A Travellerspoint blog

Oahu Day 2: Go West!

sunny 76 °F

We slept in today as we were pretty tired from our previous day of travel. Dad got up first and went out to explore while I got ready. He had a nice walk along Waikiki Beach but got a bit lost on his way back to the hotel. Thankfully he asked a helpful stranger for directions and made his way back to our hotel.

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Our cousin/great nephew West Andrade is a freshman here in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii. We were thrilled to be able to meet up with him while on our trip. Our friend Fr. EJ had suggested a restaurant for lunch. We took him up on the suggestion and were so glad we did! We picked West up and drove to the pier and to a place called Nico's at Pier 38. It was a really cool spot. We had interesting views of the port and saw cargo ships being loaded and unloaded. The restaurant itself has both a fish market and dining area. The weather was very nice, not muggy and pleasantly sunny with a nice breeze. We chose a spot on the patio and ordered our lunch.

I had clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. There was delicious chunks of fresh fish in the chowder and the bread was yummy. My Dad had seafood pasta and West chose the chicken katsu.

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We had a leisurely lunch and greatly enjoyed hearing all about West's time here on Oahu so far. He told us all about student life and his classes as well as how it has been getting around the city. All of the freshmen are given bus passes when they arrive so he and his friends are now very familiar with public transportation. He said it is a good system and can easily get around the city. We were so happy to be able to catch up with West and to hear he is all settled in at the university. One of the best parts of being in a big family is being able to spend time with each other both near and far.

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We dropped West back at his dorm and decided to explore a spot that was recommended to us ahead of our trip.

Waiola Shave Ice is a well known spot. It started as a mom-and-pop grocery store in the 1940's and in the 1970's they opened up a window to sell shave ice out of. We shared a jumbo shave ice with three flavors: guava, lilikoi (passion fruit), and lime.

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Afterwards we decided to drive north for a bit to get out of the city. We drove for about half an hour enjoying the sunset and stopped at park for a view before full darkness.

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When we got back to our hotel we decided to go for a walk before dinner. We walked along a paved path around a lagoon and to Waikiki Beach. It was very beautiful to see the water even at night and all of the resorts lit up. The path was lined with tiki torches and we stopped at a bench to enjoy some Koloa rum punch we had purchased at the Foodland grocery store yesterday.

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After our drink we walked a bit more to a restaurant at the Hilton called Tropics Bar & Grill. We sat on the patio and shared a sampler of shrimp, spicy Korean glazed chicken wings, and bbq ribs. It was delicious!

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We had a very friendly waitress who surprised us with the house speciality dessert of Ube cheesecake. Ube is a purple yam. When she brought out the cheesecake she started singing Happy Birthday to us and an Australian couple at the next table joined in her serenade. They all clapped when done singing as we made a wish and blew out the candles. We were happy to see our birthday luck continuing!

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We had a nice visit with the Australian couple, it turns out they were on their honeymoon. We wished them well and walked back to our hotel.

We enjoyed our first full day on Oahu. We are having so many laughs and I feel so lucky to be able to be sharing this special time with my dad.

Posted by danielcatherine 03:03 Archived in USA Tagged west seafood rum cheesecake shave_ice birthday_freebies Comments (1)

Oahu Day 1: A Day of Hustling

sunny 75 °F

Today my Dad and I set out on a belated birthday adventure. We travelled to Oahu!

When we set off from Fresno we were quite the happy travelers, my mom and Daniel who had to stay behind tried their best to not seem too bummed out they weren't joining us.

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After spending Sunday night at a hotel near the airport we set off from Oakland at 5am Monday morning.

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We made it through security in no time at all so we treated ourselves to some breakfast to pass the time until boarding.

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I was able to get us a free upgrade to premium economy when I mentioned we were on a father/daughter birthday trip at the check in at the airport. This was the first freebie of our trip, little did we know we were starting a trend that would continue throughout our trip. The upgrade included early boarding, extra legroom, and free drinks!

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We started our flight with a Prosecco toast and some snacks.

We decided to watch a movie together which left us laughing. We had many fails to get it going, several times one or both of us couldn't hear through the headphones and so adjustments were made. Two different times we discovered the failure was not plugging our headphones into the headphone splitter in the first place!

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Once that was settled my iPad wouldn't connect to the inflight wifi. When I mentioned this to the flight attendant she gave us one of the airline tablets to use for free! Second freebie!

We ended up watching a movie called "The Hustle" and soon both realized we were inadvertently running our own hustle, flight upgrades and a free tablet rental just by mentioning our father/daughter birthday trip.

I insisted that we make full use of our free drinks. We also enjoyed a glass of Baileys Irish Cream to end our flight.

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We landed in Honolulu and picked up our rental car. My dad has not visited Oahu since 1980 and this is my first time. It was very interesting to be in such a big city versus Maui and Kauai where I had previously visited.

We arrived at our hotel, The Modern Honolulu, 4 hours ahead of our check-in time. Once again, our birthday luck continued and were told our room was actually ready and we could go ahead and check-in.

