Favorite Tropical Fruits

I love tropical fruits. One of the top reasons I'd be homesick for Hawaii while living in NYC was because I missed eating tropical fruits. Mango, lychee (litchi) and passionfruit are definitely my top three.

Luckily for me, I found a way to eat these fruits without traveling to my home state. Mexico is much closer than Hawaii and significantly less expensive. It helps that I'm new to Tulum so I'm not running into people who've known me my entire life.

Mangoes are currently in season here. In Hawaii, they are a summer fruit. Seems in the Caribbean they start a little earlier than Hawaii. My mom used to bring back mangoes she'd receive from people who lived in warmer areas of Maui (mangoes require warmer temperatures to grow and ripen). The bottom drawer of our refrigerator was always full with mangoes. There are many varieties of mangoes. Here in Tulum I've been buying the Altoufo variety. They are an even color of saffron yellow on the outside and a slightly brighter, orange tinted yellow on the inside. The flavor is succulently sweet, the texture isn't stringy at all but more creamy. To me it's perfect and I'm so happy when eating them.

Passion fruit (maracuyá in Spanish or lilikoi in Hawaiian) is a tangy fruit full of edible seeds inside of sac-like structures, similar to, but not exactly like pomegranates. The outside is either bright yellow for a dark violet. Passion fruit grow on vines and the flowers are incredibly stunning. The smell of a passionfruit when you cut it open is vibrant even intoxicating. Passion fruit is delicious fresh and a beautiful addition to gelato, sorbet, cheesecake, créme bruleé or even eclair filling like my friend Alana does here . Not only do passion fruit taste incredible, they're great for your health as well. But really any fresh fruit is beneficial to your mind, body and stomach.

Lychee (Litchi) apparently will be in season here in the summer. I wasn't sure I could get them locally as I've only had them in Hawaii and Southeast Asia and hadn't thought to research it even. I really can't wait to have all my favorite tropical fruits at the same time. The best part is that they won't come from thousands of miles away which means they'll taste that much better.

I haven't even begun to cover the surface of tropical fruits that are available around here and in Mexico as a whole. But writing about them would become more of an encyclopedia about fruit so I stuck to my absolute favorites.

Altoufo mangoes at a grocery stand

The perfect mango

Passion fruit (Maracuyá) gelato in Playa del Carmen

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm sorry it's been so long. Even though I have the Blogger application on my iPhone I haven't really gotten much use out of it.

Anyway, a lot has gone on since I last wrote. Mostly I'm just busy with working part-time at a coffee shop which is fun because it's located right in a cute, surfer town on the North Shore of Maui. In addition to that I'm working with a makeup artist helping with marketing and social media for her business. It's pretty interesting and for Hawaii it's a little closer to the fashion industry than other work. Recently another opportunity has presented itself so I want to challenge it while I'm here. It's also PR work so I'm excited.

My more important focus now is to find a job in Europe in fashion PR. But with visa issues it is easier said than done. That won't deter me from my dream to live there because I know if I don't try I'll always regret it.

On days off I go to the beach and enjoy the wonderful weather we've been having. Generally winters in Hawaii are rainy and wet but we've been having fantastic weather! It was recently my birthday and I was just so glad that the weather was beautiful. When I was young it was always about wishing it wouldn't rain on my birthday so I'm ever grateful.

I've been here at home longer than I anticipated but I don't regret it at all.

Hope all of you had, or are having a great Valentine's Day. It's never really been particularly special to me but I still hope it's a day of memories for you all.

Will write again soon and include pictures. Until then:)

Happy New Year!!

Pretty late considering we're more than a week into the new year. My NYE was a lot of fun. I went to my friend's house for a party which included a lot of eating, fireworks and laughter.

My new year's resolutions include: studying foreign languages that I have dabbled into or have studied once before (in this case French and Farsi), seizing the day so I don't miss opportunities or chances, exercising in ways that won't bore me, keep in touch with friends through more meaningful modes of communication (letters, calls, emails), take more fashion risks which I say every year but I continue to remain mostly in my comfort zone, make new and wonderful connections and friends and be fully independent. I'm slowly getting there with most of them, minus the exercise, somehow I just can't get to doing yoga frequently enough and I haven't gone surfing in months :(

Anyway, I have a feeling that 2012 will be an even better, livelier, rewarding,and happier year than 2012. Hope you're all having a great 2012 so far!!






