On Labor Day, we were looking for something to do with the boys and we decided to take them to see the Exhibition: Dinosaur exhibit at the Bishop Museum. We were lucky we went because it was actually the very last day to see the exhibit.
DSC07583The Kamaaina rates to the Bishop Museum was $14.95 for adults, $12,95 for seniors, and $10.95 for kids 4 – 17 years old.  They have some pretty decent family membership plans (starting at $120), and I think we will really consider getting one when Grayson gets a little older.
DSC07608There was an extra charge of $4.95 per person for the Dinosaur exhibit, but I thought it was worth it.  The Dinosaur exhibit was well done. Most of the exhibits were interactive, and there were also a lot of hands on activities.
DSC07615Connor really enjoyed “digging” for dinosaur fossils with a wire brush.
DSC07672We also got to see the daily “lava” show located in the Hot Spot Theater in the Science Adventure Center.
DSC07629For the lava show, they heated up basalt cinder rock in a brass furnace to around 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the cinder rock was in its molten liquid state, they poured it out of the furnace onto a metal pan where it formed volcanic glass.
We were sitting in the second row, so I didn’t get a very good picture of the lava.   It was bright white when they poured it out onto the pan.  They also passed around samples of different types of lava (a’a, pahoehoe, pele’s hair, etc. ). I had never seen the lava show before and I thought it was decently educational for the kids.
DSC07648As we were about to leave, they announced that a T-Rex was spotted outside the museum! We went outside to find a fifteen foot adolescent T-rex walking around.   WOW!
DSC07691The kids were so excited to see the dinosaur. Everyone lined up and took turns petting the T-Rex.  Connor wanted to pet the T-Rex for a second time, so he went to the back of the line waited to pet the dinosaur for a second time.  It was fantastic.
DSC07685I’m really glad that we were able to take the boys to the Dinosaur exhibit before it closed. We ended up staying half a day and both boys passed out on the way home. Overall, it was a great day with the family.

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI 96817
Open Daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm
Lava Show – 12pm and 2:30pm daily


Paw Patrol Live

For Con’s birthday present we took the boys to see a Paw Patrol Live – Race To the Rescue at the Blasdell Concert Hall.  Con is really into Paw Patrol right now, so much so that his birthday party had a Paw Patrol theme. Thus, when we heard that Paw Patrol Live was coming to town, we knew that these tickets would be a perfect birthday present.DSC07070We were lucky to go with a bunch of Everett’s high school classmates who all have kids around the same age as Con and Gray.DSC07100The show started when Adventure Bay’s Major Goodway goes missing under mysterious circumstances, and Ryder, Chase, Marshall, and the rest of the Paw Patrol need to step in and finish the race for Adventure Bay.  The kids were asked to look for clues to get the Paw Patrol through the race.DSC07113I was not expecting much from the play, and I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. We took Con to see Sesame Street Live last year, and I slightly preferred the Paw Patrol over Sesame Street! I think the Sesame Street Live had more familiar songs (Sesame Street Theme, Sing a Song, Elmo’s World, etc), but I enjoyed Paw Patrol’s story more and thought that Paw Patrol did a better job getting the kids to involved in the play.DSC07074All the kids were given white plastic pom-poms to cheer on the Paw Patrol’s Adventure Bay team and the prop really helped the kids feel comfortable interacting with the performance.  It was fun to see Con and all the other kids get into the play.  DSC07122I think Gray was a little too young to fully understand the play.  However, I think that he enjoyed the bright colors and the music.  Children under 1 years old were free, so at least we didn’t have to buy him a ticket.
DSC07155Overall, we had a really fun time watching Paw Patrol Live and would definitely go again if they come back to town.

