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Maui and Kaua’i Day 4: Tricks and Treats

all seasons in one day 91 °F

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We got up and went straight to Julia’s Best Banana Bread stand. Last time we were here we loved their bread, and we had to go back. The man at the stand told us he was going to show us “a trick and a treat.” The treat was banana bread samples.
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The trick was that he yells “hup hup hup” and throws pieces of bread, which causes a mongoose feeding frenzy. One of our fellow customers at the stand had never seen a mongoose, and thought they were rats. The man at the stand explained that they’re “like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.” We bought two loaves of banana bread, some passionfruit lemonade, some passionfruit butter, and some dried mango slices with li hing mui powder. Then we headed for the blowhole.
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We went a bit too far, and saw some beautiful places beyond the blowhole.
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Our Jeep.
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The wind at the blowhole is always incredible, and so are the views. We didn’t stay too long, having seen it before, but we were glad we went.
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Next we went to Honolua Bay, where after a short hike through the forest we arrived...
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...at the most amazing snorkeling location we’ve found. There were three diving boats in the bay, and lots of people snorkeling from the shore. We saw a lot of fish and, most amazingly, a small sea turtle! We’ve never snorkeled here without seeing a turtle.
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We went back to our room and had lunch after snorkeling. We had our leftover musubi, chips, some Julia’s banana bread, and the passionfruit lemonade. After that we headed to Upcountry!
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We stopped at Maui Wine for wine tasting and admiring the beautiful views from the cottage where King Kalakaua stayed. While there we had a nice conversation with a couple who had moved to Maui from Chicago, as well as an employee who was studying to become a teacher. Catherine recognized his surname as a Portuguese name, and he said his ancestors were from Madeira. We talked a bit with him and then headed back to Ka’anapali.
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Some Upcountry Maui views. It looks a lot like the Azores, and in fact many of the Portuguese people who came to Hawaii seem to have settled in this area.
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As we drove we talked to Catherine’s parents and got an update on Flora, who is doing very well and playing happily at their house like she does at ours.
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On our way back we stopped at the Maui Pineapple Store in Lahaina. Catherine went in, and the cashier asked her if, in addition to the pineapples we were buying we would like some fresh cut pineapple. Catherine accepted the offer, and we ate this delicious pineapple. After that, we went to have dessert at our hotel.

Posted by danielcatherine 01:25 Archived in USA Tagged turtles king wine pineapples snorkeling lahaina honolua bread portuguese kalakaua upcountry julia’s Comments (4)

Portugal Day 5: Cloisters and Fado

semi-overcast 85 °F

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We started our day with a breakfast that reminded us greatly of our Portuguese lessons. On each lesson some character would order bottles of water (Aguas minerais), some custard pastries (pasteis de nata) and a latte (um galão). This is what we got at a cafe called “The World Needs Nata.”
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Some views around the cafe, including the buskers who were playing across the street.
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The streets in Coimbra.
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Next we went to the Santa Cruz monastery, where much of the knowledge of the Portuguese explorers had been gathered and collected. It was founded by St. Teotonio/ Theotonius in 1131.
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Inside the church.
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The sacristy of the church. There was a great deal of artwork on the walls, and several very beautiful liturgical artifacts. The church appears to still be in use to some extent, as there are current liturgical books on some of the shelves.
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A side room with some religious art and relics. The “bust reliquary” in the middle holds the skull of St. Teotonio. The other two hold relics related to the Five Martyrs of Morocco, Franciscans who were killed for preaching the Catholic faith.
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The Chapter room where meetings took place, with its own altar.
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Some pictures of the cloister.
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The tile work around the walls.
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Tapestries.
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The relic sanctuary. This room was amazingly beautiful. It is highly symmetrical and perfectly arranged, but each element on the walls contains relics of various saints. It felt like something out of a fantasy novel.
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Some pictures at the sanctuary of the church, including the tombs of the first and second kings of Portugal, Afonso Henriques and his son Sancho.
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Some views of the street after we left. On our way up towards the old cathedral, we stopped at the Fado ao Centro and booked tickets for the show at 7:00 PM. We also stopped at the shop of an artist named Marcia Santos, who does illustrations with ballpoint pen. We purchased two of her drawings in frames to take home.
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Then we arrived at the Old Cathedral (the new one was built in the 17th century.)
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Inside the cathedral. Some tombs of various people, including a Byzantine princess who was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Saint Isabella (who lived in Coimbra at the end of her life).
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This little creature at the foot of the tomb of one of the bishops. Is it a shih tzu?
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The cloister at the cathedral.
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For some reason, the floor of the cloister is covered in “2”s.
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Outside the church.
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A little restaurant across from the cathedral where we had a quick snack: caldo verde, a popular Portuguese soup.
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The fado show was beautiful. Fado de Coimbra is distinct from other fado. The instrumentals were really impressive, as was the singing. After the show we got to drink some port wine and talk with the musicians. We bought a CD which they signed.
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After this we went towards the river for dinner and a short walk. It was beautiful at sunset.
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Gelato! Daniel got Azorean pineapple and mint, Catherine got Madeira banana.
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And then, another fado show! One of the musicians from the first one played at this one as well. However, it was different: this show was Fado de Lisboa, which has a female singer and a different kind of sound. We bought this CD as well. It was an amazing show and we really enjoyed learning about the different varieties of the music.

