“Gotta stick together, hand in glove, hold on tight, don’t fight, hang on to your love…” – Sade
After my crazy 27th birthday adventure last year (documented here), I decided to keep it simple for my 28th. I had a few friends over and grilled for everyone, as well as finishing the day off at Denny’s.
After 28 years, I’ve finally made the trip to Hawaii. Gloria and I made the trip on June 9th, in honor of 5 years together and 1 year of marriage :-). I haven’t traveled much this year, so it was a much needed time of relaxation.
The flight from Austin to Honolulu was surprisingly long, but after the layover in San Fran, we made it!
At this point, we were incredibly hungry. I had heard several food suggestions and a few of which we attended to try, but with every journey, Gloria and I try to find something new to pass on to others and to find our own way. We ended up trying Mahaloha Burger. I went with the teriyaki burger Wow! There was even a grilled pineapple on top :-).
After all that travel and food it was time for a nap, as we planned to hit up salsa night in Honolulu. Before heading over to dance, we stopped at a local Japanese restaurant nearby the venue. We think the name was Izakaya Tairyo, which is unfortunately closed according to Yelp. We both got light ramen to get something in our systems, but keep it light enough to dance.
From there, we were off to The District Nightclub. I had a lot of fun, but let’s just say I could use more practice. It helps that Gloria knows what she is doing and helping me along the way.
I love both the big city life and spending time in nature, so the next day was a nature adventure. We were dropped off near Manoa Falls and had a 1 1/2 hour slow hike in the rain up to the falls.
After this tough trail, we decided to reward ourselves with some food. A local told us to check out Rainbow Drive-In for a real treat. I have been to many cities, some states, and a little over a dozen countries in my life so far, and I’ve tried foods in all of these places. I must say that Rainbow Drive-In is one of the best I’ve had. Absolutely incredible. Gloria and I split a mixed plate.
It was time for a shower and some rest. At this point, we took a break to watch Zootopia. I highly recommend this movie, and the lessons it can teach. Gloria had us booked for a 3 hour catamaran mini-cruise. We met a lot of cool people including the crew, several mai tais and fireworks to close it out!
After everything on this day, we decided to call it an early night. Saturday was to be a heavy one. We started off the day with the 100 King Kamehameha Day Parade. It was awesome and full of color and lively people 🙂
The parade lasted for a while, and after a bit of shopping, a large pizza, and a virtually impromptu new tattoo for Gloria, it was time to plan out the night. We decided to start with a simple light pre-game, splitting a bottle of Malibu together before heading out.
We ended up at The Ginza Nightclub. Gloria worked her usual magic and got in free. I had to pay $20 cover unfortunately.
There were quite a few Japanese people that night, including the DJ. It was a great time! Gloria somehow also finessed us into VIP section. Anything can happen at the Night Show…
After enjoying some songs for a while and once the place got super packed (it stays open until 4 AM), we decided to leave. A huge crowd had gathered outside trying to get in.
The last morning, Gloria wanted to try her luck with some surfing on Waikiki Beach. Surfing…is super difficult, and the ocean is unforgiving.
It was a nice little weekend trip, and Honolulu is a wonderful place! We may return someday.
This summer, I also had the pleasure in competing in my first ever big video game tournament, and Las Vegas for the first time. I had the honor of going to EVO with Chisom and Patrick Lu, and I participated in both Street Fighter 5 and Super Smash Brothers Melee. You can only lose twice in the whole tournament. I expected to get destroyed in my first matches, but managed to go 2-2 in Street Fighter 5 and 3-2 in Super Smash Brothers Melee. With more practice, I may do better in future tournaments! My melee information can be found here.
Before grand finals, we spent a bit of time in Downtown Vegas, which in my opinion is > The Vegas Strip. We went to Eat and had a breakfast feast!
Finals was pretty amazing. It was at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, and packed with thousands.
I do have to say Las Vegas is DEFINITELY not for me. Patrick said it best on his own blog, “In general, f**k Las Vegas. The strip is a s**t hole, full of overpriced crap (even the buffets), where the worst highlights of our American culture come to shine. Downtown is fine, but not much better. There’s some good Asian food, but so what?”. That pretty much sums up my feelings. My outward flight was also delayed for 9 hours, but I caught one back to Austin through Houston. It’s good to be back, and need to take time to figure out my next steps. For Gloria and I, coming soon: Jamaica and Japan. Until next time, everyone.
Song of the post: Sade – Hang on To Your Love (Allure remix). I love Sade’s music, and this remix is superb. Enjoy!