Goodbye 2014! Hello 2015!

I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone whose read, liked, or even pressed the follow button (There’s 17 of you!). I’m not sure what kind of expectations I held for starting this blog considering I look at many of yours and other bloggers pages and see how amazingly laid out they are and organized. That’s going to be a long process for me to figure out! It’s been almost a month since posting my first blog and have enjoyed every minute of it. It sounds cliche but now that I’ve started I can’t seem to stop. So coming into the new year I’m definitely going to make posting on my blog a priority. I won’t say new years resolutions because those are always set up for failure in my experience. Now that I’m thinking about it, I would like to document here what I’d like to see happen for myself this coming year.

  1. Blog: Continue posting weekly posts on whatever subject strikes my mood
  2. Job: Find that job that will have me finding a better sense of direction for my career path
  3. School: Try not to let the professors disinterest me in my studies
  4. Sports: Run 5-10K comfortably
  5. Travel: It’s been ages since I’ve gone camping, so I’d like to attempt a camping trip to Tofino on the west side of Vancouver Island.

That should be enough

I hope all the WordPress community has had a great 2014 and soon to be better 2015!

CHEERS!!
CHEERS!!

Rise and Shine: Olomana trail

I’ll start off right away with saying if you’r new to the hiking scene or even just wary of heights, I’d recommend taking other hikes just a few notches below this one (like Maunawili Falls).

The Olomana trail is more on the eastside of the island, about a 10-15 minute drive from Kaneohe area. I’ve unfortunately never taken the bus to this trail so I can’t say much on how direct a bus will get you to the trail, however; Hawaii’s transit system is one of the best you can experience so it’s not impossible to get there, just time consuming.

You’ll recognize it from the distance because the whole trail consists of 3 peaks in total. This hike will take up a few hours of your day, if you only go to the first peak. That’s what I did. I’m terrified of heights, but can manage as long as I know that there should be no reason to fear. As I was approaching the summit of the first peak the path narrows and becomes completely rock at the top (there’s rope for some security), so in some sense your walking/scaling the peak. The view is unfucking believable! You see pretty much all of Kaneohe-Kailua Bay area, the military base, the scattered islands (i.e. coconut island), and geographically is stunning to see pretty much the creation of the island to how is it today and it kind of clues you in better to Oahu’s weather if you weren’t sure before.

Let’s return to the bottom of the trail though and work our way up. The lane you walk/drive down to the beginning of this trail does feel a bit “private property” because of the golf course nearby, but as long as you’re parked off the side of the road there won’t be any problems.

entrance to trail
entrance to trail

The trek begins easy enough feeling similar to a walk through a forest area. There’s even a point where pine needle like trees have a whole area covered. Feels almost like a scene out of Lord of the Rings when its just Frodo, Sam, and Gollum. Picture doesn’t serve my memory justice. hahaha

Best tip for this hike is finding your right pace and sticking to it. Initially this hike will seem novice and not too difficult to speed along but it does become challenging and fatigue will set in. If you set out a pace and maintain that throughout the hike, it will be more relaxing and enjoyable when not having to stop constantly to catch ones breath.

Hawaii's kind of Pine Forest
Hawaii’s kind of Pine Forest

Another part of the trail becomes an open area of packed red dirt. My assumption would be because of the high iron content from extinct volcanic activity. You can tell this area would be annoying to hike after some generous rainfall because it would be a slippery mess. lol (are lol okay to use in blogs?)

Look at all the red dirt!

These next parts get harder. By that I mean… climbing.

Start climbing
Start climbing

and more climbing…

Be careful!

and then….

Thanks for demonstrating Kathy*
Thanks for demonstrating Kathy*

At this point you might want to take a break. Pack a lunch that’s easily portable and re-energize, cause you’ve earned it! I’ll admit the trail will remain pretty narrow (single lane traffic), but the occasional nook appears that you can sit and take a break.

Relax, your only hundreds of feet above sea level. hahaha
Relax, your only hundreds of feet above sea level.

