playing tourist: at the Hollywood Bowl


Last weekend I went to the Hollywood Bowl on a mother-daughter date with another friend & her daughters. It was the annual Sound of Music Sing-a-long, where the audience watches the classic Sound of Music movie as the words to the songs appear on a ginormous screen. People brought poppers for on-screen kisses, flashlights for when the Nazi’s were looking for the Von Trapp family, and took out their lighters phones for the love songs.  Set in the hills of Hollywood, the outdoor amphitheater is in full sight of the infamous Hollywood sign (visible during the day, I promise). I spent many a summer night here growing up, for shows and orchestra concerts by John Williams or the LA Philharmonic. I love the closing Fireworks show towards the end of the summer, and of course the fourth of July celebrations. It is here that I grew to love classical music.

Please tell me that if you live in the LA area, or have been to LA, that you have gone to a concert here before! If you’re not into classical music, there are plenty of weekends where there are shows like the Blue Man Group, Earth Wind and Fire, Vampire Weekend etc.

You need to go!


It’s a summertime celebration, so check their website for the 2014 summer schedule!

hugs, hanalei

PS-Two things: parking ($20) is stacked, so you’ll be stuck there for at least an hour, unless you pay $45 for Valet parking (which we did, & we were in and out of there in minutes!) or catch the shuttle. Also: DO NOT bring your trusty DSLR camera! They will make you check it in or return it to your car. You can get away with a point-and-shoot camera or your cell.

Catching Autumn, a poem


The tree outside my window once had many bright green leaves,

Then yellow, orange, red they fall til’ bare, it’s branches grieve.

Though wind and frost and season’s change will take it’s colored ends,

The sturdy tree stands still and tall, just waiting for the mends

That come with Spring, which follows cold–that wintry, darkened season;

When leaves and color come again, and bring back all the reason

For this lonely tree, when all is gone, and winter takes it’s light,

 To hope for what it knows will come, but is not within sight.

Hold on to hope, it’s all we have to get us through the cold,

For Autumn leaves will soon bring Spring if hope is what we hold.

I wrote this poem in college when I was living in northern Utah, a place which truly celebrates all four seasons. If I could live my whole life in those fleeting weeks when summer ends and winter has not yet struck, I would be elated.

I remember looking out my bedroom window at a beautiful, grand tree who’d scattered the grassy hill with it’s yellow, orange, then red leaves. I was terribly sad that such a golden season, so short lived, was already ending. Even more sad was I of the endless winter that inevitably brought chill and snow, short days and dark nights. Hope of Spring always got me through those wintry days. Now I live in a place that only has two seasons: hot summer and cold summer; how I miss that beautiful, grand tree who caught the colors of Autumn and left them by my window.

Photo: Alpine, Utah by Ivan Ho (my talented brother)

PS- find my other poem here

eat: home grown tomato sandwiches & have a fabulous weekend


My mom has these gorgeous tomatoes from her little tomato garden that I have been literally devouring. See how much flesh and meat is on that tomato?? Normal store bought ones are full of water and seeds when you cut them open, never mind not having any flavor. If you do not know someone who grows tomatoes, I highly recommend you grow some of your own. I have been eating so many tomato sandwiches (always open face), have you ever had one?

foggydress_avo^^ These are from Ventura ^^

Here’s how I make my homegrown tomato sandwiches:

  • whole wheat bread from Costco, toasted sometimes
  • pesto mayo spread on one slice of bread
  • when we get avocados for free (see above) we like to add that on, too
  • a big, thick slice of a meaty, fragrant, home grown tomato
  • a sprinkling of salt & pepper

Try it!

What are your plans this weekend? We are entertaining more family, and celebrating 中秋節 Mid Autumn Festival with moon cakes and moon gazing. Also, an earthquake woke us up at 5 am yesterday, it was kinda scary!

Thanks for reading this really random post…and have a great weekend!

Playing Tourist: in Ventura, Ca

foggydress_ventura LA is a big, fast paced city, Santa Barbara is a small, filled-with-tourists city, but sandwiched in between is the cozy beach town of Ventura. My husband spent half his life here, so we have all our favorite places down when we go back. We were there with family this weekend, so of course we went to some of our favorite places….

foggydress_ventura^^ Andria’s at Ventura Harbor & the beach.




foggydress_venturaWe always get Andria’s classic fish & chips.

Fresh caught white fish, it’s the plumpest, juiciest fish, fried on a bed of “chips”. Squeeze fresh lemon on that and you’ll think you’re in heaven!




foggydress_ventura Then walk around Ventura Harbor, and take in the sailboats and bougainvilleas at every turn.


foggydress_ventura I would make a scary blonde! ^^




foggydress_ventura^^ You can rent paddle boats or kayaks ^^ (all sorts of boats; see above) and cruise around the harbor.

foggydress_ventura THEN cross the street and you’re at the beach…




foggydress_ventura AKG and his momma ^^


foggydress_ventura THe most beautiful flock of pelicans decided to fly by in a most organized, seemingly endless string.



foggydress_ventura Next time you come to LA, it’s worth the hour drive to stop by this beach town that still has orchards and fields of fresh fruits, fresh caught fish, and a breath of fresh air (literally).

hugs, hanalei.

Hello weekend


You guys, I just love fitness classes. It gets me out the door at different times of the day and makes me work my but off! The only class I’m still iffy about is my yoga class. Granted, I’ve only gone once since getting my gym membership a few weeks ago…but this teacher was sort of yelling at us. In a gentle-pushy-voice-sort-of-way. Like, “Reach, reach, reach, reeeaacchhh! You’re not reaching! You gotta reach!” I was thinking in my head, “What do you think we’re all doing!?” I just didn’t feel relaxed, and at the end of class I was ready to go. I think I’ll try a different teacher next week.

Have a great weekend! We’ll be spending ours with family and my cute baby nephew.

PS–My friend recommended a great app that you’re probably all using already…tracks your periods and ovulation, and other stuff. Just in case you wanted to track that sort of thing… (also find it on itunes)