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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)

Kauai Day 6: Malasadas, Shave Ice, and Mai Tais

semi-overcast 84 °F

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Today we went to mass at the oldest parish on Kauai, St. Raphael's. Unfortunately the mass time we attended was in the very modern new church rather than the old one. After mass we went to a bakery to get malasadas. Malasadas are, essentially, doughnuts. The word comes from Portuguese, and literally means "badly roasted" or incompletely cooked. We got one that was plain, one that was chocolate filled, and one that had a surprisingly good-tasting black bean paste.
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Afterwards we went to lunch in Koloa with Daniel's parents, Hilary, Aubrey, and Daniel's grandma. We had a very nice lunch together, and talked about the idea of going to Kauai again next year.
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After that, we went to get shave ice. Aubrey was trying it for the first time, and really liked it!
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After lunch and dessert we went to Kalapaki beach, where Duke's is located. We decided to rent a standing paddle board to try what that was like. Catherine preferred to swim, but Daniel went out for a bit on the board.
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It was fun, but a bit stressful learning to balance and stay up. It does feel very majestic to skid along the top of the waves.
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Mai tais and a light dinner at Duke's.
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Catherine has had at least one plumeria for her hair every day of this trip.
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When we got back to the house we went for a walk to Shipwreck Beach, which was beautiful. Tomorrow we have to leave, but we hope that we can come back soon!

Posted by danielcatherine 00:36 Archived in USA Tagged church mass aubrey mai_tai duke's shave_ice koloa paddleboard malasadas st._raphael's kalapaki Comments (0)

Kauai Day 4: The Grand Canyon and the Rest of the Southwest

semi-overcast 82 °F

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The first thing we went to see today was the Russian Fort, Fort Elizabeth. This was built by Russian representatives who had the idea of making the Kingdom of Hawaii a Russian protectorate. It is a complicated historical incident, but it seems likely that Kaumuali'i, the chief of Kauai, was simply trying to enlist Russian help in gaining independence from Kamehameha. The fort operated as Fort Hipo under the Kingdom of Hawaii for some time before being dismantled.
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The fort looks over the spot on the Waimea River where Captain Cook first landed in Hawaii, and (according to the plaque) was mistaken for the god Lono (Catherine pointed out that the "explorer mistaken for a god" story seems too common to be true in every case in which it has come up).
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Afterwards, we visited the town of Hanapepe. Hanapepe is home to the westernmost bookstore in the United States (meaning that on this trip we have seen the oldest bookstore in continuous operation in the world, and the westernmost in the United States. Perhaps we should start an "extreme bookstores" blog). The store is called Talk Story, and was a very nice little shop. They had an extensive collection of vinyl records, but these would have been hard to transport home so we mostly looked at the books.
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Hananpepe is famous for something else as well: it is the town that inspired the setting of the movie Lilo and Stitch. Last year, before we went to Maui, Catherine thought that Daniel needed to watch this movie before we went to Hawaii. We watched it and both enjoyed it. Catherine was very excited to see the town where it all took place.
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There are numerous art galleries around Hanapepe, including this koa wood gallery that has beautiful furniture and art. There was an incredible koa wood dining table with eight chairs, but at $18,000 we thought it was a bit out of our price range.
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We had some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches with macadamia nut pesto for lunch.
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And then some guava and lilikoi shave ice for dessert!
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After this we toured the Kauai Coffee Company plantation. We thought it might be very similar to the Gorreana Tea Plantation on Sao Miguel, and we were right! It had a self-guided tour through the coffee fields, and a free tasting, as well as a gift shop and cafe where you can buy coffee and other merchandise.
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The coffee trees. This plantation supplies half of Hawaii-grown coffee.
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They harvest it with a blueberry harvester.
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More pictures on the farm. They dry it on these covered patios. The plantation has a view of the ocean, just like Gorreana.
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We tried many different types of coffee, and ended up buying some as a souvenir and as gifts. It was very good, and Catherine said that she would be willing to drink some of the flavored coffees black.
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A picture of our rental car, which has been a wonderful car. It is roomy and comfortable and fun to drive.
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We then started driving up to Waimea canyon, "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific." There were beautiful views all along the way.
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The views from the top were especially beautiful. It really does look just like the Grand Canyon. The colors are spectacular and the depth of the view is amazing.
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We went back to the Koloa/ Poipu area and swam at Poipu Beach. It was very rocky, but we were able to walk along a ridge for a bit, then swim back in.
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We went to dinner at Bangkok Happy Bowl, which was delicious. We had been wanting Thai food for a while. There was live music, which started with one of the songs from Moana, which we thought would have impressed Aubrey.
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And after dinner, we went to Brennecke's Beach Broiler for some after-dinner drinks. It was a wonderful day!

