Browsing Tag: hawaii

    Miscellany

    Where to watch NFL games on Hawaii’s Big Island

    November 12, 2018

    We found our tribe of Seahawks fans (12s!) at a neat sports bar in Kailua-Kona!

    If you’re a big football fan who’s traveling to Hawaii during NFL season, you might reach a point during your trip planning where you wonder … Where am I gonna watch the football game on Sunday?

    My wife and I have been to different Hawaiian islands probably 2-3 times during NFL season, and each time we’ve managed to find some good places that open up early Sunday for tourists to catch their favorite team’s game. Our most recent trip was last month when we visited the Big Island (Hawaii) with friends. But we were the only ones who wanted to find a place to watch NFL games — preferably with other Seattle Seahawks fans! — so the planning was all on our own.

    Good news: There are three sports bars nestled closely together in Kailua-Kona and each one opens early on Sunday mornings for NFL fans!

    My wife and I ended up at Oceans Sports Bar, which is just off Ali’i Road, the street that runs along the coast. As we were walking there, we passed by two other sports bars that were also open early and had TVs on for people to watch the games — Bongo Ben’s and Laverne’s. There are a few other bar/restaurant-type places in that same area that may have also been open, but we didn’t walk to them.

    (By the way … we’re talking 7:00 AM in Hawaii. That’s when the early games kickoff, at least before the mainland changes its clocks. If it’s after the clock change, kickoff will be at 8:00 AM Hawaiian time.)

    Oceans has a pretty big bar area with a bunch of TVs above showing the games, and then several more TVs placed throughout the dining areas.

    My wife and I arrived just as the game began and picked a table in the first dining area, where about 10-15 Seahawks fans had already gathered. It’s always fun to watch a game with other 12s, and this was no exception.

    The crowd grew as the game went along, and there were eventually about 25-30 Seahawks fans spread across two dining areas. There were also some Broncos fans, Chiefs fans and a few other teams represented … but Oceans Sports Bar seems to be the place for Seahawks fans to gather.

    Service was excellent. Our waitress was quick to bring my wife a mimosa and kept me filled with various tropical juices all morning. For breakfast, they offer a buffet that runs $14 per person, as I recall, which is pretty much a bargain for Hawaii. It was fairly standard stuff — scrambled eggs, bacon, home fried potatoes (to die for! OMG), biscuits and gravy, fried rice and some fresh fruit options. I think they had the fixins for a loco moco, too. As part of the buffet, you can also order a Belgian waffle — it looked delicious, but we were too full to try it.

    All in all, we had a great morning. The food was good. The service was good. The atmosphere was really fun. And we got to watch the Seahawks beat Detroit alongside a big group of fellow football fans. If you’re an NFL fan looking to watch the games on Hawaii’s Big Island, you can’t go wrong with Oceans Sports Bar — especially if you’re a Seahawks fan!

    Miscellany

    Dublin, Driving, Hawaii and … Dread?

    January 26, 2016
    The sunset, as we saw it after driving up Haleakala Mountain in Maui.
    The sunset, as we saw it after driving up Haleakala Mountain in Maui.

    I flew to Dublin back in November for U2 concerts and had a great time. But in the days leading up to the trip, I began to dread the thought of flying over the Atlantic Ocean. Weird, because I’ve flown to Ireland a couple times in the past and flown to Hawaii a handful of times just in the past five years … and never did I worry or think about any dangers/risks of flying over the ocean.

    In December, while making plans for a trip to Hawaii, I decided not join my wife and four friends on a snorkeling trip that involved riding out on the ocean on a sailing canoe. On the surface, I made the decision because it was way too expensive. But I later figured out there was a subconscious decision that was really guiding my decision — I was afraid to get on the little sailing canoe and head out into the Pacific.

    When we made the trip earlier this month to Hawaii, the same fear of transoceanic flight hit me.

    And then, when we were in Hawaii, everyone drove up to the top of Haleakala Mountain for a combo sunset viewing/astronomy tour. It was wonderful, but I hated the drive. The road was thin and dangerous with what seemed like a couple dozen switchbacks. There were cows grazing along the side of the road and sometimes standing in the middle of it — dangerous to any vehicle coming around a blind turn. I vowed afterward to never drive up Haleakala again.

    A year ago, or five years ago, I would’ve never been afraid of the drive up the mountain. I would’ve never been afraid of getting on the sailing canoe. I’ve never been afraid to fly over the ocean.

    What’s going on??

