Thursday, October 24, 2013

Last Days in Kauai - Day 5 & 6

It's always sad to wake up in Hawaii knowing that you'll soon have to leave this beautiful place.  One thing I won't miss are the bug bites I've been getting. I'm sure they'll miss me. I'm allergic, swell up and scar from them. It's not hot whatsoever. Instead of moping around about the inevitable, I might as well face it and get out of bed and enjoy the time I have with my family. That day we were heading to drop off Shanti and friends at a spot to start their stand-up paddle practice to Hanalei, go to Princeville to pick up a car they had purchased, and then meet the ladies back in Hanalei for the paddling races. With this trip and like our trip to Maui, I almost made it entirely around the island Kauai.

We loaded up the cars and headed to the East side. They showed me the area where they used to live, the area I was at early the morning before and even Ben Stiller's house at one point. I kept Sol company as Shanti and friends got in the water and started practice. She was training for a 7-mile race the following month. We then jumped back in the car and headed to Princeville, a ritzy area that's more of like resort, statues in the middle of ponds, a golf course and beautiful The Ritz Carlton Residences. Must be nice. Pablo took care of the car stuff and I played with Sol in this big open field. We played tag, I swung him around, we laughed, counted birds, ran and just had a ball. It's so wonderful to be a kid and be able to enjoy yourselves without technology or toys.  Kids nowadays need to use their imaginations and be whatever they want to be in a wide, open field. It can also help decrease the amount of overweight children we have today. Do your part, Parents. Check out this site call Get Active.
Let's Move

I was to be the first driver of the new Mazda and I drove it out to Hanalei. When we got there, it looked like it was going to rain. I have never been on a beach for that long when it rained. There was a lot going on with this event. There were many races for different teams, classes and sexes. It was great to spend more time with Sol and to let Pablo and Shanti enjoy themselves.  I just wanted to relax and enjoy the day before heading back to my crazy life in the Bay Area. I met quite a few of their teammates and one of them had a little baby. I believe his name was Cameron. Sol was doing alright and the mother wanted to eat or had to race or something. I was holding Cameron told her that he'd be alright with me. I completely felt that I could handle a 6-month and a 2-year-old at once. I was keeping Cameron happy and calm, and feeding Sol snacks and water. I can do this. Most women are natural caregivers. Cameron also liked my Stella & Dot jewelry, as babies tend to love shiny things. I eventually had to give back the baby but Sol went down for a nap and I loved keeping his safe and warm as it continued to rain. He was in good hands.

The Wanderlust Bracelet - $39 - Benefiting breast cancer research in October 2013

After the races, more shopping was done in town and we grabbed something to eat. There, we learned that Sol enjoys red onions...or was it raw lemons? What a silly boy.  Then we started our trek back to Koloa. However, we pulled over and they showed me the taro fields. Pretty crazy. And of course there were roosters all around. I got out of the car to take a photo and rushed back in because one had its eye on me. Who knows what he was going to do! We eventually made it home and I had to pack. I was leaving on a jet plane the next day.

In the morning, we all had breakfast. Shanti was telling Sol that 'Auntie B has to go to her house.' He repeated her and his eyes got a little watery, then mine got a little watery and then I shed a tear! Oh, it just killed me. I was going to miss that little boy and I definitely do. He is just such a joy and is being raised so properly by his parents. I think they're doing such an amazing job. It was so great to have this time with them. I have been meaning to come visit for such a long time. I was taken to the airport and it was so sad to say good-bye.

I had a layover in Maui where I had to continue work on the Carmel wedding over a blended, fruity cocktail. And since I never did get a piece of jewelry on Kauai, I purchase a pink plumeria ring from Maui Divers Jewelry.

And then my connection to Oakland departed and I was sad to leave Hawaii, but happy to come home to my Puppy Love.

Kauai - Day 4

Friday in Kauai started very early which I will have to include at another time. I'll just have to leave you hanging...

My cousin arrived back at the house after dropping off my nephew at day care, and she finished majority of her work for the day already. We were planning on going to the Grand Hyatt and taking advantage of a spa certificate that she had but in the recent weeks it was misplaced. No biggie to me but she did pay for it and wanted to use it. Instead we went to the Grand Hyatt anyways and laid by the lagoon for awhile. The property is gorgeous. The main entrance will take your breath away. It's like you are looking at an ever-changing painting.

I have always had a fascination with hotels and considered getting into the industry, especially when you're working for a property like this! Walking down towards the pool with a slide and running river and the lagoon, you pass its restaurant surrounded by a pond with koi fish.

