This has been the longest period of time between posts for my fledging blog, I hope you stayed with me.  As life is prone to do, it got busy and messy.  The first few months of this year has brought joy but also great sorrow (for another post), thankfully we have family and friends to share in the moments; to celebrate the good times and help us through the bad times.

I missed blogging, it has become a way to decompress, reflect on life and of course pass along yummy recipes to you.

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Waipi’o Valley still spectacular, even in the rain

Juli’s wedding provided impetus for a quick island getaway.  Whoever came up with destination weddings should be applauded and I can’t think of a more beautiful venue than the Big Island.  _V3A4868Before going I formulated a list for my brief island jaunt, things to do, food to eat and sites to see.  First and foremost, Hawaiian food. It is comfort food, island style, I have a definite weakness for island grindz.  Good thing I don’t live in Hawaii.  A diet best described as insanely delicious but not very good for you.  The very definition of vacation eats.  Can you say banana mac pancakes?  Loco Moco?  Khalua pig?  2 scoop of anything that contains mayonnaise?  Yes, I would be doomed.  My saving grace would be the abundance of tropical fruits and seafood. I also dream about Shave Ice..hmmmmm, lilikoi, mango, passion fruit, lychee, but I would have to get to Oahu to Wailoa Shave Ice  to have some.

Bucket List for the Big Island

It actually takes about 3+ hours to get from the north side of the island to the south side.  Rent a car you’ll need it.  If you insist on driving like a Californian (not me of course), it will take considerably less time.

Hidden gem in Kona, 808 Grindz.  Say hi to Aaron for us!  If they have grilled pork belly on the daily specials menu, order it.  Served with fried rice it has that sweet salty flavor, a big thumbs up.IMG_1801

On our way to Waimea we stopped at the Hawaiian Style Cafe, another local joint with breakfasts big enough to satisfy the hungriest guy in your group.

Umeke’s– Poki Bowls! The fish is fresh and the vibe is friendly.

TexDrive In We stopped here for their malasadas, not bad but if you have had Leonard’s malasadas in Oahu you have my permission to skip these.

IMG_1852If you’re headed to the Waipio Valley (well near it, can’t go into the valley due to Dengue Fever) stop at Waipi’o Cookhouse. Locally sourced produce and a barbecue pit that would make any southerner proud.  I enjoyed a delicious brisket sandwich.

And don’t forget you can always stop at a McDonald’s for  Saimin, Spam, Eggs and Rice or Guava Pie!

Weather? Hot, humid, cold, wet, rainy, sunny, windy..yes, it has it all, bring your swimsuit and your raincoat, you’ll use both!

On a lazy night, find a local hangout with Hawaiian music, slatkey guitar or ukulele. Kick back, relax and enjoy the sounds of the islands and a Mai Tai if you have to!  Here is a taste of island music, Home in the Islands by the Cazimero Brothers.

Don’t miss!

You can hike the crater floor, explore a lava tube, enjoy a steam facial (steam vents) and be mesmerized by the volcano activity at Hawai’i Volcano National Park

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Or hang out with the sea turtles and enjoy a day at the shore at  Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

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Stargazing at Maunakea

It’s cold at 9200 feet, bring warm clothes!  So many stars…amazing!  We saw Jupiter through the one of the many telescopes they set up each night.

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If you can’t quite gather up the nerve to skydive or bungee jump, try zip-lining over Umauma Falls.

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Aloha!

Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!