We kicked off the weekend with a(nother) holiday party. My mom’s agency has an annual holiday party that’s always tons of fun, so we headed over on Friday. It was wonderful to be surrounded by loved ones and have a good time together again!
Since I just did a post on the hardships of being a selective omnivore at parties, I figured I’d let you know that I actually got to eat most of the food at this party! The agency catered most of the food from Catering from Soup to Nuts, a local catering operation that first began at the ‘Pono Center’ community kitchen (and has since blown up!). Their crew was prompt and exceptionally friendly, and everything they catered was of excellent quality—we had more than enough food to go around and it was all beautiful and delicious! I was surprised to find that they offer many vegetarian/pescatarian items. They set out delicious pupu (appetizers), main dishes, and desserts (including a life-changing triple gingerbread cake), but the highlight for me was their Christmas Tree baked Brie.
Isn’t she a beaut? I was so engrossed in the night that I completely forgot to come back and take photos of it once we cut into it (baked brie + fruit preserves + walnuts = heaven in Christmas tree form). Although I love cheese, it doesn’t always love my digestive system, so I don’t usually eat too much of it. Friday night was a small exception, for sure .
A gorgeous day – if it weren’t for the vog (volcanic fog). The West Maui Mountains would usually be crystal clear on a morning like Saturday, but instead there was a haze, making visibility difficult. With Kilauea going off an island over, Maui sees quite a few voggy days (especially if there’s no wind). Although vog effects people in varying ways, it often makes it hard for individuals to breathe (especially asthmatics). Other side effects: headaches, allergy-like symptoms, dry eyes and throat, lack of energy. On especially voggy days, doctors recommend that those with respiratory issues stay indoors (air conditioning, if possible).
I can tell when the vog hits because I usually get headachey, lethargic, and tired. We’d had a few voggy days in the past week, so I wasn’t about to let it keep me indoors. I set out bright and early for the upcountry farmer’s market!
An hour later, I arrived home with a bunch of kale, a child-sized eggplant (for a kick-ass baba ghanouj recipe you’ll see soon), cilantro, limes, green beans, broccoli, a zucchini, beet, celery, onions, butternut squash, and bananas. Since Ben and I will be home for the next two weeks, I figure we’ll need more around the house.
After putting away the groceries, it was time to cut the hubby’s hair!
Ben has really thick, curly locks that grow quickly and make him feel extra hot here in Hawai`i. He used to go to our friend, Emily, to cut his hair every other month until I told him that I felt like I could do it (and it would be free). About a year ago, I started cutting Ben’s hair. And, aside from the occasional snip on my own finger, I do a pretty good job, if I do say so myself .
Half an hour later, we got word of a storm that was to hit Hawai`i on Sunday. We decided it was time to get out and make the most of the sunshine. I realize how ironic it is to be reading so many blogs from the mainland with photos of snow and darkness – while I try to find some shade.
[Lunch = leftovers from Catering from Soup to Nuts – blue cheese, grilled pineapple and walnut salad – with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette.]
[My Frosty tattoo from the holiday party the night before ]
On Sunday morning, Ben, Mom, Zak, my cousin Leslie and I decided to get out before the storm hit. We set out to one of the densest pine-tree forests on the island (at some point someone thought it would be a really good idea to grow pine trees in Hawai`i – doh!) for a hike at Waihou Springs.
I wish there were a blog scratch-n-sniff option because the mix of pine and eucalyptus in the forest was amazing! We made our way down the pine-needle-covered path and then started down the switchbacks to the springs (or what used to be the springs before it dried up/got diverted).
Ben and I had been to Waihou Springs once before, but the excitement from our family made it feel like unchartered territory all over again. Once we made it to the bottom, we looked up to a huge cliffside made of rock with various holes carved out (we call them hobbit holes). We went venturing, obviously.
[This ledge was about 20 feet up.]
It makes me sad to think that this place once harbored a spring – bringing with it bounty and life. It makes me wonder whether it’s dry due to natural reasons or because of human greed and the fact that we have made water a commodity and put a price tag on it. In any case, it was beautiful.
Once we made it back up the switchbacks, we did a short loop in the dense woods – stopping to listen to pigeons and take random photos. I love Sundays in nature with loved ones .
During our adventures we also found a teepee in the woods!
[We found a teepee in the woods!]
[Side note: Leslie is my closest cousin – we were born 25 days apart and have been getting into trouble together since the day she was born. I can’t imagine a life without her. She recently moved back to Maui from Hilo and I couldn’t be happier to be able to hang out with her again! Her adventurous spirit and open mind are the breath of fresh air I need in my life!]
[Leslie + I circa the 1990s.]
Ben and I just got home from buying our 7-day unlimited passes and practicing Vinyasa flow at Om Maui! It is the first day of our break and we are loving it! I could really get used to this! 😉