Kona Longboard Island Lager

Kona Longboard Island LagerI will start off by saying that I am definitely not a beer connoisseur nor do I claim to know more about beer than the next guy. I am just another guy that likes drinking beer and decided that while I was here in Hawaii I would try and find some local brews to try. One of the local brews that I found at many restaurants and also in local stores was the Kona Longboard Island Lager made by the Kona Brewing Company .

The first thing I noticed about the Kona Longboard lager was the great aroma it presented. The smell was grainy with a hint of fruit. I found Longboard to be quite smooth tasting with a slight sweet and spicy taste. Overall, I really enjoyed the Kona Longboard lager and would recommend it to others. I purchased it from a local store for about $9 for a six-pack.

My only wish would be more time so I could try some of the other Kona Brewing Company brews.

Another great thing I enjoyed about the beer was that under every bottle cap was a Hawaiian saying with an English translation. It is a gimmick that I really think is fun and interesting. So, go out and grab some Kona Longboard Lager if you get the chance.

Sapporo Lion Beer Hall

Our last night in Tokyo we decided to check out a place I found while doing my recent photowalk in Ginza. The place I speak of is a pretty popular and famous destination that goes by the name of Sapporo Lion Beer Hall.

The Sapporo Lion Beer Hall located in Ginza is Japans first and oldest beer hall, built in 1899. Even more surprising is how this beer hall has managed to stay standing after the massive air raids by allied bombers during WWII. The fact that this place still exists is enough for me to check it out.

We arrived around 7 p.m. and it appeared that every table had someone occupying it. It was busy but we got right in and seated. The bottom floor has very tall vaulted ceilings and an Beer Hallalmost Gothic styling that I enjoyed. Towards the back of this massive room was a mural that covered nearly half of the wall. I thought the mural really added a lot to the atmosphere and brought the restaurant together nicely.

Upstairs was a little less crowded but it still had crowds of  excited people enjoying a cold beer. After speaking with a waiter, the difference in the floors is the menu. Supposedly, the first and second floors have somewhat different menus. I didn’t get a chance to check out the bottom floor menu but I will take the waiters word for it.

As far as the food went, I had the beef stew and thought that is was surprisingly good. It could have been the two large boots of beer that accompanied my stew though. My wife had some fondue, but I don’t think someone can really mess up fondue.

Another great bonus was every boot of beer I ordered came with a little ticket that I had to open to reveal a prize. Apparently, I won both times and received four ¥500 off tickets which I gave to the party of people sitting next to us. It was our last night and we knew we wouldn’t be back , so I figured the nice people next to us would really appreciate a couple free beers on the gaijin couple.

As far as last nights go, we are pretty happy we stumbled upon the l. The atmosphere, food, and especially the beer were all worth while.

Fish Market

Have you ever wondered what 4:30 a.m. would smell like in Tokyo? Well, today it smelled like a whole lot of fish!

With my second trip to Tokyo quickly coming to an end, I decided to wake up early and head out to the very popular Tsukiji Fish Market here in Tokyo. If you have no clue, Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the largest fish markets in the world. Tsukiji handles nearly two tons of marine product per day and that is evident if you have ever been there during the busy times.

I was surprised that I didn’t see as many tourist as expected until just after 7 a.m. One important thing to remember is Tsukiji is a market and people are there to buy and sell products, so stay out of the way if you can. My biggest advice to anyone interested in checking it out is to get their early and stay out of the way of the people and all of the moving carts.

The best part about all of this is that it is absolutely free. That’s right, free! When you are done checking out the tuna auction and various marine life, go eat some of the freshest sushi you’ll ever eat at one of the local vendors in the outer market.

Here are a couple things to remember for your visit:

  • Do not enter areas restricted to authorized personnel!
  • Do not obstruct traffic!
  • Do not bring large bags or suitcases into the market!
  • Do not take flash photography during the tuna auction!
  • Do not enter the market in high heeled shoes or sandals!
  • Do not bring small children or pets!
  • Do not smoke in the market!
  • Do not touch the fish!

