A Travellerspoint blog

Utah Day 5: Zion

sunny 102 °F

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Zion National Park had been closed for a while, and now requires that guests register for a spot on a tram. It is relatively crowded compared to the other places we have visited, which is a bit scary with the virus still out there. However, it seemed that almost everyone was wearing masks (including us) and that the hikes took us to less populated areas.
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The danger of flash flooding in slot canyons was low, so we felt that it was safe to hike (we actually avoided the real slot canyon of The Narrows, and only went to the river walk).
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The tram (modified to carry fewer people and require social distancing, and with all windows open) carried us into the canyon. The park is not designed for a lot of cars, and there are few places to park within the canyon, so we had to do all of our hiking from the bus stops.
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The river walk was an easier hike, but it leads to the Narrows, which are as the name describes a narrow slot canyon. We walked along the easy section of the river. The canyon feels similar to Sedona: we felt like Sedona is what would happen if someone built a city in the middle of Zion National Park.
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There is actually a lot of swampy land alongside the river. Catherine hoped it wouldn't be porous like bogs and sinkholes tend to be.
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A couple pictures of us during the hike. There were a lot of very bold and interested squirrels who kept trying to get to our bags and showed great interest in any water bottles or food that we had out. Though they reminded Catherine of Flora, we successfully avoided them and got them to go away.
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We finished our hike and then took the tram to one of the stops, with the intention of hiking from that stop to the lodge along the grotto trail. Anthony was interested in hiking more than that, but Catherine and Katie were not. Daniel and Anthony went across the street to a trail that crossed a bridge, and then just followed the trail...
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...which began to climb.
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In fact, it climbed quite a bit until we were high above the canyon. The trail was beautiful and the view of the canyon below was amazing. There were only a few other groups along this trail.
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We referred to this canyon as Owl Canyon because of this sign, but looking online we found that it is actually called Refrigerator Canyon because of the cold winds that blow through it. We met a group of hikers coming down who explained that it was the hike to Angel's Landing, one of the most famous hikes in Zion National Park. Apparently it was formerly called the Temple of Aeolus, after the god who kept the winds in Greek mythology. They said we were about twenty minutes from the top, but we had promised Catherine and Katie that we would be down by 6:30, so we didn't have the time to continue up the mountain, so we turned around.
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The way down. We met with Catherine and Katie back at the bus stop and decided to continue the hike to the lodge.
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The "grotto hike" to the lodge mostly followed the road. It was easy and beautiful.
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This statue of a ringtail cat reminded us of Flora.
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There was one loop that was open to drive, and so we drove around the park to the degree we were allowed and saw a lot of interesting sights, including the famous tunnel.
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Right outside the park is a brewery called Zion Brewpub. We had a dinner there, which was delicious. We had a very full day at the park, and it was an amazing thing to see on this trip.

Posted by danielcatherine 16:04 Archived in USA Tagged river wind mask tram zion refrigerator owl angel's_landing ringtail aeolus social_distance Comments (1)

Utah Day 4: Fry Bread Adventures

sunny 76 °F

Having done a lot of hiking and driving, we decided to have a slightly more relaxing day today. We went on a short drive around the area, and stopped at a few lookouts.
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Some views over the side of the amphitheater at Cedar Breaks.
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There are a lot of old lava flows and cinder cones around the area. It's a very interesting landscape.
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Our last and most delicious adventure for the day was going to a restaurant in Parowan called Hamburger Patty's. They serve fry bread, which is a Native American bread. It can be served as a savory dish, such as a "Navajo taco," or as a sweet dessert-like food, with sugar and cinnamon or honey butter. We had it this time with honey butter, and it was delicious.

Posted by danielcatherine 11:59 Archived in USA Tagged lava drive amphitheater cedar_breaks cinder_cones fry_bread hamburger_patty's Comments (1)

