14 states, over 15,000 miles and overwhelmed with emotions. First, I’d like to start by saying mahalo to everyone who touch our lives during this incredible journey. I always thought I would end writing a thank you letter, but I know most of you would prefer the details, and how this all came to be what it is. Honestly, it all happened with the intention of spreading Aloha. That simple.
Before our first challenge in Beverly Hills, even before the plane ride to California where we would meet with Tyler, our concept was to share Aloha. We had our hurdles and arguments and definitely had our work cut out for us- it was no walk in Kapiolani Park. And I admit there was more than one occasion when I wanted to go home during this adventure, but I simply hate losing. And this motivated me to keeping going. That and the Aloha Spirit running strong.
Everything was full circle for us during this journey. From growing up poor to Adam saving that man’s life, karma was just on our side. Living on the tiny island of Lanai, we didn’t have any fast food restaurants. Not only were we poor, but if you didn’t learn to cook and feed yourself you starved. This is where our ‘thin to win’ strategy came from.
Mom and our grandparents always taught us to take care of our neighbors and community. So sharing was always something we practiced. Our garden in the yard was not just for us, but for everyone to enjoy. When grandma and grandpa cooked big pots of food or desserts they made sure we shared it with our neighbors. So on the road and in the Great Food Truck Race we shared not only the food, but our culture as well. And the dance and music of Hawaii.
Eating Midugai (Geoduck) at least once a week in Hawaii helped us in Portland. Growing up in the garden and planting sweet potatoes helped us with Idaho harvesting. Adam’s hobby of deer hunting on Lanai helped tremendously with carving that Buffalo in Rapids City. Eating spam throughout our childhood made Minnesota a no-brainer. The Italian restaurant that Adam opened up on Maui helped us make pizzas in Chicago. There just seemed to be so many details that came full circle for us. Little life experiences are what made it all possible.
One of the things that touched the three of us that you didn’t get to see was not only the Aloha Spirit from the people, but the journey that brought us here. Back on Episode #1 they highlighted Adam saving a man’s life. This same man ended up paying for his culinary training in Portland Oregon, which was the 2nd week stop. Three of the cities Aloha Plate stopped in, the man’s kids lived in. Coincidence?
I was standing outside of the truck in Virginia trying to keep up with orders, when a lady walked up to me and asked if she could speak with chef Adam. She had three young kids with her. She ended up just wanting to thank Adam, because those kids would have never met their grandfather if it weren’t for Adam saving his life. She was the daughter-in-law of Mr. Procter, the man Adam saved some 18 years ago. Talk about getting choked up, what a moment!
We can’t thank all of you enough for sharing our story, whether it was through the media or a social media follower. We have been doing tons of interviews the past four weeks and they always ask about our ‘fans’. We are not singers, actors or anyone more important than the next person. But we couldn’t have done it without our fans. Everyone who follows our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is our ‘Ohana’. Everyone we met along the way during this incredible journey is family.
We all need to really start living together again. I’m talking about as a community. Find out who your neighbor is, have dinner with them like the old days. Share aloha with people who are new to the meaning of the word. This experience has taught me that sharing is an integral part of humans, and we all know what sharing is. But sometimes we all need to remind each other and ourselves.
Mahalo again to the communities who touched us and to the people who didn’t know us, but took the time to support Aloha Plate anyways!
To my brothers, Chef Adam and Shawn- I am so glad we got to share in this amazing ride together! Remember, we always speak our positive thoughts so that it is manifested. I am excited for the future! To our boys Tika Tika Taco and the Philly Boys, you have some new braddahs in Hawaii for life. You are all class acts and I look forward to visiting you again and seeing your next endeavors. This ride is not over, it has just begun!
I love you all, ALOHA.