Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Bird Man

At Kailua Beach Park, people are enjoying the last minutes of daylight before the sun sets and it’s time to get ready for the upcoming week. This has got to be one of the most laid-bak places on earth.

 

KailuaBeachPark

 

We see a man who has birds everywhere. Clearly, the birds know him, they are flocking to him. He has some kind of food for them, and they sit on his arms, they sit on his head, they love this guy!

BirdManKailuaBeach

 

The locals know him, and these little boys brought him a sick bird to take home to heal.

BirdmanGivenHurtBird

 

Back at home, the light dims and a full moon rises. Life doesn’t get any sweeter.

BeachMoon

 

Our flight back is late in the day. We spend the morning walking the beach, down to the Marine Base, past the Obama house, the waves are high and eating away at the beach. We pack, we drink more coffee. I’ve only shown you the fun day trips, but the meat of this trip, the finest part of this trip has been the conversations, the laughter, and the deepening of a life-long friendship.

FarewellKailua

 

I no longer have negative feelings about Hawaii. 🙂 We hit the local drugstore to pick up some great Kona coffee and bags of Japanese rice crackers in a million varieties, which we love. It’s been a great trip.

March 17, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Birds, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Relationships, Travel | , | 8 Comments

Buzz’s; a Kailua Classic

Our last night in Kailua, and we are on our way to Buzz’s, a Kailua institution, where the wait staff greet our friend by her first name and show her to a table.

BuzzExterior

 

BuzzSign

 

This is our table. It is right next to the President’s table. We are sitting where the Secret Service bodyguards probably sit when Presidents dine there.

BuzzOurTable

 

PresTable

 

 

 

PresPlaque

 

We speculate what would happen if the reality-star Republican were elected, would he sit at that table or buy the restaurant and tear the plaque down? It’s a glorious night, we drink our drinks, look at the menu and we all decide, after our huge ramen lunch, we are ready for Buzz’s famous salad bar. Buzz’s is also famous for fabulous steak and even better local fish, but we just aren’t hungry enough.

 

BuzzStar

 

 

SaladBar

It’s a grand night, we visit the beach, we take a drive and we head back home, where we have the best time of all.

March 17, 2016 Posted by | Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Restaurant, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Kailua Sunrise

I used to have a spectacular view of the sun rising over the Arabian Gulf every morning. It made getting up worth while, just to see that view, different every day.

My friend has the same experience in Kailua; the joy of the glorious sunrise, different every day, and every day glorious.

 

KailuaSunrise

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, sunrise series | , | 2 Comments

Kona Brewing Company: One of the Best Meals I have Ever Eaten

I’ve been doing reviews on Trip Advisor for ten years, starting with out trips into Zambia, and the Robin Pope Camps. From time to time, when I give a restaurant five stars, Trip Advisor asks me “Is this one of the best meals you have ever eaten?”

We’ve eaten some fine meals in our lives and travels, memorable meals, in Monterey/Carmel, in Germany and France, in the Middle East. Some stand out. Maybe only once or twice have I said “Yes” that this is one of the best meals I have ever eaten.

At the Kona Brewing Company, in a little marina on the back side of Diamond Head, I had one of the best meals I have ever eaten.

 

Brewery

 

It started with a ginger lemonade. Have I ever mentioned how much I love ginger beer? This was one of the strongest gingery drinks I have ever had, and it was magnificent.

GingerLemondade

 

My lunch was Shoyu Chicken, with spinach and carrots. The chicken was divine, with a teriyaki marinade and sauce. The spinach was equally wonderful, very garlicky. The rice was rice, but I was so far gone over the chicken and spinach that it just wouldn’t matter.

ShoyuChicken

 

My Kailua friend had a root beer.

Root Beer

 

With Shrimp Tacos

FishTacos

 

And a mango slaw, which she said was surprising and also, wonderful.

MangoSlaw

AdventureMan had fish tacos, which he thought very good.

ShrimpTacos

We left very happy people. It was one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten.

March 15, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Cold Drinks, Eating Out, Food, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Perfect Ending at Nuuanu Pali

We suddenly leave the noise and traffic of late afternoon Honolulu and head uphill on a narrow road, with trees creating a tunnel in places, and wild vines twining up into the trees to create walls of foliage.

“There’s something you have to see,” my friend tells us, and we head into this amazing canyon, sort of valley place, alternately dark with shadow and glowing with green light. “We hike up here all the time.”

She takes another tack, and we reach the top of a hill; she parks and we get out. It says we have to pay but she just laughs and says locals don’t have to pay. It’s late in the day and there is no problem finding a place to park, and the light is wonderful. There are more wild chickens, a strutting rooster, and lots of new chicks.

P1120016

This is the story of Nuuanu Pali, and the great king, Kamehameha, who united the Hawaiian Islanders. He had to fight, he had to do terrible things to accomplish his goal. This was his last fight, where he forced 400 battling warriors off a cliff to their deaths.

P1120025

And this is the view, late in the day with the sun behind us. Kailua, where we are staying in my friend’s beautiful happy place, is to our right, down on the coast.

NuuanuPali

 

I have never seen a “Beware of Bees” sign before.

