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Melbourne, VIC


Les Petites Choses


Kelven Ng

It is no secret that we are a bit enamored with Japan but one place that we have not been previously was Hokkaido. Of course we had heard about this place; a place we had read would have flufflier snow and fresher seafood than anywhere else in this area of the world. We came to this part of Japan with hopes of eating (surprise surprise) a variety of foods including hairy crab, uni, ice cream, and ramen. What we left with, were memories of experiences that exceeded even our expectations. We had scheduled about 6 days in Hokkaido where we spent 3 in Sapporo, 2 in Noboribetsu, and 1 in Otaru. We thought that was ample time considering our to do list. Here are some memories from the trip.


Sapporo is the largest city in Hokkaido and while many people were flying into the city this time of year to partake in the fluffy snow nearby, we were here to eat, explore and eat. The City had its fair share of corporate buildings and shopping centers but it was also only a short bus ride to a few places that we wanted to visit including Otaru and Noboribetsu.
Sapporo - Streets.jpg

Where we stayed in Sapporo

Sapporo is one of the biggest cities in Japan so without any familiarity of the city, we decided to stay close to the station. 40 minute’s by train from the airport (New Chitose), we arrived at Sapporo Station. Attached to the Station are a number department malls as well as the JR Nikko Hotel, where we stayed. The hotel stands tall above the city and provides some spectacular views of the urban landscape. Together, with the convenience that the hotel’s proximity provides to the train station, we could not imagine staying anywhere else in Sapporo. The city was not really in a state for us to walk around in anyway as there was lots of ice and snow so we were happy to have stayed in this hotel. JR Nikko Hotel also has a spa on the 22nd floor which was very nice and relaxing. Keep in mind that this is meant to be modeled after a traditional onsen so you do need to be naked (you get used to it pretty quickly!).
Sapporo - View.jpg

What we ate in Sapporo

Sushisei Wakichi - While we expected Hokkaido to be a source of great seafood, we did not expect our favorite sushi meal to come from Sapporo. Sushisei Wakichi is ranked 2nd in sushi restaurants for Sapporo by Tabelog (Japan’s restaurant review website) so we went into this meal with a lot of anticipation. Coming from the sub freezing, snowy weather, we were very happy to come into a cozy and welcoming, 8-9 seater restaurant. The sushi was very well proportioned in the neta to shari ratio and most importantly, each course came together so nicely. Anyone coming to Sapporo with an interest in Sushi should look at coming here.

Sapporo Beer Garden (Mongolian Grill) - We did not expect Mongolian grill to be a big thing in Hokkaido but we were told it was a must do. Since it was attached to the Sapporo Beer Museum, we thought, why not? The best part about this experience wasn’t the food though - it was the beer. They have different versions of the popular Sapporo beer that you can’t find anywhere else - even in Japan. That alone is a good reason to visit.


Otaru was only a 35-40 minute train ride from Sapporo so it made for a great day trip. Closer to the ocean, with its very own fish market, we knew we could make full use of our time here. The fish market was open early and while it was small, it made for a much more personal experience than one you could have at the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. This little coastal town is also the home of Le Tao, a very well known bakery in Hokkaido (they are famous for their double baked cheese cake). While we were in Otaru, there was heavy snowfall and it was glorious. It truly felt like a winter wonderland and if you can't tell from the pictures below, we had a ton of fun in the snow.
J likely got a bit tired of me asking her to pose for pictures but I couldn't give up the opportunity given the gigantic snowflakes that were falling around us. It was a moment to really cherish. I think I got a few good snaps of J, what do you think? ;)
While in Otaru, we had to go into the fish market by the station and try out some of their very fresh seafood. If only we could find something this good back at home. Not only are they not shy about giving you an abundance of ingredients, the quality was about as good as you could get.
Otaru - Don.jpg


Noboribetsu was only a 1.5 hour bus ride from Sapporo city center but it felt as if we had been transported to a completely different universe. Our trip in Japan entailed a lot of walking. We often walked well over 15k steps a day but during our short stay in this little town of hot springs, we walked a grand total of 500 steps. I think that adequately describes how we spent our time here.

