April 23, 2012

Variety is the Spice of Life

Guava chiffon pancakes

Due to the high cost of shipping almost everything 2,000 miles, there is less variety here - in the actual food products and restaurants. Apparently, fruits and vegetables used to be horribly bruised and too ripe or too unripe to eat. And there were no chain stores or restaurants. But that was a while ago. On Oahu, we are not missing out on much, compared to the other islands. Although many people complain about "mainland chains," there seemed to be quite a few people in line and excited for the Whole Foods that opened last week.

Although there are more "mainland" stores and restaurants than in the past, not everything we were used to in Michigan is here. Most of the time,  I don't even think about what we're "missing," but then someone mentions Jimmy John's. Or a Sonic commercial comes on. Or worse, Olive Garden! Those are things that I would eat on occasion in Michigan, but now that I can't have them, sound soooo delicious! On my trip to the mainland, I even suggested eating at Olive Garden for our girls' night out, I missed it that much. (Thankfully we decided against it).

I blame the TV. Most of the network commercials are for California affiliates, so we get advertisements for them as well. And the local commercials aren't always helpful since they sometimes advertise for the other islands.

I guess I'm learning the lesson that I tell my own children: Just because it's on TV, doesn't mean you get to have it.

After a two week trip to Michigan, I surprised myself from staying away from the things that I thought I had "wanted" so much. Except Panera. I suggested eating there at least 5 times. We did eat at restaurants most of the time, but mainly ones that had sentimental value. Or kids' meals.
Luke insisted on me taking this picture

The restaurant situation I was well aware of, but one thing that surprised me was the abundance of radio stations on the mainland! There were at least five country stations. Countless top 40. And even four NPR affiliates! Honestly, I spent more time scanning than listening. Despite having more options, I was constantly frustrated with the radio. Maybe it was because I drove more in those two weeks than in the last six months... but it might have been the 8 million radio choices.

Coming home I welcomed the limited choices.

When you listen to the radio and you don't like the song, you wait. There just isn't the option of another station playing the same genre of music. It's calming not having to frantically scan for the most perfect song ever. Or you can just listen to the Lion King Soundtrack 1,528 times.

After my trip, I realized it's nice to have your choices narrowed down. And eliminating the old favorites makes it easier to try new things, forcing you out of your comfort zone. For that, I'm glad that my kids took "ramen" and "thai food" yesterday on their pretend airplane trip. It lets me know that we are in this as a family, learning new things together. Hopefully, we'll enjoy some of them. And if not, at least we tried.
Practicing with chopsticks while Spiderman looks on

 But if you send me a box of White Castle, I'd still be pretty stoked.


  1. I had white castle at 3am Saturday night and it was not a good idea! LOL
    Thanks for commenting on my warrior dash pics. Feel free to grab them for your post :)

  2. White Castle always seems like a good idea beforehand :) Thanks for sharing your pics and the quick response!