Archive for December, 2009

On To Portland - Day 1

December 18th, 2009

Driving on da mainland is so different than driving in Hawaii. Da freeway/highway speed limits are greater, slower traffic stays to da right, if there is a faster approaching vehicle behind you da person in FRONT changes lanes so dat you can pass if you're in da "fast lane" and then there's ice.

Yup, winter driving is something 98% of locals would not have to worry about with da exception of da people dat have to drive up Mauna Kea so wen we heard dat there was a bad storm rolling through with freezing rain (rain dat turns into ice, not snow), slick icy roads and possible snow we didn't know wat to expect but to get on da road as early as we could to try and not only beat da storm but to allow us choke time to ride out.

KAN, a natural worry-wort, gave us some tips and wanted to make surah we got to Portland safely and even suggested returning da car and taking da train. Luckily da storm held up enough for us to get to our hotel in Portland and we made it safe and sound but da rain soon followed.   🙁

It's truly been a whirlwind seeing and experiencing different sights and sounds - especially since we both, Da Wife and I, have nevah been to Portland. Hea's wat we went through in a nutshell. 


Thought dis building was cool as we left very early in da morning to make da long drive. Seattle started to get some weather and it was dark and cold.


A Lanceformer had emailed me da day before suggesting dis place for their awesome doughnuts


Can you believe dis is a doughnut shop? It looked like a library with a cafe.


Trust me... da doughnuts were HUGE! Bavarian creme filled and it was ono - not too sweet, not too rancid but juuuust right.   😉 


One thing about mainland driving is dat there's always people on da road. Mt.Rainer must look beautiful wen da weather is clear.


Lucky thing we wasn't in a rush even though we were going about 70. Had choke lolo's going fastah than dat and talk about speed trap! In about a half mile stretch, there were about 10 cars pulled ovah. Good thing I wasn't one of 'em (more on dat latah)
BTW, can you guys see da temperature on da car gauge? It's da lower right hand side.... 29 degrees! And yes, I was still in shorts.   😀 


I guess it is true dat ducks fly south for da winter. Those little black specks you see isn't cause da camera was dirty... those are ducks!

Dat was a welcome sight aftah driving for about 2 ½ hours


Dropped off da car at da hotel and walked down to da Portland Saturday Market


Of course had to eat    🙄     😀  


Despite da threatening icy weather, vendors still showed up and it was pretty packed with locals and visitors. It's kinda like a craft fair with CHOKE different ethnic food vendors. Most of da craft people don't allow photographs so I couldn't show you any of da "interesting" artisans. For instance, there's these two guys who create whimsical items with... FORKS! And then there's anoddah guy who made "Lego pieces" with wood you can build all kines of stuff and yet anoddah who did name cut outs on old saws.


So wat? You tink was cold? Everyone was bundled up but dis vendor had it going! He had "blowtorch" keeping his legs and toes mighty toasty.   😀 


Even had a stage for performers - LOVE da bari sax!


And those who created their own stage


One thing I really respected - admired - was da amount of different ethnic food vendors there were and they were made by their respective countryman. Like dis, they "looked" Himalayan, da Polish looked Polish, da Vietnamese were run by Vietnamese etc.


I thought dis sign was hilarious from a street cart vendor




Had lunch at Grand Central Cafe


Some weird roast beef thingy with pickled onions, blue cheese, organic lettuce and horseradish concoction


Tuna melt with lotsa cheese


Can you believe dat there's dis skating rink.... right smack dab in da middle of a shopping mall?


Had to still eat right?   😀   Dinner was at our hotel and Typhoon! is supposed to be da top 10 of all Thai restaurants in da United States... so we've been told... or was it da Northwest - you know me and my hearing.   🙄 


I remembah a softball buddy of mine telling me about dis beea' so I had to try 'em and it was pretty good   :mrgreen:


Ahi spring rolls


Spicy string beans


House specialty stir-fry peppercorn sirloin


Most recommended dish - massaman curry with beef

I going say dis. I don't like Thai food - I've tried a couple times before - but da food at Typhoon! is supah ono! Da curry was broke da mouth and da stir-fry sirloin is onolicious! If you evah in Portland, go look 'em up and make reservations cause da place was packed!


Believe it or not, dat was all in our first day there which included da long drive ovah, cruising da pretty huge market, shopping and eating. It was a great start to Portland and there's more to come so stay tuned!   😉 

Happy Feel Good Friday everybodies!