Where we stayed in Noboribetsu

Going to a part of Japan that was known for its natural hot springs, we knew we wanted to stay in a Ryokan. A Ryokan is a traditional accommodation in Japan that goes way back. When I think of a Ryokan, I think of tatami mats, woven sliding doors, beds on the floor and that is exactly what we looked for when we planned our trip out here. We ended up staying at Ryotei Hanayura in Noboribetsu. To get here, we took a chartered bus from downtown Sapporo and they ended up dropping us off directly at the hotel.

The accommodation was clean and beautiful. Our room was massive and it came with our own private onsen bath that was outdoors in our balcony. Anyone who hasn’t tried dipping into a hot pool, in the winter, surrounded by snow hearing nothing but the water around you really has to find a way to do it at least once. Trust me, it will be one of those memories that you won’t forget. Like a lingering feeling of nostalgia that you wish you could relive. Peaceful and content - that is the best way that I can describe that feeling.
Noboribetsu - Onsen.jpg

What we ate in Noboribetsu

Noboribetsu isn’t known for its restaurants so we happily stayed in our Ryokan and dined in for all of our meals. Our Kaiseki dinners were beautiful and so satisfying with some sake after a long day of doing nothing but lounging about and dipping in the onsen. Breakfast was buffet style where we could load up on fruits, congee, and other traditional items such as ikura.
Noboribetsu - Food.jpg


There is something truly peaceful about being in Japan during winter. We ended up with some amazing memories during our short stay here and while we did not ski/snowboard as many would come out this way for, we had a blast and would come back in a heart beat. If you are a food or beer lover, enjoy onsens and just enjoy being in Japan, Hokkaido is a place that will not disappoint.


Kelven Ng

We had been waiting a long time to make a trip back out to one of our favorite places on earth, Japan. Luckily, we got our chance to do that during the Christmas season again (we were here in the Winter season of 2013). Since this was not our first trip to Japan, we wanted to focus less on the touristy things and instead key in on the things we care about most (eating). The result was that our entire itinerary was centered around the restaurants we had to visit.

Here are a few shutter clicks from our walks around the city.

Where we stayed

Tokyo Conrad

We stayed at two different hotels during our stay in Tokyo. The first three nights were spent in the Tokyo Conrad. It was hard to imagine that we could have found a more comfortable and luxurious stay in Tokyo. Since it was our first trip in over (an exhausting) half a year, we figured we would spoil ourselves a bit. We felt spoiled.

The Tokyo Conrad is located in the Shiodome area which is within walking distance to Ginza (for shopping and eating) and the Tsukiji Fish Market. Both locations were about 15 minutes away. We made full use of the location and walked around a bunch. Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.

Ascott Marunouchi

For our second leg in Tokyo, we decided to switch it up and stay closer to Tokyo Station. The Ascott Marunouchi is fairly new and had only been open for a few months but the pictures were of a hotel that was very modern, clean, and very spacious for Tokyo standards. When we got there, we were not disappointed - in fact, it may have been nicer and definitely newer than the Conrad.

Proximity wise, the Ascott Marunouchi was only about a 15 minute walk from Tokyo Station. You could get there by foot or by taking the Marunouchi line just 1 station. We felt spoiled. The view. The quality of the finishings. The space. It was an extremely relaxing and luxurious stay for our last leg of our trip to Japan. We will be back.

Where we ate

Since our trip was all about eating, we did a lot of it. Here are a few of our highlights in no particular order.


