Well let's just be honest, Krupp Cakes. We've been
majorly kind of crazed with New York Fashion Week about one minute away and are currently suffering from a bit of an RSVP-induced fever. You know the signs... an online bookmark to the Mooncakes order form, complete email conversations at 1 a.m. and living in a constant rotation of your favorite five Inhabit sweaters. Don't say you aren't going through the same thing, right?
Getting out of the city is always great, especially when it's going home to Hawai'i; nothing but white sand, clear water and great food awaits. It's funny to be in a blizzard one day and on the beach the next; Christmas in Hawai'i always seems so contradictory.
My top priority is to be in the sun as much as possible, enjoying the 80-degree weather and trying to tan my pale winter skin. My favorite beach is Lanikai, only five minutes from my house, it's absolutely gorgeous and peaceful.
One of my goals this vacation was to catch up on my reading, with such books as "The End of Fashion" by Teri Agins and "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost It's Luster" by Dana Thomas. The best thing after a day at the beach is an Açai bowl from Lanikai Juice. This über-healthy treat was once featured on Oprah and is topped with fresh mixed berries, banana, coconut, granola and honey.
The nicest most convenient way to get around my town, Kailua, is often by bike. Especially when President Obama is in town also on vacation, causing the worst traffic Kailua has ever seen. With the combination of locals and tourists trying to catch a glimpse of the President and the Secret Service blocking off major roads.
A favorite destination- and road trip by Hawai'i standards- is a day spent on the North Shore, notorious for its large waves and surf competitions during the winter. One necessary stop along the way is Leonard's Malasada truck to pick up some of the delicious Portuguese fried pastries. The North Shore is very rural and laid back, lined with many hidden surf spots as well as touristy villages.
One of the best lunches I had was at Neiman Marcus Honolulu Mariposa restaurant. My entrée was the Seared Scallops dish, which included potato gnocchi, smoked prosciutto, kahuku corn, fava bean purée and roasted lobster jus. My dessert was a beautifully presented Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Pudding Cake with Starfruit and other fresh fruit.
Not far from Neiman Marcus is the original Aloha Rag. I always make a point to visit the Hawai'i store when I'm there to say hi to the staff and check out their inventory since it's quite different than Aloha Rag New York. It's nice to see other Aloha Rag members such as Makoto and Ken, whom I usually only communicate with via email. ARHI has the same clean, organized and luxurious aesthetic that AHNY has, yet it has quite a different feel due to its largely European and American merchandise. Versus ARNY's Japanese-heavy stock.
By the end of my two-and-a-half-week vacation I was a bit restless. Sometimes the only thing better than leaving New York is coming back. - Vicen Akina, Aloha Rag New York