Feeling especially lazy today; still waiting for my afternoon coffee to kick in. Grace seems to have the right idea...
Hope everyone is enjoying these last days of September!
In search of something "different" this weekend, The Hubs and I decided to take our date night 10,000 feet above sea level. After a blanket of thick clouds rolled over Haleakala late afternoon on Sunday, we were thisclose to scrapping our plans and shelving it for another day. Sensing my disappointment, Phil made the executive decision: "It'll be fine. Let's go!" So we packed up a cooler, dressed in warm clothing and put on shoes (which felt all kinds of weird), hopped in the car and made the drive up.
We arrived about 45 minutes before sunset, so we got out to stretch our legs and breathe the cool, crisp air into our lungs. We took a few obligatory self-portraits before retreating back into the car because it was just too cold (wimps, we are).
Back in the warm confines of the car, we laid out our impromptu picnic of cheese, crackers, grapes and salami (and two, tiny glasses of red wine may or may not have been consumed), while The Hubs - who has a gift for always adding that something "extra" to any given moment to make it fantastic - queued up a playlist on the iPod of music from our wedding. Love him!
And after the burning sun had descended into the clouds, it left behind a sky of soft pastels in its wake.
We enjoyed the rest of our picnic basking in this softer shade of light, talking and laughing, loving life...and Maui.
Maui No Ka Oi!
What did you do differently this weekend?
Just a quick fly-by post to wish anyone reading (and I see that you are, my recent visitors from Bosnia, Italy and Brazil...please do say hello) a Happy Aloha Friday!
Your mission for this weekend - should you choose to accept - is to get out and do something different! If you have a normal Saturday/Sunday routine, postpone it, put it on hold, do-what-you-have-to-do and just get out and DO SOMETHING. Be spontaneous! The laundry will always be there, the house will always need picking-up, the bed will always need to be made. Live a little. Get out in nature, breathe some fresh air into your lungs! Run. Laugh. Play with your kids at the park. Buy those shoes you've been coveting. Set-up "camp" at night in the living room and fall asleep eating popcorn and watching movies - nevermind how old you are (we don't). Whatever! Just challenge yourself to do something DIFFERENT.
Seize the day. Enjoy the moment. Life is too short. Get out there and LIVE.
And report back here on Monday to share the deets of your weekend. Pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top. :)
Yesterday I went to a nearby Farmer's Market to pick up some fresh fruits and veggies. While it is easy to buy produce from a large grocery store chain for the sake of convenience, We have really challenged ourselves to buy only locally grown food in an effort to support the "little guys" and local farmers. And by doing this, we are convinced that it makes the food taste that much sweeter.
This particular market may be small in size, but its large variety more than makes up for this; in addition to the produce stands, you can also purchase flowers, handmade soaps and lotions, jewelry and crafts/decor for the home.
This cute girl was selling her handmade jewelry, playing her ukulele and singing songs about loving Mother Earth. :) I tipped her.
I gorged myself on strawberry guavas (aren't these just beautiful?)...
...and was very tempted to partake in some watermelon on ice:
In the end, I left with just enough for last night's dinner and tonight's planned salad. I'm really trying not to over-buy fresh produce lest they go bad because we aren't eating them fast enough.
The mini spoils:
For last night's veggie dish, I cut up the baby-eggplant, combined it with mushrooms, onion, garlic, a little bit of parmesan cheese and EVOO, then baked it for about 20 minutes. First time (ever) cooking with eggplant and it was outstanding!
I may not have the impeccable culinary skills of my Momma, but I'm trying!
What's on your menu for tonight?
Today was not a good day.
I lost almost 4 years of photos on my (back-up!) hard-drive today. Words cannot articulate just how awful this feels. To add insult to injury, I actually had a post-it note taped to said hard-drive for the last month that said: "back-up your back-up!". And I am kicking myself for procrastinating...for ignoring that little voice in the back of my mind, telling me that it'd been too long and now I was just gambling. FOUR YEARS of photos. Of vacations, family gatherings, four years of artwork and photography projects, two weddings that I photographed (one of them being family!)...essentially, four years of everyday memories (I feel compelled to add that anyone who knows me knows that I take pictures of everything!). I had someone working on the hard-drive this morning and after all was said and done, I recovered less than 10%.
