My husband and I LOVE finding really cheap activities to do with our daughters. And if the activity is FREE? Well, that’s even better.

This past Saturday we met up with family at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden to do some bamboo fishing. Poles can be borrowed from the visitor center at no cost as long as you return them. You do, however, need to provide your own non-live bait.

It’s about a 15-20 minute walk from the visitors center to the lake. Not extremely strenuous but there are some hills. I recommend wearing covered shoes.

Some other things you might want to consider bringing: Sunscreen, insect repellent, a blanket or foldable chairs, an umbrella, water, food, hand sanitizer, and a small trash bag. There isn’t a bathroom right by the lake so be sure to go before you leave the visitors center.

Our girls had tons of fun. They actually caught quite a bit, but refused to touch the fish so my husband had to unhook and release them. Just in case you were wondering, I caught zero fish.

Here’s a little video* from our fishing adventure.

Ho`omaluhia Botanical Garden
45-680 Luluku Road Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744 | 808.233.7323 |
FREE Family Fishing on Saturdays & Sundays 10am-2pm 

Photos and video by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili

*Available in 720p HD

Bonjour mes amis!

You know when you get crazy ideas and they seem crazy because you’ve never done something like it before and you’re unsure and terrified but also a little bit excited to start something you’ve always wanted to do?

Yeah. That’s me right now. I have the unbelievably crazy urge to write a children’s book. Which seems ludicrous because I have zero experience in writing a book, I have no illustration skills whatsoever, and I know absolutely nothing about publishing one (nor do I actually have the money to do so).

Do I have an inkling of what I would want to write about? Well, sort of. At the moment I’m thinking about pairing poems or very, very short stories with fun, whimsical illustrations.

I know. I’m crazy.

So, how about you? What’s your latest crazy (but I’m sure attainable if you work your butt off) idea?

Much love, bacon, and sprinkles,
♥ Arbine

Photos by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili


1. Finding a children’s book that is relevant to my own life.

2. Looking up airfare to Europe and seeing that it’s actually gone down to slightly less than $1500 per person.

3. Disneybounding as Anna.

4. The Doctor Who episode Robot of Sherwood. LOVED IT!

5. Attempting to be brave.

To get in on all the gratitude giving fun, visit Grace in Small Things

Photo by Marcus Hoapili

A couple of Saturdays ago, after a trip to the zoo, my family and I popped over to the Okinawan Festival that was happening at Kapiolani Park. We didn’t get to see any performances or play any games but we did get to eat some of the delicious food. In order to get food, you first had to purchase scrips. It was $10 for a page of 20 scrips.

Champuru $9.00
This dish of stir fried cabbage and tofu served with shoyu pork and rice took a while to get but it was definitely worth the wait. The sweet white miso combined with the salty, vinegary pork and the slight crunch from the cabbage made my taste buds very happy.

Yakisoba (bought by our friend)
Yes, it’s basically just noodles. But really good noodles. I liked the slight chewiness of it and the pieces of luncheon meat sprinkled throughout.

Oki Dog $8.50
I had read about this on one of my favorite blogs. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but holy moly. The tortilla wrapped chili dog with shoyu pork and cabbage is one of the weirdest but tastiest combinations of foods I’ve ever had.

Shave Ice $3.00 ($3.50 with condensed milk)
Our friend gave us some of his leftover scrips so we decided to get a couple of ice cold treats. It wasn’t the greatest shave ice but definitely a welcome respite from the ridiculously insane hot weather that day.

Some things of note:

1. If you plan to attend the Okinawan Festival in the future, I highly recommend either getting there SUPER EARLY (parking was ridiculous!) or parking at KCC and catching the shuttle down ($2/person).
2. Bring a blanket, mat, or chairs to sit on.
3. Lines for the food were crazy long when we went, but it was also just before noon, peak lunch time. Go early if you don’t want to wait.

Other than that, if you’ve never gone, you should totally attend next year’s Okinawan Festival.

You may just see me there with an Oki dog or two in hand.

To learn more about the Okinawan Festival, check out their website.

Photos by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili and Marcus Hoapili


September 5, 2014 // Not-so-random Thoughts

Bonjour mes amis!

I’m not a huge fan of surprise parties (for me) but there are some surprises I adore. Like seeing my favorite Aunt, who doesn’t make it to Hawaii every Christmas. Or getting donuts just because. No special occasion required.

I would love to one day hear someone tell me, “I’ve packed your bags and passport. We’re going somewhere.” Everything is all planned. House and dog sitter set up.

How about you? Do you like surprises? What was your favorite surprise?

And since I haven’t done this in a while, here are three things to do this weekend:

1. Dance. Dance. Then dance some more.
2. Write a haiku.
3. Give someone a high five.

Much love, bacon, and sprinkles,

Photo by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili

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