La Cucina Ristorante Italiano

In June we celebrated Tyler and Alli’s birthdays at La Cucina.  We had not gone in a while, and I am still a big fan.  The restaurant is not perfect.  The restaurant is very tiny and there are only a few 2-seat tables available in the restaurant. They also don’t take reservations for parties under 4 people. Therefore, if you are doing a date night and don’t come early enough to make the first seating, you will likely end up waiting for about an hour.
DSC06845Also, there is only one chef making all the food, so depending on how many orders are in before yours, you could be waiting quite some time for your food. With all that said, I still give this restaurant 5 stars because the food is amazing.  Because we had a party of 8, we made reservations well in advance and preordered our food to speed up the process.  We ordered a few appetizers, two salads, and a number of entrees.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of most of the dishes. :/ Here are the pictures that I did remember to take. 
 We started the meal off with two orders of Bruschetta ($10) and Crostini Al Porcini ($12), shown above.  The Bruschetta came with 4 pieces of grilled buttered bread topped with fresh tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil.  The Crostini Al Porcini also came with 4 pieces of grilled bread topped with mozzarella and porcini mushrooms.
Next came our two salads – the Insalata di Prosciutto ($18) shown above, and the Insalata di Salmone ($18).  The Insalata Di Prosciutto had slices of proscutto and tomato and parmesan cheese on top of romaine lettuce and the Insalata Di Salmone came with a piece of grilled salmon on top of a head of romaine and mixed greens.  Both came with an olive oil vinaigrette.  If the food came out faster, I would say skip the appetizers and salads and go straight for the entrees.  However, given that there is only one chef, having an appetizer or salad is necessary to pass the time.
DSC06826We also ordered (not shown) the Gnocchi in Butter & Sage Sauce ($20), the Tagliolini Nero ($26) and the Risotto Norcina ($20).  Over the course of various occasions, I’ve tried all the Gnocchi (Butter and Sage, Gorgonzola, and Norcina and Vodka) and Risoto (Risotto Fungi, Risotto Norcina, Risoto Zafferano, and Risotto Nero) dishes and all of them are delicious.  I recommend them all.
DSC06828We also ordered the Agnello Shank and the Osso Buco.  Both dishes require preordering the dishes a few days in advance and the price varies by market rates.  Both were slowly braised and were fall of the bone tender.
DSC06839This is by far my favorite Italian restaurant on the island. The food is outstanding, and I have never had a bad dish yet.  All the dishes are fresh and made from scratch every day.

Good food with good people  There is nothing better.  Happy Birthday Tyler and Alli!!

La Cucina Ristorante Italiano
725 Kapiolani Blvd, Ste C112, Honolulu, HI 96813

Bakery & Table

Bakery & Table is one of Ev and my favorite places to go for breakfast. We try to eat there at least once a month to support the bakery.IMG_20180407_093600Located on the corner of King and Piikoi, Bakery and Table has parking lots off of both streets.  When you walk into the building you at greeted by a display of  deliciously perfect pastries. IMG_20180407_093804The morning specials, served between 8 am – 10:30 am, are such a great deal.  I usually get the Morning Time Set C, which is one sweet and one savory pastry with a small coffee (hot or iced) or tea for $5.50.  IMG_20180407_094434Bakery and Table’s #1 best sellers are these curry pan pastries.  This savory pastry is filled with Japanese curry and half a boiled egg. The outside is coated with a layer of rice crispies, which gives it a nice crunch.  Ev gets one of these  every time.
IMG_20180407_093634For my savory pastry, I chose the ham and cheese roll.  It was on par with other Japanese bakeries.
IMG_20180407_093641And, for my sweet pastry, I chose the Apple Pie Danish.  It was nice and flaky and with a nice apple filling that was not too sweet.
We also ordered the French Toast ($6.50).   I think I like Ev’s homemade French toast better, but this one is pretty good too.  It has a nice, custardy texture.
Overall, Bakery and Table is a nice weekend spot for pastries and coffee.  It gets pretty busy in the mornings but we’ve been lucky so far in getting a table.     

A Day at the Punahou Carnival

dsc059651.jpgPunahou Carnival!  Earlier this month, our family had a fun day spending all of our money at the Punahou Carnival.  I enjoy going to the carnival every year and I was especially excited this year because Connor was finally old enough to play the kid’s games.  We wanted to beat some of the crowds and had planned to get to the school as soon as the carnival opened at 11am.DSC05962Despite our best intentions, we got off to a slow start because Connor was in one of his disagreeable moods.  He was having a rough morning and was refusing to put on his sunscreen.  After taking some time to collect himself, Connor was able to pull himself together.  We got to the Carnival at around 11:30am.  So, overall, it was still not bad time for the family.DSC05969When we got to the carnival the first thing we did was purchase our scripts and ride card for the EK Fernandez rides.  I asked Connor what he wanted to do first – rides or games and he chose to play the games first.  We headed across the campus to the kiddie game area.  On the way, I picked up my taco salad ($3.50) that I get for lunch every year.  🙂DSC05966For about $10 worth of scripts, Connor had the best time playing all of the kids’ games.  He played all of the games at least once.  Most of the games were easy enough for Connor to play.  Connor enjoyed playing the duck pool, spin the wheel, fishing game, and bean bag toss games.
DSC05975Connor’s favorite game was the treasure hunt game, in which you had to search for buried jewels in a  sandbox.  The smaller the jewel, the more tickets you could win.
DSC05971Each game cost one script (50 cents) and depending on the game, there was an opportunity to win between one to five tickets, which could then be traded in for various prizes.After Connor spent all his money, he had 19 tickets, which he traded in for a bouncy ball, finger puppet toy, a can of putty, a sticky hand and a Chinese yo-yo.
DSC05985After the games, we walked around the farmer’s market and book tents.  I picked up about a 15 books for $6.  Score!  After that, we had lunch and then Connor was ready to go on the carnival rides. He rode on the Airplane, Dizzy Dinosaur and Speedway rides.
DSC05994After the rides we called it a day.  It was already around 2 pm and Connor was ready to take his nap.  He pretty much passed out as soon as head hit his pillow.  DSC06012Overall, a great day.  Goodbye Punahou Carnival! Until next year!