My New Impact Wrench

aircat 1150

Aircat 1150

Recently, I needed a new impact wrench as my trusty old Ingersol Rand was clearly coming to the end of its useful life. I was thinking that the Ingersol has been so reliable that i would just upgrade to the latest model as a replacement but a friend who is an air tool junkie as well as some impact wrench reviews have convinced me otherwise. In the end, I’ve opted for the Aircat 1150 and have been pretty impressed so far although it is difficult to say how good it is compared to modern Ingersol Rand wrenches since the only thing I currently have to compare it with is my 15-year old failing one. Nevertheless, the Aircat 1150 is excellent and I have yet to find a job that it can not handle! Of course, one has got to have the right air compressor since these tools need tons of air flow and I suspect I’m going to need to upgrade that piece of kit as well pretty soon. It is going to be difficult to choose though because there are tons of air compressors of all shapes and sizes. I think I’m gonna have to go back and bug my air tool maniac friend again!

Patriots and Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium

This weekend my wife and I went to see  the New England Patriots play theTampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium and I must say that it was a pretty amazing. This was the first time that either of us has had the chance to watch a NFL game live and it was great that we had the opportunity to do so here in England. I know I was a little more excited about seeing the Patriots play in England, but Brittany puts on a good game face to make me happy.

No surprises on how it all ended though, the Patriots ended up beating the Buccaneers 35-7 in front of a sold out crowd at Wembley Stadium. I must say that Wembley Stadium is just amazing and if you ever get the chance to visit…do so!

CoCo’s Curry in Hawaii

I thought the day I left Okinawa, Japan would be the last time that I enjoyed the sweet nectar that is Cocoichibanya Curry House. Fortunately enough for me, I stumbled upon a CoCo’s Curry House here in Honolulu, Hawaii that was within walking distance from my hotel.

One thing about living in Japan that I loved so much was the curry. I would have to say that my friends and I ate CoCo’s curry at least twice a month when we were in Japan. This being said, you can understand how heartbreaking it was to leave and know that I wouldn’t have this ever again.

Today I made a quick stop at the CoCo’s curry house here in Honolulu and the inside was similar in design to the CoCo’s I ate at in Japan. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the menu and noticed under favorites was my favorite dish, chicken katsu curry with cheese. The price was only $7.50, about two dollars cheaper than Okinawa.

One big heartbreak was when I asked for level four spice and they said,

sorry, only regular or no spice available here

I ordered regular spice and it arrived about two or three minutes later. The curry looked so tasty and I couldn’t wait to savor every last bite. I started to feel that people around me were noticing my curry madness so I decided to dig in and stop making eyes at it.

All of the build up and excitement led to curry that just wasn’t up to par. The chicken was different and even something as simple as the cheese mix was off. Because I like my curry somewhat spicy and they only prepare “regular spice” my curry didn’t have the kick and same great taste that I enjoyed for the last three years.

My biggest advice is that if you want Japanese curry, go to Japan!

 

  • Food Prices: Dishes under $8.00
  • Seating: Indoor
  • Payment Options: Dollar/Credit card accepted

 

 Hours: Fri-Sat 11am – 11:30pm & Sun-Thurs 11am – 11pm

Phone: 808-949-4590

Location: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd Honolulu , HI 96814

Visiting Pearl Harbor

What would a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii be without taking the time to visit and appreciate the thousands that gave their lives for our freedom at Pearl Harbor?

On our recent trip to Honolulu we decided to do just that and spend a day at Pearl Harbor to learn and experience more about that horrifying day that happened nearly seventy years ago.

The surprise attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 was very important because it would do the opposite of what the Japanese expected. This attack did not destroy our country’s will, it would unify our nation during this tragic time and eventually lead to the U.S. involvement in WWII.

The Pearl Harbor area consists of several different memorials including the USS Arizona , USS Missouri , USS Bowfin , USS Oklahoma , and the Pacific Avation Museum . One vital piece of information to remember is that all of these locations ban bags from being carried in. This includes purses, camera bags, and shopping bags. Don’t worry, they give you an option to check your bags for a price of three dollars per bag. I would suggest packing only the essentials when you visit the memorials if you want to save a couple extra dollars. If you are into photography and carry a couple of lenses with you, wear something like cargo shorts so you can stuff an extra lens in your pocket like I did.

It was somewhat eerie to be standing in the same location where some much death and destruction occurred 68 years prior. I was pleased to see so many people waiting to pay their respects and visit each memorial just as we were. It is important that we remember and honor those who sacrificed so much to provide the freedoms that we all enjoy today.

