Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wahiawa Pineapple Run 2011

Today I accomplished another goal on my 101 in 1001 list.  I completed the Wahiawa Pineapple Run 2011!  Now, I can cross this event off.

I had such a crazy, yet amazing day.  In the morning, my best friend and I were running late to the Wahiawa Pineapple Run, frantically searching for nearby parking.  Luckily, she was able to squeeze my car past two other cars, so that we could park in an open area. I can only imagine what others may have been thinking, as I tried to direct her, yelling "watch out for the mirror!" and other cautionary notes.  For next time, I will know to show up at the run much earlier because parking is hard to find.

After parking, we began heading towards the starting line with only minutes to spare.  I was surprised by the amount of people at the run.  I thought there would be many more people, but it seemed like a small-scale event.  I was so glad to have participated in it though because the money is for a good cause and you get a free pineapple in the end. 

While running, I thought it was great to run by many of the places I've only driven past for years.  I haven't been in the area for a long time and felt like I would have an opportunity to experience a neighboring town again.  It was even better running in the morning, towards pineapple fields, while heading down hills with a mountain view.  Then, we ran past a waterfall (man-made, yet beautiful none the less!) and lake Wilson, which I've only seen from a distance.

As I was dying to finish after miles of running, I knew the end would soon be near when I was pleasantly surprised by my best friend who came back to look for me, so we could run at the end together (even though she had already finished 10 minutes earlier!).  It helped motivate me to finish the run faster, even though I felt dizzy after not exercising for weeks.  In the end, it was worth every moment though and I'm so glad to have finished sooner than expected.

After crossing the finish line, it was time to cool down, get some water, a banana, and of course, my pineapple! 

For those of you interested in running in the Wahiawa Pineapple Run, it is a lot of fun!  It is a smaller-scale run, but you'll have an opportunity to run in the "country" and explore a new town, quite different than Honolulu.  Also, the money is for a good cause and it is worth waking up early for, especially once you cross the finish line and receive your pineapple.  Where else can you experience such a unique run?

The potential downside for some runners may include not being close enough to pineapple fields.  Also, you have to be careful because although there are cones and police officers on duty, some cars can still be quite aggressive.

I hope that next year, you might consider running in the Wahiawa Pineapple Run.  The experience itself is worth waking up for, so sign-up next May and join in! You'll be sure to enjoy this unique run.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Morimoto Waikiki - Hawaii

In Honolulu, there are several well-known restaurants owned by top chefs such as Chef Mavro and Alan Wong.  Now, there is a new restaurant in town, which opened nearly 8 months ago, in the Waikiki Edition Hotel.  Morimoto Waikiki, owned be Iron Chef Morimoto, offers a number of tantalizing appetizers and main dishes, such as crispy rock shrimp tempura and tuna pizza, as well as seafood toban yaki and ishi yaki buri bop.  There are also cocktails available, as well as dessert.

At first, I was concerned about eating at Morimoto Waikiki.  I get nervous at fancy restaurants.  Second, I wasn't sure what to expect and hoped it would be worth the money.  The good news is that my fears were quickly quelled after stepping into the restaurant.  I loved the ambiance!  It did not feel uptight and stuffy in the restaurant, but extremely relaxing and clean.  You can watch food being prepared since it's an open kitchen.  The food was excellent too.  It was not only fresh, but tasty.  The service was also phenomenal. 

The only thing that felt slightly uncomfortable is sitting in the same booth with another couple.  The tables are only separated by 2 feet of space in the booth, so you are practically sitting next to someone you do not know.  However, once the food comes out, does it really matter? Also, not all of the seating is in a booth.  There are also open tables and even outdoor seating.

The first thing I tried is a White Lily cocktail to start things off.  I only had a virgin cocktail though since I'm allergic to alcohol (yes, really!), so maybe I should call it juice.  It was excellent juice though, which I'm dying to replicate.

Afterward, I indulged in the crispy rock shrimp tempura.  I would highly recommend this dish!  It is amazing, especially if you love fried food.  I also tried the tuna pizza, which is decent, although I don't think it is for everyone.  It has a thin crust, with thin slices of raw tuna topped with cilantro, half a grape tomato, a thin slice of jalapeno, olives, and some mayonnaise.  It it not a "pretty" dish to eat, but I thought it tasted good and I definitely don't have a problem digging in.

The other dishes I tried were seafood toban yaki and ishi yaki buri bop.  The first dish, the seafood toban yaki, is basically a seafood bouillabaisse with a miso sake flavor. The seafood is incredibly fresh and the broth light and simple.  It comes with slices of baguette.

I'm sorry the pictures are so dark!  I used my camera phone without realizing it would be this dark.

The other dish, the ishi yaki buri bop, is brought to the table in a hot stone dish.  There is rice inside the dish with some green vegetables, ferns, and slices of raw yellow fin tuna on top.  The fish is seared by the server who neatly prepares it, tossing the other ingredients together along with it, while seasoning the dish with a sesame soy sauce.  The server explains the process step-by-step, as you watch your food being prepared.

After enjoying the amazing food at Morimoto Waikiki, I was too full to eat anymore, even though I wanted to try the dessert.  I guess there is always next time!

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by Morimoto Waikiki.  I have tried other fancy restaurants, which I did not enjoy as much.  However, this one I actually liked, while I also had a great time. 

I would recommend Morimoto Waikiki, especially for special occasions.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Hamburger Break

Since midterms in March, it has been ridiculously busy.  I've been working hard to finish all of my projects.  By next week, it will be finals.

I have 2 exams, a final-take home exam, a pamphlet project, 2 essays, and more ... And once finals are over, I start summer school immediately, so I won't have a break until late August.  I'm not complaining though!  I am so grateful to be in school. 

Not too long ago, I stopped by Kua'aina again. It's a great place for a hamburger and when you need a break from eating fast food.  It's better for you to eat a hamburger here!  They have some interesting combinations too.  I tried their "pineapple burger."  It was good.


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