Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bored with a camera

What happens when you're on a tour and it hits a boring patch?  You look around and realize that you are with your favorite person in the whole wide world and have a camera in hand!  Boredom= more model shots!

Round two: The hubby vs. The wife.  One epic shoot out.  Who will win?  You be the judge.

La'akea's photography shots:

My photography shots:

Clearly, I won, right?  Lol...

Day 5: Downtown Puerto Vallarta

After the tequila factory tour we hopped back on the bus to see Puerto Vallarta's downtown life.

Surprisingly, it looked a lot like Waikiki.  The climate was the same, the touristy shops were very similar, and there were tons of people walking in every direction all at once.  We felt totally at home there...lol.  The only really notable difference was the size of the streets.  If there were only one lane streets in Waikiki, we'd be at a standstill.  Constantly.

We visited another church, which was very pretty and ornate.
 Just look at that bell tower!  Beautiful!
All the paintings on the walls and the gilded chancel and pulpit...love it!
Confession:  I did tease my husband a bit telling him that this was the most time that he's ever spent in church.  Heheh...sorry.  I couldn't help myself.  I have to josh him a little bit every now and then...or everyday...whichever comes first.  Okay I feel better now that that's out in the open.

The coolest part of the city, at least for me, was all of the artwork and art markets along the shore.
 There were tons of sculptures and statues lining the water's edge.  Check out the arches!  Pretty awesome, right?  I wish that we had a chance to take a closer picture.
 One of many art markets.
There was a guy building these next to the sea shore.  I think he looks for rocks that will balance on each other with no glue or anything to stick them together because supposedly he comes back all the time to build new ones.
I snapped this picture of the main drive in Puerto Vallarta without really much thought to it at the time.  A little while after we returned home to sunny O'ahu, we went to see the movie "Limitless".  (You know, the one with that hottie Bradley Cooper where he takes the experimental drug that allows him to use 100% off his mind.  His blue, blue eyes are a pool that I just want to dive right into.  Okay that's enough of that...)  There's a scene where Bradley (Yes, we're on a first name basis.  Did you not read the last comment?  Lol...) is driving a Maserati in Europe.  While watching the scene I leaned over to the hubby and excitedly exclaimed, "Do you recognize that street?  It's downtown Vallarta on the main drive.  We were standing right there!"  He was quite impressed that I recognized it, given that the scene is only 30 seconds or so long. 

So being the awesome person that I am, I've included the scene for your enjoyment.  See if you can recognize the street from my picture...if you can keep your eyes off Bradly for a second or two.  Maybe you should just view the video a few times.  You know, to be sure that you saw it...lol.

How to eat a taco...correctly

I know that technically there's no wrong way to eat a Reeses, but there is a wrong way to eat a taco.

Vegetarian taco...wrong.  (Unless you are, in fact, a vegetarian.  Then a vegetarian taco would be acceptable.)

Cutting it with a fork and knife...wrong.

Using any utensils at all to eat it...wrong.

Not covering it in hot sauce or salsa...for shame!  I guess some people really don't like it, so that doesn't make it wrong, but it brings a tear to my eye...lol.

Tacos are meant to be savored.  To be enjoyed.  To be messy!  So eat up.  Get messy.  And tell everyone else around you to deal with it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 5: Tequila...factory, that is!

I love me some tequila.  So when I found out that there was a tour of the Hacienda Dona Engracia tequila factory I jumped on it.  All I had to say was, "They're going to be giving out samples!" and the hubby was on board...lol.  (That makes us sound like major alcoholics, but not to worry, alcoholics we are not.  We are merely aspiring spirit and food connoisseurs.  And that makes us sound douchey...lol.  I just can't win today!)

Honestly, I was mostly interested in the distilling process of tequila.  I find that you have a greater appreciation for a product when you know the process of how it was made and how much time it takes to make it.  That's the nerd in me.  *Shrugs*  I can't help myself.

Tequila Distillation Process...the overview according to what Arielle remembers from the tour...lol.

Step 1: The Agave Plant
This is an agave plant.  The only part used to make the tequila is in the center of this giant spiny mass.  It takes about 8 years to grow before it is ready to be harvested.
Just to give you an idea of the size of it.  All I could think of as people were walking by was, "Please no one fall into that plant.  That would be ouchie."  Safety first, people!
Agave via my artistic interpretation...lol.

Step 2: Roast it!
The spine free centers of the agave plant, called pinas, are steamed at a low heat for hours.  The cooking softens up the pinas for juicing and converts the carbohydrates into simple sugars needed for the fermentation process.  At this point a pina tastes very similar to a piece of sugar cane; watery and sweet, yet fibrous.

Step 3: Juice it!
This is the old way of juicing the roasted pinas.  One person would hack up all the pinas into small pieces and the other person would roll over the pieces with the large stone wheel to extract the juices.  Now it's all done by machine.

