Monday, September 19, 2016

#MyFitSquad 2016

So let's be real here, I did not reach #MyNextLevel. But it's my birthday week and I'm getting another year older. The bid is not where I want it to be. I need to get my BMI and fat percentage down. My clothes are not fitting the way I want them to.

I did up my cardio and really wanted to do my first 5K race as I never fulfilled that resolution last year. I was able to run a 5K but not during an official race. The last time I did before recently was on Halloween in bunny ears and a bunny tail. I can get back to it easily. I ran over a mile and had to stop last month. The next time I did, I ran a 5K. I was pretty proud of myself.

But 10 or so days ago, the top of my left foot started to hurt that I had a nice pimp walk. It got so bad that I saw a doctor and she asked me to go get an x-ray. The results came back a few hours later and I have arthritis and need to see a podiatrist. No running for me. I will have to find ways to get my cardio in. So I think I will try cycling.

I have #MyFitSquad to keep me going. I have Court Court, Cristen, Crystal and Erika.

The challenge is 8 weeks and fortunately unfortunately I have a trip to Paso Robles with a lot of wine drinking and a trip to Italy with more wine and all the pasta  during that time. It will be challenging but let's see if I can balance this out. It'd be nice to win some money.

Wish us luck! Feel free to find me on Bodyspace 'bappletree'

Monday, September 12, 2016

Maui 2016 - Day 4

It was time to go home. I enjoyed my time in Maui and loved spending time with my father. I am definitely a Daddy's girl, to this day. I woke up, packed, had breakfast thanks again to my Stepmom and told them I was going to go to the beach before leaving. It's something I do to take a moment and take in one last time of where I am, appreciate that I have rested and think about where I am headed.

I walked along the beach and stopped right in front of the hotel restaurant was where we dined and stayed when my Lolo was alive. I vividly remember taking a group photo there with them and my four other cousins. It made me miss him even more. It also made me think that my father is 62 and we all are getting older. I don't like to think about it but I can hear the sadness my father has for losing his own father. I couldn't imagine it. Papa and I were both at Lolo's side when he took his last breath. Sitting there on that beach made me feel close to them both at the same time. And it's been years since I felt that way.

During that time, a golden lab was wandering the beach by himself, didn't have a tag and came and set next to me, so close that he was leaning up against me. I gave him some love for a bit. And then he was off. Dogs are so sensitive to your feelings. I think he knew I needed some care. Perhaps that was my Lolo's way of visiting and comforting me.

I sat on that beach thinking of all the discussions my father and I have had the past couple of days. Both of these men made a lot of sacrifices in their lives to give their families the lives they now lead. I made it a goal to not disappoint.

By 40, I will be in a comfortable position. I will be smarter with my money and my time and I will make my money work for me. I will also work hard, but I want to work smarter. I will be taking small steps to learning more about the economy, business, stocks, options and real estate. Papa is willing to guide me. A sign of that success will be me owning property in Hawaii by the time I am 40 years old. I have definitely narrowed down the location to Maui recently after a Labor Day Weekend trip to Oahu. I am in love with Maui. So, wish me luck.

I have never been a fan of saying goodbye to my father. When he used to drop me off after having my sister and I for the weekend, I would just cry my eyes out. This time, I had my sunglasses on and tried to hide my eyes that were watering. He was headed to the mainland the next day so I could see him soon if I wanted to. But still. I hate saying goodbye to him. But I did, hopefully without him knowing I was still a big baby that loves her Papa so much.

The car was dropped off at Dollar, I checked in my bag and grabbed some grub at Sammy's. I remember having one last island cocktail with my cousin Shanti at the bar 10 years ago there, and had dined there a few times before traveling between islands. I didn't have Spam all weekend so I went with the Kama'aina Breakfast, your traditional two eggs, toast and choice of meat kind of breakfast. Spam it is! I grew up on that so I am not ashamed to eat what some people call 'Mystery Meat.' I don't care what it is. I like it. I just forgot to tell them to cook it well. Oh well. 

The plane ride was direct and they fed us lunch, a ginger chicken with rice and a three bean side dish. I don't typically like ginger but I ate all of that main dish. Not so much of the bean or cookie. Thanks, Hawaiian Airlines for the food. Mahalo!

From the airport, I rushed over to work the annual dinner I have been working since 2009 at Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California. I made it just in time for the speeches. And so it was back to reality, One Busy Bee.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Click on the Travel label to the right for other travel-related posts. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Maui 2016 - Day 3

It's my Papa Bear's birthday! The whole reason why I came to surprise him in Maui. I was there two years ago with my Lola and celebrated his birthday with him. It was nice to be a part of this celebration again.

