Nothing says I love you like getting your Valentine tipsy off an herb-laced aphrodisiac nicknamed The Baby Maker and Vitality in a Bottle. Mamajuana hails from the Dominican Republic, and until today, Americans who wanted to taste the Caribbean love potion had to travel there to get it.
As an east coaster transplanted in California, I didn’t make it to Hawaii until my 31st birthday. Since then I’ve been nine times, including the trip I just returned from–celebrating my 34th on Kauai. Averaging about three visits a year, I can’t seem to get enough. Plus, with tourism being the islands’ biggest moneymaker, I rationalize that I’m doing my part to support their economy. Truthfully though, I just love it.
It was my first time in Kauai, and we didn’t stop for six days straight.
Born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I’m quite familiar with the unspoken rivalry between the two cities, which are separated only by a 35 miles stretch of highway. Dallasites turn their noses up at the prospect of venturing to the city known as Cowtown, and Fort Worth natives have probably been guilty at one time or another of calling their neighbors to the east snobs.
From Angelina’s tattoos and necklaces to Britney’s possible conversion, the flutter of the heart has caused many a romantic to fall out of the coo-coo’s nest. With Valentine’s Day just over a week away, this makes for some interesting tourism possibilities. Most famous of these is, of course, the Taj Mahal. I’ve never been, but imagine it blows the neon-pink petals off the papier-mâché flower given to me by a well-intended but not particularly artistic ex-boyfriend. In this vein of the love-struck homage is the Coral Castle, which bakes like a beautiful but overheated valentine in the Florida sun just outside Miami.
The other night I was up in Healdsburg and ate at Cyrus–one of four restaurants to receive two Michelin stars in the Bay Area (see article). From start to finish, the experience was sublime, more like a tightly directed performance than mere dining.