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best. february. ever.

leave it to me to have what has been the most amazing february of my life without an update. after about a week of recovery and straight up being harrassed for one . . . its time.

my month started out with a visit from my bestest friend.

nicole came out for a week for her vacation and I couldn’t be more happy to see her. we took the island by storm and hit up the tourist circuit and did many things ive been dying to do.

we spent a night in a fancy hotel where we relaxed and partied

visited pearl harbor & the arizona memorial

checked out the waves at the north shore

and hit up the cultural center where we enjoyed an amazing luau and show

there was also our first ever surf lesson with marc, karaoke and lots of exploring. not to mention all of the craziness in between that we seem to get ourselves into.

seeing her was bittersweet.  it was amazing to have her here, but it also reminded me so much of home. at one point I was really sad and actually thinking of flying back with her!

luckily for me, there was no time to even contemplate this seriously as I started my new job on the day she left.

as you may remember, I landed the most amazing gig working for caterer to the stars. I am contracted with the team that caters the major concerts in town which includes feeding the crews, bands and major stars that play at the event centers around here.

my first show was Neil Diamond who played for 2 nights here. because he hasn’t played here in 25 years there was a LOT of work to be done. I worked for 8 days straight, an average of 16 hours per day with barely any sleep.

cooking, prepping, learning, cleaning, moving, serving, bussing . . . you name it.

ive never worked so fucking hard in my life . . .

ive also never been more happy to gain respect from my new boss and the team that works for him. I was given creative control to come up with a lot of the soups and vegetarian/vegan dishes without much help which as a chef is all you can ever ask for.

the first show night came upon us and I remember us all mustering up our last ounces of strength and smiles to serve dinner that night to everyone. in the midst of all the craziness, Neil’s plate went to the dressing room with MY vegan broccoli & potato soup on it. caroline caught my attention through the madness and said . . .

“hey Val, Neil Diamond is eating your soup . . . put that on your resume!”

sounds silly, but I don’t think ill ever forget that moment. everything kind of stopped and my life just felt so surreal. 4 months ago I was a recent graduate of an amazing culinary school who had lost just about everything in her life that made her feel safe and secure. and now, here I was LIVING in hawaii, feeding a major music icon. the pride that came through me from taking a chance and doing this all on my own was a feeling that I cant even describe.

life is pretty awesome.

by the end of show night, my boss was very impressed how well I did being literally thrown into all this madness. he said I am a hard worker and very versatile and . . . part of the family.

though I did take a hit physically, I am beaming mentally and am so estatic to see where all of this leads me.

my next show is Jimmy Buffet later this March. although it seems like a nice long break, I have so much to do in the next couple weeks, like getting a bank account set up, finding a flexible part time job, taking care of some things back home, and finding a place to live closer to the action near the city so i can continue to make strides.

once again, im overwhelmed by all the support from everyone from beginning to end. without it, I don’t think I would have come this far.

much love to you all, and I promise ill try not to go this long again without an update!

Alohablog INSTAGRAM @balancingval

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