Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Catch up with Central Oahu

What do you get when you take a 4 year old on a Central Oahu quest to 5 different Starbucks locations? Hours of seemingly endless entertainment, 3 trips to the potty, company for Malia in the backseat, someone to bus our empties to the trashcan, an assortment of interesting photographs, and confirmation that even a preschooler can shoot pictures better than my husband. (Sorry Rob.)

Meet Larisa's son, Gabriel - our special guest for today's tour of all Starbucks stores within 8 miles of Larisa's home. He's a whiz at designing architectural structures of Tinker Toys and Legos and can produce a masterpiece with paint on canvas like a pro, so naturally we decided this gifted little guy was the best choice to serve as official photographer for our caffeinated crew. The fact that he was willing to work for the bargain rate of one Penguin Cookie and a Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwich was a bonus.

Gabe thought we were crazy for taking in so many Starbucks stops in a day, but he was still such a good sport and did an excellent job with the photos. Take a look at this one taken by Gabe at the Mililani Shopping Center Starbucks. I'm not sure any of us could've taken a shot like this if we tried. (Good job Gabe!)

We decided that we had some serious catch up work to do because it'd been almost two weeks since the last time the three of us were able to get together for Starbucks. Make no mistake...we've all been frequenting our favorite java joint since the last post. We just haven't been able to get the three musketeers together at one location at the same time until now.

With Larisa as our driver, the adventure continues with a stop at Schofield Barracks. Our friends at the Main Street Expresso (store name on the receipt) were giving out coffee crumb cake samples. Yum! Larisa also made an interesting discovery we hadn't seen anywhere else yet - Hanukkah Starbucks merchandise. And to answer your question, yes, the 4 year old took this picture. Like I said, the kid's got talent.

For this visit:

Our Baristas: Sarah, Crystal, & Joanne

Our Drinks:

  • Malia: Tall, Nonfat, Decaf, Foam, No Whip, White Chocolate Mocha
  • Larisa: Tall Hot Cocoa
  • Mai: Tall Toffee Nut Latte
  • Gabe (our photographer): Water

Other:

  • Larisa: 2 Penguin Cookies to share
  • Mai: a Coffee Crumb Cake to share (but she didn't)
  • Gabe: some trail mix from Mom's purse (is outside food allowed?)

On to Mililani Shopping Center - site of Gabe's awesome photo shared earlier in this post. We realize at this point that we're going to have to pace ourselves if we want to actually enjoy each of these 5 visits. We'll stick to just drinks at this one. Gabe's getting hungry, so we'll have lunch at the next stop.

For this visit:

Our Baristas: Addison & Jen

Our Drinks:

  • Larisa: Tall, Sweetened Black Iced Tea Lemonade
  • Malia: Grande, Sweetened Black Iced Tea Lemonade
  • Mai: Venti, Sweetened Black Iced Tea Lemonade
  • Gabe: Nada, he's content playing with my camera

What seems like footsteps away, we're at Mililani Towne Center, where we discover that making delicious coffee drinks is not the only talent 0f a Starbucks barista. It turns out that the Daily Offerings and other special signs we admire each day are created by the staff. If there was a contest for this, my vote would be for this one by Kris.

For this visit:

Our Baristas: Cat with a C & Kris with a K

Our Drinks:

  • Larisa, Malia, & Gabe opted to pass on having any drinks here in order to have room for lunch.
  • Mai was still carrying her drink from the last Starbucks stop. (Is it still considered outside food or drink if it comes from another Starbucks?)

Other:

  • Larisa: Chicken Cheddar Club with Bacon Sandwich
  • Malia: Veggie Wrap
  • Mai: Chinese-Style Chicken Sandwich with Side Salad
  • Gabe: Nada, he's holding out for a Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwich, which were sold out here
Mahalo to Kris for coming out to take our photo!

Then we make our way over to Waikele. Our team bookworm, Larisa, loves the Borders locations. To complete this visit, we wandered in to find Malia additions to her Warren Kimble collection (something that probably deserves a blog of its own) and ended up finding Larisa a book she didn't already have (shock!) - How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill. We'll have her share a review when she's done. A life without Starbucks is hard to imagine.

For this visit:

Our Baristas: Ke'ala, Leigh Ann, and Jason

Our Drinks:

  • Larisa: Ethos Bottled Water
  • Malia: None, she's just having dessert
  • Mai: Tall, Sweetened Black Iced Tea
  • Gabe: None, they've got his sandwich though
Other:

  • Larisa: Mint Chocolate Brownie
  • Malia: Fresh Banana and Strawberry Yogurt Parfait
  • Gabe: Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwich (finally!)
The final, and probably our favorite, stop for the Central Oahu Starbucks cluster was a trip through the Waipio Starbucks Drive Thru. Here we met the self proclaimed "best baristas" on the island of Oahu. These guys were the perfect way to end our excursion for the day, and they didn't have any problem with us taking their picture. They also shared a drink suggestion that we will be sure to try in the near future: Venti, Iced, White Chocolate Mocha with two pumps Almond. Thanks guys!


For this visit:

Our Baristas: Rubin & Josh

Our Drinks:

  • Larisa: Tall, Iced, Nonfat, Stirred Caramel Macchiato
  • Malia & Mai: Tall Java Chip Frappuccinos

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