Tempura Kondo - Our first foray into tempura fine dining, we were pleasantly surprised at how refined the entire meal was. We came here for lunch on a weekday and the entire restaurant was booked full. Kondo has Michelin stars to its name and we enjoyed ourselves but would not say that it was mind blowing (maybe we set ourselves up for disappointment there).
Sushi Tokami - Located in Ginza, Sushi Tokami was our first sushi stop this trip. Hiroyuki Sato is the head chef that has propelled this restaurant since its opening less than 5 years ago to now being one of the top sushi restaurants in Tokyo. The shari (rice) was plentiful (holding a fine balance between just right and too much) and was a bit heavier on the vinegar. The neta was not seasoned too much as the chef relied on the fish being served to really serve as the main driver of flavor. The meal felt similar to Sushi Sho (3 Michelin star, highly regarded restaurant in Tokyo) but we enjoyed Sushi Tokami more.
Sushi Iwa - 4 years ago, we came to Sushi Iwa and had what we would like to call it the best meal of our lives. This time, we could happily call this meal one of our top 3. The selection was on point and we were happy that they kept one of our favorite dishes from 4 years ago. We would highly recommend anyone who comes to Tokyo in search of a fantastic sushi meal to come here.
Sushi Suzuki - Our last sushi meal on this trip was at another recommended Sushi-ya in Ginza. The omakase this time required us to be a little more adventurous.

Tsukiji Market

Daiwa Sushi - A well known sushi-ya in the Tsukiji Market that is only beaten by Sushi Dai in popularity, we were excited to try this place so we could do the comparison ourselves. We came away unimpressed unfortunately. The meal was rushed and from our memory, the meal we enjoyed at Sushi Dai left a greater impression.
Nakaya - Since we were staying so close to Tsukiji, we decided to roam back on another day for breakfast. We stumbled into this kaizen-don restaurant. A bowl of rice topped with delicious seafood, we had an incredibly satisfying meal. A far better experience overall than we had at Daiwa Sushi. Easily the best Chirashi/Kaizen don we have had anywhere.


Ebisoba Ichigen Ramen - We love ramen and we enjoyed 5 delicious bowls of this stuff while we were in Tokyo. Ebisoba Ichigen though, may have been our favorite. They have multiple locations but the original shop is based in Sapporo. The visit was well worth it as the shrimp broth was so unique to anything we have ever had outside of Japan.


Japan is amongst our favorite places on earth. This was only our second time here together but we left just as we came - longing to visit again. The food, the culture, the indescribable feeling that this country gives us keeps us coming back. Though we just left, we will be coming back sooner than later.

H A W A I I - M A U I

Kelven Ng

Our trip to Hawaii included a stop for 3 nights in Maui. Originally I was thinking that a week in one location for Hawaii would be a good idea but J really thought otherwise so being the wise man I aim to be, I listened. So glad that we got a chance to go to Maui too. This island has a very different feel compared to Oahu. The country side was beautiful and you see a lot more of it. Maui just felt more wide open and sprawled out compared to Oahu. The beaches that we visited were gorgeous and the water pristine. Seriously, we thought the snorkeling right in front of our hotel to be the best of any location in Oahu that we found. There were a few things that I wished we had time to do but skipped on including doing the drive along the Road to Hana and watching the sunset from above the clouds at Haleakala but it gives us an excuse to come back. Being in Kaanapali, the drive to get to Hana would take close to 5 hours one way without any stops and we didn’t have the time.

We stayed at the Westin Nanea Ocean Villa resort right by Kaanapali (north west point of the island). The hotel was only opened about 3 weeks before our arrival and you could tell right away that the décor and finishing’s were far more modern than the vast majority of hotels in Hawaii. By the time we paid for the rental, only 2 bedroom suites were available so we took it. When we arrived, we were shocked at how open and big the suite was (approximately 1,200 square feet). Equipped with a full kitchen and two full baths, this suite made coming back from the beach a nice and relaxing retreat.
During our stay in Maui, we made it a goal for ourselves to find some beaches that had sea turtles and swim with one. Alas, we were not able to find one but we did visit several beaches and snorkeling locations that were beautiful. While we searched exclusively for sunrises on Oahu, being set in Kaanapali meant that we were going to be restricted to sunset photos while in Maui. Not that we minded at all though – it meant more of an opportunity to sleep in.

