Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Day 7: Kadomatsu, shopping, jogging

I spent the morning and early afternoon with Robin, who taught me how to make kadomatsu(sp?).  This is a traditional Japanese token to give friends and family on the new year.  Made of bamboo, pine boughs, rope, and (in the modern age) tape and hot glue, the quest to make kadomatsu began with step 0: chop down a 10+-foot bamboo stalk.  So manly.  We ended up with a total of seven kadomatsu of various sizes, which we would deliver to various family members and friends in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the ladies were shopping.

After everyone had reconvened in the early afternoon, Lauren and I set off on a mission.  Lauren wanted to repeat our accidentally long run from a few days before, but this time she wanted to:
  •  Run 4.1 miles on purpose instead of 3.5 miles accidentally.
  • Start and end the run at Island Snow Shave Ice, vendor of her favorite frozen treat
So, run we did!  We both agreed that 4 miles wasn’t all that much worse than our usual 2, especially when most of the run is alongside the beautiful shore at Lanikai.

Incidentally, Island Snow also received a visit from Obama back in August, and they let their current customers KNOW IT.  The pictures and newspaper clippings posted everywhere allowed us to ORDER what Barack ordered, even to SIT where Barack sat.  Wish I could say we were above such touristy behavior.  Turns out it was pretty fun.

In the evening, Lauren and I went on a nice date, which she planned as a surprise.  We ate in a restaurant perched upstairs in the Ala Moana mall’s Niemen Marcus.  Really delicious bread to start, and my lamb shank was top-notch.  Lauren gave them an A for effort and adventurousness, but said that the flavors in her dish (pork belly with mushrooms and some other goodies) just didn’t quite mesh together correctly.  Oh well!

After dinner, we stopped by the Formaggio restaurant and wine bar for a glass of wine and a bit of live local music.  We closed the place down (at 11 or so, but still), then headed home.