Archive for the ‘Travelog’ Category

Travel Ants In Your Pants

December 21st, 2015

Going holoholo is something we all wish/dream about. If we had da means, I'm surah we'd explore to our hearts desire but alas, most of us do not have dat luxury. In fact, most of us have to endure 'economy class' in one or all of airfare, hotel accomodations and activities.

It's not so much wen traveling with a significant oddah or with 'da boys' but wen traveling with ohana, things just call for more attention to detail: wea you going, wea you staying, wat you going do, wea you going eat etc.

For da first time in five years, Da Wife and I gave in to taking Da Ohana on our first, Ohana vacation. It wasn't a decision we came to lightly as we both agreed early on dat we wouldn't take them till they were nearing double digits in age. Naturally, money is an issue, but with da barrel of oil at an all time low, airfares have followed suit making it easier to 'afford' probably one of da biggest cost of any vacation. With Da Keiki a few months older than 5 and Da Baby at 30 months, da first thought in our minds was wea to go. I'll give you one guess and it has choke lights......

If you guessed Japan............ silly you, wishful me.

Disneyland of course! :grin:

As an adult, our eyes lit up too cause we haven't been there in almost a decade and to share a place like Disney with your keiki is any parent's dream.... or nightmare.

So let me ask you, have any of you been there recently? Obviously Da Keiki and Da Baby will be limited in their ridership but I know there are CHOKE changes since we've been there such as now you're allowed to bring in your own watah and no selfie sticks. Luckily we'll have two strollers and Grandma in tow (we were told to bring 'reinforcements' so we weren't going to DL without Grandma :lol: ) so we'll have 'storage' for kiddie snacks and maybe a musubi or two but you got any experiences to share like wea's da best bathroom? Should we walk da park counter clockwise? Skip Main Street to do on our way out instead? Are there show times to avoid? Must do's? Must don'ts? Are there any "secret's"? I read dat there certain foods dat you can't get elsewhere in da park like da giant turkey legs.

We'll be up there in mid-February for about a week so I'm just hoping dat there aren't too many rides down for maintenance. Multi-day passes are a given since we'll be there for nearly a week. Yeeeeaaaaa boi! *said in a happily sad voice once I'm realizing da crying and whining dat will consume us from not only our keiki's but oddahs*

As December rolls to a close, I am anticipating our (my) first vacation in ovah five years so yeah, I got ants in my pants.

Wait a minute, I just realized dat I'll be "babysitting" during a vacation at da happiest place on Earth..... and on my birthday.

Wassup Wit Dat!

History You Take For Granted... Right Under Our Noses

May 30th, 2010

On an early gloomy and rainy Sunday morning, I made my way down to the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor although that wasn't my intended destination.

As I was driving there, images of what "it was like" started stirring up in my coconut shell and there was no way in the world that I would have been able to come close in imagining how it would have been with bombs, explosions and sun scorching infernos blasting on that day, December 7, 1941.

Movies and pictorials was all I had to fall back on trying to envision that disastrous day - but that wasn't enough. Walking on the hallowed grounds, standing above the memorials and taking a moment - several moments - to reflect, respect and remember what happened nearly 70 years ago wouldn't fit into one day let alone a week.

NEO, a history major and a devoted Kwonic, was extremely gracious enough to stop by - on his day off nonetheless - and be our personal tour guide to one of the most iconic treasures in not only World War II history but in the world itself, the great USS Missouri or more commonly known, the Mighty Mo'.

A very educated history buff with information, facts and stories up the wazoo, it's amazing his head didn't explode from the wealth of knowledge stored up in his noggin'... and he didn't hold back. I was extremely impressed with his thoroughness and passion for not only the Mighty Mo' but for history itself.

As we toured the great ship, NEO painted a vivid picture of how it was like being on board. Simplistic things we take so granted in this automated electronic day was literally "man-handled" back then but with amazing precision and efficiency. Pictures will never do it justice as it is a monument that needs to visited and experienced first hand.

