If you work as a creative in any form, you know what I mean when I say that sometimes you need the artistic version of a swift kick in the pants.
Things grow stale. You lose inspiration, struggle to find new ideas, and become sluggish both mentally and physically.
You need something to ignite that spark again. Not the spark that says, “Let’s do this!” It’s more of that spark that says, “My goodness, look at the beauty there. You must capture it and then recreate it!”
I’m familiar with that physical motivation spark. It’s gotten me through almost a dozen half marathons. But that creative spark is new territory for me. I often feel it is much, much harder to ignite once it begins to fizzle.
So I went to Italy.
If you’ve traveled to just about any island of Hawaii, you know what I’m talking about. The plane lands, you grab the rental car, and head straight to Costco.
You will randomly hear folks talk about it around California – we just stock up on food at Costco. Saving money by having your own snacks on hand or grilling at your condo’s shared picnic area is a common practice. I really didn’t realize how common until we were browsing the aisles of Costco Kauai and we saw at least 3 other families that were on our flight from San Jose. (We also all ended up at Kauai Beer Co. You can read about that great place in my recap of what to eat in Kauai.)
This type of post is a little out of character for Fake Food Free (I picked up some fresh fruit, too, don’t worry), but after finding some really great Hawaiian products and realizing that a lot of people search for info about Costco Kauai, I really wanted to share what we found. It didn’t get really exciting until we stumbled into the local products section towards the front of the store. That’s where I may have gone a little crazy. Crazy meaning we ended up bringing back some unopened packages due to overbuying.
The best part is that many of these things are great for hiking, which we did a lot of to stay active in Kauai. From jerky to macadamia nuts, we found so many great things to try.
I heard it so many times before we left. Then even from locals when we arrived.
“Kauai really doesn’t have the best food,” they would say. It was quickly followed up with a listing of all the things that Kauai does have the best of – beaches, vegetation, hiking, wildlife.
It’s probably my fault. When you work in food, people know you travel for food. I think they were just looking out for me; trying to save me from disappointment.
Truth be told, though, I really didn’t think it was that bad. In fact, we managed to scope out some really good food. Enough that I felt like I should share a bit about what to eat in Kauai.
I’m running a little late with my four favorites from October, but there were too many great things I enjoyed to skip over this monthly tradition. I restocked one of my favorite balsamic vinegars, read one of my favorite types of books, had a little time to be inspired by entertaining and design blogs, and spent some quality time with elephant seals over my birthday weekend.
Irvine is one of those California towns that is surrounded by so many other action-packed places, that it often gets overshadowed. Drive your car a few miles and you are headed through Costa Mesa, on the beach in Newport or Laguna, or sitting in the heart of L.A.
After visiting for the first time last March for the Women In Travel Summit, I learned that this overshadowing is most certainly undeserved. That’s why I decided to reach out to Destination Irvine when I learned that my husband’s Dave Matthews Band concert agenda would take to Irvine in August.
The fine folks there helped us organize our weekend and as a result I have three things you must do if you find yourself there in the near future.
It only took a stop in one coffee shop for me to wonder why I’d not made Sacramento a higher priority on my California travel list. Things appear to be changing rapidly in this city and that means it is ticking all the boxes of a top food and drink destination.
There are coffee shops that make you want to pull out the laptop and sit a few hours, craft beer lists that represent the state’s growing number of breweries and beyond, happy hours with bites that combine comforting favorites with trendy twists, and vegetarian food that I could easily pick over a meat treat any day of the week.
I was in Sacramento for 4 days at the end of July to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference. It was a fun few days catching up with old friends and making new ones. The conference did an excellent job of tying in so many of the wonderful foods and food companies that Sac has to offer.
I like to say I travel for food instead of saying I travel to eat. Many people probably think there isn’t a difference, but there is. At least that is what I tell myself.
I don’t set out on a trip with the goal of eating copious amounts of food, but I do set out to explore as many unique food experiences as I possibly can. If that means also eating the food, well so be it. I won’t complain.
It’s hard to explain how inspiring it is to make a brand new food discovery that you haven’t seen in your travel to 20 countries if a person just doesn’t get it. But I’ll keep trying because it’s experiences like these that motivate me to travel to new places.
After visiting our first Christmas market in Europe in 2013, I feared this might happen. Then we went again in 2014 and I knew there was no escaping it.
My brain has permanently redefined the holiday season.
Now, if you look up the definition of the holidays in my head, you will find Christmas markets in Vienna, Krakow and also Copenhagen and Berlin.
This is Christmas.
The lights, the jolly attitudes, the crowds, an evening standing in the freezing cold and actually enjoying it, and of course, the food and drink.
Now, nothing says Christmas to me like experiencing one of those markets.
My Four Favorites series is back and I’m introducing a new theme to these monthly installments of my favorite finds.
The four Bs. A book, a blog, a brand and a break.
These are a few things I’ve come across this month that I’ve enjoyed so much that I must share.
Food, drinks, and beautiful views. Just a few of the reasons why even the most touristy of locations can’t ruin a trip to Maui, Hawaii.
“Yeah, it’s a bit of a touristy area, but it will be fine. It’s a quick trip and Hawaii is so close now. We’ll be back.”
Famous last words when travel planning.
When we decided we would visit Maui, I spent some time researching accommodations. Our first thought was to get a remote rental where we could relax and cook a little using local ingredients.
Then when booking our direct flights from Oakland we got swayed by the great package deals, so we went ahead and added the hotel, too.
So with our tolerance for crowds way up, we arrived on the island, eager to finally see Hawaii.