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9/15/2014 Fresh fish

They had a big premiere of the new Hawaii 5-0 season on Waikiki Beach Saturday night. It was pretty cool and I was planning to do a travelogue entry about it today, but I'm running pretty late (just moved into my new house yesterday) so it'll have to wait until Wednesday. In the meantime, here's one of the restaurant reviews I've been meaning to do.

Restaurant Review: Nico's Pier 38
Type: Seafood
Location: Pier 38
Nico's is half restaurant and half fish market right on the pier so, with fresh fish and an attractive setting, there's a lot going for it. Lunch is pretty casual with take-out boxes and a free for all when it comes to seating while dinner is more formal (though you can still order as take-out). They look to have a fairly nice bar too, though I'm not really the right person to comment on that
Regardless of which meal you go for, expect a crowd. Nico's is a popular place and rightly so. The service is quick and the food is good. The furikake ahi is pretty awesome all around and the fish and chips are good too. On the downside, the prices are a little high for the portion sizes (especially the aforementioned fish and chips). But overall Nico's is a fun place to eat and take advantage of the local seafood.


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9/12/2014 Weekend!

There's a new Blooper Reel strip for everyone who votes, the first in a while too, between Timmy Tonka and the Forum Awards strips.

Well, between work, shopping, and unpacking it's been a really long week but it's just about over. My shopping is finally done (except for food), as is a pretty significant portion of the unpacking, the rest of which I'll hopefully finish today. Most of the stuff I ordered has even arrived (though it'll be another week or two before I have everything). I'll be doing some things in Honolulu Saturday night (expect a travelogue entry about that next week), so the plan is to actually move into my new place on Sunday. I've got a couple restaurant reviews to write but I've had way too many late nights this week so I'm going to head off for now. I'll get to them next week.

Have a good weekend!


9/10/2014 Living in Hawaii

I was going to write a couple restaurant reviews today, but decided to talk about something else Hawaii related instead.

Early September: Living in Hawaii - The Annoying Stuff
While I may be living in "paradise", for the past week and a half I've been too busy focusing on work on moving related stuff to really take advantage of that. Now I've talked a lot about all the cool stuff here in the past, and I'll doubtless be saying more about it in the future. For today though, I'm going to complain a bit.
So what are some of the downsides of living in Hawaii? Well, I previously mentioned that social security number thing and it's not the only bit of annoying red tape I've run into. Getting a driver's license, setting up bill payment for my utilities and HOA fees, and even arranging for my paycheck to be deposited into my bank account have all been far more complicated than anywhere else I've lived (well, a couple things in Japan were just as bad, but only a couple). Why? I have no idea.
As a side note, when you have a car here you have to get a yearly safety check. Basically, it's you paying $20 for someone to make sure your lights, turn signals, and windshield wipers work. Once again, I have no idea why it's like that. Seems like a waste of time and money for the most part.
Another annoying thing I've run up against lately is ordering stuff online. The first thing I learned is that when many sites advertise free shipping, they don't include Hawaii in that (Target, for example), and shipping to Hawaii can be expensive. Or, they keep the shipping "free" but add a large Hawaii surcharge (Walmart). And those sites like Target and Walmart that normally allow you to order something online and pick it up in the store (to avoid shipping costs)... Yeah, they don't do that here either, at least with stuff not normally stocked in the store (they don't even tell you until your order is almost complete). Though I do have to give a shout-out to Amazon. When they say free shipping, they give you free shipping, even when it's on larger items (just make sure you're ordering from Amazon and not one of their sellers, who have their own policies).
Shipping fees aren't the only issue with online orders though. Multiple times on multiple sites, I've been told that they can't ship the item I want to Hawaii due to some sort of agreement with the manufacturer. Yes, seriously. It isn't like I'm trying to important something from another country and I really can't think of any good reason for why the manufacturer won't let Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond sell me the patio chairs I wanted (to give one example). Even stranger, it's inconsistent. I was finally able to get those chairs off of Amazon. They, however, couldn't sell me a desk that I was able to get from Walmart (with a hefty Hawaii surcharge added to the "free" shipping). Just to make things more annoying, you don't find out if your item won't ship until you're halfway though checkout, which is extremely frustrating if you just spent ages choosing the perfect whatever only to have your order blocked.
So yeah, living in Hawaii has its issues aside from the super high housing prices. Is it worth it? I'll revisit that in a year or two...


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