Will include pictures next time. 次は写真も乗せるね^_^


Home Sweet Home

Home is where the heart is. Cliche I know but it has never meant as much to me as it does now. It's be about six weeks since I came home from Japan. This time it isn't just a visit of a couple weeks but this time I'll stay put for some time. Which for me is likely to be a few months.

Hawaii, and specifically Maui, is full of beauty. Whether it's in the sky, in the sea or in between. The rain forests, open green fields, deep valleys or steep cliffs, volcanic craters, white sandy beaches, plentiful rainbows and so on. It is endless. And every moment and day brings instances of priceless beauty. After a couple years in the bustling, lively and metropolitan cities of Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo, the calm and natural beauty of Maui eases the depths of my heart and soul.

Every morning that it's sunny (which is almost everyday) I wake up to a breathtaking view of the island from my home and bask in the Hawaiian sun. The birds are really the only noise that I hear and it is these moments of near silence that I savor. I feel so grateful to have been born and raised on this island. In my teenage years I felt that Maui was small and there wasn't much more, beyond the 15+ years that I had spent, to be excited about. These sorts of thoughts were likely influenced by my annual visits to Japan in the summer where there was so much more stimulation and energy. But now that I'm a little older, I see that nothing can compare to being raised here. Maui, in its own way has an energy that comes from its people and its vast nature.

Yes, I still see aspects of what I didn't care for when I was younger, but now I see those things as less important as those aspects which are positive and continuously draw people from all around the world to visit or live here. There is the same internationalism that exists in many metropolitan cities just at a scale comparable to an island population. It isn't always so visible but if you search for it, you will undoubtedly find it all around. Hawaii is certainly multicultural, just look at its geography but it isn't just those cultural groups that came in the 18th and 19th century that exist today. Today there are people from the North America, South America, Europe and Asia. More specifically I know and recognize many South African, Italian, French, Swiss, Germans, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indian, Thai, Caribbean, Argentine, Brazilian, Mexican, Irish people. Quite the contrast from the ethnic groups say a 100 years ago: Hawaiian, Portuguese, English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Filipino.

All of these things and more allows me to love, admire and respect this 'aina' or land and its people. I'm so proud to call Maui home.

I'm still here

I cannot believe it's been practically three months since I've last written. I had previously mentioned that I was going to Europe on business. I was involved with a fashion show during Paris Fashion Week and then went to London for an exhibition. The weather in both cities was wonderful and it was all a great learning experience. I met some amazing people, got to see some friends, explore Paris a little and enjoy Europe overall.

However, on the my last full day in London I was awoken by a phone call from a friend telling me that there had a been an earthquake in Japan. I turned on the t.v. and called my loved ones. No one I knew was directly affected but the images on the t.v. didn't seem real. It was so shocking to see and it was a mix of feelings for wishing I was there to be with my loved ones and not wanting to return right away to see how things would be.

After returning to Paris my colleagues and I had to see if our flights would fly back to Tokyo. The first group of colleagues were delayed but the rest of us were fine. When I arrived in Tokyo on March 13th many of the trains weren't running so I was given a ride home. From then on it was almost non-stop with watching the news. My company and other companies had taken a couple days off to read the situation. At this point I had decided it would be safer to return for a short time to Kobe and see friends. I was definately still concerned but it was a relief to be farther south and not have to feel like I need to wear a mask- something that was a must in Tokyo for me.

I returned to Tokyo and continued working but the situation with the nuclear plant didn't seem to be improving at all I was busy trying to make my own opinion between the Japanese media downplaying the presence and the affect of radiation and foreign media which was more realistic and sometimes exaggerated at times. Anyway, after much thought and deliberation I decided that the best thing for me and my health was to move out of Tokyo.

So...I moved my things into a storage unit in Kobe and stayed there for a week or so before coming here to Hawaii. I had already planned to come for vacation in early May so I decided I'll just come, be at home and just see how things turn out.

There are some aspects of being away from a metropolitan city and many friends that I miss but it's been two years since I've been home and Hawaii is just so beautiful. I feel so fortunate to be here and to have had such a wonderful upbringing here.

I'll try my best to keep up with this blog. I'll have more time to dedicate to writing amongst other things so keep reading:)

Hope you're all happy and healthy.