Wednesday, January 19, 2011

$10 for $22 of Food at Soul!

I don't know why I suggested it when I was full, but I told Beb that we should go to Soul at Waialae for dinner after our trip to Costco.

I think (I think? haha...) I wanted to go there because I wanted to use my Groupon.  A Groupon is the craziest, coolest, most awesomest idea ever!  Basically, Groupon has a deal with a business where they say that x number of people are going to shop/eat at your place.  If x or more number of people join in on the deal, then the business gives the people who joined a discount at the business.  Most of the deals that they have are 50% or more off the regular price. Everyday is a different business deal and you can choose what city you live in so that they can show you what businesses have deals there.  Check out their website for more information. A while back, I got a Groupon for $22 at Soul, which I only paid $10 for on the website. Now how awesome is that!

Here is information about the business hours. I know it's hard to read, but I copied it on my iphone too so here you go:
Tuesday - Thursday: 11am-9pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am-10pm
Sunday: brunch all day, 1030am-8pm
Monday: closed

I excitedly got a Groupon for Soul because my boss brought me and my co-worker here and it was soooo good. I know it's hard to read the menu, but I figured I'd take a pic so that you have some idea of what they have. They also a "specials" menu, desserts, and they have bunch now, which I just noticed.

That's the owner on the right in the green. I heard he first opened his restaurant on a lunch wagon in Downtown and expanded to this place in Waialae.  It's a pretty small place and the parking is horrendously small, but I can't help but come back. He's pretty friendly and he also serves you food when he's not on the computer. He changed my chicken twice when I noticed that it was bloody...

Beb and I got 6 pieces buttermilk chicken, cilantro coleslaw, and cornbread (to-go).  Everything oh-so-delicious  (not bloody at all!) except that I was still full from the hotdog so I couldn't finish more than one piece of chicken and half a piece of cornbread... *sigh*... Our total was about $28 and we just paid about $6.25 after using the Groupon!

I give Soul 4 for taste because I love the food even though I usually order the chicken, coleslaw, and cornbread (because it's that good!). I have tried the catfish and the jambalaya, which is good too but I'd rather stick to my favorites!  I give it 3 cherries for price because it is a bit pricey, but I give 4 cherries to Groupon for giving us almost a 50% discount on our meal. Lastly, I give Soul 3 cherries that I might come because this is the only place that I can think of that serves soul food on the island. And who'd have thought that cilantro and coleslaw will make a great side?! I know I'll be back for my fix of my favs...

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Crazy Cheap Grindz at Costco

I was soooo tired, and soooo hungry last Friday, but Beb wanted to go to Costco and buy some groceries (we really needed some toilet paper! lol!).  I wasn't sure what was for dinner so I told him to get me a hot dog at Costco since it was cheap anyways.
When I was little (just a little story for ya!), my mom got me a Costco hotdog to eat all by myself, but I was so stupidly hungry/greedy that I took a big bite and didn't chew it enough that when I swallowed, the hotdog got stuck in my throat.  I kept coughing and swallowing trying to get it down, but it didn't work. As I was doing this, I was trying to get the attention of my mom, but she was busy looking at the items to notice that I was choking on my hotdog.  So there I was, little ol' me, choking on my hotdog in the middle of the aisle and my mom pushing her cart and looking at the items.  Somehow... I don't really know how I did it... I swallowed it/forced it down my throat... I could feel the huge piece of hotdog moving down my esophagus until it finally reached my stomach, and then I ran to my mom... I don't remember what happened after that... but I considered that a near-death experience... lol...

Costco is not only great for samples but they also sell hotdogs, pizza, drinks, and ice cream for cheap outside their store (Sam's Club also does this but indoors), so you don't have to be a Costco member to buy their food.  They have several lines and it can be pretty long, but I didn't have to wait to long to get a 1/4 pound all beef hotdog with free drink for about $1.50.

They give you a cup for your drink so that you can whatever soda you like and refill it for however many times you like.  Be careful though because it's pretty sticky and wet from people who spill their drinks around the area. Right next to it is a counter for condiments such as ketchup, relish, mustard, and onions.

