Saturday, July 30, 2011

Coffee or Tea? Honolulu, Hawaii

Since starting graduate school, I have been obsessed with milk tea, a great late night drink that keeps me energized as I tackle my studies. 

One place I enjoy drinking milk tea is at Coffee or Tea?

Coffee or Tea? is a Taiwanese owned cafe that offers a variety of coffee and tea selections.  One of my favorite drinks is the Jasmine Green Tea Milk Tea, which I was obsessed with for a while.  I especially love to drink milk tea with tapioca pearls (bubbles) or with tea jelly.  There's nothing like tea jelly! 

There's also dessert for those of you with a sweet tooth.  There are some cakes, as well as shaved ice.  I love their shaved ice, especially the one that comes with tea jelly - of course. 

If you want to try a new tea place, I would recommend Coffee or Tea?  The cafe is located at McCully Shopping Center.  However, as a heads-up, it's a cash only kind of place.  Also, one of the cashiers has a strong personality that some may interpret as rude depending on one's culture, but try not to take it personally. 

It is a great place to enjoy coffee, tea, or simple desserts that will put a smile on your face, especially when you need a great drink to keep you relaxed and refreshed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Teddy Bear World - Waikiki, Hawaii

Teddy Bear World in Waikiki is a kid's dream.  There are teddy bears everywhere from the moment one walks into the shop below and even more upstairs at the museum. 

I wasn't sure what to expect when entering Teddy Bear World, but I thought it would be a lot of fun to explore. 

Of course, Teddy Bear World isn't free.  It's in Waikiki! However, the cost to enter isn't that outrageous.  But if you think it is, you can always take pictures with the free teddy bears in the gift shop.

What do you get to see in Teddy Bear World?  take a glimpse into the museum ...

Teddy Bear World has a musuem upstairs with numerous teddy bear displays.  But what I found most interesting is the numerous displays of teddy bears dating back from the 1920s and 1930s!  I could tell those teddy bears were used a lot because they barely had fur left.  But it was interesting to see how the teddy bear had evolved into what it is today.  Teddy bears today are much cuter!

At the end of the teddy bear musuem tour, there's a teddy bear concert.  The Elvis teddy bear sings to the crowd.  It is really cute and something that any kid would enjoy.

Iolani Palace - Honolulu, Hawaii

The last time I visited Iolani Palace, I was an undergraduate student, taking a required course on Hawaii.  I learned so much from the visit and always planned to return.

During the week, I had an opportunity to visit again for free since I was leading a "tour group."  It was an excting adventure. 

After walking to Iolani Palace, everyone watched a movie on the history of Hawaii's monarchy.  It isn't easy quickly gathering everyone to get their tickets, store their bags, and to meet scheduled times at the palace's theater, but we tried our best.  As quickly as the movie started, it ended rather abruptly because we had to get everyone ready for the next part of the tour - the audio tour in the palace.

Everyone is required to wear shoe coverings to enter the palace.  Then, staff members at the palace help tourists set-up their audio devices.  Afterward, one is free to roam the palace, which is an eye opening experience.  Too bad no pictures are allowed inside the palace, but it is for a good reason. 

According to the audio device, Iolani Palace had electricity before the White House.  Also, royalty from around the world visited Iolani Palace.  It was also interesting to hear how each room had been used to welcome these guests.  Inside the palace, it is amazing, but there is also sadness, as one learns how Queen Liliuokalani was imprisoned in her room for 5 years, where she was only allowed to receive 3 meals a day.  She also knitted an impressive quilt that can still be seen in the palace today. 

It was a great tour and one that I would recommend for tourists who enjoy history. 

After the tour ended, we rounded all of the people in our group.  However, one of them was missing, so I searched the palace with a friend to find her.  She was no where to be found!  She disappeared, most likely to the beach according to other group members.  It was a fun tour, but being "tour guide" for the day can be quite interesting ...  It was a great day and I was ready for a nap.

If you want to see more of the area, walk across the street and there will be more to explore!


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