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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)

Ireland Day 14: Cork, Youghal, Cashel

overcast 64 °F

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The view from the kitchen of the house where we stayed. A beautiful north Co. Cork landscape.
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We drove through Bweeng again on our way to Cork. This is the pub.
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St. Peter and Paul's Church, Cork. This was an absolutely beautiful church. We went to a Traditional Latin Mass here. It was a low mass, and not very long, but it was beautiful and the building was so incredible. We also got an excellent parking space right in front of the church, and went to lunch right nearby. Cork City is a little bit crowded and hard to navigate, but it was pretty and we were glad to see it during our trip.
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The outside of the church.
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After leaving Cork we drove to the town of Youghal. Daniel's parents went there and highly recommended it to us. We went to the museum and drove around the town a little.
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So is the group called Batty and they're playing tonight? Or is it called Batty Tonight?
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More pictures of Youghal. It was once one of the most important harbors in Ireland. It reminded us a lot of New England, mostly because it had an intriguingly similar history involving puritans, witch trials, etc.
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More of Youghal.
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Some sights along the road to the Rock of Cashel.
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We arrived at the Rock of Cashel just before it closed. The staff seemed eager to lock the doors, so we were lucky to get in. We went to the museum first.
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Cashel was both an ecclesiastical and political site. It was the capital used by Brian Boru, and before him, by the Eoghanacht rulers. It was also the site of a cathedral (to is day the diocese is called The Diocese of Cashel and Emly, even though the cathedral is in Thurles.) There is thus a great variety of buildings and artifacts here.
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The saddest thing about these ruins is that they don't have to be ruins. If history had gone differently, this could still be a thriving cathedral, with masses being said and people traveling to see the historic church. It lasted for centuries being used that way, and churches just as old are still in use in other countries. These were part of a patrimony that was sadly stolen from the people.
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More pictures from the Rock.
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And some more. It's a beautiful place.
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Some pictures of us at the Rock of Cashel.
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It was extremely windy there that day. It was very difficult to walk around without being blown off-course, and it made Daniel's allergies really bad. Still, it was a nice day to see the ruins with no rain.
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This monument is visible for miles around. It is only when you walk behind it that you realize...
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...that it used to be a cross! It would have been incredibly huge as a cross. Unfortunately, without a guide we don't know if it was wind or human action that blew it down.
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In the gift shop, Catherine tried on this cloak. She said she wishes that cloaks were a more socially acceptable thing to wear. Unfortunately, the €500 price tag prevented her from doing her part to bring back the cloak. (Also, she wondered if daggers were a necessary accessory with cloaks.)

We went to dinner at a pub called Brian Boru's, where people were watching a darts competition, and the Italian waiter kept promising the owner that he would bring in Italians, then delivering on his promise (he must have brought in at least four Italians while we were eating there.) Only after we finished eating did we find out there was another side, which was a restaurant with live music. It was a nice dinner. We then set off on our drive to our next AirBnB, which was near Athlone and especially close to the ruins at Clonmacnoise, which we were very excited to see.
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Some pictures of the sunset along our way. We arrived at our AirBnB on the Pilgrims' Road, and met our hosts who also had large dogs, had a farm, and the husband was named Joseph. We had a nice conversation with them, then went to our room and went to sleep.

Posted by danielcatherine 12:53 Archived in Ireland Tagged history ruins church museum cathedral dogs farm cross latin wind athlone joseph cork mass cashel clonmacnoise rock_of_cashel bweeng dromohane youghal Comments (0)

