Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A few vacation snapshots, if I may

I'm hoping you won't mind pictures of sandy beaches and peanuts. First and foremost, however, Happy New Year! I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead!

A quick, unrelated note: I have some exciting FO news, if you can believe it! (When was the last time I finished anything? Exactly.) Well, I finished my very first colorwork hat! FO post to follow in the next few days...

Back to the last few weeks... They weren't as hectic as one might expect, considering what I was up to, and considering it was the holidays. I was in Hawaii for a week, worked for a week, was off (at home) for a week. Last week, by the way, was fabulous. Leisurely and relaxing. My trip back home was much the same. A bit too short for my liking, but still good. There are several main components which make up any trip back home. In no particular order, they are:

Beach. Sometimes I like to go out to the North Shore, but I was a little pressed for time during this past visit, so I opted instead for a quick drive out west to the leeward side of the island. It was windy as all get out, but sunny gorgeous, and the beach was practically empty. Just the way I like it!

Family. I am happy to report that traveling with the peanuts went really well, for the most part. They chilled through check-in...

...then lost it a bit at the security check point. Then again, we all kind of did. Picture, if you will: Taking babies out of car seats, disassembling car seats from stroller and placing them on conveyer belt of the x-ray machine, collapsing stroller and placing it on conveyer belt ("wheels up, please"), putting our bags on the conveyer belt, removing our shoes and sending them through the conveyer belt, walking through with then crying babies, and then reassembling everyone and everything. Whew! We were frazzled at that point, but it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. Other than a brief pre-flight freak-out session in the bathroom (there was the loud loudspeaker voice announcing the flights, which triggered the loud wailing by the girls, which led to the loud echoing of the loud wailing- gotta love bathroom acoustics), they were really good. They ate upon take-off, and then slept for most of the flight. Perfectly planned out by LA, if I must say!

Food. Hawaii, while widely known for it's sunny beaches (see above) and hospitable locals, is also home to some of the best food on the planet, hands down. Everything from fancy-shmancy Hawaii-Regional cuisine to the down-homiest of down-home "local" food, to snack foods- you can't go wrong. You (okay, me- I) could get really fat there after just a week.

I always have a set list of places/dishes to eat. Big on my list this time around: I wanted saimin. And lots of it. Saimin is close to Japanese ramen, but unique to Hawaii, so I really can't get the authentic stuff anywhere else. I made it a point to stop at Boulevard Saimin. I dragged my dad along. It's not his fave, but he indulged his visiting first born. The restaurant is small and remains pretty much the same as it did since I started eating there with my now-deceased grandparents, and my mom- vinyl booths, laminated menu, and all. After both my grandparents passed away, my mom and I would go there to eat and reminisce about my grandparents, and now I go there to eat and reminisce about my mom. True comfort food indeed!

The gang and I also met up for our annual holiday dinner. We started this tradition (way) back in high school, as an alternative to our high school's winter formal. The first year, we went to the swankiest place we could think of at the time: John Dominis (woo, talk about a blast from the past). This year's venue, some near two decades later: Alan Wong's. Mmm... This is one of my most favorite of holiday traditions. And in a year where I lacked many of my usual holiday traditions, it was really special to still have this dinner.

And finally, Mom. I always pay a visit to my mom's grave. It's not a sad place. I feel that she's around me all the time or otherwise off doing her thing somewhere- she's certainly not at this place. Still, it's nice to have a place to go to.

6 comments:

Nasus said...

I can almost smell the saimin...yum.

Marnie said...

I've never had saimin but now I want to try. Actually when I saw it, I thought Ramen too and it made me wish I were back in Boston where they had superb Ramen in Porter Square...sigh.

Thanks for sharing some of your memories of your mom too.

Emily said...

I'm so glad you had a fabulous vacation and holiday!!!

Disentangled said...

You just made me very hungry. And those peanut pictures are the best. When are we going to Hawaii again? ;-)

Dee said...

cute shot of the peanuts, i finally got to meet them, yay! and carry them, double yay! they have the cutest mochi cheeks ever!

Monica said...

It's nice to have traditions to come back to for the holidays. The peanuts are too cute.