Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bears Visit Hawaii

I had to go to Honolulu for a Best Western (BW) conference. Naturally the entire family had to come along to help me. The had accompanied me eight years ago when the BW was last held there. The last time I only had a day and a half to enjoy the island of Oahu, this time I schedule three and a half days.

Upon arriving, we made sure that we had lunch at the word famous Puka Dogs (www.pukadog.com). I could not believe it. My two daughters and Ceci's boyfriend had mustard or mustard and ketchup. Sheesh.
The Wialana restaurant was next to our hotel, the Aqua Palms situated across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The restaurant was a great value and had wonderful Mai Tai's for only $3.25. There, Lila had her first Mai Tai, I had one too. I tried a dish called Siamin there. It is a Hawaiian version of chow mein and it had Spam in it. I liked it a lot.

While Lila and I were working, Carmen took Ceci and her boyfriend Jay to swim with the dolphins. They had a great time and I am jealous.

Day after the conference ended we rented a car and drove to Hanauma Bay. Snorkeling there is amazing. All the tropical fish, coral, wildlife. At one point I managed to stay with a sea turtle for about an hour and a half. They are really amazing. After lunch we drove up the east side of Oahu. We finished the day off by visiting our friends in downtown Honolulu. They have a penthouse apartment with a fantastic view of the city. They were such wonderful hosts.

Friday was the Polynesian Cultural Center. They picked us up at 10:15am, and returned us at about 10:30pm. What a place. They have villages to let people learn about the cultures of seven different Polynesian cultures. We chucked spears, fished, made toys, ate coconut bread, learned how to open a coconut, make fire with two sticks, ate fresh poi. Lila took a hula lesson and I tried to learn how to play the Ukulele. Did you know that Ukulele, means jumping fleas? We ended the night with a wonderful Luau and a wonderful show. It was quite a day.

Our final day of fun, started by renting a car again. We went to Pearl Harbor and visited the Arizona memorial. It is a very moving experience. Across the street is the flee market to end all flea markets at the Aloha Stadium. It is all geared toward tourists, which we were.

After that we drove to the North Shore and stopped for shaved ice at Matsumoto's, Shrimp Scampi at the Giovanni shrimp truck and ended the day at the Dole pineapple plantation.

We had a wonderful time, but it sure was good to be home.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

lila's 21st birthday part 2

as you all know her majesty queen lila finally turned 21 this year and had a small quiet little get together at her palace! hahaha! yeah right i partied like it was 1987 i did NOT get drunk okay well maybe a little drunk but i did not get sick.

lila's 21st birthday!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lila Meets Chip Connely of Joie de Vivre

CLIA Industry Awards and Gala Dinner

Chip Connely poses for a picture of his most prized employee, Lila Mary Bear.

Octoberfest 2008 San Francisco

Carmen and I decided to attend the Octoberfest at Fort Mason in San Francisco.  It was great.  I thought about bringing one of my beer steins.  I have a small, but nice collection that I purchased when Carmen and I went to Germany about 15 years ago.  While we were in Bavaria, where Munich is, we did not make it to Munich and since we were there in January, Octoberfest was not going on.  The good part of that is that it was not crowded.  That is probably the closest we have come to a real Octoberfest.  

In 1978, my family moved from Southern California to Pleasant Hill.  That October, my dad brought us to an Octoberfest celebration that was held in Marin county.  It was great, but I was not old enough to enjoy the beer.

In 1977 while in High School, a bunch of us including Eric Schubel went to an Octoberfest celebration in Anaheim.  While we could not enjoy the beer, that was where I first learned to enjoy German food.

This Octoberfest 2008 in San Francisco was wonderful.  People were allowed to bring their steins and you can bet that I will bring one of mine next year.  We got their early and got the second to last free parking spots.  Always a nice feeling.  We enjoyed beer sold by the leiter, knockwurst, roll (brochen), potato salad (kartafel salad) and apple strudel.

It is the 60th anniversay of the Berlin Airlift.  For almost one year, East Germany (with Soviet backing), closed all land routes from West Germany to Berlin.  The Untied States, in one of the great humantarian efforts of all time, flew supplies around the clock until East Germany gave in and opened the land routes.

We enjoyed the booths, food, beer, costumes and especially the live music.  We got their early enough to have great seats.  I can't wait until next year.