Kaanapali Beach

Luckily, our hotel was located right on Kaanapali Beach. This beach was beautiful, nicer than anything we came across in Oahu. There were some driftwood/logs there that made for the perfect object for long exposures (see below). While a bit busy, it was no where near the density that we saw on Waikiki Beach. This might have been our favorite location all trip. It helped that the sunset here was gorgeous and only a few steps away from our hotel too. Nothing beats being able to set up and take your desired sunset photos and then take a short walk back to the hotel for a few drinks and some dinner.
This beach transformed for sunset and I could not have been happier with the sight we saw. The smooth sand and beach logs were a perfect compliment to the amazing sunsets we saw practically every day in Maui.
Oh and did I mention that this beach also had amazing clear water with lots of sea life? Perfect place for snorkeling! All videos taken with the Gopro Hero 5 (love this thing).

Kapalua Bay

Just north of Kaanapali Beach is Kapalua Bay, a very small cove that bears witness to a fantastic sunset. It is also where the restaurant Merriman’s is located. The tide was a little high on the evening that we came here so we had to trek through some slippery rocks in order to get to our sunset location to set up the tripod. Having said that, it was definitely worth it. We didn’t end up swimming here since we got there right around sunset however.

Honolua Bay

Further north from Kapalua was Honolua Bay. There is no central parking lot to get here but when your GPS tells you that you are close, it may be time to find some parking. We just followed some of the other cars that seemingly were parking in the middle of nowhere. Once you get out of the car, you have to walk a little while in the forest before you start to see the rocky beach of Honolua Bay. The water was murky near the shore but as soon as you swam about 30 feet out, you could see lots of sea life. There were also areas with some impressive coral too.

Black Rock Beach

Our hunt for sea turtles brought us just a little further south from our hotel – Black Rock Beach. This beach was pristine and the water very clear. This was a great location for snorkeling too as the waves were not too rough at all for entry. The beach was fairly quiet too but then again we went during the middle of the day when it was really frickin’ hot. Finding parking to get to this beach was a bit of a doozy though. You end up having to park at the Sheraton hotel parking and will have to pay. Just something to be aware of if you plan on coming here. It may be easier to arrange for a shuttle from your hotel.


As you can tell from our previous posts, we love food. We knew that we were going to get great food options in Oahu but Maui was a bit of an unknown to us. We received some wonderful recommendations though and did our own research which ended up with us having some of the best food on our trip. Here are some of the places we visited.

Mama’s Fish House
Why don’t we begin with one of the most famous restaurants on the island? Mama’s Fish House is located in Paia (just a little east of the airport) and the beginning of the Road to Hana. We were recommended by several of our friends to go here so I made sure to make a reservation early. When we arrived and saw the setting, we could see why there was so much noise around this restaurant. This place was happening! We arrived for our 5:30pm reservation so that we could watch the sunset as we ate and we were greeted immediately by valet (the parking lot was full). The walk from the parking lot to the restaurant gave us a good glimpse of why this restaurant is so popular. To say the view is fantastic is not doing the scene justice. You see the green lawn with the palm trees swaying with the sea breeze and then you look out further and all you see is the water. We were sat at a window seat (make sure you ask for this) and had a great dinner while witnessing the sun set behind the palm trees. That is only the view but the food was great too: J had the lobster tails (2 of them) and I had the pistachio crusted mahi mahi stuffed with Dungeness crab (it even came with 1 lobster tail too). Those entrees along with a couple of glasses of good wine and dessert and we were very happy campers.
Tin Roof
I have always liked watching Top Chef. This is a show that showcases chefs with great talent and creativity and they featured a chef from Hawaii by the name of Sheldon Simeon. When we heard that he opened up shop in Maui, we knew we had to put that on our itinerary. The food served here is delicious (so good that we went twice) and so down to earth. The prices were around $15 or less. Nothing fancy here but boy did it taste good. We had the Mochiko Chicken, Pork Belly, Poke Bowl, Garlic Noodles and the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. All of the dishes (except the sandwich) was served on a bed of rice. The mochiko chicken might have been my favorite but J really enjoyed the poke bowl too. We did not have a bad meal here. We also ordered the cup of broth (a hot dashi broth) each time as well because it was so tasty and soothing. Consider ordering online so you can avoid the lineups. The restaurant is very small with very limited seating so be prepared for that as well. There were quite a few people that did take out instead. Thinking about it is just making my mouth water.
Miso Phat
With that name, we did not think we would like this sushi joint as much as we did. Goes to show you that you can’t judge too quickly about anything – especially food. The sushi here was delicious and better than most places we have in Seattle/Vancouver. The rolls were so tasty (though expensive at $24-26 per roll) and the nigiri spot on. I would definitely come back here the next time I am in Maui.
Maui turned out to be the favorite part of our trip to Hawaii. It is much more our pace versus Oahu (maybe it’s just us getting older hah!). The food was great, the views were incredible and the pace of life was just what we were looking for in a vacation. Already thinking of our next trip to Hawaii and Maui is definitely a target destination (along with Kauai). The next time we get here, we definitely plan to do the road to Hana.