Look around! check out the views! it’s crazy inspiring.

best views
best views
The next two peaks
The next two peaks
close up of #3
close up of #3

Now this next picture is essentially what the “Summit” of the 1st peak looks like, and it terrified me. That may have been from being completely exhausted at this point and not giving myself sufficient recovery time because the minute I saw this I was like “DONE!”

summit of peak #1
summit of peak #1

 You’ll feel so pleased with yourself afterwards; all that physical stamina for the experience will be worth it. I will express severe caution now and this is because of what happened the day I went. It was Easter Weekend, and there were a fair amount of groups doing the trek, and we didn’t find out until we were walking back to our vehicle that we saw the News trucks parked. Three people had fallen off the trail! I can’t remember if it was more than 1 that ended in fatality. It was a very somber moment, and crazy to think these people were on the hike as well (they all passed the 1st peak though before they fell). Rescue helicopters were scouring the areas around peaks #2 and #3. I know one was with a group and they didn’t even notice the person’s disappearance right away, and that was already after this group pulled a different member from a fall of his/her own. I don’t mean to scare, just express caution. If your not sure-footed or a bit of a klutz just recognized your limit.

Hike time to 1st peak: 1.5hr-2hr depending on personal fitness and pace level.

Rise and Shine: Koko Head

Ready for another hike? Something a little more challenging? Let’ Go!

Koko head, an extinct volcano, with just over 1000 steps composed from a decommissioned railway previously used for military purposes of carrying supplies to the bunkers that are on top that were used as lookout points.  It’s a progressive incline, so essentially when you begin to feel tired it gets harder. Now I don’t think that should dishearten anyone from attempting the hike, just be mentally prepared for the last 200 steps (which in the grand scheme isn’t a whole lot). At around the midway point the ground slops into a ditch, but the railway track continues straight upwards. It’s a minor balancing act that’s easily done or to the right (left coming down)there is an earth beaten path for about 20 meters if you’re like me  and get paranoid of slipping between the railway ties. Once you reach the top your welcomed to a 360 degree view of the south end of Oahu.

#1 Tip: Go early

Because the sun rises in the east the assent to the top will be shaded as the rail tracks are facing more westerly. The relief will be welcomed. Once your on top the sun will be there for you. Feels almost close to some sort of welcoming of Ra (one of ancient Egypt’s deities).

koko head

#2 Tip: Bring a SackPack

Any type of bag, I only suggest the SackPack because it’s light and the least fussy carrier I’ve ever taken on hikes. Plus it should be big enough to carry everything you need; water, camera/phone, essential personal belongings (keys, & cards), and sun protection.

me pretending to be a photographer
me pretending to be a photographer

#3 Tip: Wear athletic clothing

This may sound like common sense, but you’ll be surprised at how many people will insist on wearing jeans, dresses, sandals, etc. Clothing that’s heavy or footwear that leaves the feet aching soon into their hikes. Let’s be practical.

Coast going up towards honolulu
Coast going up towards honolulu

#4 Tip (optional): Bring a sharpie

I only say this because the bunkers at the top already have lots of graffiti signatures  from other hikers making their mark to commemorate their hike to the top. Mines there somewhere, but not visible anymore since I used a pen (it was all I had on me).

Last Step
Last Step
Pretending I'm about to fall into koko crater.
Pretending I’m about to fall into koko crater.
Going Up
Going Up!

BUS RIDERS: You can get to Koko head via the bus. If your coming from Honolulu you’ll either be on the #1 or #1L bus. You’ll want to get off at the announced stop Lunalilo Home Rd + Anapalau St. The next stop is father away from the road you’ll need to turn into than this one, even if it doesn’t look like it. I know, I’ve done it. Once your off the bus its about 10 minute walk to Koko Head, look at it as your warm up and loosening your limbs and joints. Enjoy!

Hike time: going up- 30-60mins (depends on how active your feeling 🙂 )

Wet Your Whistle: Kona Brewing Company

Remember how I said I would tell you about some more spot along the southeast coast going towards Makapu’u? (Blog: Rise and Shine: Makapu’u) Well this place might distract you from hiking, but don’t let it! Wait. Wait till later in the afternoon, go for happy hour even.

Love Beer? Love Pizza? Love eating on a Marina? Love getting a beautiful sun over the ocean view? If you said yes to anyone of these than Kona Brewing Company will make you very happy and content. Located between Honolulu and Makapu’u in Hawaii Kai in the Koko Marine Center. (sorry that sounded like a contrived info commercial lol)

Entrance to restaurant is kind of in a corner
Entrance to restaurant is kind of in a corner
backside view of restaurant
backside view of restaurant

So a brief history; Started up in the early ’90s by a father and son team on the big island Hawai’i (yes: the state of Hawaii has an island called Hawaii, its fun!). They wanted to introduce a locally based brewery to reflect their image and love of Hawaii. And fun fact, the water mineral levels they use are set to match the water used in Hawaii. The Hawaii Kai location is its second restaurant running after the original in Kona. Oh, just remembered something else; for their bottled beer they give you Hawaiian words with translation on the bottom of the beer caps. They’re not big words, but fun all the same.