In tribute to all our service men and women (past, present and future) this Memorial Day, follow along as WWD! humbly honors one of the United States greatest treasure resting where it all began in our waters at Pearl Harbor,

E Komo Mai Mighty Mo'! 


Two amazing sights... Battleship USS Missouri and the Arizona Memorial


The newly renovated - and still renovating - Pearl Harbor Historic Sites is at the very least, very renovated. It has a very modern and ecological redesign as well as making sure not to lose the ambiance of the historic site.


The only way to the USS Missouri is by shuttle for civilians as it's docked on Ford Island


All 50 state flags line part of the dock in the order of joining the union


Some of the massive fire power on board the Mighty Mo'


Artillery shells - empty of course - come 6ft tall


Hard to see but that little speck in the middle is a boat that will gun you down if you dare enter Pearl Harbor without permission. They even keep an eye out on the Mighty Mo' visitors for any suspicious activity.


Under the massive guns the Mighty Mo' is known for and they are hugemangeous! A total of nine 16-inch guns, each equipped with a 65-foot-long, 116-ton barrel that could fire a 2,700-pound shell 23 miles in 50 seconds with pinpoint accuracy - basically from Pearl Harbor to Haleiwa as NEO says.


The number signifies how many rounds have been fired from this specific turrent and the map shows the location of hits


A very interesting story about the dent made along the railing. Check it out by clicking here.

The model is hard to see through the reflection but under each turrent is four levels of mad efficiency. Back in the day, the sailors assigned to the turrent could load all three turrents in less than 30 seconds. Today? In under 15.


Tactical command central

The view for the tomahawk missles


Looks pretty old school huh?



Future Captain and XO?

The view from the upper deck


Check out the maze of wiring


I didn't chance it

The navigation bridge seemed pretty "plain" considering the firepower that was below it


:grin:  Do you "see" anything?

Notice the bubble level? If the bubble passes "60" on either end, the boat capsizes - not a good thing when you're at sea.


I'm guessing this was installed after the war

Captain's cabin

Damage control

Damage control crew

Pretty tight quarters

The view back then at the time of surrender


The view today



There are two instruments of surrender signed - one for the Allies and one for Japan. On the Japan copy, Col. Lawrence Moore Cosgrave from Canada signed his name on the wrong line and thereafter everyone else had to cross out their own name and resign on the succeeding line thereafter.   :oops: 

Chicken skin speech

It is and will always be an eerie site of the USS Arizona still leaking oil


The Mighty Mo'
Check out the website by clicking here,


For those planning on visiting Pearl Harbor - a word of advice. Don't try to do both the Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri on the same day unless you have a super sized stamina tank. Even though they are virtually near each other - besides becoming exhausted walking all over - you really do a disservice by "rushing" through.

There are two other attractions to visit (with paying admission) while you're there, the USS Bowfin (attack submarine) and the Pacific Aerospace Museum.


Muchos Mahalos again to NEO for coming down on your day off and sharing your mana'o, mo'olelo's and your passion for such an iconic piece of history.  


We soon may not remember..... but let's never forget.


 God speed to all the service men and women of all of our armed forces.




Hint hint........ Stay tuned for June 1st's blog entry

Hint hint........ Stay tuned for June 1st's blog entry

Hint hint........ Stay tuned for June 1st's blog entry

Did I mention to stay tuned for the June 1st blog entry?   :razz:



Viva Las Vegas!

December 30th, 2009

C'mon, who hasn't SEEN Las Vegas?

Ok, who hasn't BEEN to Las Vegas?

Uh, have you even HEARD of Las Vegas?

There's no doubt that Vegas is ever changing and even more so now with the new hugemangeous City Center up. Chances are if you blink, there's something probably that you wish you could have seen but isn't there any more. Besides gambling, there's tons to do if you look and/or want.

I dunno about you but I'm kinda ovah Vegas.