Braddah Lance Kwon


Secret Underground City?

December 17th, 2009

Yup, we've been in Seattle for a long time and on our final day, it was a total improv. Since we still had to pack a ton of stuff and most of da things we had planned to do was done already, we decided to walk around da city one last time before we had to go back and pack.

We went back to Pike Fish Market cause I wanted a t-shirt from them and they did their thing by calling out "XLT" (extra large t-shirt), a voice in da back responds "XLT" and then they all say "XLT" and out comes flying my t-shirt.   😆   It was neat even though it was just a t-shirt.

We then picked up some dried fruit chips and then Da Wife wanted to stop by a crumpet place. Wat da heck is a crumpet? Beats me but Da Wife wanted 'em so I in true married life lore I only replied, "ok, Dear."    😉 

We had heard from some of Da Hui dat there was a secret underground tour and I had no clue wat was to come.... but it surah was neat! A little boring seeing some of da same stuff but our guide was excellent and very knowledgeable and a very good story teller. Hea's wat we saw.


Pink Lady had mention da beautiful - and cheap - flowers and dis time da vendor was out so I took a pic to show wat she was talking about


Da Wife had some kine of ham, tomato with English cheese


I had a green peppers with egg and English cheese. It was "hot" peppers.  😀  Not bad.


And you thought San Francisco was tough!   😆 


One man's junk is anoddah man's treasure. Tons of antiques and "old stuff" for sale touted as collectible antiques.


So it begins......


Started off in an old refurbished bar


Heads up! Or do you say heads down?


It was weird to see "rooms"


At one point in time, couple's used to get married down hea'!    😯 


Kinda makes you wondah if dis was all staged.....


Wat's he lookin' at?


Dis! More on dat a little latah.


It's a long story but to simplify it, da entire original city of Seattle was burned down in a massive fire and rebuilt. Aftah rebuilding, there were problems with da roads, structures and irrigation and sewage so da townspeople decided instead of tearing everything back down to build on top of it thus creating an "underground city". There's more to it but no can explain dat much info in a blog.... da tour was 90 minutes!

Da puka on da left was da vault and if you see da oddah pics, there was a teller's cage also.


Remembah da guy looking up? Well since they were building up, they had have more light down below so they made "windows" like dis to allow light through. They also used some sort of quartz (da blackish squares) which actually refracted da light to make it brighter.


Are you inside or outside?


Aftah da fire. Da heat was so hot it even warped da train tracks.


You notice something different? Da tank stay on top.... waaaay on da top and da bathroom is actually elevated off of ground level. Remembah I mentioned da irrigation/sewage problem? They couldn't figgah it out so at high tide it used to "come back" onto da streets.    😕 


You know wat's freaky about dis pictuah? Dat steel beam actually not doing nothing! It's not bored through da walls - it's not even touching 'em! Our tour guide didn't know why it was li'dat either.


Dunno about you but I see da word "original" and da date "1854" and I'm thinking dis buggah is old!


See da quartz?


Some kine of original equipment. Not surah if she said it was some kine of watah system or an elevator.




Aftah all dat we walked on ovah to Salumi's for a late lunch


I fogot wat Da Wife had but it was some kine of cured meat. They had run out almost everything so we only had two to choose from.


I had da coppa - not surah wat it is but da deli meats tasted fresh and ono!



There are a lot of people who rave about Salumi's but I thought it was overpriced and overall ok. Da deli meats were fresh and but nevah have "enough" flavah. Da bread was shmall kine hard and da sandwich was a good size but da bread to meat/toppings ratio was out of whack. Da place was packed though and I guess it would have been a little bettah if we came earlier. Da staff was "normal" at first but once things calmed down and found out we were from Hawaii they loosened up a bit. Dat place is really manini so if you go, plan on taking your order out.

Seattle stay pau finally! Next comes Portland and we get shmall kine nutz ovah dea!   😉 



Braddah Lance Kwon

To Da Space Needle & Beyond!

December 15th, 2009

How long would y0u have stayed at da Space Needle? One hour, half an hour... da whole day?

