NOTE: This is part 2 of 2 parts. The first part is here: The Ideal Copy: Family Trip to Maui - Feb. 19th to Feb. 27th - Part 1 of 2
The day after the trip to Hana, we decided to give my nerves a rest and visit some botanical gardens instead. We started off by heading to a small town called Makawao, which had a real Hawaiian feel - as opposed to a touristy feel. Sure - there were shops and galleries, but this was fairly off the beaten path and the crowds were not as large as in Lahaina or Paia.
For instance - chickens were just strolling down the sidewalk. Here's a chicken walking on the sidewalk next to our car:
(Sorry - you'll have to wait to see my other photos of Makawao - they're on the main camera. All of these photos - in this post and the previous Maui post - are from my phone's camera.)
Interestingly, Makawao has a large cowboy feel. Much of the surrounding countryside was ranch land, and there's a very cool museum that details the life of the paniolo - or Hawaiian cowboy.
After grabbing a little lunch, we headed up to Kula and the Kula Botanical Gardens. Since Kula is on the side of the big Haleakala volcano, it has a great view of Kihei and the beach:
Once inside the gardens, we saw waterfalls, koi ponds, and in a bird sanctuary, two rare Nene birds. Can you see the Nene in the photo below?
Relaxing by the waterfall:
Rose feeds the koi:
It turns out the Botanical Garden grows its own coffee. I bought some (see P.S. below) - but I haven't cracked it open yet. Should be amazing.
Driving back from the garden, we stopped by an amazing landmark - the Holy Ghost Catholic Church. The viewpoint was striking:
The interior was equally as impressive:
A historical marker outside:
Finally heading back to Kihei, we finished the night at the Paia Fish Market, which is actually a restaurant. Based on a recommendation from the staff, I got the Mahi served Cajun style:
That's also a local beer - the Wailua Wheat from the Kona Brewing Co., if my memory serves me correctly. It definitely was local and it was a passion fruit brew. Perfect with the fish.
The next to last day we went to the Maui Ocean Center aquarium. Rose had a playdate with the child of a co-worker of mine from Seattle who had independently planned an almost identical Maui trip. We found out we were both going just before we left Seattle. I didn't get many pics on my phone's camera - but you can see the sea turtle feeding below:
Based on my co-worker's recommendation, we ended up in Kimo's in Lahaina, where we all got foo-foo beverages. (And - yes - Rose's is a non-alcoholic strawberry smoothie.)
The view was tremendous. That's the island of Lanai behind the patio, over the ocean.
And - what would a trip be without trying the Hula Pie? Oddly enough - no one but me liked it. Bummer. (^_-)
Lahaina was sort of touristy. We saw Mick Fleetwood's restaurant there. There was a Hard Rock and a Bubba Gump Shrimp as well. We took a photo on the Forrest Gump bench. Rose remained unconvinced:
Driving back to Kihei from Lahaina, we found a viewpoint, and took a couple of final photos. Here we're looking back at Lanai:
And here - we're looking at uninhabited Kahoolawe at the far right, and the small atoll of Molokini in the center. Kihei is on the coastline to the left:
And that's our trip. The next morning, we said goodbye to the view from the patio of where we were staying:
and headed back home with 2 pounds of Hawaiian coffee (see P.S. below) and a week's worth of amazing memories.
P.S. About the coffee. Since the coffee is grown on the islands in volcanic soil, it tends to be low acidity, which gives it a very earthy taste. I ended up buying four bags. Since coffee is expensive in the islands, you end up buying half pound bags. All of them are excellent. I got:
- A Kona from Starbucks. This is unavailable anywhere outside of the islands - you have to buy it there. Quick pic of it - if anyone knows how to find this stateside, let me know:
- A Maui from Maui Coffee Company. It was the 100% Maui roast. Interestingly, it comes with a spring-loaded metal clip, instead of the standard fold-tabs you see stateside.
- A Kauai estate grown from Kauai Coffee. It was the Koloa Estate. This was sharper in flavor than any of the others - almost like a Latin American in brightness, as opposed to the earthy tones of the Maui or Kona. It turns out that our local Safeway sometimes carries this. I bought a spare bag. They appear to be identical, except the local Kauai had the spring-loaded clip, and the export had the folding tabs.
- A Maui from the Kula Botanical Gardens. This is the Kula 3600 Estate Coffee - I got the light/dark blend. This is the only one I haven't opened yet - but it should be amazing. Super small batch.