On The Road: Hilo Farmer’s Market

By September 18, 2011 #CatTravels

As soon as we got off the plane in Hilo, we headed straight to the Hilo Farmer’s Market, a must-stop destination on your next visit to the east side of the Big Island.

Though the market is open daily — on the corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue in downtown Hilo — the days to go are Wednesdays and Saturdays, when more than 200 vendors on three corners show up, selling everything from Big Island coffee, locally grown produce, honey, crafts, jams, prepared foods and tropical flowers.

Here’s a peek inside:

Hilo Farmer's Market

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This open market started in 1988 and has grown to include more than 200 vendors.

Hilo Farmer’s Market, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Phone: (808) 933-1000

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Today’s happy shot

By September 17, 2011 Food, Happy Shots

I love trying new restaurants, like Puka Puka Kitchen in Hilo on the Big Island. Today’s special: shoyu chicken.

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Today’s happy shot

By September 17, 2011 #CatTravels, Happy Shots

Flying to Hilo, above the clouds

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FUUD: Revisiting Hy’s Steak House in Waikiki

By September 16, 2011 Food

When I told friend I was going to eat at Hy’s Steak House for dinner, I got the same reaction:

“Man, I haven’t eaten there in years!”

Yeah, me, neither.

The steakhouse off Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki isn’t the hopping joint it may have been before. But it’s still one of the best-known steakhouses in Hawaii.

Hy’s, which opened in Waikiki about 25 years ago, was part of a Canadian-owned chain. And, to be honest, the place hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s still dark, woodsy, very masculine. Not the kind of place you’d take you gal pals for a night of Cosmos and girl talk.

But that’s exactly what we did.

Here’s what out evening looked like:

Inside Hy's Steak House

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This restaurant really looks like a steakhouse. The interior was designed to resemble an old English mansion — complete with old books and framed art — with the ambiance of a private gentlemen's club.

Hy’s Steakhouse, 2440 Kuhio Ave. in Waikiki. Hours: 6-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Phone: (808) 922-5555.

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Vegas, here we come!

By September 15, 2011 #CatTravels

It’s been four years since I’ve been to Vegas, and I still can’t believe it’s been so long.

There was a time — oh, when the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team played in the WAC Tournament at the MGM Grand, for example — when I used to go to Las Vegas at least once a year, often twice.

I’m not a big gambler — though I’ll play blackjack, roulette and, of course, the Wheel of Fortune progressive slots — but I enjoyed wandering about the City of Lost Wages, marveling at the larger-than-life hotels and other over-the-top extravagance the desert town is known for.

But after ATA Airlines shut down, I never went back.

Until now.

Apparently, a lot, as we quickly discovered last night at our Vegas planning meeting — yes, we’re getting old — at Panya Bistro. Next weekend my girlfriends and I are heading to Sin City, most of us for the first time in years. A lot has changed — I haven’t seen Encore, for example — so we’re a little lost as to what to do. No sense buying omiyage from Bath & Body Works anymore, since the chain opened up a shop in Ala Moana Center. And by now we’ve all had a Western Bacon Cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr., shopped at Express and bought PJs from Victoria’s Secret.

So what’s left?

There’s still In-N-Out Burger, Trader Joe’s and the awe-inspiring Hoover Dam.

Yes, these are on our list.

So we’re throwing it out there to you: what restaurants, boutiques, hotels and attractions should we put on our four-day itinerary? Got any must-dos in Vegas?

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