You all know that I love to eat. So it should come as no surprise that I believe a great way to explore any city is through its food. You can learn so much about an area and its people this way.

Whenever I travel I’m always on the lookout for different food places to try. Sometimes I look on review sites. Other times I ask for advice via social media.

For the most part, the places I’m most inclined to try have to:
1) Not be a big chain (of course there are exceptions*)
2) Be affordable
3) Be family friendly

About a twenty minute drive from the Waikoloa Resort area of the Big Island in the town of Kawaihae, Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. is a fairly new sweet treat truck that meets all three of these criteria.

As the name would suggest, they sell shave ice. They have the standard shave ice ($3.75), which is made up of finely shaved ice topped with different flavored syrups. You can get these with a variety of ice creams ($1.00 extra), including ube (purple sweet potato) and haupia (coconut cream) or a multitude of toppings like azuki beans, condensed cream, or fresh mochi balls (75¢ each).

Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. also offers specials ($6.00). These specials include shave ice with ice cream and a variety of other toppings. They have a chocolate sundae, strawberry sundae, and halo halo special. Of course, I had to try the halo halo one.

It was soooo good. I’m such a sucker for anything that has ube ice cream. Pair that with the flavors of a traditional halo halo (lots of coconut goodness) and it’s a total winner for me.

Although our experience at Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. was a favorable one, there are some things to be aware of:

1) The line can get REALLY LONG. I think we just went at a bad time. It was late afternoon on a Saturday, right after people were finishing up trips to the beach. We had to wait about half an hour to place our order and get our shave ice.

2) There is little to no shade while you wait.

3) There are no tables or chairs. Most people ate standing up or sat near their cars.

So, if you’re ever in the Kawaihae area and in need of an icy cold sweet treat, head on over to Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. The tasty and very generous portions definitely make the wait worth it.

Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc.
61-3616 Kawaihae Rd Kawaihae, Hawaii 96743 (in the Blue Dragon Restaurant parking lot)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:00am-5:30pm; Sunday 1:30pm-5:30pm
Cash only
Like Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. on Facebook

Photos by Marcus Hoapili

*If there is an In-N-Out Burger in the immediate area, I’ll probably stop by at least once. Because it’s good and we don’t have one in Hawaii. 

Bonjour mes amis!

What have you all been up to? Are you getting your geek on at SDCC? If so, I’m totally jealous.

This week has been kind of up and down emotionally for me.

On the up side:
My birthday is next week. I like the anticipation leading up to it. I make birthday wish lists. I never get anything from them but they’re fun to create. I also make up scenarios of where I would spend my birthday had I the money.

On top of that list this year:
1. Going to The Happiest Place on Earth and having the whole place to ourselves.
2. Eating my way through Provence.
3. Wandering around London looking for anything related to Doctor Who, Sherlock or Harry Potter.

On the down side:
I had applied for an opportunity to take some coding courses for free. Unfortunately, I was not chosen. I guess I just wasn’t what they were looking for in candidates. I don’t know why this rejection hit me so hard. Probably because I hate failing. Losing out on this opportunity made me feel like a total failure.

*deep breath in, deep breath out*

I hope you all have a rad weekend.

Preferably one that includes glazed donuts.

Much love, bacon, and sprinkles,

Photo by Marcus Hoapili

1. Homemade Spanish rolls.

2. Natasha Bedingfield’s song Weightless.

3. Volunteering at The Joy of Sake and getting to work with Chef Sheldon Simeon. He’s super nice and his food was ridiculously good. If you’re ever on Maui, be sure to check out his restaurant Migrant.

4. Putting together inspired looks with Photoshop. I forgot how much fun it is to create these.

5. There are lots of moments when I feel so frustrated, lost, and completely helpless. That I was just not made to be a parent. Or a wife. And then there are moments when I feel incredibly lucky. Like when my husband is reading a story to our daughters before nap time. I can’t help but smile at my life.

Photo by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili

My husband and I recently celebrated our Ten Year Wedding Anniversary.

I know.



Normally we don’t do anything super special for our anniversary (mostly because we get lazy and we don’t like to spend a lot of money on ourselves), but this year we did things differently. A couple of months ago we celebrated with our daughters at Disneyland. Then on our actual anniversary we decided to eat at The Three Fat Pigs*.

