Back to the Island

It’s taken a while to get back to bloggin’. 

I got back from the Bahamas on a Sunday night and left for a fine art photography workshop on Monday morning.  The workshop was intense combining reviews of students’ portfolios and location shooting.  John Paul Caponigro teaches several workshops, some technical and some to help photographic artists along their journey.  My first John Paul class was a Master Photoshop class at UH’s Pacific New Media.  He taught Photoshop, but also explored different ways of seeing.  It was not your average Photoshop class for sure. 

I knew I wanted more and signed up for his class called Inner Vision at the Maine Photographic Workshop.  That was the summer of 2001 and began my love affair with Maine.  Since that summer, I’ve taken a John Paul workshop every summer.  He’s helped me refine my portfolio to two bodies of work – abstracts and dogs.

Last year I talked John Paul into doing his workshop in Hawaii…not for me, but to share the beauty of the islands with the other workshop participants.  Many of them have become friends that I know I’ll have for life.

Kathy Beal is one of those special people and she came to stay with us for a few days after the workshop.  It was a magical time as I got to share my favorite places with her.  It helped me figure out that I loved Oahu above all the other Hawaiian islands.  We went to Yokohama Beach on the west shore with the most beautiful clear, blue water.  Because of the current that crosses the beach, the water is never cloudy.  The sand is course so it doesn’t stick to you, but is very easy on your feet.  Sunsets at this beach are spectacular.

We had lunch at the Contemporary Museum Café the following day.  The museum, set in lush, green Makiki Valley, is five minutes from our office.  Going there is like a mini-vacation, on oasis in this metropolis.  Lunches are also excellent. I love the soba noodle salad and almost any of their specials.

The North Shore is a special place and Kris and I often ride up there just to have burgers at Kua Aina, in spite of the fact that they opened a location in town.  The drive along the coast on the Windward Side is full of breathtaking views of the ocean.  Haleiwa is a charming old town with surf shops and small restaurants.  There’s a MacDonalds on the edge of town, but you hardly notice it.  They weren’t allowed to put up their trademark giant golden arches.  Kathy and I had Kua Aina’s great burgers.

Sherwood Forest is an unlikely name for a beach in Hawaii, but it’s one of my favorites.  It’s named for the groves of Ironwood trees along the beach.  Ocean is turquoise and sand is fine and white with a view of Rabbit Island and the Mokuluas.  This is a local beach…very few tourists know about it and you can’t see it from the main road.

Dim Sum is one of favorite lunches and Mei Sum has the best on the island.  It’s the best dim sum I’ve had outside of Chinatown in LA.  There’s nothing special about the restaurant except the bean curd roll (filled with pork and vegetables), half moon (with shrimp and vegetables), sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, turnip cakes, chicken and mushroom dumplings flavored with ginger.  Don’t go here if you’re on a diet.

One night we took Kathy to Tokkuri-tei.  It was a twenty minute wait, but well worth it.  Santa (one of the owners) takes great care of us as we are regulars.  It’s always the restaurant we go to when we’re in town.  Five pages of items makes the menu a fun read.  Karei karaage (whole deep fried flounder), ika yaki (a yummy squid pancake), horenso tamagotoji (spinach in a tasty broth), yaki udon (stir-fried udon noodles with vegetables, shrimp, and pork)….yum, yum, yum.

Gotta go….it’s 8 o’ clock and we haven’t eaten yet.  Writing this is making me wicked hungry.

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