Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sharing the Aloha + Giveaway {CLOSED-Winner Announced}

If you read Monday's post, you know that our vacay didn't get off to a swimming start.  It was in fact our 13th trip to the islands and the typically unlucky number was rearing it's head a few times.  But just to prove that we did have some highlights, I thought I'd share some pics from our time away.

Ululani's Shave Ice on Maui...lilikoi and cherry.  THE best shave ice in all of Hawaii!

3 Bear Falls on the Hana Highway was insane with the recent rainfall.  This is twice the amount that's usually going.

This wonderful lady and her sister run a lei stand past Hana but before Oheo Gulch...STOP THERE!  It was the highlight of our time on Maui and they truly represent the aloha spirit.

Keomoku Church on Lana'i.  They're restoring it to its former glory and doing a wonderful job.

This activity took the place of one that fell through.  The Mr did the sporting clays.  Cross one off the bucket list for him.

I love seeing all of the tropical flowers at the Ali'i Kula Lavender Gardens in upcountry Maui.

The lavender gardens.  They make lotions, potions, food, etc with it.

The first sunset from our rental home on the Big Island.  We stayed here when we met a new friend for the first time for our 10th anniversary.  (Explanation is coming)

The Mr and I's favorite breakfast...the Pineapple Papaya Mac Nut Upside Down pancakes at Sam Choy's Kai Lanai in Keauhou.

The Place of Refuge (Pu`uhonua O H┼Źnaunau)

Akaka Falls

We love stopping by the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens when we're on the Big Island.
A nice young lady decided to sideswipe our car despite there being a witness and left.  Thankfully there are still good people in this world and she called the police and gave a statement.  Yes we got the Loss Damage Waiver.  This isn't the first time this has happened to us.

Then we drove to our 2 day rental where the person so nicely left the keys inside for us and locked the door on their way out!  We had to stay elsewhere that night and fought with the owner for 2 days.  3rd stay there was our last.

Halemaumau crater glowing at night.  This is cool but when you've actually poked liquid lava a few times in your life, it's kind of a bummer.  This lava junkie needs some molten goodness!

The place where lava meets the road will never get old.  Unfortunately it was stinkin' hot by 8:30am so we were only in the lava fields for about an hour.

I made some tropical fruit smoothies with a buttload of fruit we got the at Kona Farmers Market.  Yes, I said buttload.  Pineapple, papaya, lychees, mangos, orange and banana.

The Mr chillin' by our pool at the house.  We'll definitely stay there again!

Now for the highlight of our trip and giveaway.  For our 10 year anniversary (six years ago-holy crap!), the Mr was able to do some sweet talking to an assistant of my favorite chef, Sam Choy and surprised me with having him cook dinner for us in the rental home we stayed at that year as well as this trip.  We were about 50 lbs from our highest weights when we met him for the first time and he had lost over 100 lbs at that point.  We talked about weight and all kinds of stuff and immediately hit it off.  We stayed in touch with him and his lovely wife ever since.  When our motivation would get low, we would get out the video of him cooking dinner and our conversation and remind ourselves of the lessons he taught us.

We got to see Sam three times this past visit and probably kept his new restaurant Sam Choy's Kai Lanai in the black this month for as many times as we ate there!  We got some cookbooks and now we want to share the aloha with you by giving away an autographed copy of Sam Choy's Sampler: Hawaii's Favorite Recipes.  This cookbook is the perfect way to transport yourself back to the islands for those who have been there or to take a virtual trip to Hawaii through Sam's culinary gems.  He provides sample menus, how to prepare for a luau and different recipes from side dishes to main dishes to drinks and even his famous dressings, which the Mr could bathe in.

Here's how to enter:

Comment below and say "COOKBOOK ME!" if you want to be entered into the giveaway.

The giveaway is open until Friday, May 25 at 6pm EST.

The winner selected by is:

Congrats to ajchaney89!!  Please contact me at mrs {at} successalongtheweigh {dot} com to claim your prize!

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  1. Oh, what a lovely trip! As much as I would love to walk the beaches in Hawaii, the lava fields are what really pull me. Thank you for sharing your vacation with us! (Especially when one of us bears a striking similarity to the person who locked the keys in the room.)