Well a typical wintery 'day' in Seattle begins around 10am and ends around 4pm as da sun comes up late and goes down hella early up hea'. Our body clock has been so screwed up dat we've eating at all weird times of day and even waking up late. Well, it was da weather dat made us sleep in a little at times as we felt like bears hibernating but da sun going down so early in da afternoon was driving me shmall kine nutz!

But I'll give you a tip. If you no mind da weather, come visit Seattle during dis time and during da weekday and da place is practically yours! Da Space Needle was practically empty and even da Experience Music Project (EMP) and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (SFM) was empty! We had da run of da mill at all three attractions and it was nice being able to not "rush" and enjoy things.

Even if you not into music or sci-fi, it's a museum dat you really wanna check out cause you end up really appreciating da things dat we all have enjoyed our whole lifetime. It takes you back and "explains" da growth and how it evolved into wat music (in general) and science have affected us in both reality and imagination. It's probably above da heads of keiki - although there are TONS of interactive exhibits - but I can guarantee you dat they'd trip out checking it out.

One thing though, cause da EMP houses so many original historic artifacts, they don't allow flash photography which is totally understandable because da light degrades sensitive collectibles behind da glass. Check. Flash off.

For those not into photography or haven't a clue about all those fancy features and icons on your digital camera (Landscape, Portrait, Night etc), dat only means one thing... longer exposure - but there's a catch. I not one photo expert but I know some basics like if you need a longah exposure (da shutter stays open longer time wise), dat you need a tripod cause oddahwise you going get camera shake and for anyone dat has owned a camera, film and/or digital, knows/seen about da "blurry" pictah effect.

So I buss' mines out and before you know it, security comes in and says no tripods.

Wassap Wit Dat!

I only say dat cause I don't know how a tripod could affect any of da displays. Anyways, I tried my best cause da lighting in da museum was very dim and if da pictahs appear a little blurry it's cause nevah have enough light and my hands shook.   😀



Amazing. Downtown Seattle has a monorail dat goes directly to da Space Needle.


Da Space Needle... jus' trying to be a little creative wit da camera




A very clear day.... for now. Viewing da Olympic Mountain Range.


Cascade Mountain Range


A very looooong way down


Downtown Portland (oops) Seattle


Mt. Rainer


A Space Needle fact


Da pictah no do dis any justice. It's da lug nuts holding Space Needle and they're HUGE!


Seattle has duck tours too! All's I know is dat those six people taking da tour are pupule to have gone in da watah at dis tempature!


In da monstah building to da right houses da EMP & SFM


Any MLC'ers remembah dis?


Tons of interesting info


I couldn't believe it - my "first" sax! Da exact same model and everything.... back in da day.


Remembah these thick a$$ gold chains?!


They even had one of Bo Diddley's "firsts"


1934 vintage


Believe it or not, they said dis guitar was "perfect" for Hawaiian music



Dis was considered "odd"... but made for Hawaiian music


Yet anoddah "made for Hawaii" - 1920 Stroh Hawaiian. Amazing these instruments date back dat far!


Two and a half stories of old school to new school guitars


If you you love Jimi Hendrix, there's an entire room dedicated to him


Did you know he was an Army Airborne serving in da 101st?

Original lettah from Jimmy dated December 15, 1961



Wat would we do without dis?


In dis  room, there are literally hundreds of oral histories preserved in da digital world from all walks of life sharing their own moment in history


Any MLC'ers remembah these original soundtracks?


No Da Wife is not cookoo... it's an exhibit demonstrating da electromagnetic fields emitted from your body. You can hea' your "body waves" by moving your hand closer, farther, up and down from da metal rod.


So dis is how you MLC'ers used to look like    😛 


Fo' realz! I was jammin' to Louie Louie... da computah "taught" me.   😀


Tryin' to play da drums.... see da speed? Even da camera no can catch up.   😆 


You can even be a DJ!


History of sci-fi


You Trekkies would love dis! Da "original" Captain's chair and uniforms

Phoooone hoooome.......


Recognize "her"?


How's about dis one?




Weapons galore!


Now dis was some uniform huh?   


If you dunno who dis is.....


Know wea dis is from?


Sunset at da Needle


Qwest Field


Mt.Rainer - see da difference from morning to dusk



Downtown Seattle




And replies to all posts will happen latah today. I didn't get a chance to do da last blog but will - guaran's!   😀




Braddah Lance Kwon


Random Truckin' Along Seattle

December 13th, 2009

Aftah a week in Seattle driving around, sitting in traffic, riding da monorail, taking da bus and of course, miles and miles of walking, hea's a few leftovah pics of various ODDities and eateries dat we took time to venture off to.