The Hubs, though incredibly sympathetic and understanding (but ALWAYS a realist and the voice-of-reason), is continually reminding me that they were just photos (honestly, things could always be worse); the memories of those moments will last forever in my heart. And while I know that in the grand scheme of things he is right, I'm still really, really sad.
So to anyone reading this, please, please, PLEASE! I implore you, learn from my
stupidity mistake and back-up your back-up!
Tomorrow is a new day. A new day promises new memories and new photo opportunities. I've already prepped The Hubs to anticipate days ahead where I will be unabashedly (and unapologetically) obnoxious with my cameras.
After we buy TWO new hard-drives tomorrow, that is.
ETA: I should clarify that this photo of Grace has absolutely nothing to do with the crappiness of my day; I only used it because she has the look of how I feel: bummed. And I assure you, she leads a very happy life. She sleeps all day, is fed on command, hogs the bed and lays in between The Hubs and I at night, we clean up her poop box 3x a day and we pick up the occasional vomitous furball. Rough life? I think not.
We keep replaying the delights of Saturday night over in our minds again and again, as if this simple act can transport us back to the evening and all its' spellbinding glory.
Seeing as how I wasn't able to run the 1/2 marathon this Sunday and my sadness and disappointment surrounding that, The Hubs made this weekend extra special for me. Saturday night was date night, and The Hubs set up an evening that was filled with cocktails, a 4-course dinner and the music of one of our island faves:
It was an incredible evening that had us donning attire above and beyond the everyday t-shirts/tank tops and flip flops (because that's how we roll out here in Hawaii); pre-ordered cocktails awaited and we sat down to enjoy an outstanding meal and stellar service. I actually took photos of each course (yes, I am that girl), but I'll spare you those. Just believe me when I say that every dish was screaming.
We saw Paula play a few months back and knew it would be a good show, but the surprise of the night was discovering new musical talent: Mike Love. He has this quiet brilliance about him; earthy, artsy and unassuming. Me like. And when he started playing, we were mesmerized. It's not the kind of music that makes you want to get up and move (there's a time and a place for that kind), but rather that soulful, trance-like kind that takes hold of your mind and puts you in the zone right along with him.
Ever heard of him? Take a listen. I'll wait.
(long, but worth it)
Paula recently toured with Jack Johnson (swoon) and frequently plays throughout the islands. She's often recognized for her audition on American Idol, but clearly, she didn't need any publicity because this girl is gooooooooooooooood.
For the next hour and a half, we listened to Paula and Mike jam together on stage. And there was a brief moment during the show when I wanted to race home, grab my guitar and unleash my inner-wannabe-musician. It's amazing what this kind of music can do for the soul---awakening the senses and immersing you in peace and love.
They're playing on The Big Island this Thursday. The Hubs and I are half-jokingly wondering how much tickets would cost to island hop and catch them again. :)
We got home late; still coming down from the magic of the evening, we laid out on the deck to watch the moon and the clouds roll by in the wind. It was awesome.
I am not ashamed to admit that I covet all things Pottery Barn...but this poses a number of problems:
(1) We don't have a Pottery Barn here on Maui.
(2) I have a really hard time paying for things at prices like theirs.
(3) Even if I were willing to pay for something from their catalog, it's kind of annoying that they tack on an extra $10 for all HI shipments. Booooooooooo!
So they leave me no choice but to find a less-expensive alternative! My inspiration was their oversized wine bottles (ranging from $99-$279. Hilarious!); I love the idea of using them to hold simple greenery:
After searching for large bottle-neck vases at affordable prices with no luck, I decided to check out one of our local thrift stores to see what they might have.
They didn't have exactly what I was looking for, but what I did find, I liked even better!
WOO to the HOO.
Wanna know how much I paid for these bottles?Try a grand total of $6.00. That's right, six bucks, baby! And while the littlest bottle isn't exactly "oversized", it was still too cute to pass up.
Man alive, there are some great deals to be had at these thrift stores. I almost felt guilty for their dirt-cheap prices. Almost.
Off to find some pretty greens this weekend to fill them...
