Ono–oh yes!

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Today was my last day being 34.  And if I’m going by NY time, where I was born, I’m already 35.  I was wary of spending my birthday in Hawaii seeing as most of the people dearest to me don’t live here, but it’s turning out alright– like being on a retreat.  At least that’s how I’m trying to think of it.

My first trip back to NY was at the end of November.   I went home because my best friend and mentor was dying of pancreatic cancer.  I was able to spend the last two weeks of her life with her.  It’s not easy to bring up or even think about. I felt that the holidays weren’t going to be festive or celebratory in light of this, and they weren’t.  They were bittersweet and in a way it seems right that I spend my birthday far away from the city that I love and the comforts of home.

With that said, K has been sweet to me all day. We spent it eating good food and taking it very easy.  Tomorrow he’s taking me to my favorite place for dinner:  Sassabune.  Can’t ask for much more than that.

I hoped we’d be able to go to the beach today because it had been weeks since we’ve gone swimming.  Partly because of life issues but mostly because of the heavy rain.  K and I ran errands in the morning and decided to see if the sun would come out in the afternoon.

We had some business at Long’s and while we were looking for envelopes we ended up in the Sanrio aisle.  K pointed out a couple of cute characters and asked me if I’d like them as Birthday Friends.  I quickly said Yes and now have two terribly cute companions highly appropriate for hugging (see photo above).  Outside of Long’s we got a whiff of plate lunch and decided to try and find some.  I mentioned the Indian truck by the post office and K said it looked shady ( I think that’s the unHawaiian in us).  Then I remembered the little tent in the Kailua Shopping Center but when we got there it wasn’t up.  So we settled on some Aloha Salads.  I had the Ono Isalnd Ahi Salad and K had the Tiger Shrimp salad.  My salad reminded me of the furakake at Nico’s.  Not quite as good but very good anyway.  We got smoothies at Lanikai Juice and we ate our lunch at one of the outdoor tables in the parking lot.

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I had a Kailua Monkey from Lanikai Juice which really hit the spot–basically a banana and peanut butter smoothie.  It was a fantastic lunch and I enjoyed sitting outside with K despite the cars coming in and out and sitting next to an SUV. It’s funny the spaces people create for themselves.  The outdoor tables at Kailua Shopping Center remind me of my old job.  I used to work at a museum and the first time I visited it for my interview I thought, how do people exist here.  It seemed like an alley way–not an office.  But after going there everyday for two years you carve out a space for yourself and your perspective changes, I suppose in order to maintain your sanity.  That’s what the outdoor tables are like: you look at them and you think how do people sit out here and eat when there are exhaust fumes everywhere and people walking by to get to their cars.  Anyway, despite this I enjoyed it.  It was nice to sit outside in the almost sun and eat a great salad.

After lunch we went to the beach to see if it was warm enough to swim.  It wasn’t.  We walked along the shore instead.  At Kailua beach we normally go to one of two spots, both within a few hundred feet of each other.  Today we walked way down the beach in the direction of Kalapawai Market.  It was strange to see how much of the beach was washed away from the storms.  I’m not sure if that’s normal–but the gnarly roots of gigantic trees were all exposed because of the lost sand bed.

We walked more than a mile down the beach.  We got to the point where the beach curves and is lined with mostly private residences some of which had no trespassing signs.  It was so quiet, smooth, and calm.  I told Ken that it must be like living in a clamshell for those people.  I thought we were going to go swimming so I didn’t bring my camera but tomorrow on my birthday I’ll go take a walk and update this with some pictures.

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After being here for four months we FINALLY made it to the Kailua Farmer’s Market this evening.  It was AWESOME.  I was so excited.  I was so impatient as K tried to find parking in the majorly packed parking lot.  I was almost hyperventilating.  K said we must be really pitiful if I’m so excited about going to a Farmer’s Market.  He said I was never excited about the Union Square Farmer’s Market and it’s at least four or five times bigger than Kailua’s.  And my response was does Union Square have this:

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or THESE:

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There was so much to buy.  We ended up buying some vegan poke, organic veggies, a couple of plate dinners, flowers, coffee, taro mochi, apple bananas, lumpia,  and chocolate syrup.

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It was a great day.  And tomorrow I’ll be 35.

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