Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Farthest Starbucks

Mahalo goes out to Pua and Brandon Duffield who have been contributing to "the addiction" by bringing me mugs from the far away places they visit. If you keep up with the blog, you will know that Pua contributed the Alaska mug--the farthest (from Hawaii) U.S. mug. Thanks guys! Recently, Pua's husband who serves in the United States Navy, was deployed. Not only was he serving our country, but he brought back two rare Starbucks finds! My "farthest Starbucks mugs" are from Kuala lumpur (in Malaysia for the geographically challenged) and Sabah (Borneo monkey and all). Seeing as how I'll probably never visit either place, I am happy to have these two mugs that sadly Malia and Mai Ly do not have---you're welcome to come over any morning and have a cup of joe out of them!

And so the rivalry continues...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ala Moana with Special Guests

Have I told you how much I love my friends? Our plan for yesterday was to get in at least one more batch of Starbucks visits before Lent because of Malia's decision to give up EVERYTHING Starbucks for Lent. (Don't ask... I know... I still haven't decided whether I'm more amused or annoyed by this idea. Didn't really matter either way. Any excuse to go to Starbucks is good enough for me, and I'm not sure any of the three of us really NEED an excuse anyway, right?) However, what started out as just our ordinary trip to Starbucks...okay three Starbucks...developed into a belated birthday celebration for me complete with red velvet cupcakes from Hokulani Bakery, an amusing gift from Malia (haha...very funny), and special guests from out of town...Jayme, Jayme's mom, and the absolutely adorable baby Solomon! What fun!!!!


We all met up at the Sears - Ala Moana Starbucks first.

For this visit:

Our baristas: Matt & Mike

Our drinks:

  • Malia: Tall Caramel Apple Spice
  • Larisa: Tall Black Iced Tea Lemonade Sweetened
  • Mai: Grande Black Iced Tea Lemonade Sweetened
  • Gabe: Water
  • Jayme & Her Mom: Shared a Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte
Other:

  • Jayme & Her Mom shared a Blueberry Coffee Cake
  • The rest of us enjoyed the cupcakes...guess outside food's okay


What's the matter Gabe?

Then we strolled down to the Barnes & Noble Starbucks located in the center of Ala Moana where decided to stay and have lunch.

For this visit:

Our baristas: Jayme says Joe and Schmo (we forgot to ask)

Our drinks:

  • Malia: Nada...she's bumming because they don't have the full Starbucks drink menu
  • Larisa: Water
  • Mai: Grande Iced Vanilla Latte
  • Jayme: Venti Decaf Coffee w/ cream and raw sugar
  • Jayme's Mom: Water
Other:

  • Malia: Crispy Treat Square
  • Larisa: Lemon Blueberry Cupcake and a Turkey and Cheese Panini
  • Mai: Italian Sandwich
  • Jayme's Mom: Turkey and Cheese Panini

Then we mozied on over to the Starbucks at Macy's Ala Moana.

For this visit:

Our baristas: Boy...we are REALLY going to need to work on remembering to ask

Our drinks:

  • Malia: Tall Passion Iced Tea Lemonade Sweetened
  • Mai: Tall Black Iced Tea Lemonade Sweetened
  • Jayme: Venti Passion Iced Tea Lemonade Sweetened
  • Jayme's Mom: Grande Decaf Coffee
Other:

  • Larisa: The NEW Jack Johnson CD
  • Mai: The NEW Jack Johnson CD
  • Jayme: A gift card for ME!!!


Thanks so much to everyone who celebrated my birthday with me and sent birthday wishes. It was a great day...but of course it was... we went to Starbucks!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Corner of Bishop and Merchant - Financial Plaza

Larisa, Malia, and I make up our sorority's committee for our annual Grape Escape fundraiser and, with the event only 3 weeks away, needed to meet to go over some event details. Why not do some fundraising talk at the Financial Plaza? By the way, if you have no plans for that evening, you should make some plans now to come to the event. You can check out the link for details. It's a blast.

We'd talked about doing the downtown Starbucks locations for a while and with Malia's office located in that area, I'm surprised we haven't done any of them sooner. This was Larisa's first visit to this Starbucks, and she has now labelled it one of her favorites because of the decor - the books on the bookshelves and the downtown atmosphere made her reminiscent of Starbucks in Seattle when she had to work downtown. Unfortunately, we weren't able to schedule visits to all three locations today because Malia had a lunch date in Kaneohe, Larisa had an appointment at Paul Brown, and Mai had an appointment at the White Elephant Tent at the Punahou Carnival. So we had to make this one a quick one.

