Sunday Afternoon 8/12/2017

The calm before the storm yesterday morning. We had a steady stream of voters in all day, and Hawai’i had its highest voter turnout in recent years. The entire state of Hawaii is moving to mail-in ballots in 2020, and scenes like this will be relegated to history.

Brett and I spent a very L-O-N-G day yesterday serving as poll workers for the Hawai’i primary election. It wasn’t exactly a volunteer position – we’ll both get paid a small stipend – but it was exhausting nonetheless because we had to be up so early (at the site at 5:30 a.m. to set up) and couldn’t leave until all the voting was over at 6:00. It was an interesting experience though, and the people we interacted with were very nice. The voters represented a real slice of Kaua’i life and its diversity, all the way from some in bathing suits (it was a gorgeous day) to one guy who looked like as soon as he took care of voting he was taking his yacht out for a cruise! Brett and I have decided we’re going to use our stipends to go out for a fabulous meal on Election Day (November 6) while we’re in Florence.

The sun was just coming up when Brett and I arrived at our polling station. Yesterday’s weather, while we were stuck inside all day, was gorgeous, but it’s been raining off and on today.

All the sitting at middle school cafeteria benches took a big toll on my back though (no support), so I am once again dealing with pain that has got to be gone before we leave next week. I spent some time in the hot tub as soon as we got home last night which helped a lot, and will be there every day this week, and hopefully I can get this taken care of once and for all. Just to keep things even more interesting, YaYu has apparently developed a case of allergic pinkeye. Fingers are crossed we can get her in to see the doctor this week and get that taken care of. Brett is fine and looking out for us all.

Today’s post will be my last Sunday Afternoon post for a while – we’ll be packing all day next Sunday and getting ready to go, and I don’t think I’m going to have a whole lot going on this coming week to write about anyway. After we depart on the 20th I won’t be following a regular posting schedule, at least not for a while, because I don’t know how often I’ll have time to write. I am going to aim for posting once or twice a week while we’re on the road though. I will be pictures up more frequently on the Occasional Nomads Instagram site while we’re traveling, so I hope you’ll follow us or check in from time to time.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I still have two books going: I read Our Towns during the day (but it’s due back at the library tomorrow!), and The Great Influenza by John Berry at night. Sluggy over at Don’t Read This; It’s Boring recommended it, and I thought it sounded like something I’d like to read. My grandmother occasionally talked about the flu epidemic (she was born in 1890, so was 28/29 when it was going on) and how terrifying it was. I’ve also been reading our Buenos Aires travel guide to get ready for the first stop on our adventure.
  • Listening to: Another blissful day of peace and quiet. I’m listening to nothing right now but the sounds of my own thoughts (and they are happy ones for the most part).
  • Watching: I watched last week’s episode of The Great British Baking Show and a repeat episode from Season 4 of Sherlock on PBS, but also started a 10-episode series on Netflix, The Five (which I’m watching on my computer). It’s really good. Commercial/cable TV drives me nuts to the point that I can’t stand watching any of it.

    No cooking required – my favorite breakfast these days is nonfat Greek yogurt with fresh peach and a sprinkle of granola.
  • Cooking/baking: We’re eating lunch out a few time this week (Ono Char-Burger, Hamura’s, Kauai Pho); are going out to breakfast at the Tip Top on Friday morning; and having dinner at the 1849 Eating House next Saturday evening, but otherwise our task here will be to finish up as much as we can of the food we have in the condo, which isn’t a whole lot at this point. I have a two-pound pork tenderloin that I’m going to cut up – we’ll have grilled pork one evening, and use the rest to make pork yakisoba and pork curry on other evenings.
  • Happy we accomplished this past week: We took care of a few more address changes that we had somehow missed, and we also got rid of a few more things that we brought over with us to the condo that we thought we might need but don’t. We also signed up for a free walking tour of Paris through Paris Greeters.
  • Looking forward to this week: Besides getting to eat at some of our favorite places on the island, I am also getting my hair trimmed up on Wednesday (Brett is getting a haircut too), and having a mani-pedi at the resort spa on Saturday morning so I’m ready to go! I’m also looking forward to getting all of our travel things packed, and as much time at the pool as possible. The weather was very gloomy last Thursday and Friday and more rain is predicted this week.

    YaYu’s right cheek was still a bit swollen two days after her wisdom teeth came out but everything else is going well (that’s her beloved kamaboko – Japanese steamed fish cake – that she’s getting ready to break into).
  • Thinking of good things that happened: YaYu’s oral surgery went well and she’s healed quickly, although she was quite swollen for a couple of day. She had her surgery on Monday and was back to eating regular food by Wednesday. Brett stopped at Costco for some fruit last week and discovered key lime pie. We lived in Key West for a while, so know good key lime pie when I taste it and this pie was good! 