    Even after your horrible flight to the Islands, it sounds like there were some real highlights too. I'm glad some things went well for you.


    The pictures you took of the waterfalls are GORGEOUS! They are so stunning, you're so awesome at taking photos.

    That absolutely blows that the guy locked the keys inside and was a jerk to you. And the girl hitting your car.


    The photos are lovely! It isn't a vacation unless there's some adventure to it. Or at least that's how our vacations go.


    I have only ever been to the Islands once but I totally reminisced through your photos.

  6. Great photos and welcome back!!!! Cookbook me, please!

  7. I have never been to Hawaii:( I am enjoying see it through your awesome pic's. I would also love to enter the "Cookbook Me" giveaway.

  8. Ah, beautiful pictures!! Someday we will get to Hawaii. Do you speak any of the local language? Those pancakes look divine! COOKBOOK ME some of those Sam Choy recipes!!!!
    What a great idea to have blended local fruit creations during the trip. I hope I would have thought of that. My dad was sent to HI several times in his career and I remember he always shipped back (surely not carry-on? I was young) a case of pineapple. Oh my!
    LOVED the botanical gardens and lavender fields! Is that a bird of paradise, vibrantly colored because it IS in Paradise?
    Last comment.... that POOL at your rental home!! *gasp* *drool* What privacy! What a view! I could float there forever.

    Oh, and COOKBOOK ME again for good measure, random number generator god.


  9. COOKBOOK ME! :) I've never been to Hawaii, but I've always wanted to go there. That church is so beautiful. I love your pictures. It's like looking at postcards from Hawaii.


    Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. They are gorgeous... my husband and I are planning to take our first trip to Hawaii in 2 years and I am going to have to put these places on my "must see/eat" list!

  11. COOKBOOK ME! Because I've never been to Hawaii and want to live vicariously through you and your giveaway.

  12. Well the good outweighs the bad, at least in this post! Sorry to see the drama thrown in, though.

    I am seriously drooling over that smoothie!!!

  13. My great aunt and uncle used to go to Hawaii every year, he loved it so much. She hated it (surprising, I know!), but I'll never think of the islands without thinking of her. Maybe some day I'll go see them for myself. COOKBOOK ME!

  14. Those flowers look so amazing! So did the smoothie and your rental! Awwww, I wanna go. Cookbook me! (Thanks for the updates!)

  15. Awesome blog and pics! i felt like i was right there with you! and if you COOKBOOK ME! my tummy will feel like it was there too!

  16. COOKBOOK ME! I love your updates! It certainly makes me miss Hawaii though - I've been to Kauai a couple of times and it's one of my favorite places on earth. Hugs~

  17. Loved your pix and Maui is my favorite! Oh yeah cookbook me!


    I'm sorry it started off so rocky and you had issues but glad to see you guys did have good moments. And got to see Sam again. I remember a blog of yours talking about him and the MR surprising you. You have a keeper there :)

    Glad you are back though! I missed you!

  19. Oh heck yeah...COOKBOOK ME!!!

    I love all the pictures! It definitely looks like there was plenty of highs to help balance out the lows. Those smoothies look AMAZING! I have always heard from my son and DIL (she grew up on Oahu and he did a couple year stint there) that Hawaii is notorious for its bad drivers! LOL Sorry you had to have that firsthand experience. And my only comment on the keys is WTF?!?!? It's kind of funny (from outside the experience) to see your picture of them sitting there on the table all nice and safe... ;-) Funny in a sad way...

    Can't wait to hear more about the trip!!!

  20. Well, by all means, COOKBOOK ME! A girl can never have enough cookbooks! Sounds like you had a great time and your rental house looks awesome!

  21. I have not had a chance to visit Hawaii yet, but get to the Caribbean at least once a year. I love Caribbean and all types of ethic food, so COOKBOOK ME! This book would be a nice addition to my collection of fresh and tasty recipes!

  22. COOKBOOK ME (Please). Glad there were some awesome times on your trip. How sweet was it that the person at the rental kept those keys so safe for you? Sheesh. Those pancakes look like heaven on a plate! Love the pics of your trip.

