Hawaii Day 5: Makai’s First Aloha Shirt


When we woke up Dallas and his dad worked on the deck some more. This is getting repetitive, right? But the morning and evenings are the best times to work because it’s not so hot. You can see who the supervisors were. :)


When Makai took his morning nap, I ran to Hanapepe. My main reason to go was to stop at Talk Story, a bookstore I visited on our last trip that had some books on Kauai and written by Kauai authors that are not available on the Mainland. BUT FIRST…

I stopped at Little Fish Coffee. This is a cute little cafe that I would have liked to hang out at, if I had more time. They seemed to specialize in breakfast and lunch, but I think they are open until 5 p.m. daily. I got an iced coffee, which was especially delicious in the heat. And also because I’d been feeling SO coffee deprived with no coffee maker in the house and not being able to spot a coffee shop in Waimea (I found one later though!).

Across the street I browsed through the Banana Patch Studio, which is always fun. I got Makai a honu puzzle. A quick run through Aloha Spice Company.


At Jacqueline on Kauai I bought Makai his first aloha shirt. Jacqueline owns the shop and has her work station right there in the back. She specializes in custom men’s aloha shirts (made to order or free alterations) and uses her remnants to make boys shirts. We talked a bit and she knows Aunty Kathy. I couldn’t decide between the red, blue or orange print, but ended up with the blue in a size 12 months. I was a little nervous, but it fit perfect and Makai wore it to a party later that day. So glad Makai’s first aloha shirt was a special one hand-made on Kauai.

Finally, at the Talk Story bookstore I picked up a collection of short stories called Kauai Stories. These are stories written by the people of Kauai. I was talking to the owner for a while and he and his wife even had a story in the book! There was not too much of interest otherwise, not much I couldn’t get at home. I realized I’ve read a lot of the Hawaii/Kauai books and others just didn’t look good.


I had to stop again at Big Save to get some things for Makai. Then I went to Jo Jo’s for some shave ice. It’s totally nice inside now. Plain, but not like the shack it used to be. I talked with the woman working the shop and she said that they remodeled in November 2013. I asked her about the Jo Jo’s that popped up next to Big Save and she said that the original owner sold Jo Jo’s (the one we always go to and the original location) and opened a new one. It used to be on a side street (I’d been to that location once) and now it’s next to Big Save in Waimea. I got a #2 with mac nut ice cream and haupia cream on top. I brought the shave ice home and held it in front of Makai. He took a face dive in and grabbed it with his hands!

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For dinner we went to Aunty Nancy and Uncle Bob’s house where Makai got to meet a lot of aunties and uncles and cousins. Dallas’s mom loves to show him off and all the aunties say how good he is. He eats some more poi.


At around 8 p.m. Dallas and I left for a little bit to go to Wrangler’s Steakhouse, where we met up with some of his old childhood Waimea friends, Trixie and Nick, and their friend Kaela. Nick travels the country and the world singing traditional Hawaiian songs and had performed at Wrangler’s earlier that night. We actually wanted him to sing at our wedding ceremony, but he was performing in Japan. You can find him on Spotify or iTunes (Nick Castillo). It was nice to finally meet him and Trixie after hearing so much about them through the years!

Hawaiian Bridal Luncheon

With my mom.

With my mom and dad. My dad gave me these flowers!

Festive Hawaiian Table

With Cousin Dawn

Cousin Kelly, Kelly’s daughter Margo, Mom, Mom’s friend Maureen

Cousin Kelly’s daughter Margo

Cousin Marla, Marla’s daughters Mya and Ella, Cousin Kelly and Kelly’s daughter Katie, Aunt Connie

With my niece Jessica and Cousin Kelly’s other daughters, Tessa and Charlotte

Aunt Connie and Charlotte

Mom & Cousin Dawn. I don’t know what they’re pointing at.

Aunt Connie, Mom & Cousin Dawn. I don’t know what they’re pointing at.


Aunt Deb, Cousin Erica and Erica’s daughter Ella

With Aunt Deb, Cousin Erica and Erica’s daughter Ella

Aunt Sue and My Mom’s Cousin Jane

Jane’s Daughter Jessica and Jessica’s Daughter, Abigail

With my sister-in-law Amanda

Cousins Skyonna and Katrina. I babysat for Katrina very regularly from her birth on!

