us with these new ones.  Lopeti is an amazing artist and soul.  He really puts the love of his craft into his work and was able to capture Kitty’s story perfectly.

Soul Signature is truly one big Ohana.  Sua Suluape Toeutu’u Aisea was welcoming guests, tattooing, and playing the occasional drums with the keiki.

Kitty’s took several hours and afterwards it was my turn.  This time I was getting a shoulder cap on the left side.  Lopeti added so many elements of my family and heritage to the piece it turned out perfect.  You’ll notice Kitty and I both have the Enata representing our marriage and 3 kids.

All pau at 2am?  Not yet…

As luck / fate would have it there happened to be a gathering of the top most venerated artists in the world.  Soul Signature was ground zero for the gathering.  The tattoo legend Freddy Negrete checked out both our tattoos and took some time to get a pic with Kitty.

Most of the night people were waiting for the arrival of the master and father Sua Sulu’ape Petelo. His plane landed after midnight and he came right over. He is such a kind soul and took time to talk story with us for awhile before the crowd arrived.  Watch the video above if you’re not familiar with him but he is also a tattoo icon and cultural legend.

It was a long night for the kids they danced and partied as long as they could till they eventually passed out on the tatau mats for pe’a and hand tapping in the back.

People from all over the world showed up while we were getting tattooed.  We met some amazing people from Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand, Europe, modern Hawaii torch bearers, and even Rich from the Honolulu Tatau MC.  Check out our little Ohana in the background.  It was an amazing night with some of the most Aloha we’ve ever felt.  It was truly a special night at a special place.  Mahalo nui loa to Lopeti, Aisea, and the entire Soul Signature Ohana.

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As Summer approaches it seems like I’ve been asked a few times at work and outside about some Oahu recommendations, so I started putting together a list.

 

Food

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These are some of my relatives in the late 1800’s at a family luau in upcountry Maui. I missed this one but 150 years later I very much enjoy the local food. Here are some recommendations for Oahu.

 

Casual

Side Street Inn Home | Side Street Inn – a MUST go. This used to only be a little bar downtown we would go to after work and get their famous pork chops, but now they are on Kapahulu close by waikiki. GO. Big portions of good local food (note local does not mean hawaiian)

Ichiriki http://ichirikinabe.com/ – good sit down Japanese cook your own nabe diner.

Rainbow Drive Inn Rainbow Drive-In – classic plate lunch. Right by Waikiki. Get loco moco after dawn patrol

Da Kitchen Da Kitchen – huge portions. Good plate lunch. Word is this might be closed on Oahu.

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Helena’s Hawaiian Food Helena’s Hawaiian Food – best traditional Hawaiian food, but a little outside of town.

Ono’s http://onohawaiianfoods.com/ – traditional Hawaiian food. Close by Waikiki.

Marukame Udon Marukame Udon – Waikiki – Honolulu, HI – awesome quick FRESH udon noodles. They do one thing and they do it well.

Fresh Catch http://www.freshcatch808.com/ – one of the best new additions to Honolulu is all the poke bowl shops. This is a good one.

Ruffage Natural Foods Ruffage Natural Foods – Waikiki – Honolulu, HI – vegetarian options, healthy and poke bowls.

Gyu-Kaku Gyu-Kaku : Gyu-Kaku – Japanese BBQ Dining – cook your own Japanese style.

Diamond Head Health Bar Hawaii Health Bar – close by Diamond Head. Best way to start a day is a Da Cove Bowl.

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Genki Sushi Locations :: Genki Sushi USA – inexpensive sushi close to Diamond Head. Good spot for quick strike sushi lunch.

Curry House Curry House CoCo Ichibanya – Honolulu, HI | Yelp – Japanese curry chain.

Big City Diner Big City Diner Hawaii | – breakfast.

Champa Thai Welcome To CHAMPA THAI RESTAURANT – some good Thai food fairly close to Waikiki.