  23. BEAUTIFUL pictures! I am so glad you could make the best out of your not perfect trip. Those pancakes look amazing.

  24. I've been doing a little traveling myself (nothing spectacular, just trips to see family) and am way behind on your blogs. Just wanted to let you know I'm still around and reading, and tell you I enjoyed seeing these pictures.

    Since I won the last cookbook, I'll forego entering this giveaway, but methinks I must find some island food and see what I'm missing.

  25. Okay... I give up... I've written two replies only to have the cyber gods delete me (feels kinda like my life right now, lol)... I just can't type it all out again right now.... So, yes please, simply COOKBOOK ME (it's okay if I don't qualify for the give-away)!

    {{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

    (Does that count as three entries? :D)

    I'm so glad there were some very positive things on the trip; gorgeous pictures, and I'm drooling over the food. We had something similar to the keys happen to us recently, too--went to pick up our keys in a lock box, but no lock box. Ours worked out, but that's not a good way to start out!

  27. Cookbook me!! Beautiful photos. The drink looked so yummy! Sounds like a lovely vacation!!

  28. Cookbook Me!

    I'm glad there were some up moments to off-set the travelling heck.


  29. Cookbook me!

    Shame we can't ship the shaved ice because that looks yummy.


    And welcome back.


    I would kill for those pancakes!!!!

  32. cookbook me--love you and have missed you

    I loooove Hawaii. I've only been there once though. I wish I could visit as much as you and the MR do. Omg, I loved all the beautiful pictures and those upside down pancakes made my mouth water, lol.

  34. COOKBOOK ME!!!

    I'm so sorry that your trip was so rough. :( Hopefully next year will be much nicer. I've never been to Hawaii, but my Aunt is from there, and I miss eating her food. :(


    Now if my work would stop removing photos from blog posts.. *grumbles* *pulls open blog on her phone* Oooh, it looks beautiful. *tries not to laugh at the keys IN the locked house* People really are that dumb, huh? SMH. Glad to see there were some amazing highlights mixed in with the madness.


    Oh how I love the Islands! My husband was born and raised in Honolulu. We were just there for his dad's funeral and headed over to the Big Island to have some fun family time. I am always willing to head over.

  37. Cookbook me! I'm so glad your vacation had some nice highlights, despite the bumps in the road (or in the air.) The pictures are gorgeous! I'm so jealous - I dream of visiting Hawaii someday!

  38. Cookbook me! What lovely photos. Defiantly on my bucket list.

  39. COOKBOOK ME! I loved all of your vacation pictures! I really wanted some of those pancakes! I've been watching LOST (filmed in Hawaii) lately and I just want to go to Hawaii so bad now!

  40. COOKBOOK ME! Looks like you had a great holiday. Hawai'i is on my list of places to visit. I think it was the Brady Bunch special that first made me want to go there, followed by that Elvis movie, and, more recently, that really sad George Clooney movie The Descendents.

  41. Beautiful pics! I hope to back to Hawaii someday. My parents rented a house on the big island too- thats definitely how I want to do it. Welcome back!

    Cookbook Me!

  42. COOKBOOK ME! I've never been to Hawaii so this might be my chance to have a virtual Hawaiian vacay! Your airplane horror stories have me continuing my resolve to not fly unless absolutely necessary. I could be the same weight as I was in my 20's and I STILL don't want to fly (very skinny then). It seems like it's more of a cattle call these days. Anyway, I'm glad you had some good times!


    I have never traveled to Hawaii, however I have always wanted to go. Hoping that I can go with my mother one day for a mother-daughter trip!!


    I love seeing your photos. I'm sorry that it was not the best ever trip of a lifetime but I am so glad you were able to enjoy yourselves despite the adversities. *hugs*


    Oh, those pictures are beautiful. I will go there someday...wearing my skinny jeans/shorts/capris or skinny whatever!!


    I've only been to Hawaii once (and it was because my husband had to go there on business). I'd LOVE to go back and I really loved your recap and photos (although sorry it was such an unlucky trip!

    I would so love to go to Hawaii. You make it sound even better.


    Even with the downs, glad to hear you had a wonderful vacation!

  49. Cookbook me!
    I never win stuff...but the photos were a prize all by themselves. Lovely way to enjoy a place I've not been to. (yet)

  50. I love all of your photos! How nice of you to do a cookbook giveaway! So happy you had a fantastic time!


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