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I loved finding hotel slippers in our room. I wear slippers all the time at home as I don't like being barefoot but often don't have room to pack them when traveling. It was such a simple pleasure to have these waiting for me on our arrival.

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We got settled in and enjoyed a light snack poolside at our hotel.

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After we ate we decided to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater.

My dad's uncle Frank Andrade is buried there. He was killed in action in World War II in the Pacific in 1944. Frank was my Grandpa Tony's younger brother. They both served in the Pacific and had been able to meet while temporarily stationed on the same island. They spent time together including attending Mass which they knew would make their mother happy. Shortly after they parted ways Frank was killed while out on a mission. According to the information listed at the cemetery Frank was buried at the Punchbowl cemetery in 1949.

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It was a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. We placed a lei at Uncle Frank's graveside and offered a decade of the rosary. It was sobering to see so many graves and to think of all of the lives that were lost and sacrificed. I was so glad to be able to visit and I know my Grandpa would be proud and happy to know his brother has not been forgotten.

We returned to our hotel and rested briefly before heading to dinner. Fr. Michael's good friend from seminary is a priest here in Oahu. Over the years we were lucky enough to get to know him at various seminary functions so we were thrilled to be able to reconnect with Fr. EJ here in Honolulu! He picked a fabulous restaurant called 12th Avenue Grill. I got the steak with potatoes and a maui pineapple bbq sauce and my dad enjoyed salmon and pasta. Cardamom rice pudding for dessert for me and a peanut butter gelato with espresso for Dad. This restaurant is known for their gin and tonic so we all enjoyed those as well!

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We had so much fun reminiscing and shared so many laughs with Fr. EJ. It was such a great way to kick off our trip in Oahu and he also recommended a lunch spot for us and some other tips for our time in Oahu.

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We are tired from a day of travel and adventures but so happy to be together and making memories.

Posted by danielcatherine 03:59 Archived in USA Tagged birthday oahu honolulu freebies hustle punchbowl Comments (2)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 17: Beyond the Horizon

sunny 86 °F

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We started off our day by finishing our packing (we had done most of it yesterday.) Once it was all packed we set off on our last Kaua’i adventure of this trip. We had to get our lunch for a last “car picnic” at Sueoka’s. On our way there we noticed this lizard skittering around on the hood of the car. When we stopped Daniel was able to get the lizard off our car with a piece of paper and we saw it run off.
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Our last stop at Sueoka’s for our favorite Hawaiian treats: Spam musubi and Hawaiian coffees and juices.
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Daniel in the car with the coffee.
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We stopped at Hanalima Bakery for some malasadas. We added them to have for dessert. Catherine said “our lunch just keeps getting better and better!”
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Said lunch.
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We stopped at a place called The Pineapple Store, which had boxes of pineapples which supposedly didn’t need to be inspected. The inspectors thought otherwise and opened them up during their search. It was an interesting little place with chickens and pigs wandering around, and our Maui Golds were packed in Dole boxes. They seemed to be knowledgeable about pineapples and we were glad we stopped there.
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In the airport, Aubrey wanted Catherine to tell her a story. Aubrey and Dalton piled on Auntie’s lap to hear the story.
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Us on the plane. Once we got to Daniel’s parents’ house we found a restaurant that was open (The Garrett) and got some pizza to go. We had a nice late dinner. It has been wonderful being in Hawaii all this time, and we are so happy to have shared this wonderful experience with our family.

Posted by danielcatherine 02:02 Archived in USA Tagged airport family plane coffee san_jose aubrey musubi dalton sueoka’s the_garrett Comments (1)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 16: Sunset

sunny 88 °F

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We started our day with mass at St. Raphael’s in Koloa. Afterwards we went to the “leftovers” brunch hosted by Daniel’s Aunt Jackie.
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Dalton with Gretchen’s daughter Maddie, and Darryl in the background.
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Aubrey explaining that her cats sleep the entire time she is gone. She found the idea that Flora is an “energy ball” immensely funny.
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Catherine practicing hula with Daniel’s mom and Jackie.
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After the party we went to Sueoka’s to get a car picnic lunch of Spam musubi.
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We stopped near Kealia Beach for our picnic. It was a beautiful spot.
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We then arrived at our destination: Hanalei Bay! Daniel’s parents met us there but they didn’t want to swim. It is an amazing bay with gentle waves and warm water, at least today.
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Us about to swim in the bay.

After we swam we headed back through the traffic to Poipu. The traffic was only really bad on the bridge. After that we could move freely.

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We walked down to Poipu Beach for the sunset gathering with Daniel’s family.
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From left: Eric, Gretchen, Hilary, Darryl, Jerry, Hillary, Robbie, Shane, Catherine, and Daniel.
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From left: Vickie, Grandma Jackie, Kate and Ed (Daniel’s parents), Peter, and Jackie.
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Aubrey digging for “buried treasure” on the beach. She always finds some if Grandpa is around.
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Around sunset time.
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Kate, Jackie, and Catherine doing the hula they learned.
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Back row: Daniel, Shane, Peter, Dalton, Darryl, Hilary, Kevin, Ed, Jerry, Eric, and Robbie.
Next Row: Charlotte, Catherine, Jackie, Kate, Grandma Jackie, Vickie, Hillary, Gretchen, and Maddie.
Front: Aubrey.

