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Sitting by the waters edge, watching people walk by wearing t-shirt memories of their present vacation I am moved and humbled. My wife doesn’t allow t-shirts with printing on them in our house. She says they are tacky. She is my fashion stylist and darn good at it.

I try to remember when was the last time I purchased a shirt like that. It has been probably 15-20 years ago. I think it was in Mexico on vacation. I think it was… yeah! It was in Cabo San Lucas at The Office. The Office is a restaurant/cantina right on the beach. It is one of the most relaxing places I have been in the world. If you have been there I know you remember it.  If you have not, I recommend visiting it. (I believe that part of Mexico is still safe). But that wasn’t a t-shirt. But it was a strong memory made stronger because of the button up short sleeve light weight shirt with their logo on the back which I purchased. What is their logo you ask? The Office’s logo is a light outline of the your first impression once you arrive at The Office. Worn across my back for many memories and many years was the bar and stools on the left, the restaurant tables and chairs on the right and the beautiful pristine sandy beach and gentle ocean stretching forth in the middle. It is a perfect balance of great drinks, great food, great beach/ocean/sailing, and vacation experience.

The t-shirt I just saw walk by was from one of the local deep sea fishing boat companies here in Kona, Hawaii. Just seeing the invaluable souvenir on the tourist’s back brought me back to that Cabo trip with a buddy where we went deep see fishing. My buddy was the only person on the boat who caught anything. He caught a beautiful Yellowtail. The crew cleaned it, filleted it and we took enough for the 2 of us for dinner that night. We couldn’t eat it all so we gave the rest to the crew. They will either eat it or sell it to the restaurants. We took our fillets into a restaurant and for $8 each they cooked it up, added rice and beans, and we had the most amazing fish dining experience I’ve ever had. There is nothing like fresh caught. Especially if you freshly caught it.

All these deeply detailed memories from one person wearing a souvenir they purchased for their own memory. So I say “thank you” to all of you who share your memories of your experiences and thus remind us of our own experiences and shared time with loved one. I am moved because of the power of souvenirs. I am humbled because I know live in the home of so many powerful souvenirs. If seeing someone else’s memories makes you jealous I encourage you to get off your backside, eliminate the excuses and go create some memorable experiences worthy of a souvenir. Smile baby smile.

From the beautiful Island of Hawaii is say mahalo and a hui ho.

James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

hapuna sunset

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a'bay sunset

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Kona’s newest best kept secret is KBS, Kona’s Best Snacks. It is so secret that you have to search for it… out of town… at the airport (KOA). You will find KBS across the street from the Departure Gate for Hawaiian Airlines. As you are arriving after a minimum 6-14 hour flight and you need your immediate Hawaiian style food KBS is “da bomb.” KBS is owned and operated by a local Hawaiian Rose Lyau who chose to offer a taste of Hawaii with some upscale options. As airports throughout the world try to improve the airport experience, KBS is a great choice.

Leise and I shared the fish of the day, which is always whatever was caught fresh that morning. They usually sell out of the fish before noon, so make sure to get there early. Today the special was the Pan Seared Fresh Caught Ono plate and Leise ordered an Iced Cafe Latte to drink. The flavor of the Ono is ono (delicious). Ono is a local Hawaiian white fish which when prepared properly is quite tasty. It is light and delicious and melts in your mouth. Pan seared without being over cooked. Topping the Ono is dill and lemon aioli sauce which was a wonderful compliment.

The fish is served on a bed of sautéed kale, onions, and tomatoes. Excellent flavor and sautéed to perfection. I only love kale in a glass of fresh juice or sautéed to perfection otherwise it’s hard and cuts my throat as I swallow. This is perfect. The slice of lemon on top rounds out the flavors and brings it all together. I enjoyed the 2 scoops of sticky white rice which I topped with Sarachi Chinese chili sauce. It was amazing.