H A W A I I - O A H U

Kelven Ng

Hawaii is a place that we have been looking forward to go for a few years now. Friends and strangers have nothing but great things to say about the Islands only 5-6 hours away from us in Seattle but we never committed to a trip until this year. We really needed a break since the last one we had was during our wedding/honeymoon (close to a year ago). With the 1 year anniversary mark coming up, we thought, why not give Hawaii a try? Since this would be our first time in Hawaii, we thought we should go to Honolulu and Maui since they seem to be the most popular amongst tourists looking to do a bit of everything. 

I will focus on Oahu for this post and do Maui separately. Oahu was our first stop on the trip and like many, we focused on finding a place to stay in Waikiki. We wanted to be close to the action and we had a recommendation from some friends on a hotel in the vicinity. We stayed at The Modern Honolulu - it was refreshed, modern, clean and located within close proximity to Waikiki Beach. Though, I am not going to lie, it also helped that we were placed in a room on the top floor with a partial ocean view. 
We started the days very early (4-5am) but felt like we had done and accomplished so much by mid afternoon. Unlike how I travelled back when I lived in Europe, we were out for the night by about 10pm haha. During our stay in Honolulu, we focused on doing 2 things - eat and take photos. The latter required a car but it was great to get out of the crowded city center and head out to the more secluded beaches in the west and east coast. To be honest, we didn't even walk the strip and we barely set foot on Waikiki Beach. We had to see the city's beach but we agreed with the locals that there are far better beach options on the island. Here are some of the spots we visited: 

Makua Beach

This beach was well north west of Waikiki but it was worth visiting. There might have only been about 10 people on the beach at the time which is still surprising for us, given a beach like this would be packed with people in Vancouver/Seattle. We laid on the beach for about an hour before heading out. It was getting very hot! 

What we did not realize was that you could not continue north from here. We wanted to go to the North Shore but the road stops and forces you back south before you can take another highway north. Oops! So for anyone looking to get to the North Shore via the west coast, keep in mind, you can't. 

Electric Beach

A quick stop on the way down south, this beach was definitely busier than Makua Beach by far. It is located across the way from a big industrial plant of some sort. 

North Shore

Having heard about the shrimp trucks and the shaved ice located in Northern Oahu, we knew we wanted to give this area a visit. It took a little while to get up here (a little more than an hour) from the Waikiki area but the drive was not without scenery. You get a glimpse of the countryside of Oahu that is missing from the city. The town was busy when we got there though - in particular, the parking lots where the food trucks were located were jammed. Trying to find a parking spot at Matsumoto's for shaved ice took about half an hour of circling the lot. Traffic aside, this was definitely a worthwhile visit. 

Sandy Beach

If you are a person like us who seeks out sun, you have to head out to one of the beaches on the eastern part of the island to catch the sunrise. Sandy Beach (the actual name) is only about 30 minutes away from Waikiki and not very big but if you enjoy taking photos, there are plenty of subjects to make the sunrise photo interesting.  This might have been our favorite beach in Oahu. The pictures below will tell the story but they don't do the sunrise justice. It was spectacular. Another thing you notice is that the neighborhoods get nicer as you drive out east as compared to the western part of the island. After this sunrise, I quickly realized how much I need a big/little stopper to get the photographs of the sunrises/sunsets that I wanted (I didn’t end up getting one until we arrived in Maui unfortunately).
Poor J... she was asked by another photographer at this spot that day to pose. What she thought would be a 30 second thing turned into a half hour photo session as a model. 

