Global Entry – At Long Last

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Wait” San Antonio, 2022

I have finally gotten my Global Entry / TSA Pre-check / Known Traveler Number! I went for the “interview” down at San Antonio International Airport which was the closest office. For some reason, Austin’s office is closed as of this post, which is no bueno, but at least San Antonio isn’t too far away (90 minutes).

For a long time, the only available interview locations were Del Rio and Laredo, which are 4 hours away. 😞 But I kept checking the website, and San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston popped up, with San Antonio’s first available date about a month out, and the other two cities’ were several months of wait. So, I think I got lucky!

Anyways, now I am happy that I can use the TSA Pre-check line. 😀

Camping at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Here are a few photos of our overnight camping trip to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. It was a wonderful getaway, just 1.5 hours from home. Highly recommend (when it’s not too hot)!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/5.6, 1/2200 sec, ISO320
“Loop Trail” Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 48.4mm, f/4.5, 1/210 sec, ISO320
“Mushroom & Shrimp” Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 21mm, f/1, 50 sec, ISO4000
“Tent and Stars” Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/10, 1/600 sec, ISO320
“Loop Trail” Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, 2022

Grandpa’s Artwork

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/120 sec, ISO80
“Hawaiian Host” Honolulu, 2022

Today we flew back home to Texas. While at the airport I took a photo of the boxes of Hawaiian Host candies. My grandfather was an artist and teacher, and drew the original tiki that has been on the box since the beginning. (see below)

For the past year or so, the company has been transitioning to a new box design, and the tiki is now embossed in gold, but I noticed that the drawing is slightly changed. Small details like the shape of the hands, the nose, and teeth have been updated. I’m sad to see the original box go, but at least we have photos!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/120 sec, ISO125
“Grandpa’s Artwork” Honolulu, 2022

Anyways, our vacation to Maui and Molokai has come to an end. It was a spectacular trip with plenty of excellent experiences and good memories created. I’m very happy!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/35 sec, ISO640
“In-Flight” Honolulu, 2022

Maui – ‘Iao Valley, Ancestors, Pā’ia, Haleakalā, and Beer

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/220 sec, ISO320
“Iao Valley” Wailuku, 2022

Today was book-ended by two of Maui’s classic landmarks: ʻIao Valley and Haleakalā Crater. First up was ʻIao Valley, which is just a few minutes away from our house. I’ve been here several times but I always enjoy visiting and reading about the history of the valley, especially the battle that was fought here between Kamehameha I and Kalanikūpule.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18.8mm, f/3.2, 1/1500 sec, ISO320
“Battle Placard” Wailuku, 2022

Later that morning, we visited my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ graves. We laid flowers down and noticed that someone (probably my brother or nephew) had left a golf ball for my grandpa, who was an avid golfer. The place where they are laid to rest has a nice view of ‘Iao Valley and their old house on the hill. 💜

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/1600 sec, ISO320
“View Home” Wailuku, 2022

For lunch, we headed over to Paia Fishmarket in Pā’ia. It’s a popular restaurant with a few locations in the islands, but it wasn’t too busy today and we got a nice table to enjoy our lunch. We’re eating so good on this trip!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/120 sec, ISO100
“Fish Burger” Paia, 2022

Next, we headed upcountry to Haleakalā Crater. The park has a truly otherworldly feel to it. What a fun place for photographers! Someday I’d like to hike into the crater and even stay at one of cabins or campsites there. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/13, 1/750 sec, ISO320
“Haleakalā Crater” Kula, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 55mm, f/4, 1/3000 sec, ISO320
“Silversword” Kula, 2022

On the way down from the park, we stopped at Mahalo Aleworks in Makawao for a beer and a bite. The sun was setting and the view was really cool because you could see the ocean on both the north and south sides of the island. Very neat!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec, ISO320
“Sunset to the West” Makawao, 2022
Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/1050 sec, ISO32
“Mahalo Aleworks” Makawao, 2022
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/4, 1/850 sec, ISO320
“Clouds above Haleakalā” Makawao, 2022

We got home in the early evening in order to get ready to fly back to the mainland the next day. I did take some time to set up my tripod to take a photo of Kahului and the airport with planes taking off and landing. I think it turned out pretty good!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/2.8, 5 sec, ISO160
“Night Sky with Airplanes” Wailuku, 2022

Maui – Running, Ramen, Ukuleles, and a Sunset

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/2100 sec, ISO32
“Wailuku Heights” Wailuku, 2022

I woke up today ready to go for a run near our house so I put on my shoes and headed out the door. The area is super-hilly though, and I was still recovering from very sore/injured muscles from the marathon I finished on Sunday, so I ran carefully. The residents of the neighborhood are all very friendly, and you can expect a nice wave and a “good morning” from everyone you see. It’s really nice!

And of course, the views are stunning:

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/7800 sec, ISO32
“Wailuku Heights Park” Wailuku, 2022

On the way back to the house, my left leg started hurting so I walked the rest of the way. Luckily there wasn’t any pain just walking along. I am just thankful that my legs were strong enough for the hike in Molokai.

One thing we wanted to check out was the Upcountry Farmers Market in Makawao. It was crowded and fun, and we enjoyed a ramen from Alohana Vegan Ramen. Beautiful and delicious!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 44.4mm, f/4, 1/400 sec, ISO320
“Vegan Ramen” Kula, 2022

After that, we met up with my Uncle and Auntie for another bite to eat in Kahului, then did a bit of shopping. And another highlight of the trip was a visit to Mele Ukulele. They have some beautiful instruments and I chatted with the owner and shop helper and learned about the history of the store. It was really fun and I enjoyed listening to some relaxing ukulele music. I’m planning on buying a ukulele from them next time we visit. It’s the dream!

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

For dinner, we found ourselves in Wailea where we had reservations at Lineage. But before that, we had a drink at Bistro Molokini and watched baby whales frolicking under the sunset. It was awesome. Another wonderful day in paradise.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO32
“Sunset” Wailea, 2022