A Long Weekend in Hawaii!

I was lucky enough to go back to Hawaii to not only pick up the rest of my stuff, but to also do some of my favorite things while I was there!

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First stop: Ono Seafood for their half miso and half spicy tuna poke bowl!

I won a free voucher for Grondin when I still lived there so we put it to good use!

We also got cocoa puffs from Liliha Bakery because why not?

We then had my favorite chicken and waffles from The Nook

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And then we did the Pillboxes Hike in Lanikai

And rewarded ourselves with my favorite shave ice from Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha

Matt treated me to probably the best meal of my life with the 8 course Valentine’s Day dinner at Chef Mavro

And we somehow managed to go to brunch at Orchids the next day

It was seriously AMAZING.

And hung out in Waikiki for the rest of the day.

And for one last meal we ate at my favorite brunch spot Cinnamon’s and had crab cakes eggs benedict, guava chiffon pancakes, and shoyu pork loco moco.

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 And then it was back to LA 😢


Day 5 in South Africa -Getting Good Use Out of the Selfie Stick

We booked a tour that would take us around the coast/areas that the red bus didn’t cover. Below is a view of the 12 Apostles in South Africa.

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And then we were taken to places where we could take more fun selfies & see more pretty ocean.2015-12-31 09.10.37.jpg

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On the way to the Cape of Good Hope there are a ton of baboons.

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It was a pretty foggy day.

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And then we went to Boulders Beach to see the penguins!

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And then we had lunch in Kalk Bay

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I’ve never had so much hake fish in my life

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There’s a seal down there!2015-12-31 15.09.56.jpg

We then went wine tasting afterward and visited Bo Kaap afterward!

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Didn’t take too many other photos afterward, but we ended our last night in Cape Town over looking the entire city and watching the fireworks on New Year’s Eve!

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And that finishes our trip and continent 5/7 to South Africa!

Day 4 in South Africa – Elephant Butt Selfies & Table Dancing During Dinner

The safari was about 2 hours away, so we stopped at a rest stop – how fun are these Simba chips?!

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When you first arrive, you’re greeted with champagne & breakfast buffet (my kinda place ;))

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And there are peacocks walking around during breakfast

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Killing time before the safari

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Elephants!2015-12-30 10.26.36-12015-12-30 10.27.21-12015-12-30 10.30.53-1

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And then we stopped for another champagne break 😅

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The lions were not having it.

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And then we saw some zebras & giraffes!

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And then they fed us again afterward! Just in time as it started raining.

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We attempted to go to Table Mountain again, and I got a little grumpy so Matt got me an ice cream cone. He knows the perfect way to cheer me up.

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We had dinner at this really cool place called Stardust! We were able to snag last minute reservations and sat on scooters.

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The food was delicious and we had such a fun time seeing all the different musical numbers! Oh, and seeing everyone start dancing on tables towards the end of the night.

Day 2 in South Africa – Robben Island, Kirstenbosch, & the Rest of the Red Bus Tour

The next day we woke up bright and early to head over to Robben Island2015-12-28 09.33.322015-12-28 09.51.272015-12-28 09.58.37-1

Once you’re there, you’re lead on a tour by one of the ex-politcal prisoners who spent time there.
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Nelson Mandela’s jail cell

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View from around the island

Matt somehow managed to deal with all the pictures I took.

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And because I like to jam pack our days with activities, I made us get on one of those hop on hop off tour buses.

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And we got off at Kirstenbosch since I really wanted to go on the tree canopy walkway

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I was really excited to finally walk on that bridge!

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And we toured the gardens as well!

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The bus was super nice to just sit down on and have them take you around the Cape Town area.

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And then we had a super delicious dinner at Kalfi’s Restaurant in Frranschoek. I had so much hake fish and shrimp when I was there. 😅

A Very Late Recap of Day 1 in Cape Town

After a 19 hour flight from NYC, we finally arrived in Capetown, South Africa!


I was so excited to land in Cape Town I took these pictures that I didn’t know what I took pictures of on the taxi ride over.

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One of the menus at the food market at the waterfront

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The view from where we ate was really cool and we shared a kebab with a bunch of different meat on the stick (believe it or not there’s alligator and wild boar on there!)

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We also decided to ride that giant ferris wheel. And we put my selfie stick to good use.

