Thank goodness and light off some sparklers because Fall semester is officially o-v-e-r. Stick a fork in it, it's done, time to tear the salvageable scribbles out of my notebook and toss the notes.
The end of a semester means it's also Christmas, and time to fly home and visit my folks. I really think I should invest in a frequent flyer program, because how many miles have I racked up bouncing around the Pacific in the past four years?
Though it's always a good thing to see family, it also means leaving some of my best friends behind for bit.
Here is me and my friend Yami. Recently we twinned AATP's "Unlock Pandora's Memories" jumper skirt and took Christmas Purikura.
The location for Purikura, Funpix, is one of my favourite spots on the island. It has moved from it's original Kalakaua location to a roomier, air conditioned location in McCully shopping centre. It is still near Ala Moana mall though, and accessible by bus.
Ever since I met my first lolita friend in Hawaii, we have been dressing up and going to FunPix. The owners and business have remained the same too, and even though I was gone for a year, I feel like they remember us.
I have a fat album of memories thanks to this place, of dinners with friends, of conventions and holidays, of cosplays and birthdays... my purikura and photos are some of my most precious things, which is why, I love FunPix.
As I was thinking about FunPix, and the places I'll leave in Hawaii for a little while, I decided I wanted to tell you about them, in case you ever get to come to Oahu.
One of my favourite places, recently discovered, is Bubbies Icecream. They don't just serve delicious ice-cream (I recommend "Macadamia Nut"), but they also have amazing ice-cream cakes, with some of the most creative names I've seen (check out the right side of the board):
Their signature mochi ice-creams are also popular with kids and adults. They come in all kinds of flavours, from Tiramisu to Guava.
Speaking of sweets, there is an amazing bakery right around the corner from my school, which specialises in hand-crafted cupcakes. The name of that bakery, with its bright pink door and smiling vendors, is Let Them Eat Cupcakes.
Their story is pretty inspiring. The owner used to be a journalist, who lost their job, most likely when the Honolulu Advertiser merged with the Star Bulletin in my sophomore year. It was then that they found their passion: making cupcakes! They started with tents, booths, and food trucks, and now have this lovely downtown location.
One main reason I love them are their exciting flavours... when I first saw their menu, it was the first time I had ever heard of "Peanut Butter and Jelly" cupcakes. They also have Bailey's Irish Cream, Caramel Macchiato, Chocolate Malt, and Cookies & Cream, to name a few. But what I love most are their local flavours such as Li Hing Mango, Liliko'i, Guava, and Mochi.
A few weeks ago, I translated for a group of Japanese Exchange students visiting from Hiroshima. The girls seemed tired and stressed, so after a tour of the campus, I took them around the corner to Let Them Eat Cupcakes, and treated them. They seemed so happy! They also really enjoyed the creative sprinkle bar, where they could each decorate their own cupcake.
I could go on and on in true lolita fashion about great places to find sweets on the island, but instead I'd like to switch gears, and talk about one of my favourite local shops.
Like Let Them Eat Cupcakes, they started small and have flourished over the past few years. It is a shop in Aiea called "Mini-Q", which sells rare and specialty anime figures from Japan, and imported blind-box figures.
I remember when I first came back to Hawaii for college, and I found their tent at the Aloha Stadium swap meet. At that time they only sold imported cellphone straps and stickers.
I am really happy to see they have grown to a physical location, and now carry so much stock! They are very good about updating their Facebook page, so I can stalk the new Tiger & Bunny releases. They also have a reward points program, so you can earn discounts and things like that.
I am saving to eventually adopt all of their Nendoroids...
As with all places, I feel this doesn't even scratch the surface of cool spots in Hawaii. That is one of the reasons I keep this blog though, so I can tell you about interesting places everywhere I go, wherever my suitcase takes me. (Corny, but true.)
I may not be earning frequent flyer miles now, but through all this traveling and always finding new places- or revisiting the old ones I love- I think I've racked up plenty of frequent flyer smiles.
To Favourite Spots and roads less traveled,