Oahu: Days 3 & 4

Aloha!

Day three was a Sunday, so we started the day by attending mass at the nearest church we could find- St. Jude Catholic Church. The mass was beautiful, and we enjoyed listening to the homily. It was a blessing to just be thankful for the opportunity to have been there.

After church, we had brunch at Koa Pancakes. Mike ordered a hearty meal and macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup – oh so delicious, and I ordered a loco moco over their delicious fried rice. So much goodness and we were stuffed! After eating, we headed to Pearl Harbor. We went through the two museums and took a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial. It was so surreal to actually be there, read all the names, and look at the remains of the ship. Wow. We definitely enjoyed our time there. After we left, we drove around, got a half dozen of poi mochi donuts from Liliha Bakery, and then had an early dinner at Zippy’s. Hehe. Seriously though, I want more of those donuts. So delicious!

The following day, we decided to head to Haleiwa in the North Shore. Along the way, we stopped by Dole Plantation. We looked around for a bit, bought a couple of things for friends and family, and then sat down with our Dole Whip Floats. We didn’t stay too long, and I was a little sad that I didn’t see the little hut that was selling roast corn until we were about to leave. That’s alright though because lunch was up next. We have heard a lot of raves about Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, so we decided to check it out. We shared the scampi and hot & spicy plates, and let me tell you, it was glorious! It definitely lived up to the hype, and I found myself craving for more. Hah! The plate looks deceivingly small, but it is packed with rice, shrimp, and a whole lot of flavors! So, so, so good! After we ate up all that goodness, we drove and checked out the shops. Of course, we stopped by Matsumoto Shave Ice. I got a small bowl of the “tropical” flavors – lilikoi, papaya, and guava – with condensed milk. Yum! After checking out the town, the beach, and the shops, it was still just early afternoon. We drove down the island and visited the Ala Moana Center. We played more in the arcade than shopped. Hah! We then ate dinner at a Korean restaurant down the street from the mall before heading back. Once we got back to our resort, we changed into our swim gears and jumped in the hot tub to wind down.

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Shrimp Plates from Giovanni’s!
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Shave ice! Mine’s the one to the right.
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Mike’s results. LOL.
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Dole Whip Float!

 

In case you missed Days 1 & 2, you can find it here!

Oahu: Days 1 & 2

Aloha!

Mike and I just got back from our vacation in Hawaii! Actually, we got back late Saturday evening (11p), but yesterday was recovery/catch up day. Today, Mike went back to work, while I’m trying to prep myself for tomorrow’s comeback. Hehe. Honestly, I need to clean up, put away the luggages, and do laundry.

Back to our Hawaii trip. We were there a total of eight nights, so to spare a long, drawn out post, I will be breaking this up by days. I may also go back and edit to add pictures at a later time. 😉 Note: We booked our resort back in August of last year, but did not book flights until the first week of February! We lucked out on prices, especially on our rental SUV. We booked it for $365 for the entire trip, and the following week, the price went up to over $1,000! Whew!

On Friday, February 23rd, we took a 9AM flight from Oakland to Honolulu. We arrived at HNL shortly before 1PM local time, so we picked up our luggage, took the shuttle to the car rental lots to pick up our vehicle, and went on our merry way. By the way, we got a 2018 Nissan Rogue with only 45 miles on it! The representative at the Hertz kiosk said we were the first to drive it. Score! Our resort was about half an hour away from the airport, so we got there way before the posted check-in time. However, the staff was so amazing that upon arrival, we received our orchid lei (for me) and Kukui nut lei (for Mike), and we were told that our room was ready!

We stayed in a “Deluxe Studio – Poolside Garden View” at Aulani, and oh my gosh, that resort is just beautiful! We were on the fourth floor, which was perfect for us because it was one floor above the lobby floor and just three floors above the pools and the beach. Everything was so easily accessible by elevator or stairs, and we just enjoyed it. We thought we would get lunch after checking in, but we were a combination of tired and in awe, that we did not leave until almost dinner time. In that case, we just went across the street to Island Country Markets for food. Mike got a hamburger and a bottle of beer, and I got a spicy ahi poke bowl, spam musubi, and milk tea. It was satisfying. We also went for a drive, found a few beaches, and finally stopped at one that was not so crowded to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous!

The next morning, we strolled across the street again, and had breakfast at Island Vintage Coffee. Their frozen Macadamia Nut Kona Mocha was my favorite! Yum! We spent our first full day in Hawaii just hanging out at the resort – swimming in the pools, floating along the lazy river, soaking in the hot tub, and just lounging around. Around 6PM, we went back to our room to shower and got ready for dinner.

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Welcome  buttons!
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View from our balcony.
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First breakfast in HI. YUM!
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A short program by the pool.
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Infinity pool!

2-0-1-8!