    A BIG piece of key lime pie and coffee for dessert out on the lanai
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: The condo provides the nicest 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, and I stopped by the office the other day to get another tube and they gave me three of them, so I now have everything I need for my carry-on toiletries. We were surprised to get refunds from both our water bill and our gas bill – we had thought we would owe on each of those, but had forgotten about the deposits we put down when we opened the accounts and those covered everything with money left over. The refunds will go into our first month’s travel budget. We have spent very little at the grocery store this week, just picking up things as we need them, like fruit or bread or yogurt. We have no plans to buy anything this week.

    My favorite Kaua’i-made product will forever be Monkeypod Jam’s lilikoi curd. It is a taste of the island right out of the jar.
  • Grateful for: I’m feeling very blessed and thankful for all the wonderful local foods we’ve gotten to eat over the past four years, from restaurant meals to fresh produce from the farmers’ markets to locally produced food products. This little island produces a lot! I am especially going to miss all the tropical fruit and the cucumbers – the ones grown here are the best I’ve ever tasted.

    I have fallen in love with this pool!
  • Bonus question: Which do you prefer, the beach or the pool? When we arrived here four years ago I couldn’t tell you how long it had been since I’d been to the beach, but I quickly fell in love with it all over again, sitting in my beach chair, swimming in the warm water and diving through the waves. If you’d asked me a few weeks ago which I preferred it would have been easy to answer. Going to the beach is the quintessential Kaua’i experience and a great way to spend anywhere from a couple of hours to the whole day.  But I have fallen completely in love with the pool here at the resort and now if asked to choose between heading down to the pool here or going to the beach I would choose the pool. There are plenty of chairs, chaises, and umbrellas to choose from, there’s a variety of things to do from hot tubs to slides to the lazy river, and it’s big enough that it never feels crowded. Towels are provided and the sandy bottom of the hot tubs is pure luxury. As one commenter on Instagram wrote the other day, the beach is for sitting and a pool is for swimming. I agree, but at this pool I can sit and look out at the ocean without having to deal with sand or carrying all our beach accoutrement to and from the car. So, for now I’m feeling somewhat torn – I will forever love the beach, but I’m also enjoying being spoiled rotten by the experience of this pool.

Less than 10 days to go, and just one more week to go from tomorrow until our departure!

I’ve always enjoyed writing the Sunday Afternoon posts these last few years – they’ve been fun to do – and hopefully I will be able to pick them up again in the future. Sunday Afternoons have been a great format for writing about our family and lives, and connecting with so many readers over the past few years. I hope you will continue to check in and comment while we’re traveling, and I promise to keep answering your comments. Thank you for being the best readers a blogger has ever had!


19 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 8/12/2017

  1. Ah, I will miss your Sunday afternoon updates. But I’m following you on Insta and will look forward to whatever posts you do.

    Had a giggle at YaYu’s “chipmunk cheeks”, as I remember them from my kids very well. Glad she’s healing well.

    The Costco Key Lime Pie! I have to steer my DH away from them on a regular basis. He would buy one and eat it in a day or two. They are really good. But they become three meals/day for both of us when we get one…we have no self control. LOL


    1. Thanks for following on Instagram – I don’t want to commit to a posting schedule for the blog as it may be hard to maintain, but I enjoy writing so I’m pretty sure I can stick with at least once a week if not twice. My readers feel like old friends so I want to stay in touch.

      That pie was so good, but we made it last for five days, a record for us, I think. I know what you mean about making those pies and such meals – we’ve been there, done that. With the pie we knew we weren’t going to go back to Costco so knew we had to stretch it out.

      YaYu’s eyes are better this afternoon, thank goodness. No contacts this week – glasses only – and we’ve kept the condo dark today to give her eyes a rest. Her cheek is back to normal, but we’re still going to try and get her in to see the eye doctor tomorrow. She’s off with friends for a couple of days after that though.


  2. Hi Laura – I’m glad everything is going well for you on the days leading to your Big Adventure. I look forward to following your travel pictures and posts. Enjoy the destinations.


    1. Hi Natalie – I’ve appreciated all your travel posts and gleaned some good ideas/tips. I’ve got your Buenos Aires posts scheduled again for this weekend! I’m also looking forward to hearing about your trip to Paris – we’ll sadly just miss each other by a few days.


