Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Food on Maui

One of the first places we ate in Maui was at Cheeseburger in Paradise. This place has the hype of a great cheeseburger joint with all the fixings. It had a decent atmosphere to it as we sat next to the window overlooking the water. This place is always packed!

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Instead of ordering a huge meal, we ordered mini burgers and onion rings. The onion rings were great, but the burgers were mediocre at best. For all the hype this place had, you could get a better burger elsewhere for less.

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Mmmmmm big crispy onion rings :)

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One of the other places we ate at was Lahaina Grille and Oyster Bar. This place had an upscale atmosphere to it and on some nights it turns in to a night club open til late.

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We ordered a bottle of Prosecco to go with our meal.

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California roll appetizer.

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Fresh oysters from the oyster bar.

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Mahi Mahi with lobster skewers and mango rice.

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Roast Chicken.

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Cheese steak sandwich.

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The oysters took forever to get to our table so we had a chocolate brownie on the house!

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We love our chocolate brownies, but we sure miss the food back in Korea!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunset in Lahaina, Maui

Maui is one of the most beautiful places in the world and as such it has some of the most glorious sunsets!

Here is a sample of some of our favorite pics, enjoy!

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Driving along the coast to our hotel.

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Sunset along Front Street.  Front St. is the main tourist road in Lahaina, it is lined with little gift shops, many art galleries and various pubs.

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We stayed at the Best Western Pioneer Inn located between Front Street and the wharf.  We chose this hotel because it was in the main area and within walking distance to all the shops and pubs.

Map picture

Monday, October 20, 2008

Green Sea Turtles at Laniakea

One weekend we went to Laniakea Beach (aka Turtle Beach) to see green sea turtles. This beach is well known for surfing, but was made popular in the late 90's when the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle started "sunbathing" on it's beach. Since their debut the sea turtles have made an almost daily appearance at the beach drawing bus loads of tourists from all over the world.

The turtles come up to the shore to eat growing seaweed off the rocks. T
he green sea turtle is a reptile that can live up to 80 years of age. Like other reptiles, the green sea turtle is cold-blooded. So they will sometimes haul themselves up on the beach to bask in the warm Hawaiian sun.

They will generally allow people to get a little close to swim or snorkel in the water. Most are friendly but, there are a few things to keep in mind when swimming with turtles: keep about 10 ft away at all times, do not get between the turtle and the surface - they do need to get to the surface for air, and never touch or try to ride these creatures. This species was listed on the endangered list July 28, 1978 and is enforced by Hawaiian state law.

Below are a few pictures we took that morning.

Directions to Laniakea:

Take H2 til the freeway ends. Continue to follow route past Dole Pineapple Plantation until you come to a stop light. Left will take you to Historic Haliewa, Stay Right and bypass town. You will be heading towards Turtle Bay Resort. Continue on for approx 4 miles. You will see a white fence on the right (horse ranch). Immediately after white fence, you will cross a small bridge and you should park on the right hand side of the road after crossing the bridge. You will see an obvious dirt parking area. The Sea Turtles will be enjoying their day across the street.

There is also a volunteer program in place to help protect the turtles. Various volunteers watch over the turtles during different shifts ensuring they remain unharmed. For more information, click here.

5 Hour Layover in Narita, Japan

On our way to Honolulu from Seoul, we had a 5 hour layover in Narita, Japan. We have not yet had a chance to visit Japan so we thought this was our chance to at least get a glance at some Japanese architecture nearby the airport, or at least a stamp in our passport.

Here is a rough itinerary of our afternoon:

Landed 15 minutes early in Narita. The immigration line was really long, but it actually moved fairly quickly, it took about 20 minutes to reach the front. They looked at our forms, stamped our passports and let us through.

We followed well posted signs down to the train station. We approached the ticket counter and said ‘Narita’, paid for a couple of tickets and made our way down to the platform.

Train arrives and we hop on.

Two stops later we are on the street in Narita with 4.5 hours left until the plane leaves.

We wandered down the main road past various restaurants and shops selling tourist items. We walked down the street to Daihonzan Naritasan Shinshoji Temple.

We walked around the park looking at different buildings, pagodas and statues. It was a serene view, very relaxing to just sit near the fountains and take in the fresh air. There was a little more we could see but we decided to turn around and walk back up the street.

Wandered up the street looking for a restaurant to have an early supper. We finally came across a Japanese Tea Shop and decided to eat there.

Got back to the train station, hopped on the train and was back at the airport by 6pm.

Wandered around the 4 story mall for a little while. We purchased a few cans of beer near the rooftop observation deck. Watched a few planes land and take off in the moonlight. Saw our plane waiting for departure.

7PM - Went back through immigration - which took roughly 5 minutes (There were no bags to check and we had our boarding passes)

7:25PM - Connecting flight to Hawaii leaves.

Narita Train Station

Local bus painted like a trolly car.

This was one of the main roads, each side is lined with tourist shops and restaurants.

These girls are dressed in their school uniform, they must be on their way home from school. The girl on the left actually rolled her eyes as she walked by me.. I guess she didn't want to be photographed!

Similar uniform for the boys, I was not able to get a shot from the front.

While walking around we explored the grounds of a Japanese Temple.

On our way back to the train station we stopped at this local restaurant for an early supper.

We took a little more time than necessary looking around, but anyone with at least a 5 hour layover could easily pull this off. If we had an overnight layover or longer, we would have definitely made our way in to Tokyo.

Here is a video clip of the observation deck at the Narita Airport.