2014 at Longhi's
I fell asleep on the couch, sleepily made my way to temporary wonderful room where I woke up to a view of the fruits growing on the trees outside my window. I found my Papa Bear cleaning the pool on his birthday.

"Why didn't you carry me to my bedroom?" I used to fall asleep to watching Annie on a VHS a lot and I loved getting carried to bed. He was turning older and I'm sure part of him, like me, wanted to go back in time, even if it was temporary.

Papa Bear continued his chores and I didn't go for a run. I just stretched and was mesmerized by the clouds moving above me.

The flowers I gave my Stepmom were blooming.

After another delicious lunch by my Stepmom, Papa Bear wanted to get some rest, his siesta. He went up and I wanted to go north and check out Kapalua again. I invited my Stepmom and she wanted to go. Then she invited Papa. He whined a little bit and she called him a party pooper. On his birthday. It was funny. My poor Papa. Can't get to do what he wants on his birthday. But I know he also wanted to spend time with me.

We took my rental and he drove. We stopped at the Kapalua Plantation where houses start at $5 million and on a golf course. We stop at the clubhouse and inquired about grabbing a drink or appetizer to take in the gorgeous view. Unfortunately, they only allowed this at the bar top. Unlike me, they preferred not to sit there.

We were headed to Merriman's nearby but parking was busy. Papa says it usually clears up after 4 PM. We then went to the Pineapple Grill and sat on the patio. The name reminded me of The Pineapple Bar & Grill at City Beach in Fremont, California. It's where I met Kristian, my Business Partner, and many good friends. Read more about it HERE.

The menu had draft beers and I knew majority of them. Out of the ones I wasn't aware of, I asked for just a taste of the Beniaka Sweet Potato Premium Lager from the Coedo Brewery in Japan. I haven't had anything like it. It was odd. Then I went with the Lilikoi Specialty Punch.

As Papa said, the parking lot near Merriman's was a bit more open with guests heading home from the beach and getting ready for dinner. We found a spot, walked passed the beach and decided to sit on their large patio with a view of the ocean. It was absolutely gorgeous. I loved these private seating areas with a fire pit and cushions. I wonder what their food and beverage minimum is to sit there.

You  just can't go wrong with this view. And with live music? Heaven on earth.

One of my favorite pictures of my Papa Bear and I. He does not look 62. And retired for that matter. He retired early. Smart man, wouldn't you say? I hope to follow in his footsteps.

I had to have their Mai Tai. I haven't had one. It was strong. No complaints here. Our server was awesome. Great personality and tied well with mine. When we wanted the bill, I told him that I'm breaking up with him and that I need the bill.

Then we headed back to the house and allowed Papa his siesta. I sat out on the deck and browsed the real estate that was available by the pool. I would love property easily accessible to the beach. That $5M price tag could be doable...right?  Goals. My mind was churning.

Then it was dinner again at Longhi's. Two years ago, we sat on the second floor and had a wonderful view without the passerbyers drooling over our dishes. Regardless, the service and food were great. It was really warm. The same bottle we had two years was still on the menu but a different vintage. They provide you bread, we ordered the roasted cauliflower and the huge seafood and pomodoro pasta with a whole lobster, prawns, clams, calamari and mussels. Delicious and carb filled.


Sunset with all the tourists

Then we did the usual thing of sitting out on the deck by the pool and chatting. Papa has made a wonderful life for himself. I was soaking in all the information I could. Not only was this trip all about love and family, but it was also motivational.

Day 4 - coming soon

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Blogging Goals - September 2016

Write down your goals and achieve them.

I want 100,000 hits this month!

At this point, I need 1,200 hits. I can do it. But ideally, I would like to do it by my birthday, September 22nd.  That will be a nice birthday present.

For my birthday, as well as Cristen's, my Office Manager, we and a bunch of other folks are headed down to Paso Robles to wine taste. While on Maui and Oahu recently, I hashtagged myself as a #travelblogger. I do love to travel and even though I have posts that are about my own backyard, it is still travel to me, AND people that do not live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Yes, majority of my readers are from the US, but according to Blogger, I have many readers from Russia, Germany and France. Thank you, international readers! Next up in my travels after Paso Robles will be Italy, specifically Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan. Please contact me to invite us, Courtney & I, to come to your establishment. It will surely be mentioned here! 


IF I meet the 100,000 hits mark, I will raffle off a $100 Hawaiian Airlines gift card!

I want to know where you are from! Comment below with your name, city/town, state/province, country and email address to enter to win. If you have a blog as well, let me know! One entry per email address.

Want bonus entries? ReTweet any of my Travel blog posts with a link on Twitter.

