Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hills and Island Snow!

Today I intended to have a relaxing afternoon at Kailua Beach. I did not, however, take into account that it is the week between the holidays, when everyone who is going to vacation in Hawaii ever descends upon the beaches, and that the first family is vacationing in Kailua itself, and that I have very little tolerance for crowded beaches. So I ate my lunch there briefly and headed out on my bike! More hills today than any prior bike ride, which was lovely. Not anything crazy, but probably a good reminder for my legs for the Presidio when I get home.

 I think we might be able to kayak to these...

I stood in line at the Obamas' preferred shave ice location, Island Snow. This one is lilikoi and coconut. There is a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom, which I thought sounded interesting even though the president apparently does not take his shave ice with ice cream. I think there are some other famous shave ice locations I could check out, though I'm currently feeling more interested in breadth than depth in my dessert exploration...

Monday, December 28, 2015

Another ride, another dessert

You all may be tiring of this now repeating plot line, but I'm certainly not done yet. I covered another large chunk of the windward side of the island on my bike today, and stopped for another dessert.

Team Menstrual Cycles take Oahu! (And some weird post-call+helmet hair...)

One of the larger and permanent farm stands offered a half papaya with passion fruit sorbet. It was the perfect mid-ride snack.

 The mountains are hard to photograph with my phone, but loom somehow larger and greener on the windward side. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Biking Oahu

I've been working on biking all the way around the island in little segments. Since there aren't a lot of roads further inland to make loops, I just bike half the distance I want to go, and then turn around and bike back. So far, these are the rides I've done:

The longest was today, along the leeward side of the island between Kapolei and Ka'ena Point. It was lovely! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Snow for the holidays

On Sunday I was again post-call and had quite an adventure. I had slept quite a bit on call the night before so elected to go directly to the North Shore for another bike ride. I'm sort of trying to bike around the entire circumference of the island before Lynn arrives. I've been making decent headway!

To start, I saw my first Hawaiian rainbows. They made the gas station I was at seem much more scenic and lovely.

Then I rode my bike from Waialua to Ka'ena Point, stopping at a few scenic places along the way.  

 On my way back, I took a little side trip onto a road that was recommended by Midwife Mary. She said, and I quote, "It is a nice paved road that goes up into the hills and has beautiful views. You just go into a gate that is across from the polo fields and before you get to the airfield." I followed her instructions to the letter, but somehow ended up here, on my road bike. This photo was taken in the middle of a nature reserve that, although lovely, contained locusts that I initially thought were birds because they were so large. I will be follow-up up with Midwife Mary regarding her recommendation. I don't know where I went wrong. 

Once I had recovered from the locusts and the dirt road, I went into Haleiwa for some food. I went to Giovanni's Shrimp Truck which proved as delicious as the reviews promised. Then I noticed that there was a truck called the Snow Factory right next door. Now, I had tried shave ice, which is basically just a sno-cone, and although delicious at the end of a totally unshaded hike is not a life-changing event. I had also heard that "island snow" was a concoction consisting of a scoop of soft serve underneath a snow cone, mostly in the news due to President Obama's dedication to the dessert, though he apparently doesn't like the ice cream and prefers just the shave ice. I was curious about this truck, and learned that they make finely shaved milk-based shave ice that is not only beautiful but delicious, and is served with toppings that include mochi balls and weird gelatin-encased juice droplets. This is my mango-passion fruit flavored bowl, and a picture of the fluffy inside. This was amazing. So amazing that a little friend tried to join my snack time. 

I may have overdone it a bit, and did nothing with my post-call day today because I was exhausted. There are worse things. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A theme is established: desserts

This is actually about an event that occurred INSIDE the hospital, rather than on a post-call day. The OR staff had a lovely holiday potluck, and it included beautiful rice flour doughnuts made by someone's dear grandfather. They are a Filipino fried dessert called cascarons, not to be confused with cascarones which are egg shells with confetti in them.

So delicious. 

More to come about today's post-call adventures, which included beaches, mountains, plantations of various things, and locusts. Also shrimp, a small green lizard, and island snow.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Am I ever anything except post-call?

