Pizza and Poke – Savory Eats on the Big Island

By Jessica Willis

Hawaii’s Big Island has so many unique flavors to offer thanks to its large East Asian and South Asian populations. As much as Brandon and I enjoy authentic Hawaiian food, like Kalua pork and macaroni salad (but not poi, sorry), we had no intention of eating it for three meals a day when we visited…

Meeting the Queen at Big Island Bees

By Jessica Willis

Of the five farm tours we enjoyed on Hawaii’s Big Island this summer, our visit to the apiary at Big Island Bees was my favorite! An apiary is a collection of beehives, like the boxes you see here. Our tour guide Tricia was very knowledgeable and taught us several surprising facts about these endangered little…

5 Farm Tours Across Hawaii’s Big Island + Bonus Activities!

By Jessica Willis

The goal: to enter back into society with a bang; a clear line of demarcation where sweatpants ended and sun dresses began. After getting our second vaccine shots, it felt important to do something crazy to mark the end of the COVID-19 era instead of quietly easing back into society as if 2020 never happened.…

Kayaking Through Jellyfish at the Elkhorn Slough

By Jessica Willis

The Monday of Labor Day weekend seemed like a great time to rent kayaks with my favorite people and glide through the salty waters of the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, California. This protected nature preserve opens up to the Pacific Ocean, meaning all sorts of fascinating wildlife can easily swim their way into the…

Exploring the Danish Village of Solvang

By Jessica Willis

Whenever we road trip to Santa Barbara for a long weekend, it’s customary for us to stop at Solvang along the way – “A little slice of Denmark in Southern California“. This historic Danish village tucked into the Santa Ynez Valley hills 45 minutes north of our destination provides more than just a much-needed pit…

Dazzling Flavors in the “American Rivera”

By Jessica Willis

Pit stop! The first leg of our road trip to sunny Santa Barbara began with saucy ribs and blue cheese tri tip salad from Salinas City Barbeque. Hands down, the most gorgeous combination of meat and seasonal veggies that we’ve ever seen. Pro tip: Never start a long journey on an empty stomach. Ok, back…

Sunflowers and Smiles at California Spring Trials

By Jessica Willis

If you’ve never been to a flowers trade show before, I highly encourage it. Beyond the obvious loveliness of the plants on display, I’m always impressed by the incredible coordination it takes to grow countless varieties of different flowers that all bloom perfectly at the same time, even as their growth cycles drastically vary through…

Hawaiian Vibes at Hula’s Island Grill

By Jessica Willis

I was hangry; you know the feeling. After mysteriously waiting half an hour to receive our appetizer from a popular ocean-view restaurant, though we were one of only three tables expecting service during the quiet between-meals hour of 3pm, Brandon and I decided to cut our losses and find another place to eat. Clearly this…

Peacocks and Pit Stops at Casa De Fruta

By Jessica Willis

Anyone roadtripping from the south valley along Pacheco Pass toward I-5 has stopped at Casa de Fruta, the farm stand-turned oasis hidden among the rolling California hills. Home to waving palm trees and colorful blue peacocks, Casa de Fruta was founded back in the early 1900s by a family of orchard farmers who evolved the…

Barbareño – Flavor Stories of Santa Barbara

By Jessica Willis

When the mild California winter finally breaks around Easter, and the sun warms our faces on afternoon walks, we emerge from our cooped up tiny house existence for a celebratory stay-cation in Santa Barbara. It’s not summer yet; not time for long holidays in exotic places far away from home. No, we venture just a few hours…