Entries will be eligible until 11:59 PM on September 30, 2016. Winner will be selected at random, notified via email as well as posted on this blog post and via Twitter, and will have seven days to claim their prize.

Good luck!

Beer Log - September 2016

To gain more of an understanding of the industry I am in, you have to go out and be exposed to it! As a part owner and Events Director of a new restaurant in San Francisco, I have been enjoying food, wine, whiskey, cocktails, local flavor, popular and not so well known establishments. I love it! My taste buds love me for it.

This is my beer log for September. If you click on one of the labels to the right, you can also find wine, beer, spirits and general dining posts. Please browse through the blog and I hope it inspires you to visit that place or be on your own search for something similar. So let's begin!

Waikiki Brewing Company
It's my birthday month and I just got back from Hawaii again. This time with my business partner. I was actually invited to Oahu by a Food and Beverage Manager I met while in Maui. He was opening a brewery and I said 'Me too!' It's been a long-time comin'. He didn't end up making it out after we booked our flights and we headed in the same direction as Hurricane Lester and enjoyed ourselves.

We walked a bit to finally find this brewery. I first had the beer while in Maui and have tweeted them that received responses. I asked about a tour. However, on the day of, I didn't get a response.

Nonetheless, I tried ALL THE BEER as my Brewer does. I did a flight of all of them and shared it with my business partner. My personal favorites were the Aloha Spirit Blonde Ale, the Eee Pah IPA (the same one I enjoyed while in Maui), and the Black Strap Porter.

They also made beer cocktails which I didn't have a chance to enjoy. There's always next time!  I'm not a fan of pale ales, hefs and the Jalapeno Mouth was really interesting. It was promoted well there.

The Overnight IPA got his name when the brewer took a flight to California, drive to Clearlake, bought hops, and returned to brew with them immediately. It was really unique.

The brewery was pretty cool. You can sit outdoors and stare at the hanging televisions before the system of steel. I had a good time. It's hard not to when you're in Hawaii. Jeffrey and Vanessa were behind the bar and were friendly and attentive.

Georgetown Brewing
Bodhizafa IPA

A duplicate was poured at DW so I had a taste of it and gave the rest to my Bar Manager. Trying to lose weight here!

More to come!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Maui 2016 - Day 2

I alerted Papa that I was going to go for a jog in the morning. While on vacation, I knew I was going to drink and eat unhealthy, and honestly, I haven't been happy with my body lately. I recently picked up running again. The 90 minutes of cardio I was going wasn't enough to burn some fat. Jogging was a challenge until I actually did it. I ran a 5K in my second attempt since not running since October 31st last year. I got up and used my stepmom's mini side purse for my phone as I forgot my arm band in a rush. The goal to run another 5K along the water.

I turned on my JBoog Pandora station, started my Runkeeper tracker and got going. At 7:30 am, it was already warm. I should have gotten up earlier. Once I made that one turn, I saw the blue ocean and I knew I was definitely going to reach my goal. I would run as often as I could if I could run with that view. 

Going down hill was hard on my knees and I was cautious so I think it added to my time. The last time I was in Maui, I headed towards the black rocks at the Sheraton. This time I went in the opposite direction.

I passed lots of tourists, construction, Duke's, other runners, people setting up a tent for activities with sumo suits and got lost in a winding hotel parking lot looking for a beach trail access. I ended up reaching my 5K mark in a parking lot. I wish I ended on some beach somewhere but at that point, I didn't care. My legs were jelly and I was parched. I took the photo from a walkway to the beach and saw a rainbow. How perfect. My time wasn't perfect but I got it done.

I decided to stop at Duke's, sit at the bar of course and order something light. I almost got the fruit platter but i went with the organic granola, yogurt and tropical fruit. I killed that first glass of water. I sat next to a couple from Vegas that was experiencing a different kind of heat. I hope my sweatiness didn't ruin their experience sitting one seat away from me. If it had, I would have had to purchase them a glass of wine that was on tap.

My granola was decent but I wish I had gotten the fruit platter. It would have been more refreshing. I texted Papa to let him know where I was. I told him that I was going to walk back up. Like a sweet Papa Bear, he offered to come pick me up. I declined. The walk back up was hot but I did catch some Pokemon.

I got to the house with my Papa tending to his backyard. He said he was going to go to the store to pick up poke. I asked him if I could tag along after I shower. Of course he didn't decline.

Oh, the terrible tan lines!

Since I had the rental car, I drove. I told my stepmom to pray and say prayers for my father's return. I can't remember the last time I drove with him as a passenger and I forgot to pack my defibrillator.

I felt pretty confident driving around Maui.  I recognized the golf course Papa first took us to to have lunch when we arrived two years ago and I also feel confident about driving around in Kauai. I'm getting used to this! Could it be my home some day?