Posted by danielcatherine 17:41 Archived in USA Tagged canyon music thai russia poipu waimea shave_ice koloa hanapepe lilo_and_stitch fort_elizabeth Comments (0)

Hawaii Day 9: A Hole New World

semi-overcast 83 °F

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Today we slept in, having gotten back from the Road to Hana fairly late and needing sleep. Here are some pictures of the resort, which we haven't yet shown in great detail. It's very large, and the architecture is very open allowing the breeze to come through. We decided to head to the Nakalele Blowhole, north-east of the resort. In addition to the interesting nature of the blowhole itself, we heard that Julia's banana bread stand, said to be the best on the island, has a "pop-up stand" near the blowhole.
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We did find Julia's stand, but they had just run out of banana bread. We talked with the two men who were working there, and they advised A. That we come back tomorrow when they would have bread and B. That we not hike all the way down to the blowhole before first confirming that it was "going."
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Some views of the beautiful cliffs near the blowhole.
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It was extremely windy. The blowhole is at the very northern tip of the west side of Maui, which exposes it to the trade winds and makes this part of the island very windy. It was so intense that you could feel yourself almost being pushed back. We minded the edges and walked very carefully.
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The blowhole, which is emphatically not a water park. It is essentially a tube that waves go into, which then shoots water up like a geyser. We saw many people walking close to the blowhole. We had read an article saying that people die every year by being sucked into the blowhole, so we stayed well clear of it.
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We had some spam musubi in the car. This is a food, popular in Hawaii, which is essentially a piece of marinated spam with rice and a seaweed wrap. It was actually very good, and made a very decent lunch.
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A beautiful view on our drive back.
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Dessert: shave ice!
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Half guava and half lilikoi (passionfruit).
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The old fort in Lahaina, built by the Kingdom of Hawaii after a group of whalers fired cannons at a missionary settlement.
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Some views of the banyan tree, a huge tree planted in the late 19th century. It's as multiple trunks, which descent from the branches as vines and then attach to the ground. It is an amazing tree, providing shade for the space of an entire small park.
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Some of the historic district of Lahaina, including the Baldwin house, where a missionary/ physician named Baldwin lived.
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Kukui nut trees. These nuts were historically used to make torches, as they have a great deal of oil. They are also used to make leis.
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Some views of the beautiful sunset in Lahaina.
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We had plans to go to Lahainaluna Cafe at Front Street and Lahainaluna, so we parked by the banyan tree and walked down Front Street. It was beautiful. The "Lahaina Store" was an interesting historic building, and the street itself was very picturesque.
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On our way, we noticed this store selling prints of old art and maps. We went in...
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We bought this map and frame. It is the first map to be published in Hawaii and in the Hawaiian language, thus rendering, for instance, Molokai as "Molokai" rather than "Morotoi" as it had been on previous maps.
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We didn't buy this one. It cost over $20,000 because it is an original from the first publication of Captain Cook's map. It seems to have been written by Tahitian speakers (thus "Morotoi" and "Ranai"). While we didn't decide to buy it, it was thrilling to look over it and hold it. We also had a long and interesting conversation with Bob, who works there. We discussed maps, linguistics, and the various groups of people who settled in Hawaii.
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Delicious food at the Lahainaluna Cafe. The POG juice was very good, despite Daniel's objection to the mid-nineties children's game of POGs, which was named for the juice. We had a very nice evening, and were very happy to have found the Lahaina Printsellers shop.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:00 Archived in USA Tagged sunset park maps historic banyan blowhole prints shave_ice musubi lahaina_printsellers Comments (0)

