The Last Day of Summer Vacation

Do you hear that? It's the sounds of teachers (and kids) mourning the end of summer vacation. It was fun while it lasted. 

Hawaii was great but watching Joaquin grow was even better. 

Good bye, vacation. I will miss you dearly. Now I am building up my strength to leave my little one at home while I tend to my students. Deep breaths. 

Best Breakfasts on the Big Island of Hawaii

When my parents told me that they reserved a condo for our trip I was happy. When they told me we would be cooking our meals in the kitchen, I threw a foodie fit. "No, no." I said. "We will be eating all of our meals in hole-in-the-wall places."  I told them. Food always prevails. We never used that kitchen.
For Breakfast:
Island Lava Java in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

100% Kona coffee, freshly baked breakfast goodies, and a view of the ocean. What more could you possible want in life? This place is small but not cramped and keeps most of their tables right outside of their storefront which overlooks the ocean. Their menu adds island flair to the breakfast/brunch classics. Their coffee menu puts Starbucks to shame with their 100% Kona coffees alone. Don't forget the coconut syrup on your pancakes. It just screams "I'm in Hawaii!!"
Soy Latte
Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes with Portugese Sausages
Island style waffle with Portuguese sausages

The view from our table
Basik Acai

Tiny Kitchen
Don't blink, you might miss this one. It's stacked on top of a snorkel and boogie board rental store and from the outside, you might not even see it. Inside, it's the tree house you've always dreamed of. Canvas photos decorate the ceilings, bar stool seating overlooks the ocean, and the play list is from the hip young worker's personal iphone. Their small and simple menu offers a few choices of Acai bowls but also offers hundreds of add ons. This is that healthy fix you need after days and days of heavy Hawaiian fare. It's the detox after last night's luau. 

The view

The Islander and The Drifter

 Tex Drive-in
Throughout our trip, my mom wouldn't stop talking about one thing: Malasadas. These Portuguese doughnuts are very popular all over Hawaii. Apparently, my mom tried them in Maui and had sugar coated dreams about them. Around the 15th time she mentioned them, we all decided it was a non-negotiable stop. The most famous Malasada mecca on the island is this little shop that is literally in the middle of nowhere. (Well, to be fair, everything on the Big Island is in the middle of nowhere because it is not very populated.) I'm not quite sure if this is considered a breakfast treat or a dessert, but we live in the country where Nutella is a legitimate breakfast spread so I think I'm good.
The four of us ordered a dozen. Why? Because for some reason that sounded like a good idea. 3 per person was the way to go. Plus, we had to cram as many flavor filled bombs into our to go box. They offer various fruit or creme filled Malasadas and we ordered up a good variety. My personal favorite was the apple, while Hubby enjoyed the strawberry, and my mom and dad liked the chocolate creme. You can't go wrong with sweet fried dough filled with sugar then rolled in sugar. You just can't.  

In Hawaii, the breakfasts are legit. The white sand beaches and the waves aren't the only thing to wake up to here. Lucky for us, most of the breakfast nooks overlook said beaches and sand. Why don't I live here again?

Every Bite Counts

A few weeks ago, I turned 30. Ah, yes, the big 3-0. I am not, nor have I ever been the type to be sad on my birthday because I'm "old". I am actually very excited for my birthdays. I like the feeling that this day is somehow about me and only me (and dammit it should be about me), I like the cake and ice cream with the tiny colorful wax candles, and the hoopla of the chorus of waiters singing to me. I like that. But, most of all I like the feeling of newness. I like the thought that I'm about to embark on a new year, a new adventure, a new season of my life. So, here I am, a wife, a mother, a teacher, a 30 year old, venturing into this season of my life. My heart is full of desires and dreams that I hope to accomplish. I'm hoping I can leave behind the insecurities and regrets that my 20 year old self held on to so tightly.

My new mantra for my 30's is to Savor Each Bite, Make Every Bite Count. I don't know if it's because I'm a planner by nature or because I'm just crazy, but I am always looking for "what's next." Nevermind what I'm eating for breakfast, what's for dinner? Nevermind that I just graduated college, when am I getting married and having babies? I shovel these bites into my mouth without savoring it which leads me to being discontent and disappointed. This snowballs into feeling so disgusted with myself.  I just stuffed my face with all that I could and was still so unhappy with what I had in my tummy all because I want more on my next plate. So, I'm vowing to change that. I want to slow down and relish as many moments as I can. I want to appreciate that bite that is on my fork, now. I want to enjoy the season that I'm in, not anticipate the season that is yet to come.

As for my blog, I want to refocus my attention on food. Cooking, recipe testing, restaurant reviewing, and studying food photography. I love this blogworld and all the friendly people in it. Thank you to all of my loyal readers for sticking with me and reading what I have to say. I appreciate it.

Here's to 30. Here's to making every bite count.