Friday, January 14, 2011

The Garden Isle (and a winner!)

So.  Kauai.  Did I mention I'm moving there?

A few minor details still need to be ironed out (a job, a place to live, etc.) but I think once I let Berry White in on the plan to completely uproot our lives, things will start to fall into place.

Unfortunately, Mike wasn't able to make it on the trip but luckily, he was able to experience it in the next best way:  through photos, stories and a suitcase stuffed with island grubbery.  Because as we all know, the food is almost always the best part of a vacation.

The 2nd day in, we went to visit my Auntie Evelyn and my cousin Ryan.  It had been about 17 years since I last visited and I forgot how beautiful the view was from their porch.

Auntie Evelyn took us into my uncle's garden and it was thriving with all sorts of fruits, vegetables, flowers and lush greenery.  My Uncle Sho passed away two years ago and she and Ryan have been taking care of the garden ever since.  I swear, he could put anyone's green thumb to shame.

Auntie Evelyn gave us plastic grocery bags to fill up with whatever we wanted.  It was like being in a candy store.  A healthy, tropical candy store.

We took the bags back "home" with us to enjoy with breakfast throughout the week.

Breakfast being:

If you go to a McDonald's in Hawaii and order a Big Breakfast, it comes with scrambled eggs, Portuguese sausage and rice.  Had there been time for me to hit one up, I would have broken my almost one year streak of being McDonald's-free in a heartbeat.

My mom wanted to score a box of breakfast/lunch goodies from the Menehune Food Mart.  It looks like your average convenience store but they're known for their local fare, especially their fresh manju (a soft rice/flour confection filled with sweet azuki bean paste.)  They sell out quick so if you snooze, you lose, bruddah.

Goteborg sausage and rice.

 Manapua (steamed pork bun.)

 Spam musubi.

Loooove.  Spam haters, hate on.

The thing my sisters and I were looking forward to most on the trip (food-wise, that is) was to making a stop at Sueoka's, a small grocery store with a snack shop on the side.  Ever since we were kids, it's been our favorite place to eat on the island.

They pile all of the food into a plain cardboard box top.  Nothing fancy - just cheap, ridiculously yummy beach food.

And it's the same thing every single time:  teriburgers.

Teriyaki-marinated steak, lettuce and thousand-island dressing on a bun.  I could eat one of those jokers every. single. day.  Three times a day, even.

Of course, it wouldn't be a proper trip without beer.  Good, can't-get-this-stuff-at-home beer.

I'd been dying to try Maui Brewing Co. CoCoNut Porter long before the trip.  Similar to a stout, it's bold, roasty and brewed with toasted coconut.  Amazing beer.

Some of the mainland states carry Maui Brewing Co. but Virginia's not one of them.  Bummer.

I made sure to get my fill.

If you're in need of a quick, 10 minute mental break, feel free to check out the rest of the pics on my Flickr page.  If you're trying to figure out where to go on your next vacation or are debating which Hawaiian island you want to visit, the pics taken from the helicopter should help make that decision a little easier.

And now (I feel like the opening band just performed and I'm getting ready to announce the headliner), it's time for one lucky reader to win a Tassimo T20 Brewbot.


Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-01-14 06:08:24 UTC

 erinmakesitwork said...
Breakfast...definitely the best thing about mornings. Breakfast and desserts tie as my favorite food groups of all time. 
Congratulations Erin!  Email your name and address to threebakingsheets [at] yahoo [dot] com and we'll get your Brewbot sent out to you.  Enjoy your new toy!

A huge thanks to all who entered - I loved reading all of your responses.  Whether it's your pets, smooches from the kids, a morning jog, turning on some classical music, that first piping hot mug of coffee or simply a few peaceful minutes to yourself, there's something to make every morning a little more bearable.

Have a kick ass weekend, everyone.

(Next week:  the return of Sugared Cinema.)


  1. Oh wow, Ali, these photos, your descriptions, everything, are amazing. I am enchanted. Disregard that comment I said about not really being interested in visiting Hawaii; I'm in, totally in.

    Congrats to Erin!

  2. Ali, you're making me want to book tickets on the next plane to the islands.

  3. Sigh - too beautiful. I want to hate you out of jealousy, but I just can't.

  4. so envious that you were someplace warm for the holidays... and that coastline ~ sigh! oh, the view from the back porch? swoon.

  5. Mike's thinking about where he wants to go for his 30th bday in September and he said Kauai is a possibility. I need to start putting together a sales pitch.

  6. Talk about a serene view, Miss Ali. This is just wonderful. Hawaii is tops on my list of places to visit now...well Hawaii, Harry Potter World, Ireland, France and I'm weird.

    I am super stoked about my new brewbot and will be sending you my address ASAP. Thanks so much.

  7. I'm so glad you liked the CocoNut Porter! Next time I go to Kauai (which hopefully will happen...) I'm hitting you up for were to go for some yummy local grub. Looks like you had a great time!

  8. Stacy - we passed Nani Moon Mead on the way back from Hanalei - I was so stoked! We pulled over so that I could run in an buy a bottle only to find they were closed due to it being Christmas week. I was so bummed! On the bright side, it's just another reason for me to go back :)

  9. I loved the pictures! Some of the foods reminded me of China - steamed bun, bean purée, etc. I wish we had more of those flavors here! You look beautiful in the brewpub pic, too!

  10. Hell yeah! We're moving there too, Ali! This is perfect. ;) Aloha nui loa sis xoxo

  11. Where exactly in Kauai does your family live? When I've been I've spent most of my time over near Hanalei Bay.

    Great pics.. I haven't been there in way too long. Once Aedan arrives, Hawaii is going to be one of the first trips on our list for the first couple years. Hope you can convince Mike to get out there, I'm sure he'd love it.

  12. Liam - my family is on the South Shore. My grandparents home is in Kalaheo and my aunt lives in Koloa. This past trip was actually the first time I had ever visited the North Shore. Drove through Princeville, Hanalei and Haena - beautiful areas.

  13. Awesome. Gonna check out the rest of your pics asap.

    And oh yeah, and that guava juice is seriously addictive. I've never been able to find anything else that comes close on the mainland.

  14. Spam musubi is my lifeblood. The one you have pictured here is unlike any that I have seen--with those thin strips of seaweed/nori wrapped around it. I'd totally be down to eat that.

  15. Amber - aloha new visitor gal :D Just wait until you add the nori bandana. Your mind will be blown to smithereens.