Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Random Photos from Waikiki, Hawaii

I love taking pictures.  Here are some random photos from Waikiki.  Very random photos of crowds, buildings, etc.  There will be more to come when I visit Waikiki during the day to really capture the area ... =)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

To Thai For

I love Thai food.  It is one of my favorites.  After diving with Atlantis Submarines, it was time to grab a bite to eat!

To Thai For caught my eye.  It has such a catchy name!

It's located at 3656 Waialae Avenue near the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii.  It's a gorgeous restaurant.  It's a place to take a date or to even hang out with friends.  It can be romantic or casual.

I couldn't get the greatest view of the restaurant because there were people sitting inside who might've thought I was taking a picture of them.  Instead, I have a blurry, partial photo of the restaurant! It's all I could sneak in.

Here's a picture of the bar.

Besides the ambiance of the restaurant, the service and food was excellent!

I love Thai appetizers!  I could snack on these all day long.  Summer rolls, spring rolls, shrimp rolls, and chicken sate are too good to miss out on!

Pad Thai, a noodle dish, with tangy and spicy flavors is a must try for anyone new to Thai food.  Everyone seems to love Pad Thai.  Personally, I think Pad Thai is great depending on where you go ... At To Thai For, the Pad Thai was good.

Stir-Fry meals are one of the healthiest options available.  I would highly recommend the Ginger chicken stir-fry at To Thai For.  It's delicious! I ate brown rice with the stir-fry, which really hit the spot!

They have a variety of teas available too.  Although it was nice to try something new, I didn't enjoy the Mango tea as much as I had hoped.  I believe it also had condensed milk in it, but I couldn't figure out the flavor.  Of course, I am sure many people would love the tea, but as for myself, I can be quite picky when it comes to certain beverages.

I enjoyed eating at To Thai For.  It's a new restaurant that only opened a month ago.  The food was excellent and the service too! 

Dive with Atlantis Submarines - Waikiki, Hawaii

For my 27th Birthday, my husband took me on a dive with Atlantis Submarines in Waikiki. I've always wanted to experience a submarine dive, so it fulfilled one of my "must try" items on my list.

We boarded the Discovery at 12:30 p.m., sat in the lower deck to watch a safety video, then headed to the snack bar for some last minute purchases.  I felt a little nauseated, but for the most part, the ride was smooth!


Good bye Waikiki ...

The submarine rising from below is the Atlantis.  Once the submarine emerges from the water, we cross the plank from the Discovery to the Atlantis.  I wore a dress and heels, not realizing I would have to climb down steep stairs, backwards, in windy conditions.  If you don't want to risk giving an audience a "free show," wear shoes and shorts!

In the Atlantis Submarine, the captain navigates the ocean, diving as deep as 125 feet.  I don't remember reaching 125 feet, but I do remember reaching 106 feet. 

I saw two sunken airliners, two sunken ships, artificial reefs, and the bottom of the ocean floor.  I saw a few fish and a couple of turtles.  Prior to the dive, I imagined seeing lush coral reefs and colorful fish, but it looked quite sparse on the ocean floor. 

A green sea turtle ... One of the highlights of the submarine ride!  I had the chance to see several, hanging out on the wreckage.

The largest fish I saw ... It came right up to our window!

My husband seemed to be fascinated by the creature hanging onto our window sill.  We aren't sure what it is!

What you see below is  the wreckage of an airliner ...

It was fascinating to see the wreckage of a ship ... There were two sunken ships.  One  is a sunken U.S. Navy Vessel, the the Y O-257.  The other, the St. Pedro, is a Korean fishing vessel.  I saw the most marine life around these two sunken vessels and it's where I spotted the most turtles too.

After about an hour, our journey in the submarine quickly ended at 2 ft.  We emerged from the ocean, not ready to leave yet.  I definitely wasn't ready to leave!  I wanted to see more.  However, it was time ... Our ride was over.

We sat on the top deck, watching new passengers head into the submarine.

We approach the harbor ... It's time to leave.

We wish we brought our bathing suits!  Waikiki beach is incredibly beautiful and there were a ton of fish too!  The areas that you see darkened in the water are schools of fish.  Incredible, isn't it?

It was a great experience to dive with Atlanis Submarines.  It's the perfect option for those who cannot swim or dive and want to take an underwater adventure.  The best part of all is that Atlantis Submarines is an eco-friendly tour that supports continued marine life awareness and more.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Is My Cat Normal??

I have two cats.  Both are complete opposites!

Christmas is the typical cat that doesn't like to be bothered by others.  He hangs out by himself and hides whenever company comes around.  He is also scared of everything. I now understand how the term "scaredy cat" might have originated.  Most likely from cats like Christmas! Ruffling a plastic bag will make Christmas jump in the air and run like there's no tomorrow. Christmas isn't the friendliest cat; he can hide for weeks before coming out, if in the company of a stranger.  He also doesn't play with any cat toys, almost as if he's too good for them.  Christmas is a very well-mannered, easy cat to take care of.  The typical cat.