Step 4: Fermentation.
Just sit back and allow it to ferment.  I'm pretty sure that this place used a natural fermentation process rather than adding in yeast...but don't quote me on that as I am working from memory.

Step 5: Distill it twice.

Step 6: Bottle and age it accordingly.
There are three types of tequila:
  • Blanco- your silver or platinum tequila, not aged.  Great for marga-tinis, one of my personal favorites.
  • Reposado- slightly aged, at least two months in oak barrels, with a golden color.  Called an aged or rested tequila.  For those of you who like a little bit of a smokey bite to your tequila.
  • Anejo- aged, at least a year in oak barrels, with an amber color.  The aging allows for the flavor of the tequila to become smoother, richer, and more complex.  This would be your sipping tequila.
Step 7: Drink and Enjoy!

After a few tequila shots you'll be pulling the fiercest pageant queen poses...lol.

Monday, September 19, 2011

MIA...yet again...

Sorry that I haven't been posting as much as I should.  I'm fine and well (Thanks for caring, by the way.).  Just been extremely busy.

Doing what, you say?  Why, working on a friend's wedding invitations!

Do I have pictures?  Do I have pictures?!?  Of course, I have pictures!  (See I was thinking of you all the whole time!)

So now for the unveiling....
Front and back of the invitation.  
Check out the monogram!  La'akea created the A from scratch because he didn't like the curves that formed the original A.  Amazing, right?  He's got computer skills.  What can I say?
Front and back of the invitation with the RSVP card.  I wanted it to look a little different than regular RSVP cards, so I had La'akea switch the orientation.  You know, since most RSVP cards are horizontal.  
The RSVP card up close.

I promise I'll get back to regular blogging soon.  I know you all miss my crazy antics...lol.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 4: Pool time!

After all of the exploring we did and the long bus ride back to the boat from Todo Santos, it was time for some much needed R&R by the pool.

Maybe because I haven't spent much time on a boat or because I live in Hawai'i and it is always warm, I was kind of surprised to find out that it's kind of cold on a boat in the middle of the ocean.  All those music videos on MTV are so deceiving!  Those girls dancing around on a boat in their bikinis are probably freezing their patooties off.  Maybe I'm just weak sauce though...lol.

On this particular day it was rather warm and because we were so close to shore it wasn't as cold.  So I braved it in my bikini.

On our way to the pool deck we caught a few shots of each other with the Land's End Arch in the background.
Cute suit, right?  It was just begging to be worn. :)  
(Thanks Cheynah for getting me bikini ready with all those hardcore workouts.)

*Tangent:  Funny story about my bikini.

Before we left Hawai'i the hubby and I were hanging out on the beach.  All the girls here wear those Brazilian style bikinis.  You know, the ones with the super tiny bottoms.  I've only ever owned a regular bikini, so I thought, since they're all the rage, "I need to get me a cute Brazilian style bikini to take with me on our trip to Mexico."  Thus I called up La'akea's Aunt, Louisa, who is the owner/designer of Honey Girl Waterwear (Which are the best swimsuits that were ever made!  She even makes suits for little girls.  So now Mommy and daughter can be all matchy-matchy, even at the beach.  So cute!), to help me pick out a cute Brazilian bikini from her new line.

After trying on numerous styles we decided that we liked the one pictured above the best.  (If you must know, I am wearing the Tahiti Reversible Triangle top and the Moorea Reversible Teeny Tie Brazilian bottom.  The print on one side is solid black, as shown, and the other side is a black and white Hawaiian print.)  I totally love it, by the way!  If you don't own a Honey Girl suit you need to go out and buy one, pronto!  You won't regret your purchase, I guarantee it!

I tested it out at the beach here in Hawai'i and it passed my "Can I wear this out without feeling totally exposed?" test.  I mean no one shouted, "Hey put some clothes on!" or shielded their child's eyes from my slightly cheek bearing bikini bottomed self.  So I figured I was good to go and threw it into my suitcase.

I was super excited to wear it and donned it on this warm sunny day.  We got up to the pool deck and I took off my cover-up revealing my cheeky bikini, feeling pretty chic and on trend.  I stretched out on the beach chair and took a look around.  Low and behold I was the only one in a Brazilian style bikini!

I didn't even think that the Brazilian bikini trend didn't hit the mainland yet.  Oops...lol.

None the less, I rocked the bikini and even got a few compliments on it!  I guess girls in the mainland will be purchasing their own Brazilian style bikinis this summer.

The hubby hoping to soak up some rays.

Relaxing by the pool was the perfect way to end the day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 4: Strike a pose...

The town was somewhat small and we had seen a lot of it while on the guided walking tour earlier in the day, so we busied ourselves by taking pictures.  Or I did at least...La'akea was too busy being forced to be my muse...lol.

The Hotel California had this awesome hallway right outside of the restaurant and I couldn't help but take a shot or two of my hubby lazing around.

These next two are, by far, my favorite shots of La'akea...well at least of ones that I have taken.
The lighting was just perfect!  He was standing there talking to me and I shouted "Don't move!"  I love it when things happen like that. 

Ford Models eat your heart out!

Day 4: Welcome to the Hotel California

"Welcome to the Hotel California...such a lovely place, such a lovely place.  Such a lovely face..."

Okay now that I got that out of my system...

Speaking honestly, the Hotel California was a bit too touristy for me.  It was fun, but nothing about it said traditional Mexico to me.  Not to mention that they played "Hotel California" by the Eagles on repeat...lol.

La'akea and I awaiting our meal.  Thanks to the couple from Japan (I know!  Of all places, right?!?) for taking this one of us. 

Although the food was Mexican and handmade, it was just okay.  Especially when compared to the Mexican masterpiece that we indulged in the day before!
Dig in hun...because I didn't pack any snacks in my bag...lol.

Every where we went people would try to draw you in with "Mucho clean baƱos.  You come in to my store, okay?"  I love a clean bathroom, but it was getting a little ridiculous...lol.
Can you tell which one is the womens and which is the mens?  Lol...yes, the man did have man junk exposed.  Though the plant did a great job hiding it...lol.

After lunch we had some time to explore on our own.  So off we went...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wine about it!

**Okay, so I totally got called on not posting this sooner.  I know, I'm a loser...lol.  No excuse for not posting this on time, besides just being lazy.  So Jordan this one's for you, kid!

Our wine is finally ready!  And it's time to party!  Well, sort of.  We called it a party and provided food so that people would come and help us bottle it.  Pretty smart, eh?

Okay, so it was Greg's (The owner of Oeno Winemaking) idea...lol.  Still it worked out pretty nicely.  Everyone had fun bottling and drinking wine.  Not to mention munching on the freshly hand-made by yours truely pizzas.

Zac, Storm, Jordan, and La'akea digging in before getting to work.
 The spread.  Pepperoni and roasted garlic pizza and prosciutto and arugula pizza.  With a glass of wine, delish!
*Secret confession:  I was slightly obsessed with making pizza at this time.  I made pizza after pizza a few weekends before this party to get it just right.  I'm a dork, this I already know.  The result of my crazy massive pizza making weekends, a damn tasty authentic Italian style pizza...lol.
 (I can share the pizza recipe if you all would like.  Just hit me up with a comment to and I'll put it on my list of posts to write.)

Wine bottling 101:

Step 1: Fill the bottles with wine up to the bottle neck. 
*Note: Go slow or risk getting wine on your clothes, or worse, spilling it all over the floor.  Wasted wine = Sad Christmas.

All of the men felt like this was a very manly man job to do and took it upon themselves to take on the task.

 Speaking of men at work.  I had to take a picture.  It's a rarity that none of us women had to jump in to rescue someone from either getting injured, dirty, or otherwise making a mess.  Hehehe...it had to be said, but I mean it in the most loving way.

Who am I to stand in the way of men wanting to work?

Shh...just don't tell them that I didn't really want to do that job anyways...lol.
 Adam filling bottles.
 The hubby hard at work.
 The key is to make it look like you really know what you are doing.
 Jenna keeping an eye on things for me at the bottle filling station.

Step 2: Top off the bottles with just a bit more wine so as not to leave too much air between the cork and the wine itself.
You can see La'akea in the background topping off bottles.

Step 3: Put a cork in it!
 That, my friends, is a corking machine.  It looks pretty scary, but is quite easy to use.  Just be sure to keep your fingers out of the way.
Jordan jumped in there to prove that girls can do it too!
When it's all corked you should be left with this product, as modeled by the lovely Jordan.

Step 4: Apply the plastic cork wrapper.
For all you crafters out there, it's kind of like using shrink wrap.  You place the plastic tubing over the top of the bottle.  Heat it with a heat gun, being sure to turn it every now and then, until it shrinks to the form of the bottle.
By the way, Storm was the master at this.  Everyone else who tried ended up having theirs redone by him because theirs came out all bubbly.  I like your perfectionist ways, Storm!

Step 5: Slap a label on it and be done!
 This turned out to be my department.  What can I say?  I have mad label placing skills.
 Look at all those labels that I needed to place on.  Guess who had the team on her back?  Me, that's who.  Lol...just kidding guys!
 The A-team over there.  Best label putter-oner and best shrinky-dinkinker.  Oh yeah!

Step 6: Drink and be merry!
Our finished bottle.  Isn't it pretty?
Post bottling.  We seem to look a lot happier now...lol.  

Thanks to everyone who helped us bottle and partake in the festivities.  Special thanks to Greg and the Oeno crew for the awesome brewing experience.  We had a blast!