Well folks, we made it! Here we sit in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, ready for just over a week of family chill time here on Hawaii’s biggest island. I'm tucked away here enjoying the view from the deck of our best friends vacation home, and as usual, am feeling so incredibly grateful for the good people in our lives. I am grateful for great friends that feel just like family, and even more grateful to have them here with us to share this incredible week.
Life is good as we wrap our second full day - complete with a visit to a most beautiful beach (seriously, this place is pinch-me-out-of-this-world), lunch on the water, and a few good sleeps under my belt. After wrapping an insane week at work back home just to get here, it feels crazy good to settle in to island time, which roughly translated means I've suddenly got what feels like all the time in the world here. The days start early and end early which means (what feels like) loads of time in the morning to enjoy a few hot cups of coffee, a lovely morning run, and to eat extremely well. Most of all though, is the time to just be.
If you read my last post, you might be happy to know I snuck away successfully having had the opportunity to use some of your packing tips - most notably some I usually do but had forgotten (rolling) and using ziplocs to categorize my stuff. I am like many of you and generally wear the same colors all the time (that always go together), so I’ve packed with me the usual selection of black, white & beige to go with the standard cargos & cut offs. I managed it all into my one carry-on and once I did my final edit, I did not look back. No waffling, honey badger style. I was rather proud of myself, though there are one or two things I sort of wish I had - no big deal. But enough about clothes and such (as fun as that is!), let’s talk about play time! The boys are biking. The kids are swimming. We are all relaxing.
As for just me, myself and I? You can bet the first order of business was a visit to the farmer’s market in town, where I pretty much
lose my mind go certifiably nuts over the produce. Sharwil avocados, apple bananas, macadamia nuts (my all time fave but I eat them only rarely), papaya. If you follow my Instagram feed, you'll already know (just a little) of what I've been up to, and it's safe to say that being a locavore here for a week is not something you'll have to bribe me to do. At all.
In addition to therapeutic fussing over fresh food, there is plenty of time in the day to walk along the black rocks and enjoy the view and the smells that surround us (as well the views while running are spectacular). We wake each day to the chirps of many friendly bird songs and somehow the day starts slow and just carries on the way it started.
Today's recipe was my afternoon pick me up yesterday. As I said earlier, my inner food nerd is in high gear as I enjoy the local foods that are normally both sub-par in quality & outrageously expensive at home. Here, I bought a few days worth of the good stuff for what it would cost for a single mediocre papaya at home. This is not to say that I don't scratch the itch at home occasionally too as I do love tropical fruit - so if you want to join me this week, here it is!
Refreshing Papaya Spinach Smoothie:
- (1/2) small ripe strawberry papaya, seeded and flesh removed from the skin
- (1) apple banana, or (1/2) regular banana
- (1) cup loosely packed baby spinach (a healthy handful)
- (1) lime, juiced
- (1) cup coconut water
- (4-5) ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy! Preferably with a good book or a magazine nearby, and perhaps a warm breeze.
Given the speed at which the days move here, I can certainly see posting again and there is seemingly no shortage of inspiration. The colors, the sounds, the smells. Just walking outside is a treat for the senses.