There is a beer for every taste bud (I’m between Longboard and Big Wave) and they offer the choice of a sampler (4-5 types) for only $9 I believe. They’re selection is varied from a pale ale to porter to red ale, plus seasonal brews. If you make it for happy hour you can easily be satisfied by their appy and beer prices ($3-$5 approx.). Even if you don’t make it for happy hour prices you’ll still get a good bang for your buck. The pizzas are filling and portion sizes aren’t small (3-4 people for 1 medium pizza will work). If that doesn’t make you loiter around long enough, there’s live music on weekends generally held 6-9. Oh my god!! Close your eyes…. imagine being in Hawaii… on the marine… gentle ocean breeze….sun is setting…. got a nice cold beer…. and there’s live music!

The Originator
The Originator
Logo for Big Wave beer
Logo for Big Wave beer
Like Power Rangers, except Beer
Like Power Rangers, except Beer

Has anyone ever watched the movie musical South Pacific circa 1958? The song called Bali Ha’i? There’s a verse in that song that feels so much what I’m thinking right now;

South Pacific Poster 1958
South Pacific Poster 1958

Bali Ha’i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you’ll hear it call you:
“Come away…Come away.”

Bali Ha’i will whisper
On the wind of the sea:
“Here am I, your special island!
Come to me, come to me!”

They felt the Bali Ha'i
They felt the Bali Ha’i

except it’s Hawaii instead.

I’ll link below both the website for Kona Brewery Company and the Bali Ha’i song.

http://konabrewingco.com/

 (Bali Ha’i)

Mountain side view included
Mountain side view included

disclaimer: Again, these pictures I just web searched them so I could help with the visual imagery.

My Top 3 Holiday Movies

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

If I’m completely honest though, Christmas is a nightmare. It’s calmer now as my family are now for the most part “mature”, responsible grownups. But let’s be real, the minute any family comes together for the holidays its anarchy and chaos… too much for me to handle. This formula might have worked when my house was filled with toddlers to children, but now it’s a complete moot of a holiday. I’ll be surprised if we have a turkey dinner, key word is turkey. We always have a dinner; I’d just like to know if it will be a turkey dinner. While I was in university I generally stayed at school cause a couple other friends, if I’m lucky roommates, would be staying as well and we’d keep each other company. Plus, I didn’t want to come home, I was in Hawaii that’s a holiday right there. I only returned once and that was because the previous year there was a massive snow fall and I’ve wanted a white Christmas for years! Did I get one? No!

Wish this was my tree...
Wish this was my tree…

A bit of a side track but one of my favourite Christmases was a friend of mine was staying in the dorms over winter break as well, Darcy*. We agreed to have a Christmas brunch on the beach. We made this amazing cold pasta salad, fruit salad, paired with some delicious “sparkling juice”. We cheered and ate, then afterwards Darcy* pulled out her Ukulele!! We sat on the beach watching the ocean and singing whatever songs she knew how to play. I think later in the evening we went up North Shore and had a dinner with our roommates, can’t say 100% sure if it was Xmas day. It was mainly our early Christmas day brunch that I have fond memories of from that year (first xmas away from home too)… ah memories.

Merry Christmas!!!
Merry Christmas!!!
Brunch was the bomb!
Brunch was the bomb!

Back to what the purpose of this blog is. Movies. Now I know there are the usual suspects: Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas, etc. and they’re all good. It’s not like I’m not going to watch them (some of them I have already), but it’s these three below that I’m feeling most in the mood for this season.

Love Actually: You cannot have a Christmas without Hugh Grant being in there somewhere. His charming, beguiling mannerism is almost unbearable, but fits his character suitably. I could list off why each actor is so well suited for each character they play but I sum up this movie as filling my optimistic jar. It’s like there’s a hallucinogenic in the air and everyone breathing it are waiting for something to happen… anything…waiting…is only the air in the UK affected? Bah!

love-actually-poster

Bridget Jones Diary: Bridget speaks to me. I wish I could say it’s like she’s expressing and going through everything I feel, but real life does have some variations. She’s not too far off the mark though! Hahaha, I made a pun. Again Hugh Grant… and Colin Firth! I have a slight fascination with British culture…

bridgetjonesedge

Harry Potter: Their release dates themselves have become synonymous with winter holidays as they were generally premiered in the November time period, so during school holidays it was straight to the movie theaters all children went. The movie’s themselves always have amazing “happy Christmas” scenes with snow, decorations, and…. not going home for the holidays!! (Right there with you Harry!)

