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This final Hawaiian post is a long one.  Grab a beverage or a snack and sit for a spell, won’t you?  We’re starting out in Hale’iwa on the North Shore, the surfing capitol of the world.  There are lots of charming shops selling all kinds of goodness, and equally charming people.  We’ll definitely be back here.

Action shot!  The North Shore seems to be the shave ice capitol of the world, as well.  If I do say so myself, our combination of lemon, coconut, and vanilla was pretty darned awesome.  Soft, almost creamy, no ice crystals, and that touch of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of the cup was divine.

Anahulu stream bridge in Hale’iwa.  I love bridges.

A cute cottage for island living.

Smack-dab in the middle of the Dole Plantation.  I have never seen so many pineapples!

Highway 99 south to Honolulu.

Dining at the Kapiolani Farmer’s Market.  We indulged in an omelet with asparagus and island sheep cheese, super refreshing sparkling beverages, macadamia flower honey from Kaneohe, and abalone.  Despite being slightly worried that we were the only haolies in line for them, they did not disappoint: garlicky, buttery, slightly chewy, a bit like escargot.  What a pretty bit of “garbage,” as well.

The Kapiolani Community College (the location of the farmer’s market) has one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever seen.  There are a myriad variety of flowers…

And cacti…

And more flowers.  This was actually part of a hedge.  A hibiscus hedge.  It is paradise, after all!

This amazing banyan is the neighbor of the Iolani Palace.

The Hawaiian Crest, it reads:

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono

The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness

The grand entrance to the Iolani Palace.

Still pretty grand is the back entrance, where our tour started.

The barracks – can you tell Hawaiian royalty was deeply influenced by Europe, and, in particular, Great Britain?

What a fine porch to take in a luau…

Or wait for a tour wearing our special shoe covers.  No photos allowed inside.  Trust me, it was worth it.

Twin Palm trees and a beautiful view.

The state capitol building is unlike any I have seen before.  I really liked the architecture.  It is open to the elements,  with offices around a courtyard.  The handsome mosaic, reminiscent of the ocean, is at the center.

Also on the grounds of the capitol is this quite fine and modern rendering of the gracious and giving Father Damien.  A sainted man who cared for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those with leprosy (Hansen’s disease).  He worked tirelessly for sixteen years before contracting and succumbing to the disease himself.  Mahalo.

Greetings from his Majesty King Kamehameha, responsible for uniting the Island Kingdom of Hawaii.  You can see the real cape he wore (made of thousands of red and yellow feathers) as well as other gorgeous finery on the tour of the Iolani Palace.

The grand mausoleum of King William Lunalilo, elected popularly and by the legislature.

Lunch time at the Hawaii State Art Museum.  The restaurant was highly recommended by our tour guide at the Iolani Palace.  The chef takes a “local first, organic whenever possible, and with aloha always” approach.  It is mighty fine.

A tribute to Hawaiian Firefighters.  Mahalo!

The Honolulu Brewing Company building, circa 1900.  It actually went under a $25 million dollar renovation, but, quite unfortunately, I guess they used some super stinky wood sealer, and the building remains unoccupied.  Talk about a bummer.  It was, however, used in LOST, in some scenes where Charlie was meant to be in England.  This also reminds me, we had one LOST sighting on our island adventure.  In the airport on our way home, we saw Jack’s father Christian.  He is more handsome and shorter than I expected.  Go figure.

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel grounds.  As we were walking by, we saw a couple readying for their wedding ceremony.  What a place to tie the knot!  For my Uncle Chris, and a shout out to Rick, too: we couldn’t find the place you guys had a cocktail, but no worries, we indulged in more than one delicious tropical drink requiring an umbrella and a maraschino cherry.  We also had stunning views from the Punchbowl (see below).

Pineapple County Store

An Oahu icon, we had really good burgers and the equally good company of a local who dines here every night.

Leonard’s makes Malasadas, the best doughnut-like baked good I have ever tasted.  Trust me, with a particular fondness for fried dough, I have A LOT of experience in this area.  We tried them plain, filled with chocolate (like a really good pudding), and a silky coconut cream, of course.  Is there a Hawaiian term for Ooh la la?

We’re at the Punchbowl National Cemetery.  Located in a crater above the city, the cemetery is a stunning memorial to the sacrifices of our service men and women.  Lady Columbia holds a laurel branch and represents the grieving of all mothers.  Inscribed beneath her are the words of Abraham Lincoln:

“The solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”

Amen to that.

It is a somber place of gorgeous vistas, encompassing Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor.

The small chapel.

One of the marvelous maps detailing World War II battles.

A final view of the sea.

Mahalo much, dear Hawaii!

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Hi everyone –

Thanks so much for your kind words over the past few days.  I am feeling better.  Sometimes meltdowns are necessary, yes, totally.

