Friday, November 17, 2017

Hawaii 6: Last Day

On our last day we checked out of our condo at 11am and had the rest of the day to wander because our flight home was a red-eye.  We picked up some gifts at  Whalers Village, took a quick walk down Front Street, and then stopped by the Buddhist temple where my grandparents' urns are kept. The rest of these pictures are all from my phone.

Urn House.

Later in the afternoon we drove over to the other side of the island and had visited with my Uncle Mike.  He showed us his home and the addition that was built where he keeps his microscopes and data from the reserve where he used to work.  We had dinner at a nearby Japanese restaurant and then took off to the airport. Charlotte was a champ and did really well on the flights back. She slept the whole time except for take-off, the beverage service, and landing. 

Charlotte loves her grandpa! I can't ever get her to fall asleep on me like this! 

Unfortunately (fortunately?) Charlotte likes screens. We don't really let her watch anything at home accept for two Aladdin videos on youtube once in awhile. She goes crazy of the Prince Ali song for some reason. Charlotte didn't watch anything on the return flights since she was sleeping, but on the way there John estimates he watched Cars 3, or at least restarted watching it, six different times without sound.

Hawaii 5: Exploring the Wild

John and I both really like to get out in nature when we travel and this time John especially was feeling like he wanted to see some areas that weren't as developed on the island. We drove the road to Hana on our last trip here and knew that it would probably be a terrible idea with a baby. Instead we drove along the much closer North East shore of the island to the Nakalele Blowhole and some surrounding outlooks and beaches. 

I wanted to explore more around the Acid War Zone rock formations to the left, but Charlotte was getting pretty fussy at the point we hiked down to this point. It was overcast and really humid and John was pouring sweat so I couldn't blame her for not feeling that into it. 

We stopped at a small beach where my grandpa once took us when we were little.  Back then I remember finding a Portuguese man-o-war and passion fruit that we ate.

Later that day we went to visit relatives and dropped by my great auntie Umiko's house. She's 98 now.  This is her wedding picture that I snapped using the google scan app. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hawaii 4: Mama's Fish House

One of the highlights of the trip was going to dinner at Mama's Fish House in Paia.  My parents were so generous to treat us and my Uncle Mike. The restaurant looks right out on a small beach which I learned is actually public if you ever want to go to the tide pools there. We had a seat on the outer portion of the dinning area and had a nice ocean breeze during our meal and also easy access to the beach to walk around with Charlotte when she got antsy.

Anyone who knows me knows that I really enjoy looking at menus. I like to make a good plan of attack before I go out to a nice place to eat. The night before our dinner my mom and I were plotting out our meal and I found out that I know nothing about fish. I was thinking of getting the Papio because the sides and sauce sounded interesting, but my mom told me it's a really common fish in Hawaii and that my grandfather used to catch it for the family to eat regularly.  She said it's good, but nothing special. Instead she recommended the Opakapaka (pink snapper) or Onaga (red snapper), both of which are deep sea fish and much more rare and tasty.  I was glad I listened to her advice because my meal was amazing! It will be hard to eat other kinds of fish from other places now because I'll always be comparing it to the dish I had that night. John got the Ahi, Opah, and Mahimahi in a Panang curry which was also amazing. 

We sat in the area to the left, which isn't pictured. It doesn't have the low wall in the front so you can just walk out onto the beach.

Charlotte got to eat some of the homemade bread they serve as well as some sweet potato and some of my fish. She did really well during the meal but did need to be taken for a walk a few times. 

My entree: Onaga. I will forever dream of this fish. It was prepared perfectly.

The Black Pearl dessert. It was good, but my favorite was actually the banana crisp! 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Hawaii 3: Pioneer Inn and Sick Day

It's been somewhat of a tradition in my family to eat breakfast at the Pioneer Inn on Front Street when visiting Maui.  We always order their French toast, which is made from thick slices of Hawaiian sweet bread and served with an amazing coconut syrup. This time we also all got some Portuguese sausage.  We were seated right next the to African Grey parrot they keep at the inn and he got in trouble for screaming instead of talking. 

I love that they've kept the plantation style of the inn. If I ever build a house on Maui I want it in this style and these colors.

Supposedly this is an ancient Hawaiian birthing chair that was also used as a place to be cleansed from illness. Having recently given birth this year I tried to imagine what it would be like to sit in that chair with waves crashing over you and no anesthesia. Yeah, not for me. My mom was skeptical about the whole story.

Charlotte got sick with a fever, cough, and runny nose during our trip and had some rough nights. John ended up catching her cold and one day they were both pretty miserable.  That didn't stop John from snorkeling though. He felt like he had to make the most of his time off and happily saw a turtle during his sick snorkeling excursion. 

She's still willing to give me smiles even when she's sick! Love my little girl! She's pretty well trained to smile for the camera when I take her picture (not so much so when John is behind the lens). Sometimes when I hold up my phone to look at other things on it, she'll whip out a grin thinking it's for her. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hawaii 2: Olowalu, Fruit Stand, and Sushi

One of our favorite beaches on Maui is Olowalu.  The reef there is shallow and expansive and it feels like there's always more to see each time you round a bend of coral.  Unfortunately, the reef has deteriorated a bit in the area since I was a child. I asked my uncle, a wildlife biologist, about this and he said that the natural weathering of the coastline creates sediment that covers and kills the coral.  This can also be exacerbated by construction and other development which causes sediment run-off. He also informed us (after we went) that October is prime shark season in Hawaii and Olowalu is a known place where they come to breed! Luckily, there were still plenty of fish and urchins to see but no sharks! 

Charlotte's first time in the ocean! She liked splashing around in the shallows but got a little cold and grumpy after I dunked her up to her chest. After that she mostly hung out on the shore with me and my dad.

My dad swimming along the shoreline. I think he's in better shape than both me and John! 

I forgot to mention, if you go to Olowalu it's great because there's a lot of natural shade from the trees (Kiawe according to my mom) along the shore, but they also have huge thorns and their twigs litter the ground around the beach. Keep your shoes on until you get close to the water and bring chairs, not towels, to sit on. We forgot about that and had some painful moments.

We stopped at the fruit stand in Olowalu and I was debating buying those overpriced guava, mostly so John could try one. They only took cash and we didn't have any on us so that made the decision for me.  Also, do people actually eat dragon fruit? We had lots of tropical fruit on my mission and I never saw anyone just chowing on dragon fruit. Maybe it's just not common in the Philippines?  We did used to eat guava and jackfruit (langka). Instead of healthy fruit we got some spam musubi at the general store next door. The kid at the register was really weird! 

We went out to Genki Sushi, a rotating sushi bar, for dinner while my dad kindly watched Charlotte for us.  It was the first place that we ate at that was fully local. It also wasn't very good.  Kula in San Diego is much better as far as rotating places go. I really wanted to get all the area specific items like the hot dog nigiri and tempura spam roll, but we ran out of stomach room kind of quickly. I started trying to peer pressure John into eating more but it didn't work.