P1120018

P1120017

March 15, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Character, Circle of Life and Death, Counter-terrorism, Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Pah Ke’s in Kaneohe; Really Good Chinese Food

I had asked my friend if we could eat “really good” Chinese food at some point while I was visiting, and she knew just the place.

My friend is a very laid back driver, but she is puzzled, she has never seen the parking lot so full before. It is so full we have to park across the busy street and walk across. The lot is full of small busses, and vans, and there isn’t a parking space to be had. Even all the illegal spaces are taken!

When we walk inside, we are filled with horror. There is an event going on at Pah Ke’s. Does this mean we won’t be able to eat there? There are about thirty very large tables, ten or twelve people at each table, eating some of the most delicious looking food I have ever seen. The waitress ushers us to a table over at the side; there are maybe three or four tables for people not in this large group.

“What’s going on?” we ask the waitress.

“Special celebration for this retired group; Chinese New Years,” the waitress replied.

The place was packed, many of the Chinese women in traditional bright red silk.

PakHeExterior

 

PakHeCrowd

“It doesn’t look like much,” my friend said, “but everyone who loves Chinese food eats here. We have to start with their special salad”

 

The food came quickly, in spite of the large crowd. We got to watch the crowd depart as we savored our own delicacies.

I had never heard of a special Chinese salad before, but this salad is special Chinese-in-Hawaii salad, with tropical fruits and a sweet dressing, and watermelon. It is fabulous.

PkHeSalad

 

Scallops and asparagus on a bed of spinach. Great!

PkHeScallop

Our very favorite: Szechuan Eggplant and pork

PakHeEggplant

Huge shrimp with walnuts

PakHeShrimp

We ate it all. We didn’t take home a drop. We ate at Pah Ke’s again, on our way to the airport the day we left, and it was just as good. What a treat.

This is where we spent the rest of the day . . . 🙂

P1110847

 

P1110852

March 14, 2016 Posted by | Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Friends & Friendship, Holiday, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Hawaii Daze; a Sentimental Journey

My friend has been urging us – for years – to visit her in her Hawaii home.

I’ve been to Hawaii before. I wasn’t excited about going back, but when our long and happy friendship hit the 50 year mark, I looked at AdventureMan and asked if he would like to go to Hawaii. He really wanted to go. I booked the flights, and booked a car. Talking with my friend, she told me to cancel the car, we wouldn’t need one. We could use hers if we weren’t going to all go together.

Arriving was such fun. My friend was there to greet us with traditional Hawaiian leis, and we drove from the airport to Kailua, where she lives, stopping here and there to learn the lay of the land.

 

Her house is beautiful. She calls it her “happy place” and she had a firm idea in mind when she had her home built. She wanted it in a local style, and she wanted it to be able to sleep a LOT of people. My friend is the soul of hospitality. There is a gathering wing, with the kitchen, living room and dining room, there is the entry and her private living quarters, and there is a a very large guest wing.

FoodlandPoke

 

She looks out over the Pacific to the north of the island, and the sound of the waves crashing on her beach provides a constant, lulling background.

KailuaBeachSunset

 

“What do you want to see in Hawaii?” she asked me as we were planning our trip.

“I want to see your life,” I replied. “I want to see where you go, what you do, where you shop for groceries. I want to see what makes you happy.”

So our first day there, she took us to the Kailua Farmers’ Market, and to several places she shops. I loved it.

 

FmrMkt2

This is the view behind the Farmers’ Market.

ViewFmFM

 

Beautiful flowers, beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables, and exotic fruits, apple bananas, ugly oranges (but they taste wonderful). We bought food for dinner that night.

KailuaFarmersMkt

 

FM3

In front of the Kailua Foodland, there were wild chickens, and she explained to us that chickens roamed wild everywhere. Once she pointed it out, we could see them, too.

WildChickens

 

“You won’t see this in Seattle,” my friend said, and showed me the Poke Bar in the Foodland. Poke is a fish native to Hawaii, and the locals love it fixed a hundred different ways.

Poke

 

They also had wonderful fresh vegetables.

FoodlandDeli

March 14, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Relationships, Travel | , | Leave a comment

Surfing the Big One

You can read this entire article on BBC News, where you can also watch a video of some of the spectacular runs

Hawaii holds rare surfing contest as 12m waves roll in

A rare surfing competition has been held in Hawaii as waves of 12m (40ft) pounded Oahu’s famous North Shore.

Thousands of people gathered on beaches and cliffs to watch the world’s greatest surfers tackle the waves.

It was only the eighth time in 25 years that the Eddie Aikau competition, named in honour of a celebrated Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard, was held.

The contest is only staged in the most extreme surf conditions and last took place in 2004.
‘Unbelievably dangerous’

Nine-times world champion Kelly Slater was the strongest starter, but first-time entrant Greg Long, 24, took a narrow lead over his older rival and won with a score of 323 to 313.

The victorious Californian – who took home a purse of $55,000 (£34,000) – said it was “a dream come true” to take part in the “biggest event of big waves in the world”.

Long said the camaraderie of the contest, known as the Eddie, “encapsulates everything that’s great about surfing”.

“It really is about the wave and celebrating the ocean. It’s what we do: go out there and ride big waves.”

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Events | , | Leave a comment