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It was Autumn’s dinner theater.  This year’s theme was Country Fair Jamboree!  She has been practicing for so long and knew all her songs and dance moves.  It was pretty amazing to see her perform.

Our entire family was ready and won the blue ribbon for best dressed!

Autumn had a special singing and dance solo, the barnyard boogie, that we’ll post later once we get the video.

There was an auction for the special painting project her class made.

I put Luca in charge of the bidding paddle soooOoo we came home with it

and a giant balloon cow.

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Someone woke up last night… well I’ll let her explain.

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The kids had a great time at Auntie Libby and Uncle Andy’s wedding eating, dancing, seeing their friends, dancing, coloring, and some more dancing!

We got to see a lot of our friends too and it was a great time!  Pizza, Chicken, Guacamole, Noodles, Fruit, and 30 hundred million pies… um yes … YES… and YES!!!

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Candy Apple

Last week I had to spend some extra time with Luca in the morning.  He was very reluctant to go to preschool.  I had to talk to him for awhile and finally he whispered to me he was worried he was going to have to eat a candy apple at school.  “Oh buddy,” I said, “do you want me to talk to your teacher about it?” He said yes, that he didn’t want to eat the yucky apple.

I understand where he’s coming from.  As a kid I also never understood candy apples.  I thought they were weird and gross until I had one for the first time at Disneyland when I was 26.  Carmel, fine. Apple, fine.  But together!?!?

So a few days pass, and at last night’s Harvest Hoedown they took home candy apples.

Today this is what I saw upon arriving home from work

Apparently he’s ok with candy apples now.

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Seaweed Chomp

Autumn’s difinitive guide to seaweed chomping

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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.




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.



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 – 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.


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

Ono’s – 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 – 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.


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.



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.



Longhis – 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)



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



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


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.



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.

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



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



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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Kitty had a play date this morning so Luca and I headed out for some New Year’s Day breakfast and fun.

I told him he could order anything he wanted…

After he finished the waffle it was time to ease into a warm cup of hot chocolate before heading to the park

We always have a good time at the park

A few pull ups to work the lats

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