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Archive for October, 2010

Hawaii – Day 4

Aloha! Need to catch up on the Hawaii fun? Here’s Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.

After chowing down on the to-go breakfast buffet (much cheaper than the full buffet, thank you very much), we headed over to White Plains Beach for some fun in the sun.

 

The fiancee loved it 🙂

This place was hard to find, and there were a  lot of locals with great waves like Waikiki Beach, but without the skyscrapers.

He looks so small!       

Snackage was an Apple Banana (tasted more like a pineapple banana to me) – something I’d never seen until the Hawaii grocery store.

 

Look how gritty the sand is!

After hanging at the beach, we drove up west side of Oahu – bad idea, our travel book said “save it for your next trip”… it should have said “stay the heck away from here” b/c it looked like a 3rd world country, and I didn’t feel safe getting out of the car.

We split a Clif bar b/c we didn’t want to get out of the car to eat, and made it back to Waikiki for a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. We started with a spinach dip appetizer,

and I had the garlic noodles

It was so much food, I had leftovers for later that night 🙂

We went back to the hotel, took a nap, and then met up with my coworkers to do some business (yeah, this actually was a business trip).

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After being gone for 10 days in Hawaii, it’s good to be home and get back to normal. I got a nasty sinus infection & ear infection, so I’m working from home and getting my rest so I can get my immune system back up & running.

So you wanna know what’s going on in the kitchen? Well, I felt like buying a bunch of fresh food with some of our favorites from Hawaii, so here goes:

Shredded wheat cereal, craisins, fresh pineapple, romaine hearts (love those caesar salads!), pumpkin/flax/cranberry bread from the bakery, protein granola, spicy trail mix, almond milk, soy milk, apple juice, acai juice blends (this stuff is pricy!)

 

Frozen strawberries + blueberries + mango, organic spinach, persimmons (ehhh, these turned out to be not as tasty as I remember), tomatoes, onion/chive cream cheese, hummus, chickpeas, pears, bananas, artichokes, banana peppers, feta cheese, okra, vegetarian BBQ pulled shreds (a new item we wanted to try), and these promising chips:

Nice ingredients list, and they taste REALLY good!

One of my favorite meals in Hawaii was the Acai Bowl – it’s basically a fruit smoothie in a bowl, with toppings. I made one for breakfast on our first day back – start with frozen bananas (chopped the night before)

For two bowls, combine 16 slices of frozen banana (about 1 banana), 1 cup of acai juice, 1 cup apple juice, 1 cup frozen strawberries, and 1 cup frozen blueberries.

 

Blend blend blend

Pour it into two bowls

Top with granola and drizzle with honey

Eat it quickly b/c it melts fast!

 

Other toppings I’ve seen include sliced almonds, fresh sliced strawberries, fresh kiwi… very thin-sliced fresh stuff goes good on top 🙂 If you want more protein and less sweetness, swap soymilk for the apple juice.

Dinner tonight was something new – okra fries! I got the recipe from Meghann here.

And topped half the tray with cheddar cheese – EPIC 🙂

Served with a slice of whole wheat toast, topped with BBQ pulled shreds

It was obvious that the “meat” here was seitan (wheat protein that tastes like bread by itself) – the BBQ sauce was good though

You know you wanna try the cheesy okra fries 🙂

P.S. – More Hawaii recap posts to come!

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Hawaii – Day 3

Aloha 🙂 Here’s the recap of our 3rd day in Hawaii (obviously I was a a little preoccupied there to blog real-time ;-))

In case you missed it… here are Day 1 and Day 2.

At 4:30am we woke up and walked to breakfast at the Moana Surfrider across the street. The hotel is one of the first built on Waikiki Beach and very beautiful.

The courtyard where we dined has a huge banyan tree in the middle too, where they used to broadcast Hawaiian music to the mainland back in the day.

We enjoyed an awesome (expensive) buffet on a beautiful balcony at sunrise. I chowed down on spinach eggs benedict, a yogurt mix with dried mango + almonds + pecans + strawberries + raisins, a mini yogurt berry parfait, and a few donut holes.