Now, as the Monty Python boys would say, “For something completely different,” or, maybe “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

I was visiting the Angry Chicken blog the other day and she mentioned Land’s End and how, now that she’s old enough not to care, she can say how much she likes their Canvas line.  It’s funny, because I had been contemplating a post about my love for all things Land’s End for quite some time, but didn’t have the balls to put it out in public like that.  With all the positive words I read in her comments, I decided to declare myself.  Here’s why: I am a classic preppy girl at heart, and they really deliver in this department, and at  fantastic prices.  Sign up for their deals online and you get free shipping (not all the time, but I haven’t had to pay for it in quite a while) and some pretty sweet discounts (25% off sometimes – hard to beat).  Men’s TALL sizes – the hubster need not expose his belly to the world!  I also love that you can buy through the catalog and return items through your local Sears – no return shipping!  Their customer service is awesome, via phone or chat online.  They also truly believe in their products, don’t have those awful final sales, and will take items back any time, like forever. I’m sold.  Here’s a few photos to show you.

As well, any time you decide to watch America’s Next Top Model and want to laugh at some of the awful looks the ladies give, know that this standing in front of the camera business is hard.  Oh goodness, did I ever take a lot of pictures and resorted to goofy faces out of a singular desire to get it done before the sun went down.  Sheesh.

I’m wearing the Canvas line Cotton Lawn Shirt.  I love it so much that I have it in Navy, too.  The pants are Women’s Heritage Chinos in Navy.  The button detail is fantastic.  I also adore the fact that they will hem the pants to the length you want at no extra charge.  I love short pants, and I cannot lie!  I opted for a 26″ inseam.

The cute anchor necklace.  I am also a rather big fan of nautical themes.

I’m wearing my worst inquisitive look, but whatever, the shirt is Canvas Gingham Poplin in Navy.  Navy cardigan from J. Crew last year.  Bag is the Garment Washed Ragtop Tote.  Shoes Cole Haan.

I’m screaming in horror at what I’m doing!  Short Sleeve Aqua-Terra Rash Guard Shirt.

All the skin is so bright!  Beach Living Mini Dots Bikini.  It makes me feel like a 50’s bombshell…

Sleeveless Jersey Cover-Up in Navy.  It has pockets!  The sandals are from last year.

Enough already!  Shirred Front Dress.  More pockets!

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Greetings!

How about that assortment of fabric?  All are Liberty of London prints purchased at Target this past Sunday.  My friend Meegan organized a group to meet at our local store for the big launch.  We all arrived bright and early (8:00) for the hullabaloo, made even harder by the fact that we’d all sprung forward.  Then the oddity started.

As this Target had no over night team to ready the displays, everything, save a few dresses and swim suits at the front of the store were all that had been unpacked.  So, imagine a growing crowd of women hovering around a single Target team member hoping for the next best thing in Liberty!  It was a bit of a mad scene, at times.  Thankfully, I was just along for the ride.  I had not pinned my hopes on buying anything, save maybe a dress for a tropical adventure, so I was not disappointed when the really serious ladies were filling shopping carts with everything they could.

Again, oddly enough, the hubster made out with more than I did – the purple and green on the left is a tie, and the wild peacock print is a pair of boxers.  Although he did not know it until I arrived home – he had no intention of losing sleep to be at Target, of all places.  I did find a dress, in the girl’s department, as, even though every association I have with Liberty is all about cotton, every dress and blouse for women was made of polyester.  No thanks.  So that’s my pattern in the background.

More odd, as I was loitering and enjoying the melee, I saw a familiar face, and scanning through the Rolodex of my mind thought the woman might be another Portland blogger.  I kept watching, feeling more certain, before asking, “Are you The Eggplant?”  Much to my delight, her reply was a resounding, “Yes!” and we had some shared giggles over the cute patterns and the madness of it all.  A fun and funny Sunday morning, to be sure.

So, I’ve got quite the hodgepodge for you today.  First off, isn’t this a gorgeous sky?  It was like the heavens couldn’t make up their mind, sweet, soft, and ethereal pink or menacing grey.  A bit like me, sometimes I just can’t decide.

Take, for instance, my sugar addiction.  One moment I am not at all interested in eating one more bite of it, and I get a little haughty, feeling, “Oh, I’ve really licked it this time!”  Then, I drive by Pix, pull over the car and eat half of a St. Honore before I am dumbstruck by what is happening.  Shoot!  As for this very moment, I am feeling, more than anything else, like I need to let the obsession go.  I am a pretty healthy person, all things considered, knocking on wood, etcetera, etcetera.  Why fret about it?  My cravings ebb and flow, like a river or the sea, just let it be.