We want to take this opportunity on our blog to thank Grandma Jackie for this wonderful trip. We have enjoyed every minute of our time in Kaua’i, and loved spending time together!
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Us on the beach at sunset.
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After it was dark we decided to have dinner at Brennecke’s. Kevin and Charlotte and Robbie and Shane came with us. It was a fun night and we enjoyed visiting with them.

Posted by danielcatherine 16:33 Archived in USA Tagged peter eric hanalei shane brunch kevin charlotte robbie jerry jackie grandma hilary gretchen hillary aubrey maddie dalton brennecke’s vickie darryl Comments (1)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 15: The Sting

all seasons in one day 87 °F

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We started our day with a brunch of blueberry pancakes (made by Daniel’s mom), some leftover linguiça, and some pineapple.
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After brunch we made banana bread using the apple bananas from the Grove Farm. It turned out to be delicious. Daniel’s dad, who loves banana bread, said it was the best we’ve made. The apple bananas might make a difference, as might eating it on Kaua’i.

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After finishing that we headed off for Polihale State Park, which is the farthest you can go along the south shore (although it is actually on the west coast of the island.) along the way we saw some beautiful scenery...
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And learned that it is apparently oatmeal time.
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Us during the journey. Before we left, Aubrey saw we were both in baseball caps and asked if we are going to play baseball. We told her no, we planned to go to a beach.
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The drive to Polihale involved a several-mile pothole-filled dirt road. At times it seemed like we should turn back. But when we arrived, it was one of the most spectacular beaches we’ve ever seen. The sand was soft and perfect and the water was warm but refreshing. The surroundings were incredible. There was some kind of canoe club at the beach doing some kind of races, as well as people fishing, surfing, paddle boarding, and swimming.
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These are the last pictures taken of Catherine in her straw hat. This hat has served her well on various vacations through the years, and she was wearing it in the water today. A wave came up and she went under, and the hat was lost (Daniel also lost one of his water socks, but they are not visible in the picture).
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Daniel was stung by this creature. While we were swimming, Daniel suddenly felt a painful burning sensation, and told Catherine. Catherine believed it was a “purple necklace from Hilo Hattie’s.” She said she saw it wrapped around his arm. He went up to the beach to put sand on the wound (which we later learned is not advised, but which seemed soothing at the time. Catherine was certain it was a necklace. Daniel worried that it was somehow a fishing line and hook. It was only after we finished swimming that Catherine saw this creature washed up and realized that the “necklace” must have been a tentacle of the creature. (If anyone knows from the image what kind of animal this is, please let us know in the comments.)

The only possible course of action was to head back out the way we came. We started driving along the dirt road, and got stuck because a pedestrian walked by and we stopped. Thankfully one of the canoe club members was standing nearby and helped us push the car out. We got on our way and hoped Daniel wouldn’t have any reaction to the sting.
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Some views of the scenery from the dirt road as we left, with a slight rainstorm coming in. Despite the losses and stings, this excursion felt well worth it.

Afterwards, we went to the party at Daniel’s grandma’s house, which will be the last party of our time in Hawaii.
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Catherine talking to Daniel’s cousin Kevin and Kevin’s girlfriend Charlotte.
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Daniel’s cousin Robbie and Robbie’s friend Shane, who were the cooks. We had some delicious tostadas.
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From left: Hillary (Daniel’s cousin Jerry’s wife), Daniel’s Uncle Peter, Kevin, Daniel’s grandma, and Charlotte. It was a wonderful party and we were happy to have the chance to spend more time together.
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After the party, Daniel made a small batch of guacamole from the avocados we got at Grove Farm. Sadly one was bad, but one was good and we made a nice batch of guacamole mostly from leftover ingredients.

Posted by danielcatherine 03:24 Archived in USA Tagged peter baseball polihale party hat shane kevin jellyfish charlotte robbie grandma sting hillary blueberry_pancakes tostadas Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 14: Parakeet Invasion

sunny 87 °F

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Hilary and Darryl took their kids out to Salt Pond Beach, and the rest of us went to Kalapaki Beach, where Daniel’s mom, his grandma, and Catherine had lunch at Duke’s and Daniel and his dad went kayaking. It was a beautiful day and the bay was very clear and perfect. There were people riding an outrigger canoe, a lot of surfers and paddle boarders, and people swimming by the beach.
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The Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America was pulling out of the harbor as we left. It was amazing to see such a large ship in the bay.
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Daniel and his dad joined the group for lunch at Dukes.
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Us at Kalapaki Beach.
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On our way back to the house we decided to do the Koloa Rum tasting. It was amazingly good. We learned that the Koloa Rum Company is actually still growing sugar cane to make their rum.
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The rest of Daniel’s family went to the Smith Family Luau, while we had a date night at The Beach House in Poipu. Daniel got Catherine this beautiful multi-colored plumeria.
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Our reservation was for 7:30, so we were able to watch the sunset from the lawn.
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Some views as we waited for sunset.
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Just as the sky was really turning pink we started to hear a lot of birds chirping and flying overhead. At first we didn’t think much of it. Then we noticed a lot of little green parakeets in the trees. Those were the birds coming in!
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The beautiful sky at sunset!
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The famous Monkeypod Mai Tai from the Beach House.
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Our delicious meal, including a strawberry cream pie for dessert.
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Another wonderful day in Kauai!