Harry-potter-films

Hope everyone has an amazing holiday no matter how they spend it! Mele kalikimaka

If that doesn’t get you throwin’ tinsel on your tree there’s always Michael Bublé.

A Message to Sony: The Interview

Dear Sony,

I feel as though your eyes have been covered by $$$ during these trialing times leading up to the release of the movie “The Interview.” We see your dilemma, but I’d like to offer you a solution: release the movie online. These hackers seem to have their own synchronized plan of what information is to be released. Increasingly becoming more invasive and more embarrassing. I understand these emails were private and never meant to be seen by anyone other than the recipient and that censoring one’s own emails should never be anyone’s concern. Unfortunately these are happening. I know there are probably more logistics and safety concerns you have to think about, but the way I see it is this; If they want to use the internet to expose your laundry and use American’s finest business establishment, the media, to their advantage. Take the internet into your own hands! If they want to fuck you online, fuck them back! Release the movie online! Forget about profits, that possibility is gone. However! Once it’s out there, it’s done. Anything else they release just becomes pitiful (and the feds should get that dealt with sooner rather than later). BE BRAVE!! BE DEFIANT!!

interview_tout_large

p.s. This is just my personal opinion, I’m aware there’re are gonna be flaws so please take what I say with a grain of salt. Thanks

Book Windup: The Children of Men

Finished!!! (warning: may contain spoilers)

Novel Cover
Novel Cover

So happy to have finished this book! I’ve felt like I’ve been slacking in the reading department the past couple months, final papers and exams happening, so this felt so nice to be back in a rhythm of reading. This book I’d give a 6/10 which may seem severe but it’s not because I didn’t like it, but because the climatic scenes didn’t feel climatic enough. Let me explain, because this novel it written in narrator form, first person. Theo’s character himself, the novel’s pov, has a very skewed perception of life at this point because it’s been 25 years since the last born child and his cousin has taken up the dictator role of “Warden of Great Britain” enforcing vary degrees of inhumane treatments of Britain’s citizens and incoming “Omegas.” This picture of a cynical, isolated, defeatist mannerism of a man is with which the author chose to create this novel’s pov and in turn the energy level throughout the entire novel with. So even when Theo joins up with the renegade group “The Five Fishes” there is some sense of self-containment in his thoughts, he even admonished himself on many occasions for having a natural emotional reaction any average person would have but because it’s not in tune with his own nature of feelings it must be stomped out.

On the back of the book along with a synopsis are a few review clips from various news publications The New Yorker says, “As scary and suspenseful as anything in Hitchcock,” which I’ll kind of agree with. I mean, nothing will ever replace Hitchcock, but combining scary and suspenseful will give you a thriller which I feel is closer to the mark. I’ll just round up this book review as simply describing it as an adult dystopian worth reading!

Now I feel the need to be kind of picky and point out some major differences between the novel and it’s adaptation into film.

Movie Poster
Movie Poster

#1: 2021 vs 2027

Why? Too soon? I don’t get it unless it has something to do with 7 sounding nicer than 1.

#2: Jasper Novel vs Jasper Movie

In the novel he’s quite an irrelevant character otherwise known to the reader as Theo’s former professor and now a major paranoid senior with an vegetative state wife whose only purpose in the end was having a secluded home with a large store unit for himself to be self-sufficient. Before the second time Theo visit’s him he committed suicide. Movie Jasper on the other hand seems like fun character that has made best of a sorry situation.

#3: Julian N vs Julian M

Julian in the movie is presented as Theo’s ex-wife and is killed early into the movie. Julian in the novel is a complete stranger who Theo falls in love with (and vice versa) and has him try to help the Five Fishes initial cause by approaching the Warden.  Julian is also the pregnant character instead of Clare from the movie, who doesn’t exist in the novel. The baby’s father is Luke not the leader Rolf’s aka her husband.

