Tuesday, June 6, 2017

US East Coast trip - May 2017

At the end of May, I had a family event to attend in Maryland. This is going to be a quick, short post and not on the same level of my typical travel posts. For those of you who think my blog posts are too long/wordy, this might be just right for you in that aspect TBH, probably not because I always include mundane details. It was largely a family-centric trip with a number of photos that I have decided not to post on the internet - including most of the photos that I took with my family members, however, I still want to share some pieces of it!
BLUF - This blog post is about a trip to Maryland, but it may be boring because this trip wasn't about me. It was not my place to be the center of attention and to request that photos constantly be taken of/for me or that we do activities that would be exciting to write about. My role was support and that's what I did my best to fulfill.

My parents flew up by themselves because there were some things they had to settle beforehand and I flew with my grandparents (dad's mom and dad and mom's mom) and my aunty and uncle (on my mom's side). This is my first time traveling with my grandparents without my parents and it was my responsibility to make sure they were okay!

DEPARTURE from Honolulu
We made arrangements to fly with United Airlines (way before the dragging off the plane fiasco and it was too late to change the plans without a huge penalty). Since it's a long distance from Hawaii to Maryland, my parents insisted that my grandparents book first class seats. Since you don't have access to the first class cabin without actually having a first class ticket, I also had to have a first class ticket to sit with my grandma. This was my first time (and likely my last wtf) flying in first class! They actually changed the plane for our route, but we were lucky enough to get the lie flat seats for our first leg from Honolulu to Chicago (about 8 hours).

I don't usually eat plane food so my aunty actually made small bentos!

But because it was included anyway, I decided to try out the included dinner meal anyway. The options were something like buttersquash ravioli, tamale stuffed chicken and hoisin short ribs. I asked for the short ribs.

After dinner, they also offered Dave's vanilla ice cream which my grandma accepted with her coffee.

6ish hours later, we also had whatever was on this tray for breakfast. I didn't end up taking one because I knew I wasn't going to eat anything on it. (Pictured below is what my grandma got but I'm not entirely sure what that thing in the corner is.)

We deplaned in Chicago and had about a 3 hour layover. Since we had some 1-time passes, we all went to the United Lounge near our gate. It wasn't as amazing as I would have expected, especially the food selection, but I guess it was good that we were all able to sit together and were comfortable.

The flight from Chicago to Baltimore was just under 2 hours in a much smaller plane than we had previously been on but still pretty comfortable! 2 hours is nothing compared to what we had just done from HNL to Chicago, so it felt like we arrived quite quickly.

My parents picked us all up from the airport and we made our way to our hotel. For the duration of my trip (4 nights), we stayed at the Loews in Annapolis. The room was spacious and the beds were nice, except my grandparents complained that they were too high. I do think that if you're shorter and/or have some physical ailments, you would need a stool/step to get up and down from it. My personal complaint was that there wasn't a central light for the room, just a few lamps. My dad didn't like opening the blinds because there was no tint on it whatsoever and people would be able to see every thing you have/are doing inside.

We settled in a bit and then went to a friend's rented house to have lunch and watch the Blue Angels. The house had a great view and was close to what I guess is considered a "beach"(?). There was sand and water and plenty of children playing in it even though it seemed so cold! I guess this is why visitors appreciate the weather we have at Hawaii beaches?
It's better in person than in pictures lol.

After a brief stop at the hotel, we went to the Trader Joes nearby. We still don't have one in Hawaii, so Trader Joe's products are always great omiyage!
We also visited the Dollar store to pick up a few random things.

For dinner , we didn't want to go into Downtown Annapolis, so we found a quieter area with a Macaroni Grill. The Yelp reviews were apparently quite terrible, but we were able to make a reservation and be seated for 9 people with no issue and our food came out at an average speed, so we don't have too many complaints. My grandma did send her soup back for being too salty though and the staff was nice about it.

Even though it was cold, my brother wanted to go out for ice cream. A few of us got traditional ice cream and a few went with crepes. We ended up just eating them in the car lol. My grandma wanted hers on a cone and her hand was shaking so much from the cold that it just ended up dripping all over her arm lol.

We went to sleep fairly early that night. Still wasn't completely adjusted from the plane ride, but at least I made sure I didn't take a nap in between. I've realized that I can typically get over jet lag pretty quickly if I force myself to get on the correct sleeping schedule on the day of arrival. The East Coast is 6 hours ahead of Hawaii, so it's typically just harder to wake up in the morning, but because we had a huge travel day, it made sense to sleep sooner rather than later. 


We did a few family-ish things in the morning and then did a bit of siteseeing after.

Ended up back at the hotel for lunch. There's a restaurant called Baroak that is pretty convenient and has decent food!
I ordered a flatbread pizza which was just perfect!

We had to go meet to prepare things for the next day, and apparently I thought it would be cool to snap this photo in the elevator wtf.

We all met back up for dinner and we went to a restaurant called Sakura in Annapolis. They had a bunch of Japanese-type entrees as well as an assort of sushi + an American menu and a selection of Thai and other various Asian dishes.