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This was pretty much the view at 7pm!

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And I found my first elephant!

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 And we had this really epic dinner at Dash Restaurant


And that concludes day 1 in Cape Town!


Ending Summer in Vegas.

Because I am still catching up to when I last blogged, we are still in summertime 2015 mode :).

After visiting Hawaii for a week, I was off to visit Las Vegas with my grandma for a trip we promised each other we’d go on in case Celine Dion ever came back to Las Vegas (which she did!)

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Our huge reunion meal at Hash House a Go Go


Sharing a drink before the concert

Her concert was AMAZING!


It was also very, very hot there.

And there was always time for some late night eats with your best friend at Burgr.

And even managed to eat at a seafood buffet the next night.


But it was all in preparation to see Diplo later that night!

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We later drove back to LA and went to Six Flags. Apparently the only picture I took was of our funnel cake and the sunset.


And of course, any great vacation ends with brunch.

Next up – some LA eats!

Life’s Short, Eat Dessert First.

A quick  summary of all that was tasty and delicious over the past few weeks. Including that time we had Bubbie’s ice cream before dinner.

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Chili moco from Downbeat Diner

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Spicy tuna with uni from Maguro Bros.

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Sweet chili chicken chicken from Kaka’ako Kitchen

Instagram photo by jann_bam - The "What the Pho?" sandwich had me think the exactly the same thing after watching Aloha. Wagyu beef brisket, swiss cheese, sriracha aioli, on a taro hoagie with pho dipping sauce: "an ode to the Philly cheesesteak, French dip and pho." #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

The “What the Pho?” sandwich from Kaka’ako Kitchen: Wagyu beef brisket, swiss cheese, sriracha aioli, on a taro hoagie with pho dipping sauce: “an ode to the Philly cheesesteak, French dip and pho.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - #Brunch is the most important meal of the day! #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

French toast with cinnamon apples from Cafe Kaila

Took a quick hike up Diamond Head – starting with the little hikes per my sprained ankle.

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And got the ritual shave ice afterward.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Hiking rewards = POG + lemon lime shave ice topped with condensed milk and azuki beans and ice cream on the bottom.🍧 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Lemon lime and POG shave ice with condensed milk from Waiola Shave Ice

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Stuffed salmon

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Steak burrito from Oahu Mexican Grill

And because we had some friends in town, we took them to drinks at House Without a Key

Instagram photo by jann_bam - #TGIF. Is it 5 o'clock yet? #hawaii #hilife #luckywelivehi #sunset #dranks #waikiki #latergram

Instagram photo by jann_bam - I love visitors, mai tais, and awkward poses~ 🌸 #hawaii #hilife #luckywelivehi #sunset #plusjeremy

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Green spaghetti from Goofy Cafe & Dine

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Dim Sum overload at Mei Sum Dim Sum

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Beer flight Fridays/#macandcheese everyday. 🍻 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Beer flight and mac and cheese from Honolulu Beer Works

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Crab cakes eggs benedict from Cinnamon’s

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Shave ice from Island Snow

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The view of Kailua on our way back home

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Homemade fried rice stuffed chicken and Asian noodles

Instagram photo by jann_bam - #AlohaFriday #sunset #dinner view. 🌴 #Hawaii #hilife #luckywelivehawaii

What a view from Outback Steakhouse (yes, one of my favorite chains) at Hawaii Kai

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Life should always be as good as #cookiebutter mochi #icecream. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Cookie butter macaron from Bubbie’s

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Mochi ice cream assortment and “Multiple Orgasm” ice cream cake from Bubbie’s

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Last night's super tasty dinner: yaki o pa'i'ai, grilled he'e (octopus) in luau leaves, cold ginger rabbit and puffed rice, oxtail risotto, and egg white topped kitchen cocktail. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

The crazy delicious dinner from Mud Hen Water: yaki o pa’i’ai, grilled he’e (octopus) in luau leaves, cold ginger rabbit and puffed rice, oxtail risotto, and egg white topped kitchen cocktail.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Chicken and waffels in #Hawaii = mochiko chicken and mochi waffels. 🙌 #brunch #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Mochiko chicken and mochi waffles from The Nook

And with that, I am finally caught up!

Kona Adventures!

