Last Day on Maui

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/2000 sec, ISO25
“View from Lavender Farms” Kula, 2022

Today’s our last full day on Maui and of our October vacation as we are leaving early tomorrow morning. But we still had one thing we really wanted to do: visit the Lavender Farms.

But first we drove back over to Kihei to get some bread and pastries at Maui Bread Company. It was really good, with some German-inspired breads. There were also some nice-looking Hawaiian breads as well. Too many to try, so we have to come back some day!

After that we went back up-country to the Lavender Farms, The grounds are really well-kept there, and we wandered around the trails enjoying the amazing views and pretty flora. I can’t imagine working there and getting to enjoy looking out over Maui and the neighboring islands ever day. Must be an amazing gig!

Photo info: GoPro HERO10 Black, 2.71mm, f/2.5, 1/160 sec, ISO605
“Lavender Merch” Kula, 2022

The lunch options back in town are limited on Sundays, so we ended up going to Pearl’s Korean BBQ at the Queen Kaahumanu Center. We got a couple of plates with kalbi, “mean Jun”, and “Fish Jun”, as well as plenty of side dishes like kimchee, glass noodles, bean sprouts, etc. It was enough for lunch and dinner, and we even had more leftover! A good deal. It seemed expensive at first, but when you realize how many meals you can squeeze out of one plate, it’s a nice value.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 19.6mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“K Plate Lunch” Wailuku, 2022

The rest of the afternoon we spent cleaning the house a bit, doing laundry, and vacuuming the car. Then a quick visit to Costco at closing time to pick up some coffee to take home to Texas. I saw these bags of salt, which I remember seeing in the pantry at home growing up. So nostalgic!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/100 sec, ISO125
“Salt” Kahului, 2022

On the way home, we stopped at Iao Valley again to catch the last bit of light over the valley mountains… A nice way to finish our trip to Maui!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/40 sec, ISO640
“Last Light” Iao Valley, 2022

I hope you had a great day!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO3200
“Maui View” Wailuku, 2022

Day on the West Side of Maui

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/1700 sec, ISO32
“Wake Up View” Wailuku, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/4, 1/4400 sec, ISO320
“Morning Rain” Wailuku, 2022

It’s Saturday, which means it’s swap meet day at the college! Admission is only 50 cents and parking is free, so it’s a nice, inexpensive activity. And pretty fun! besides shopping for souvenirs and fresh veggies and fruit, there is a great shave ice truck run by Maui Girlz. We got the “Hapa” shave ice, which was half vanilla, and half coffee mocha. It was a delicious way to cool off because, dang, it was hot under the sun!

“Shave Ice” Kahului, 2022

We then decided to head over to the west side of the island since that’s the only part we haven’t been to this trip. We walked around Whaler’s Village, got our toes wet at the beach there, and then went back to Lahaina for lunch at Cool Cat Cafe.

“Beach” Kaanapali, 2022

One of the Yelp reviewers said it was the best burger they had ever had, so I thought we should try. Honestly, the burger was maybe a 5 out of 10. A pretty big disappointment. But at least the fries were good, and the beer was tasty and cold.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/120 sec, ISO40
“Burger Time” Lahaina, 2022

After that we went to the Baldwin House since we had never been inside before. It was fascinating to see how people lived back in the 1800s. Baldwin was a doctor so there were some medical instruments there which made me a little queasy, but I thought this medical price sheet (re-creation) was pretty neat.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/60 sec, ISO160
“Prices” Lahaina, 2022

We walked around Lahaina for a bit and took a photo in front of the dive shop that Mariko used maybe 30 years ago, then made our way to Kohola Brewing Company. The beer was great, but it was a little warm inside so not the most comfortable that day. However, I’d definitely come back to try more beer in the future!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/1200 sec, ISO25
“Lahaina Divers” Lahaina, 2022
Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/60 sec, ISO200
“Kohola Brewing” Lahaina, 2022

Last on our list of Lahaina attractions to visit was the Ku’ia Estate Chocolates. We had a chocolate tasting and chatted with one of the workers there about chocolate, cacao, and the chocolate business. A neat place to visit and enjoy some sweet treats!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/150 sec, ISO32
“Fancy Chocolates” Lahaina, 2022

On the way home, we got hungry for more Thai food for some reason, so we stopped by the Aloha Thai food truck which was also near Costco. We got the drunken noodles, at spiciness level 5 (out of 10) and it was very good! We liked it better than the food we got at Thai Mee Up. We both felt it was more flavorful.

I hope you had a wonderful day!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/6900 sec, ISO32
“Evening Sky” Kahului, 2022

New Ukulele Day

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/120 sec, ISO50
“Two Ukuleles” Wailuku, 2022

Today was new uke day for me! This morning, Mariko’s friend picked her up for brunch out in Wailea, so I went ukulele shopping. First I stopped by Bounty Music in Lahaina. They had a large selection of ukuleles, and I got to try out a Kamaka and and KoAloha. The prices were good, but I wasn’t so happy with the service. All the salespeople were helping the tourists who (I think) came off of the cruise ship, and I was pretty much ignored. When I did find someone who could help me, he didn’t know much about ukuleles, but acted like he did. It was embarrassing, but I can’t blame the store for trying to make some money and the cruise ship tourists are probably a good source of income.