Obviously, yes, as the only way I am post-call is by being on call many days, and 1/3 of my days are neither call or post-call days, but somehow being post-call feels like it happens more often. My last post-call day was spent at the DMV registering my bicycle and then hiking. The DMV was actually quite straightforward, and my bike is now legally mine in the City and County of Honolulu. The hiking was even better. I went up to Manoa, the suburb where the University of Hawaii undergraduate campus is located, and hiked to the waterfall. Then I went a little bit past the waterfall (to the tree in the last photo) before I realized that I was exhausted and needed to get home and sleep a bit.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

More post-call days

It turns out that taking q3 call means that I have a lot of post-call days. I know that some of you will be thinking about how coddled current residents are, not working even more the day after being on call, but I'm okay with that level of gentle accommodation, because I'm pretty destroyed at the end of a 24 hour call during which I sleep less than an hour and no one could possibly want to receive medical care from me at that point. I've slept (a lot) less on my last few calls, but my adventures have still been beautiful, if slightly abbreviated due to occurring post-nap.

 I drove to Makapuu Lighthouse a few days ago and en route stopped and saw this.

 Then climbed up past the lighthouse for this view.

 And today I biked up the windward side of the island.  

Apparently Walter was walking in the rain yesterday, so after biking the last five miles today in a torrential downpour, we were similarly soaked and muddy...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The North Shore and a flat tire

On Tuesday I got to leave the hospital a little bit early because I'm taking a lot of call this week. At the recommendation of my morning OR attending, I headed up to the North Shore. I learned that this is where fancy professionals come to surf, and that even swimming here is a poor choice if you are not prepared for the terrifying currents and 20-foot waves.

At the recommendation of the good Dr. Isquick, I started my visit at Banzai Sushi. I had some poke which was delicious, and then noticed the dessert menu. They offered a tempura banana with coconut ice cream that I could not turn down. It was amazing. I did not take a photo because I didn't pause long enough before eating it...

Then I drove a little way up the road, parked my car, and hopped on my bike! I headed up Kamehameha Hwy to Turtle Bay, and then turned around and biked back. There was a little rain, during which times I stopped under trees, but it was a lovely ride. A flat tire put a bit of a damper on the end of my ride, but I made it back to the car and headed to a bike shop for some tuning up.

Monday, December 07, 2015


I rested enough overnight last night that I had energy to do some things this morning! I'll probably need a nap, but the sprinkling of hours over the night seems to have been just enough.

First, I celebrated the first day of Hannukah. (Traditionally the nights are celebrated, I know, but I am neither Jewish nor was I available yesterday evening, so cut me some slack. This was mostly an excuse for doughnuts.)

I celebrated with a passion-fruit-flavored, custard-filled malasada (Portuguese doughnut) from Leonard's. There are apparently several places to get malasadas in Honolulu, but this one was open and I had a delicious breakfast post-call. Happy Hannukah!

Then I decided to bike around Pearl Harbor since it is December 7. There is a rails-to-trails path around much of the harbor, so that's what I did. There are some nice views of the boats, but mostly it is a kind of stinky path. There are a very large number of tent cities along it, and Google subsequently directed me to ride my bike onto a highway in order to access another beach, which I did not do but only barely missed, so it was an exciting morning. 

These ships are in a NavSea Inactive Ships On-Site Maintenance Facility in Pearl Harbor. They are gigantic, though my views were limited by the various and sundry fences and restricted access roads. 

Here I am sporting my Menstrual Cycles jersey in Hawaii. You can see another boat in the background.

The other nice thing I can say about the Pearl Harbor Bike Trail is that it included some plumeria trees. They smell lovely, though they could not compete with the swampy smell of the rest of the trail.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The photos from the top

I realized that I didn't share any of the victory photos yesterday - the ones I took at the end of the hike or the end of the bike ride... See below.

 The view from Koko Head

 The back of my rental car, ready for anything. Catalog includes: bike, cycling shoes, bike lights, bike pump, walking shoes, swim suit, towel, clean clothes. 

The beach where I ended my bike ride

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Koko Head and a bike

Today was my first scheduled, non-post-call day off. I did a lot with it. First I hiked up Koko Head.

 You may not be able to read the sign, but it says that there is a shooting range right next to the path. 

 This is what I would describe a short, but steep hike.

 I bought a bike on Craigslist! And it's great. 

This is what rest-stops on the side of the road look like. 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Diamond Head

Yesterday I was post-call and went and hiked around Diamond Head. Here are a few highlights:

 Sweaty and windswept

Honolulu from the top

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

December in Hawaii

Just when you thought this site was dead forever, I moved (temporarily) to Hawaii and realized that it would be a reasonably efficient way to post pictures that most of you could see on Facebook, and that those without Facebook access could also see. Don't count on a lot of text...

Day #0: Poke from the grocery store

Day #1: Good morning Hawaii, oh, and it turns out it rains here in the winter

Day #1: The view from the parking garage at the hospital