Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The countdown has begun!

Okay, it actually began the moment he left, that cold, January morning that I hugged him one final time and teared up in my driveway as he drove off. I guess I started subconsciously tracking the amount of days until I would see him again. But now, this week, that time is tangible. 

It has been 10 weeks and one day since I last saw Geof. And in three days, I get to see him again!

I leave for Hawaii on Saturday at 5 a.m. I will arrive on Oahu at 3 p.m. Factor in the five hour time difference, and I have a full day of traveling in front of me. I despise air travel, but this trip is worth it. I will get to spend a full week with my boyfriend!

This trip marks my first visit to Hawaii. The next time I take the million-hour plane ride to the island, I won't be returning. I will be toting all of the possessions I can possibly fit into two carry-ons and a giant duffle bag. I will be entering Geof's house and call it my own. So, on this trip, I hope to over-indulge in Geof time as well as scope out the island and possible job situations. 

With the journalism industry the way it is, who knows what I am going to find out there. I joke that my schooling has given me excellent secretary skills, but certainly office work is something that I will look into. No matter what, I will begin freelancing on the side, and maybe some day, my name will make its way into a byline once more. 

This trip won't be all snuggles and business. I plan on completely tourist-ing out while I officially call myself a tourist. We are going to snorkel off the southern coast (where Obama takes his daughters to snorkel, I hear). We are going to drive the entire coast of the island, stopping at the North Shore to attempt a Jack Johnson spotting and the west coast to attempt a "LOST" siting. We are going to rent mo-peds, hike Diamond Head, go bodysurfing, lay on the beach... everything I have always wanted to do on a beach vacation with a boyfriend.      

After the trip concludes, I will fly back to life in Columbia--and another three full months sans-boyfriend. The distance is so frustrating, but the only thing I can do is wait. It is discouraging to know that, after getting through a long three months (which felt like forever, believe me), I will face another span of time the same length. There is no way around it. I will just keep on trucking through. The three months will turn to two. The two months will turn to two weeks. And the next time I see him, I will leave for Hawaii with him, and we'll never have to deal with distance again.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

mango tacos

Some sweet Hawaii news: Geof and I have found the house that we will move into in June! From what he tells me, it sounds great: lots of living space, big yard, three bedrooms, nice kitchen, short walk to the beach, etc. The place has all the fixings that a midwestern country girl could ever hope for. But one thing in particular captivated my attention more so than the abundance of bathrooms or the availability of free parking. Perhaps the sweetest thing of all, for the first time in my life, I am going to have a mango tree!

Simply put, mangos are the best-tasting food in the whole entire world.  Better than strawberries, better than Bush Stadium hot dogs, better than mexican food, better than buffalo chicken fingers with ranch (although I now wonder if I could make a mango-honey buffalo sauce; that sounds pretty dank.) I am mango for mangos. I love them, and now I will see them grow in my very front yard! I would eat the fruit everyday if the growing season would allow it. And because their sweet, tangy flavor is so versatile, a lot of meals could actually benefit from a mango addition.   

Point at hand: I was messing around in the kitchen a few days ago, battling the never-ending challenge thinking of something healthy, yet delicious to make. I had just bought two ripe mangoes from the grocery store, so I started fooling around with fruit and chicken ideas.

Twenty minutes later, mango tacos were born. And, OH MAN were they delicious. Here is what I did:

What you need: 
1/2 mango
1 chicken breast
1 tablespoon sugar, give or take
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 bottle of low fat asian ginger salad dressing
flour tortillas
chopped romaine lettuce (if you like lettuce in your tacos.)(I do. It adds crunch.)    

1. Get the chicken breast marinating in the asian ginger salad dressing. Peel and dice the 1/2 mango and put into a bowl. Toss the diced mango with the sugar to pull some juice out of the fruit.

2. After thirty minutes or so of letting the mango sit in the sugar, slice the chicken into short strips. Begin cooking the chicken strips in a skillet.

3. After the chicken looks thoroughly cooked, add the mango (and all of its juices) to the chicken. Sauté the mixture on medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes, adding as much or as little as red pepper as you like. The more red pepper, the higher the heat. 

4. After cooking the chicken with the mango, dish it out into the flour tortillas. Add chopped romaine lettuce for some extra crunch or drizzle some asian ginger dressing on the taco for some extra flavor. Enjoy the low fat, mango-tastic dish!