Hawaii Day 7: Wine in the House of a King

semi-overcast 83 °F

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Today, Katie and Anthony had to fly back home. We got ready a little bit earlier to take them to the airport, but thankfully their flight was at a reasonable time and we were able to have a nice breakfast. Daniel prepared one of our pineapples from the plantation tour, and Katie and Anthony went on a walk and returned with malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts) from a nearby bakery. We had a nice breakfast, then helped them pack and drove to the airport. We had lunch at the same food truck court as we did on our first day, then dropped them off at the airport. Although we are excited about our next few days here, we were sad to see them go. We had a lot of fun snorkeling, hiking, and playing cards with them. It has been a wonderful trip so far.
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After dropping them off, we decided to see the town of Paia. It was an interesting little town, but seemed to consist of nothing but women's clothing shops. Eventually we found a souvenir shop where we got a print of three sea turtles.90_BBA21CA3-F..232A2F97E52.jpg90_1D921ED5-8..A1D4D63A832.jpg9FB338B3-2..B75AD6F78B1.jpg
We also found a shave ice place. Catherine got blue vanilla and fruit punch, and Daniel got "mounds," which consisted of coconut flavoring, chocolate syrup, and macadamia nut ice cream. After we finished there, we decided to go to a wine tasting at a winery that Daniel had heard about. They use Maui Gold pineapples for some of their wine, and have tastings in a building that was used as a residence by King David Kalakaua, who wrote the book Daniel is reading. It was towards the other side of the island, along the southern slopes of Haleakala, so we had to drive a little ways.
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Holy Rosary Church in Paia. It is a very beautiful church. We just happened to drive past it, but we decided to stop in and take a look. It was completely open, and there were a couple other people visiting it as well.
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Outside of the church is a shrine to St. Damian of Molokai. There is a great deal of interest in, and devotion to, this saint in Hawaii for his selfless care of the people suffering from leprosy who were housed in a colony on the island of Molokai. As we continued our way, we came upon...
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...another church! This one is amazing. It is called Holy Ghost Church, and is built in a unique octagonal style. It was the parish for the Portuguese community, who traditionally have a great devotion to the Holy Ghost.
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Pictures of the inside of the church. There is a beautiful altar, and the Stations of the Cross were carved in Europe and have inscriptions in Portuguese. The information book inside the church suggested that the octagonal shape was either based on the design of the original crown of St. Elizabeth (or Isabella) of Portugal, or simply that it was architecturally strong in the high winds the area gets.
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The dome.
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The view from the church.
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As we drove into Upcountry Maui, we started encountering mist and this verdant landscape, complete with rock walls. If it weren't for the heat and the lava rocks used for the rock walls, we would have thought we were in Ireland!
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Some views of the beautiful winery. It was a perfect place to go: it was cooler than the lower areas of the island, and the wind was more like a pleasant breeze. There were several interesting trees and other plants, and the setting was so incredibly different from the rest of the island that we've seen.
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This land belonged in the 1800s to Captain Makee, from Boston. He was friends with King Kalakaua, who at one point was his guest. It was seen as inappropriate for the king to stay in a house with commoners, so a cottage was built for the king's use on their land. This is the house, and this circle of statues sits on the stumps of the trees that ringed Kalakaua's hula grounds, where dancers would perform while he and guests watched from the porch.
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The small museum at the tasting room. The pictures show the entire story of the lands, from the first purchase by the Captain, to the King's stay, to the use of Maui wine at President Reagan's inauguration, to the present day. It was a fascinating story. They had a complimentary tasting, and we purchased a bottle of the pineapple wine.
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We had a wonderful time! Afterwards, we went back to the hotel, then got ready to go to dinner and watch the sunset in Lahaina. We went to an Italian restaurant, which had delicious pizza and bruschetta. The pictures of the sunset seem unbelievable, but they look exactly like what we actually saw. After dinner, we walked around Lahaina a bit, then stopped at a grocery store to prepare for our drive to Hana tomorrow morning!
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Posted by danielcatherine 02:32 Archived in USA Tagged churches sunset airport museum dinner cottage wine lahaina portuguese hula food_trucks shave_ice kalakaua reagan lizard_count:12 Comments (1)

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