I am honored to share stories with my readers about other people’s travel experiences and occasionally, I’m really stoked about a particular interview. This is one of those times. I met best-selling author LaSassy Harrison almost a year ago through another well-known local author. I was immediately pulled in by her charisma and her enthusiasm about her published book. I knew I’d purchase the book — but I wanted some extra special attention. Because I like being “extra” LOL. I asked LaSassy if she could personally sign my book and send it to me. When she agreed to do it, I knew we’d be friends forever! More importantly, I was pleased to be able to support the original work of this talented author who indeed has a story to tell.
Over the last year we remained in touch via social media and because of that, I witnessed the most amazing thing take place. I saw incredibly breathtaking photos of her and her husband, Andre…I wanted to know more. I love to see black love celebrated because it’s inspiring and motivating and not always well captured. I love to see women looking at their spouses with adoration and affection and seeing that look returned. I love to bear witness to husbands cherishing their wives and treating them with respect, loyalty, love, and honor. I’m big on that. And, I love “love” realities vs stories. I saw it in their pictures.
Finally, we were able to connect and talk about their lavish trip to Hawaii earlier this year; I’d get my opportunity to learn about their experiences captured in the photos.
Here’s the very candid, open and honest interview between LaSassy and me:
Would you consider yourself an avid traveler?
In my head? Sure. (lol) No, but seriously. I used to travel several times a year and then life happened. The beauty of it all is, life has happened again and has afforded me the opportunity to start traveling again.
What made you decide to travel to Hawaii? Were you celebrating a special occasion?
I had this Hula girl toy when I was younger. I think it came from the Goodwill or a hand me down, but to me, it was the best thing ever in life. It represented paradise and beauty. It represented a carefree life and I wanted it. I wanted to be that beautiful hula girl, so Hawaii was the obvious choice for us.
My husband and I have started the tradition of reaffirming our vows in a different place every year. We believe that because we are ever evolving no one wedding day would encompass the things we mean to each other. Hawaii for year one was a no-brainer all things considered.
Describe your favorite meal while in Hawaii.
Hawaii has such GREAT food. It’s almost insane how good everything was. From the freshest fruit ever to the juiciest steaks, the food was incredible. However, my favorite meal was at Chef Chai located on Kapiolani Blvd in Honolulu. I’m weird about taking photos of my food, but I was THAT tourist at Chef Chai’s restaurant. We enjoyed the Appetizer Sampler recommended by our server since we were first time guests. It consisted of:
· Fresh Ahi Tartar with Avocado Mousse in Mini Waffle Cones
· Mini Duck Taco with Fresh Tomato Mango Salsa
· Roasted Butternut Squash and Lobster Bisque Shooter
· Kataifi and Macadamia Nut Crusted Jumbo Black Tigers Prawns
· Gravlax Salmon Roulade with Cream Cheese and Crab Meat
· Prosecco Villa Sandi, II Fresco
Our entrees were Grilled Filet Mignon with Mashed Potato, Mushroom Puff and Merlot Demi & Miso Chilean Sea Bass with Pickled Vegetables. Last, our dessert was the most delicious White Chocolate Amore Gelato Truffle with Raspberry Guava Puree.
We also enjoyed a local spot called Goofy’s where we tried the staple of Hawaii, the Loco Moco. It resembles a volcano and it’s amazing!
What’s the best piece of advice that you wish you had received prior to traveling to Hawaii?
This is where my avid traveler in my head comes in to play. I’d say absolutely nothing because I was extremely over the top about research and details. I love surprises, but not 13-hours by airplane from home. I can say though, to anyone looking to visit Hawaii, remember that the point of Aloha is relaxation and taking it easy. Things in Hawaii don’t move as fast as other places because the culture prides itself on not rushing anything other than the next Mai Tai. Also, I’d make sure first-timers know that Hawaii’s beaches aren’t like anything you’ll see in Mexico or the Caribbean. On certain islands of Hawaii, the beach may only stretch for a quarter-mile. Be sure to pick your island wisely.
I know that you recently wrote a highly acclaimed book titled: “Loving Me in Spite of Me”, what was the inspiration for the book?
My book was birthed out of what I like to call a mirror experience. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said: “girl what are you doing to yourself?” That was me, only I had that experience while in prison serving time for something I had nothing to do with. It was such a difficult time in my life because I knew I had a book to write about 4 years before I went to prison; I even knew the title, but I had no story until I spent time locked in a cell.
Ironically, I subscribed to travel magazines to keep me sane. I focused on visualizing where I wanted to go once I got a chance to live again; Hawaii obviously being top on the list.
What has the overall response been to your book?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified of the response. There are a litany of emotions and “what if” questions that go through your head before you hit submit one last time. However, I sold all 100 pre sale copies in 3 days and the momentum hasn’t stopped. It’s all surreal, actually. A lot of people ask me about the cover and yes, it’s my mug shot. You see, prison isn’t something I’m proud of, but it is not something I find shame in either. It’s a part of my story, much like taking flights in stilettos is a part of yours. I believe everyone should be comfortable with their story and their truth independent of what anyone thinks about it.
What’s next on the horizon for you – what can we expect to see from you; more exciting travel or another fascinating book?
You’re a bit clairvoyant I see. Travel is always a part of the plan. The whole wide world is out there waiting to be explored. A new book is also on the way called He Loves Me in Spite of Me. This book digs deeper into my story, my journey to loving me in spite of the repeated messes I’d created, and ultimately how that self-love attracted the love of my life, my husband Andre.
What do you think about the brand FlightsInStilettos?
I was BIG mad when I couldn’t get a piece of FlightsInStilettos before my trip. I think it’s amazing. It takes a confident woman with her life in order to fly in style. Comfort is easy, style is effort and I think FlightsInStillettos caters to both while emphasizing that extra “oomph” a woman in stilettos commands.
This interview was nothing short of amazing! From learning about their tradition of annual wedding vows affirmations to the friendly advice offered about Hawaii, this interview satisfied my every curiosity. I’m inspired by their traditions and I’m on the edge of my seat in anticipation of her second book called He Loves Me in Spite of Me.
How can my readers purchase your current book?
If you’re interested in purchasing “Loving Me in Spite of Me” (A Memoir)
by LaSassy Harrison, it can be purchased now at: www.sassysaysso.com/book
Until next time Hawaii….