Note: In 3 years of dating the fiancee, I’ve only eaten donuts two times – this morning, and the day he proposed to me in Key West 🙂 My mom used to work for a bread distributor and I ate tons of donuts in high school, so I love them, but don’t want to eat them too frequently because of the propylene glycol and all that.

I had a small Japanese meal too since this was techncially breakfast & lunch. A bowl of white rice, tofu, seaweed and nato beans.

Nato beans were NASTY!!! They tasted like tempeh that wasn’t fully tempeh-ed yet (fermented sour beans in a sticky goo).

We played on the beach a little and took some photos.   

Surfers

 

Retro lifeguard stands

 

Sand sculpture heads

  

Busted opening the windows at the hotel…

After breakfast, we went to Diamond Head Crater Park which is just a few miles from Waikiki Beach (you could walk it).

Here’s what it looks like from the top – a gigantic crater in the middle of Honolulu!

I like how they display the recycling containers – an in-your-face reminder!

I was supposed to do a 6-mile long run this weekend, but I think that hike (1 mile up, 1 mile down) was plenty of exercise, plus all the walking & swimming we’ve been doing. The hike was very strenuous, and being inside the crater reminded me a lot of Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas.

Going up through tunnels,

 

rocky paths,

 

staircases… there were a few people who came to do their workout just by going up & down the huge stairs!

The view was incredible!

       

After a post-hike nap, we headed down to the pool bar and had some tropical drinks (Blue Hawaiians, Mai Tais, Chi Chis…) with little umbrellas 🙂 Then we went over to the beach and swam – it was super crowded!!! I barely had space to put a towel down, but once we were in the water, WOW :-O Swimming in beautiful blue water, with Diamond Head in the background – I forgot all about the crowds and just enjoyed playing in the water with my fiancee 🙂

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Hawaii – Day 2

Aloha! Here are the pics from our first day in Oahu that I didn’t upload last night…

The view from our patio, looking onto Waikiki Beach

Gigantic skyscrapers

The swimming pool and outdoor stage

As soon as we dumped our bags in the room, we walked over to the beach to catch some sunlight:

Then we came back to the room and passed out before 6pm 😛

And so begins Day 2…

I woke up at 4am, rolled over to nudge the fiancee and asked “Are you wide awake?” – he said straightly “YES” lol there’s a crazy 6 hour time change here, so we’re up before the sun and asleep before dark.

We got up and packed for our day’s adventures, and were first in line at the hotel breakfast buffet. They have an option for you to sit and do all-you-can-eat, or pick up a to-go box and fill it up once for half the price. We decided to do the full buffet once to see if it’s worth it. I had a mixture of scrambled eggs + white rice + tofu, with a bowl of yogurt + granola + raisins, and a plate of pineapple + grapefruit + watermelon, and an apple turnover. White rice and tofu for breakfast was AMAZING! It needed a little hot sauce, but I am loving the Japanese food here 🙂 Oh yeah… we ate in the dark and watched the sunrise by the pool! It wasn’t really worth the full price, so I think the other days we’ll just roll with the to-go box or try another place for breakfast. I already got the fiancee’s approval to start making rice with breakfast at home 😉

Some photos of our drive along East Oahu:

 

Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky 🙂

See the sprawling subdivision on the mountaintop? 

The itinerary today was to cruise the island and get out of the hustle & bustle of Waikiki. We started out snorkeling at Hanauma Bay (an underwater state park – that’s a first!) at, um, 8am 😛 The reef was beautiful, with huge fish! I’ve never seen so many fish near snorkelers – the reef comes right up to the shore so you don’t have to swim out very far to see fish. We laid on the sand, took some pictures & video of the scenery, and got back into the car to continue the sight-seeing. Here are tons of post-card photos of Hanauma Bay:

   

See how it’s a massive volcano crater that eventually filled in with sea water?