Yeah, you heard right. Don't know if it's MLC - oh wait, no can use dat cause I no stay at The Cal or Main Street - but I'm kinda ovah da whole neon lights thing, huge buffet and "free" drinks. I've done da Hoover Dam, Mt.Charleston, Red Rock and even drove up north to Utah to snowboard but wen I stay with Da Wife, she's done those things too (except da snowboard part) and she's not too keen on da driving long distances unless absolutely necessary so besides da shopping and kau kau, she's ovah Vegas too.

I'd love to do a Grand Canyon tour, white water rafting or maybe even an Area 51 campout... but Da Wife not into dat kine stuff. My friends and I have had a tough time getting our schedules all synched so we haven't had a boys trip in a few years and with our "bettah halves" in da picture, shmall kine hard.

For me, Vegas has lost it's wide-eyed luster but there's always the gambling.   :grin:  You can't get away from dat. So wat do Da Wife and I do besides shop? Try to find new and interesting things that we haven't seen or done the last time we're there and of course, trying to find da ono grinds doesn't hurt either.   :razz: 

So hea's a few things to check out if you haven't done so before..............


Well maybe not to check out but you do know dat Vegas is da 9th Island right?


Can't start off a day in Vegas without a good hearty breakfast and judging from da 30 minute wait dis place has got to be good especially wen backed by Man vs Food and Rachel Ray!


Da Wife's plate. Fo'got wat she got but it had chorizo in it and da homemade biscuit was to die for!


Andy's Sage Fried Chicken w/ fresh spinach, hardwood smoked bacon, market tomatos, homemade biscuit, egg, mozzarella and chipotle cream
If you go and you hungry... GET THIS ONE! Supah hugemangeous, supah ono and guaran's kanacks.


Was there any doubt I couldn't finish it?


Can't argue with saving da planet    :mrgreen:


Anybody know CPR?


Have you evah seen Downtown like dis?   :shock: 


Don't even ask me wat da heck was going on in dat tent but they had full on ID check and only let in a specific numbah of people at a time... only in Vegas


I thought dis was sooo funny. Don't get it yet? Da name boasts "neon" but da neons no work.   :lol:  
By the way - I bet a ton of you don't know - dis is da beginning of da "old school" Neon Museum. 10 refurbished neon signs from waaay back in da day have been put back into circulation and are indicated by plaques along dis short walkway at Fremont Street.


Bet you didn't know there was a pretty big history wall map of Downtown Las Vegas near da theaters huh? Did you even know Downtown had theaters?


Don't do it......     :lol: 


Fremont Experience light show


Wat happened to Chevron?


A must stop.... In N Out burgers! Double for me and a single for Da Wife - both animal style!


And animal style fries of course!


Uh.... dunno wat to make of dis sign. So does dat mean Vegas' watah is dat bad dat they have to "import" watah?   :shock: 


HNL2LAS joined us for dinnah at Sushi on Rainbow.... and then I found out she doesn't eat seafood. WWD!   :lol:   Was great to meet up with a Kwonic! 


City Center
It wasn't as "exciting" as they made it seem. Unless you're a guest or a resident at City Center, it's almost like there's nothing to do because a majority of the place is for guests only. There's art work, not all stores are open and it's very very fancy.

You see da "different" windows at da Mandarin Hotel? It's actually da lobby on da 23rd floor. 


Da ugly side of Vegas. And wen we we were there, someone had actually damaged the 'Welcome To Vegas' sign with red paint.


Pink's Hot Dogs at Planet Holleywood

Chili cheese fries, Spicy Mojave Dog - Ono! and The Showgirl Dog
It's hella expensive for "dogs" but gotta try once right?


Oh yeah, had a Coke too

Can't forget dessert




Click hea to see tons more photos of City Center, Wynn Buffet, Bellagio Christmas Atrium, da rest of da Neon Boneyard and oddah Vegas sights.


SHOUT OUT:  MUCHOS MAHALOS to all who stopped by with goodies and those who were visiting from off island and da mainland who took some time out of their vacation to stop by!

I especially liked those who even mailed Christmas Cards and photos! Now those were a real treat as they were even HANDWRITTEN! WOW! Amazing there's still people who do dat!   :razz:  

Don't want to name names but you know who you are... I hope.



