Now that the stress of Lu’au has finally blown over, I find myself with some extra time on my hands, which is a rather sweet commodity if I do say so myself. Rather than do something practical or beneficial, I’ve found that sometimes the best way to spend time is just by relaxing and enjoying being with friends. In the islands, we call it cruising, but no matter how you do it, kicking back on a lazy Sunday is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Back home, we used to have the best potlucks. Everyone would bring some food and we would come together and enjoy it as a group, talking story (conversing) as we ate. It’s a tradition of sorts in the islands; it’s how we celebrate being together. Enjoying food that was contributed by all is a long-standing cultural norm for anything from parties to athletic events. One aunty would bring her irresistible macaroni and cheese, and another would bring her handmade sushi. Our family is known for my mom’s taco salad, my Kahlua cake, and my Dad’s…well, my Dad’s cooler full of beer. The food was always great, but in all honesty, it was just our excuse for coming together to hang out and spend time as a group.

So it’s no surprise that when the weather finally began to clear up last Sunday that “Uncle” Kolu Yam broke out his brand new little grill and invited us over for dinner. Just like back at home, we were all reluctant to show up empty-handed. To remedy the situation, we prepared kabobs at our place along with my roommate Shanlee Gusman’s infamous potato salad.

By the time Kanoe’s bacon-wrapped mushrooms finally came out of the oven, we were huddled around the tiny grill outside of Burlingham, slowly cooking the steak (seasoned with Aaron and Nicole’s special rubs) along with our kabobs. The smell and smoke alerted a few passerby to our presence; our friends honked as they passed and one even stopped to chat for a little while.

There’s something about food and good weather that just brings people together. Even though the temperature started dipping below a comfortable norm, we were all out enjoying the last rays of sun. Taking pictures, cracking jokes, and just enjoying each other’s company, I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my afternoon.

So yes, great achievements definitely give us reason to celebrate, but sometimes, just coming together to “cruise” on a Sunday afternoon simply because we’re hungry and the weather is nice is a good a reason as any to be together. It’s in those little moments that memories are made, friendships are strengthened, and happiness is spread.

We didn’t have a grand affair. It was all about the simple things. Good food, good company, and good weather. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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