5 Months

DSC05798Grayson turned 5 months old earlier this month. Although he was over 3 weeks early and small for his age at birth, Grayson has pretty much caught up on his weight and height. I’m a little sad that he is no longer my tiny baby.DSC05808Overall, Grayson is starting to take on his own personality. He is my happy-go-lucky boy. It is so much easier to get him to smile for pictures. If you smile at him, he will usually smile back. He also loves cooing and making whale noises. I love having “conversations” with him – he coos, then I coo, and he coos back.IMG_20180106_151252I am glad that Grayson’s hair is finally starting to grow in. When he was born, he looked like an old balding man – no hair on top and small patches of hair on the sides. Now, his head resembles a fuzzy q-tip.IMG_20180106_110033Grayson has also gained much more control over his hands. He can generally grab things dangling in front of him. He has also taken a liking to sucking his left thumb. I’m happy that he likes sucking his thumb because he did not like pacifiers.DSC05825The biggest challenge right now is that he hates sleeping in his crib and loves sleeping in my bed. I don’t really blame him though. Crib beds are so hard any my bed is so soft and comfy. Stupid SIDS. Nights are still a bit of a struggle. On a good night he gets up once at around 4am, on bad nights he gets up 3 times, usually between 12 and 1 am, between 3-4am and between 5am and 6am.DSC05833I look forward to the day that Grayson sleeps through the night and I can actually get a full-night’s worth of sleep. But at least for now, this smile makes it all worth it.

Yakitori Hachibei

IMG_20171025_174624In October, Ev’s parents took the family out to a belated birthday Dinner for Ev.  After much debating, Ev decided on Yakitori Hachibei, which opened in Chinatown earlier this year.IMG_20171025_175753When we first arrived, it was still happy hour (from 5pm – 6pm) so we ordered a few of the appetizers off the happy hour menu.  Our favorite items were the Teba Karraage (fried chicken wings) with Hachibei’s special citrus dressing ($5) and the Goma Kampachi ($5), shown below.IMG_20171025_175516I was impressed with the happy hour menu, which had eight appetizers, 16 oz Kirin draft beers, and a selection of shochu highballs for $5 each.  I wouldn’t mind coming back for happy hour again.
IMG_20171025_184024The family ordered many items off the regular menu, but one of the more notable dishes that we ordered was the Cream Cheese Tofu and Miso Zuke Cheese ($8.60), which we spread on a fresh baguette slices.
IMG_20171025_184453I was also very impressed with the Hachibei Kashiwa Meshi Yaki Onigiri ($5.80 for 2), which was a grilled musubi made with Hakata rice cooked in chicken broth.  They also had a Shiso Yaki Onigri version ($5.80 for 2) that was also very tasty.
IMG_20171025_184903I also enjoyed the various chicken items, which were sourced locally from the J. Ludovico farm in Wailua.  My favorite chicken item was the Hachibei Foie Gras ($3.80), shown above. IMG_20171025_190833And, my favorite dish of the night was the Tsukiyaki Tokusen Kushi (specialty skewer, which was well worth the $6.80 price tag. Of all the skewers I tried that night, I would definitely recommend trying this one.

IMG_20171025_191946We ended the night with a large bowl (3 scoops) of pumpkin cream cheese ice cream, which was a dessert special that night.  I really like pumpkin (my favorite pie is pumpkin pie), but even I thought it had a strange taste.  Even though we would not recommend ordering it again, Connor still enjoyed it.

A Sneak Peak at Our Christmas Photos

Last weekend we finally took our family photos for our Christmas cards.  We normally take them in November so we were a little late this year.  There were so many good photos this year, I was a little sad that I couldn’t use them all.  Thanks so much to my friend Jolene for being so patient with my family.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the pictures that didn’t make the Christmas Card cut.  Ev  looked at the Christmas cards I just ordered and said that I chose the wrong pictures this year.  Looks like someone just volunteered himself to order our Christmas cards next year.  Ha!




2 Months

Grayson is definitely the second child.  For Connor, I created this blog so that I could journal about all his milestones and I took a zillion pictures.  For Grayson, Iʻm a month and a half late with this post and he has a total of a dozen pictures for the month.  Part of me feels really bad, and the other parts of me just feel tired…

Here are some pictures of Graysonʻs second month of life.