Ireland Day 12: Moher To See

overcast 64 °F

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We started the day by driving to the city center and finding a parking garage. We went to the Claddagh Jewelry shop and got a Claddagh ring for Catherine. While Daniel had purchased other jewelry for Catherine when he was living here, for some reason he hadn't gotten her a Claddagh. We got one today.
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Then had a delicious lunch at Busker Brown's before heading to Co. Clare.
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On our way to Liscannor, where we were staying, we stopped at Dunguaire Castle, which is a restored castle that can be toured. It was built in the 16th Century and is a fascinating thing to be able to see. It is really more of a "tower house" than a castle, as it was not really intended as a strong fortress but more as a fortified home.
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Some pictures inside the castle. The different floors are arranged to show different eras: the 17th century is depicted by the banquet hall, and the 20th century (when an Englishwoman restored the castle as her home) is depicted in the top floor. The castle hosts a "medieval banquet" which the staff was preparing when we were there.
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The passages on top are very narrow and difficult to get through.
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But there are beautiful views from the top once you get out there.
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Us at the top of the castle.
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More views from the top.
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More pictures from outside.
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The burren, a barren landscape of limestone in Co. Clare. It is strikingly different from the landscape of the surrounding area, and seems to lend itself to the preservation of ancient sites, or at least make them more obviously visible.
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Yes, it seems like something you would see on a postcard from a rural area: "Co. Clare Traffic Jam" with a picture of cows walking down the road. And yet, it happened to us in real life. These were dairy cows being taken to be milked, it would seem. We only had to wait a little: the farmers moved the cows fairly quickly. Of course, it was a frightening experience for Catherine after her run-in with the calf the day before.
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Some pictures in Liscannor, where we stayed. Our hosts there also owned a pub, and they have a house across the street from it. We drove to the pub, and our host had us follower her to the house and checked us in. It was a wonderfully comfortable room, and our host recommended that we go to the Cliffs of Moher (which were right next to the house and pub) after 9PM so that we wouldn't have to pay to park. We decided to go to the village for dinner, then go to the cliff.
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Dinner in Liscannor before going to the cliffs.
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The O'Brien Monument in Liscannor, right near the pub. This was constructed to honor Cornelius O'Brien, who was a well-liked landowner in the area despite being part of the British power structure (the O'Brien family has an interesting history: they are descended from Brian Boru, and are thus native Gaelic nobility, but the senior heirs of the family embraced Anglicanism and fought for the English and against various rebellions by other Gaelic nobles like the O'Neills and O'Donnells). Cornelius, however, was known for building projects and other well-regarded projects in the area.
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St. Brigid's well is right next to the O'Brien monument. It is unlike any of the other holy wells we have visited on this trip: less "polished" than St. Catherine's in Killybegs, but far more trafficked than St. Dymphna's and the others. There were rocks that people had written "thank yous" to St. Brigid, and a statue in a glass box.
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The upper shrine. There is a graveyard hear, as well as some more small objects that seem to have been left by people frequenting the wells. There were also ribbons tied to the trees, which apparently are left by people who have prayed for something there.
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The really numinous part of it is the lower shrine, where there is a tunnel leading to the well. The inside has all manner of offerings: statues, cards with prayers written on them, funeral Mass cards, missing person reports, stuffed animals, candles, rosaries, scapulars, icons, photographs, etc. It was an amazing thing to see, and a testament to belief in another plane of existence beyond the world we see around us. Most striking were the "thank you" notes: letters detailing how St. Brigid helped a person. Really a small, easily-missed thing but one of the most intriguing places we saw on the trip.
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Then, it was time to see the cliffs. The parking lot was now closed, which meant that we could park for free and walk to the cliffs. Unfortunately, it meant that all of the visitors' center buildings were closed, including the tiny "meditation room" which Catherine pointed out should probably be unnecessary, considering that a person who wants to meditate about the cliffs should probably do that...at the cliffs, and not in a tiny windowless room sort of near the cliffs.
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There's not much to say about the cliffs. They are stunningly beautiful, and the pictures sort of speak for themselves. It was nice seeing them in the semi-darkness: no crowds, and the light seemed perfect. Since they are on the west coast it was a beautiful sunset and a great way to spend the evening.
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More views of the cliffs as night fell. It was an incredibly peaceful night: we were the last to leave the cliffs as far as we could tell.
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More of the cliffs after dark.
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The twinkling lights of the village.
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A drink at Considine's Bar, across from our AirBnB and owned by our hosts. It was a nice, small pub, not too packed but not empty. There is a house attached, but the Considines no longer live there, and apparently use it for storage, etc. The house where we are staying is rather new, having been built around six years ago. We loved our stay in Liscannor and would highly recommend it to other people staying in the area.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:37 Archived in Ireland Tagged cliffs village meditation pub beautiful castle farm cows burren clare moher the_cliffs_are_closed st._brigid o'briens considine traffic_jam dunguaire_castle Comments (0)

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