Yes, we walked all the way back up the hill while everybody else took the $2 shuttle bus…

         

Windgliders

After snorkeling we were pretty hungry so we inhaled a Clif Bar, and then made our way up the east coast of Oahu looking for a local place to grab a cheap lunch. We found a cute restaurant, Uncle Bobo’s, across the street from a beach park. I was worried there wouldn’t be a good vegetarian option (the menu was mostly burgers), but to my surprise I found a smoothie-in-a-bowl!!! It was a lovely mixture of acai berry puree + banana + apple juice, in a pretty bowl topped with granola + sliced banana + Hawaii honey 🙂 I fell in love – the fiancee had a bite and smiled, and said “yep, that’s definitely ‘Kim’ food” The granola was OUTRAGEOUS – it had sesame seeds and sunflower seeds – I am definitely recreating this meal back in Florida!

We kept on cruising and made it up to the North Shore, a cute surfer area with a lot of families, surf shacks, and hippie stores. The waves weren’t too big so we didn’t see a lot of people surfing.

 

After leaving North Shore, we headed back down through the middle of the island and hit up the Dole plantation. This place reminded us of a typical winery, with a few things to do around the grounds (like a train ride and a big garden maze), and a gigantic gift shop/restaurant. We picked up a few cute souvenirs and checked out the grounds, then headed back to Waikiki.

Before we got back to the hotel, we stopped at the grocery store because we were both curious what kind of food the locals were eating, and also how much they had to pay for typical eats. Turns out a gallon of milk here is $5.69 – but other stuff is cheap (like Kona coffee). Most of the stuff we eat was slightly more expensive, but not as much as we expected. I was surprised to see the Dragon Fruit was $6 each! It’s grown on the Big Island so I thought it would be a little cheaper (seeing how our Publix carries them for $8 each), but I guess it’s just an expensive fruit to grow? We managed to cut $10 off our grocery store tab by getting the member card – booyah 😛

Honolulu looks a lot like Miami…

Back at the hotel, we snacked on garlic & onion macadamia nuts and Foster’s beer (it’s the cheapest in the store here, I can’t figure out why, plus the Kona Brewery Pale Ale we picked up last night turned out to be a little narsty).

For dinner we walked over to Teddy’s Bigger Burgers – a cute burger joint next to the Honolulu Zoo. It smelled like greasy french fries… nom nom nom – I had a veggie burger with pineapple & pepper jack cheese hawaii day 3 (97)

No joke, this was the BEST veggie burger I’ve ever had in my whole life 🙂 The fiancee agreed!

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I’m loving the food here! 🙂

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Hawaii – Day 1

Hey everybody! We made it to Oahu! Here’s a brief recap of getting here and our first night… (sorry no pictures just yet, but there will be pics in the next posts!)

The flight was super early and I’ve never had such a long wait in the security line at the Orlando airport before, and we were starving waiting (having only split a muffin before leaving the house). We grabbed a quick breakfast in the airport (egg & cheese on wheat toast) and boarded. During the layover in Atlanta, I picked up a veggie burrito from Qdoba b/c I didn’t know how much they would feed us on the plane ride.

The plane ride was about 10 hours altogether, and it was FUN! (Surprising, I know!) It was a huge plane, and we sat next to each other watching movies the whole time. Each seat gets their own TV screen & remote, so I watched a bunch of stuff:

  • The Joneses
  • Grown Ups
  • CSI Miami
  • Get Him to the Greek

Plane food was good too (another shocker!) – the first meal was a little bento box mixture, mine had vegetarian pasta with salad, a wheat roll and a chocolate chip blondie 🙂 Snacks included pretzels, peanuts, ginger ale… and our second meal on the plane was a turkey sandwich on ciabatta – I pulled off the turkey, and ate some dried apricots and Milano cookies too – so good 🙂

We got into Honolulu at around 3pm Hawaii time, and were already exhausted after such a long day. It was refreshing being in the buildings without air conditioning and with open windows to let in the cool ocean breeze. Our first impression of Honolulu… it’s very commercialized – a lot like Miami, with your typical tourist traps (Margaritaville) and high-end big-city stores (Fendi, Gucci, Tiffany…). The metropolitan part kinda looks like a chunk of California broke off and floated into the ocean 😛 (We quickly found out that after you drive a few miles outside of Honolulu/Waikiki, it’s MUCH nicer and THAT’s why people live here).

