Tag Archives: Derek Taira

#CatTravels: Let the derby begin!

Game day!

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You know it's game day in London. Everyone is dressed in their team jerseys and colors. This was the scene was we walked to Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal Gunners.


Before I met Derek, I knew very little about soccer.

Like, it involved a ball, two goals, and a grassy playing field.

I didn’t grow up playing — or watching — the game, and the only time I actually kicked around a soccer ball, my friend accidentally kicked me in the left shin and fractured it. (So I get why players wear shin guards.)

Derek, on the other hand, lives and breathes the game. He’s played soccer most of his life — even in college — and would still be kicked around a ball had it not been for two knee surgeries and a distraction called his Ph.D.

And as a good girlfriend, I sat through a few televised matches and read about the World Cup. Lucky for him, I actually do enjoy sports. And lucky for him, I learned to really appreciate what he calls “the beautiful game.”

The last time we were in London, we caught the Tube to Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal Gunners, one of his favorite teams. On my urging — if you can believe that! — we bought very expensive tickets and sat through what’s really a truly English experience.

Premier League soccer — or football, as it’s called here — games are nothing like their American counterparts. For starters, they consist of two 45-minute (or so) halves; meaning, they only last about 90 minutes, not all day. And the spectators are more like college fanatics — they dress up, they cheer and sing, they stand the entire time. It’s really an experience.

So since we were back in London — and since Arsenal was playing that Sunday — we bought tickets from a slightly sketchy Russian (another story) and went to the league’s first derby of the season.

Follow my #CatTravels adventures in Europe and Japan on Twitter @thedailydish and on Instagram @catherinetoth.

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#CatTravels: Weekend in Kona


Eat and walk. Eat and walk.

That’s what it felt like we did this weekend in Kailua-Kona.

We were in town to visit Derek’s family and to accomplish two other things: hike down into Pololu Valley and eat at Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea.

We were successful on both counts.

And yet, we still found time to squeeze in a few more things, too.

Here’s what our quick weekend jaunt to Kona looked like:

Let's eat!

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We arrived in Kona in the later afternoon, so the first thing we wanted to do was eat. Teshima's Restaurant was the call!

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#CatTravels: Food tour of Seattle — and more

One of the other reasons I came to Seattle was to visit my girlfriend, Chris, who moved here a couple of years ago.

A trip to see her was long overdue.

We used to work together at the now-defunct Honolulu Advertiser and had done our fair share of traveling, from the chilly summit of Haleakala to watch the sunrise to the wineries of Napa Valley. Now it was time to experience Seattle from her point of view.

Since she knows me so well — smile — she booked a food tour of Pike Place Market with Savor Seattle Food Tours, a local food tour company that takes small groups behind-the-scenes at the historic market (among other places) for $39 per person. It’s a two-hour walking tour that guarantees at least 16 bites and sips, an up-close look at about 10 vendors, and one-on-one time with the famous fish-throwing fishmongers at the Pike Place Fish Co.

It was a great way to learn about the market — and about Seattle’s culinary scene — while eating. It’s a no brainer!

But that’s not all we did.

Here’s what my first day with Chris — and in Marysville — looked like:

Heading to the waterfront

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My girlfriend, Chris, picked us up at the hotel on Sunday, drove Derek to the airport, and was stuck with me for another two days. So we headed back to the city for a food tour she had booked in advance. (She knows me so well!)

Follow my adventures in Seattle and Portland on Twitter at @thedailydish or on Instagram at @catherinetoth.

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#CatTravels: Wandering Seattle’s waterfront

Saturday was the only day Derek and I had completely to ourselves.

He didn’t have to attend any seminars; I had nothing planned.

So we caught the bus and headed straight to Pike Place Market, the popular public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront.

This market opened in 1907 and now boasts hundreds of small businesses, craftsmen, merchants, artists, farmers and fishermen. With more than 10 million people visiting this market a yet, it’s become one of Seattle’s most popular tourist destinations.

So of course we had to go, too!

Here’s what our day at the waterfront — and we did way more than eat clam chowder! — looked like:

Pike Place Market

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Open in 1907, this public market boasts hundreds of small businesses, craftsmen, farmers, fishermen and artisans selling their goods, produce, seafood and wares, which attract 10 million visitors a year. It's one of the busiest tourist attractions in the city — and we were on our way!

Follow my adventures in Seattle and Portland on Twitter @thedailydish.

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