Utah Day 3: A Tropical Vacation

sunny 76 °F

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We slept in a bit, and then went on a short hike nearby in Cedar Breaks National Monument. This one was called "Alpine Pond" and involved hiking first to a small pond and then to the Chessmen overlook where we went yesterday.
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There were a lot of fir and spruce trees, as well as pines and a ton of wildflowers.
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There were a lot of fallen trees, mostly due to the bark beetle infestation that seems to have mostly passed by now. We arrived at the pond, which was beautiful but very full of bugs. We saw water bugs walking across the water and bees pollinating the wildflowers nearby.
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Most of the trail felt like we were walking through a forest, and didn't feel at all like we were on the edge of a plateau. But occasionally we would get glimpses through the trees of the majestic canyon/ amphitheater to our right.
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Some beautiful wildflowers that looked like something a fairy would live in.
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A meadow at the turnaround point for our hike.
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Along the way back.
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This yurt at the trail head is used as a kind of ranger station. It has a wood stove and looks kind of cozy inside.
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We then drove to Bryce National Park. There is a town just outside the park called Tropic, apparently because the early settlers were planning to grow "tropical" fruits like peaches and grapes there. In Tropic there is a small restaurant/ food truck called IDK Barbecue. We stopped there for lunch before going into the park.
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Bryce Canyon is really more of an amphitheater than a canyon. It is an amazingly beautiful location, although being there for sunset was a bit less impressive than it probably is at sunrise given that the amphitheater faces east.
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There were a lot of areas where guests could hike down into the amphitheater. Anthony and Daniel decided to climb down into one of them.
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The one we hiked in was called "Wall Street" and was part of the Navajo Trail loop. We didn't do the whole loop, we only walked down into the canyon and got to an area where there were trees growing up through the narrow cracks.
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We drove deeper into the park and stopped at various lookouts, which allowed us to see the sunset over the ridge, which was very impressive and beautiful. It was a wonderful day at Bryce Canyon, which is an incredible place.

Posted by danielcatherine 11:34 Archived in USA Tagged sunset wall_street hike tropic national_park bryce_canyon barbecue alpine_pond Comments (0)

Utah Day 2: Peaks and Petroglyphs

sunny 100 °F

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Our first stop was lunch at a highly recommended Mexican/ Salvadoran restaurant in the town of Parowan, which is just down the hill from where we are staying. The food was delicious. Their chile rellenos are especially different from what they are normally like, but in a very good way.
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We then drove to the Parowan Gap.
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Which is the location of the famous Parowan Petroglyphs. These were carved into the stone by various Native American tribes over the years. It seems as though the area was a common stopping point during migrations or hunting expeditions, and that various groups over the years added to these glyphs. There are various possible explanations for the different images, with different tribes and archaeologists sometimes having very divergent ideas of what they might have meant. It is interesting that the local tribes were generally agricultural: we had a bit of a discussion about the relationship between agriculture and religion, and how ceremonial images might become more important to a culture that farms rather than hunts for their living.
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There are petroglyphs in most of these images, especially on the darker parts of the rock. Some of them seem to depict astronomical events, such as meteors falling to earth. A modern observer is likely to see some of the figures as aliens (some of the human figures have what look like antennae) but it is important not to read too much into your own interpretation (these figures could simply be, for instance, a shaman wearing antlers). It is hard to imagine what caused people to carve these things into the rock. You wish that you could understand what they were thinking and why they organized the images the way they did.
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We also stopped briefly at the Dinosaur tracks site, also in the Parowan Gap. Since it was very hot we didn't do much of a hike there.
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Next we went to Cedar Breaks National Monument, where we could see the "Chessmen," supposedly formations that look like chessmen but in fact formations that just look like rocks. Nevertheless, it was beautiful.
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These "amphitheaters" in the sides of mountains seem very common here. They are all like miniature Grand Canyons.
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You are able to drive to the top of Brian Head peak, which we did.
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It is over 11,000 feet high.
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There is a small shelter at the top which was nice to shield us from the wind.
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We watched the sunset from the peak and then headed back down to our resort.

Posted by danielcatherine 15:06 Archived in USA Tagged mountains food petroglyphs dinosaurs amphitheater peaks parowan brian_head cedar_breaks chessmen Comments (1)

Utah Day 1: Mountain Meadows

sunny 113 °F

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Flora was a lot of help with our packing!
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We stopped in Las Vegas at Cornish Pasty Co.. We have gone there before, to the location in Flagstaff, but this was our first time visiting the Las Vegas location. Usually we go to Flagstaff in the winter, when the weather is between 0 and 15 Fahrenheit. In Las Vegas today it was 113, so not usual "pasty weather" for us. The pasties were wonderful as they always are in Flagstaff. We will stop by on our way back to pick up some half-baked pasties to freeze and have at home.
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We diverged from the path to visit the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. It was a very sad event in history and it was amazing to see where it actually happened. It was a beautiful location and it's sad to think that such awful things happened in such a peaceful seeming location.
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The memorial, sadly, seemed a bit sanitized and doesn't go into much detail about what happened. The original memorial had a cross, which reflected the Christian faith of the victims of the massacre, and the current memorial does not. We both thought that the cross should be replaced. Nevertheless, it is good that there is a memorial there at all. The flags are the United States and the flag of Arkansas, which was the point of origin for the people killed in the massacre.
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This is supposed to be the old wagon road, and the ruts are still visible in how the grass grows. It makes it easy to imagine wagon trains coming through this location.

We arrived in Brian Head, where we are staying, late. Our room is very nice, and we are staying at a very high elevation which will help us get acclimated for our hikes.

Posted by danielcatherine 14:59 Archived in USA Tagged las_vegas utah flora arkansas massacre pasties mountain_meadows Comments (0)

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)

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