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Halloween in Lahaina, Maui

halloween maui
In a moment of insanity and incredibly low airline ticket offers from Island Airlines, The Sarge and I decided to pack up the Little Dude and travel to Maui for Halloween.  Halloween in Lahaina, Maui is called “Mardi Gras of the Pacific”.  During the day it’s a kid-friendly party – the main road, Front Street, is closed to vehicles, stores pass out treats, and there’s a children’s parade in the late afternoon.
At night the festivities live up to their Mardi Gras nickname – but with no beads and less boob showing.  People parade up and down Front Street and though drinking in the street is not allowed, you can be sure it’s not just Coke that people are drinking out of the cans they carry.  There were lots of police and fire teams on hand to keep everyone safe and it seemed like everyone was in a fun mood.

The costumes were amazing but my pictures do not do it justice.  Search for “Lahaina Halloween Images” on DuckDuckGo (or whatever search engine) and you’ll get a good idea.  We saw a Rubik’s cube, a digital camera (and the back of the costume had a real time feed of what the camera saw!), a 10-foot-tall tiki statue, and the Jamaican Bobsled Team complete with practice shopping cart.  We saw at least two Jesuses (Jesuss? Jesusi? Whatever the word for multiple of Jesus is), several oil cans (I don’t get that one?), many strippers and hookers (in costume or in real life, who knows?), and a full set of happy face emojis (Smile! Laugh! Sad! Mad!).

We went as a hippie family.  A couple of wigs, some head bands, lots of tie dye, and bam! Instant costume that was very pack-able.

We skipped the expensive hotels and used AirBnB to get a condo.  To be specific, this condo.  It was easier than a hotel room would be since we had a whole kitchen to work with – complete with full stove and a full refrigerator.  I don’t know about you but I can set my home air conditioner to temperatures colder than most hotel fridges.  But, I digress.  Let’s just say traveling with a less-than-one year old was an exercise in perseverance and stamina that I’d have to think twice about doing ever again.  It was like packing for a mission to Mars.  I will say that the condo we stayed at had lots of great amenities like a Pack and Play, beach toys, a stroller and other amenities that made baby travel a bit easier.

So, that’s about it.  Food every where we went was amazing.  Sunsets were amazing.  Halloween was epic.  We did many other things but that was the big one.

Here are a few tips for traveling to Lahaina for Halloween – or any time of year:
– Take a look at Island Air for your tickets – they fly inter-island only but have amazing ticket deals.  If you’re coming to Hawaii for a visit, sign up for their emails.
– If you’re going to use AirBnB to book a place to stay make sure you use their filters to find just the right place for you.  I need air conditioning to survive or I get incredibly grumpy.  I was able to find a place that was right for us by using the filters and not settling on places that weren’t just right.
– Lahaina is about 40 minutes from the main airport at Kahului.  Make sure you plan that in to your trip times.  I didn’t think about it at the time because I have a terrible case of mom brain lately.  But when you’re tired and you’re getting in on the last flight of the night and you have to drive 40 minutes – yeah, suddenly it matters.
– If you want to drive the Road to Hana plan to use a whole day for it.  It was something we really wanted to do but nixed because it didn’t seem like the best plan with the baby and we didn’t plan timing accordingly.  Maybe on a different trip.
– Also, you can go on a tour bus to take the Road to Hana.  I would definitely consider that next time.  You can kick back, don’t have to worry about insane turns in the road, and because you sit higher up, you can see more.

So, there you have it.  Peace!


Three Ingredient Cheesecake aka The New Heroin

Have you seen the amazing video for three ingredient cheesecake by the blogger/vlogger Ochikron?  Girlfriend is more than a kitchen goddess, she’s a total bada$$!  Her Youtube channel is great.  But in case you missed it here’s her video instructions on how to make Three Ingredient Cheesecake:

But because I have the attention span of a gnat I wanted to see the written instructions and happened upon an Epicurious article dedicated to this riveting and timely topic.  But most importantly I also found the Epicurious version of the Three Ingredient Cheesecake.  The only difference being that the end product is a bit larger than Ochikron’s version.

