Birthday Weekend 2013

by - 7/26/2014

Before we left for Japan, we needed to do two things: exchange money, and get our JR Passes. My coworker told me that I could get JR passes from JTB on Oahu, which was in Shirokiya, so we decided to go up in September for me and Kevin's birthdays. Might as well make a fun weekend out of it, right? 

It turns out that the JTB office was no longer located in Shirokiya, but was now on Kapiolani Ave. on the outside of the mall. No big deal, so we walked over there...and it was closed! It's closed on Saturday and Sunday, so we weren't able to get our JR passes. I was devastated, but when I went online later that evening, I discovered that I could order them online. Whew! 

I arranged to hang out with some friends to celebrate my birthday, which was that weekend, so we all met up at Shirokiya to eat and drink at their beer garden. I attempted to go once before, but was unsuccessful in getting beer. At that time, we got to the beer garden, which was packed, and miraculously in the center of the place, there was a table for us. The SECOND we sat down, an announcement came on the speaker saying "we have run out of beer." What kind of beer garden runs out of beer at 8:00pm on a saturday night?! I was bummed. But THIS time wasn't going to be a bust. We got there right before the beer garden opened (around 5:00pm or 5:30pm), and claimed our tables. 

The beer garden is nice because it is surrounded by "food vendors," so if you were hungry, you could just walk over and buy a bento, or onigiri or something. Very convenient, and it felt very Japanese, like being in an izakaya or something. 

I think this picture was actually taken at The Yardhouse in Waikiki. lol

The next day, I was hurting slightly. So we went to Pearlridge, and I remedied my illness with some blood meat, adobo and pancit. I actually only ate the blood meat and the pancit, wasn't feeling the adobo, and my eyes were bigger than my stomach. But Bautista's is always delicious. 

That night, I told Kevin I wanted to go to Sorabol, a 24-hour Korean restaurant. I hadn't been there in years, and was in need of some spicy chigae to chase away my hangover. This place was pretty foreign to Kevin, and even though the menu was in English, he had no idea what to eat. Knowing what kind of an eater he is, I ordered him a very safe fried rice, that wasn't spicy and didn't have strange ingredients in it. The waitress brought him some kim, and we attempted to show him how to eat the kim with the fried rice, but it ended in a hilarious mess. So the waitress just nicely laid the sheet on kim on top of a scoop of rice instead. lol Kevin really surprisingly enjoyed it! 

Of course it wouldn't be Korean food without a whole lotta banchan! 

I ordered soondubu chigae, which is a soft tofu stew that is spicy. It really hit the spot!

The next morning, my best friend Dom happened to be on Oahu at the same time, so we decided to head to the mall and get some of the rumored cronuts. My sister in law had made cronuts for me and Kevin that previous weekend for our birthdays, and they were AMAZING. We heard that St. Germain in the mall had them too, so we made sure that we got there early before they sold out, considering they only made 100 a day. 

The cronuts...were alright. They weren't warm, and they weren't piped with filling either, like how the original ones in New York are, and how my sister in law made them. It was difficult to eat them because the cream would get everywhere. All in all, we weren't entirely impressed.

Later that day we went back, and I got myself a strawberry shortcake. Dom got a crepe from Shirokiya.

In our hotel room, we came back to a nice surprise of champagne and a fruit basket! My friend James worked at the hotel at the time, and hooked us up with this nice surprise! 

This doesn't have anything to do with anything, but I just wanted to share these pictures because 1. I love Doctor Who, and 2. I love Halloween. 


I got a tip from my coworker that there was a place in Waikiki called Pacific Money Exchange, and this place gave you the best rates. So Kevin and I walked over there from our hotel one morning with our money for Japan. This place was very unassuming, just a small hole in the wall, basically. There was an older Japanese woman that worked there, who was very nice. The exchange rate at the time was, I think, 97 YEN to one USD, which was pretty good. We exchanged $5,000.00 for our two week trip to Japan (which turned out to be more than enough, as we later found out). I highly recommend this place, but definitely call ahead of time, like the day before, and schedule an appointment so you are assured to get your money exchanged.

Before we headed to the airport, I stopped at Yummy's Korean BBQ and got some bi bim gook soo. It was SO. TASTY. Hit the spot just before my flight. 

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