#4: Xan vs Nigel

In the movie Theo’s cousin is just a high ranking government official whose power extents to recovering art work. In the novel Xan is the leader of the country and his power is omnipresence in a sense. It almost feels like a game of chess the way Theo helps the group evade Xan, and Xan trying to find Theo. Xan even has the Royal Family become obsolete and wears the coronation ring himself as a symbol in his words “familiarity.”

#5: Revolution vs Peace

In the novel for the most part, there is very little room for any revolution or acts of crime to occur without any immediate action against the persecutors being shipped off to the Isle of Man, a self-governed prison where death, starvation, and abuse is a common occurrence with no intervention from the Warden’s council. The Warden’s slogan being; freedom from fear, want, or boredom. Xan’s council member’s follow up with; protection, security, comfort, and pleasure. With the general population accepting those in turn for obedience there isn’t any sort of revolution that occurs in the book. The novel ends with the baby’s birth and Theo taking on the leadership role of Warden. Hence the Hitchcock reference because of the lack of conclusion or epilogue.

Movie Poster
Movie Poster

Rise and Shine: Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

I don’t have a real rhythm to writing these blogs I feel, even though I’m only a few posts in, so I thought I’d share a few more stories/tips on various spots on Oahu. I lived there for a decent time and had my routine of school, but when the weekend came it was game on!

Makapu’u Lighthouse. Sound familiar? It’s the most south-eastern tip of the island. You have quite a few choices on where you might like to begin your day of hiking and exploring. Makapu’u lighthouse trail, the tide pools, the beach around the bend (when your there you’ll understand), Pele’s chair, etc.

#1 Tip: GO EARLY

Makapu’u is a hot spot for whale watching during migration season, November to May. You need to get there early in the morning, around 8am, that’s the best time to catch all the action. It is a windy spot, however you’ll warm up along the hike, just remember to bring a light jacket or sweater. You can bring binoculars or a camera to zoom in, but the best method is with your own eyes. You’ll get so caught up in your devices trying to spot the pinky sized whales you lose this stunning moment. Put all that away and just soak in this magical moment you’re lucky to watch. Your memory is stronger than you think and a photo will only deteriorate those swelled up emotions your feeling from watching this magical animal from breaching, diving, spy-hopping, lob-tailing, or even spouting. Humpback whales are very active whales when they want to be, and you should never feel the need to peel your eyes away from that show. Tatianna* and I were fortunate to have the trail to ourselves one early morning and got a good 30 minutes of whale activity from this one pod, we were delirious calling them “our family” or plain old “ours” as if the pod knew we were watching and wanted to give us this private show. One of the best ways I could have started my morning.

The lighthouse
The lighthouse
Closed, thanks vandalism. hahaha
Closed, thanks vandalism. hahaha

#2 Tip: BRING A LOVELOCK

I’m not sure this is the most common knowledge piece of information, however; Hawaii has its own Paris Pont des Arts Bridge. At the “summit” of this hike there are some stairs that lead up to a man-made viewing area that’s fenced in. I’m not sure when it began on Oahu, but clearly this spot can be a romantic spot if the occasion calls for it. Just because honeymooners choose Hawaii instead of Paris doesn’t mean they can’t lock their love and throw away the keys for an eternity of happiness. All of them signed and dated, at that point I was fully saturated in girly mushy sighs. Ahhh

Bringing Paris love to Hawaii
Bringing Paris love to Hawaii

#3 Tip: PACK YOUR SWIMSUIT

What a better excuse to dip into the ocean but a nice hike upon an extinct volcano? You have a few options, so let’s talk.

First, Makapu’u beach, it’s just on the other side of the lighthouse hike, 10min walk along the highway (there is side space along the road) or a 2 min drive from the lighthouse trail parking area to the Makapu’u beach parking lot. The waves here make it perfect for body-boarding or boogie-boards. The beach is crescent shaped so there’s plenty of space to layout. This beach actually seemed more of a local spot rather than touristy to me, and my guess is because to drive/bus here you’ll be passing lots of other amazing spots you’ll want to stop at as well (I’ll tell you about them). Makapu’u being a former volcano and all means is lava rock is in abundance along this coastal area. The beach also has an area where you can walk on top of the lava rocks and look to see the kind of sea life that lives in these coral-like areas. Lot of baby urchins! 

