Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gwen's Favorite Eats on Oahu



Spam Musubi
Spam Musubis are probably my favorite food to eat in Hawaii.  It is spam with rice and sauce (the sauce is pretty much like teriyaki sauce) wrapped in seaweed.  You can get Spam Musubis pretty much anywhere like gas stations, grocery stores, golf courses, etc.  I prefer to get them at ABC stores or golf courses.


Ono Steak & Shrimp
Ono Steak & Shrimp is my favorite restaurant.  It is in West Oahu in a city called Kapolei.  The restaurant is a very local casual place.   I usually get the chicken,  they give you a plate of chicken and rice.  They have really good sauce that i poor over the chicken/rice.  Every time we go to Hawaii we make sure to stop here at least a couple times.  If you are ever looking for a quick cheap dinner spot and you are in Oahu I HIGHLY recommend going to Ono Steak.
Address: 590 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707


Liliha Bakery
If you ever go to Oahu MAKE SURE to stop at Liliha Bakery.  This bakery is a family owned bakery.  They are famous for their cocoa puffs. Cocoa puffs are sort of like a cream filled donut with icing on top.  They also have a restaurant side that sells the best pancakes, they also give you biscuits with guava jam that is super yummy.
Address: 515 N Kuakini St, Honolulu, HI 96817


Kamehameha Bakery
Kamehameha Bakery are famous for there poi donuts. Honestly I have no idea what they are but they are GOOD.  They also have other really yummy pastries. Make sure to go early though they sell out fast!
Address:1284 Kalani St, Honolulu, HI 96817


Butter Mochi
Butter Mochi is like a dense cake like substance.  Trust me you will never taste anything like it! There is also regular mochi but personally I don’t think it is as good.  You can buy butter mochi at any grocery store.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ljustero Sweden

Ljustero is an island that is part of the Swedish Archipelago.  We wanted to stay there to get a sense of a typical Swedish summer stuga.  The island was a perfect place to relax and take in the Swedish scenery.  There is one small grocery store, a couple restaurants, some great places to swim, a small golf course, marina, and kayak rentals.  We actually had a lot of fun together kayaking one day.



We booked a property through Airbnb.  It was a good experience and a nice little home.  I would book the home again.

Travel: The island is a little over a 1 hour drive from Stockholm.  After turning east off E18 onto 276, you continue driving for about 25 minutes to the short ferry crossing to Ljustero.






TPC San Antonio Canyons Course

The TPC San Antonio Canyons Course hosts the Champions Tour event San Antonio Championship every year.  The course adjoins the awesome JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.  The JW Marriott San Antonio is huge, but very inviting.  Like any PGA course, the conditions are pristine, the practice area is top notch and the overall golf experience is incredible.

The Canyons Course is one of two courses at TPC San Antonio and is generally considered the easier of the two courses.  It's a Pete Dye design that isn't as rigorous as other Dye courses.  The course follows the natural contours of the Hill Country.  The fairways aren't particularly narrow, but they are crowned and will often kick your ball into the rough if your ball lands much left or right of center fairway.  If you're not in the fairway, you often have a decent lie in the natural grass, but there are a ton of trees to get in your way.

The course can play REALLY long if you play from the tips (over 7,400 yards), but there are several options for tees and you can find a fit for your skill level.  Greens are awesome and have a good amount of slope.  Lots of greenside bunkers, but most are too deep.

The pro shop and practice areas are very well attended and add to an excellent experience.  I look forward to playing this course again.

Hotel Review: Motel L Stockholm, Sweden

Our family was in Stockholm the summer of 2015.  We decided to try a different hotel this time (in the past we had stayed at the Marriott Courtyard).  In our search on hotels.com, we stumbled across Motel L.  Our goal was to stay close to Sodermalm because it's known for it's shopping and outdoor cafes.  

Motel L is just south of Sodermalm in an area called Sjostad.  Sjostad is an up and coming area with a lot of new construction.  The hotel itself is quite contemporary and many evenings offers live entertainment.  It's probably not the place you want to stay if you want to be in the heart of Stockholm.  But, if you're like us and prefer a "neighborhood feel" that is very accessible to the city center, Motel L is perfect.

Things we liked:
-The family rooms were great for a family of 4.  It offered a large bed with pull down bunk beds.
-An awesome grocery store was on the same block.
-Plenty of reasonably priced hotel parking, but lots of street parking available as well.
-The hotel is on the waterfront for nice evening walks.
-The price was really good.
-Evening entertainment with a pretty cool vibe.
-Access to public transportation.

Things we didn't like:
-Breakfast wasn't included with the discounted price.
-There weren't fans in the rooms.  
-Some rooms have windows you can pop open and others don't
-The tram stops right outside, but you need to take it a couple stops to get to a main subway line.

We would absolutely stay here again.  In fact, we did.  We originated our trip in Stockholm and ended our trip there as well.  We had planned to stay at a different hotel when we returned to Stockholm, but ended up rebooking Motel L.



Monday, March 23, 2015

Desert Willow Golf Resort Firecliff Course

I have a new favorite course in Palm Desert.

Desert Willow Golf Resort's Firecliff Course has to be considered one of the Coachella Valley's most demanding venues.  This course is a special course that offers a challenge, a great lay-out, amazing vegetation, a beautifully manicured setting with a world class clubhouse.  It's not as playable as the Mountain View Course and forces carries from almost every tee box. 

From start to finish, this course keeps you on your toes.  Firecliff plays over 7,000 yards from the tips with many bunkers and water surrounding the greens.  In fact, there are over 100 bunker complexes on this course.  The carries mentioned earlier don't often come into play, usually only around 200 yards, but they do create a visually stunning view of the desert landscape juxtaposed against the bright green manicured greens and fairways.

Standing on the tee box of #18 is now one of my favorite views of any golf course I've played.  Standing over your ball, the tee box is lined with flowering cacti, palms and oleander bushes with only a view of the mountains and a stream that cuts across the fairway about 280 yards ahead.  Not until you leave the tee box and make your way toward your ball for an approach do you see the imposing clubhouse sitting behind a green, a green that is approached by hitting your ball 140 yards over water.

Par 3 at Desert Willow Firecliff Course

Hole #18 Tee Box at Desert Willow Firecliff Course

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