Our last day in Kona started off at Island Lava Java for brunch. Probably one of the busiest beach side brunches in town (and for good reason). Live music, delicious food, and a view of the ocean – can’t beat that!

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Delicious (and huge) cinnamon roll

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Beachside #brunch is banana macadamia nut pancakes, kalua pork and pineapple omelette and a giant mug of Kona coffee. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Beachside breakfast

Matt and I shared the famous cinnamon rolls. I had macadamia nut banana pancakes with Portuguese sausage and he had a kalua pork omelette. Both of us had humongous coffees because #Konacoffee.

We did lots of sightseeing afterwards, but mostly I just wanted to lay out on a beach after driving 7+ hours this whole trip.

Our historic stops included Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and the Painted Church.

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While we did stop by Kahaluu Beach Park to spend the rest of the day, we decided instead to go up a bit more north to avoid the crowds. We made a pit stop at Umeke’s to share a poke lunch plate and then enjoyed most of the afternoon at Mani’owali Beach (Kua Bay).

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Avocado ahi poke, the special garlic aioli poke, spicy crab salad, lomi salmon, and furikake brown rice.  #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #latergram #eatfamous

Avocado poke, special garlic aioli poke, crab salad, lomi salmon, and furikake brown rice.

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Fresh catch being prepared right behind the counter

And because we need to kill an hour before our flight, we stopped by Kona Brewing Co. to try a couple of the beers we can’t get in Oahu.

And that’s it! Maybe next time I’ll get to check out the Hilo side of the island, but I probably need to go on a few other adventures before then 🙂

I Saw a Volcano!

The Big Island is. . . big.

It takes us about 2 hours to get down to the Volcano area from where we were staying, so we planned ahead, grabbed some to-go Kona coffee and cranberry macadamia nut scones and started our road trip down there.

Our first stop was Punalu’u Beach – a beautiful black sand beach which was a big mix of Asian tourists and locals camping out for the weekend. You can’t really go in the water because the ground is so rocky in the water, but it’s nice that the sand wasn’t sticky and you wouldn’t find it in weird places later (I promise it wasn’t dirt).

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We also knew we wanted to stop by the farmer’s market over in Maku’u (driving passed the Volcano) which was huge and had a crazy assortment of things for sale. We grabbed $2.50 bags of lychee and rambutan (my favorite! one bag in Oahu is about double that price and you can’t even find rambutan on the mainland), a bbq smoked meat plate, corned beef and coconut milk wrapped in tea leaves, a haupia cheesecake, poi balls, and macadamia nut chocolate chip cookies. We kind of have a sweet tooth.

After stuffing our faces at the farmer’s market, Matt and I met up with his family who took us around the Volcano National Park. We checked out Volcano house (it was a pretty rainy and foggy day unfortunately), walked through the lava tubes (which reminded me a lot of the caves we checked out when I was in Australia), and even checked out some of the lava trees – which is a pretty interesting concept in itself if you look up what a lava tree is!

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It was a pretty foggy day unfortunately =(

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Entrance to the lava tube/I don't know where our eyes went. #hawaii #hilife #luckwelivehi #bigisland

In front of the lava tube entrance

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Inside the lava tubes

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Lava tree!

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Make a wish in a . . . steam vent?

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I forgot what weather was under 70 degrees

Matt’s aunt and uncle own Village Teapot in the area (if you’re ever in the area, you should consider staying there!) which is just a very cool, cute, and comfortable property.

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How cute is this place?!

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His aunt even hides teapots and teacups throughout the property!

We snacked on some lilikoi cheesecake before dinner (cause life is short. Eat dessert first) and then headed over to the Crater Rim Cafe in the Kilauea Military Camp for dinner. Forgot to snap some pictures of this meal, but it was super delicious and was a great deal! I highly recommend if you get hungry in the Volcano area.

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Lilikoi cheesecake. . . our appetizer?

After dinner, we headed up to the Jaggar Museum to finally see the volcano! It was super crowded, cold, and muggy, but we did get to catch the reflection of the lava in the sky. We didn’t stay too long because we had a 2 hour drive ahead of us, but I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve finally seen a volcano!