    While the rest of the group was out on the sailing canoe, I had about three hours alone and time to think about that question. The answer I came up with is that it’s because my dad died last year and I’ve been subconsciously fearing and/or avoiding risky things that could involve death. Now that I’m without my dad, I don’t want to die and leave my son without his dad.

    Sure, walking outside or just getting the car and driving to the store could involve death, but those are common things that I do regularly. The stuff above isn’t.

    It was something of a relief to have come up with a reason for my sudden fear of certain activities. But now I’m asking myself new questions: What else will I suddenly dread or try to avoid? Is this a temporary thing that I’ll get over someday? If so … when?

    Miscellany

    Great Italian Food in Maui? Try Antonio’s (in a strip mall, even)

    January 24, 2016
    Antonio's Italian Kitchen, as seen on Google Street View
    Antonio’s Italian Kitchen, as seen on Google Street View

    Let’s talk first about the 800-lb. elephant in the room: It’s in a strip mall anchored by a Long’s Drugs. That’s it in the corner of the Google Street View screenshot above. But don’t let that discourage you as you drive up to Antonio’s Italian Kitchen, which may very well have the best Italian food in Maui.

    Maui has a ton of fantastic restaurants but, in my experience (been to Maui four times in the past five years), they mostly pay lip service to Italian food. Seafood reigns on Maui, with steak joints or Asian food probably the next most popular restaurant options. At most of these places, you can find a seafood/pasta combo dish (or several) and maybe some basic Italian dishes like different takes on Pasta Primavera and such.

    But if you’re looking for a great Italian-focused restaurant that offers several kinds of homemade pasta and multiple sauce options, your choices will be pretty limited.

    Enter Antonio’s. In a strip mall. In Kihei.

    Our party of four ate there on a Thursday night in mid-January and we all loved it. We read about it the well-known Maui Revealed guide book and found their review to be spot on. It’s small — maybe 10 tables altogether. It’s very clean. Service was super friendly. The food was wonderful.

    I had the Fettucine Alfredo dish with chicken. I loved the homemade pasta and the sauce, which I assume was also homemade, was fantastic. My wife loved the Ravioli, and our guests loved the Chicken Parmesan (with Spaghetti) and Italian Sausage dinners.

    Entrees were in the $15 range, plus or minus. Appetizers were in the $8 range, plus or minus. The ones we ordered (Bruschetta and Garlic Bread) were good, but not as rave-worthy as the entrees. Desserts were solid (cheesecake for me, a chocolate mousse cake for my wife). With an alcoholic beverage or two thrown in, our whole meal was in the $60/couple range, which is really affordable for Maui.

    Reservations were suggested, so we made one. But there were a couple empty tables when we arrived so a walk-in would’ve worked, too.

    Huge props to Antonio’s on Maui for what very well could be the best Italian dinner on the island. Give it a shot, and don’t let the strip mall location discourage you.

    Miscellany

    Maui Days 6-7: Turtles, Dinner Plans, and Home

    May 20, 2011

    maui-6-7

    Sigh. Our last full day on Maui. I’d tell you that we woke up sad, and that would be true. But the full story is that we started getting sad about leaving three days ago! Today, the end of an amazing vacation was just staring us in the face.

    The highlight of today’s schedule was to be a sunset dinner cruise along the Maui coast; figured that would be the most relaxing way to wrap up our anniversary celebration. But first, we had some more snorkeling on the agenda. And breakfast. And both came highly recommended by one of Cari’s friends. Continue Reading…

    Miscellany

    Maui Day Five: Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour, Dinner on the lanai

    May 19, 2011

    maui-5

    After a (supposedly) relaxing day, we were back out bright and early this morning with some big plans: our first zipline tour!

    I must confess that, as the week wore on, I actually wasn’t looking forward to ziplining. Don’t know why; just had a feeling like something might go wrong. Plus, it was the activity that I was trying to convince Cari we should cancel so we could go back out to Molokini again. Continue Reading…

    Miscellany

    Maui Day Four: Snorkeling at Kaanapali Beach, Sea Turtles & Dolphins

    May 17, 2011

    maui-4

    While I was busy planning and scheming and drawing up our plan of attack for the trip to Hawaii, Cari made sure to tell me that she wanted some down time so that she could just relax on the beach and/or by the pool and maybe get a massage and other non-active stuff like that.

    No problem. I thought such a day might give me a chance to go do something that she wasn’t too interested in, like exploring the northwest side of the island or maybe checking out the Maui Ocean Center and Aquarium. But, in reality, once I’d experienced snuba and snorkeling on day two of our trip, I knew how all my free time would be spent.

    In the water. Looking for sea turtles. Continue Reading…