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Friday, December 25, 2015

MY WAIKIKI STAYCATION: Day Two

First, Merry Christmas.  It is a gorgeous day in Honolulu, a bit cool, with highs later in the day maybe reaching 80F.  My friends in Denver, sorry, for it will snow and never get above freezing today.  Hey, but you're having a reasonably white, but slushy, Christmas.  Hawaii is merely green and wonderful.  Back East, though, they are suffering from global warming, for Burlington, Vermont shattered its Christmas Eve temperature of 51F, set in 1957, by 17 degrees, reaching 68F.

To continue my Waikiki Staycation, I awoke to the sound of  the waves and took a photo of Waikiki Beach below me, with surfers further out:


I had a free breakfast of ham and boiled egg (never had this combination before) with rice and miso soup, and Passion Orange Guava plus coffee at the Leahi Lounge, where the sight kind of takes your breath away:


The view towards the airport from the lounge:


I then walked Waikiki Beach.  Diamond Head and the three dominating hotels on the beach, all Starwood properties--Sheraton, Royal Hawaii (in pink coral) and Westin Moana Surfrider:


The Cincinnati Bearcats are at the Moana, with the Oklahoma Sooners basketball group.  The San Diego Aztecs, which crushed Cincinatti at the Hawaii Bowl, are staying at the Sheraton.  Oklahoma plays Harvard in the Diamond Head Classic today for the finals.

Walking back, I stopped at the Curry House to purchase my lunch:


I decided to bring home the champagne provided by the hotel.

So for our Christmas Eve Dinner at 15 Craigside, I joined the Matsuda family, here with my meal and that sparkling wine from Sheraton plus an extraordinary (not only the quality, but the price) Stanford wine which came earlier this month, a Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon:


The two gifted children (one already performed at Carnegie Hall and other will shortly) of Matsuda's daughter and her husband from Diamond Bar are Hally and Kyle.  Frankly, I'm not sure if this is good, but they are in a school in Southern California where students (mostly Asian, I presume), after a strenuous orchestral practice, at 9PM, go on for tutoring to enhance their education, just like in South Korea.

Our dinner:
  • Full Salad Bar
  • Kahuku Corn Chowder and on the Cob
  • Oven Roasted Turkey with Traditional Gravy
  • Baked Black Forest Ham
  • Roasted Honey Mustard Pork Loin with Buttered Cinnamon Fuji Apples
  • Corn Bread Stuffing
  • Roasted Corn Hash
  • Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Here, I am with my neighbors, Al and Charlotte, then the visitors, Lynn and Doug, plus Hally and Kyle:


She is an optometrist and he owns a data scanning company.

I awoke this morning at 15 Craigside and decided to have my best Christmas brunch, ever.  Miyazaki wagyu sirloin and ribeye with shiitake mushrooms, garlic, onion and rice, with a fried egg:


The rice was Koshihikari from Niigata, said to be the best in Japan, and the wine a 2005 Cardinal Cuvee from Vinum Cellars.  I added some hot sake:


My basil and arugula garden in the background.  Unfortunately, I could not finish everything, so my leftover drinks (after all, this was only brunch) with Hawaiian pepper plant and mint


Christmas eating did not stop, for later in the afternoon I went to the annual Betsy and Harvey Christmas dinner.  Harvey was the point guard for that fabulous University of Hawaii basketball team in the 50's known as the "forgotten five."  I  remember them beating Southern Cal at the Civic Auditorium.  It was again a feast.

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