Posted by danielcatherine 02:49 Archived in USA Tagged kayak kauai rum luau poipu beach_house kalapaki parakeets Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 13: The Secret Russian Base

all seasons in one day 81 °F

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The jungle-like back yard of the house where we are staying.
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Daniel found a pink plumeria tree and got Catherine one from that tree today. The flowers are beautiful but seem to wilt a little sooner than the white ones do. F8E0183D-44CF-4032-9B69-8E541CB5AAFF.jpeg
Aubrey thought this statue looked like grandpa.

We went to Duke’s today because Hilary’s husband Darryl was coming to join us. Duke’s is at a beach relatively near the airport and so we were able to have a nice lunch and wait for his flight to come in.
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Duke’s was good, and as our lunch was ending Hilary got the call that Darryl’s plane had landed so she headed to the airport to retrieve him while we all had dessert.
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The famous hula pie from Duke’s.

Once Darryl arrived he came into the restaurant and the kids ran to greet him. They were pretty tired from all the sun and excitement of this vacation, and so they all went back to the house to rest for a bit.

We went to the beach with Daniel’s parents, and tried to rent kayaks and a cabana. Unfortunately we were not able to as the kayaks were all out and not scheduled to come back until the end of the day. We decided to drive down to the Russian Fort Elizabeth on the south side of the island.
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A mother hen with several baby chicks at the Russian fort.
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Some views of the fort, and us visiting. Daniel’s parents liked having the chance to see this piece of history which is so little-known in the world at large.
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More views of the fort.

After the fort we stopped at the “Hawaiian Trading Post” and looked at some Ni’ihau shell leis. Ni’ihau is a private island near Kaua’i where visitors are not allowed and the entire population (really only about two hundred people) speak Hawaiian and live without much of modern technology. They make these leis out of unique shells and sell them in other places. We didn’t buy any, as prices started at $300 and went up to $25,000. It was a nice shop with a lot of different items.

Afterwards we had the third party, this one at Daniel’s Aunt Vickie’s house. It was Daniel’s cousin Jerry’s birthday, and Jerry is Vickie’s son. Thus the party was something of a birthday party for him. We had a great time at the party. The food was very good, including burgers cooked by Daniel’s cousin Robbie and his friend Shane. The unfortunate news from the party was that Daniel’s Uncle Tommy had a problem with his eye and needs surgery. He’ll have to go home tomorrow and miss his planned excursion to Maui after the rest of the family goes home. Unfortunately he will miss the rest of the trip but thankfully he will be okay.

Posted by danielcatherine 02:57 Archived in USA Tagged beach kayak jerry russian hilary tommy plumeria dukes vickie darryl Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 12: Icebox Memories

all seasons in one day 84 °F

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The day started with Aubrey and Dalton wanting to go outside. Once outside they found a lizard that was staying “very very still.” They got this lizard several leaves to eat and rocks to use as pillows. When Daniel’s dad went out to remove the dead lizard, it was actually alive!
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Hilary had arranged a hula lesson for the group at our house. The group learned to do a dance to the song “Hawaiian Lullaby.” Everyone enjoyed the class and they are planning on practicing and maybe performing at one of the coming parties.
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We had lunch of spam musubi, chips, and some leftover watermelon from the party.
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After lunch we drove to the Grove Farm plantation. Daniel’s grandma had done the tour last year and decided to do it again this year. The grounds were beautiful as we walked up to the office.
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Some pictures of the office and the landscape of the plantation.
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George N. Wilcox started this plantation, and one of the first stops on the tour was his own house. There was a large plantation house, but G.N. decided to build himself a house where he could be alone. This was his library/reading room.
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Wilcox’s turtle-shaped spittoon.
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Wilcox’s summer bedroom, which is basically a screened patio. It seemed like such a pleasant place to be able to sleep.
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Wilcox’s hat collection, which Catherine felt Daniel would like having.
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The garden outside Wilcox’s house.
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One of the cottages by the house.
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The beautiful interior of the plantation house. It was full of incredible art, books, handmade pieces from the plantation days, and the most beautiful koa wood fixtures around the house.
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Miss Mabel was the last member of the family to live on the property. Her 1974 Buick Skylark is still in working order in the driveway.
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This piece of art was made entirely of butterfly wings.
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This cabinet was won in a contest and was made in Japan. It reminded us a lot of the Asian artifacts that Catherine’s grandmother was given by her own aunt, who ran a store on a liner that travelled to Asia and brought home a lot of items.
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The library inside the plantation house is amazing.
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This large “rock” is actually an old sea sponge. One of the family members would use it to trick people into thinking she was carrying a heavy rock.
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Next we visited the kitchen, which had a wood burning stove which was being used. A woman who had worked in the kitchen when Mabel was still there gave us an explanation of everything. 5E145209-38E9-4A55-A551-39DFFAD030BC.jpeg
Daniel’s grandma and his Aunt Vickie with their fans in the kitchen.
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We had the chance to try the mint ice tea and icebox cookies that have been served at this plantation for years.
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Catherine doesn’t usually like mint, so she wasn’t sure about the tea. She loved it! More importantly, we both loved the icebox cookies. Catherine has loved her Aunt Helen’s icebox cookies as a child. When her aunt died she wanted to find the recipe but was unable to do so. These cookies tasted the same! Thankfully, the plantation gives out the recipe to everyone who comes through! We will be enjoying icebox cookies and mint ice tea when we get home! The lady in the kitchen also gave us some bananas and avocados from the farm.
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This chair converts to a ladder. We were able to get the plans for the chair before leaving. Apparently people all over the world have built them from these plans.
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Some books, a picture of a school class, a World War I helmet, an old shave ice machine, and what Daniel called the Wheel of Misfortune.
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The blacksmith’s shop and the woodshed, which is also home to some of the feral cats around the property.
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The banana fields.
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The laundry at the plantation was done by a woman from Japan who lived in this house.
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Some beautiful views around the plantation.
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All of us at the end of the tour.
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We came back to the house and had a relaxing evening. We went to the pool and saw Aubrey and Dalton’s swimming “tricks” (mostly just swimming) and then came in to have burritos and/or leftovers for dinner. It was a wonderful day!