My other cat, however, is the complete opposite.  Egg Roll is friendly, loves attention, and refuses to be left alone.   Egg Roll isn't scared of people and approaches strangers fearlessly.  When giving Egg Roll a bath, he is actually quite calm!  Once he gets used to the water, he sits in the tub patiently until his bath is over.  Egg Roll loves to play and is still easily entertained. Unfortunately, he tends to bite!

Egg Roll's behavior is similar to that of a dog.  He's very forgiving, loyal, and friendly.  Egg Roll will eat just about anything too.  We give him cat food, but somehow Egg Roll manages to sneak in a few bites of human food.  We definitely cannot leave anything out or else Egg Roll will somehow manage to eat it. 

Is my cat Egg Roll normal?

Monday, September 21, 2009

AF Static Display of Aircraft

While the Thunderbirds were the highlight of today's showcasing, there were numerous aircraft on display for the event.   You can find a photo of any aircraft from any military in the world, on-line.  However, there's nothing like being able to actually see an aircraft from a photo, in real-life. 

I have never seen the aircraft below, an AEW&C.

The C-5 is HUGE, isn't it?

A ton of people looking around inside the C-5...

The plane below looks a lot more comfortable to fly in ... I wonder what it looks like inside!

The F-22 ... one of the most advanced aircraft in the world.  I would love to see it fly!

A US Marines helicopter ...

A DC-10 on display

A ton of people watching the Thunderbirds as they soar through the sky ... Many  found shade under the aircraft's wing to keep out of the sun.

It was interesting to see a static display of aircraft at today's event.  It was my first time!  When I was standing near an F-15, I heard a couple ask "Is this the aircraft from Top Gun?"  The volunteer answered, "No, that was an F-14."  I definitely learned something today.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

USAF Thunderbirds, Hickam AFB, Hawaii

The other day, I saw the US Air Force Thunderbirds practicing, as I was driving on the freeway. They soared through the sky, flying at insane speeds. They twirled, flew upside down, and pulled some manuevers that made heads turn. I knew I had to see the Thunderbirds this weekend!

On the 19th-20th of September, the Thunderbirds were scheduled to begin their Far East tour starting with Hawaii. I couldn't miss the show.
At 1500 today, I finally saw the Thunderbirds in action! Hickam Air Force Base welcomed residents and tourists alike, showcasing military aircraft and the Thunderbirds from a flightline view. Here are some of my photos:

It's amazing to see the amount of skill these pilots possess! They look as if they will collide, but they soar past each other with such precision.

I was happy to have captured a close-up photo. It's a little too close, but I was more than happy to have snapped this one! I'm also glad I was given ear plugs because the Thunderbirds are LOUD.

During the show, the Thunderbirds pulled incredible stunts to honor and thank those who are deployed and the veterans who have served.

The show was incredible! The Thunderbirds are amazing and I can only imagine how wonderful it must feel for the pilots who have been given an incredible opportunity to fly on tour for the USAF, showcasing their exceptional talent.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shrimp Pasta Dinner

Now that I'm back in Hawaii, I can cook again! I love to cook and to try new recipes and tonight, I finally had the chance to cook after 6 weeks of being away! I purchased a magazine called Tastes of Italia and made "Spaghetti with shrimp, garlic, oil, and hot pepper."

I was a little wary of making pasta with olive oil since I'm used to making the traditional marinara sauce (i.e. pouring it from a can). However, I thought I'd give this recipe a shot. Of course, certain thoughts crossed my mind while deciding on this recipe ... Would my pasta be edible? I definitely didn't want to eat it by myself. I've made my share of awful meals and cringe at the thought of having to eat another one.
I was up for the challenge!
The ingredients used in the recipe included 1/2 cup olive oil, a pinch of hot pepper flakes, 3 anchovies, 2 tbsp Italian parsley, 1 lb. shrimp, a couple garlic cloves, and grated zest of 1 lemon. I used a pound of whole grain spaghetti noodles instead of regular spaghetti noodles.
Mince the garlic cloves and the parsley.
In a skillet, add the olive oil, and heat up the garlic with the pepper flakes. Then, add the shrimp.

Boil the noodles just right ...
I learned a great tip from my magazine. I've always rinsed my pasta noodles, but in order to keep them from sticking, it's better not to rinse the starch off.

I also made a terrible mistake. Instead of grating the zest of 1 lemon, I peeled it and grated the inside. What was I thinking? I sure do have a lot to learn ...

After the noodles are done, drain and add to the the skillet. Then, add the parsley and lemon zest. Mix everything together!
Personally, I didn't like the lemon in my pasta. If I actually grated the "zest of 1 lemon," maybe it would have tasted a lot differently. However, the taste of lemon wasn't very appealing to me in the recipe.
I also increased some of the other ingredients, such as the garlic, anchovies, and pepper flakes to enhance the flavor.

Fortunately, my pasta was edible! My husband seemed to enjoy it A LOT. I thought it tasted plain, I did enjoy eating the shrimp. It was flavorful. Next time, I'll add clams to the recipe and will leave out the lemon or I'll at least use less.


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