While it’s not exactly cheesecake – it’s more like custard/creme brulee/cheesecake yummy good heaven – it does hit the spot and it’s certainly close enough to cheesecake for me!  I just sort of inhaled it over the course of a few days but I suppose if you wanted to make it and actually share with others you could top it with fresh fruit, hot fudge, or caramel sauce!

It is ridiculously easy to make so be careful, friend.  It’s basically a gateway drug for cheesecake addiction.  You can’t really stop whenever you want to.

A meal delivery service changed the way I cook forever…

When I first heard of meal delivery services like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, I thought that there was no way in hell I’d need such a thing.  My thoughts veered toward food snobbery – first, I know how to cook!  I have tried-and-true recipes!  I’m a kitchen goddess! (Wishful thinking…) Secondly – I live in Hawaii – they aren’t going to ship that box here!  Thirdly – The expense – I can go to the store and buy ingredients for far less! Smug, smug, smug, smuggity smug with a side of “so there”.

Fast forward to Christmas 2014.  A very pregnant me received a subscription to Fresh Box from The Sarge.  I had pretty much stopped cooking and most of our meals came from boxes, cans, or delivery.  I couldn’t go to the grocery store because the mere sight of food made me ill.  Fresh Box meal delivery became our saving grace.

Fresh Box is based here in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, so my shipping argument went out the window.  Every week The Sarge and I would visit the Fresh Box website.  If we liked the three meals that were available that week, we’d order the box for $72.00.  The owners would deliver it to my office for me – though I could have chosen home delivery too.  Inside were all the fresh ingredients we – and by “we”, I mean The Sarge – would need to make three health dinners for two adults.

I didn’t think I’d like it…and I didn’t.  I LOVED IT.  We aren’t getting boxes right now because I’m on maternity leave and am home to cook.  But when I get back to work, we’ll be back to our Fresh Box subscription.

Here’s what we learned from our meal delivery experience:

Have higher standards for the ingredients you purchase.  
The meat and produce we recieved in our meal deliveries where always very fresh and had excellent shelf life.  Everything was organic and was of highest quality.  I had gotten used to grabbing whatever was on the shelf at the grocery.  Instead I take my time to drive to the farmer’s market or go to the grocery store that has higher quality produce or if all else fails, am just more selective when selecting produce and meat at my usual grocery store.

Time is money.  And it takes a long time to grocery shop.  I thought that $72.00 was expensive, but I was wrong.  The value we received was so high that my cost argument seemed silly.  Trying to grocery shop and then cook after a 12 hour work day was insane.  Having everything we needed to cook a healthy meal from scratch plus all the instructions to do it was worth every single dang penny.

There are more cooking techniques than boil and fry.  The recipes pushed us to learn new techniques – searing and broiling were added to our slim repertoire and we learned to appreciate how the cooking technique changes the final meal.

Herbs change a meal in ways we never understood. I was never one to shy away from trying herbs and herb blends in my cooking, but I never truly understood how much they could change a dish.  One night we forgot to add one of the herbs to our meal and half way through eating we mixed it in.  It was like a different dish!  So we got in to the habit of trying the meals we made without and then with certain ingredients and learned a lot about how herbs impact a meal.

We weren’t as adventurous as we thought we were.  The Sarge and I always thought we were pretty open minded eaters.  We aren’t picky and we like trying new things.  But that’s mostly at restaurants.  When walking through the grocery store we had blinders on to new foods and were stuck in the rut of picking up the ingredients we knew.  Meal delivery offered up new types of veggies and cuts of meat that we had never tried and we were pleasantly surprised by what we were introduced to!

Meal delivery is pretty amazing.  I guess you could say I’m eating crow but that’s actually not in the box! (Har har!  See what I did there?)