So for $1.50, I was pretty full and uberyly (and suprisingly) hyper inside Costco!  Maybe because my body realized that it was the weekend as well... hehe... 5 cherries fort he price, 4 cherries for taste (it was juicy, hot, yummy, and cheap! just the way I like my hotdogs!), and 4 cherries because I'll probably be back as often as I need toilet paper!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Late Night at Yanagi Sushi

So last Saturday was my mom's last dinner on Oahu (*tear tear*).  We had a late dinner because I finished church at 945pm and my sister took my mom to the movies while they waited for me to finish. We couldn't really decide where to bring my mom for her late last dinner (was tempted to bring her to Sansei for their 50% off appetizers but I was scared that she was going to sing since they had open karaoke night. lol!), but I remembered that we haven't gone to Yanagi's yet and they have the best ahi katsu!!!!

Here is the a pic of the menu which has most of the information you need if you want to go to Yanagi, which was way better than the pic I tried to get when I was outside (lol!).  Parking is horrible there, but they do have valet parking.  I didn't want to pay for parking so I drove around twice trying to find street parking on Kapiolani, until I found one (kind of!) right in front of the restaurant (I parked on the street right in front of the entrance to the valet, which I was glad people didn't hit my car or towed my car because I was kinda blocking the entrance a bit.. lol).


(D) Salmon Katsu/ Beef Teriyaki
(E) Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura/ Chicken Teriyaki
(F) Beef Teriyaki / Chicken Katsu
(G) Salmon Katsu / Chicken Teriyaki
(H) Broiled Salmon / Chicken Teriyaki
 (I) Nigiri Sushi / Zaru Soba
(K) Nigiri Sushi / Mini Udon
(L) Ahi Teriyaki / Chicken Katsu
(M) Deep Fried Ahi / Chicken Teriyaki
(N) Ahi Teriyaki / Deep Fried Shrimp

OK... IDK if this is legal or whatever, just tell me if it is... because I just copied this from their website (I was supposed to take a pic of the menu but they took from us right after we ordered!).  We love going to Yanagi's late a night because they have combination meals around $10 and it tastes so much better and has more portions than Sushi King (in my opinion! lol!).  I usually get letter M because I love their ahi katsu!

My sister ordered two orders of gyoza (which I didn't eat because I knew it probably had pork), which I though was ridiculous because $3.95 for FIVE PIECES! I could go to Don Quixote and buy a pack of 30 pieces or so for $7!  Oh well....

 My mom ordered the mini udon with the nigiri sushi (it had salmon which tasted funky, octopus, egg, ahi, and cucumber sushi) and my sister ordered the shrimp and veggie tempura with chicken teriyaki (it had an off color to it!).  I didn't have much of a chance to take pics of theirs because we were so hungry so you're lucky that I got a pic of mine! lol! So... I thought I was so smooth since I used to eat here often and I just gave them all of our letters only to find that I gave them the wrong letter for my food!  Instead of getting the ahi katsu and chicken teriyaki, I got letter L which was the ahi teriyaki and chicken katsu... mayn... I was disappointed... lol... even though my meal was pretty good, I was still disappointed...

My ratings: 3 cherries for price because the combo meals were reasonably priced but if you want to order beyond that menu, it's pretty pricey. I give it 3 cherries for my meal because it was ok, but I give it 2 cherries because my mom and sister's meals tasted and looked a little off... the portions were pretty good though and I still like it better than Sushi King (sorry to those Sushi King fans!)... I give it 2 cherries for customer service because they did take a long time to serve us.  We only got our tea when we were done and they never even gave us the sugar that we asked for... my mom's sushi came so late that we were almost done eating and my sister and I gave some of our food to our mom because her sushi took forever!  Also, they didn't refill our water until after we asked for our check... how sad....It wasn't as crowded as it was when I was last here, so I don't know why they were taking forever.  I do give them 3 cherries for the probability that I'm coming back... Their ahi katsu is the only thing that really draws me here, but I do like it when my friends attempt to down the fresh oyster shooter (with raw egg!) even though it's pretty pricy for $4; that's always fun!

