8 Things I’m Crazy About Right Now–Maui Edition
1. Top Chef Seattle: We’ve been watching this season’s episodes as religiously as always, but with a little special attention being paid since they are cooking just hours away in our sister city here in the Pacific Northwest. We took even more interest when we realized that one of the competing chefs, Sheldon Simeon, is the head chef at a highly-acclaimed restaurant on Maui. We even let the girls watch a few epsiodes and now they are Top Chef die-hards. Reservations for four please. Times four.
2. Star Noodle. See #1. We ate at Sheldon’s (we’re on a first name basis now) restaurant four out of the seven nights we were there. I thought I knew what delicious food tasted like. I did not before. I do now. it is perfect Pad Thai. Flawless Brussels sprouts. Mouth puckering Cran Yuzu juice. Fluffy, decadent malasadas. Accommodating wait staff. And tiny bottles of hoisin sauce, chili sauce and Chinese mustard to put on everything. The girls (okay, and Chris and I) were thrilled when we got to meet Sheldon on our last night there. He was so humble and kind and made the girls feel truly special. We celebrated by watching another episode of Top Chef and eating pie. (See #3)
3. Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop: We discovered later in the week that Sheldon has another restaurant down the coast, and this restaurant specializes in home-cooking. Yes, please. Huge flavorful sandwiches on fluffy homemade bread. Yes. Local, fresh ingredients made into rich, creamy banana, coconut and macadamia nut pies. Yes. Tender, sweet, mouthwatering, best thing I’ve ever tasted ever berry hand pies. Please. I’ve been dreaming about these pies ever since we left. Such sweet dreams.
4. Baby Beach: Believe it or not, we did more than eat on our trip. Baby Beach was the perfect place for our family to play every day. A coral reef makes a natural kiddie pool along the shore, so the girls could splash and play in the ocean without any fear of sneaker waves. It is the perfect beach for families, so if you are visiting Maui, I could not recommend it more.
5. Ululani’s Shaved Ice: So we got hungry after the beach. You haven’t had good shaved ice if you haven’t had Ululani’s. It’s more like delicious, tropical-flavored snow, and we partook daily. There are two locations in Lahaina and they offer all sorts of creative flavors and homemade syrups, infused with real fruit. My favorite flavor was “Broke in Da Mouth,” pickled mango syrup topped with Li Hing Mui powder (a fermented pickled plum salt). My family thought I was crazy. But man, I dug it.
6. This book: I quickly read this book the first two days we were on the island, and I loved it. When Kate loses her best friend in an accident, she inherits her journals that she kept her whole life. Through the journals. Kate learns about her friend, the hurts she kept to herself and the dreams she never shared, and in doing so, Kate learns how to live with honesty, openness and the knowledge that we may never truly know the battles others are fighting. I think this is such an important idea to keep in mind as we interact with friends, family and truly everyone we encounter, even bloggers.
7. Swim lessons: Okay, I was not crazy about swim lessons for the last four months of Thursday nights that I was responsible for chasing two shivering girls around the gym locker room, had to practically enter the shower myself to get all the chlorine out of their hair and we ate frozen pizza for dinner at eight o’ clock. But I loved the fact that both girls were fearless in the water this trip. It felt so nice to have confidence in their abilities in the water and to not be apprehensive without life jackets or floaties. Go girls (and dad for being by their side every moment, making #6 possible)!
8. This. Without question we are in a transitory season in our lives right now. So much seems unknown as the girls are both edging towards being in school full-time, with their own hobbies, interests and friends. I’ve been lucky to be volunteering more in their classes, with our childhood ministry team at church and writing for She Reads Truth. Adding to the mix, our next book comes out in March. Chris is now a small-business owner, at his firm, with all the perks and responsibilities that go along with that. Because of all this, this trip was such a gift for us. We were able to take the time to not worry about what’s ahead but to just say thank you for what’s in front of us right now.
And to remember that every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17.)
Thanks for letting us share our trip with you. You make it good to be home.