Posted by danielcatherine 02:24 Archived in USA Tagged tea plantation bananas kauai sugar grandma avocados lihue aubrey dalton vickie icebox_cookies Comments (1)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 11: Nobody Candy Nigh

“Chocolate’s healthy? I thought it was just a treat!”-Aubrey

overcast 86 °F

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This morning we took Aubrey for her belated birthday excursion (or “birthday extravaganzo” as she called it.). We started by driving to Lydgate chocolate farm in Kapa’a. Along the way Aubrey had some Portuguese sweet bread (Aubrey said “I want to crunch and munch a bunch of this!”) We had a great conversation with her that touched on the purpose of tree tunnels in Hawaii (“for princes and princesses!”), genealogy (“someday I’ll be a mommy, and then a grandma, and then a grandma Jackie!”), and current family relations (“so I’m aunty’s niece?!”)
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When we arrived at the farm Aubrey was instantly popular with everyone. She was the only child on the tour, and was incredibly polite and inquisitive throughout the tour. The guide, Andrea, first helped Aubrey feed a chicken. Aubrey fearlessly held out her hand and let the chicken eat crushed macadamia nuts.
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Aubrey “posing” with the macadamia nuts and nutcracker.
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All of us before the tour began.
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The tour guide showing us vanilla beans growing.
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Trying some cherries.
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A demonstration of the papyrus plant which culminated with Aubrey receiving her favorite toy of the day:
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A papyrus frond! It can be an umbrella, a sweeper, or even troll hair!
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Getting ready for the tropical fruit tasting.
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We tried longan, egg fruit, lychee, dragonfruit, soursop,
palm blossom honey, and black pepper.
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Aubrey wielding her papyrus frond.
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Aubrey trying the palm blossom honey, which she asked to be able to do.
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Daniel trying fresh black pepper. It was incredibly good.
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We then got the chance to look at cacao pods and even try the beans from the pod. Aubrey didn’t like them, but we found them palatable.
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Aubrey with her frond.
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All of us in the cacao orchard.
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The tour guide gave us an interesting talk on the origins of chocolate as a precursor to our tasting. Aubrey didn’t have much interest in that part (although we found it fascinating and informative.)
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Thankfully the farm had some coloring books and markers for her.
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Aubrey participated in every part of the blind tasting, and liked every one of them besides the 100% cacao baking chocolate. Her tasting notes (transcribed by Daniel) included “Emma Ems (M&Ms),” “Oreos,” and “Yummy!”
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Aubrey asked if she could give Andrea the “recipe” she created, which Andrea was happy to accept. She also wanted a picture with Andrea.
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More frond time!
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We all had a great time on the tour.
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Aubrey asked Andrea if she could feed the chickens one more time.
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One last “ice cream cone water” (water in those pointed conical water cooler cups).
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And a few pushes on the swing, and we were off to lunch.
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Daniel got a veggie enchilada stack and Catherine and Aubrey got nachos. Aubrey was very sleepy, and we talked about jet skis because we saw a truck pulling one. Aubrey, differing greatly from her mother at her age, said she wouldn’t want to go on a jet ski and if she did she wouldn’t want to go fast.
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We then went to a place called Uncle’s Shave Ice. Aubrey and Catherine speculated that you have to be an uncle to work there, but the girl at the counter probably wasn’t an uncle. Aubrey got birthday cake, pineapple, and cotton candy flavor, while we split a lilokoi and guava one.