Braddah Lance Kwon

Portland Day 3 & 4 In A Nutshell

December 24th, 2009

Aftah Day 2, day 3 was a piece of cake. Wen we first left da hotel, da morning looked very promising especially cause we actually were able to see sky AND sunlight - a rarity I hear for Portland dis time of year.    :razz:   

We started da day with a great breakfast at Helser's on Alberta and went to a small outlet, Columbia Gorge, to shop (dis tax free stuff is great!). Funny thing wen traveling, I tink you just gotta "go free" sometimes and dis time wasn't any different. We went through dat outlet pretty quick and didn't have any solid plans so we just drove. Little did we know dat we were only minutes away from wat turned out be a very interesting drive.

We found the Historic Columbia River Highway and took a drive for as long as there was sunlight - or lack thereof. We just drove till it got dark.  :roll:  Sometimes da best part of a trip is unplanned.

Our last (half) day in Portland was spent walking around downtown and enjoying their street cart vendors. They're kinda like manapua trucks but each one sold their own unique flavah. Wat made it really unreal was dat all da ethnic foods and cuisines dat were being offered were made by their respective people. Da Greek foods were made by Greeks, da Mexican food was made by hispanics, southern food was made by southerners and so on and so on. No mattah wat cusine you picked, da street cart vendors will satisfy ANYBODY's pallette.


Was dis a promising sign for bettah weather ahead?


Dis guy was selling Christmas trees in his front yard.... wat did you tink da sign meant?   :razz: 

Helsers on Alberta - a very popular spot for breakfast


A real homey feel and a very cozy dining area with handwritten chalk specials


Pepper bacon and chedder hash: Pepper bacon, Tillamook cheddar, Yukon Gold potatoes, scallions, onions topped with two poached eggs and creme fraiche. Yuuummm.


Brioche French Toast: Sliced thick and soaked in a vanilla cinnamon batter served with buttery syrup and sweet butter. Even MORE yuuummmy! It was one of da fluffiest, lightest french toast I've evah had. You tink it sounded overly sweet but it wasn't.


It was just like da Pali hea at Crown Point with da Columbia River in da background


A very neat little find dat a lot of people just drove by cause it wasn't da "headliner"


Just anoddah waterfall no?


Did you notice dis at da base of da waterfall? It was below freezing so even before da watah hit da base, it froze and ended up making an "ice volcano" which was something I'd nevah seen before. Since da waterfall nevah completely froze ovah, it created a 'reverse volcano' of ice wea watah was going in instead of coming out. If you look at da walkway, it's not wet... it's ice. Trust me.   :roll: 


Hea's anoddah angle. I tried to get "on top" but dis was as good as it got.


Da "headliner"


Dat coffee got cold really fast


50 feet high on da lower falls and 300 feet on da upper


Mold  Moss AND ice?


They weren't lying. You couldn't even walk on dis suckah.


If you look really closely in da puka, dat's wea da watah is running - everything on top got frozen including da fallen leaves.


Dis lake froze ovah. How did I know? I saw da rocks sitting on top.   :wink: 


Da magic of telephoto lenses. Dis is across da Columbia River.


Dinnah was at The Original - A Dinerant. I'm guessing they could decide whether to call it a diner or a restaurant.


Moose Drool. For realz, das wat it's called.


Chili cheese fries - da buggah was SUPAH ONO! Da fries was perfect and their homemade chili and melted cheese had da perfect chili/cheese to fries ratio.


See! All gone.   :grin:  


Da Wife had da 72 hour BBQ Brisket with mac n cheese and brown butter braised greens 


Cascade natural NY strip steak with green bean casserole, bordelaise


Portland is a very bicycle friendly town. Also a very pet friendly town. And a very "artsy" town too.


There were wat seemed like a ton of these "street cart vendors" and it was hard choosing one... so we ate at a few.   :grin: 


Check out da 5-Oh Burger


As you can tell, it was raining but dat didn't stop "Side Cart" from frying anything and everything!