Deb’s Soul Food Debs’ Ribs – Debs’s Got It All…and It’s All Soulicious!: Home Page – this is on the windward side, Kailua, right by where you can rent kayaks. Rumor has it this place may be closed.

Tiki’s Grill & Bar Tiki’s Grill & Bar: Best Restaurant in Waikiki Beach & Honolulu – good view and drinks for night life Waikiki with beach view.

Sorabol Welcome to Sorabol Hawaii !!! – Korean food. Open 24hours. Classic high school, college, late night food, but good anytime.

Shiro’s Saimin Shiro’s Saimin | Catering, Noodles, Saimin, and local Hawaiian food – famous saimin shop.

 

Treats

Leonard’s Bakery Leonard’s Bakery – Malasadas, Pao Doce, Malasada Puffs, Pao Doce Pups, and more… – classic malasada treats – must try.

Liliha Bakery Liliha Bakery: Home – cream puffs. A little out of the way but a local favorite.

 

Formal

Longhis http://longhis.com/ – nice place in Ala Moana with a nice view.

Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant – Sushi – Roy Yamaguchi – Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine – good formal not too expensive restaurant.

Alan Wong’s Hawaii Regional Cuisine | Alan Wong’s Restaurants – famous. Spendy. Delicious.

Sushi Sasabune  Sushi Sasabune-Yelp – Go with the Omakase.

 

Places To Go

North Shore

Matsumoto’s Shave Ice – popular famous shave ice place.

Dole Plantation – Dole ice cream, maze, fun stop on way to north shore.

Polynesian Cultural Center – Polynesian Cultural Center Official Site – areas representing Polynesian cultures, luau, night show. Fun and educational.

Shrimp Trucks – Giovanni’s. They are all good but they constantly battle on who is ‘the original’ shimp truck.

Pali Lookout – on the way. Windy. Hold on to your hat.

 

Windward side (Kailua)

Lanikai beach – nice quiet relaxing beach. This and Kailua beach always voted some of best beaches.

Kailua Beach – kayaking, windsurfing. Rent kayaks near beach and kayak over to the three islands.

Olomana hike – nice medium hike with great views of windward side.

Stairway to Heaven – long stairway hike. Used to be closed for repairs but open now.

Valley of the Temples (Byodo-In Temple – Valley of the Temples Memorial Park – Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii) – peaceful nice visit.

 

Town (Honolulu – Waikiki, Diamond Head, etc)

Zoo

Aquarium

Diamond Head hike

Waikiki Beach – rent surfboards right on beach.

Free Hula on Waikiki beach Tuesdays

Manoa Falls

The Palace

Ala Moana Beach Park – different beach picnics place etc

Kakaako park- different beach picnics place etc

International Market – in Waikiki. Fun lots of souvenirs. Haggling. etc. I like to actually buy at the swap meet but there’s fun stuff here too.

Bishop Museum

 

Other

Hanauma Bay – extinct filled-in volcano. Good snorkeling. Easy to get to. Lots of fish. Rent on the beach.

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Pearl Harbor

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet – GO to get souvenirs etc. This place is pretty awesome. Local artists too.

Sandy Beach – Sandy Beach – careful – warning – warning – go to watch people get dominated by crazy beach break. Enter at your own risk. Looks harmless but it will jack you up in the air, slam you down, drag you 30′ across the sand, rip off your shorts, then recede, leaving you shortless on the the beach 30′ from any water (I speak from experience). They call it the neck breaker for a reason.

 

Surf

Waikiki – canoes, queens – beginners. If you want to learn this is one of the best places in the world to learn. Nice breaks. Rentals right on beach.

Diamond head – no life guard only go if know what you are doing.

North shore – Waimea, pipeline, sunset, etc (go to watch big waves and competition – only in winter. A lot of times flat in summer) plenty of surf spots up here, but if you have to ask about them you probably want to stay south.

http://www.surf-oahu.com/map/

Surf News Network – local surf report (long story short Hawaii heights are different from mainland – basically 3′ Hawaiian = 6′ )

 

Pidgin

You don’t need to know any of this but it wont hurt to know a few words. The more local you go people will sometimes only use pidgin.