We went to the supermarket and I was in poke heaven. Sooo many different kinds. Papa got four half pounds of a few variations. I almost convinced him to get the octopus one. See my Greek post and obsession with octopus.

We had lunch at the house. My stepmom had rice, which I believe was at every meal, plus the poke and this pickled mango that I couldn't get enough of. My mouth is watering just as type this. They also shared a wine with me that they went to Kula for and they enjoyed. It was mixed with passion fruit and a bit too sweet for me. I was thankful for trying it but I passed it to my father.

Then it was time for Papa's nap time. I wanted to go to the beach and get in the water. I didn't want to pull him from his resting time but we all ended up going to Kaanapali beach just down the road. We packed the chairs, umbrellas and towels. We set up camp as best as we could with the wind and held on to the umbrellas. After a bit, I went into the water, followed by my Papa. It was great to just float in the beautiful, warm water but it was definitely exercise just to stay afloat. He would say that he couldn't believe he was living there but he's so happy. I'm happy for him!

After a bit of sitting out and observing why a couple's umbrella was so much more steadier than ours, we headed back and he needed to rest before our next happy hour.

We went to Whaler's Village and went to the Kaanapali Grille & Tap Room. It was another terrible view. Papa Bear apologized.

We sat outside of course, ordered a round of beers from Waikiki Brewing Company, pupus including Papa's favorite, onion rings, chicken wings with the sauce on the side, coconut shrimp and the nachos topped with kahlua pork. My favorite was the coconut shrimp. The onion rings were large and the wings were cooked well done, just the way I liked them. The nachos weren't appealing to me. I killed the shrimp though! And you wonder where my silliness comes from?

Papa Bear knew the staff. He has been served by our waiter before, told me about how the bus boy named Heinz got his name and we met the manager there named Gary. Very nice guy and he said he was going to help open a brewery in Oahu during Labor Day weekend and it was his birthday. My stepmom mentioned that I was in the industry too. I also said we will be opening up our brewery as well. He invited me to come out to Oahu! Wow. I did have an idea of going to Oahu after the new year to see what it was like. Could I live on Maui? Or do I still need a city kind of feel in Waikiki? The opportunity and invitation was there. Could I? Gary asked me to think about it and gave me his card.

A solo musician started to play as we were finishing up our meal. How nice it was to hear live island music. We said our goodbyes and Gary was so nice to come and bid us farewell with hugs. I am loving how friendly everyone is.

We walked to the shopping area so I could get new flip flops as my Reefs that I bought in Playa Del Carmen early last year were falling apart.  I also had go to the Honolulu Cookie store for Nelson. I was so impressed with the cleanliness and packaging of their products. The pineapple-shaped cookies are basically $1 a piece. I personally didn't fall in love with them but perhaps it was because I was so full. 

We walked back and it was very busy. People were still jogging, people were coming in from the beach, laying in hammocks and heading to dinner. I liked the touch of a hotel putting a bride and groom's names at the top of the hotel for all to see. This Event Planner wonders how much that cost.

We then headed home and Papa and I had a long conversation out on the deck under the stars. 

We talked about family. Lolo always comes up. We miss him and it makes me think of how much I would miss Papa when that time comes.  He asked me if I was happy and love what I'm doing. I do. Then he asks me to answer what I never voice out loud - 'Are you lonely?' I am. I have great friends and the point is, I choose who I want to spend my time with. Some people and efforts may not be reciprocated and I read those signs clearly. But I didn't want to go further into it as I didn't feel like crying on a joyous weekend. I dodged going into detail but it's really simple: I don't want to ever settle again. (I Am Single)

We transitioned a bit deeper in how he as an immigrant from the Philippines has grown to be so successful. It is really impressive. My Financial Advisor is so smart and so good with his money. He says luck and determination definitely played a part. He set goals for himself, taught himself about the stock market, options and investing as well as real estate. He has definitely taken risks and have made risky decisions to help people out but it is also because he has a huge heart.

As I get older, we both are seeing how much alike we are. I do hope I can be as successful as he is come 62 years of age. Just like this blog, I am interested in so many things. How to make my money work for me is on that list. Papa said he would help me.

Since my first visit to Maui in 2003 or 2004 with my Lola and Lolo and my cousins, I have dreamt of living in Hawaii. When I was there in August 2014, I was looking at condos as soon as I got home.  I wanted to go back. See Day 4 post to what I have decided.

He eventually fell asleep and I went inside to write my August Beer Log. Papa came
in. Then I actually fell asleep on the couch as they watched the Olympics. In the middle of the night, I got up to go to my gorgeous room.