My next stop was Mele Ukulele, which is a local shop that has been around for about 30 years. I think the quality is comparable the Ks (Kamaka, KoAloha, and Kanile’a), but the combination of materials, price, and the fact that they are Maui-based is important to me. Plus the service I have received from everyone I talked to there was great and friends. Today Annie helped me browse the model line and helped me decide on the one I wanted. However, I wanted to check out the other Mele Ukulele branch in Wailea and see if they had any other ukuleles that “spoke to me”. 🙂

So, that afternoon after Mariko returned from Wailea, I asked her if she wanted to go back to Wailea with me and look at ukuleles. She said okay, so it was off to the Shops at Wailea! The service at the Mele Ukulele here was excellent as well, and Austin helped me pick out the perfect all-koa wood concert ukulele. We sampled four of them, and I finally chose one that sounded best to me (there were two that sounded equal), but also felt best and had a unique look. I am in love with my new Mele Ukulele!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, 5.7mm, f/1.5, 1/60 sec, ISO500
“New Ukulele Day” Wailea, 2022

After my purchase, we stopped by the Waikiki Brewing Company (another brewery?!) and had a couple of beers and split a sandwich, Then on the way home, we had a craving for some Thai food so we stoped by the Thai Mee Up food truck by Costco and got some curry to go.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/30 sec, ISO1000
“Food Trucks” Kahului, 2022

Curry, beer, poké, and mac salad: another nice meal. 🙂

Oyasumi!

Road Trip to Hana

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/6000 sec, ISO32
“Hana Bay” Hana, 2022

Day 3 on Maui started with a run around the neighborhood. On our last visit to Maui, I went on the same run, but I was injured so I couldn’t run very far, but this time I feel much stronger so I ran the whole way, and even ran up some killer hills. And by killer, I mean that they really killed my legs and lungs. It was probably the toughest workout I’ve had in many years. But it felt good. I love running hills.

We had some coffee and dragon fruit for a light breakfast and then headed out on a big trip today: The Road to Hana. We’ve been to Hana a few times but it’s a fun drive (if you like tight turns) and there are some interesting stops along the way. We even got to see a rainbow tree, which was pretty neat.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/100 sec, ISO50
“Road to Hana” Maui, 2022

Eventually we made it to Hana, but we were unable to see the black sand beach. We didn’t know we had to make reservations, so we missed out. But I did swim a bit in Hana Bay which was fun. We took Bay and Koa here when they were little and they enjoyed playing in the waves. So this visit brought back some nice memories.

We also got some ice cream at Tony’s Place, visited Hasegawa General Store, and bought some chocolate at Hana Gold. I never used to really enjoy doing these activities when I was younger, but now I really like them! It’s fun to check out stuff and chat with the shopkeepers and locals.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/1400 sec, ISO32
“Hasegawa General Store” Hana, 2022

The drive back was fun as well, but I guess I was getting a bit tired towards the end. Just too much turning and turning. And turning. 🙂 It was exhausting.

So when we pulled into Mama’s Fish House in Paia and got two seats at the bar, that cocktail tasted extra yummy! We just had a couple of appetizers and drinks to relax after the road, but what was really nice was just hanging out at the beach by Mama’s Fish House. We saw some sea turtles lounging on the rocks, and watched the clouds change color as the afternoon turned into evening. It was really magical!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 25.4mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO5000
“Mama’s” Paia, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/100 sec, ISO400
“Honu” Paia, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Honu Sign” Paia, 2022

What wasn’t so magical was the blackout that happened in the neighborhood when we arrived home. The power stayed out until 1 am, but before that, we found some candles and enjoyed the alternate reality of no electricity. 🙂

またね~

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/4 sec, ISO250
“Blackout” Wailuku, 2022

Day Two on Maui

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/690 sec, ISO32
“Loco Moco” Wailuku, 2022

Hello! Day two on Maui started out with breakfast in Wailuku at SixtyTwo MarcKet. I was joking with Mariko and my nephew that Loco Moco always sounds better than it tastes, but that doesn’t stop me from trying it again and again at different places.

Well, I tried another Loco Moco at MarcKet, and I have to say it was one of the best I’ve had. The burger was excellent, with some nice char from the griddle, but I guess it’s the gravy that makes or breaks Loco Moco, and MarcKet has some great gravy. It was more like a Japanese-style hamburg steak sauce, but unique in its own way. Also, there were two sunny-side up eggs on top.. and that runny yolk! Mmmm

Mariko ordered the Brioche french toast which was also great. The combination of the sweet French toast and savory Loco Moco was perfect. Definitely recommend!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/750 sec, ISO320
“Pumpkin Patch” Kula, 2022

After breakfast, we dropped off our nephew and his girlfriend at the airport for their trip to Los Angeles, and then headed up-country to visit Kula Farms and the pumpkin patch. We bought some papaya, dragon fruit, and other goodies and enjoyed the beautiful views. Really awesome.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 21.4mm, f/6.4, 1/2000 sec, ISO320
“View from Kula Farms” Kula, 2022

Next on our agenda was a visit to Maui Brewing Company in Kihei. Did I mention that we love visiting breweries? The flights we ordered were great, and the huli-huli chicken was yummy. I liked the open space of Maui Brewing Company and would love to come back next time we visit Maui. Plus they had some cute chickens roaming around. Fun!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO32
“Flight Time” Kihei, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/2700 sec, ISO320
“Beach Time” Kihei, 2022

After a short trip to the beach at Kamaole Beach Park II, we drove back to Wailuku and stopped by Iao Valley.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/150 sec, ISO32
“Cloudy Mountains” Wailuku, 2022

The valley is actually closed at the gate until January while they do renovations to the park, but we hung about at Kepaniwai Park by the Nature Center and took in the views for a bit before going back to town to visit Takamiya Market, Tamura’s (market), and Foodland. We are on the search for Li Hing Mui powder, which was served on fresh pineapple to us on our Oahu circle-tour. But we were unsuccessful in our search today. We did, however, pick up some poké and mac salad for dinner. 🙂

I hope you had a great day!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 31.5mm, f/6.4, 1/300 sec, ISO320
“Rainbow” Wailuku, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/45 sec, ISO6400
“Evening Light” Wailuku, 2022