Ask someone directions they may say – mauka and makai. Choke traffic, puka, all pau, etc lots of daily words and phrases that people use.

How to speak Hawaiian

Hawaii Pidgin The Voice of Hawaii – YouTube

 

Tattoo

These guys were featured in a History Channel documentary and tattooed the Tongan royal family.

Soul Signature Tattoo – Home – they do traditional and modern.

Tapping at Soul Signature Tattoo Shop – Suluape Aisea

 

Pro Tip

Also not many people know about this but before you plan your vacation and spend a bunch of money check the Jellyfish forecast. They are very predictable, arrive around 10 days after a full moon, and are there for 3 or 4 days. When they are there you pretty much don’t want to go in the water since there is a blanket of them and it doesn’t feel good to get stung.

Hawaii Jellyfish Calendar

 

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Hawaii!

Guess what – we went to Hawaii! Yes it was 3 months ago, but hey – life is busy these days, and it takes time to sift through hundreds of photos. Especially when I only get 5 minutes at a time to myself! Both kids did great on the plane, and they handled a week long of unfamiliar environments and inconsistent scheduling better than we could have expected. We took Auntie Libby with us, and it made all the difference having an extra set of hands to help out. It was definitely not a restful trip, but it was a lot of fun and we had such a great time.

The first thing we did after arriving was go straight to the beach for a quick evening stroll. Luca got right into it, being chased up and down the sand by the waves, and Autumn dipped her toes into the ocean for the first time

After a long day of traveling and a yummy udon dinner, both kiddos immediately passed out in the hotel room for the night.

Luca and I woke up early the next morning since our internal clocks were still on West Coast time. So the two of us took a stroll through Waikiki. Of course we had to test out the sand again.

By then everyone else was up and ready for the day, so we gathered all of our gear and headed back to the beach for some fun in the waves.

 After a good cleanup, lunch and nap time, we headed out to Kaka’ako Park for the rest of the afternoon

And this is basically the same routine we followed each day for the rest of our trip. Beach in the morning, lunch, pass out in the hotel room, then out to a park or for a walk before dinner. What more could you want on vacation?

Here are some pictures of Luca and Auntie Libby frolicking at Ala Moana Beach Park

One of the non beach-related activities we did was to take a trip to Diamond Head Cemetery. As you may or may not know, Chris’ family has roots in Hawaii, and we found the grave sites of a couple of his relatives. The ironic thing is that Chris and I lived within walking distance of this cemetery when we lived in Hawaii!

Luca takes charge of the leis as we walk out to the graves

Luca and Autumn pay respects to their great great great grandparents

I’m not sure how much Autumn picked up on the significance of our visit to the cemetery, but she sure did learn a lot about the taste of a flower lei

Luca and Daddy share a nice snuggle at the end of the day

 Back to the beach for more fun in the sun!

Auntie enjoys her much-deserved iced coffee on the beach

Brother and sister wind down with a little movie time at the end of the day

Here we are at our old surf spot at Diamond Head beach

More beach time! Chris and Luca dedicated one morning to testing out the waves on their boards.

Family picture time!

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Bike Disaster

First the Bike

 

Then the Disaster

Besides biking, gargling, and making messes we’ve been having an awesome summer.  On the weekend I’ve been doing things around the house and yard, Kitty sews and does crafts in her craft room while Luca plays in his playroom or sits next to her and pages through one of his many books.  Swim class has been going better than ever.  Hopefully we’ll get some videos or pictures of Luca jumping and diving into the water. It makes me happy that it’s become something he enjoys so much. We’ve gone to several summer concerts and saw a local Hawaii band, a salsa group, and others.   We’ve also explored the Oregon Zoo and several parks on multiple occasions.  The Oregon Zoo is pretty awesome.  It has a lot of animals, a lot of open space for them, fun events, and many family activities.  We got a membership so we could go as often as we like to go for walks, ride the train, or make noises with the animals.  Today we rolled to the beach for lunch and fun at Seaside.  It was another adventure with some memorable moments to be shared in a future post.  Until then much love from our little Ohana.