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Cheap Lunch at Campus Center

I didn't get to bring lunch yesterday because I've been trying to sleep early (fail!) and wake up early (EPIC FAIL!) as a New Year's Resolution.  Since I was having lunch with J and S at Campus Center anyway, I thought I'd get something cheap (because I'm so broke, again!) for lunch just to tide me over since I was going to get the steak plate at Foodland for my dinner (I can't stop eating this! It's too good!). Though I am truly sorry that my pics totally suck for this blog post.  I wasn't paying enough attention to make sure it wasn't blurry because R was asking me why I was taking pics of my food and because I was uber hungry... :'(

I got a fish patty musubi and beef mandoo for $1.  I saw an email (which I trashed after I saw it so I'm going off of my memory) which said that there was a back-to-school sale for $1 mandoo and $0.25 fountain drinks, but because I couldn't find it quickly enough on my iphone, I had to go without a drink and drank my water when I got back at work (I just found the email in my trash and it said $0.25 fountain drinks with the purchase of a plate lunch; oh well... wouldn't have been able to get the drink anyway).  I usually get the fish musubi because it's one of the cheapest items at Campus Center (it's pretty expensive!), but, when I can, I would get the Spicy Garlic Chicken for about $6 because it's so spicy, sweet, and crispy!  I'll post up pics when I get it.

 My total came up to under $3 which I though was pretty good for a meal.  I'm glad that they had the mandoo on sale because I wouldn't have been full with just the musubi even though the musubi does have a lot of rice in it.  My ratings is 3 cherries for taste because it was ok and 4 cherries for price because that's a pretty good deal for lunch.  I do give Campus Center 4 cherries because I know I'll be back here to get food; I just can't avoid it even though I get tired of it.

NOTE: Don't get the baked salmon sushi triangle because it contains so little salmon!  Also, around 2 or 3pm, the sushi and bentos go on sale for 20% off or so, but I don't usually catch it in time because I'm lazy... tee-hee...

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Sea Life Park in the Battle of Facebook Vs. Foodland

So I told you guys about the amazing "like" button on Facebook and the listserv emails from your favorite companies, but here's another thing that I noticed:

I "like"d Sea Life Park on Facebook last night and I saw that they had a special on "General Admission Ticket for just $15 for kama'aina, that's 1/2 off retail price of $29.99! (Must show a valid Hawaii I.D., offer cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Offer ends January 10, 2011)."   
However, before I actually went to visit them on Facebook (and on their website), I was looking through Midweek to find my 2 for $8 Roselani ice cream at Foodland(lol! jk! just to find sales for groceries) and I found this instead:

4-pack (admission) tickets for $40 or $12 for adults.  I thought this Foodland one was a better deal because it mean it was $10 per ticket and ended in late Feburary!  See....?  Sometimes, you just gotta be on the lookout for things that you are not looking for (lol!) if that makes sense... So me, my friends, sister, and Beb will be heading out there to Waimanalo sometime soon... I wish I noticed this when my brother was here and we can't go when my mom is here because it's kind of too late... oh well... till next time...

Just for extra precaution though, I called Sea Life Park today to ask them what it meant by 4-pack tickets because I thought it would include the interactive stuff (like actually swimming with the dolphins), but it didn't.  It just included the shows, but it was still a pretty good deal.  Calling was a great idea because I also found out that parking is $5 flat rate (no validations) and I didn't have to book my tickets because we could just show up as long as we bring our Maika'i cards (or someone bring their Maika'i cards).  I'll post up a blog once I got there because I've never been there before (and I lived here for four years now! lol!).

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Eden in Love: "like" it!

I love Eden in Love. I forgot how I discovered it but I know it was once the Wedding Cafe, which then split into the Wedding Cafe (for wedding stuff only) and Eden in Love (the boutique).  Even though I'm a big girl and can't really fit into any of the clothes (I wish they had my size!!! gah!!), I've still had some great finds.  The only thing about Eden in Love is that the management goes to the mainland every so often to shop for clothes so the items that they sell (clothes, bags, accessories) are a bit limited in the quantity and expensive ($30-$70).  Also, most sale items are non-refundable or non-exchangeable so you better be sure that you want it,, but their sale rack are pretty good because they are usually about 40% off the regular price.  The good thing about Eden in Love is that they are very helpful.  When you try on clothes and they see that you are not sure how to use it or unsure if you should get it, they always hand you some accessory (good sale strategy for them! lol!) or do something to the clothes to show you have to wear it.  They are pretty amazing like that... lol...

Anyway, the reason why I'm blogging and the reason why you see me (I don't really want to reveal myself yet! lol because I do have some interesting comments about these places... hahahaha..) is because of what I wore this morning to work.  I planned to just wear this to work; however, at the last minute, I added a necklace and looked like this:

It made a big difference just adding that necklace (since I don't use any make up or anything) because Beb told me that I looked dressy today when all I added to this outfit was this one necklace.