We extended an invitation to our friend and sorority sister, Kapua, who also works in the neighborhood, but she couldn't really get away for very long, having only escaped for a Jamba Juice run (Larisa don't gag), so here's her cameo on our blog. Next time, we'll plan our visit around a lunch break, so she can sit down for STARBUCKS. (And Kapua, don't even start with the whole, "Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is better" stuff.)


For this visit:

Our Baristas: We're getting lazy with this detail, as we forgot to ask again. However, Larisa notes that "one of them was cute."

Our Drinks:
  • Malia: Venti, Decaf, Nonfat, Toffee Nut, Wet Cappucino and a Vanilla Skinny Latte sample
  • Larisa: Tall Cinnamon Dolce Skinny Latte and a Vanilla Skinny Latte sample
  • Mai: Grande Stirred Caramel Macchiato and a sip of Malia's Vanilla Skinny Latte sample

Other:
  • Mai: Toasted Plain Bagel with Cream Cheese

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Keeaumoku Starbucks and Untraceable

Larisa was invited to another advanced movie screening the other night, so she could write a review for hawaiimoms.com. The movie? Untraceable. And since she had two additional tickets to share with her coffee partners, we decided to begin this movie excursion with a quick stop at where else? Starbucks.

We originally planned on dinner at Hanazen, a little bento place in the Walmart Superblock on Keeaumoku that makes AMAZING garlic chicken, but Malia and her Tahitian tan showed up full, having eaten at her earlier stop at Tiki's Grill & Bar. Without the threesome able to enjoy garlic breath, Larisa and I opted to just get something quick at Starbucks with our drink orders. Of course, this location had a pretty bare selection of food items left by this time of day, and then Larisa ordered the last Turkey Pesto sandwich, so I decided to have nothing but a Starbucks and a smile for dinner.

Our Starbucks mugs inventories all went up by one with the addition of Malia's gifts to us from her Tahiti trip. There weren't any Starbucks locations in Tahiti, so she brought us back mugs found at her LA stop... Griffith Park Los Angeles. Very cool. I'm actually up TWO mugs now since my last mug post because I also received a mug from Larisa for my birthday on the 17th -- a SPOKANE mug all the way from MILILANI. This is kind of like the Las Vegas tumblers Malia and I came across at one of the Kaneohe Starbucks stores. We were puzzled and asked how or why they'd have items from Vegas, and the barista explained that sometimes stuff is shipped in error, and they just put it on the shelves. Too funny. I wasn't even aware there was a Spokane mug. Laura lives in Spokane, and had I guessed there was a mug there, I would've asked her to bring me one on her next return home. So Laura, you've been spared...unless you want to bring mugs back for Larisa and Malia because there was only one. Thank you Larisa for my lovely mug and Starbucks liquer! I'll have to use them together one day. Should make for one interesting cup of coffee. And since we're on the subject of Starbucks birthday thank you's...Thank you to my stepmom Phyl in Philly for my Starbucks gift card! The perfect gift :-)

How was the movie? I'll let you read Larisa's online review because I spent most of the time with my hands over my face peeking at the sceen through my fingers. I love Diane Lane and used to really enjoy thrillers, but I don't know... I didn't care much for this one. Appreciated the free flick and a great company though, so it wasn't a total bust.


For this visit:

Our baristas: Tiffany, Emilio, & Reese

Our drinks:
  • Malia: Venti, Nonfat, Wet, Toffee Nut Cappuccino
  • Larisa: Tall, Sweetened Black Iced Tea Lemonade
  • Mai: Venti, Sweetened Black Iced Tea Lemonade
Other:
  • Malia: Crispy Square Bar
  • Larisa: The last Turkey Pesto Sandwich and a Chocolate Covered Graham Cracker

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Manoa Moment

Larisa had a meeting in Manoa, so we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take in one more Starbucks visit before Malia heads off for her Tahiti sailing trip (I know. Must be nice.) As far as we can tell there aren't any Starbucks locations there, so lucky for Malia's suitcase - no mugs (tear.) Larisa and I will just have to sip a few extra Starbucks for her while she's off soaking in the Tahitian sun.

So this visit came with a lesson. It turns out that most of Malia's "foam issues" are the result of her having ordered the wrong drink for the last couple of years. What makes her happy now? It's called a Wet Cappuccino.

And Arwen's getting better with the camera. Look at this one she took of us.