After dinner, we had to go back to to the hotel to sew leis for the next day! Some were already prepared by my aunty before we arrived but there were still more that we had to sew. The crownflower came from my grandma's house and my aunty's father in law's yard.
Ahhhhhhhhhh. So many individual flowers! I'm much happier to help sew than to pick them lol.


This was the day of the event we flew over for. We woke up and went downstairs to the hotel restaurant for breakfast and were on our way our by 07:15.

Since this was a personal event, I don't have any photos to post from it, but it basically took up all of the morning until the afternoon.

After a brief nap, we drove around the the area a bit so my relatives could see some of the major sites. I've visited a couple of times myself, so there wasn't anything super new for me. Since we had the grandparents with us, it was easiest just to stay in the car instead of walking around.

For dinner, my dad found a nearby mall.
I can't remember what this place was called exactly but they basically had a whole bunch of different noodle dishes. It was a bit underwhelming, but pictured above are the "small" portions. The regular size is quite big!


This was our last real day of the trip and we didn't have anything super important to do, so my parents took us to a few "iconic" places where they thought would be good to shop for omiyage or similar items. First stop was the Amish Market.
I bought some things for my coworkers from here instead of from Trader Joe's because I thought it would be a little more interesting. I also got S some fudge!

This market is also known for these "log" things that are kind of like a stromboli except not limited to pizza? Not exactly sure how to explain it but it's basically like pretzel type dough with some sort of filling like ham & cheese or things like that. I didn't end up waiting in the line bc it was massive, but my mom bought a pepperoni one for me. They're not photogenic but seem to be quite popular.

Next we drove over to Baltimore to eat crab cakes from Faidley's. Another popular item!
I don't really eat seafood, so I didn't try any but one of my grandmas insisted it tasted only like potatoes (none were used to make it btw) and my other grandma said "I just like to eat crab with butter and salt" so neither were thrilled with it lmao. It is something that I think most people enjoy though. My aunty wanted to send some to a family member in Hawaii and even though their sign says they ship anywhere in the US, they don't ship to Hawaii.

We continued on our way and made it to DC to visit a family friend. We stopped briefly at their house and then did a quick driving tour of the different monuments. I didn't have the best view of most of them from the back of the van, so unfortunately there weren't many pictures.
Lots of motorcycles for the Memorial Day weekend

Once we had our fill of DC, we made our way back to Maryland where we met up with a few more people for dinner. My mom made sure we had Smith Island cake!

(DAY 5 &) DEPARTURE from Dulles/ARRIVAL in Honolulu

Our flight back to Hawaii departed from Dulles and required us to leave the hotel at around 05:20am-ish just to make sure we were there in time.

We checked in and eventually made our way all around the airport to our gate.

We had the lie flat seats in first class but these were slightly different and the plane was a lot bigger!

Fruit and yogurt and a pastry (distributed at a later time) for breakfast -

Some kind of sausage & pepperoni stromboli for lunch -

This was a direct flight back to Honolulu, and I was so glad to arrive home safely after the 10 hour flight! The first thing I did was eat popcorn wtf.

But seriously, after my November 2016, January 2017, March 2017 and this May 2017 trip, I feel like I'm kind of done with long distance travel for a while. I've tried to be strategic with my leave at work, so I'm still decently covered, but this is all way too much for someone like me who dislikes travel lol.

I really questioned whether or not this should even be a blog post. There isn't much content to it due to the nature of the trip, but since non-Japan travel posts are so rare for me and I received requests for posts about it, I thought something small might be better than nothing. I hope you understand and respect that I want to keep certain things private. Although I'm sure questions may arise based on how I've written this and what I've shared, if I was vague on something - it's likely on purpose. If you have a specific inquiry about anything I've written about, I'm more likely to answer straightfowardly in DM versus publicly. This is not to say that I won't answer any questions in the comments, but just that I may be able to give you a better answer depending on the topic privately.

I did my best to include information that was new to me (like about the flights) but I realize that it might not be relevant to most. In the end, I feel like this post still serves a purpose to me, and while it's not something extremely exciting, it happened! Not everything in life is exciting, but they can still be important. I learned a lot of things during this trip and enjoyed spending time with my family.


  1. I still like seeing the pictures from your trip even if you didn't do anything super special or exciting. I liked seeing your outfits too! And all the food. lol

    1. It's basically like one long Dayre entry lol.

  2. I love seeing all your travel blog posts, no matter how short! I laughed so hard at your reaction to the "beach" lmao! That's pretty common out on the east coast and yeah it's always unpleasant and freezing! Also, based on your pics, I now need to go to an Amish market to pick out an obscene amount of fudge and candy haha

  3. the leis were so beautiful! *o* it must have been a really special event :)

    the stromboli-like log thing reminds me of the chicken bake at costco lol

    1. That's what I was thinking! I've never had a chicken bake but the shape and concept seems similar hahaha.

  4. Omg all that yummy food! I love reading your travel posts! I can get so much info for my own travels to places I hope to check out one day. I hope one day to see you in NY!♥


    1. Thank you! I've been to NY once but I would love to visit again some day ♥