The Iced Cafe Latte is fantastic. Smooth and sweet in a caramel way. As we left we each ordered lemonade served in a 1 quart mason jar. Eh brah, dat’s alot. I had it with li hing mui (chinese plum sauce) which tastes like an Arnold Palmer. Leise had the strawberry lemonade. Both were surprisingly refreshing and we each finished them quickly.

The food is great and the amazing ambience of the light breezes and perfect temperature of an outside cafe is shear heaven while waiting for your plane to depart. Every other closed up air conditioned airport restaurant will leave you wishing you were here.   For ambience I give Kona’s Best Snacks 4 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 5 surfboards.

When the time comes to depart our little Hawaiian paradise and your heart is yearning for the next time you will be back to Hawaii you can stop in at the Kona’s Best Secret and have an amazing lemonade on a hot summer or winter day.

 

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I love the Japanese. We are sitting outside Cafe Kona De Pele coffee cafe. As I relax looking out to the water of Kona Bay peacefully moving up and down, with the light dancing on the mirrored surface, I listen to conversations of other patrons. A group of Japanese women behind us are uncharacteristically laughing and smiling as they compare photos from their Hawaii vacation.

As far back as I can remember I have had a fascination with most things Japanese. Their written language is amazing. It is ideograms which are symbols representing an idea. The idea can mean many different things and thus the written word, like Shakespeare, can communicate many different things on many different levels depending on the interpretation. I have only learned a little spoken Japanese, but I pick up on a few words they are saying, “Kore wa…” and “Oishi.” The first translates to “This is…” the second translates to “Delicious.”

I love hearing the Japanese laugh so openly because most of the time they tend to be more reserved and quiet. As they collect themselves at the end of their meal and depart they have returned to their cultural norm of reserved and quite.

Maybe if we were in Japan I would see more emotion on a daily basis and their outwards expressions of joy and happiness would seem more normal. I believe there is something about vacations, especially vacations in Hawaii, which allows you to relax and be at peace and release your tensions. This of course allows your more joyous emotions to easily percolate up. This is part of what I call “The Hawaii Effect.” Relax, release, and let go. Be Happy.

So next time you are feeling stressed make a cup of your favorite Hawai’i coffee, play your favorite Hawaiian music on Pandora, smell your favorite plumeria lotion and relax to your own little de-stress break. Oh yeah, and laugh.

From the Beautiful Island of Hawaii,

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Kalopa Nature Trail

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Pele's

We are sitting outside Cafe Kona De Pele coffee cafe in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. As I relax looking out to the waters of Kona Bay peacefully moving up and down with the light dancing on the mirrored surface, I listen to conversations of other patrons. I love living in an international destination with so much diversity and so much peace.

Not being in the mood for coffee (I know shocking) I order the Strawberry Banana Smoothie and Leise gets her regular, large chai latte. Since we have sworn off pork and all the menu has is a wonderful selection of ham, bacon, or sausage and cheese croissants and bagels we ask if its possible to get anything without pork. We are informed that everything is made fresh and that is will be easy to exclude pork. Thank God!! We order one of each egg and cheese croissant and bagel.

The Strawberry Banana Smoothie is too watered down for my likings. I was expecting much more fruit and much less ice. The egg and Munster cheese croissant is good. The egg and cheddar cheese on the cinnamon raisin bagel was a concern but my concerns have been unfounded. I wasn’t sure if that would be a decent combination. It is quite good. Since it’s all made fresh nothing sits around getting stale. So it’s good, just not amazing. I will eat here again because it’s my wife’s favorite fast chai cafe in town. I will order food again. It’s just not amazing, but a lot better than Denny’s or most fast coffee shops.

On a scale of 1 to 5 surfboards with 1 being it stinks and 5 being its amazing we give Cafe Kona De Pele 3 surfboards for food flavor and quality. For ambience they receive 3.5 surfboards. It is a great place to hang out and relax after the food and drinks are gone and just suck up the Kona Bay feel.

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