And I know that I'm blabbing on and on about Eden in Love and about my fashion (or lack of it), but I got this necklace from Eden in Love when they had this contest thingy where if they get enough people to "like" their page on facebook, they are giving everyone who "like"d it a $20 coupon to use at Eden in Love!  So even though the necklace was ~$22, I ended up only paying $2 for it!  And it's a pretty necklace too!

So the moral of the story, kids, is: get on/get a facebook, start "like"-ing your favorite businesses because you never know what sales, specials, deals, contests, you will find (if you look closely at the pic, there's a sale on Rise Strapless Tops because of a poll so it went from $24 to $12).

P.S. It's also great to be on their email list because that's another good way to find out about sales and stuff, especially for big companies (not just in Hawai'i) like Old Navy and Macy's.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Max's of Manila

Yes!  Last late blog!!!  It's like Koko Head Trail!  I'm never doing that again!  lol! But I probably will... :(


So for my brother's last meal in Oahu last Sunday, we (my brother, sister, mom, Beb, and I) went to Max's for a late lunch before we went home so he can pack to leave that night.  We went to the one that opened a couple of months ago right by Costco on Dillingham.

Stupid iphone... can't take rotate the pics when I take them... sorry.. So me and my mom order the fried chicken (whole), which is in the pic above.  My mom said in Filipino something like "kawawa naman ang manok" (so sad/pitiful the chicken) because it looked so little for $13!  I wasn't even sure it was going to feed all of us!

My sister ordered this sort of mahi-mahi sinigang (Filipino sour soup) with miso.  It was pretty good: sour, hot, and fufilling! It had pieces of mahi-mahi, ginger, green pepper, radish, some leaves, onions, and tomatoes and it was ~$14 for a regular size, which is pictured above.

My brother ordered pork adobo (~$8) and I thought it looked so little!!! My mom could've cooked this and would've made more for $8!  I didn't try it because I don't eat pork, but my mom and Alvin said that it didn't taste like pork adobo.  It's like they just cooked the pork and mixed it in Mang Tomas sauce (a Filipino dipping sauce for fried pork, but I'm not really sure what's in it...).

We also got a large order of rice ($3 for 5 scoops) but we had to get another large order because we were still hungry but we still had a scoop leftover.

I really thought that Max's was going to be pretty good when we came here since the last few times I came here in the past year, they had pretty good portions.  When we came here last Sunday, it really looked like they skimped out on us and I should know since I've been coming a lot since they opened in town.  Surprisingly, we were all full and even had a few leftovers that we tried to finish even though we were full.

So I give Max's 2 cherries for it's price even though parking is free because even when they did have bigger portions, it was still pricey for Filipino food. I mean $13 just for a whole fried chicken when you can get rotisserie chicken nearby at Costco for $5!  But I guess they really make money out of the fact that the food really tastes like it does in the Philippines.  I also give them 2 cherries for their customer service because even though there were few customers, they were uber slow at getting our order, getting our food, and getting our drinks.  It's like that a lot and they're not that friendly.  During our meal here when we wanted to order extra rice, I was looking for the waiter and he was busy chitchatting with the cook at a booth nearby and we had to wave at him a couple of times to get his attention.  But I'll probably be back again when I look for a taste of the Philippines even though it hurts my wallet, so I give them 3 cherries for this.  Hey, it IS cheaper than going to Philippines to get my dose of Filipino food... lol...

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 Great deal, for me at least: $0.25 coffee or $0.10 tea at work. I just bring my own mug so to reduce the use of plastic cups and I bring the huge Jamba Juice cup thingy from a friend of mine to for cold water from the water fountain nearby. No need to go to Corner Market Cafe at Campus Center for some $2-3 cup of coffee (which often has a long line especially on rainy days), I can just it at work... and I don't drink much coffee or tea by the way because it gives me headaches and stomach aches, and makes me use the bathroom a lot.  (Maybe this was the reason why I have a tummy ache? lol... not from blogging about the Koko Head Trail.. or maybe both.. haha!)

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I Hate You Koko Head!!!

So, I don't know how this happened, but beb convinced my brother, sister, and mom to climb Koko Head on New Year's Eve. I decided to join them because I didn't want to be a chicken and I could use the workout.  Beb woke us up around 7am (which made me uber grouchy), we went to WalMart to buy my mom $13 pair of shoes because she didn't have any (my brother had those Five Finger shoes, so ugly but he likes it), and then we got there around 8am to hike. 