Speaking of being and the flow of the sea, today my yoga practice involved a new, and rather exciting video (at least to me – it’s been out for a while) Shiva Rea: Yoga Trance Dance.  I’m pretty sure I have mentioned that I LOVE to dance, in a crazy, unscripted, primal, and occasionally, um, nutty, kind of way, really taking the rhythms to another plane, both physically and mentally (quite unlike my graceful ballerina friend Mara).  Thankfully, this DVD fully embraces these qualities, really engaging the practitioner in a dynamic and energizing flow, riding the waves of grace, energy, and movement.  I highly recommend it.

Now, a bit more of the sea, in a shopping and decorating note.  How about this painting gracing our bedroom?  There used to be a poster of an old map of Paris, but we had grown tired of it, and then I got, in a semi-paranoid state, to thinking that if the big earthquake comes while we are in bed and knocks it off the wall, we’re goners.  So, the other day at the Goodwill Bins, I found this.  It is an original oil painting by H. Walker.  I know nothing of this person, but bless his or her heart, the sea is right, and I got a bargain that will not kill me, my precious spouse, or cats, all for $20, including the frame.  Not bad, not bad at all my precious peeps.  Now if I could center the bed under the painting, my anal-retentive self would be super happy.  One thing at a time…

Finally, the last of the summer tomatoes.  We’ve had quite the season around here – I canned nine pints, made a big batch of Spicy Tomato Chutney (Zowie – I posted this recipe one year ago TODAY!), and eaten and eaten to my heart’s content.  These are the Sungold cherry variety from our rather prolific vines.  I sliced them, sprayed them with olive oil (using our refillable pump – love this gadget), followed by a sprinkle of salt, and two hours at 200 degrees in the oven.  With my instructions, because I didn’t want to stop watching the news and get off the couch (sometimes I refuse to budge), the hubster made this pasta dish.  Easy, delicious.   Why don’t you try it?  This serves two and is yummy!

Pasta (we used brown rice fettuccine, as we avoid wheat when we can)

1 handful pine nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

3-4 fresh sage leaves, sliced fine, as in a chiffonade

1 handful raisins

1 large handful of sun or oven dried tomatoes

salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste

While your pasta is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until light brown, shaking the pan to evenly brown.  Set aside.  Add butter and olive oil to pan, bring to a slow bubble, add the sage and raisins, cooking until the raisins puff a little, add the tomatoes and gently stir, just until warmed through.  Once your pasta is finished, toss everything together.  Season with salt, fresh ground pepper, and red pepper flakes.

If you have some green tomatoes left in the garden, fry them up!  We sliced ours to about 1/4″, dipped them in Ener-G egg replacer (regular egg will do), dredged them in brown rice flour (more crunch, but wheat will do), corn meal, salt, and pepper, and fried in enough sunflower oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.  Fry until golden on each side and voila, yummy (I can’t find the photo, sorry).

What a day!  Enjoy yours.

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Seriously.  I cannot think of a single movie, book, or bit of musical genius to highlight, so, instead, poor grammar, random thoughts, and silliness will rule this post.

Bridget and I went to the Bagdad last night to see what could, quite possibly, be the worst film I’ve ever seen in a theater.  I won’t glorify its distasteful and utterly stupid badness by revealing the title, for that would amount to free advertising.  Anyway, about one third of the way through, I leaned over and whispered to Bridget, “Do you want to go to Goodwill?”  Were it not for the fact that she was midway through a glass of wine, I think we had some serious potential for an early exit.  Now I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever actually left a theater before the film was over.  I don’t think so; Buddy, have we?  However, this does remind me of the time I saw Henry and June at the Mayan (it’s so Aztec like) in Denver.  I observed a couple leave early for quite a different reason.  If you haven’t already seen it, rent it and you’ll know, too.

After the Bagdad, we went to Powell’s, and I bought books I hope to enjoy.  Please think good thoughts because I have had some duds this summer and haven’t finished any of them.  Here’s hoping these will satisfy:  Bergen Evans’s Dictionary of Quotations, Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, and Christoper Buckley’s Losing Mum and Pup. If the latter is anything like the raucous and witty good time of Thank You for Smoking (film version – I never read the book), I think I will like it, despite the slightly morbid subject matter.  In any case, it will be fascinating to read about what it was like to have William F. Buckley as a father.  I remember watching him on television (Firing Line) as a child, rapt.  I never understood a word he said (then, not now, I’ve grown up some), but, boy, did I love to listen to the man speak.  He certainly had his own way.  Here’s a link to a good example – Buckley in His Own Words.

What more can I tell you? A decaf Americano with heaps of half and half at the Fresh Pot after a satisfying book search (in which there was much discussion about who will buy the book with the cool cover AND remember the conversation if a divorce is ever required) and romp on Hawthorne with one of your best friends in the world is a marvelous way to end an evening out.  Marvelous, I tell you.

Oh, yes!  Thanks for the comments on the new blog header.  I thought it was about time I showed our actual red roof, and I liked the light that evening, so there you go.  Have a super weekend!

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