Simple Cottage Life

There are no hotels on the east side of Oahu. So, we had to get a rental place.

http://www.vrbo.com was a great resource.

We looked into the accommodations in Kailua (since it has a nice beach community) first, but then decided to go with this cottage at the end. Our cottage is located just north of Kaneohe. It’s a little remote, but it’s cheaper than the accommodations in Kailua.

This cottage is truly a bayside country retreat! Check it out.

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Surrounded by beautiful tropical vegetation

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Gorgeous sunrise views over Kaneohe Bay and Chinaman’s Hat Island

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View of cottage from tea house

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A stone throw away from the water

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Wrap around lanai (deck). I loooove the wood.

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We’ve had many breakfasts here.

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Comfortably furnished with Hawaiiana rattan and Indonesian furniture.

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Dining room

There’s tv in the living room. We wouldn’t know if the tv was fake since it was the last thing we wanted to look at. It’s a crime to watch tv when you are in Hawaii!

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Full kitchen with fridge, blender, utensils, cookware, microwave, coffee pots, toaster, etc.

Full kitchen is definitely a blessing since I usually feel depressed after too much eating out.

There’s also a bbq grill. Can you imagine grilling some fish and vegetables in the backyard? How chill can it be?

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Bathroom. Look at the real shutter windows.

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Bedroom 1 on the loft. I hit my head many times on the beams (accidentally, of course).

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Bedroom 2 on the loft

This cottage is also equipped with washer and dryer.

Now, let’s have a walk in the garden, shall we?

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Pots of flowers on the deck

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What flowers are these? They are not hardy enough to be grown in Iowa. They are everywhere in Kuching and I miss them so much.

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Plumeria

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Jasmine vines by the tea house – the biggest I ever seen and they smell divine!

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Papaya tree

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Banana tree

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Mangoes! Not ripe yet.

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Tropical plants. Except they are lucky enough to be growing outdoor, unlike those in the pots in Iowa.

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Do you know the names of these plants?

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Karan: Can someone fan me?

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I made Karan a jasmine head wreath (oh, so pretty) and made him wear a plumeria next to his ear. How nice it was for him to enjoy the natural scent from the flowers while i-touching. :)

BTW, the wireless connection here was great!

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be traveling all over Oahu to find the most scenic locations and shoot footage for Sky Factory’s products.

Stay tuned.

我们的翡冷翠

A friend recommended this song to me. To all my friends who know mandarin, you can find this song at baidu.com.

The lyrics are poetic and beautiful.

静静聆听那一点点的无奈。

~ OuOu ~

我们的翡冷翠 ——周传雄
(Our Firenze)

暗夜, 飞机已经起飞
我以为, 可以简单分别
弹木吉他, 抒情一些
和回忆骚动一整夜,
寒冷却下不了雪

也许, 我们有些疲惫
让浪漫, 化为关心体贴
若有机会, 我想后悔
我应该不会松开手,
让爱多停留一会

相约在那年我们暖洋洋的翡冷翠
化为黑炭之前, 爱是炙热的火堆
我们远远的各自挣扎见到过季节
奢望在不久将来的相会
未来可以改写

遗落在那年我们结了霜的翡冷翠
误解缘分其实分开再没有机会
我们静静的各自穿越刮风的黑夜
让寒风注解我们的相约,
奢求的十三月。

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Moving to Windward Coast

5/1/2009

I loved the conveniences offered by Honolulu such as good lodging, dining and shopping. But after staying in Honolulu for five days, it’s time to see the rest of Oahu.

Bye bye Honolulu.

We moved to windward coast (east side) of Oahu today. Windward coast receives more rain, so it’s the wetter and more lush part of the island.

Oahu Map - Photo from http://wikitravel.org/en/Oahu

Oahu Map - Photo from http://wikitravel.org/en/Oahu

No more waking up early by traffic noise. No more high rise condos. No more crowds.

It will be all peace and serenity starting tomorrow. :)

The traffic pattern of Honolulu is like this: busy traffic going in Honolulu in the morning and busy traffic going out of Honolulu in the afternoon.

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Good luck to you if you are on the busy side of the lane.

After 45 minutes of driving, we reached our cottage (north of Kaneohe).

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Driveway to our cottage

Oh yeah, baby. I see no traffic! Om ….

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood

I am a big fan of street food.

Street food is casual, and rich in local flavor.

Wherever I go, I am always in search of some roadside snacks. Sometimes I am lucky to discover a few good eats, like this Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood stall.

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood is located on Kuhio Avenue, Honolulu. I have passed by this stall so many times and it was never empty.

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Red carpet leads you to Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood (view from Kuhio Ave.)

Finally I decided to give it a try. We parked our car at the parking lot, so we didn’t get to walk on the red carpet. :(

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This stall is actually a movable bus that has colorful tropical fish painted on it.

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Dear God, please shed some light on what’s to order …

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The menu is in both English and Japanese. I told you, Japanese tourists are everywhere in Honolulu!

If you’ve lived in Iowa long enough (like, a week), you’ll realize there’s no good seafood here. So, I decided to shovel in as much seafood as I could on this trip.

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Here is my order: Furikake Blackened Ahi (seafood plate)

Note: Seafood plate includes sweet corn, rice and green salad. Furikake is a dry Japanese condiment that typically consists of seaweed, ground fish, etc.

I was asked how I wanted my ahi done. Did I hear it wrong? I could even choose how I want my tuna? Hmm… expectation was getting higher!

There’s only one way I want my ahi done – seared. Nothing upsets me more when my ahi tuna came out medium rare, it should have been seared! Raw fish lovers out there, you know what I mean!

Let’s see if Blue Water Shrimp can deliver.

My order came in a to go box … yeah, it’s street food, so don’t expect anything too fancy.

I opened the box and first thing I did was to cut the tuna. To tell you the truth, I only had tiny faith that the fish would come out the way I wanted it.

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My perfectly seared ahi tuna

To my surprise, the tuna was so fresh, tender, juicy and perfectly seared. :) Score!

I was smiling all the way when enjoying my fish and rice. Thumbs up!

The corn was sweet and yummy. I didn’t care much about the salad and garlic bread.

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Choose to carry out or eat in under the shade. The environment is clean.

I highly recommend this stall!

There’s another van next to this stall, which is Healthy Mexican Food. I didn’t try it, so I don’t know if it’s any good.

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Healthy Mexican Food

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Healthy Mexican Food menu

Radim ordered tacos from them.

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Tacos

It’s hard to judge the taste from the photos. So, come here and taste for yourself. :)

Karan’s Second Surf

5/1/2009

Here are some photos of Karan’s second surf on Waikiki.

I waited and waited and waited for his stand up on surfboard shots, but ZZZZ ….. wasn’t able to catch those rare moments. :)

Karan is wearing his newly bought rash guard in the photos.

FYI, rash guard protects your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun and surfer’s rash (from laying on the surfboard to paddle out to the wave breaks).