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Very faint outline, but you can see it from afar + the reflection in the sky

Instagram photo by jann_bam - 🌋 #hawaii #hilife #luckywelivehi #bigisland #uglyfiltersprettyexperiences

Up next – eating our way through our last day in Kona!

Big Island Adventures – Day 1 – Up North on the Kohala Coast, Waimea, & Eating All the Things

This Memorial Day Weekend, Matt and I took a trip over to one of the neighbor islands (my first neighbor island trip ever!) With 3 days, a full tank of rental car gas, and a Google Doc planned itinerary we started out our first day up north on the island.

Oh! But first here are some pictures from Matt’s birthday dinner at Roy’s. He was a good sport and let me take the pictures of him in the birthday hat they provided (thanks Roy’s!)

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Round 1 of Matt's #birthday #dinner! Roy's Beachwalk Canoe: Szechuan Baby Back Ribs, Shrimp Sticks, Crispy Mini Crab Cakes, Chicken Spring Rolls & Spicy Tuna Roll. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Round 1 of Matt’s birthday dinner! Roy’s Beachwalk Canoe: Szechuan Baby Back Ribs, Shrimp Sticks, Crispy Mini Crab Cakes, Chicken Spring Rolls & Spicy Tuna Roll.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Round 2 of Matt's #birthday #dinner last night. Beach Walk Trio:  Hibachi Salmon, Macadamia Nut Crusted Monchong, Misoyaki Butterfish & Rice Crusted Hapuu'puu with Tomato Raviolis. 🐟🐡🐟 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #latergram #f52grams

Our entrees for the night: Beach Walk Trio: Hibachi Salmon, Macadamia Nut Crusted Monchong, Misoyaki Butterfish & Rice Crusted Hapuu’puu with Tomato Raviolis.

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Happy Birthday Matt!

Also had a sushi-ritto from Up Roll Cafe in Kaka’ako for lunch on the day of our flight.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - SUSHI-RITTO. 😆 #thataiolimayotho #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Salmon roll from Up Roll Cafe

Okay! Now for Big Island adventures. 🙂

The first place we visited was Hapuna Beach – white sand, lots of space (and convenient parking!), but because it was the first stop of the day it was a bit too cold to enjoy the water. Afterwards we visited Pu’ukohala Heiau (Temple of the Hill of the Whale) where King Kamehameha I built one of these last major Ancient Hawaiian Temples.

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We even saw that there were a few newer offerings left at the site.

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Since we hadn’t eaten anything since dinner on Oahu, we appropriately decided that our first real meal on Big Island should be the best burgers up north in Waimea.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - #Burgers for breakfast! Kahua Ranch wagyu beef burger with avocado and an egg, goop parmesan fries, and part of Matt's chipotle goat cheese veal burger. #🍔 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Kahua Ranch wagyu beef burger with avocado and an egg, goop parmesan fries, and part of Matt’s chipotle goat cheese veal burger.

We also stopped by Waimea Coffee Company to load on caffeine before we hit the road again. I had a really yummy iced dirty chai, and Matt had the special of the day – a hand crafted spicy espresso beverage spiced up with cayenne pepper! We also shared a macaroon cause they were basically calling our name through the glass case.

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The drive up the Kohala coast was beautiful – very different than driving on Oahu (we were pretty much the only ones on the road for most of the drive). We stopped by the original King Kamehameha statue (the one that was lost at sea) and drove all the way to the end of the highway at Pololu lookout.

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After exploring Hawi for a bit, we rushed back to try Da Poke Shack before they closed – the #1 place on Yelp!

Instagram photo by jann_bam - THIS is what you get when you visit the #1 place on Yelp!  Wet Hawaiian poke, sesame baby octopus, & teriyaki calamari over furikake rice. 😂 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Wet Hawaiian poke, sesame baby octopus, & teriyaki calamari over furikake rice.

And because Matt knows I love eating al fresco, we booked dinner at Cafe Keei to watch the sunset and enjoy a really tasty dinner (although, my appetite was cut short from all the burgers and poke in one day).

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Baked brie. That is all. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #ilovecheese #latergram

Baked brie

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Eggplant rolls

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Enjoying my seafood soup while Matt eats the fresh catch of the day.

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Lilikoi cheesecake for dessert

We also had some drinks at On the Rocks later that night – overall a busy first day to our long weekend! Next up, my first trip to see a volcano!