Poor J... she was asked by another photographer at this spot that day to pose. What she thought would be a 30 second thing turned into a half hour photo session as a model. 

She was still in great spirits though :) 

She was still in great spirits though :) 

Makapu’u Beach

Another sunrise was had a little further east North from Sandy Beach, in Makapu’u Beach. Plenty of subjects for long exposure photos in the form of rocks and tide pools were there. We arrived just before 5:30am for sunrise and were surprised that we were not the only ones there (perhaps we really shouldn't have been surprised).


If you know us at all, you know that we are very food driven. Our entire itinerary was based on the places we wanted to eat (this is nothing new as we did the same for Japan, New York, etc). We were very excited for Hawaii simply because of the great things we had heard about the food. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. Here are some of the places we ate: 

Sushi Sho
Prior to arriving in Hawaii, we were excited to learn that Sushi Sho had moved from Tokyo, the location of its three michelin star restaurant, to start anew in Waikiki (in the Ritz Carlton). When we visited Tokyo back in 2013, we tried to book a reservation at Sushi Sho but it was already booked out. We came in with very high expectations but we left somewhat underwhelmed. There will be a separate blog post on Sushi Sho but I will say that the presentation was very impressive. The restaurant seats 10 and all guests are served omakase style. More than just sushi, Sushi Sho is very refined and shows incredible attention to details and the practices of old tradition. We recommend coming here if you can, open reservations are hard to come by so book very early.
A fairly new restaurant in Waikiki (open about half a year), Senia is said to be an up and coming establishment in an already very saturated food scene. Modern take on Hawaiian ingredients is the specialty of Senia and they do not disappoint. We had multiple dishes that wowed us with their creativity. Most of their dishes are meant to be served family style so we ordered about 6 dishes and went at it. We were stuffed but it was one of the top meals we had in Hawaii. We really enjoyed the atmosphere in the restaurant as well - bustling with activity in an open environment. 
Pig and the Lady
Located right next door to Senia is Pig and the Lady. The menu was a bit of a mixed bag but modern Vietnamese cuisine is the feature here and they do it very well. J had the Pho Bac while I had a Mushroom Papperdelle. We also shared twice fried chicken wings that rivaled Phnom Penh's (in Vancouver). The space is huge but by lunch hour, the restaurant was packed and there was a line forming.

The best part about this restaurant though was that I was able to meet Nikki in person for the first time. We had followed each other at the beginning of our photo journey about 8 years ago and we had talked numerous times about meeting each other but we finally did. She saw me move to London, go through tumultuous times, meet J, and on and on. I saw her photography develop as she documented her love for her two children (it practically felt like I saw them grow up) and now she's a full fledged, professional photographer. It was an honor to meet her in person and I'm so glad we had a chance to catch up.
Tonkatsu Tomafuji
We love Tonkatsu and there are no restaurants in the Pacific Northwest that do it well (that we have found). So when we go to a city that has a restaurant specializing in this cuisine, we immediately added that to our itinerary. The menu was very reminiscent of our visits to restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto. Though there was a bit of a wait to get in (about 45 minutes), the food was worth it. Extraordinarily crispy and light on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, just what we look for in good tonkatsu. Fitted with thinly shredded cabbage and rice, this was the perfect meal to end the day.
Koko Head Cafe
We came upon Koko Head Cafe by accident really - we were grabbing coffee at The Curb after watching the sunrise and we asked the barista where we should go for Breakfast. He mentioned that Koko Head Cafe was very close by and that it was opened by one of the Top Chef contestants a while back. That was all the convincing we needed. We were very pleasantly surprised by the food here. Easily the best breakfast/brunch we had all trip. If you go, get their take on the loco moco (Koko Moco) and their Kelogg crusted french toast. 
It may not look like much from the outside but come here if you like breakfast! 

It may not look like much from the outside but come here if you like breakfast! 

