It has been nearly a month since I last wrote a single word on here, and I must say that some of that large time gap was due to pure laziness. Justified laziness though. I finally struggled through all of my final exams and papers in the last week of April and then gleefully indulged in a perfect week off from all things entailing even a inkling of responsibility. I spent the majority of my time sleeping off the immense stress of school in various spots on the lawn with my beach towel, broken only by frequent moments of eating and a little crossfitting as well. On Thursday of last week I packed up for a weekend in Zion National Park with Bridger, and we had a wonderful time doing some road-biking, begging strangers to share their campsite with us, and hiking lots and lots of feet in elevation, all while shrouded in thick, rainy clouds aside from the last day, during which we summited the classic Angel’s Landing. But now I have left behind the desert for something entirely different and exotic: HAWAII!!!!!!!!!
We have this odd thing at Westminster called May Term, which is an optional, month-long “term” in May after Spring semester is over. Classes on campus come at no additional charge, but you also have the option to sign up for classes that include a trip abroad or to some far, cool place in the US. The trip I chose is called the History and Sciences of Hawaii, and yesterday we landed on the Big Island to begin a 10 day trip exploring the ocean, volcanoes, flora, fauna, and historic towns that the island has to offer. Today was spent studying the ocean with a morning visit to a black sand beach and an afternoon spent tidepooling with snorkels. This place is amazing. Everything just grows without even trying!
On a more vegan note, since this is still technically a blog about veganism, although many have noted that it has turned more into a blog about Zoey’s life garnished with a vegan flare, I must describe this incredible place we are staying at for the first half of our trip: Kalani. Kalani is basically this big hippie-dippie, eco-friendly, wierdos-welcome resort. But resort isn’t the right word at all, since it is more like a gorgeous campus with adorable “Hales” or “houses” scattered among lush gardens, swaying palm trees, and open grassy lawns dotted with Buddha statues. One of the other groups staying at Kalani right now is a Tantric Breathing group, and there are buildings with names like “The Rainbow Room” if that gives you a clearer picture. But one of the absolute best parts about Kalani is the kitchen! They serve three, completely homemade from scratch meals every day, and each meal has an equal, if not greater, number of vegan options to omnivore options available. Everything is organic and local, and much of the produce is even grown/picked on Kalani’s grounds. For example, this morning I enjoyed 7-grain hot cereal topped with homemade almond granola, with a side of fresh mango, pineapple, and papaya, and a piece of toast with passion fruit and coconut jams. Lunch consisted of vegan chili, half of a baked potato, a pile of kale-macadamia nut-tomato salad with a refreshing honey-lime dressing, and a blob of homemade hummus and spinach-macadamia nut-basil pesto. Dinner finished off today’s food indulgence with a vegan veggie soup, a giant vegan “patty” full of chickpeas and complex grains, steamed veggies, an interesting potato and brown rice mixture, and a healthy dose of salad with sprouts, artichoke hearts, and olives. I try to tell myself that I won’t eat as much at the next meal, but I have loaded up my plate every time with so much delicious vegan yumminess I think I might pop each time. Totally worth it. Also, the coffee here is out of this world!! Who knew coffee could taste this good? I’m even tempted to try drinking it black, which is something completely unheard of in my normal coffee world. I think I have consumed more coffee over the past 24 hours than I have in the past 3 months combined (which actually wasn’t that much since I ran out of coffee filters at home and pathetically could not bring myself to buy more).
So basically, I am in a tropical paradise full of beautiful and astounding plants and animals and sea creatures and pristine beaches, AND I’m being fed copious amounts of some of the most heavenly, fresh, healthy vegan cuisine I’ve encountered thus far in my vegan adventures. Hawaii, you have delivered.
PS Unfortunately, I haven’t uploaded any pictures to my computer yet, so I don’t have any to share with this post; fear not, they will be coming soon.