This morning, Derek and I were fast asleep in our rented cottage on the North Shore of Oahu. The house phone rang. I muttered obscenities under my breath about douchebags calling on a Saturday morning at 5am, but Derek was wise enough to actually answer the phone (I would not have done so).
It was the woman from whom we rented the cottage. As you now know, a ridiculously huge and devastating earthquake struck Chile and now there was a Tsunami headed our way. We were ordered to evacuate immediately.
Our cute rented cottage: never mind that the bathroom, shower and closet are on the bottom floor- accessible only from the outside staircase. We loved it nonetheless.
I’m not used to being warned about my possible disasters. In California, you live with the knowledge that the Big One could happen any minute. So believe it or not, we have several emergency kits packed at home. Due to the fact that our kits are a few years old, the Lemon Zest Luna Bars may be a tad hard. But hard calories are still calories. Lemon Luna bars are a requisite part of any emergency kit.
We hastily packed up. All of the things that I brought to Hawaii happened to be on the “emergency lists” with which I was familiar: plastic garbage bags, zip-lock bags, wet wipes, hand-sanitizer, utensils, Tupperware containers, rubber bands, clips, warm clothing, and of course- non-perishable food. The cottage also had a ton of paper towels, toilet paper and duct tape (for what I’m not sure- but it is ALWAYS on Emergency lists) as well as a whole slew of other things that we grabbed on the way out the door- a bucket, cleaning supplies, pillows, blanket, 5 gallon water bottles…the list goes on and on.
Naturally, front and center on my mind was food. Last night, we had loaded up on all sorts of fresh food from the market to cook over the next couple of days and hell if I was leaving that behind. So leave it to SmoothieGirl - at 5am during a Tsunami warning - to boil up half a dozen eggs, sauté two lovely whole Hawaiian cods and blend up a Jay Robb Smoothie to take in our filled-to-the-rim rental car. Oh, and I micro waved the two potatoes and one Hawaiian Sweet Potato as well. Note: Okinawan Sweet potatoes are almost not worth bringing in your emergency kit. While I love the purple color inside, they are dry as a bone- kind of akin to chewing on sawdust. Consider yourself warned for your next Hawaiian disaster. Or vacation.
First we stopped at the ATM because in a true extended emergency, your credit card is about as valuable as the plastic from which it’s made. Cash talks and plastic walks.
Luckily we had a plenty of gas (the lines were enormous) and drove to higher ground via a Health food store that was just starting to get busy. (We kiboshed the idea of going to Foodland when we saw the line was at least 100 people long) Here we stood in the face of uncertainty. We didn’t know if we’ll be camped in a field for several days, or if the rental house will be habitable (or standing) later tonight. So we bought some extra eats that I honestly cannot explain. Please don’t make me try:
- Macademia nuts with Spam
- Spam lite in a packet
- Local macademia/coconut energy bars that had about a zillion calories each
- Have-A Chips (the best chip ever made on the planet without question)
- Tiny Canned Vienna Sausages for Derek
- Huge Hot dog buns for Derek’s tiny sausages (TWSS)
- Lemon Zest Luna Bars (remember- it needs to be a part of every emergency kit)
- Lemon cake- I guess lemons are protective beyond our present scientific knowledge
- More Tortillas (we already had a huge packet)
- More ‘crisps’ for Derek
As we packed up the
Why don’t I eat bananas more often? Why do I save it for a natural disaster? It’s carby- big whoop. So is an apple, but I eat those on the regular.
We got into the car and headed up mountain. All of a sudden, we were safe. Just. like. that.. One minute we were in a situation that could have rendered us, well, dead. Now we were pulling into a shopping mall to hang out for goodness knows how long. It was weird.
The other odd thing was that at this higher ground, it was pretty much business as usual with the exception of the following:
Starbucks: “Sorry, we are Pa’a”
“Up here” there were no lines anywhere except to buy gasoline. The supermarkets were not completely filled with shoppers. Even 24-Hour Fitness was open. This was fortunate as I like to deal with crises in my life by exercising. I will admit that I felt a bit creepy just “carrying on” as if there was not a care in the world. Honestly, you’d never know that death and destruction could be happening within minutes in other parts of the very state.
Turbo Kick Class mates were Hootin’ & Hollarin’ and waving their hands in the air like they just don’t care. Brothers in arms? Worrying about your brethren on lower ground? Not so much.
Business as usual, unlike Starbucks, ‘we are open,’ and very busy. Hey wait! Who’s that on the Multi-machine in the corner? Could it be….?
So now we sit, ironically, in a McDonalds. If this happened a dozen years ago I’m sure I would have been elbow-deep in a meal consisting of a Big Mac, Supersized Fries, Apple Pie and Ice Cream Sunday, with nuts, natch. No, really, that was my Go-To meal when I was livin’ large (pun totally intended). Today I broke into a papaya and ate a huge carrot, washed down with two HUGE vats of coffee.
Wow! A Faux-Fountain at McDonalds! We evacuate to the swankiest of places. (Edited to add: It was a REAL fountain!)
And now for the food-blogger portion of this post: Behold the beauty, the artistry, the iPhone photography…
I’ve been texting Allie from Pimp My Protein Shake who happened to be vacaying on Maui at the moment. She is currently “evacuated” to a higher floor of her hotel. Speaking of Allie and my simultaneous Hawaii visit, I really need to work on my stalking skills. It is far more effective to stalk someone if you are actually on the same island.
Latest word: the big Tsunami turned out to be a little Splash. No injuries, damage or death. Thank goodness. As soon as I hit “Publish”, we have a date with our own version of a Filet-o-Fish: some sautéed Hawaiian cod with a Spam Macadamia Nut topping stuffed inside a huge hot dog bun. I predict a nap on the beach as well.
I leave you with some photos from the last couple of days. Fingers crossed that there will be more happy times such as these:
PS. Apologies for the long post- it’s as much to relay all the sordid deets for the familia and friends as anything else.
Q: Anything exciting happen to you today?