Look how big dis burrito is from Mr.Taco!


Pulled pork sandwich with secret sauce.... it was FANTASTIC! Told by a couple of guys as we were contemplating at da menu dat dis is THE best pulled pork around. His baked beans and potato salad was broke da mouth as well!

Wat a clever slogan! If it wasn't for dat, I wouldn't have tried.

Chicken Schnitzelwich. ONOLICIOUS! Dat orange sauce is pretty tasty as well as da batter on da chicken.


I wondah how come we don't have these kine trash cans around Hawaii wea we get sun like 99% of da time.... WWD!


 As always, CLICK HEA for more pics....

SHOUT OUT:   If you missed out on yesterday's blog, still get a couple of containers of fresh homemade kim chee for anyone who like sample.  :grin: 


In case we don't hear from each oddah, Merry Christmas to da WWD! Hui! You guys are wat makes dis blog click!


Braddah Lance Kwon

Portland Day 2

December 23rd, 2009

Believe it or not there are still a few more travelogs to share and amazingly I got an 808 Pride post too... from da mainland!

Well Day 2 in Portland was a go go go day. We woke up pretty early to drive over to Tillamook (2 to 2 ½ hour drive) because it was a "touristy" thing to do.   :razz:   If you don't know or nevah heard about them, check out your local grocery store's cheese section.   :wink:

With all da suggestions coming in about Portland, dis place popped up a few times and even my MIL (mother-in-law) suggested we head down there. They not only have cheese but they make their own fudge and ice cream too! Yummmmm.

Hea's a mo'olelo dat I really didn't want to share but being da king of WWD! moments it would have been wrong if I didn't.

Da drive to Tillamook is pretty scenic if da weather was clear. You get to see some breathtaking views of farmlands, different crops and nature - if you're into dat kind of thing. As we left da city, there was fog all around (could have been clouds) and visibility was at most about 50 yards. Da fields all around were hard to see and we were anticipating worse as there rain was in da forecast and da drive had us going through da mountains.

Once we entered da long drive through da mountains, da clouds (fog) lifted and it was just anoddah day in country paradise. We saw some podunk areas and we saw some really elaborate farm houses, both just like in da movies. Da drive had me wide-eyed as I enjoy scenic drives and scenery more than da destination itself at times. Da winding roads allowed us to slow down - although da 'locals' were ripping it - to take in some sights even though it was only a two lane road (one in each direction) da whole way down!

Once out of da mountains it was a straight shot to Tillamook for a good handful of miles and one of da ODDest sights I've seen was at least five trucks with surfboards on da roof (WWD! And you guys call ME pupule for wearing shorts).  I wanted to follow them but Da Wife would have made me walk back. 

Aftah I let a couple of cars pass us by, Da Wife soon noticed - and mentioned - dat da speed limit signs had dropped from 60 to 35 so I took my foot off da accelerator to slow down and being dat it was near freezing temperatures I decided to let da car slow down on it's own. Soon aftah there was a small dip in da road going below train tracks and once we got back ovah to da plateau, da town soon popped up and visible instantly in da distance.

Da Wife noticed a 25 sign on da side of her eye.... and a sheriff.   :shock:

I looked in da rear view and saw him pull out of nowhere with his lights on. I knew it was for me.  :sad:  I didn't hesitate and immediately pulled ovah.

