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Looking Back 2020

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

The year is not quite over, but it might as well be. I can't really imagine any further significant events taking place in the next few weeks, except a great shopping frenzy among us as we eagerly await a new administration to be ushered into the White House, and cross our fingers for a little peace and a lot of progress. A little uneventfulness would do us all good.

I've always thought the minutes are slow, and the years are quick. Well this year has been an especially good example of that. The web calls drag on, and at times, feel draining. It surprises me that events that took place before shelter in place was announced was just earlier this year. Was it really just about 9 months ago that life was still 'normal'? Feels a lot longer, and also feels like yesterday.

The last few months have become one big blur to me as time speeds on by, and it has been more or less of the same routine. Commute to desk, hop on calls, try not to be depressed by headlines, prepare meals, and repeat. At times, this year has felt mundane, and I know that is no hardship at all. I am grateful, especially these days. A little reflection reminded me that I have some pretty good memories to look back on, and because of that, I am very lucky. It's the memories that make up the lives we live.


 

Maui, Hawaii


At the beginning of this year, I got my first airport lei in Hawaii! Upon landing, I was offered a lei at the airport. I didn't even know this was still a thing.

We ventured on the Road to Hana and learned about what Maui during a drought, pineapple plantations, native crops, giant avocados, invasive plants, and the town of Hana itself. Hana is small and remote, by design, with a community ecosystem. There is just the one general store, one post office, one hotel, and everybody knows each other.


Here is a car that veered off the road. It looks like no one was hurt, but the car was forced to be abandoned. Apparently this is not uncommon as there are other rusting vehicles in the forest.


Wai'anapanapa State Park Honokalani Black Sand Beach


Tim getting a shot of the Sea Cave


waterfalls galore


Pua'a Ka'a


invasive, but beautiful African tulips, and Chinese bamboo everywhere


eucalyptus trees and toilet paper


Iao Needle & Valley

where bloody battles took place


splashing in the stream

Maui Brewing Co. Great ambiance. Beer's not bad.


Paia Fish Market delicious seafood

Aunty Sandy's Banana Bread Why is banana bread so popular all over the island? This one, in particular, was served warm and moist.

Hula Grill touristy and the food is not bad I was curious to try the Hula Pie, and it is certainly a monstrous pie.

Star Noodle

great menu and great food

The broth and roast pork in the Star Noodle were rich.

Scallop shots were also rich.

Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice Lahaina What's a visit to Hawaii without shave ice? The texture is so fine and soft.

Eskimo Candy Seafood Market & Cafe Actually, what's a visit to Hawaii without poke?

Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquors I never expected to enjoy poke from a liquor store so much. Their fish selection is impressive.

Ahi & Hamachi Bowl, so good

Mill House A historical sugar mill with plantation, coffee shop, restaurant, zip line...

creamy taro leaf risotto

Four Sisters Kitchen We paid this bakery a visit before our flight back home. It may not look like much, but these butter rolls are so satisfying and simple. I also got a loaf of Mango Bread to take home.

Had I known this would be the last trip I would take in a while, I probably would have chosen an international destination. I have so many on my list. But I'm glad I was able to travel to a lush destination with blissful ignorance, and return healthy and safe.

 

Come April I was trying to fashion a faux mask out of a scarf. To entertain myself, I downloaded an app to learn how to play chess and Tim got me a Rubik's cube.

We finally made use of our balcony, and enjoyed some snacks.

A few weeks later, Tim graduated with his master's.

A few weeks after that, we moved back to our hometown. I don't know what it is, but it feels so good to be back in the city. I'm just a silly city girl. Tim and I were able to enjoy the warmer months and for a while, we biked to the Ferry Building every week. Here's how I packed up the wine glasses.


Ferry Building in May

My sister-in-law got married. They had a beautiful, intimate patio celebration with family.

 

Come fall, Tim and I gave outdoor dining a try. We did a bit of splurging for a few occasions. Tim's birthday at Atelier Crenn Kir Breton - white chocolate ball with apple cider inside and creme de cassis gelée on top

Caviar and Koji Rice Tart

Brioche and Cultured Herb Butter

Cheese with Dried Mushroom Gelée (looks like Groot)

Apple Pâte à choux with ice cream, caramel, pastry cream, walnuts, apple jelly

11 Year Anniversary at Sons & Daughters

Puffed beef tendon with nasturtium leaf emulsion and chive blossom,

Sunchoke financier and bay leaf,

Potato chip with Comte cream and dried herbs

Fermented corn chip with pumpkin seed and malt vinegar (super delicate)

Boudin noir and charcoal (delicious blood sausage)

Chocolate bon bon, Chocolate tart

2 Year Wedding Anniversary at Spruce Rouge D'étampes Pumpkin Soup - black truffle mousseline, pepita crumble, crisp sage

Spruce Burger - English muffin bun, French fries

Crispy Pork Belly - Anson Mills grits, cured egg yolk, pickled apple

Mascarpone Cheesecake - Fuyu Persimmon, Citrus Crisp

Beignets - chocolate sauce, crème anglaise

After our small Thanksgiving at home with a big meal, I was in the mood to reminisce and reflect on this year. I've been feeling more thankful than usual. I'm particularly thankful for all the memories I've made in all the places I've been to, and that is probably why this wall is one of my favorite things to look at.



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