Our Last Adventure | Hawaii

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

I’ve discovered a lot over the last few weeks. I’ve discovered how beautiful the people in my life really are. How precious what I had with Kappel actually was, and how my heart has come to process those things as time slowly passes. I say “discovered” because when blurry images become sharp, it feels like you’re seeing them for the first time. I knew we went on a disproportionate amount of adventures. I knew the things he loved to do complemented the things I loved to do, and that our hearts wanted to move through life in the same direction. But the details that filled in the space of our relationship sometimes flowed beneath the radar. They came naturally, and now that I have distance from him I’m able to notice them in a way I couldn’t before. Details like how much we changed and inspired each other. How I finally learned to ride a motorcycle because he pushed me to tackle that dream. How we both geeked out over Playmobils and woke up the little kids in each other. How he fell in love with food because I loved it so much. We learned so many new things about ourselves because of each other. I have to collapse under that truth sometimes and just cry. We let ourselves be seen, and be changed for the better by each other. I think that’s the most beautiful thing we ever accomplished.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

Our last big trip was to Hawaii with Bon Appétit and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. It was a food-focused journey that led us across the four islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and The Big Island. We tasted all the things, and loved it. I would normally write about an experience like that from my own perspective. I would talk about what I loved in each place, what the tastes were like, what spots I would recommend based on my own preferences…but I don’t want to do that here. I want to talk about what Kappel loved. I want to share what it was like to watch him light up over bruschetta at The Pig & The Lady on Oahu. I want to talk about his favorites, the places he would have told you to go, because my heart exploded every time he got excited about food. I knew it was something we loved together…and was a part of him that came alive a little more when he was with me.

So here’s how Kappel tasted Hawaii, and another batch of reasons I love him so much.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

OAHU

Kappel loved the shrimp trucks. We drove aimlessly one afternoon and ended up on the north shore at Macky’s Sweet Shrimp Truck where we holed up under a big umbrella at a picnic table while a storm blew in. He got the garlic butter shrimp over white rice with a side of vegetables. I got the lemon shrimp. He tasted both and definitely preferred the garlic (so did I).

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

We visited the Hawaiian Shochu Company to learn about (and taste) Japan’s favorite drink next to sake. It was a private tour with the sweet owner, and Kappel couldn’t get enough of his stories. Usually, he would film while I talked to people. But he loved the conversation so much that I took over camera duty. I loved watching him be free while getting to know people, absorbing what they were passionate about and celebrating it with them. At the end of the tour, we did a tasting. Shochu is a rice-based spirit with sweet potato, fermented with Koji-kin, a mold used to break down the starches in the rice and potato. The flavors came through beautifully, and we departed with 2 bottles. We had no room left in our bags, but Kappel was determined to get them home and he made it happen. My bottle is unopened, on the counter in my kitchen. I’ll keep it there.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

KAUAI

Koloa Rum Company was a lot of fun. We went for a tasting, learned a lot about rum, and Kappel insisted that we buy the Mai-Tai mix and a bottle of coffee rum. From there, we drove out to the canyon and stopped along the way for a coffee rum picnic. He loved that moment. We sat on the edge while the fog rolled out, sipped and took pictures.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

We went on an official Kauai food tour and got to stop at Wailua Shave Ice. It was a beachy, cherry red, happy little trailer and Kappel got the Stumptown Coffee flavor. I got a fruity one, he tasted both, preferred the Stumptown. We were both really impressed by how refreshing the shave ice was.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

MAUI

O’o Farm was incredible. It’s a full farm to table experience. It starts with a tour. You eat from the trees and pick your own salad, then you make your way to the dining area where the chef gives a menu intro, then you make friends while everything comes to life. Finally, you eat on a beautiful hillside at a big family table. With our full plates in front of us, new friends next to us, and a sweet breeze blowing, we looked at each other and said, “What is our life??” Beautiful.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

The Mai Tais at Humuhumunukunukuapuaa (say it 5x fast) spoiled us both. We spent an evening at the bar, tasting what became our favorite beverage of the entire trip. Kappel loved that they weren’t too sweet, and that the fruit flavors were so fresh. We agreed they were the best, and would recommend them across the boards.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

ISLAND OF HAWAII

On our last day, we met at Daylight Mind Coffee Company for breakfast before heading out for a day of shooting with Mark and Soni from Moon & Turtle and the HVCB team. Kappel loved the food at Daylight Mind. We had dinner at one of their other locations earlier on in the trip, and that was a great experience too. I ordered the Avocado Toast that morning and he had the Eggs Benedict. He LOVED Eggs Benedict, so was pretty picky and Daylight Mind nailed it.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

