Hawaii Adventures Day 1: 10 Travel Tips & A Kickass Charcuterie Board

Good Evening Everyone! ❤

Let’s jump right into it today. It’s day 1 of my Hawaii adventures. I’m sitting here on my mother’s couch with bags under my eyes and a happy smile on my face. It took nearly 10 hours of flights to get here… but it is so worth it. Before I talk about today’s food, I want to share with you 10 travel tips I learned people-watching, and traveling all day today. Here we go!

  1. Strip down for security. Everyone has to do it. Take off your shoes and jacket. Tuck your cell phone in your bags. And please don’t bother rushing. Trust me when I say I saw a young, petite girl get the you-know-what scared out of her by a TSA guard who was trying to tell her to stand on the line to be checked. She stood for a moment and then went to step past the line. Big mistake. “Ma’am!” he barked, “Get behind the line! Now I’m going to have to give you a pat down!”. Lesson learned.
  2. Don’t bother buying airport food. “I’m so hungry” Mr. Noob Chef said as we walked to our connecting flight. “Babes, I’m just going to eat on the plane. It’s free.” I said as we all romped together. But nonetheless my curious husband wandered over to a restaurant in the airport. “What?! $11 for a salad?! $15 dollars for a sandwich?!” he yelped. I laughed. Yeah…. we ate the free meal on the plane.
  3. Speaking of free plane food, you might want to pass on that too. It’s… well…. cheap. I had a pastrami sandwich which wasn’t terrible tasting but didn’t settle well. The potato chips were the best part of the meal.
  4. Use the airplane bathroom BEFORE food/beverage service. You do the math. 200 people eating cheap airplane food and drinks…. yeah…. that’s a lot of butts. Do yourself a favor and use the toilet before it gets really grimy.
  5. Yes, you CAN fly and fit in the seat. I sat there at 6 AM this morning gasping and pointing to my lap. “Honey!” I said excitedly, “I fit!!”. It’s true. Not 8 years earlier I had flown and needed an extender for my seat-belt. I didn’t dare put down the arm rest. My body was radically different then it is today. Not only did I fit but the seat-belt buckled across my lap with room to spare. Our bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t let your weight stop you from flying. They have so many accommodations now to help passengers with various needs.
  6. Download movies from Netflix to Your Phone. Did you know you can do that? It’s true and perfectly legal! We chose “Lord of the Rings” extended version. It’s nearly 4 hours and kept us occupied over the 3500+ kilometers we sailed over the Pacific Ocean.
  7. By sympathetic towards parents with infants. Think about it this way: when you fly, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all crammed in like sardines. We’re breathing the same circulated air. Using the same micro-toilet. Eating the same shitty food. Now add a crying infant to the mix. Yes, take a breath and slap in your earbuds the next time you sit by a parent with an infant on the plane. Odds are they are regretting going on vacation in the first place! 😉
  8. Do one thing to calm yourself during turbulence. On our first flight we got hit by massive turbulence. Did I mention this was my daughter’s very first flight, ever? Yeah, it was interesting to say the least. As I held her in my arms sitting side by side, we began to sing our favorite songs softly together. “Havana oo na na, half of my heart is in Havana oo na na…” we sang. And despite the bumpy ride… music and prayers kept us calm. Find something that centers you and cling to it. It helps.
  9. Give yourself at least 2 hours to get your boarding pass, get through security, and get to your gate before it’s time to board. I cannot tell you how many people I saw today miss their flight or nearly miss their flight, only to freak out, all because they were late! Don’t be late!! Plan ahead and get there early. End of story.
  10. Lastly, remember to have a chill attitude when traveling. In the words of Bob Marley, “I said don’t worry, bout a thing. I said every little thing’s gonna be alright…”. And it really will be. You will get there. Life will move on. You might have stiff muscles and an achy bum from sitting for so long. But this too shall pass. So smile 🙂 and know that the plane will land and you’ll be happily on your way in no time. Here’s a perfect example of how having a chill attitude can make traveling so much more enjoyable: after 4 hrs. and 43 minutes on the flight we came in for a landing. Everyone was tired, cramped, and eager to depart the plane. We touched down. The cabin was quiet. And as we slowed down completely all of a sudden a little, 3 year old girl one row ahead of me said at the top of her lungs, “HAWAII!!!!”. Everyone in the vicinity laughed instantly. That little girl said exactly what we were all thinking, “Hawaii!! YAY!! Now… get me off this plane!” 🙂

And now… let’s look at today’s food!

As I glided into Kahului, HI. I was greeted by everything green. It has been years since I last saw green mountains, but there they were. Stepping off the plane my lips curled into a huge grin. “Oh yes!” I said raising my arms. “Oh no!” my husband said frowning. We were basking in pure warmth and light humidity. If you know me, you know that I love being warm. I thrive in the heat. My sweet husband on the other hand, despite being from a tropical country, prefers the cold. It’s the perfect balance. Palm trees decorated the landscape. Touristy shops darted along the street packed in tight, just waiting to be explored. But right then and there…. I needed food, water, and rest.

So my wonderful mother went to work getting us settled in with ice cold water and a huge platter of food. When it comes to hosting, I turn to my mother as a true expert. Hosting company, and doing it well, is all in the details. I’ve learned that from her. It’s having a luggage rack in the guest bedroom. Or making sure the towels are all washed, folded, and match the decor in the bathroom. It’s using specific dishes to make little tapas and appetizers look even more appealing to your guests. Yes, it’s all about the fine details and my mother spared no expense to make us feel so welcome to the island.

She set out a platter of cheeses: white cheddar, Parmesan, Roquefort, and Brie along with slices of salami. In addition, she set out slices of bread and wheat thins that were utterly addicting. She rounded out the Charcuterie board with olives, apple slices, and slices of Asian pear. It was delicious and we all noshed happily.

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Then my eyes looked over at a bunch of tiny little bananas that closely resembled saba bananas often found in Asian markets. “Those are apple bananas” my mom explained, “try it! They call them apple bananas because they are so sweet!”. I took a bite and sure enough, they tasted so sweet that it tasted identical to a juicy apple! It was mind-blowing.

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Hawaiian Apple Bananas

As the sun set for the day we patted our happy bellies, went for a brief dip in the hot-tubs, and decided to call it for the day. Tomorrow is another day for wonderful adventures so stay tunes for more then! Until then, have a wonderful night everyone and as always, keep on cooking! ❤

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Aloha Everyone! ❤ 

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