Posted by danielcatherine 03:48 Archived in Portugal Tagged sunset river cloisters cathedral music port dinner wine relics gelato fado pastel_de_nata galão Comments (2)

Portugal Day 4: A Marvãolous Adventure

sunny 80 °F

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We started our day by taking a taxi to the airport. We saw the somewhat less fashionable side of Lisbon on our drive, but also got nice views of the river. When we arrived at the Europcar office, they appeared to be closed. There was a sign saying that we should go to the office in the main terminal, so we did. Once we were there, they were very helpful. They didn’t have a car with WiFi like we had ordered, but they did find us one with a built-in navigation system that was a little larger than we had originally booked. We set out from Lisbon towards the east, heading first for the former Templar castle of Almourol.

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Before we arrived in Almourol we stopped in the little town of Tancos, where there is a restaurant called Restaurante Almourol. We strolled around the grassy area by the River Tagus, then went to the restaurant. This was an adventure all its own.the restaurant was very nice, but no one seemed to speak English. I told the waitress “Não falo Português” to which she replied “Mas percebes bem” and continued in Portuguese. The menu also was entirely in Portuguese. We ended up using Google Translate, which yielded that one of the menu items was “bunny” and that another was “potato punch.” So that was unhelpful. We ended up just ordering. We got fried river fish with rice and beans. Neither of us usually eat a lot of fish,but it was a good meal.
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Some views across the river to the towns on the other side. There was a beautiful view from our restaurant.
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The castle was a fortress used by the Knights Templar during the crusades. It formed part of a defensive line along the Tagus during the Portuguese Reconquista. It is a beautiful castle, and it’s fascinating to see how it would have been when the Tagus was the dividing line between the Christians and the Muslims.
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Some amazing views around the castle. We were able to climb the staircases and look out from the walls. The river is much narrower on the northern side of the island. It seems like a very defensible position since it is surrounded by water, but it is obviously better protected from the south, which of course is where the Moors were.
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The castle as we left in the boat. We missed the boat we were supposed to take, but thankfully it came back a few minutes later.
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After that, we went further East to the walled hilltop city of Marvão. It is near the border with Spain and had been used to defend against invasion. It is beautiful, and reminded us quite a bit of San Gimignano in Italy. There are narrow streets, hills, ancient fortresses and churches, and a cafe that sells gelato.
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The curious kittens of Marvão.
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There is a beautiful garden near the castle made up mostly of hydrangeas, Catherine’s favorite flowers. The garden has a beautiful view of the surrounding area, and you can see the surrounding valleys in Spain and Portugal.
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More of Marvão.
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A tactile model of the city.
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Gelato from the cafe.
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Given how close we were to Spain, we decided to go in. There was a former border checkpoint that was entirely unmanned, and the only signal that we had left Portugal and entered Spain was this sign. We went in to a gas station and got some snacks, and it was intriguing that all of the packaging was in Spanish. The linguistic nature of the border is fascinating: the cashier at the gas station spoke something that sounded like Portuguese to locals at she knew, but perfect Spanish to strangers.
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We then followed the GPS to Coimbra. Our AirBnB host, João, was waiting at a cafe. We met him and found a parking spot, then got everything set up in the room. We then met João at the tapas restaurant across the street from our flat. He gave us advice about what to do in Coimbra: he was a wealth of information about the city and the various things we could see. He left us to have a late dinner and listen to the singing of the Hungarian university officials in the next room (there is a sports competition between European universities going on in Coimbra).
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Our dinner, including a bottle of wine from our waiter’s hometown in the Douro valley.
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Our dessert: lime pie and a 1985 port.
We spent a long time visiting with our waiter, the Hungarians (who bought us a round of a Portuguese liqueur), and a few others who stayed in the restaurant late. We learned some Hungarian drinking songs and chatted with the waiter about the town, life in Portugal, and numerous other topics. It was a wonderful night. We went back across the street to our room at around 4 in the morning. We feel so lucky to be able to have these adventures and talk to such interesting people!

Posted by danielcatherine 03:56 Archived in Portugal Tagged castles fish adventure rice port wine kittens tapas coimbra lime beans talk marvão almourol Comments (3)

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)

Day 4 - Family Fun with Wine and Guns

sunny 75 °F

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Orange salt and pepper shakers: a gift to Catherine from Daniel's grandma. They match the orange pitcher that she gave us for a housewarming present when we moved to Orange Avenue.
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An introduction to beekeeping with Daniel's uncle Peter.
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The hives in the orchard.90_IMG_0391.jpg 90_IMG_0413.jpg 90_IMG_0381.jpg
The beautiful scenery around the Sturm Ranch in Jacksonville.
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The ditch. Irrigation water for the orchard and hop yard.
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The Applegate River runs through the property.
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A squirrel. Despite the best efforts to save him, his fate is unknown.
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Wine tasting at one of the many wineries near their house, in between Jacksonville and Applegate. 90_IMG_0430.jpg
"Experimental" wines.
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Learning to shoot a handgun and a rifle near the orchard. We were both interested to try it, and hitting the targets was exciting.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:20 Archived in USA Tagged wine squirrel jacksonville bees guns honey ditch irrigation Comments (1)

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