Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Easter Day

Eggs, bacon, toast, papaya, avocado, juice, and coffee by Ben
Easter Lunch
Easter Dinner
Hawaiian Barbeque by Star
    Ben:  Star, quick, come look at this.  What is it?
Star:  I dunno.  Maybe it's the neighbor's pet.
What it is, we later discovered, is an odd fellow called a
Jackson's Chameleon that lives on the islands.
3 or 4 miles from the house, we went for a walk on a
recommended road.  Evidently, several famous people
live out here, including...shhhh, I'm not supposed to say. 

Avocado Tree

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Taking a Road Trip on the Hana Highway

The Hana Highway takes you to the most breathtaking scenery on Maui, deep into its jungles.  The only problem is you ride switchbacks with 15 mph speed limit signs on rough narrow roads and at least 50 one way bridges.  It's the ultimate ocean drive and unlike anything either of us has done before.  Star is grateful that Ben did all the driving. We did have to stop periodically to look at some of the spectacular waterfalls.

Looking down from the bridge
After navigating 34 miles along the Hana Highway for an hour and 45 minutes, we arrived at our destination, Hana Bay, for a hike along the rugged shoreline.  We had planned to go 3 miles each way, but hiking along the lava rock beaches at less than one mile per hour we barely made it halfway to our destination before turning around.  It was worth every single body-jarring step.  We encountered just two other people on the entire trek.  Definitely a Gilligan's Island moment.  However, we did have to get familiar with the spiders, who especially liked Ben's hat, including one as big as his palm.

Our parking spot at the trailhead

Haleakala and the Village of Hana from  Nanu'Alele Point.

Hiking Terrain Analogy of the Day:
It's like walking on very large Easter Eggs
On the way home we stopped at a wayside park in Ke'anae (below).  We could have stayed for hours, just watching the waves break on the shore.

Happy Easter to Everybody!


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 :-)