Cousin Sky. I kept thinking she was older, but she is only 14!


Me and my mom.

Time for gifts.

Ella, My Niece Jessica, Abi

My Aunt Sue wrote a poem for me inside this card.

Ella helping out. Or something.

Jessica & Abi

Ella & Jessica.

Cousin Marla, her daughter Mya, Kelly’s daughter Kate, Aunt Connie, Cousin Kelly

Cousin Kelly & Aunt Sue made these coasters for us using our engagement photos.

Margo with a lei!

Everyone was so generous with the presents!

My mom gave us this sculpture that looks like two pieces but really is one.

Ella & Tessa helping out.

Maureen gave us these personalized towels.

Abi and Ella helping out.

Abi and Ella helping out.

My cousin Erica and her daughter Ella.

Ella drawing.

Abi and her drawing.

Chocolate macadamia nut brownies.

With Aunt Sue and mom.

With all of my mom’s sisters: Alice, Sue, Wanda & Connie

With all of my mom’s sisters: Alice, Sue, Wanda & Connie

Jane’s Husband Gene and my dad

My Aunt Ali

Tessa trying to see how many leis she can wear!

Cousin Skyonna





Sister-in-Law Amanda and Niece Jessica


Mike came to pick up Katrina. They are engaged too!

Jessica being crazy!

With my Uncle Dave

Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, my mom hosted a Hawaiian-themed bridal luncheon for me. My parents really went all out on this one with the food and drinks. We had

  • Salted Macademia Nuts
  • Chocolate-Covered Macademia Nuts
  • Taro Chips
  • Fresh Coconut Pieces
  • Fresh Pineapple Chunks
  • Fruit Salad
  • Lettuce Salad w/ Toasted Macademia Nuts, Toasted Coconut, Pineapple, Bacon and a homemade Pineapple Vinaigrette
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Sweet & Sour Meatballs
  • Kalua Pig on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
  • Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Skewers
  • Pistachio Pudding Salad
  • Orange Dreamsicle Puff
  • White Chocolate Macademia Nut Brownies
  • Hawaiian Party Punch (with or without Skyy Pineapple Vodka)

Amanda, Stephanie and Jessica were in charge of decorations and party supplies. They did such a great job with wall hangings, garland, plates, napkins, utensils, drink umbrellas and stir sticks, leis… so much fun Hawaiian/tropical party things.

Since my brother lives and hour and a half from us here in Chicago and my parents live about two or two and a half hours from my brother, many times we meet there and do things around the Milwaukee area. Or even just hang out at my brother’s house because it’s kind of a central location. This is great, but also means that I don’t see a ton of my family that lives farther away, farther north. It was so great to see so many of my aunts and cousins. I was so happy that many of them were able to make it to the party.

I did not want anyone to feel obligated to bring gifts, I just wanted to see everyone, but my family was so generous and brought gifts anyway. My aunt Sue even wrote a poem for Dallas and I. And she and my cousin Kelly handmade coasters for us with our engagement photos on them! And we received so many great things for the kitchen and bathroom. And new luggage. And a beautiful Kenyan wedding sculpture. And I could go on and on. A big thank you to everyone for being so generous!

Thanks so much to my parents, Amanda, and my nieces for planning everything. And to all of my aunts and cousins for coming out and making it a great day. We will be thinking of everyone while we are away in Hawaii and you will be there with us in spirit, I know!

Joe’s Birthday Dinner

Caprese Salad, South Yarmouth, Cape Cod

Joe, Jessica, Jane :: South Yarmouth, Cape Cod

Last week was Joe, Jessica’s dad’s birthday. This week he and Jessica’s mom, Jane, are visiting on the Cape, so one night we invited them to our house for dinner. Jess, Julie and I served a homemade cucumber, yogurt, dill dip with vegetables, hummus and a cheese plate for appetizers. Then we made turkey burgers like we had the other night, grilled vegetables, corn on the cob, and grilled chicken for dinner. Julie made a caprese salad with fresh basil we got from Jess’s uncle, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. Jane also brought a tasty potato salad – secret ingredient: bacon. Everything was delicious. For birthday dessert we had a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. YUM.