Now, in Daniel’s family the song “Happy Birthday” is always followed by “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow.” Daniel grew up believing they were one song. Catherine asked Aubrey if we could sing her “Happy Birthday.” Aubrey replied
“Okay, you can sing happy birthday but not the jolly o fellow part and not the candy part, cause the jolly o fellow part and the candy part can get pretty long.” Catherine wasn’t sure what Aubrey meant by “the candy part.” Daniel said “when it says ‘nobody candy nigh.’” We sang her “Happy Birthday” without
the “jolly o fellow” part or the “candy” part. She told us that even though it’s not our birthdays she wants us to try some of the delicious birthday cake shave ice.

At the end of the day, we came back to the house and started to carry Aubrey in. She started vomiting and screaming. So after a beautiful and joyful day, it looked like she was miserable. It could have been from eating more sugar than usual or too much time in the heat and humidity. Thankfully she recovered after a nap and was feeling well by the time the party started.

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We all worked on getting ready for the party we’re hosting. During this trip we each are hosting a meal at our family’s house. Today was our day. Here Dalton is helping Catherine ice the drinks.
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We served linguiça, or “Portuguese sausage” as it’s called here, sandwiches, with Hawaii chips, macaroni salad, Hawaiian fruit juices, and mai tais. Everyone seemed to enjoy the party quite a bit.

One of the best things at the party was Daniel’s mom’s pineapple pie. Daniel’s parents had this in Costa Rica and loved it, and his mom learned to make it after their trip. Here she was able to make it from Maui Gold pineapples, and it was incredible.
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People eating, and Dalton seeing what it’s like to sit in a plumeria tree.

Posted by danielcatherine 20:11 Archived in USA Tagged chocolate tree party farm sick tour birthday verde cacao plumeria aubrey dalton Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 10: Bamboozled

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We woke up very early today to get ready to go to Kipu Ranch Adventures ATV tour. We were doing it with Daniel’s Aunt Jackie and Uncle Peter, Gretchen and Eric, Kevin and Charlotte, Robbie, and Shane. The ranch formerly belonged to Princess Ruth, Kamehameha’s granddaughter. She sold it to the Rice family, which still owns it. Several movies have been filmed there, including Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones. It has served as several other places for movies, including Africa, Costa Rica, and Vietnam.

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Daniel drove for most of it.
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But Catherine also drove for a bit.
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Tree tunnels in Hawaii are designations of royal lands. There is a famous one outside Poipu and Koloa made of eucalyptus. This one, designating Princess Ruth’s lands, was made of pine.
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Some pictures as we began the journey.
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Peafowl as we began driving.
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We saw such beautiful views as we drove through the ranch.
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There were several stops to see sights.
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More pictures.
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Some of the group that was there.
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Daniel did the rope swing.
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Catherine also held the rope swing.
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The swimming holes were too muddy for us to swim.
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More pictures around the ranch.
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Us with Daniel’s Aunt Jackie.
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We walked to a waterfall and were able to go behind it. Again, the water was too muddy to swim.
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We had lunch at tables near the waterfall. There were a lot of chickens nearby who scavenged for food there.
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Next we drove to another waterfall.
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There was a great deal of bamboo around the waterfall, giving us our title for today’s entry.
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A picture of the whole group, and of just us.
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This pool was clean enough to swim in according to the guides, but it didn’t seem too pleasant so we didn’t decide to swim.
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The Kipu Ranch Adventure was a great experience! We highly recommend it!
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When we got back we rested for a while, then went to Costco and Safeway to get ready for our party. We went with Daniel’s mom and bought all the supplies we will need.
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Daniel’s mom found a ukulele at Costco. We didn’t buy one but she did play it for a moment.
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When we got home we went to dinner with Daniel’s sister Hilary. It was a very fun dinner at Brennecke’s, and are looking forward to our party tomorrow!

Posted by danielcatherine 04:17 Archived in USA Tagged dinner lunch movies ranch atv rope costco kipu brennecke’s Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 9: I Spy

With My Little Eye

overcast 85 °F

We started our day by going to mass at St. Raphael’s with Daniel’s grandma. St. Raphael’s is the oldest Catholic church on Kaua’i, but both times we’ve been there we’ve gone to mass in the new church building. It was nice but very hot and humid, to the point that Daniel and his grandma’s glasses fogged up when we got out of the car. After mass we bought some mango bread and some flowers from a fundraiser.
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We then went to Pizzetta in Koloa Town. Catherine got a slice of pizza and Daniel got penne pesto pasta. Daniel’s grandma had the caprese. It was a great lunch. We split a chocolate lava cake for dessert.
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A picture of the spaghetti harvest on the wall of the restaurant. Daniel has used this joke with his students for April Fool’s Day (that spaghetti grows on trees). We took a picture of this image that seems to support the joke.

After lunch we joined Daniel’s parents, his sister Hilary, and her kids Aubrey and Dalton who were having dessert and shopping at a nearby shopping center.
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Catherine and Aubrey playing “I Spy with my Little Eye.”6FD45D98-23F8-4246-B21F-F4A8CE404A56.jpeg
Aubrey leading the way while we play “I Spy.”
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Aubrey’s look of disbelief at our inability to spot the thing that she claimed to have spotted (a quarter mile away, completely invisible to her from where she was, and matching none of the description she gave us.)
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Daniel’s dad, Ed, with Dalton.
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Daniel with Aubrey.

Afterwards we went back to the house and finished watching the Mayo vs. Donegal match via GAAGo. We had tried to watch it yesterday but not been able to finish it. Mayo won and is going into the semi-finals against Dublin next week!

Then we went to Daniel’s Aunt Jackie and Uncle Peter’s house for their party. Each family on this trip is hosting a party night during the time we are here. Their theme was Asian fusion, and we had rice, noodles, teriyaki beef skewers, pineapple, watermelon, and pineapple upside down cake for dessert. It was a delicious meal. We spent time talking to Daniel’s family and enjoyed the first party.

Posted by danielcatherine 01:30 Archived in USA Tagged church party mango match bread mayo asian_fusion mass aubrey dalton i_spy_with_my_little_eye Comments (0)

Maui and Kauai Day 8: Our Hawaiian House

semi-overcast 88 °F

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We started off this morning by playing with our niece and nephew, Aubrey and Dalton. It was a fun morning and we made the plan to go see the Kilauea Lighthouse. We all drove up to the lighthouse, but we took a separate car because we intended to go beyond the lighthouse to drive as far as possible.
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The lighthouse is on the grounds of a beautiful nature preserve. There were beautiful views of the ocean, and a lot of native birds.
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The lighthouse itself, as well as a picture of us in front of the lighthouse.
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A nene, or Hawaiian goose.
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Another pandanus, or tourist pineapple.
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Catherine and Dalton in the wind.
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Us at the lighthouse.
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After the lighthouse we went to lunch at a restaurant nearby. We got Portuguese bean soup, and even had the chance to try breadfruit hummus! It tastes a lot like regular hummus, but it was interesting to try it anyway. Aubrey made friends with two girls who were also eating there. They asked her to stay, feeling that she shouldn’t leave if they are friends. “Where do you have to go?” one asked. “To our Hawaiian house” replied Aubrey.
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We drove as far as we could west to the northwest corner of the island. The state park required reservations for non-residents, which we didn’t have. We went back a bit to the next farthest beach, Ha’ena. It was beautiful and very calm water. We swam and got shave ice from a nearby stand. It was a great afternoon!
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Us at the beach.
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Tropical landscapes on our way back.
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We got a delicious dinner at “Da Crack,” a Mexican food stand near where we are staying. It was very good. After that we went back to the house. It was a wonderful first full day in Kaua’i.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:24 Archived in USA Tagged nature park beach swimming tropical drive lighthouse hawaiian mexican portuguese kaua’i nene da_crack Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 7: With the Gently Flowing Rains

rain 86 °F

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Went to the airport and got lunch at Maui Snackbar, then boarded the plane for Kaua’i. Our plane, which was Hawaiian Airlines, was called ‘Amakihi
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Some beautiful views of Maui as we flew for Kaua’i.
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Our car for Kaua’i. We were pretty excited to be able to rent the two most quintessential Hawaii cars for this trip.

We saw Daniel’s family at the house where we are staying. It is very nice, and they had already gotten checked in. We were planning on going to Hanapepe for the street fair, but Daniel’s family decided to get pizza so we went alone. Hanapepe is famous as the town that inspired the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, which Catherine especially loves. As we came into town, one of the booths had some children hula dancing and they were playing “He Mele No Lilo,” (the title of this blog post comes from the translated lyrics of the song, and also describes the weather). A better welcome to Kaua’i couldn’t be found.
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Except, perhaps, in the form of malasadas, which we bought from one stand to have for dessert.
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Our dinner came from Chipwrecked, a food truck with Hawaiian-inspired nachos. We got kalua pork with crispy spam and jalapeños, lilikoi-habanero hot sauce, and cole slaw. Catherine called it the best nacho she’s ever had.
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Some pictures showing the street fair.
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Catherine got this baseball cap, and designed the image on the hat herself.
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We found an amazing store in Hanapepe, which was very similar to Lahaina Printsellers. They had reproductions of old maps, including original prints from the 18th century. It was an amazing store, and we had a long conversation with the salesperson and ended up buying something!