This is the view when we first started the hike.  My brother and sister who are pretty fit being that they are in the Army are all up there somewhere with Beb who is pretty fit as well.  Me and my mom were all the way down here (I'm so not fit so I took forever to climb this stupid rock and my mom just stayed with me the whole time).

This is the view I took while taking one of my many breaks.  It looks like we went far but we weren't even halfway.  I think this was about the point that I thought "I'm not even halfway so I should give up now while I still have the chance"... Just writing about Koko Head gives me a tummy ache right now thinking about how much it SUCKED to climb it... My mom, on the other hand, wasn't breathing hard, drinking, or even breaking a sweat.  In fact, every time someone passes by, she says "Happy New Year!" to them...

Still not halfway through... I was probably sitting down here drinking my gatorade and trying to to figure out if I should quit already... My mom wasn't even breaking a sweat here, so she carried my bag, her large bag, and me... kind of.. lol... I held her hand most of the trip up and down for support... we were getting pretty close to the "bridge" where the dirt and rocks disappeared to make a hole... if you don't want to climb the bridge like me, there's a path on the side, which is still a bit dangerous...

This show-off was carrying about a 5 gallon thingy of water up the trail while I was puking a little on the side... There was also a lady who carried her baby in that front baby carrier thingy which I thought was a little dangerous, but I kept telling that baby that "you're lucky that your mom can carry you up here coz my mom can't", and the mom said "oh she'll be climbing this with me when she grows up"... Hate you... lol... Man that trail really tested me.. lol... but my mom kept pushing me, passing my gatorade and towel, telling me stories, and holding my hand...

This is the view of Haunama Bay from the top when I finally made it... I couldn't take pics during the actual vertical part of the trail because I had to stop every 10 steps or so because it hurt too much, and I did a couple of exorcist-like pukes of Gatorade and breakfast during that time.  My brother came down to find us because I guess he was impatient at the top that he tried to pull me up to get me to finish faster, but he pulled me up too fast that it made me do those pukes (I hate fit people... lol...).  Then Beb and my sister came and tried to help too, but I could only help myself. I got up there eventually though and I was so glad it was over...

This is one of the many beautiful views from the top... There were no railings so my mom kept saying that some of the people there should tie themselves down or they might just fly away... There were these two girls who looked like they were only 10 years old who looked like they could fly away if the wind was strong enough and they were brave enough to stand on top of that shaky roof for pics, unlike me... My friends from church went up there a couple of months ago and graffiti-ed some walls with their names, so I only remembered to bring a sharpie or something when I was already up there.  Luckily, my mom had one in her mysterious bag of hers and I wrote our names and the date we came...

This is the view of Hawaii Kai from the top. Going down wasn't as bad but it took us a while because the dirt was slippery and we were tired... My mom held my hand the entire time going down and we had to stop a lot going down too because I had the craziest runny nose, but good thing my mom had her large bag because I needed a lot of tissue!  Halfway through our trip back, my sister called me and said that they (my sister, brother, and Beb) were going to the store and buy drinks... Ai ai ai... those fit people... eventually, we got back down and my legs were like jello, it was uber weird...

So today is one of the first days that I feel like normal because, for the last couple of days, my muscles were soooo sore... it was crazy.. So for some notes:

LOCATION: Hawaii Kai near Koko Head Marina Shopping Center
COST: Free admission
DURATION: 1-3 hours depending on how slow/fast you are... I saw someone did it twice! WTH!
FOOD: None. Bring your own 5 gallon water bottle... lol...
BATHROOMS: There's one in the park right before you begin the trail... It's best to use it right before you start like I did because, if you're like me, you're going to take a while to do this hike...
PARKING: parking is free, but to find the trail, you would just need to follow the people who look like they're going hiking because it's past the baseball field in the bushes.
RATINGS:1 cherry for me because I really hated the hike... I almost blacked out and it really tested me... but I guess most people who've completed it will give it 5 cherries because it is a great accomplishment... 5 cherries for it's entertainment value and it's price (free all the way), but -10 cherries for the probability that I'll ever return.. lol.. I still have a stomach ache just thinking about it...
NOTE: Beb is right that we have to go early before dark (even though I hated waking up early) because it gets pretty hot when the sun comes out (the sun comes out from that side of the island, that's why), so be prepared for it by bringing water, a towel, a hat, and wearing some sunblock. Bring a camera for pictures and bring a sharpie or a marker if you want to leave your mark (although I'm not sure if it's legal.. lol..). Stretch/do some warm-ups before you go and wear proper shoes.

