Friday, February 20, 2015

Family Trip to Maui - Feb. 19th to Feb. 27th - Part 2 of 2

(from the What - you're still not in the islands? department)

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

Hi everyone,

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. 

No comments: