Friday, February 8, 2013

Mom and Dad's Visit - Part II (The Birthdays)

My Mom and I celebrate our birthdays just 6 days (and many years) apart from one another, which is either really convenient or very irritating for my Dad. In 2011 Mom and Dad were here for the occasion and this year we were able to celebrate and enjoy warm weather birthdays again! Shaking up the previously relaxing visit to Hawaii, we went out on the town for Mom's birthday.

We began Carol's extravaganza with pau hana (happy hour) drinks at a downtown Honolulu favorite of mine: Brasserie Du Vin. It's an adorable little French restaurant with the most picturesque outdoor seating area. Their baked brie is so good it should be illegal! We didn't indulge in any food during our visit, just many drinks and a few creative photo opportunities. Cheers! 

Great job on the photo, Darren! - in the mirror at Du Vin

After a very brief walk we slowed down for dinner at another downtown favorite: Indigo

[Some background on my relationship with Indigo - Once upon a time in 2008, after moving to Honolulu with my college roomie just 3 days after graduating, she and I had a standing Friday date at Indigo at 5:10 pm. Our former late-night frat house and college bar adventures running stumbling freely in 3" stilettos until the sun came up quickly turned into happy hours spent drinking $4 martinis while wearing Banana Republic and getting tipsy before the sun even set for the day! It was our absolute favorite bar and my parents made their first trip to Indigo no later than 30 hours after first landing in Hawaii for an irresistible $4 martini special. Mom was hooked, too, and we've been back together many times over the years.]

We'd never eaten a true meal at Indigo and gave it a try, with a side of martinis of course! The dinner was less than memorable, although the hilarious conversations and laughs we shared at dinner won't soon be forgotten! On a Wednesday night the restaurant's dining room was filled with quiet, intimate, first-date-like customers. We were a group of 5 who'd already had a few cocktails and we certainly had a great time there at the expense of everyone else! [It's best to admit it, right?!] We ate, drank, laughed, and continued to beat the gong (literally) inside the restaurant far after the birthday ended :)

Happy Birthday Mom! Can anyone spot the hammer used for beating the gong??

The visit included a few activities, aside from eating, that deserve to be mentioned:

Cheering for Penn State men's volleyball team at the Outrigger Invitational Tournament!

Visiting me at work at the Battleship Missouri... 

...and even venturing into my office. 

Now see if you can spot the favor from my foodie bridal shower!

Hiking the pillboxes - just Mom and I. This is also where Bryce and I got engaged!

Relaxing at our favorite beach, Lani Kai.

On their very last night in town we ventured just down the street to JJ's French Pastry. It's just half of the distance from my house as 12th Ave. Grill. Similar to the meal at Indigo this one was just OK. The best part was the dessert!

Although none of us had been to the restaurant previously, Bryce and I had experienced these beautiful and scrumptious desserts before when they were brought to a dinner at our apartment. JJ's is famous for its Chocolate Pyramid.

Seriously beautiful sweets and so, so many to choose from.

This one is green tea!

All of our meals came with a tiny creme brulee and 1 dessert and this was my selection - Raspberry Pistachio Tart.

The Chocolate Lilikoi was going to be my runner up.

JJ's is a BYOB restaurant and there's a wine store right across the street! Now that's convenience.


Mom went for the fruit basket, the most beautiful of them all! The creme brulee is tiny but yummy.

My dessert was the last to arrive at the table and I should have known something was going on! This is how it arrived. I've always wanted a memo on my dessert plate!

The whole entire restaurant was looking at and singing to me! Good times :)

Clearly I HATED it.

It was a wonderful last meal to bring my parents visit to a close. Here's one last photo of us smiling prior to our shameless cry-fest at home!

Happy Birthdays they were!

Now we get back to eating at home, saving $$ for the next trip, and planning where to eat during the next visit.

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