Makapu'u Beach Park and Sea life park
Makapu’u Beach Park and Sea life park

Second, the Tide pools. If you want to waste no time to getting soaked from your hike instead of walking all the way down about mid-way you’ll see on ocean-side (of course) a bit of an off-beat rocky pathway down along the side of the cliff. If my memory serves me right near where the information boards about whale migration are located. Not an extreme 90 degree angle cliff just a steeper path than the one you took coming up the path, so there is a slight barrier just so your reminded of where your feet are going should the view distract you (kind of like the barriers on the inside lane of a track separating the first lane and the inner grass field). Be sure-footed during your decent, loose rocks will have you slip occasionally. Once you reach the bottom, again, its lava rock, so if you’re not comfortable barefoot on sharp rocks it’s easier to keep your shoes on until you get into the pool… I’m teasing…sort of. Anyways, these tide pools do have a strong currents so be prepared for the incoming and outgoing waves. Also on stand-by for a good photo shoot is a blow hole! I’ll insert a photo below so you’ll see what I’m talking about, it’s pretty amusing because as much as you prepare for the action photo you’ll initially will be spooked by the abruptness of the water shooting upwards so aggressively.

Careful! it's kinda steep
Careful! it’s kinda steep
Blow hole!!
Blow hole!!

Lastly, Alan Davis Beach & Pele’s Chair. The least stressful because of the natural barrier the rocks and coral have created means little to no waves. The sand in the water is nice and fine to waddle in, the water level is deep enough to attempt a few tricks if you feel brave and confident about your balance on the wood pole. I squealed like a piglet, and it’s not even that high from the water! I just scream easily. To reach this area, it just requires taking the alternative trail that’s offered at the beginning of the lighthouse trail to the left. Don’t worry about the trail forking off a couple times during your trekking; they all come back together every time. Easiest way for me was to just keep left on the path. The name for this area is pretty simple, there’s a rock formation that looks like a chair so why not let it be Pele’s? And Alan Davis use to own tons of land back in the day. 

Alan Davis Beach
Alan Davis Beach
Pele's Chair
Pele’s Chair

So hopefully any future travelers to Oahu have found this post intriguing enough for them to venture southeast of the island. It’s such an awesome place to spend a sunny day, pack a lunch or even stop in Hawaii Kai for an early dinner. This type of adventure is one you’ll remember!

Panoramic view of southeast coast
Panoramic view of southeast coast
Mānana aka Rabbit Island
Mānana aka Rabbit Island
Ariel must be around here somewhere... her wave crash scene is up!
Ariel must be around here somewhere… her wave crash scene is up!
Some locals enjoying a "spa treatment"
Some locals enjoying a “spa treatment”
a free ticket to the nature show

Fun Fact: This area of the island is actually not too dissimilar in vegetation as to desserts; abundance of cacti and succulents along the trail.

My Watering Hole

Back when I was living in Honolulu, Hawaii I would regularly check online for the best happy hours available in Waikiki. I was a student on a budget that still wanted to enjoy myself to the fullest with great company and drinks. I can’t quiet recollect what made me click on “Cha Cha Cha 2 Waikiki,” maybe I was feeling up to tequila for the night or just a Mexican themed place. It was off the main road parallel to Waikiki beach, right across from Ross, attached to a hotel. Wasn’t the biggest place, but enough space for a few outdoor patio tables to enjoy the evening breeze that everyone sings for by the end of a hot day on the beach, best of all? $12 pitchers!! beer, margarita, or sangria. Take your pick or get more than one or $4 just for an individual which was just as amazing. My first trip there was with my roommate and one of the best people you can ask for for a day of exploring doing everything and nothing as the same time, I’ll call her Sasha* in case she doesn’t want her name known.

Back to the story!

We approached the place unsure because of the umbrella’s covering the restaurant’s name plaque. When we saw that it was indeed our destination, we grabbed the best patio seats available (which isn’t much of a brag considering location wise) and were promptly served by our soon to be regular server Nicole*. We did start with individual drinks as we weren’t sure right away of what the drinks were going to taste like or the size of the glasses, which were a normal size not undersized. I got sangria, fruit pieces included (that was a big deal for us) and Sasha ordered a margarita. We were in heaven! We felt like such sophisticated well-traveled women for finding such a lovely place snacking on nachos and salsa, sipping on our drinks…our next drink came in a pitcher and I’ll proceed with that wonderful  cliché “the rest was history.” I felt so pleased to have found this establishment that would meet the needs for me and my friends. That year I’m pretty sure we went as least once a month and Nicole noticed as well because they’re would be those nights where you know she put a good word in to the bartender to make our drinks stronger than usual. We were sedated with complete consent! Did I mention Taco Tuesday had $1 beef tacos?? And a ridiculous list of 30+ type of tequilas?