SHERIFF:     "The speed limit here is 25. There's a sign about 20 yards past the bridge, did you not see it?"
BL:     *pidgin off*   "No sir. Sorry, I didn't notice it. We noticed the change to the 35 sign coming from the highway and started to slow down and then my wife had noticed the 25 after the bridge. I didn't want to jam on my brakes and slide so I was trying to slow down gradually without locking up anything. "
SHERIFF:     "You're entering the town so we need people to slow down. It's a $300 fine. Can I have your license?"
BL:     *already had it out ready*
SHERIFF:     *Santa Claus like figure just missing da long beard bends down a little to look in the car*   "Who's this person next to you?"
BL:     "My wife."
SHERIFF:     "You got a beautiful wife there and I can say that because I'm old enough to be her grandfather. Let me give you a few words of advice. Always listen to her and two words you need to memorize, 'Yes dear'. How long have you been married?"
BL:     "Two and half years."
SHERIFF:     "I've been married for 47 and lived by that advice and done good. Now I can give you a $300 ticket or you can do two things for me."
BL:       *nods in disbelief*
SHERIFF:     "First, I need you to put your head down towards your wife and second......young lady, give you husband a big smack on the back of his head."
DA WIFE: "Certainly!"

Da sheriff was very very cool - not just because he didn't give us (me) a ticket but he didn't have an attitude nor was he rude. Maybe it was because he never saw a Hawaii license or two scared asians (one in shorts) sitting in a Ford but he kindly instead gave us a few words of advice for married life.

Maybe he was Santa Claus.    :wink:



Da day started off with anoddah "breakfast" at Voodoo Doughnut

Doughnut challenge... and boy was I hungry!
I was surprised by da amount of homeless out on da streets but dis was pretty bad

Their infamous "voodoo" doughnut
Their infamous "giant" doughnut. Trust me, dis buggah is REALLY HUGE!

Da Wife had a plain chocolate doughnut but I asked da workah wat was his favorite and dis was it: chocolate covered oreo and peanut butter and I tink maple syrup

Gotta love dat sign   :grin:

Welcome sign

They are proud of their cows

Fully automated and only about five plant workahs on duty

Weighing da cheese to da exact ounce

Grilled Tillamook cheese and chowder

Talk about high tech... I guess da original "bell" didn't cut it

Funny slogan

Can you believe dis was only $3? From left to right: Espresso mocha, root beer float and Tillamook strawberry
WOW! A bit of Hawaii is nevah too far away.

Have you evah seen a stop sign IN da road?

It's icy cold down there

Can you believe dat is da Pacific and dat sign is just "weird" to see
Da drive back we found dis.... a footbridge and to da right is a pool to wade in and you can't see it in da pic but there's a swinging rope too. If I had brought a towel I would have definitely gone polar bear dipping!

You can barely see it but right below my thumb is a snowflake

No, da background isn't fake. We found anoddah waterfall semi-hidden... nature at it's best

I've been in snow but dis was sooo different. It wasn't wet snow or heavy snow, it fluttered down lightly (like da movies) and didn't melt wen it hit your skin or even da ground.

Dis was one of two "nearest" outlets in Portland and it's about a 40 minute drive. There are oddahs but da drive is long. We did da most damage at dis outlet.  :grin: 

Hawai'i no ka oi yeah?

They have dis really neat treehouse
We had dinner at Toro Bravo - a very hip, popular and crowded establishment dat serves up pinchos, tapa or paella type plates. It's a family style eatery and definitely not one if you're looking to pound - it's more of a "try everything" kind of thing. Since da food is served in small plates, they "time out" your food so you're not sitting and waiting. You're eating steadily and not having all da plates come out at once. It's mostly Spanish based dishes and there are some really creative menu items which Da Wife really enjoyed but me? It was... weird.
Duck liver mousse terrine with morels & house made sidra mustard 
Druken pork with heirloom shell bean stew
Paella Toro with chorizo, chicken, shrimp, clams & mussels
SHOUT OUT:   It's dat time of year and for those faithful WWD! readers you're in luck! If you're interested in free homemade kim chee, let me know asap as there are only a limited quantity available. Da pickup is Thursday Dec 24th at The Honolulu Advertiser building on Kapiolani Blvd BEFORE 1pm. If you can't make it, let me know and I can drop off as long as it's between town and Pearl City.
Da catch?
You need to pay it forward by helping anyone out - a friend, family member, co-worker, stranger. It's as simple as holding a door open for somebody or paying a compliment. If you put a smile on their face, consider it paid.   :grin:  
Snooze you lose.
Braddah Lance Kwon