Parts of Honolulu remind me a lot of Los Angeles, like the freeway and the parks full of homeless people – but other parts remind me more of Northern California, like the tons of joggers and cyclists out enjoying the weather 🙂 We checked into our hotel and walked over to Waikiki Beach to see the surfers – the sand is chunky (think volcanic) and it was very crowded, but still fun to visit. We picked up a couple of 6-packs and headed back to the hotel to enjoy a drink out on the balcony and watch the sunset 🙂 Then we passed out before 6pm (time change!)

Stay tuned for the rest of the recaps – I’m taking tons of pictures and notes from everything that we see & do here so you can get the full story! 🙂

Aloha!

Kim

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Meet Murrey.

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It’s about time I introduced you to our former puppy – we got Murrey right after moving from California to Orlando, in hopes of curing baby fever & helping us grow up. We saw an an on Craigslist from a family at their wit’s end from having twin babies + 2 dogs, met him in the Crispers parking lot, and it was love at first sight 🙂 The first night we brought him home he fit right in.

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He is a Malti-Chon mix (Maltese/Bichon Frise), and about 12 lbs, and he reminded us of dogs we had growing up.

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When I moved to Orlando, the fiancee (at that point still a boyfriend, as you can see from the promise ring :)) was finishing grad school for a quarter, so I was a single mom for 3 months. Murrey kept me company, nursed me back to health when I was sick, and was my best friend.

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We struggled with treating him for fleas. We tried flea baths, flea collars, bombing the whole house for fleas, natural citrus drops on his neck, prescription drops on his neck… and finally found that the only thing that worked was a pill (Comfortis). He is allergic to flea saliva, so whenever he would get bit, he’d get big sores on his skin and scratch his fur off – it was the saddest thing ever to see him in pain from flea bites 😦

 

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We went through a variety of hairstyles with him because his curly hair was a lot of maintenance.   

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At this point he looked like Jerry Garcia:

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And here he is with no fur!

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It looked cute when it grew out a little bit.

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He fell in love with Honey, my mom’s 6 lb Maltipoo.

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He was a curious puppy, and was always into something… one day he figured out how to climb into the mesh laundry basket!

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From that point on, it was his favorite sleeping spot.

He also liked to help out around the house… by cleaning the toilets,

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making the bed,

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cleaning the floors,

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and doing the dishes 😛

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For Halloween, he was Kung Fu Panda 🙂

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We got him a crate to sleep in, but he never took to it.

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I’d get home from work and always find him asleep in the laundry basket!

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Sadly, after a year of living with Murrey, we had to face the facts – our demanding work schedules (9-10 hour days) weren’t compatible with Murrey’s schedule. He needed to be walked during lunch, and needed a lot more attention than we could provide him. We spent so many nights crying with him in our arms wondering what to do with him, and I refused to take him to an animal shelter because I couldn’t take a chance that he would be put down.

We placed an ad on Craigslist (ironic, since that’s how we first found him) and found a perfect match. His new mommy is a wedding planner who works from home, and he now has a brother, Milo, to keep him company. They sleep next to each other like best buds, and he gets all the attention he needs and is with a loving family who can take care of him properly.

We still keep Murrey’s pictures in our living room and at work because we know one day we want another dog (when our family starts growing…), and to remember all the joy he brought us while we were lucky enough to share our home with him.

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We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, and it was a major wake-up call about the responsibilities that go along with having a puppy (let alone a baby!). We do enjoy our free time now, and being able to sleep in without having to walk him, but I still miss taking care of him – giving him baths, feeding him, walking with him and seeing him grow and learn.