Izakaya Torae Torae
Knowing that Honolulu had an abundance of authentic Japanese food, we set out to have as much of it as we could. Izakaya Torae Torae is set in a fairly inconspicuous location and does not look like much on the outside but the food was spot on (better in my mind than Guu or Suika in Vancouver). We ordered several dishes (as you would in any izakaya) but the standouts were surprisingly the sushi and sashimi. Very high quality fish that satisfied our craving for good sushi (even after eating at Sushi Sho). We also recommend trying the fried jidori chicken skin with teriyaki sauce.
Queen Street Cafe
It was by chance that we landed at this spot for lunch. After the sunrise in Sandy Beach, I realized that I wanted to buy a Lee big/little stopper so that I could get those longer exposures. We drove to a camera store in the Pearl Harbour area where I was very disappointed to hear that the filter I wanted was not in stock. Since we were there already, we thought we would ask the store manager where we should go to eat around the area. He said quote, “if you want to go to a place that all the locals go, go across the street.” We were sold. Everything is made fresh there every day and while we were sat inside, we saw many people come in for take out. I had the bbq chicken with steak and J had the poke salad. Both were so good! The locals know where to eat, listen to them!

Oahu was a great way to start our first trip to Hawaii. Honolulu has so many options for great food and if you are a shopper, this is the city you want to be in. The Ala Moana shopping center is huge! We ate so much we felt that we could burst but that was one of the objectives so… mission accomplished :)


Kelven Ng

The second half to our week long trip in Greece in June was to a place that we have had on our bucket list ever since we met. Seeing all the amazing photos taken here, we had an idea of the views we would see when we arrived but as usual, we were still left with our jaws on the floor. The temperatures during our stay were HOT though. At one point, the van we were in said it was 42 degrees Celsius!

We spent our 4 days here wandering around the island - seeing Oia but also renting a car and driving around to the surrounding towns. You could see most of the island in a day if you had access to a car so I recommend that if you find yourself in Santorini.
The main town on the island is definitely Oia. The days we spent here were extremely hot. But you do what you gotta do to see that iconic view. We honestly haven't sweat like that before but in the end it was worth it. To say that we saw the view in all of the post cards is pretty special. But, I will say that the view isn't just what you will experience if you want to see a sunset over Oia. What the pictures don't show is the immense amount of people clammering for that same view. It can be a bit stressful, loud, and not at all relaxing. But as in life, it's all in your perspective. We had a fantastic time here.
How we got there?
After our 3 night stay in Mykonos, we hopped on the Seajet ferry from the new port and headed over to Santorini. Costing about $60 EUROs per ticket, the trip is only about 2 hours long and it is comfortable ride. The only issue? Be prepared to be crowded on the way out of the ferry. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you have ever been on one of these ferry rides.

Where we stayed?
It may sound strange to say but our hotel in Santorini was one of the biggest highlights of our trip. San Antonio Santorini is located between the town of Oia and Imerovigli. The hotel is fairly isolated as it sits between in the middle of two cliffs but that is what gave this place such an incredible view. I’ll let the pictures do the talking even though they really don’t it justice.

We spent a lot of time at the hotel during our stay in Santorini simply because you had everything you would want for a honey moon here. Infinity pool overlooking the caldera, great food at the restaurant, incredible weather, outdoor private Jacuzzi and veranda with a view, you name it. The hot temperatures during the week we were in Santorini also gave us good reason to stay in our comfortable room.
What we ate
We have to admit that we ate a lot at our hotel. The food was delicious and surprisingly some of the best we had on our trip. The wine menu was extensive and there was also some great variety in the food menu too. This restaurant was the epitome of a meal with a view.

When we weren't eating at the restaurant, we were wandering around Oia and other towns and snacking away as we went. In all honesty, it was so hot on some days that we did not feel hungry at all. But, we did enjoy more of the grilled squid, roast lamb, and tzatziki with pita bread.
We are so glad that we had the chance to visit Greece. This was our first time venturing into Europe together since we met and this trip did not disappoint. Greece had always been on our bucket list and we promised that we would go and see it together. The incredible seaviews will remain with us forever. Time to look forward to the rest of Europe :)