Space Needle still to come... get TONS of pics so trying to weed 'em out before I post 'em.

Hopefully da pics will put a smile on your face.... or make you all 'J' dat you not hea'.   😉    😛 


Aftah my training, we had a few of da local brews....


It's too funny - you can barely see it but da license plate starts with... 777. Oh yeah, did you notice da traffic on a two lane bridge going both ways?


Seattle-ites tried dis place out before?


Da sign says it all


At first I was trippin' out how come they had soooo much bacon jus' keeping warm on da side... and then I found out. It was non-stop action of people coming in and out. I tink there must have been a college nearby too cause had plenny students.


Check it out - even da local fire department came by and ordered for their whole crew


Bacon deluxe with cheese: Pepper Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, Red Onion, American Cheese, Mill Sauce. Very very tasty!


Verde burger: Fire Roasted Anaheim Peppers, Jack Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Mill Sauce - just as ono!


Did I mention dat da burgahs were huge?     😀


Fresh cut fries (I tink) and some really really ono onion rings!


Pretty simple menu


In case you nevah notice it's a water fountain sculpture..... it was so cold up north in Tulalip (about 18 degrees) dat da watah actually froze ovah! All dat "white" stuff you see is ice!   😯 


Street car... but nobody out


One of da main drags and it gets empty real fast wen it's cold


Looks pretty at night huh?   😀


One of da Seattle's best pizza as voted by Seattle-ites


Brooklyn Bridge: Pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, green peppers and onions over mozzarella, tomato sauce and spices. As a "pizza connoisseur", wat makes and breaks a pie is da dough and da sauce. Da sauce... onolicious. Da dough... very passable but da crust, eh.


Spinach and Chicken: Chicken, mushrooms and mozzarella cover an olive oil base seasoned with minced garlic and zesty red chili pepper flakes, finished with fresh spinach


Pagliaccio Salad: Lettuce tossed with garbanzo beans, diced red pepper, kasseri cheese, salami, red onion and our own dijon vinaigrette
Pesto Salad: Pasta, sweet peas and artichoke hearts in a creamy pesto dressing
Da Pagliaccio salad is ono! I'd pass on da pesto.

Wat a bunch of snobs... nevah even like say hello   😛 



Near Pike's, there are these manhole covers dat have intricate designs on 'em. For you Seattle-ites, do you know wat it's of? It's actually a map of downtown Seattle! There's a compass (mid-lower left quadrant), old stadium (circle pie design in mid-lower right quadrant), Space Needle (above mid-left quadrant directly above da leaf and toothpick) and hea's da most trippy part of it all........

Try look a little left of center. See dat kinda big whitish dot? It's actually a shiny silver dot and it marks exactly wea you stay in Seattle. Pretty trippy yeah?


Mililani in Seattle?   😀 


Ivars Seafood


Trio appetizer: Shrimp, crabcakes and calamari

Don't eat me... don't eat me.   


Da Wife had da one pound king crab legs with roasted vegetables and red potatoes


House favorite - Pier 54 Clam Bake: Northwest dungeness crab, local Manila clams, Penn Cove mussels & plump prawns simmered in seafood broth with red potatoes and corn on the cob


Ready...... set....... GO!


All pau!

I'm not a huge seafood fan but it was some pretty tasty seafood! Da broth alone was ono wen it was hot but da amount of seafood in dat bowl.... WOW! 





Braddah Lance Kwon

2670 Miles Away And Still Get WWD! From HNL

December 11th, 2009

Early yesterday morning I get a call.... from work.   ❗

I recognize da Advertiser's main numbah from da caller ID and a cold chill runs down my spine. It's cold in Seattle but seeing dat numbah show up on my phone is nothing short of Antartic kine cold especially since I don't know who's calling.

In dat brief second I started asking myself a gazillion questions, "Wat da heck did I do? Did I forget something? Did I mess up?...... DID I GET LAID OFF?"   😯  My heart skips a beat then kicks into overdrive beating uncontrollably right through my chest.

