Hey, I’m Dan…and welcome to my blog! I’m a musician/foodie/history enthusiast from the sticks who by sheer dumb luck fell in love with a woman from Hawaii. If you’re someone who likes to learn about culture through food, music, and quirky anecdotes, then you should feel right at home here.
How’d I get here?
I was born in St. Louis, MO, but raised about 50 miles outside of it in a little town called Defiance. The town had less than 50 addresses which included 2 bars, 2 churches, and a handful of businesses. Where I’m from Hawaii is this far-flung place that nobody ever really gets to see. So, imagine my surprise when my then girlfriend, Jacqui, told me that we’d have to go there in order to meet her parents.
I became hooked on Hawaii on that very first trip in 2011. In 2013, Jacqui and I were married, and Hawaii became a permanent part of my life and my family. Through my new family I’ve been constantly exposed to the Hawaii that visitors don’t know they really want to see and experience. In my interactions with people I would be frustrated hearing them tell me about their less than stellar vacation experiences in Hawaii, or how they never ventured out of Waikiki (and therefore did not think Hawaii was anything special). I would tell people over and over again that there is so much more to Hawaii than Waikiki. There is so much more to Hawaii than the beaches. There is so much more.
In March of 2016, Jacqui and I found out we were going to be parents. Three months later I found out that my mom… my best friend… had stage 3 pancreatic cancer. In November, we welcomed the Nugget, a happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl. In April 2017, my mom passed away after hanging on just long enough to have her granddaughter recognize her and smile whenever she saw her.
It was right around this time when Jacqui and I noticed that St. Louis had become a symbol of struggle and pain in our minds. It’s a wonderful city that we love, but we were both in need of a change. It was also time for our daughter to get to knew her grandparents. So, with that in mind, shortly after my wife received her PhD in Chemistry (yup, I’m bragging), we put our house up for sale, packed up like the Hillbillies, and headed west. We found a nice place next to the beach and about 15 miles from my in-laws and now I’m here learning all about my new home.