May 28, 2011

Fantastic Fun in Honolulu, Hawaii!







Baby and Mommy just got back from a delightful trip to Honolulu! (Well, the air travel part was anything but delightful, let's just say that baby wasn't the only one crying on the plane- Mommy had a breakdown and sobbed for an hour- since baby did not go to sleep for 8 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The flight attendants could not believe it. Unfortunately, since I have flown with him before, I COULD believe it. You know, I love my son, and he has so many great qualities, but being a calm and happy flier just doesn't happen to be one of them...)

In any event, we had a lovely time and had the opportunity to attend two lovely dinner parties while we were there! The first dinner party we attended was at Marjon's house- you might remember me describing Marjon in the recent post on Persian cooking, here's the link:



http://ladolceduchessa.blogspot.com/2011/03/adventures-in-persian-cooking.html

Marjon is just simply the best :) If it wasn't weird to randomly move in with people, I think I'd move in with Marjon! Just to enjoy her excellent homekeeping and hostess skills :) She prepared such a lovely meal, there was a small buffet of appetizers, one of my favorites was the spinach and yogurt dip, and for dinner, the spread was marvelous- grilled filet, grilled and herbed shrimp on skewers, haricot vert, baked fish with roasted potatoes- and for dessert- (can you believe this?!) three types of fresh tropical fruit, three different cakes- and did I mention that the entire time she wore a beautiful dress and looked phenomenal?! Notice the beautiful floral arrangements and table coverings in the pictures- and get this, I think she designed and made her window treatments. I am not kidding. At the beginning of dinner our friend Pam was asking her about her lovely window treatments in the parlor, and Marjon explained how she had designed them and made them. I know, unbelievable! Baby especially enjoyed the party, he was given tennis balls and ran around their yard.

As if one wonderful dinner party wasn't enough, we were treated to a lovely meal at Pam's house- and although she is not of Persian descent, she had made an incredible meal from the cookbook mentioned in the Persian cooking post. Pam is a riot! Love her, she grew up in the South and she was telling me about getting a new hat and outfit every Easter growing up. We lamented that people just do not wear enough hats nowadays! I had a lovely visit with Pam and her daughter, catching up on each other's lives. The meal was delicious- a lamb and vegetable terrine slow cooked to perfection and topped with dried apricots- accompanied by two different salads, one with greek yogurt and flatbread. There were so many people at the dinner party- she had made two terrines- both in elegant cookware that went from the oven to table in a terrific blue. Wine flowed freely, and Pam's daughter showed me some spectacular family china and crystal, including beautiful art deco champagne saucers. What a treat- it was so much fun to be included! Pam could not have been more welcoming and gracious! I love her china pattern, it's so perfect for spring. Notice the gorgeous protea (volcanic flowers) behind her.

It's such a treat to be invited into people's homes for a dinner party. I just love it!

While we were in Honolulu, we went to the Waikiki Aquarium, Sea Life Park, and the Children's Discovery Center- all three were a lot of fun. The touch tank at Sea Life Park was baby's favorite, we touched starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, but not the turtle, he was not sure about that one. Of course we also went to the beach, and, I kid you not, after I took the baby to the beach, he literally slept for 17 hours at night!!!



Some other highlights of our Honolulu trip- Marukai, which is a Japanese store that has groceries and homewares- we got some wonderful sake bottles that I am using as bud vases (they are only 5-6 inches high, so they are perfect), and a carp for Boy's day (Japanese holiday celebrating sons that happens every May 5). Families fly carp / koi made of fabric from poles, one for each son (and some families have koi for daughters also, or for the father).



Shirokiya, which is a more well known and upscale Japanese department store, had some really elegant and artistic carp, but by the time I got there, they only had koi that were three meters long, that's a little long, I was really looking for more of a one to two meter koi. Shirokiya is also a great place for Japanese sandals, kimonos, and children's clothes (traditional Japanese).



If you enjoy sewing, which I do quite a bit, I'd highly recommend a visit to Kaimuki Dry Goods (in Kaimuki, naturally), they have a wonderful selection of fabrics, I specifically like the different printed cottons they carry. Many are asian, but not all.



To eat, have a leisurely lunch at Mariposa in the Neiman Marcus at Ala Moana, for a quick sandwich, Ba-le Vietnamese sandwich shops, which are all over, have a marvelous croissant sandwich with marinated chicken, cilantro, carrot and daikon, be sure to wash it down with a french mocha (tapioca pearls optional). Now, I know this is 'fast food,' technically, but I cannot get enough Yummy Korean BBQ, and truthfully, neither can baby. It's the second time we've fed him kal bi (korean ribs) and choi sum. The choi sum at Yummy is so out of sight- I get double choi sum on the plate.



Finally, last but certainly not least, The Slipper House at Ala Moana is the place to go for adorable little girl sandals. Seriously, I don't have a daughter (yet, I am hoping the next one is a girl so I can dress her up!) but I cannot stop buying little girl shoes at The Slipper House. We had two little girls to shop for, one celebrating a 2 year birthday when we got back, and another who I just adore and love to send things to- anyhow, I wish they made shoes like this for adult girls :( I would totally wear them!!!



This is one of the little girls we were shopping for, is she not so adorable?!!!

Now, we are back, and the refrigerator works again (hooray!) and I promise to fire up the stove, the big green egg and start harvesting the fava beans, peas, and chili peppers and whip up something delicious for you :) Your patience has been greatly appreciated! As always, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comments. Thank you so much for your continued interest and support. Your enthusiasm for this blog is truly humbling. Thank you!

Jessica at La Dolce Duchessa

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