For this visit:

Our baristas: Angela, Mikey, and Aime

Our drinks:

  • Malia: Venti, Decaf, Wet Toffee Nut Cappuccino
  • Larisa: Grande Cinnamon Dolce Skinny Latte (aka Cup of Gold)
  • Mai: Grande, Breve, Upside Down, 6 pumps Vanilla Caramel Macchiatto (my Cup of Gold)
  • Arwen: Tall Hot Cocoa (because the barista forgot it was a Kid's...thanks for the upgrade!)
Other:
  • Malia: Toasted Spinach Bagel with Light Cream Cheese

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou and a Cup of Joe

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)! We decided to start out the New Year at one of the newest Starbucks locations - the Kapahulu Safeway, which opened in November. Now this is a Starbucks licensed location not actually operated by Starbucks, but our barista Rachael, who was as sweet as can be, used to work for Starbucks on Maui, so she sure knew her stuff! I was so impressed that she remembered both Arwen's and my names from having been there the night before last. These baristas serve quite a few customers each day, so matching names with faces and sometimes even drinks can't be easy. Kudos to Rachael!

Arwen and I frequent this Safeway because it is the largest (and nicest) grocery store in the State. Each visit includes a hunt for one of those shopping carts with the car on front and a stop by the Starbucks counter to get a coffee for me and a kid's hot cocoa for Arwen. I can't break the routine or else I catch an ear full from the 3 year old. We weren't here to shop today, so there was no need to go cart hunting, but I thought I'd share a past picture of Arwen cruising in her cart drinking "coffee." Too fun. Thankfully, meeting Arwen's Gabey was distraction enough for us to break tradition without much of a fuss.

Since this is not a REAL Starbucks store, the drink menu differs (they actually didn't have it displayed) and the food options were different (likely from the Safeway bakery?) We ordered an assortment of pastries and our drinks and then head outside to sit down and enjoy.


For this visit:

Our baristas:
Rachael & Bertha

Our drinks:
  • Malia: Grande, Decaf, No Whip, Extra Foam White Chocolate Mocha in her photo Starbucks tumbler (They were out of Toffee Nut today.)
  • Larisa: Tall, Black Iced Tea with Raspberry
  • Mai: Grande, Half and Half, Upside Down Caramel Macchiato with 6 pumps (Thanks so much for the suggestion Rachael. Loved it!)
  • Isom: Grande Upside Down Caramel Macchiato
  • Gabe: Tall Caramel Apple Spice (cold because he won't drink anything hot)
  • Arwen: Tall Hot Cocoa with Extra Whip Cream (They were out of short cups, so the kids got upgraded to Talls.)

Other:

Assorted pastries to share. Most didn't have labels, so we weren't sure what they were called. I got a slice chocolate loaf cake, which was delicious. Malia picked up a fancy looking cinnamon bun. Larisa got a raspberry twist type danish and a cream cheese filled chocolate cupcake. Isom just went on over to the Safeway bakery to get some donuts.

Malia felt that a Grande just wasn't enough for her, so she asks, "Want to go to the other Starbucks down the street?" I think she made Larisa's day, who was grinning ear to ear at the idea. I'm always up for Starbucks (even after just having a Starbucks.) When we shared the news with Gabe we got the same look he gave us part way through the Central Oahu coffee crawl. Less than thrilled, but playing along. Isom's just along for the ride, and Arwen will go anywhere her Gabey is going.

Rob had just gotten off the tug and had his co-worker drop him off to the location where we were headed. He didn't realize that this was a Starbucks trio visit and thought I was just going to this Starbucks because the Safeway one was closed or something. Standing in the parking lot waiting for me, he thinks, "Hey! There's Malia! Wait...and there's Isom and Larisa." Our three cars filed in one after the other. Back into the Kapahulu Starbucks he goes to join us for more New Year cheer!


The kids decided that Rob was more comfortable than the big purple chair in the corner.

His quote for the day, "Watch it Gabe. I don't want to be a soprano today."

Isom spent most of his time behind the camera. Part of the time taking pictures, but a good deal of it messing around with the features. (I hear this is part of the reason we had delays in getting pictures for our last post.) The Malia picture above and this cup are samples of his handywork.

For this visit:

Our baristas: I'm so sorry I forgot to ask. Hopefully Malia or Larisa got their names.

Our drinks:

  • Malia: Venti, Decaf, No Whip, Extra Foam Toffee Nut Latte
  • Larisa: Tall, Sweetened Black Iced Tea Lemonade
  • Mai: Venti, Sweetened Black Iced Tea Lemonade
  • Isom: Ethos Bottled Water
  • Rob: Grande Coffee
  • Gabe: Ice Water
  • Arwen: Nothing. She just wants to hang out with her Daddy who's been gone since the day after Christmas.

Other:

  • Malia: Toasted Spinach Bagel with Cream Cheese

Malia also picked up another one of those Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Cookie Cutter things that Larisa found for us for Christmas. The ants found her other one :-( At least this one's on Christmas clearance.