Sunday, July 22, 2007
Wing masters, a local bar that specializes in hot wings, began its first spelling bee this June in pursuit of new patrons. I came across it one day when I was walking to the farmer's market in Ballard. I had walked by the bar numerous Sundays without any interest to go inside, until I saw the strategically placed sign. So, what does this have to do with my travel blog? The grand prize is a $1000 travel voucher from the Magnolia travel agency. Although I have to admit, they had me at Spelling Bee.
Fear not the Scripps National Spelling Bee winner Evan O'Dorney. He lives at least a thousand miles away and has a good 8 years to go before he's allowed to enter the bar. However, amongst the many less-than-ideally educated regulars there have been a few contestants around to keep the contest interesting.
Who will win? Stay tuned.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Honolulu, especially Waikiki, is the busiest and most crowded tourist location in the state. But, even still, there are a lot of great things you can do in the area or just a short drive away, some of which you might not find in the tourist manual. Here are my recommendations:
-Visit the MaHaLo Hawaii Deep Sea™ Water showroom have some tea made with the water and stock up to stay hydrated on your trip.
-Buy Alaea salt from a nearby ABC store and grind it over a pat of butter to spread on baguette when you get home. If you put one granule on your tongue and let it sit, you will be amazed at how many different flavors a natural salt can have.
-Get a surfing lesson at Waikiki in front of Duke's. Don't try to go out there by yourself unless you're really good already. Me and my friends have been surfing from time to time and still struggled because there are tourists everywhere, you have to paddle pretty far to get a decent wave and the boards they rent are just plain heavy. So a lesson is worth the extra money.
-Pineapple County has a lot of what I like to call clubbin' clothes. Not really, my thing. But, if you stay downstairs they do have some great jewelry, including Kenneth Jay Lane. I got a really cute white and gold zebra bracelet with Swarovski crystals. The best part is that you can avoid taxes on large purchases. So, maybe it is time to get that Rolex you've been wanting.
-Maunawili Falls is not the biggest or most beautiful waterfall in the area, but it is one of the only places nearby where you can jump off the falls and swim in the water. It's also a nice 1 1/2 mile hike.
-The Wyland Waikiki is a new hotel that opened about 3 months ago. The Wyland art that is plastered everywhere is utilized in a really tasteful way creating a serene environment. Since the hotel is new, and Honolulu has had lower occupancy rates in their hotels, there are a lot of deals to be had. The rooms are nice and clean, although a little small. They have a great lobby area, a room full of plasmas where you can watch DVDs through the X-Box and a nice pool/hot tub area. Since it is not on the main drag it stays much quieter than the beach front hotels and doesn't have a lot of people wandering around who shouldn't really be there.
Destination Reading: Steppin' on a Rainbow (by Kinky Friedman)
Photography by me.