|It’s hard to beat the sunsets in Hawaii.|
This summer, we returned to paradise for our family vacation – on the island of Maui (or at least it’s as close to paradise as I’ve been so far!). With our oldest son leaving for college this week, family time has been especially precious, as it is hard to predict how many more family vacations we will be able to share together. I know things will never be the same. We won’t see him as often. Our family dynamics will change. Life will be different. But it’s all good. It’s the cycle of life.
My husband and I honeymooned on Maui years ago, so this island has a special place in my heart. We returned here nearly ten years ago for a friend’s wedding where the twins were the ring bearers. Although the plane ride was long, my kids fondly remembered the beauty of Hawaii, so we brought them back last summer. They were right – there’s no place like paradise. The weather was near perfect every day, and we could see the ocean and the mountains from almost any view. And the sunsets were just breathtaking.
In fact, our stay on Maui last summer played a huge part in the inspiration for this blog, only a year ago. I had just purchased my first DSLR camera and went cold turkey by bringing it solo to record our summer memories. I took lots and lots of pictures of our family, the stunning landscape, exotic flowers, fruits, and of course, the sunsets. I remember being impressed by all the local produce served in the restaurants and returning to the East Coast exploding with ideas for my blog.
In fact, it was after I started using my new camera last summer in Hawaii that I really started taking pictures of the food I was making and posted them here on my blog. Once I started taking photos of food, I was hooked. I’ve learned a lot over the past year and have so much more to learn, but that’s what makes food blogging so challenging and fun.
Nearly a year has passed, and I am so thankful that we were able to return to Maui this year. Rest, peace, living without a schedule, being still and simply enjoying the view…these are all things I need by August, right after summer baseball ends and before school starts again.
We stayed at a hotel for the first part of our trip to give Mom (that’s me ) a break from cleaning, laundry and cooking.
|There are so many beaches to choose from. This is Wailea Beach.|
We then moved to an island home up in the mountains. As we drove up the mountain, our three teenage boys gave my husband and me a few strange looks. They like to be in the thick of things, where all the action is, near a bustling town. It became apparent that no town was going to be within walking distance. In fact, the house was so remote that they surmised if anything happened to anyone, no one would know for days.
The advantages of staying in a more remote location, however, became apparent as soon as we arrived at the house. The views were spectacular, and seemed almost unreal – we had panoramic views of the ocean from the backyard and mountain views from the front.
There were only outdoor showers which took everyone a bit of getting used to (but the boys ended up loving them!), and a very cool pool with ocean and island views. A special bonus was the small sustainable farm on property, which was full of fresh fruit trees! We could see the islands of Lanai, Molokai, and Koolawe from the house. My kids accused me choosing this house because of the mini-farm in the backyard! I protested that I did not – I didn’t even know about it until just before we left for Hawaii. However, I will admit that I was over the moon when I found out. Of course, one of the first things I did when I got to the house was to explore this backyard orchard to checkout what was growing. There were loads of guava trees and orange trees, lime trees, mango trees, pomelo trees, banana trees, passion fruit trees, and a few other trees bearing fruits that I did not recognize.
A view of the island of Lanai.
The fruit orchard in our backyard!
Although most of the fruits were still not ripe enough to pick, there was an abundance of guavas, some ripe, and many close to ripening, hanging low, ready to pick. I couldn’t resist and grabbed a bowl of fresh guavas. Guavas have a sweet exotic scent. They go from peak ripeness to overripe mush quickly, so enjoy them while they last.
My kids accused me choosing this house because of the mini-farm in the backyard! I protested that I did not – I didn’t even know about it until just before we left for Hawaii. However, I will admit that I was over the moon when I found out. Of course, one of the first things I did when I got to the house was to explore this backyard orchard to checkout what was growing.
There were loads of guava trees and orange trees, lime trees, mango trees, pomelo trees, banana trees, passion fruit trees, and a few other trees bearing fruits that I did not recognize.
|Guavas, ripe for picking.|
Although the inside pulp contains lots of seeds, the flesh is perfect for smoothies, mixing into pancakes or muffins, making salad dressing or a fruit salsa, or just enjoying straight up.
The first thing I decided to try making was a smoothie using all these fresh guavas.
|Fresh, fragrant guavas just picked from the orchard.|
We ate guavas until they came out of our ears, there were so many!
I have a feeling we’ll be coming back to Hawaii.
Tropical Guava Pineapple Banana Smoothie
Be sure to scoop out all the seeds from the guava.
- 2 cups guava flesh
- 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple
- 1 banana
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 cups ice
- Scoop out the entire core of the guava.
- To remove guava flesh, use a spoon and glide it along the inside of the guava, as close to the outside skin as possible.
- Blend all ingredients in until smooth.
Makes 3-4 servings.
|Scoop out the entire core to remove all the seeds.|
|Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh after seeding the guava.|
This post was submitted to August 2011 Strut Your Stuff hosted by Dine & Dish.