Island Life

Island Life

We spent the last week driving around the big island of Hawaii. I can now easily remember Hawaiian street names and attest to the rumor that Hilo is distinctively rainier than Kona. I have driven up, over and around the island, slept in a rental car, and hung my hammock on beaches and supposed ponds. I have snuck into state parks to set up camp, and snuck back out of state parks six hours later when the tide rose and almost swallowed our hanging beds. I have again slept in said rental car.

I have hitchhiked with a german photographer, walked two miles in the rain with all my belongings, and slept in a leaky hostel. I have used my travel Sriracha at almost every meal (thank you friends!). I have constructed budget meals from canned beans that would sort of blow you away, and made mac salad into a feast by loading it up with sliced cabbage and topping with black olives, baby corn and you guessed it...Sriracha. I have tried egg fruit, bought a mango that stunk up the whole car with a distinctly non-traditional mango smell (think overwhelmingly tropical and floral), and filled a glove box full of free avocados. 

I've had a picnic in a target parking lot, seen a bounty of dead roaches and played with four beautiful children at the park. I have discovered that I actually dig papaya, enjoy knowing that everything I need can fit in a backpack, and have fallen even more deeply in love with my hydro flask (cold water 24/7 is a blessing in the Hawaiian heat). Much more to see and do, but here's what it's looked like so far: 

Hot Chicken

hot chicken

This is "Hot Chicken: The Photo Essay" 

The secret window that you order from, the hours you wait, the wonderful young woman who sits across from you and lets you know that she'll be drenching her extra-hot chicken in hot sauce (likely story, miss!), the checkered tablecloth, the Wonder Bread soaked through with chicken drippings and spice, the potato salad that almost calms your blazing tongue, the moment you reach for the ranch to squeeze it directly into your mouth, the fiery tears running down your face, the inability to stop eating, your friends demanding McDonalds ice cream afterwords: This is Hot Chicken. 

This is me trying to explain the particular experience that is Nashville's Prince's Hot Chicken. And in doing so I've learned that words can't capture it and pictures can try. I'll let the pictures speak for me on this one but I hope to see you soon Nashville, and it won't be a real visit unless my fingers are caked with cayenne pepper.