These were the good times. Life was good. However I finished school, moved back to my hometown and Cha Cha Cha stayed in Hawaii. In the spring I returned to Hawaii to visit friends and enjoy a relaxing vacation on the beach and return to my watering hole… wait…. where’s Cha Cha Cha?!?! Where’s my delicious sangria?!? Closed? This can’t be happening?!?!….

Turns out their lease on the space was coming to an end and negotiations ended when a new lease contract couldn’t be agreed upon. I’m sorry such a great place had to go. I’ll treasure those nights and memories at Cha Cha Cha. I ❤ U

p.s. I do have a new watering hole, want to know?

Cheers!
Yummy Drinks!
My usual kinda meal at Cha Cha Cha 2 Waikiki
My usual kinda meal at Cha Cha Cha 2 Waikiki
Not enough Tequila?
Not enough Tequila?
Cheers!
Cheers!
not the most noticeable, but once you knew...
not the most noticeable, but once you knew…

I should make a disclaimer: Apart from the first photo, the others I just searched online as I never did well to remember to bring a camera. Just wanted to help give a nice visual of what I was talking about. Link of their fb page https://www.facebook.com/ChaChaChaWaikiki

BIP: Books in Progress

Ever come across a book you’ve wanted to read so badly but it’s just a challenge to open the book knowing the hard road that’s about to come your way? It’s not a leisure read, but it’s definitely rewarding to close that book and think, “YES!!” throw that book onto the bed and do a celebratory dance then proceed to kitchen to enjoy that well earned glass of wine.

Well no wine for Emma just yet, she’s got some books to finish.

Book #1: Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

This book is a challenge to read for me right now because of my sense of accomplishment towards book 1 & 2, along with the Hobbit has me all J.R.R. Tolkien out. I had a very good reading pattern for this series going, 1 hr 3-4 nights a week. This initially did start out as a leisure read however; I do get distracted easily by the young adult section (knocking out 4 YA books in a month with no sweat). Regrettably this book has begun collecting dust and my bookmark is my sole indicator and reminder of just where I am in the book (with Pippin exploring Minas Tirith and seeing day become swallowed by darkness from Mordor). I’ll make a mental note to finish this before the year has ended… or at least January 3rd. That happens to be both Tolkien and myself’s birthday.

#2: Children of Men by P.D. James

Novel Cover
Novel Cover

If this sounds familiar to you, its because it was adapted into a movie back in 2006 staring Clive Owen. That was my first exposure to this story, and it took quiet a few years for me to finally get around to buy this book and find a set time to sit down and read this story. Before I continue I’ll say SPOILER just in case this should reveal anything for anyone who might choose to read this book. I’ll start with this; I’m a book over movie type of person. No matter how visually exciting a movie may be, I’m crazy for the small details and background information characters would have that films don’t have time to inform the audience about. Which this book does, in very wordily detail your given amazing information and imagery about Theo and his relationship with minor characters and societies attitude towards their demise and how governments (mainly Britain) have seen to proceed life with as much structure (oligarchy??) as it can possibly enforce with a world mixed with “who cares?” and “what’s the point?” also, jobs/careers that become moot in this sterile world are discussed as well. This books a challenge for me right now because of how dense of the novel has been. Contained in under 200 pages, I’m only a quarter way through yet it feels like I’ve made little progression in the plot. I feel like Yoda is whispering in my ear “Patients you must have.” I’M TRYING YODA!!

#3 A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin 

I don’t need to elaborate very much on why this book is a BIP. It’s over 1000+ pages! Holy crap I’m on chapter 26 of 64! I’m not beating myself up over my slow progress over this one. Each chapter is a different character so it’s more like 8+ books in one. The only complaint I have is I wish Arya had more chapter’s in this book. I understand Feast of Crows is in the same timeline as A Dance with Dragons and she had many chapters in FoC. Doesn’t stop me from wanting a book solely on her adventures in Braavos. How amazing would that be! George has released an Arya chapter from The Winds of Winter and my reaction? I just felt like I was at Eminem’s first ever Rap battle backing away from the computer screen, arms up in the airs, making inaudible noises from shock and excitement. WHAT!! WOAH!! OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!