Vegas 2017

I didn’t get around to blogging this sooner but here is my post about my Vegas trip!

My dad and I stayed at the New York New York Hotel & Casino, our first time staying on the Strip. It was a decent hotel and central to everything. The hotel lobby was outlined with restaurants and the further you walked past the casino, the decor changed to look like New York: there was a pizza parlor, painted brownstone apartments on the walls and cobblestone pathways. The hotel has a roller coaster which starts inside the hotel, so every few minutes there was the roar of the car taking off. Upstairs was Nathan’s Hot Dogs, an arcade, the second floor of Hershey’s World (first floor was by the casino), Coyote Ugly bar and entrance to the pedestrian bridge connecting New York to MGM Grand across the street.

New York New York
One of the walkways of New York New York

We arrived Friday afternoon and took the shuttle to our hotel. After freshening up it was 6pm, and we went to explore our surroundings. But first, dinner!

Broadway Burger
Bacon Cheeseburger and buttermilk onion rings

We ate at Broadway Burger and split the bacon cheeseburger and buttermilk onion rings. I loved the mini fryer the fries came in!

After, we went to look for the T-Mobile Arena, where the John Mayer concert was, which was located in The Park. It was a nice dining complex right outside of the hotel, with Shake Shack (need to eat there next time), Bruxie and other restaurants.

Saturday we went exploring. We went to see the flower garden at The Bellagio, ate pizza at Caesars Palace, went to a few of the Las Vegas gift shops and meandered around Hershey’s World.

Japanese Spring was Bellagio’s theme in the flower garden

One of three cases of sweetness at Hershey’s World

That night was the concert, and it was alright. The arena was nice and in the foyers T-Mobiles signature pink was splashed everywhere. I’m still a hardcore John Mayer fan though.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast at Denny’s, checked out Wynn and Encore, took the tram to Mandalay Bay and Luxor and relived my childhood at Excalibur and Circus Circus.

Since it was our last night I wanted to eat dinner at Giada de Laurentiis’ restaurant, who is my favorite chef. I thought that since it was Sunday that it wouldn’t be crowded.

Boy was I wrong. The next open table was at 9:30pm, so we chose to eat at the bar lounge. Upon arriving, you walk up a set of stairs to a very clean, nicely lit and organized reception area. There are items for purchase on display, including her cookbooks and shirts. In the corner is a seating area with a photo booth.

Entrance to Giada

The dining area was equally fancy, with a panoramic view of the Strip, including the Bellagio Fountains across the street.

My dad and I split the chicken marsala meatballs and spaghetti. Both were full of flavor, especially the spaghetti, which was very lemony. It wasn’t overpowering. The shrimp was cooked well and complemented the pasta. I could’ve eaten a full order!

Half portion of spaghetti with shrimp

After dinner we watched the Bellagio fountain show. It was good ending to our trip.

But it wasn’t over.

When we arrived at our hotel we noticed a crowd of people were waiting in front of the elevator lobby doors to Century Tower (where we were staying). The fire alarm had gone off on the 22nd floor so the elevators were shut down.

Our room was on the 37th floor.

After 30 minutes we were allowed to return to our rooms through different elevators (which didn’t make sense because each tower had their own set of elevators). But my dad and I were given conflicting information to get back to our room. We walked up stairs and took two elevators, only to come back down to the lobby. Eventually we had to be escorted by the hotel manager to our floor.

It was 11:15pm when it was over, and we needed to wake up at 5:30am to catch the airport shuttle.

After rushing to shower, I hopped into bed and awoke groggy. I didn’t want to go home.

But I had to. I had to go back to work, and vacation doesn’t last forever.

Until next time…

A Post to Inspire Traveling


A good friend posted an inspirational Facebook status about traveling, and how he was determined to see more of the world and not be tied down to the mundane routine of work and everyday life. I called his status inspiring because he made me, for the first time, buy tickets to my favorite guitarists’ concert in Vegas. I figured, why not?

I know people who want to travel, but can’t. And that’s heartbreaking. Some people have never left Hawaii!!!

It’s sad to hear these cases because yes, traveling is expensive, but it’s worth the money in order to see how another culture lives, take in the local sights, sounds and tastes, have adventures. To me, travel is one thing that you have to be “determined” about, like a goal. You have to accomplish saving in order to reach that goal. (Or get lucky). Case in point: A friend and her boyfriend are going to London and Spain this year, because they stumbled upon a good deal. Most of us, though, need to save. The friend who posted the Facebook status? He’s going to Japan in April.

But even traveling domestically opens our eyes and awakens our senses, be it the country, the city or a desert. Some of the best memories I have are taking trips nationally. New York City was an experience, and I want to go back.

Yes, it’s nice to create a travel list (I have one) and dream about going to these places, but wouldn’t it be better to actually go there? It’s very possible.

Around the Island: Punahou Carnival 2017


This weekend was the annual Punahou Carnival, an event that draws thousands of Oahu residents each first weekend of February to the campus to eat good food, play games, and have fun. This year, the junior class was responsible for putting on the event.

This was only the second time I’ve been to the carnival, the first being when my cousin was a senior and my relatives invited us to watch her perform at the senior play. It was a fun time. We mostly ate, though.

This year, I still went for the food, but played games as well. My boyfriend and I ended up with too many scrips (even after buying food items) and we needed to get rid of them. The games were the usual carnival fare and even if you didn’t win, you received prize coupons that could be redeemed for prizes in Kiddie Land. (We had five coupons, and I used all to get an LED balloon).


We went in the afternoon, and it was crowded. People were everywhere, eating, playing games, standing in lines and screaming on the rides. Music was blaring from loudspeakers. It was a very festive atmosphere.

After walking around the grounds (Punahou is a nice campus!), we did our thing.

The food booths were the largest gathering place, with lines that were more than ten people deep. But they were popular for a reason: the food was good! We ate teri burgers with cheese, ice cream (cup and bar, at two different times) and an acai bowl. Malasadas (fried balls of yeast dough) are the most popular item at the carnival and both booths had ridiculously long lines. I didn’t want to wait that long, while my boyfriend was all for it. Unfortunately for him, no malasadas.


But that was ok…I think.

In addition to rides, games, and food booths, there was also a silent auction where everything from autographed sporting goods and gift certificates to food baskets and jewelry were being bid on; an art gallery, the popular White Elephant sale and a farmers market.

We went to all of them.

Farmers Market

After spending over an hour there, we walked home. It was fun like before and the weather held up (it is winter and it always rains, not this year, apparently!). I want to go at night to see how it is. According to some people, it’s less crowded and not as hot.