Thursday, April 17, 2014

Grocery Shopping Thursdays

We take a different turn today, and take you shopping with us at the Foodland grocery store in Pukalani.  Yes, it is an adventure and much different than grocery shopping on the mainland.  You will find Foodland 5 miles from our house and 2,000 feet down the side of the old volcano.

First, you need a membership card.  Without it, you are going to need to take out a small loan at the bank.  Even if we're not officially yet "locals", it's good to be considered local when shopping for groceries.  Secondly, you do not go shopping for what you want (with exceptions, of course); you go shopping for what is on sale.  With the above two rules in place, you will find groceries slightly more expensive than the mainland.

Pineapple and coconuts are always good bets.  Our neighbor brought us some pineapple as a housewarming gift, along with a bottle of wine.  They are readily exchanged amongst others and plentiful in number.  Even in Foodland, pineapples are pretty cheap and really fresh.  As our car rental agent warned us of coconuts, however, just don't park the car underneath a coconut tree.

Last week I wanted Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies, but I couldn't justify paying $6.09 for a dozen.  Especially knowing that in Clemson I can purchase them for around $1.79.  Today, they were on sale for $3.09, so I'll be in Little Debbie heaven for the next several days.

Rice is plentiful and cheaper than on the mainland.  Plus, I never realized there were so many different types of rice, shelves and shelves dedicated to them.

You would think that sugar is a bargain, seeing that it is grown over a large percentage of Maui.  Alas, it costs about the same as back home.

Actually, the cost of meat is surprisingly competitive.  Local beef and poultry is really good.  Fish?  Not much here, unless you're into poke.  The seafood section is dominated by rows of raw, marinated ahi mixed with everything from mayonnaise to oyster sauce.  They even give samples if you're a first-timer.  We brought some home today.  If you want to eat fish on Maui, hit the restaurants.  The really good stuff goes straight from the fishing boats to there. 

We get our fresh vegetables, fruits, and eggs at the local Nui Farms down the street from us, where everything is fresh, and believe it or not, cheaper than the Clemson area.

For people who can live on alcohol, you are in luck.  The cost of both wine and liquor is substantially less than the Upstate of SC.

So find your pono, grab some aloha, and sprinkle in a lot of mahalo, and whatever you do keep the iphone ear buds in yer pocket.  People still talk to one another in this place, and by God, you don't want to miss what they might have to say.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Halemau'u Trail

Sunday, we were simmering at the beach in sunny 86 degree weather.  Yesterday, we continued exploring the crater area at Haleakala National Park by taking a day hike along the Halemau'u Trail with the temperature around 49-50 degrees.  Even Maui gets chilly at around 8,000 ft. above sea level.  Despite the temperature, it was a glorious day to be out moving amongst the Hawaiian's physical and spiritual center of the Pacific, "House of the Sun."  I'm having trouble taking photos that express the vastness and continual change of this place. 
We can't wait to take a backpacking trip down into the crater in the near future.  The park has both backcountry tent sites as well as three camping huts. 
Approaching the Crater


Ama'u in a full blown rainbow of colors

Ama'u (ferns) beginning to unfurl.  These appear
as if someone spray painted them gold.

Star out in front of me on the trail

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Makena, Big Beach, Little Beach

Absolutely, the most beautiful stretch of beach anywhere.  Native vibe, no commercialism.  Just beach, the drum circle, and the friendliest people on the planet.  If we told you more, we would have to kill you.


Big Beach

Little Beach

More Little Beach

Our neighbor island of Lanai in the background

Big Beach from the path to Little Beach

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Waihee Ridge Trail and the Iao Valley

Yesterday, we ventured across the island to the West Maui Mountains for a 5 mile day hike.  The hike begins at 1,000 ft. above sea level and ends at 2,563 ft.  The Iao Valley rivals anything we have hiked in the Western U.S., and could easily be a national park.  At one point, we were hiking along a ridge line less than 5 feet wide with extremely steep drop offs on both sides.  There are waterfalls dropping into the valley in every direction.




This hike will definitely be a repeat in the future.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rainbow Monday

This morning's rainbow from in front of the house.


This afternoon's rainbow from the back of the house.


Star and I took a drive to the wild side of the island this morning for a hike.  We never found the trail, but we found the Pacific, and later, some really good barbeque :-)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Surf'n Saturday

It's 8:30am on a beautiful early Sunday morning on the island with sunny skies and the temperature still below 70.  Star is working at her computer on her Clemson classes, and I'm listening to Pandora and sitting on our deck taking in the view.

We pretty much keep the windows and sliding doors open all day like all our neighbors.  It makes for a nice social environment.  Since many homes have no heat or air, there's not much closing yourself indoors around these parts.

Yesterday, we took a road trip down to the coast.  Starting at the house, stopped at Star's favorite local joint, the Nuis Family Farm (below), where fresh grown fruits and vegetables are always on tap.  Next, we headed about 15 miles north to the little hippie village of Paia and walked out onto the white sands of Baldwin Beach.  From there, we navigated the Hana Highway to Ho'okipa Beach and watched the incredible surfing scene.  From the roadside stands selling smoothies and coconut drinks, to the young families hanging out, it is quite the sight to behold.  See the video below.


We continued heading down the Hana Highway in search of the elusive Jaws, legendary among surfers.  Although we never located the correct unmarked side road, we did venture onto this special little spot at a dead end on the Pacific.

Places like this one are not marked with signage.
You need to search them out, and find the writing on the guardrail.

Continuing on the Hana Highway, we stopped at Twin Falls and took a short hike up the creek to Twin Falls, where numerous people were swimming in the pool.

Finally, we headed back up the Hana Highway to the funky village of Haiku, home of interpretive readers, transcendentalists, and whatever floats your boat.

We ended our day by stopping at the famous Mama's Kitchen located on the beach and had a tropical drink at one of their bars.  In 30 minutes, we were back at our house, where Star made us burgers.  Not long after dark, we were completely exhausted and in bed.  Obviously, we are still trying to get our internal clocks on Maui time.

Once work starts, I will not be typing such long narratives, but for now it seems the appropriate thing to do.  One day, we will be able to look back and reminisce on our beginnings here on the island.

That's all for now.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 3, Haleakala National Park

Yesterday, Star and I travelled up to my new workplace to meet some of my future co-workers.  I received a superb orientation, and met some super friendly and knowledgeable people.

After the orientation, Star and I headed to the top of Haleakala to see the crater.  In my wildest dreams, I never thought this would one day be my workplace.

Yes, I took this photo.  No, it has not been enhanced.

I'm typing this post while Star has gone on her first excursion alone in the car to Foodland (about 5 miles away).  We tried Walmart a couple of days ago in Kahului, but shopping there is a contact sport.  The place is packed with people frantically trying to buy the cheapest items on the shelves.  Many of the shelves are empty, and many items are not marked.  The closest analogy would be the real estate market, which on Maui makes Walmart a strong sellers market.  I'm surprised they don't auction items to the highest bidder.  Two hours later, we came home exhausted and took a nap.

When Star returns from Foodland, we are going to check out some of the local beaches.  The closest ones are about 15 miles from the house.  I'm interested in seeing Jaws, which is Maui's famous surfing spot with waves on occasion going 40 to 45 feet!


Enjoying watching our hibiscus plant bloom with different colored flowers