Then we picked our beach chairs and relaxed. Well, tried to as there were preppy looking teenagers nearby that had mouths that belong to sailors. Eventually they moved away from us and then I relaxed as my cousin worked on getting a Car Fax for a Mazda they will be purchasing in Princeville the next day.

We were hungry. Since we weren't guests at the Hyatt we couldn't order anything so we went to a nice restaurant and sat outside on the deck and it was like being at a Trader Vic’s restaurant but actually somewhere tropical.  There was a koi pond, beautiful greenery, the ocean breeze and a tree across the street with incredibly vibrant red leaves. I ordered a cocktail that came in a pineapple and it was incredibly delicious. The ahi tuna tower was devoured and the sliders I ordered were Cousin Pablo’s favorite thing to order here.

After lunch, we walked around the shopping center. The first stop was a jewelry store. I like to get at least one piece of jewelry that originates from the destination to take home with me. That, and a magnet to put on my fridge. We stopped in clothing stores, kids stores, the general store and a place with knick knacks. I wanted to pick up a few things for family and friends back home. We stopped off at what I believe was the first surf shop in Kauai and it was right down the street from cousin’s house. I picked up a shirt for two of my favorite boys. We decided to go and pick up my nephew early from day care and hit up a pool. Of course, on the way there, it started to rain, and as usual, it eventually stopped but it was still warm.  The pool still seemed like a good idea.

We went to a hotel pool and there were pale tourists galore. The only native folks were the employees. We started off in the kiddie pool and Sol was no stranger to the water. He had colorful rings to fetch in the foot and a half deep circular pool and we sang Ring Around the Rosie, which I, apparently have forgotten the words to. My cousin eventually convinced him to go into the big pool and her new waterproof camera was coming with. He was not afraid of the water and even jumped and swam towards us over and over again. He didn’t panic or cry when he swallowed too much water. He is definitely my cousin’s son. As long as I can remember, my cousin was in the water. I remember traveling with her and the family to Fresno, CA for swim practice and going to her swim meets. I remember keeping a UC SantaCruz course catalog because you can barely make out her head in a yellow swim cap when she did water polo for the school. But it was her! And I was proud of her.

We then went home to meet up with Pablo and head to Art Fridays in Hanapepe. It’s the cute art district that is said to have been the inspiration for Lilo & Stitch. Friends from the Bay Area, Dorian and Kat, and recent Kauai residents also met up with us there. It was so good to see them! Shanti has always had such amazing friends.

There were food trucks, live music, delicious pies (with a Yelp check-in offer!), street vendors and of course the art galleries were open. When Pablo comes back to the Bay Area and visits with my grandparents, he is always wanting Los Panchos burritos in Pacheco, Ca. They had a taco truck at this event but he says it’s nothing close to what we have in the Bay. Outdoor seating and lighting was still being set up but we grabbed one of the first tables. I have to commend the man doing this set up with one arm. Good for him! After dinner, we walked up and down the street, ate our pies, picked flowers, played with Sol, shopped and checked out another art gallery. I found one piece that was really cool. It was called Liquid Jewel and went for $3,800. I’m glad it has a chance to be seen by other people because it won’t be hung up in my house anytime soon.

We said our good-byes to Dorian and Kat and headed back to the house. The next day was going to be packed. And sadly it was going to be my last full day in Hawaii.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"I'm a Zombie"

I'm sure you've seen it: the Sprint commercial with the zombie. 

"Cool, cool, cool, coo, coo."

"Whoa, let's not go puttin' labels on people."

*His ear falls off*

"I'm a zombie."

Just look at his facial expression when he says that last line and I crack up every single time. They've been playing it a lot but I still stop what I'm doing to watch it. Oh, it's so great. Even got some acknowledgement from Sprint via Twitter.

My roommate actually got me into The Walking Dead earlier this year. The first scene with the little girl zombie was awesome. I finished all the episodes available on Netflix and I can now watch them as they air on Sunday nights. This current season is intense already with only two episodes in. Catch it on AMC on Sunday nights at 9 pm.

Who's your favorite character? Mine is Daryl. He's one cool, soft spoken bad ass.


I definitely could be if I turned to the dark side but as I look around my room for my misplaced halo, I know I'm not... all the time. I have a reputation for being somewhat of a hard ass and was called mean after a heated phone call while at the office. I work for a law firm. I write about this because I am who I am and this person doesn't know me very well. I would like to think of myself as someone who gets things done. I've been running a law office with all male lawyers for almost six years, do the work of six separate of employees, plan and coordinate weddings that was ranked as #6 on the most stressful jobs list, and have four other job titles or side gigs on top of that. Another time, another female told me she didn't think I was going to last in my position. Go ahead and doubt me. I have overcome and surpassed so many's expectations. Being called mean just adds fuel to the fire and clearly I'm doing something right.

