There truly is so much that I have to be grateful for. I took a few days off from the blog to, well… live my life :). A year and two days ago I married my best friend Ben at sunrise out in Huelo (the rain forest). That week was the greatest week of my life to date–not just because I got married but also because we were surrounded by the most wonderful people in the world (literally, we had guests fly in from Australia and Africa!). I seriously am in awe that a year has already flown by since that glorious week.
[engagement and wedding photography by Writing In Light‘s phenomenal Clarissa Koenig]
(although I’m pretty sure this one was just a point-and-shoot by a friend of ours)
I’ve heard throughout my life that marriage will only bring constraint and restriction. But here I am after my first year of marriage filled with strength, love and security. Being married has brought me such unexpected and beautiful personal growth and serenity, and for those things I am eternally grateful.
So, how did we spend our first anniversary? We went down to the south side of the island to Wailea for a stay at the Four Seasons Resort! We received the Kama’aina rate because we live here, but it was still definitely a splurge for us :). Nonetheless, I have three words to describe our time there: SO WORTH IT.
We were pleasantly surprised to have been changed to an oceanview room, but we were straight-up stoked to see this when we got to our room:
Talk about thoughtful! We didn’t think much of it when we told them we were celebrating our anniversary with them this weekend, but the room upgrade, rose and bottle of bubbly made us realize we had come to the right place to celebrate :).
After some pool time we went to dinner at our favorite restaurant on island: Spago! I’ll spare you the photos of the entire meal we ate (because you know I take pictures of all my food) suffice the best part–our dessert! The “Kaiserschmarren” Crème Fraîche Soufflé Pancake with Sautéed Apple Bananas. Holy freakin amazingness! The souffle was incredible–the lightest, fluffiest custard with caramelized edges–and matched the sauteed apple bananas perfectly! Plus, as you can see, it was massive. After an amazing filling dinner we couldn’t get ourselves to finish the entire dessert (and that says a lot!).
This was our second dinner at Spago’s and although we thought it to be impossible, we came out even more impressed! The thing I appreciate most about Spago’s is that they always use local ingredients, making their dishes the freshest possible while supporting local economy. Oh, plus they wrote “Happy Anniversary” on our Kaiserschmarren ;).
The next day I woke up still full. We started our morning with a good run and a small breakfast and then went straight for the pool!
I don’t typically drink, but the staff bought us a maitai in a pineapple for our anniversary (seriously, these guys rock!). We spent the rest of the day lounging and enjoying each other’s company.
Something to think about: There are definite perks of living on Maui–one of them being the numerous world-class resorts. But I’ve got to also be honest and realistic here: even with kama’aina discounts, most local people can’t afford to stay at these hotels. The reality is that many of our local people work at these resorts, waiting on upper-class visitors daily while actually wishing our economy wasn’t so dependent on tourism. I have a good friend who worked as pool-side help at a world-class resort for a while. After a few months there he expressed the inner turmoil he was experiencing because he expected to move home from the mainland to help his community. And here he was spending his valuable time and skills waiting on rich tourists rather than in the community because it was the only way to make a decent living.
I’m grateful to have a partner who understands the complexity of these issues, too. While we sat drinking our pineapple-framed maitai we talked about how the landscape in Wailea should be dry lava rock (but has golf-course grass everywhere) and how the entire hotel industry is making kajillions off of something that should be free: the beauty of Maui and the pacific. Yes, it’s wonderful to be surrounded by luxury but to us it’s also important to think about all the things that come with that luxury. Who is actually paying for this luxury? Are you willing to ask the hard questions?
I know it seems as though I’m ending the blog on a negative note, but I really am not. These are just the realities I face as a coconut girl living in a high-fashion world ;). I had the most perfect Haley and Ben weekend I could have asked for and am so grateful for my incredible life!