Posted by danielcatherine 03:19 Archived in USA Tagged rain flying maui hula nachos hanapepe lilo_and_stitch malasadas Comments (0)

Maui and Kauai Day 6: Here Be Dragons

Whosoever shall complete this labyrinth shall get a Fig Newton. -Catherine

rain 88 °F

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Started our day by snorkeling near our hotel. We saw a lot of interesting fish. The waves started to get a bit choppy as we swam, possibly due to the hurricanes nearby (which are predicted to go north and south of the islands, respectively.) There were also strong winds and dark clouds in the sky.
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Us at the beach.
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A coconut tree by the beach. We couldn’t ascertain whether it was hostile or not.
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After snorkeling we went up to our room for a lunch on our balcony.
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We then drove up to Kapalua for a rugged hike...
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...which began with a harrowing journey across the Ritz-Carlton property.
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And then proceeded along a golf course before actually becoming at all rugged.
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A palm tree and its shadow.
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We hiked out along one of the peninsulas that guards Kapalua Bay.
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This area is called the Dragon’s Teeth. Catherine thought it looked more like a dragon’s spine.
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Us during the hike.
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Some views along the way.
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It was very windy.
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We found this labyrinth, which Daniel completed and Catherine also “completed” by stepping over the barriers into the middle of the maze.
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The end of the peninsula.
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Us at the edge.
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Some pictures of the waves breaking on the rocks.
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This one really shows the “dragon’s teeth” effect of the rocks.
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Some pictures around the resort.
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We then went in to Lahaina and had dinner at Lahainaluna Café. Catherine got a grilled cheese with bacon and Daniel tried the kalua pork sandwich. We shared fries and Maui onion straws. Both were delicious.
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No trip to Lahaina is complete without a visit to Lahaina Printsellers. Two years ago we bought a beautiful map of the Hawaiian Islands, a reproduction of one made by the Lahainaluna printing press which was the first map of Hawaii in Hawaiian. We had also had a long conversation with Bob, the salesman there who is an expert on maps. This time was almost exactly the same, except that this time we bought a map of the Azores made by the Society for the Dissemination of Useful Knowledge. They were dedicated to providing accurate information, and thus avoid adding any dragons, Sea-monsters, etc.
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We ended our night at Kimo’s, where a few employees seemed to be hanging out at the end of the day, and we had the opportunity to hear the bartender’s increasingly improbable suggestions for how to avoid large corporate chains and eat, drink, and buy local.

We have loved our time here in Maui but can’t wait to join our family in Kaua’i tomorrow.

Posted by danielcatherine 02:13 Archived in USA Tagged maps snorkeling storms lahaina dragons teeth hurricanes kimo’s lahainaluna_cafe Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 5: The Trail is Dangerous

rain 83 °F

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We started off our day a little bit early and headed for Hāna. Catherine had downloaded an app that got good reviews for an updated guide to the road. It was very useful. At the start of our day, we saw people surfing at a beach outside of Lahaina.
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Catherine in the car with her plumeria of the day. Daniel gets her one every day we’re in Hawaii.
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Our first major stop was Mile Marker 7, where we could see...
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The amazing rainbow eucalyptus. It is really an incredible tree. Their colors and size make them stand out so much among the tropical rainforest landscape.
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Our Jeep in the forest.
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Some views along the road.
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This looked like kahili ginger, which is very common in the Azores (where people eat the sap). We didn’t eat any sap today, but it seems like the same plant.
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We stopped at the first rest stop looking over the Keanae Peninsula. Last time we had lunch there but it was a little earlier this time so we waited.
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Instead, we ate on the peninsula itself and had a car picnic in the back of the Jeep.
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The ocean from the Keanae Peninsula.
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A pandanus tree, sometimes called “tourist pineapple.”
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More of the peninsula, which is home to an old Congregationalist church as well as...
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...Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread stand! There is a constant dispute between supporters of Julia’s and Sandy’s banana bread. Now we have two loaves of each!
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We also saw another stand, called Uncle Harry’s, which advertised malasadas. We bought some.
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We also got shave ice.
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Some ocean views along our way.
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Our next stop was the Kahanu Garden.
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The garden has various types of plants that were staples to the Polynesian peoples, such as taro, banana, and coconut.
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It also has reconstructions of traditional Hawaiian buildings.
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It also has actual historic ruins, including the remains of the largest temple in Hawaii, the Pi’ilanihale Heiau, built in the 16th century by the Maui chieftain Pi’ilani. It was fascinating to see something that remains from such a different era. The Kahanu Gardens were one of the major highlights of this trip, and we can’t recommend them enough.
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But be warned! Coconuts can fall. Catherine felt that this warning sign made it seem like the coconuts deliberately target people.
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Next we arrived in Hāna, and decided to skip the black sand beach (which we saw two years ago) and go to the Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu). The trail is dangerous, and a woman driving by warned us not to even attempt to go there.
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The trail was along the side of a cliff, and could be very dangerous in wet weather. However, we were very careful and felt pretty safe.
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We arrived at the red sand beach, which was amazing. The colors of the sand and the water formed an incredible contrast, and it was pleasantly shaded by the cliffs above. The water was nice and felt like a wave pool. It reminded us a lot of the piscinas in the Azores.
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After swimming for about twenty to thirty minutes, we walked back up towards the car.
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The trail was dangerous, but we conquered it!
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We headed back from there. We had thought about going all the way around, but we’ve done that before and it was starting to rain. We saw some amazing sites on our way out.
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We stopped for dinner in Kahului on our way back to Ka’anapali. They were out of veggie burgers (which we usually order despite not being vegetarians) so we just had regular ones. They were pretty good but very filling.

Posted by danielcatherine 02:39 Archived in USA Tagged garden hana keanae red_sand kahanu sandy’s pi’ilani Comments (1)

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