Back from Hawaii: Re-Entry Blues and a Cocktail

August 3, 2016

Aloha, Readers!

We’re back from our Maui trip, and while Hawaii is beautiful as ever, it’s good to be home. The girls spent the time in Houston visiting with hubby’s family and cousins (and roasting in the heat) while we continued on to Maui. We felt a bit guilty leaving the girls behind, but since we’re headed to Maui this Thanksgiving, and because this was a working trip for my husband, we decided it was best.

Although we missed them like crazy, I think we made the right decision. This was our first time staying in the Kapalua area and it’s lovely, but definitely adult-oriented and extremely low-key. I think the girls would have been bored. The Kaanapaali area is our usual vacation spot, and it’s bustling with people and things to do, but not so Kapalua. My husband went to meetings in the mornings and then played golf 3 out of the 5 days we were there. I, the golf widow, caught up on sleep and books and loafing.

The trip back home was harrowing and full of delays, fuckery and the usual mishaps. I love Hawaii but traveling there is an ordeal. I got 30 minutes sleep total in the final 24 hours of the trip. I’m one of those freaks who just cannot sleep on an airplane. My husband fared better than I did, but he was still plenty drained. We got in late Sunday, picked up the Mozz-man, ate a quick dinner and then lurched, zombie-style, into bed.

The next morning, hubs returned to work and I began the buzz-killing steps of re-entry: unpacking, laundry, list-making, the whopper post-vacation grocery run. Except there was one leetle problem. After pawing through the cupboards, pantry and refrigerator and realizing that we were out of damn near everything, I grabbed my car keys and my grocery list and…the car battery was dead.

Awesome! Thanks, vacation gods!

But really, what did I expect?

I did manage to get the car resurrected, schlepped home over 250 bucks worth of foodstuffs, got most of the unpacking and laundry handled, re-packed Miss D. for a school retreat and made a valiant but futile effort to kill a mammoth, noisy, asshole fly in the house who I will kill, Dammit! I shall prevail!

After that kind of day, I fully deserved a cocktail.

I decided to re-create one of the cocktails we enjoyed in Hawaii, because it’s always nice to bring a little bit of your vacation home with you, don’t you think? Some people bring home jewelry or seashells; I bring home ideas for cocktails.

It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. Especially when it’s a cocktail as yummy as this one.

This recipe varies slightly from the one served at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua–the original recipe calls for watermelon liqueur, but I had Hella Time finding watermelon liqueur, so I substituted watermelon vodka. Feel free to use watermelon liqueur if you can find it–just don’t substitute that rank Midori melon liqueur, in any instance. That is the nastiest substance on Earth. If you can find watermelon liqueur, you may need to reduce the amount of agave nectar called for, but feel free to add it in the amount given if you like your cocktails on the sweet side. I also improvised by making ice cubes out of coconut water and using those in the drink, just to add a little extra tropical flair.

This drink is pretty to look at, tastes like the islands, and is very refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. You might even feel like you’re in Hawaii–minus the jet-lag and the dead car battery. It’s the perfect way to enjoy these last few weeks of summer.

P1060486         ^sometimes, I think this blog should be called “Stinks at Shooting Cocktails.” Le Sigh.


Island Refresher*

makes 2

3 1/2 ounces/jiggers ice cold vodka

2  ounces/jiggers cold watermelon vodka

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1 1/2-2 ounces agave nectar (use the smaller amount and taste. Adjust accordingly)


4 fat lime slices

6 sprigs mint

chilled Prosecco or sparkling wine

chilled club soda

For Garnish:

ice cubes or coconut water ice cubes

frozen watermelon cubes

lime slices



In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime slices and the fresh mint leaves. Add the vodka, watermelon vodka, agave, lime juice and ice. Shake well.

Pour into two highball glasses that are full of coconut water ice cubes and frozen watermelon cubes. Fill remainder of glasses with equal parts Prosecco and club soda. Garnish with lime and mint.


*Warning: This sucker is refreshing and incredibly drinkable and…strong. You finish the first one, think to yourself, “Hey! I feel fine!” and then down two more. Not a good idea. Just sayin’.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara August 3, 2016 at 8:39 am

Traveling anywhere is no longer fun….getting there is fun, but the coming and going, not so much. And I’ve never returned from anyplace to find the house in perfect working order. The break down elves always know when you are away and have a field day. Sometimes it’s really serious (like a flood…which happened to a friend recently, or a robbery, which happened to me years ago) to easy things like ice maker broken or car doesn’t start. Once the bad things happen, the small things don’t seem so big. Or as my mother used to say when referring to kids: small kids, small problems; big kids, big problems. Works with just about everything in life.


elizabeth August 3, 2016 at 9:03 am

Re-entry from vacation suuuuuuuuuuucks. We had a short jaunt over to the DE beaches for a long weekend, and while we fortunately didn’t have any car issues, I immediately had to go into single girl living since M is in FL for work this week. Not the fun part of FL, I should add.

You know me–I love bringing back food and drinks from vacations past, so this looks awesome (and definitely on the strong side.)


Annie August 3, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Reading the ingredient list I thought- wow this one packs a punch! Indeed it’s the cure to airline insomnia. Lol. So so glad that you got much deserved R&R. Hope the crazy back to school run up doesn’t suck the beach vibes away too fast.


Sherri August 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Nice – going to try this. Glad you had a good time.


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