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Hawaii Part 2

As Chris mentioned in the previous post, our trip to Hawaii was both fun and exhausting. Apparently this was true for Luca as well. Each day after playing in the waves, running in the sand, and chasing after the birds, he swiftly dropped off into dreamland in his little makeshift bed on the floor. Here are some of our favorite sleepy time moments:

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It’s been awhile since our last post, but we’ve been pretty busy.  We bought a house in Portland and will be moving the beginning of June.  We are all very excited to have a nice house so on the weekends I can listen to my Hawaiian music with the sounds of birds and fountain in the background, Kitty can garden outside and sew in her sewing room, and Luca can play on his play structure and well… hide in every cupboard, climb every stair, and crawl around roaring like a lion.

While we were doing all that and visiting with friends and family we took a little break and flew over to Hawaii.  It was our first trip with a more evolved Luca.  The trip was so much fun and yet somehow tiresome at the same time.  Luca enjoyed daily trips to the beach and parks and loved exploring anything outside.  He would quickly exclaim “THAT!!!” every time he saw a bird then make his chicken noise “bock bock bock”.  Along with the birds Luca saw actual chickens, whales, lots and lots of sea turtles, and made many gecko friends.

While at times the trip was relaxing, like sipping coffee with Kitty after sunset on the lanai listening to my local radio station, it was also quite an adventure.  I won father of the year several times including the time I excitedly lifted Luca into the air and right into a ceiling fan… “thump thump thump thump”.  Luca found sand, played in sand, and ate the sand.  I got a chance to go paddle boarding.  We ate  several of our favorite local plates, grilled some ahi, and had plenty of mangos, papayas, and pineapples.

I made the trip that much more exciting by getting food poisoning on our last day.  Yay outdoor salsa bar! I don’t know if you’ve flown on a plane with food poisoning, but after trying to explain that I wasn’t drunk, didn’t need medical assistance, and convinced them not to take the plane back to the gate and ditch me, I was approached by two nice flight attendants in gloves and masks 🙂  They asked me to wipe my hands down and wear a hepa filter mask for the duration of the flight.

So here we are back in pdx. With the nicer weather we’ve made some trips around Portland including a trip to the zoo.  Hopefully we will have some more posts soon.  With three weeks till we move in to our new house, we’re headed to Corvallis this weekend to visit family, and then we head to Illinois to a friends wedding.  Ok back to packing… A hui hou

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Walk

We have made a few adjustments since moving to Oregon. Probably the biggest change has been weather related. Coming from Hawaii and LA we could pretty much go out and do whatever we wanted when we wanted and just assume there would be good weather. This doesn’t really hold true during the winter months in Oregon. So today when there was a break in the rain we decided to head out for a walk.

Hey Luca you want to go for a walk?

yeah walk!!!

Hoodie... check... Chucks... check... lets roll

This way mom

Luca and Dad taking some time for some monkey business

Oh hello

The cat yields to Luca's mind control

Playing with his new friend

All pau time to go home

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Luca has been working on his aquatic skillz for awhile now.  He’s gotten more comfortable at the pool and now does all the dips, dives, and dunks.  We are taking a trip back to Hawaii in April where he can put all his water training to use and catch some waves with his dad.  Here are some pictures and a video of some of our recent trips to the pool.

 

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Kitty and I are enrolling Luca in swimming classes at DolFUN swim academy.   He’s always really enjoyed water and bath time and this will be the first step before he’s charging 20 footers on the north shore with Dad and Uncle Fry.

Luca was experiencing some engine trouble this afternoon.  He worked on it for awhile and finally threw up his arms and had to call Dad for roadside assistance.

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