If you are thinking about getting a dog, take a step back and look closely at your lifestyle – are you gone out of town on weekends a lot? Do you work long hours and can’t come home for lunch? Or do you work from home, or have family nearby who can help you with walking your dog? It’s a LOT more responsibility than you may think, even with two people. But I will say it’s worth every minute, if you’re ready. We weren’t ready yet, and having Murrey helped us realize that. Thank goodness for his new mommy Kristy for giving him the family he deserves 🙂

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Preparing for Hawaii

Hey everybody – happy hump day 🙂 Today started with another epic muffin:

After work I came home to get in a 4-mile run, and had some pre-run fuel – whole wheat toast with roasted red pepper hummus & marinated artichokes:

This was a nice change from the usual PB&J toast I eat before runs! But I’ll be honest… there was a lot of fiber in this, which lead to some “crop dusting” – sorry downwind runners 😛

I also had 3 Powerbar Gel Blasts (leftover from the Miracle Miles 5K free samples) for an energy boost.

Today I wanted to get a decent running time, so I brought back the “hand trick” – write out my mileage splits to get the pace I want. Today I was going for a steady 5 mph pace, so that’s a 12 minute mile (or 6 minutes at each of my 1/2 mile checkpoints).

Since my iPod is totally useless now, I’ve been running with the fiancee’s old mp3 player, which means I have to get to listen to all his playlists – today’s mix was mostly punk rock, with some Dr. Dre and Michael Jackson thrown in. I like trading music with my friends b/c it switches things up – in college I used to swap CD players with my friend Andrea when we’d go on the elliptical, and it was always cool to hear what she was listening to.

I wore an old t-shirt with a loose neck – I don’t know about you, but I just can’t run with a normal shirt – it feels like it’s choking me and I always end up pulling at the neck!

On tonight’s run, the first half-mile was the hardest. My shins were cramping up, my breath was getting dry, and my legs felt like they were full of lead. I told myself “you have to at least run the first mile, because I know you can do that!” After that half mile, I was on a roll! I picked a 2 mile route to go there & back, and I threw in some hills to get ready for the ELEVATION that’s about to come Saturday! (yes, while mapping my 6 mile run around the Diamond Head Crater in Hawaii, it hit me that I will be running up the side of a friggin’ volcano).

(Our hotel is in the bottom left corner – that’s Waikiki Beach)

I wound up finishing 4 miles in 45:53 – 2 minutes faster than my goal! It’s the hand trick – works every time 😉

I came home and the fiancee was still stuck in traffic, so I was locked out of the house… super thirsty, and the fence was locked so I couldn’t sneak some water out of the backyard hose… thank goodness for the gym that’s only 2 blocks away 🙂 I walked over to cool down and camped out at the water fountain for a few minutes – they’re used to seeing me by now, that stinky sweaty runner girl whose clothes never match 😛

When I got back in the house, I munched on 3 more gel blasts and stretched some more in our workout room/man cave – nothing feels better after an intense run than plopping into child’s pose and up into downward dog. Dinner was a random use-up-what’s-gonna-spoil meal: whole wheat spaghetti with Newman’s Own pasta sauce, chickpeas, black olives & parmesan cheese – not my most beautiful masterpiece, but it’ll do for a weeknight dinner.

I’m loving the beans in spaghetti – usually we use kidney beans but tonight we had an open can of chickpeas. This reminds me of my high school swim team, how we used to eat Skyline Chili on the nights before swim meets (it’s chili on top of spaghetti with cheese & oyster crackers).

So, question of the day – do you want me to blog during the trip (every few days), or do you want to wait until I get back to hear about all the fun? I need to be realistic, there’s pretty much no way the fiancee is gonna let me sit in front of the computer for half an hour to blog while we’re in Hawaii. What I’m thinking now is to pre-write some posts about me with some photos that I haven’t shared with you yet (I need to stay up tomorrow night to avoid the jet lag aka Polynesian Paralysis), so you can get to know me a little better, and publish those while we’re gone, and then do a series of vacation recap posts when we get back. Sound good? 🙂

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