I love January and new years! It’s like a fresh, promising, open slate of a full year ahead. I enjoy getting new desk and wall calendars, a new planner, and all that good stuff. I am not huge on making new year’s resolutions for myself, but I am a believer in striving to be a better version of myself.

So January has been quite eventful. My brother’s birthday was on the 9th, so we went out for dim sum after church the Sunday before. Afterwards, my parents treated us all out to Starbucks and a movie! We watched Jumanji, but honestly, my favorite part of going to the movies is the popcorn. LOL. On his actual birthday, we had dinner at the local Chinese bistro and it was delicious! That Friday, my office had its end of the year party. I love our little parties because it’s just always fun with lots of food, wine, and stories! We also had a white elephant gifting, and I came away with movie tickets! WIN!! The next day (Saturday) was Mike’s birthday. We had lunch with his parents at Texas Roadhouse, and went to a Korean BBQ restaurant for dinner with my family. The food, of course, was YUMMY!! Yes! I love me lots of family time!

On Thursday, we flew out to Orange County to spend the evening at Disneyland. We had tickets to Disneyland’s Disney After Dark: Throwback Nite event. Only ticket holders were allowed to stay in the park from 8PM to 1AM, and attendees were encouraged to dress in their best 50s and 60s inspired outfits. I was sick, so Mike and I did not try too hard. LOL. It was so much fun seeing all the dapper gals and pals, walking around the park listening to music from those two decades, and being able to get on rides with not much wait. I do have to say that Peter Pan’s Flight ride almost always has a long line, and Snow White’s Scary Adventures is much scarier when you’re the only people inside at 12:50AM. Hah! We also met up with my good friend, Cynthia, and her sister. Towards the of the night, Mike and I were hanging out by the castle, when an awesome cast member handed each of us a churro. It was the best way to end the evening! 🙂

 

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We love Mickey!
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Jungle Julep – we paired it with Pork Belly skewer and Kahlua Pork rice plate.

 

Yesterday, we spent a few hours at California Adventure, and were bummed that there were a lot of sections closed off. However, we are excited to see all the new things that are coming later this year. We left the park mid-afternoon and drove to Long Beach. We got milk tea and ube-flavored desserts in Cerritos to kill time before our flight back home. Oh! We finally decided to buy the Samyang Spicy Chicken Noodles that catapulted to popularity when the noodle challenge made its round. I’ll let you guys know how it goes when it happens. 😉

Alright friends – praying that everyone has a joyous, prosperous, wonderful 2018! xo.

Life Lately

Last time I posted, it was Thanksgiving week. Now, it’s the week leading up to Christmas! I also never got to post about the “feels” and the wedding (from last year). It’s in my drafts, and sort of feel out of place at this point. Lol. I’ve gotta do better with my timing.

Anyway…

Thanksgiving was fantastic! Mike and I woke up super early to run some errands before lunch and dinner. Hehe. We kind of went shopping during the wee hours of Black Friday with my siblings. Really, all we bought were a pair of shoes for each of us, a pair of leggings, a shirt, and a jacket. Seriously, last year’s Black Friday was so much better! Our wedding, in case I lost ya.

The week after, we celebrated our anniversary at, where else? The happiest place on Earth – Disneyland! We also watched live show of The Voice. It was so much fun, but it felt like we were waiting all day to get to show time. My legs and arms were so tired by the end of it, and we were all hungry. Heh. But… Adam Levine, so… 😉 It’s too bad we were not allowed to bring cellphones or cameras inside.

Disneyland was amazing, of course. We were in the parks Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and it was perfect. The crowd was manageable, and the lines were not too long. That Friday, we went to the park to simply pick up a new pair of Minnie ears, stockings, and ornaments, and it was already super crowded at 10AM! We always wish we never had to leave, but we already booked a one-day trip for next month. Oops.

So, who’s ready for Christmas?! We are totally not. We have a few more important people to shop for, and a whole lot of gifts to wrap! Here’s to backaches and hoping that paper cuts do not happen.

Life Lately

It’s Thanksgiving week and I am getting all the feels! More on this later. 😉

Since my last update, a few cool, fun-fun-fun things happened!

We had visitors from the Philippines and Singapore! Two of my mom’s sisters, their husbands, and my cousin came to visit us for a week. Because the visit was quick, we tried to make the most of it and did something every day they were here. It was such a joy to see my mom so happy spending time with her sisters. Of course, the goodbyes are never easy, and it wasn’t easy this time around.

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Welcome (back) to California! I’m pretty sure this was the only picture with all of us!
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Sisters at Apple Hill! ❤

We also attended two of our good friends’ wedding at the Bentley Reserve in San San Francisco. It was a great day celebrating two amazing people and a beautiful wedding! The bride’s family came all the way from Brazil! Too bad the only “couple pic” we took with the bride and groom was dark and you can hardly see us. Oh well, haha! Congrats, David and Nayra!