BL:     "Uh... hello?"
MYSTERY CALLER:     "Lance."
BL:     "Yes."
MYSTERY CALLER:     "It's me Les."
BL:     (heart calms down a little)   "Hey, wassap Les."
LES:     "Uh, there was a complaint about your blog."
BL:      "Huh? Fo' realz?"
LES:     "In your title, you had OM*G and you have to change the title. (Online editor) have been trying to get in contact and didn't know you were on vacation so I said I'd call you. "
BL:      "Really?"

Seriously, ovah a single LETTER? Really? Someone "complained about dat? I mean c'mon, this PC overly touchy feely shtuff is totally out of whack. It's things li'dat dat makes me wanna stop writing. Wait. I not even one writer! For crying out loud, it's only a BLOG! It's not an "article", it's not an investigative report nor is it a "real" story. I'm not even on da same stratosphere in comparason to ANY of our staff writers and da kicker? I'm not even paid to blog.   🙄 

I certainly didn't offend or point out any "group" and if you read da title you'd see dat I was specifically expressing emotion dat our "censored" vocabulary just wouldn't have been able to do. If dat person(s) actually read dat blog entry they would have grasped dat it's been a dream of mine to watch da 49ers play live and I really couldn't contain myself. For those who've been faithful readers of WWD! know too dat I have no prejudices against anyone, place or thing. I aloha and malama everyone/thing! Sure, of course we all (and those who say they don't are bu'lai-ing) have our stereotypes but I'm not one to dislike or even put down anyone for dat... I feel weird even doing dat in private.

Did I mention dat dis is only a blog?

Eh, forget it. We'll see if I still have a blog wen I come back or if even I feel like keeping dis up. It's so pupule dat while we can't please or satisfy EVERYONE (we'll nevah will) but for just ONE person to have dat much "influence" by calling or writing to complain is just..... wait, I no like get busted again.

btw, OM*G actually meant:  Only My FIRST Game.    😀 


Oh yeah, hea's some more pics from Seattle. Aftah Pike's, we still had some daylight left so we headed to Chinatown to check things out. For a Chinatown, it's kind of a sleeper town. No street/window vendors, no "action" so we got bored pretty fast - maybe das why nobody suggested Chinatown huh?  😆  We decided to cruise back in town to check out da stores and had dinnah at Taphouse. Did I mention dat was all in one day?

Happy Feel Good Friday everybodies!



We decided to take public transportation to Chinatown. These buses are free till 7pm and guess wat? They're underground! Yeah, beginning to end.


Every Chinatown has an "entry gate"


You know I had to take a pic of dis.... see da counter person? Complete with plastic lei.   😆 


Da Wife was a good sport.  😀   I thought these carts were really neat.  


I thought dis was jus' a hilarious WWD! pic. If you can't read da sign, it says "American Hotel"..... in Chinatown.   😆


Crepes crepes........


And more crepes


Da crepe shop is run by two Japanese nationals. Notice da rice cooker in da background?  😛


Very very cool guy. He speaks english very well and took pride in rolling dat buggah up.


I'm not a crepe fan (don't even eat it once in awhile) but dis one was ONO! Da fillings was plentiful and da "wrap" was very very very light and airy. It melted on your tongue!


Thought dis was kinda neat. A dragon on an electric pole.... jus' cruzin.   😆


Not surah if Chinese get "kau kau" but I thought maybe one Hawaii guy wen open dis eh?


Building aftah building filled with flagship stores


Me and my 7's again   😀 


Don't ask me how or why


Can you believe dat dis is all gingerbread and candies? Sheraton had a gingerbread village competition and some awesome designs and builds. Check out all of da gingerbread pics at da album link below.


Dinnah at Taphouse. Love dat quote.  :mrgreen:


House salad with creamy herb vinegerette


Spicy tuna.... yeah you heard me, spicy tuna


Roast beef and dipping au jus sauce. Da grilled vegetables were very tasty.


Dungeneous mac and cheese - very rich but ono


Round 1 - "Bartenders Picks" (L to R):  Boundary Bay IPA, Iron Horse Brown, Pike Kilt Lifter, Georgetown Red. My favorite from them... Iron Horse Brown.


Round 2 -  "Northwest Sampler" (L to R):  Elysian ESB, Leavenworth Heff, Boundary Bay Amber, Pike Naught Nellie. My favorite from them... Boundary Bay Amber.




Stay tuned for a rare weekend post! Seattle Center, Space Needle, Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum!



Braddah Lance Kwon

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