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10/1/2014 My house

My friend Connie (one of the friends I visited this summer in China) is coming to visit for a little while starting today and I'm looking forward to showing her around and taking things a bit easier now that I'm more or less done with all my moving related stuff. For now though, here's a quick travelogue entry.

September 29th (Monday): My New House
At this point I can finally say that I'm just about done with everything related to my move (still a handful of odds and ends though). To commemorate the occasion, here's a few photos of my new house. The kitchen is pretty nice and roomy compared to my past apartments, though the fridge isn't magnetic, which is kind of odd (and just a little annoying). The kitchen connects right to the dining and living rooms. I did buy a coffee table and end table...but the store apparently didn't have any instock and the next shipment is taking longer than they thought (probably because, you know, it actually has to come here on a ship). There's a loft area upstairs which I've turned into an office and lounge, though the lounge part is pretty incomplete. At some point I want to get a TV and a good chair or two up there and hook up all my old game systems (probably move the dance pad there too). I should also get some more shelves and set up a library in the third bedroom (as you can see in that last photo, my books are already overflowing). But furniture is expensive, especially over here, and I'd rather not drain all the money in bank account, especially now that I have a mortgage (better deal than renting here thought). It's nice having a bit of money for other things when I want it.
Not pictured, the bedrooms (master and guest), said third bedroom (currently empty), bathrooms, laundry room, garage, etc. For Oahu, it's a fairly big place. I've got own lawn now too, complete with a plumeria tree. Speaking of the tree, while it both looks and smells nice, it "sheds" like crazy. See all those flowers and leaves on the ground? Well, I cleaned that entire patch of lawn on Friday and took the photo on Monday, meaning all that fell in just three days.
Other than the things I already mentioned, I could use a few more wallscrolls and/or photos on canvas to hang (some of the walls are very bare) and I need to either get my water filter fixed (it leaks) or count it as a lost cause (and a bunch of lost money) and buy another one. But anyway, it's a nice place and I'm starting to feel at home here. Having all my stuff (well, the half that was with me in Florida and not back at my parents' place anyway) certainly helps.

And that's all for now. See you Friday!


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9/29/2014 America

I spent yesterday in Honolulu running errands before heading to an America concert. I saw them once before in Phoenix, though that was quite a while ago. In fact, I think it was only the second oldies concert I'd ever been to (the first was Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, but I was just a kid then). Anyway, it was a fun show, but videos weren't allowed so I don't really have anything to put here on the site. Plus, I got back kind of late so I didn't have a lot of time to write today's news post.

Anyway, I'm planning to post some pictures of my hew house on Wednesday, so I'll see you then!


9/26/2014 Pizza

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I'm still having issues with a leak on that water filter so I'm looking into getting a replacement part. Sigh... That aside, things are going well. Now, back to restaurant reviews.

Restaurant Review: Russo's Coal Fired Italian Kitchen
Type: Pizza
Location: Ewa Beach
My dad is from New York and he taught me what makes a good pizza. So, every time I move to a new area, I make a point of finding the best pizza. Russo's is the closest to my new house, so it's the first place I tried.
First, the basics. Russo's is a pretty nice restaurant and has a full range of Italian food in addition to the pizza (though I can't comment on it). It can get pretty busy around dinner time though, so don't be too surprised if you have to wait a bit.
Now for the important part, the pizza. It comes in three sizes. Medium (12"), large (16"), and XL (28"). I find the lack of an 18" slightly annoying, and it's too bad they don't have Sicilian pizzas as well, but that's just nitpicking. Russo's makes a pretty good pizza. I wouldn't put it in my top five, but it is the best pizza I've found in the area so far. The highlight is definitely the sauce (slightly sweet, with a bit of basil). No complaints about the crust or cheese either (no specific high points though). It's a good, if not amazing, pizza at a price that, while a bit more than I'm used to paying, is actually pretty good for the area.
So, overall, Russo is currently my top choice for pizza in the Ewa / Kapolei area. It doesn't compare with my favorite places back on the mainland, but they don't deliver across the ocean so I'll take what I can get.

Restaurant Review: Brick Oven Pizza
Type: Pizza
Location: Kapolei
As part of my quest to find the best pizza place in the Ewa / Kapolei area, I decided to give Brick Oven a try. To start off, they've got a nice interior and a large selection of sandwiches if you're not in the mood for pizza. But why would I not be in the mood for pizza?
Speaking of the pizza, they've got an excellent crust and will brush it with garlic butter for a nice extra touch. Unfortunately, the crust is really the only high point. The sauce and cheese, while not bad, are decidedly average. And then there's the cost. Any way you look at it, their pizzas are on the expensive side. Which wouldn't be so bad if they also weren't so small. They have three sizes but their "large" (at somewhere around 14") would barely qualifies as a medium anywhere else. So, while I didn't dislike Brick Oven Pizza, I can't really recommend it when there are other places nearby with bigger and better pizzas for less money.



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