Safeway Finds

Man... my hands starting cramping from all that blogging yesterday... next time, I'm not going to let all of those stories pile up coz it's not fun and I become less witty and more boring after each blog.. lol... 
Anyway, last Monday (another late blog! lol!), my mom told me to buy some eggs and sweet chili sauce because we didn't have any at home (it's great to have my mom here since she's always cooking for me... it's a great break for me...*sigh* almost time to go back to cooking on my own, but at least I'll post up recipes soon...).  So, I decided to go Safeway on Kapahulu since I needed to go to the bank and the First Hawaiian Bank kiosk thingy closes at 7pm (I hate it when banks close at 4 or 430pm because that's when I get off!).

After some banking, I looked through their newsletter/sales/specials newspaper thingy (what is that called again?) to see what coupons they had and what was on sale.. I was going to use the coupon for $2.49 for eggs but then I read the fine print and I would have to buy $10 worth of stuff using the other coupons... I hate that clause in their coupons sometimes... makes me buy stuff I already have and don't need just to meet their $10 minimum...

Anyways... I went to the eggs and I found that they were on sale even more because it was "buy 1 get one free" with each dozen selling $3! I thought that was a better deal than the coupon I saw since it meant each dozen would be $1.50n after the sale!  Yes!  Then I went to look for the sweet chili sauce that my mom wanted and I knew it was going to be a bit expensive at Safeway (because Safeway is pretty expensive actually), but I decided to get it anyway because I was lazy to go to someplace cheaper like Daiei (where you can get a huge bottle for about $2.50). I then saw that they were on sale for $1.99, which was pretty good (or maybe I was delusional at the moment and thought it was a good deal... hm..)...

So the lesson to this story is: take a look at what they have on sale in their newspaper/sales/specials thingy when you go to a store because you never know what you'll find. I always look in Midweek for the Foodland specials to find the 2 for $8 sale on Rosalani ice cream (which is the best local ice cream, lol!), which they haven't had in a while... :'(... so help me out and let me know if you see the ad for that!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Munchies and Fun at North Shore

Mayn... catch up blogs are tiring... but I know I will be very happy once this is all done... between work, church, home, FarmVille, CityVille, and my blog, I am not getting much sleep... bwahaha... I know... so stupid, brah....

So last Thursday, we went to North Shore for some snokeling, sightseeing, food, and fun despite the rain.  We swam at Shark's Cove (very interesting! I would've had pics if there wasn't rain and I hadn't slipped so much from the mud and rocks... it was pretty dangerous... but enjoyable nontheless) and decided to grab some grinds at one of the many shrimp trucks at North Shore.  This one was Famous Kahuku Shrimp, one recommended  by my sister (I wanted to go to the one by Sunset Beach or Giovanni's but it was too crowded for my family who hates lines... sucks... I'd line up for anything good... lol).

This place was right by the First Hawaiian Bank and the only gas station that I saw in North Shore; it was also right by Giovanni's, so when we saw the line there, we went here. It was after the large wind turbines that we saw, which we never knew Oahu had. It was very pretty, but also made me happy that Hawai'i was being more sustainable this way... Whoever did this, I vote for you (maybe...)! You can spot the gray truck from the road by looking for the purple benches.

This is there menu.. I forgot if drinks were separate... I think it was... and this includes tax, I believe... I'm not sure because I didn't pay... bwahaha... sorry...

My brother got the steak plate because he's allergic to shrimp now (my sister was allergic to shrimp and now she's not; how interesting).  Beb got the shrimp plate because I wasn't sure what he wanted so that's what I ordered for him... lol... My mom, sister, and I got the steak and shrimp plate for some variety... This is my plate above... so junk my plate because I only got one scoop of rice and everyone else got two scoops.. You trying to tell me to go on a diet? lol.... The shrimp was fresh, buttery, and garlicky and I liked how they poured the garlic butter sauce on the rice.  The mac salad was ok, but Beb didn't like it at all.  The steak wasn't tender, it was a bit tough for medium well... so it was an ok meal... but I was hoping for something better... 3 for taste but 2 for price because that's expensive man! I know it's fresh but dang...
On our way back to go to Waimea after lunch at the shrimp truck, we stopped by these fruit stands to get some fruit and corn!  There was a lot of people and a lot of the vendors were Filipino. I know because they were selling turon (banana lumpia) to the tourists... haha... and also because they spoke to me in Filipino... lol...