Something I find so endearing about Maui is not only does this little rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean truly epitomize paradise, but it is also a mixing pot of sorts, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Paia is a sweet little spot on this island; not only does it boast some of the best island grinds, but it also touts that wonderful hippie flair; think incense and birkenstocks and granola. And I love it. But right next door is the sleepy little town of Haiku. It is as beautiful and quaint as its name suggests. It is lush and green and completely saturated in that small-town charm I've been lovin' on so much these days. So when something new pops up around here, it's not long before everybody knows about it.
I had Wednesday off work, so with an afternoon free, I stopped to check out a tiny little gem of a shop; only a handful of months old, it sits tucked away under a canopy of greenery, admidst flowering plumeria trees and flanked by towering eucalyptus:
On the hunt for some tea, I parked my car and meandered my way through the cottage gift-store. It is a small structure (not more than 300 sq/ft) with a colorfully-draped tufted ceiling and filled to the hilt with all things bohemian: candles, crystals, prayer flags and essential oils. I quickly lost myself in the trance of new-age music and the unmistakeable aroma of patchouli incense:
I finished off my tea faster than I would have liked, made my purchases and then did one last round of the cottage before leaving:
A glimpse of the tea garden:
Bug bites aside, it was still one of those experiences that you chalk up to satisfaction at having ever existed than not at all; granted, I was sticky from the afternoon sun and itchy from the blood-searching mosquitos, but I was loving me some tea, and I was grateful. Not only was it quiet and peaceful, forcing one to sync-up to the deliberate tranquility, but it also just oozed...hippiness. And for a brief, fleeting moment, clad in my long, flowy skirt and gypsy top, I kinda felt like I fit right in. :)
But yeah. Itchy skin trumps hippy-satisfaction, so I packed up and came home. But later that night, I had a do-over, and made myself another cup of tea. And it was just as good the second time around as it was the first.
I never thought I'd catch myself saying this, but despite my collegiate fascination with the urban lifestyle (SFSU Gators, baby) and those impressionable, eager years when I convinced myself that donning a business suit with swanky shoes and taking a train into work meant success (?!), deep down at the core of my being, I have always been a country-girl at heart. Yes, I can still be momentarily seduced by pretty handbags and red-soled shoes, but I'll take my flip-flops, tank tops and flowy, cotton skirts over those any day of the week.
Back in The Bay, we had views of neighboring apartment complexes...and roadways with non.stop.traffic. Here, we have a view of the ocean from our front door, and views of rolling green hillsides (with horses and goats and cows - oh my!) from every other window throughout the house. Back in The Bay, we fell asleep to the sound of traffic. Sirens. Horns. And the awful, hourly railroad-crossing bells of CalTrain (fun). Here, it's not unusual to fall asleep to the tinny-drum beats of passing rainshowers on our roof.
There is a tangible, small-town feel to living on this part of the island; not in the everyone-is-all-up-in-your-business kind of way, but in that relaxed and easy way where you catch yourself smiling and waving at
strangers "neighbors". And I really like that. People need to smile more. And a friendly little wave doesn't hurt, either.
Driving home today, I smiled at the sight of this and (of course) pulled over:
A lone stand on the side of a country road.
With avocados at least two-times the size of my fist (you think I'm kidding, but I'm not)!
And a payment box that isn't even bolted to the table.
See? A perfect example of what I deem a perk of living upcountry. An un-manned fruit station.
The Honor System.
I love that people still believe in the good in one another. It makes me want to hug the person who owns and runs this stand.
While I have fond memories of our "old" lives back in SF, I'm really digging on our new experiences and the memories we're making out here every day. Our priorities have shifted; we're continuously striving to adjust our motives and our actions so that they exist in harmony with our desire for a meaningful life together.
I love that for the most part, everyone really does live on "Island Time" out here. It might be slow--and it definitely isn't for everybody--but if a little peace and quiet is what you're after, then Maui is a pretty good place to be.
* thank you to those of you who read my half-marathon musings and commented; I really appreciate that. Diagnosis isn't good - I went in for X-rays this morning and the pain in my foot IS a stress fracture, and I'm officially OUT of the half-marathon on Sunday. No running for 4-6 weeks, Doctor's orders. I'm completely crushed by this and yes, I cried. Again. But a pep-talk from The Hubs and a consolation prize by way of chocolate helped. And I'd much rather nurse a bruised ego than a broken bone. Ya dig?