Liliuokalani Gardens

Liliuokalani Gardens is a lovely spot on Banyan Drive, on the way to Coconut Island. There are grassy areas with rocks and many fish ponds connected by a variety of bridges and decorated with stone lanterns. The shinto arches complete the Japanese feel of the gardens.

There are no actual “gardens” in terms of banks of flowers. It is really a park, but a very artfully designed one.

More about the gardens

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Hilo Bay Beachfront Park

The bay has a breaker way out, which keeps the surf down at the shore. The black sand can be very silty and can get hot when the Sun is bright, although that has seldom been a problem for me. The trees tend to give enough shade in the latter half of the day. The focus of the beach is on canoeing and lots of clubs have their boats and take them out when the weather is nice. Around 5:30,a half hour before sunset, is when you’ll see lots of canoe-ers and longboarders paddling back in to shore. The beach is pretty unkempt, but that’s part of the charm. You have to look for restrooms and washing stations but they’re there.

It’s so close to downtown … Read the rest

Hawaiian Brain Freeze

A very good shave ice and ice cream place in the Hilo Shopping Center in Kilauea just south of downtown Hilo.

All the usual flavors plus uncommon ones including azuki bean and kulolo.

Haven’t tried them all but I can attest to the ones we’ve had, and a young guy was very enthusiastic about the pistachio when we were in there.

hawaiianbrainfreeze.com

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Kay LC – Kay’s Lunch Center

We finally went to Kay LC for lunch on a rainy Christmas Eve. It’s close by and we’ve walked past it many times without going in. The menu is what would be considered traditional Hawaiian food, a cross between American diner and east Asian fast food. So you can get pancakes and veggie omelet, or Chinese 5-spice pork belly and fried ahi, or tonkatsu bento box and sushi. It’s greasy, and that’s part of the point. It’s “hangover food” as T-bone says, although you don’t have to be hungover to enjoy it. Three of us ate there (and were full for many hours after) for $23

684 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, HI.
(808) 969-1776

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Short & Sweet Bakery

One of my (minor) complaints about life here is that there don’t seem to be any decent delis, or even any crummy ones. The culture of the northeast, of crusty bread and big sandwiches, doesn’t exist here. Maybe it’s the Asian cultural influence of eating food with rice instead of bread, or maybe wheat has never thrived here as a crop, or maybe it’s because the introduction of bread to Hawaii was through the Portuguese, who left a tradition of very soft, sweet, cake-like bread – bread that is tasty but not suitable for sandwiches.

So it was a pleasant surprise to get paninis at Short & Sweet. They were the kind of sandwiches I miss from Philadelphia. They also make bagels and breads and croissants … Read the rest

Coconut Island

Coconut Island is a very pleasant island in Hilo Bay, about a 10-15-minute walk from our place. It’s near the Castle Hilo Hawaiian hotel, which has the same architecture as our building. The grass is trimmed short, unlike some of the other parks in the area, so it’s a good space for keiki to run without tripping. It’s surrounded by rocky beach with some sand, and the water is pretty fresh, being close to the ocean, so it’s a good spot to swim or wade. Whenever I’m there I see many men fishing, and they catch good-size (20″ or more) fish just with rod and reel.


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There are lots of luau spots and on weekends many are filled with families, sometimes with enormous … Read the rest

Whelmers and Wizard IV

Our local Ace hardware store in Hilo (333 Kilauea) hosts a “Hardware Science” activity every week, demonstrating a science principle in a fun way. They have a book written by “Wizard IV”, the purported intellectual descendant of Wizard I (Michael Faraday) and Wizard III (Don Herbert, aka Mr. Wizard).

Intrigued, I searched and found the site whelmers.com a site with some of the 20,000 science activities collected over the past 200 years, designed to not overwhelm the audience/students, but merely “whelm” them.

Great stuff… Read the rest

Big Island Pizza

This is probably our main guilty pleasures here. When we just don’t feel like cooking, we can walk over to B.I.P. (we can actually see it from the lanai) and order a pie. It’s not the cheapest pizza around but it’s better than the alternatives of Domino’s and Pizza Hut.
(There’s also a traveling pizza hot truck with a portable wood oven that makes excellent, inexpensive pizza, but it’s in town only on Tuesdays)

bigislandpizza.com

They have online ordering and an interesting menu, with toppings ranging from mashed potatoes to coconut prawns. They have lots of sizes, including a mammoth 28″ pie for $92.

The best part is probably their crust (although all the ingredients are fresh and I have no complaints about them). Hawai’i in … Read the rest

Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive: Phuc Tran at TED

He explains a concept that has occurred to me before only in a very rough way, that culture is in some part determined by the qualities of the language of that culture. If a language does not include, for example, the subjunctive mood (woulda coulda shoulda) then that culture is unable to express ‘what might have been’, and thus actually experiences less self-doubt and regret.… Read the rest

Snow Fall – A new kind of webpage

It’s not often that I see something online that is really new, but this recent interactive article from the New York Times is:
http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

It’s an expressionistic webpage, in the way that some movies try to be, where the medium expresses the mood of the people in the story. I’ve just never seen such a thing before.… Read the rest

Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas

Source:
“Make it Tonight” – EatingWell’s Daily Healthy Recipe Feed



Excerpt:
“Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas Our healthy spaghetti carbonara recipe is lower in calories and fat than a traditional spaghetti carbonara recipe, plus it boasts 9 more grams of fiber per serving from whole-wheat pasta. For the best flavor, use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The eggs in the sauce are not fully cooked; if you’re concerned about consuming undercooked eggs, use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs in this spaghetti carbonara recipe.”

Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas

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Hawai’i County “Magic Of The Season”

Hawai'i County Magic of the Seasons
Hawai’i County Magic of the Seasons

The County of Hawai’i is hosting its second annual holiday open house from the 10th through the 21st and we’ve been going almost every evening. It’s so close, just two doors down Aupuni, that it’s no effort at all. Each department decorated a Christmas tree and is hosting one of the 10 nights when there is food and music. The food is provided out-of-pocket by the staff. There doesn’t seem to be any concern about church/state conflict here, but taxpayer money didn’t go to the food, which is different each night and for the most part generous and tasty. Tonight the bub enjoyed the egg salad sandwiches and I enjoyed the Portuguese bean soup.

The music has been different each … Read the rest