Look at the huge coconuts that I found there!  I should've checked how much it cost!  I rarely see any coconuts or coconut trees in Oahu even though we live on an island and that's weird being that we live on an island... there are a lot of palm trees by no coconut trees... maybe I'm just so used to seeing coconut trees since I came from Saipan.

This nice Filipino lady had cut-up cold fresh fruit for sale... We got the papaya and it was perfect for a hot day on the beach... even though it made me sticky...

They had a lot of fresh fruit, but I wasn't too sure if it was all grown here since I saw a lot of Dole Cannery boxes... hmm... could be from California too... lol... IDK... don't quote me on this...

 My mom got us all sweet Kahuku corn, but only she ate them.. lol... so sad... nobody wanted them... and I wasn't craving them that day then I forgot all about them... looked good though...
Our first (we stopped here first to check the waves and the weather, but it didn't look too good so I decided that we should go to Shark's Cove first while we had some sun) and last stop at North Shore was Waimea Bay (I wanted to see people surf at Sunset Beach and to watch the Sunset but we had to go... boo.. one day is not enough to spend at North Shore!).  Because I was so tired from falling and sliding at Shark's Cove, because of my kanack attack, and because I had some motion sickness meds (I need it even to go swimming, sucks now!), I decided not to go jump off the cliff at  Waimea Bay... Also, I was a chicken and I'll admit it... So I just lounged on the (cold!) beach, took pics of my brother, sister, and Beb preparing (for what seemed a long time) to and actually jumping off the cliff... then I knocked out... What a day... My poor new car is so dirty...
The sun was out and the waves were pretty big when we came back the second time (6 footers) that I have a pic of my sister running away from it... waves can get pretty tiring...

 And I just had to get a pic of this guy with his spam board shorts... haha... so cute... the pants... not the butt or anything like that... haha... so just a great day well spent at North Shore!

North Shore Ratings: 5 for price since it was free and we just had to use up MY gas, which is great this time around because my new car is gas efficient but still not that great since I still have to clean up the sand and dirt from that day! sucks! However, I do give the beaches a 1 for parking because parking totally sucked, especially Waimea Bay... We drove around a couple of times to find parking; we even followed people to see if they were leaving... but I guess it's good that North Shore is not that developed for the benefit of the locals there and for the environment... but those rocks and mud at Shark's Cove were nasty... dang... Lastly, I give North Shore a 5 for entertainment value because it was and is so much fun for everyone (family, friends, pets, etc.) and a 5  for the probability that I'll be back again soon... I can't wait to see another turtle at Sunset Beach, but that's another story...

Get Me Some Curry at Curry House

We were hungry one night and we couldn't figure out where to eat dinner, so somehow we ended up at Curry House.  It seemed like a great idea, but when we tried to go to the McCully restaurant, parking sucked!  There wasn't any parking under the building and it was hard to find parking out front... They don't charge for parking, which is great, but between the one way roads and few parking stalls, I'd only go to McCully Shopping Center when I really need to... not for fun...

My mom and I shared the kalbi and fried chicken curry plate (~$8). My sister kept asking if we wanted to order more food or another plate because she knows I eat a lot, but I KNOW that I can't finish curry from curry house... IDK why... maybe because I'm still recovering from my curry overload during my college days (I ate at Curry House so much that my body got sick of it, so I had to stop eating curry for about a year or so... I'm still recovering... haha). Anyways, it was just right for me and my mom... we were just full enough... and my mom wasn't a fan of curry so I just gave her rice and the meats and had the lady give me my curry in a bowl which I poured into what is my plate above... It was yummy (my body was ok with it), but my mom said the fried chicken had no flavor (I didn't notice since mine was soaked in mild hot curry).  The kalibi was also not what I expected because it was almost like teriyaki beef: thin, tender, and a bit sweet.

My sister loves Curry House (hopefully she doesn't become like I was!). She got a mabo tofu with gyoza curry plate, which was ~$8 and she finished it!

My brother got a fried chicken and gyoza curry plate (~$8), and he almost couldn't finish it and he ate a lot.