We spent nearly six hours visiting the different memorials and I think we still could have spent several more hours or even another day to truly experience it all. I would suggest getting their early if you want to beat the crowds and take your time at each location.

Schmap Honolulu Eighth Edition: Photo Inclusion

I recently received an email stating that one of my photos had been selected for inclusion on Schmap.com for a Honolulu photo guide. First of all, what the hell is Schmap.com? Well, I checked out their website and apparently this is what they are all about:

Schmap is a leading publisher of digital travel guides for 200 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. More than 90 million Schmap Guides have been downloaded since first release in March 2006: this phenomenally popular series can also be browsed online, with versions optimized for iPhone and Nokia users

The innovative technology behind Schmap Guides lets end users publish schmaps (to share trip itineraries, local reviews and more), and powers a popular range of Schmap Widgets, syndicating more than 6 million maps a month – together with content and event schedules for travel, sports and concert tours – to a fast-growing network of websites and blogs.

The company’s latest releases, Schmap Enable and Schmap.me, go to the heart of the current mobile Internet revolution, allowing websites and end users to share mobile friendly maps with their visitors.

Schmap’s rollout has earned a plethora of favorable reviews, with media accolades including TIME, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, PC World, CNET News, Lifehacker and TechCrunch.

Founded in 2004, Schmap is privately owned and based in Carrboro, North Carolina.

After checking it out, I think it looks a lot like Mapquest with interactive guides and photo’s. It is actually brilliant advertising on their end because they get me to write a blog and link to their website because one of my photos made it into their guides. I suppose we are both using each other because my name ends up on their website next to my picture.

The picture is of the Bowfin Memorial Park at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii . I took it this summer when my wife and I vacationed in Honolulu for about a week. Here is a look at it as it appeared on Schmap.

 Schmap Honolulu Eighth Edition: Photo Inclusion

You can also check out the actual page by going here.

Jreck Subs

My wife and I grew up in Northern New York so we both know that there is only one place to go when we are craving a sub. The magical sub shop we have both eaten for years and grew up with is Jreck Subs . Jrecks is a popular sub shop that many people from this area will testify is ten times better then any sub shop around, including Subway.

Jreck Subs was started in 1967 by five school teachers from Carthage Central School here in Northern New York. The name Jreck was created by combining the first letters of the five creators names. Their motto,

A Meal for Your Money – not a snack

is definitely not an understatement by any means. The really pack it on thick.

The thing that makes Jreck Subs so great is their bread. The bread is delivered daily so you know it is fresh and has a taste that is just addicting. Their prices are fair and the food is just great. I should know, I have eaten there about four times in the past two weeks since I have been home. I guess I will try to get as much of it as possible before moving away for another three years.

They have quite the selection of subs which are offered on the menu as either hot or cold. Another great thing and probably the icing on the cake is their fast and friendly service. You really cant beat it!

If you are in New York and happen to stumble upon a Jreck Subs, check it out for yourself and experience what I have loved for years.

Time to BRING IT!

It has been a while since my last post and to be honest I completely forgot that I even had a blog for a split second. It seems like life has been extremely busy lately but here I am now.

When I say “Time to BRING IT” I am talking about the life changing decision my wife and I recently made to get in the best shape of our lives. I have always played sports and stayed active over the years, but I am not that same twenty-one year old that could eat anything without worry.

Eating like crap on a daily basis was really starting to really take a toll on my physical appearance and health overall. I think my wife and I both decided that it was time for a change and decided to try out Tony Hortons revolutionary home fitness program called P90X.

It has been around for a while, so I imagine that most of you have heard from friends or even seen the informercial. Just in case you havent, check it out here.

We have completely change our eating habits and now work out at least six times a week. Before starting this program I got to the heaviest I have ever weighed, 190 lbs. This was a real shock for me so I decided it was time for a change. Since that day I have lost roughly 18 lbs. We are only on day 19 of the program but already feel healthier and look better.

Just the other day Brittany came into the living room bragging about how loose her jeans were and how if things kept up she would need to go shopping. I guess shopping for new clothes isnt such a bad thing when the old ones are too big around the waist.

We both took multiple pictures on day 1 and it was almost embarrassing to be honest. P90x is a 90 day program and part of it requires you to take pictures at days 1, 30, 60, and 90. Brittany doesn’t want to post the day 1 pictures until we start to get some really amazing results. However, be on the look out for those pictures because I dont think it will much longer.