The Three Fat Pigs is a restaurant and gastropub located in the Kings’ Shops in the Waikoloa Resort area of the Big Island (Hawaii). The food combines “classical European techniques with fresh ingredients of the Pacific Rim.”** It is headed by Food Network Star alum Chef Ippy.

We had a reservation for 5pm and were seated right away. Because it was quite early for dinner, we were able to get a table overlooking the lake.

Since we had a eaten a HUGE lunch that day and I knew my belly couldn’t handle a full meal, we decided to get drinks and some charcuterie to share. We settled on Yuzu Marmalade, Manchego Cheese, and Jamón Serrano.

Each choice cost $5 and came with crostini. Every element tasted really good on its own but all together… even better. Salty, sweet, crunchy. Yes.

We also ordered a side of Crispy Pancetta House Potatoes ($5). The first thing my husband said was, “We need to figure out how to make these at home.” I completely agreed. The potatoes were perfectly seasoned and the pancetta chunks were pork perfection. Our only complaint? We wish there was more pancetta in our order.

Oh and we got the Tiramisu with Hazelnut Bacon Whipped Cream (normally costs $11 but they gave it to us for free since we were celebrating our anniversary) to go. No pictures of that because we completely devoured it. So, so good.

Overall, my husband and I both enjoyed The Three Fat Pigs. Next time we hope to go on either a Friday or Saturday night when The Thirsty Wolf Gastropub (located above the restaurant) is open. If you’re ever in the Waikoloa resort area, I definitely recommend giving it a try.

The Three Fat Pigs
250 Waikoloa Beach Drive #C01 Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738 | 808.339.7145
Hours: Lunch Daily 11:00am-5:00pm
Dinner Daily 5:00pm-9:00pm
The Thirsty Wolf Gastropub Friday & Saturday 5:00pm-12:00am
Reservations recommended for lunch and dinner. Walk-ins only for Gastropub.

Photos by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili and Marcus Hoapili 

*This is NOT a sponsored post. 

**Excerpt from The Three Fat Pigs website.


At least once a year (sometimes twice) my family and I visit my husband’s parents at their timeshare in Waikoloa on the Big Island. Although we enjoy hanging out in the pool and participating in various timeshare activities (Zumba, getting free shaved ice), we do like to venture beyond the resort gates. One of our favorite places to head to? Waimea.

A little town with a history rooted in cattle ranching, Waimea is about a 30 minute drive from the Waikoloa resort area. The Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) influence can be seen all around Waimea, including on the stop signs.

There are a ton of great places to visit while in Waimea, but here are some of our favorites.

Mamane Bakery
64-1056 Mamalahoa Hwy Kamuela, HI 96743 | 808.885.7441
Open Monday-Saturday 7:00am-1:30pm; Closed on Sunday

Just down the road from the Parker Ranch Center, Mamane Bakery can help satisfy any sweet tooth. They bake pastries and breads fresh daily. Unfortunately, they were closed on our most recent visit so I wasn’t able to get any pictures of their goodies.

A little note: It can be a bit difficult to find so be sure to keep an eye out for these signs. The driveway that leads up to the bakery is located just before them.

Waimea Park

Across the street from Parker School, Waimea Park has a pretty big play area for the kiddos. There isn’t anything like this near the timeshare, so my daughters are always eager to stop by.

Village Burger
Parker Ranch Center | 67-1185 Mamalahoa Hwy Kamuela, Hawaii 96743 | 808.885.7319
Open Monday-Saturday 10:30am-8:00pm; Sunday 10:30am-6:00pm | menu

They make the best burger I’ve ever had. And I’m not the only one who thinks that these burgers are the bee’s knees. Village Burger has been featured in USA Today and was recently named one of the Top Ten Burger Joints in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.

The burgers are made with pasture raised Hawaiian beef, are topped with fresh, local veggies, and the buns are from Holy’s Bakery in Kapaau. If you’re not a fan of meat, give their hand cut fries with parmesan goop a try. They’re so good you may want to get two orders of them.

So, if you ever find yourself on the west side of the Big Island and are looking for a new place to explore, why not mosey on down to Waimea. You’re almost guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face and a very happy belly.

Photos by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili and Marcus Hoapili

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