Later that day, we visited Hirabara Farm where Mark cooked for all of us in the outdoor kitchen right next to the farm. Then we ate together right on the farm. We made some beautiful friends that day and it was the highlight of our entire trip. Kappel loved connecting with the owners, Pam and Kurt. He wanted to go back. We walked away feeling like they were family, and talked about making plans to visit again. When Kappel fell in love with people, I fell in love with him more. It wasn’t just about the food that day, which was incredible (Mark is an insanely talented chef). It was walking into a situation as strangers and walking away with bonds that led Soni to send me a box full of Hawaiian treats and a beautifully comforting letter when she found out about the accident.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

Kappel was changed by our Hawaii trip and so was I. We checked a lot of items off our bucket list, and added a lot of new ones. Our desire to travel and gather with people over food for the purpose of going deeper, loving better and connecting in a more true way grew tremendously. That’s a big part of the journey we were on, both professionally and in our relationship. That journey continues for me and I will honor it. Our hearts intertwined there. We loved people, food, and the process of overcoming fear so that we could venture into beautiful places like this and experience the hearts and souls of precious human beings. It opened up the doors to so much life, and I will keep after that. And find healing in it.

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

Outside the Hawaiian Shochu Company

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

Mark and Soni preparing our dinner at Hirabara Farm

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

The Pig & The Lady, Oahu

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

The winding road to Waimea Canyon

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

Hirabara Farm

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

Next to Wailua Shave Ice

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

Full plates at Oo Farm

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i -  offbeat + inspired

Me and my love, shot by Meghan Kay Sadler for 12th Table

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i -  offbeat + inspired

My favorite picture of us, shot by Meghan Kay Sadler for 12th Table

 

 

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Comments

  1. The trip and experience looked amazing and I bet this will stay with you all your life. You’re an amazing person and it’s wonderful still to see you write and share.

  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories and photos. Many of the things you’ve said in the last few weeks will stay with me for always, and I’m sure I’m not alone in being inspired by your honesty and wisdom. No wonder he loved you so deeply.

  3. Tiffany, my heart is still broken in a million pieces after what happened, but I’ve got to tell you, girl, I’ve never admired anyone more for how you’re coping, healing and sharing your heartbreak and love with everyone online. It’s such a beautiful thing to witness,

  4. Tiffany, your lovely photographs always call for a deeper look. Today’s look revealed your story and I’ve spent the last hour with you; combing back through photos, posts, your memories. How courageous you are to share your raw feelings for the world. I know loss and how isolating it can feel. We are with you. God is with you. God bless Kappel and God bless you, Tiffany. Sending our prayers, today and always.

  5. Thank you for sharing. Wish we could’ve met him (Daylight Mind was our fav spot for breakfast!) praying for you!

  6. Debbie Kosharek says:

    My heart aches for you Tiffany….You are such an amazing person, I know we have never met but
    I still feel like I’ve known you all my life. For a little chuckle…every time I eat Eggs Benedict, I will
    always think of Kappel. I LOVE Eggs Benedict and I have it every time it is available to me.
    Sending prayers to you….one day at a time.

  7. I found this blog as I was searching for yogurt and fruit made popsicles. I recently have tried to eliminate sugar (refined) from my life. I did not expect to find such a touching story about your friend.

    He left this life young and I am old enough to be able to say that without a doubt that when a person so young is taken from us, it is because they will make the best angels. They have not lived long enough to become bitter about our world, I mean truly bitter. There are so many things that happen to us emotionally as we age, some of them change us completely and make us feel cheated or stops us from feeling normal, because we see ourselves as not the person on the 6 o’clock news because of a curve ball life sent us.

    Its sounds like Kappel had a gypsy soul but was grounded at the same, they make the best angels. As time goes on, you will never forget him, but you will need to move through your life because it was not meant for you to follow him. To find one person who made you laugh easily, enjoy being with them through good and bad times, well thats a blessing. And you had it, so you what it feels like to be blessed, use that as a reference for the people you choose to keep in your life. For him to give you that makes me wonder if he was already an angel.

    Sharing a lifetime with a man can be a struggle if they don’t share at least a few passions you have, never settle for less than what you lost, otherwise your settling for less. Thank you for sharing your story. I hate the things people say about grief. The worst is that it takes time. When my Dad died I was 33, I didn’t know what it meant. Time was a magazine on the Newstand. What did it mean? As you age, you realize what it meant. Very simple, our mind does the work for us. It creates a time for us to reflect on our loss, and then creates space for our life to create and move forward. It happens so subtlety, you don’t realize it. We find some peace because our mind gives us time to rationalize our own existence and how the person we are grieving made a part of that existence amazing. We they there for duch a short time just for us?

  8. 💙

  9. Ollyvia Laura says:
  10. that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with a limp…

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