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Photo Booth photos from the wedding, of course!

During Veterans Day weekend, we flew down to San Diego to celebrate my good friend Randy’s birthday! We were only there for the weekend, but it felt so much longer. I’m pretty sure my liver was not ready for that. Hah! We also stayed at an AirBnB for the first time. We shared a two-bedroom flat on a hill, and aside from the complicated parking arrangement, it was pretty neat experience! Of course, when in San Diego, you go to the beach and eat at Hodads. Yum!

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Serenity… take me back!
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F & M Reunion!

So hey, about all those feels?! One year ago, my family and I were doing last minute errands, arrangements, and touristy things in preparation for my wedding! AHHH! All the memories. Ohh my gosh!

Weekend Recap

Is it already Sunday night? Weekends are so unfair. They take forever to get here, and then they’re over in a snap! Ugh. But hey, I had a fantastic weekend, so I guess it’s alright. I just always wish the weekends were longer.

Yesterday, Mike and I spent the day with the dogs in San Francisco. I love San Francisco! It makes me so sad that we don’t go there as often as we used to, which was at least once a week! I wish we could afford to live there also, but it’s whatever. Ha! Anyway, we finally got our fix of Salt & Straw ice cream. I have been craving that thing for a couple of years now, since our last trip to Portland. I got Honey Lavender and Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache. Oh. My. Gosh. AMAZING! Mike got Peach Vinegar Cobbler with Toasted Nutmeg and Bone Marrow & Smoked Cherries (so brave). We waited maybe around ten/fifteen minutes in line, but even if we had waited longer, it would not have mattered. Aside from the ice cream being worth it, we were also entertained by all the dogs roaming around with their humans.

After getting our ice cream fix, we took the dogs to Crissy Field – East Beach. We walked around for a bit, got to know a few other dogs, and then called it a day. It was such a beautiful day in the city – warm sun and cool breeze, my favorite SF weather. I wish we didn’t have to leave so soon, but we did.

Last night, Mike’s parents and sister came over for dinner and to watch boxing (#CaneloGGG). Because it was such a last minute invite, we had to whip up something quick. We came up with Sweet & Sour Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and rice (of course). Beer, soda, and dessert were optional. As for the fight, I thought there was a clear cut winner, but the judges thought otherwise. Oh well.

After everyone left, Mike and I spent the rest of the evening at my parents’ house. Everyone was there so it was fun. We didn’t sleep until around 6:30 in the morning! Haha! I’m still tired. But we woke up early to pick up our cruise voucher, then lunch and Niners game. I had chicken lettuce wraps and mango mojito. So good! I wish I could have another pitcher of the mojito. Ha!

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Clearly, my girls were not interested in taking a picture.
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Favorite ice cream in my favorite city!
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My handsome guy. ❤

Movies and Dinners

It’s Sunday and I can’t wait to already finish my upcoming four-day work week. Yes, yes… I am taking next Friday and Saturday off. 😉

For now, though, let’s do a quick recap.

Last week went by so fast and it was so much fun!

Mike and I watched a movie in the theatre for the first time since Cars 3, and it was a Filipino movie, Finally Found Someone. One of our occasional guilty pleasures is watching “rom-com” Filipino movies. Hah! It’s really more mine than his, but he’s so kind enough to take me. Anyway, the most annoying part of the movie is the audience thinking it was appropriate to talk during the movies, make comments about every little scene, and opening & crumpling bags of chips/popcorn/candies/etc. I mean, I can honestly tolerate babies and (very) young kids babbling but adults? Come on! We managed to tune them out and enjoy the movie.

Maxie (Mike’s sister-in-law) and I finally found time to have dinner together and catch up! We had Mexican food and spent more time in the restaurant talking than actually eating. It was great and we figured that we definitely need more time together. However, with her nursing school coming down to its final stretch and my work just so busy, we know it’s going to be a more conscious effort on both parts. Cheers to success!

Yesterday, we said bye to our friend, JR, who is moving to Southern California to pursue his Master’s Degree. We are super proud! 🙂 We also can’t wait to maybe visit Disneyland with him. Hehe. After, we went to dinner with my family for my brother’s birthday. We also officially received news that my sister-in-law, Sharon, is pregnant! I’m going to be an Auntie (and Nina) again! Blessings are pouring upon our families, and we love it.

What was also cool yesterday was that Mike and I woke up to an e-mail with a link to our wedding video preview! We watched it two times during breakfast, and again after dinner last night with the family. We invited everyone to come over for coffee and dessert and a special screening of our video. Haha! We were just so excited.

Another thing we are so, so excited for? We just (semi) booked a trip to Hawaii for February 2018! Well, we really just booked our hotel for now. Plane tickets and excursions are next! Any tips for Hawaii? We will be staying in Oahu. Yay, Aulani! 😉