  3. I love to work the elections. Ours are an even longer day than yours – we have to arrive at 7 to set up, the booths open at 8am, we work through to 6pm, once the doors close we have to count all the votes made in our booth, which can take us through to 11pm or midnight.

    We do get paid pretty well for this long day but it is a set rate, so if you can find a booth with not many people casting votes you can sometimes get out by 8-9pm. I have not been that lucky yet and even when I did find a booth with a low vote count the person in charge was Not Bright and the count went on three times as long as it should have.. we did not get out till 11:30pm.

    But I have now found a local booth with a great guy leading the team and for the past couple of elections I have been working with the same group of folks, we all get along great and that makes the day go faster. We are super speedy, and I am probably the main organiser of the group which actually makes things go a lot faster because I am the most organised person I know. 🙂


    1. The experience itself was interesting, although our chairperson certainly wasn’t doing things “by the book” which made us nervous at times. Nothing nefarious, but she just wasn’t very well organized. She was lovely person though who has worked elections many times so I’m sure it will all be OK. Everyone Brett and I worked with was lovely – lots of hugs and aloha when we parted yesterday evening.

      On the down side, my back is a real mess right now. I am so thankful for the hot tubs here – one of them has super strong jets and gives my back a good massage when I’m there. But my main mission now until we leave is to get my back in shape again before we go next week.


  4. I will miss your Sunday updates. Was hoping to see those bags packed :). Enjoy your last few days. Closing a door and opening a window! See you on Instagram!


    1. I loved doing the Sunday posts, and am sure I will get back to them someday – maybe when we’re in Portland for the holidays I’ll do them again for a while.

      Yes, we’re closing a door on a wonderful experience, one for the books really, but ready to open the window to our next. I think Instagram is going to be a great platform for staying in touch with everyone while we’re on the road!


  5. I understand it will be difficult to blog with everything going on but I look forward to lots of pictures. Good luck. Have fun. Keep us posted when you can.


    1. I will post as much as I can! I love to write, but it’s always an effort for me because I am never satisfied with anything so am always doing re-writes or changing words around, dropping things, adding things, etc. But, I want to record as much of our trip as possible and blogging is a great way to do that.


  6. I was never a poolside gal when there is a huge ocean, but the last couple of trips to Maui, Mexico I have enjoyed the clean/safe pools and not having to dig sand out of my hair nd clothing! LOL!!

    I’ll look forward to following along on IG 🙂 Enjoy your final week in paradise!!


    1. I honestly did not think I would fall for this pool as much as I have – I thought Brett and I would be heading for the beach every chance. But, we love and the pool and are happy not to have to deal with the sand (the sand here is fine and clings to everything).


  7. I am so excited for your next adventure! I’ve been following you since the I’m Losing It days and have really enjoyed your posts and writing. Can’t wait to hear more about your Big Adventure! I already follow you on IG and look forwarding to seeing your trip photos.

    I like the ocean better. I’ve been know to go boogie-boarding and I think that it is so much fun! I love hearing the waves although I do hate getting sand everywhere.



    1. If I were younger Id have definitely been out there on a boogie board! This time though I loved wading out and diving through the waves, or bobbing in the water between the swells. I was much braver (or maybe less careful) when I was younger – I had a very different sense here of the ocean’s power so didn’t do things I would have done in the past.

      I love the beach but always disliked dealing with sand. The sand here sticks to everything.


  8. Hi Laura I have followed you for quite some time and am so looking forward to following your trip. This is something we have always wanted to do but, since they changed the uk retirement age my OH cannot retire till he is 66, so we will have to make a plan. Luckily he works for himself so we can take days off. I have tried some time ago to link to your IG account but was unsuccessful so I will try again . All the very best for your trip. I am so amazed how organised you are for your trip. Perhaps you might look at writing a book giving everyone your advice and thoughts when you finish the trip.


    1. Thank you for being such a loyal reader! And, thank you for your encouragement. I don’t know if I have it in my to write a book, but who knows these days? Hopefully in the meantime you’ll be able to connect via Instagram.

      The UK is on the radar for the not-to-distant future! You read it here first!


  9. I can hardly wait for your adventure to start, so have an idea how excited you all must be getting! We don’t do Instagram (or any other social media), but we’ll be following your blog whenever you post. Have a wonderful time and safe travels!


    1. We are very excited! I’ve been trying to concentrate on enjoying our remaining days here on Kaua’i, but have found myself waking up to butterflies of excitement in my stomach the past couple of days, especially now that we have less than a week to go.

      Even if you don’t subscribe to Instagram, you can click on the picture on the side of the main page of the blog and that will take you to The Occasional Nomads Instagram page where you can click through the pictures.


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