What's funny is that when  my mom was asking the lady for some Tabasco,the lady told her to go upstairs to room 202. My mom was confused, but I think the lady thought she was asking where the bathroom was! lol!  My mom is still a bit FOB 'das why! lol... She still didn't get her Tabasco because they didn't have any, so I told her to keep on in her bag since she consumes a lot of it!

Anyways, my ratings are 3 cherries for price and taste because the food was ok and so was the price... Ehhh... The service also got 3 cherries because it was ok... it wasn't bad or anything but there wasn't really anything that stood out to make me want to come back... And I wouldn't really go back there again (2 cherries) until my body recovers from my Curry House overload...

Visiting Kaneohe? Go see the Valley of the Temples

I don't really know why I wanted to go visit the Byodo-In Temple at the Valley of the Temples... I know it's a cemetery and all, but when I saw pics from friends who visited the place, it reminded of Japan and I miss Japan... :'( So I decided to bring my mom and brother here last Wednesday since we were driving around Waimanalo anyways and heading back to Honolulu via Kaneohe...

The temple is located in Kaneohe right in front of a McDonald's and Times SuperMarket, I think... It's located on Kehekili Highway and it even has it's own website (lol! I had to go check what street it's on)!  The admission fees are: $3.00 per adult, $2.00 senior citizen, $1.00 child and they only accept cash... According to their website, they are open 9:00am - 5:00pm daily.  You don't have to pay for parking and there's a security guard house right when you enter the valley to ask for directions.  He was very kind to us when I first entered...

It's a very beautiful place, and we had to force my brother to come! lol!  There was a LOT of Koi fish and they were huge!  My mom really enjoyed them and I think Beb would've liked to see them too if he didn't have work...

I don't know where the kids got the food to feed the koi though... Maybe from that gift shop back there in this pic, which I didn't get to visit because it was choke full of people... We tried to scare my mom by pretending to push her in, but I was scared that they'd eat her because there was really a lot of koi!

Again, it's very peaceful here... I didn't get to read that piece of paper that they gave us when we paid for admission about the history of the temple and stuff (I know, I suck..) so I can't really give you details about the temple, except that it's very pretty...

Inside the temple, there is a huge Buddha where people can pray and light incense.  You would have to be quiet and take your shoes off before you can go to the Buddha (I don't know if you can touch it though because I stayed outside; not my religion that's why!).

This is where all of the gong-ing noises come from when you first enter... you think there's going to be some kind of ceremony, but people just come up, pull the rope, and the large stick bangs into the bell... very soothing to me... my mom just pulled it and ran away, and it made a loud noise... haha... we're supposed to be quiet and calm!

 It's not as big of a place as I thought it would be, so I thought charging $3 was a bit much, but it said in the admission booth that if you wana take pics, you have to pay for admission. So can I enter for free without taking pics? I should've asked! lol!

Some interesting facts about the temple (after reading the website since I lost the paper. lol!) that I learned:.

-They have an ash garden or scattering garden for cremated remains... uh... ew...? kinda creepy...
-You can have weddings here! very interesting but, again, kinda creepy... if you remember that it's in a cemetery. Otherwise, it's a great place to have a wedding!
-Bon-sho (sacred bell) " is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha. Ringing the bell will purify the mind of evil spirits and temptation. It is said that ringing this bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life. It is customarily rung before entering the temple." Oops... does that mean my mom will have bad luck? I hope not... I didn't ring it so I should be safe? I dunno.. lol...
-They have peacocks on the grounds... What???!! I didn't see! So sad... but the website also says that koi can grow to be 100 years old! Wow! Just like turtles... how amazing is that! I wonder why koi aren't featured as talking characters in anime or manga when they're just so amazing... 
-Ah-ha!  The tea house gift shop IS the place where to buy food for the koi... but it doesn't say how much it costs...
Anyways, there are actually a couple of churches/temples/religious places in that area if you actually go around the valley, but the Byodo-In Temple was the one thing I really wanted to see... I also noticed a pet cemetery on the way out of the valley... scary but interesting... so my ratings are 3 for price and entertainment value... it was a beautiful place, but I have a little ADD (lol!) so there wasn't much for me to do/see... I think a lot of people would really like it and find it soothing (if only it can calm me down!)... But the likelihood that I'm coming back is probably a 1 because I'll only come back when  I'm playing tour guide again...