I am stern and straight to the point. Time is precious. I pick up the slack when people fall behind and personally, I would rather do things myself than have to undo and redo work done by someone else.  I don't hand hold if I can see people are being lazy, don't work for what they deserve, don't learn from their experiences, don't try or don't help themselves. 

"Ain't nobody got time for that."

Mean? Sure, I can be. Or it could be me being honest. Deal with it because if it's coming your way, you might as well brace for it.

Can I be loving and compassionate? Absolutely. Read other posts about what kind of heart I have. Anyone that knows me knows I am a horrible liar and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I can be overly sensitive, can cry on cue by just thinking about the most painful part of my life but can love so deeply. My greatest weakness is that I care too much. Perhaps that is why I need to balance it all out, why I can be at two opposite ends of the spectrum to certain people. I care too much about certain things, and don't give a hoot about people's opinions of me. I know who I am, where I have been and what I have been thru. I can be mean. But I already am so much more than that. Bottom line, nobody's perfect. Be true to yourself.

What is the least attractive quality a person can have?
What is the most attractive quality person can have?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Bevo Turns 5!

My Bevo, the Boston Terrier with a Texas name, turned 5 on Monday. He spent it at Happy Hound and with many treats when he got home.

This little guy is such a people lover, quite the character, a very good boy, smiles like he's human, is my co-pilot and comforts me when I'm sad or upset. I just love him to pieces. 

Happy Birthday to my Puppy Love.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's Good to be Yelp Elite

I have been Yelping since 2007 when a coworker of mine told me about her Yelp Elite party adventures when I was the Director of Marketing & Promotions at Trader Vic's San Francisco. Since then, I have been a Yelp Elite ever since.

I haven't attended many Elite events until recently. Obviously, I have a food and beverage background and appreciate excellent customer service, presentation and a delicious glass of Pinot Noir or champagne. However, I was using Yelp as a way to stay true to 'Real People, Real Reviews.' I like sharing information. It was also a way to network or promote events I was working with. I really miss working in advertising and marketing. So I kept at it. This year, I have opened my eyes to so many new things and welcomed new experiences. Yelp has definitely aided in that by being a place to document some of them.  Being an Elite also has it percs!

You gotta love the Yelp Elite events. My first one was at Patxi's in Livermore last year. Free beverages, cocktails, beer, food, entertainment and goodies. Watch belly dancers at Zaiqa, wine tasting at Donkey and the Goat, attend a soft grand opening of Patxi's in Livermore, watch the Fallaci play from the front row on opening night at The Berkeley Rep, themed parties like the Bootlegger Ball in Martinez and many more. 

Our Community Manager, Nique, is a awesome. Super friendly and everyone just loves her. She does an amazing job at putting these events together. There are some great people on Yelp and I am enjoying getting to know some of them. Some people use Yelp to find friends or some become serial Yelp daters. Some are straight up hitting on you when they have a wife and kid. They're out there, I assure you. Be wary. Really? Spitting game on Yelp? Uhm, no, thank you. Truly be careful as to who you add as a friend. If you use their check-in feature, it will tell your Yelp friends where you are. Sometimes too much information can be a bad thing.

Don't tell anyone but... I don't accept any friend requests from users that seem to be sleezeballs, don't have a personal picture of themselves, don't have many reviews or only have one-line reviews, or from those who aren't active on the site. And definitely if you cannot spell! Good grief! 

But yes, the people! I look forward to meeting new wonderful, creative and smart people here on Yelp.
Megan Z. & I at the Yelp's Open Air Affair at The Park Hotel - Lafayette, CA
Sept. 1, 2013

Jo S. & I at the Open Air Affair in Lafayette, CA. A hilarious story brought us together.

First time meeting Myke Y. after months of connecting on Yelp. This sweet guy offered me two extra tix to the Giants/Dodgers game on Sept. 25, 2013 for my birthday. So I brought my Susie O. (right). Thanks, Myke!

Giants WIN! And I look like Nemo.
I love Yelping. It's been really fun and my reviews are my own personal opinions and based on my own experiences. Right now, I'm almost done with the 100 Yelp Reviews Challenge to earn East Bay Yelpers the "Yelpingest Community." I'm an East Bay girl. I can do this.

How do you become a Yelp Elite? That's a common question. Well, you really just need to be involved and contribute to the site which means you should first create a Yelp profile. Then you should be writing reviews, using the app, checking in (which can give you discounts upon doing so), adding photos, providing feedback and just interact. If readers like your reviews or you interact well with other users, you could be nominated. So get to Yelping!

Come join us on Yelp! And aim to be an Elite!

Are you on Yelp?
Do you use the site? The app?
Are an Elite?