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Monday, January 30, 2012

Off the Beaten Path

So those of you who know me, know I'm a bit obsessed when it comes to vacations.  Not that I'm one who goes by any schedule- more like I just want to see as much as i can and have a long list of things that intrigue me.  At least every other year, my mom, sister and I go to Hawaii and I always hear "there's so many other beaches, why travel so far?!"  Well, if you have to ask that- you haven't experienced Hawaii the way we do.  The last acquaintance who uttered that ridiculous statement then admitted to me that she stayed at a 5 star resort with her uppity parents and when i asked her what they did, she told me they took a hotel shuttle van to see waimea canyon and ate in the resort restaurant every nite.  I couldn't help but be horrified- "That's it?!"  Although I work for a bus company, the idea of organized transportation on a vacation just floors me.  Isn't the best part when you get "lost" in your rental car and end up god knows where seeing something you never expected to see?!  Then the same week, a customer of mine from my real job made me shake my head yet again.  She had just gotten back from Kauai with her family after asking me to give her the low-down on all the places she should see- and let me tell you, I gave her the insider's "must-see" list.  So she calls me up to book some buses with me and of course I ask "How was your vaca?!  What did you think of Tunnels?!"  I almost went into cardiac arrest when she uttered the words "Well, we stayed on the North Shore and pretty much just stayed at the resort.  The food there was pretty good too".   To each his own, but if you are going to stay at your resort and not venture out- you might as well just go to the cape.  Why take a 12 hour flight just to sit at a ritzy resort all day and not see the REAL Hawaii?!  Ok, ok- I'm a bit opinionated but I'm a Sagittarius- and adventure is my middle name.  Jesus, even my Mom (who admits she isn't the biggest adventurer) throws caution to the wind when she's on vacation with me.  In fact, I'm pretty much like a tour guide minus the fee.  Despite our time-sharing ownership that can get us the fanciest 5 star resort stay, we tend to lean towards something 3 star or so- anything decent and laid back with an apartment style set up.  Yes, a hotel room is not enough for us- we need a living room, private lanai and of course 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms so we have some space.  Some people don't want to cook on vacation- not me- that is something I look forward to!  In fact, usually by the middle of the week, the girls at the local Big Save in Lihue, know my preferences and yell out a friendly "aloha!" to me when I enter the store.  I want to sample the local fruit and vegetables, grill up some fish- experience it like the locals do.  Anyone can get a "safe" salad or a burger at the Sheraton- me, it makes me shudder.  My sister and I love our mixed plates, this is our fave spot and ironically enough, last time our condo was about 10 min from here.  Not sure why it says "drive in" since it is walk-in service only but oddities like that are part of the charm.  Place doesn't look like much but it has the best mixed plate combos in town.  And yes, we take our mixed plates to Tunnels beach (technically Makua Beach, but those in the know call it Tunnels), sit down and enjoy it right in the sand in our wet suits with a big heineken by our side.  It's the only way to live.

Our chicken and beef mixed plate combo- all this for less than $10!!!
  For those of you who don't know, a mixed plate is basically meat of some kind, 2 scoops of white rice and 1 scoop of macaroni salad with REAL mayo.  Friggin insane.

Ok, I got off track a bit when the mixed plate came into mind- but who can blame me?!  Well, that's what part 2 is for- read on....

1 comment:

  1. Aloha! Well said. The best part of visting any of the Hawaiian Islands is the exploring and mingling with the locals. Farmers Markets and road trips are the best part of the vacation. Forget the guidebooks and guided tours. "Experience" your vacation not just "take" a vacation.