Ye olde Maui stomping grounds. (Pics from Maui!)

Still with my plethora of pics from our family trip, I’m back to share more. (And there will be more in one or two posts after this one!) As mentioned a couple of posts back, there were some precious places of personal/historical interest on Maui that I wanted to show Callaghan. There were surprises awaiting me, as well. For instance, there’s now a Target in Kahului, Mom’s hometown. It’s the first and only Target on Maui, and it looks like that proverbial sore thumb. Long gone are the days of unpaved roads, of Grandma’s backyard growing wilder the deeper my brother and I plowed through until we found ourselves in a dirt clearing beneath trees, surrounded by strange and colorful sights. The fairgrounds! Grandma’s backyard was a Lewisesque wardrobe with wondrous surprises on the other side; it would have us tearing through the overgrowth back to the house to ask Mom for small money.

Now, there’s a chain-link fence back there beyond which looms a large, round concrete structure. Something industrial that looks like a race track from the outside.

But the Guri Guri place is still there at Maui Mall, so all’s right with the world, as Browning would say. We took Callaghan there because Tasaka Guri Guri is a must-visit! We used to walk there. Guri Guri is a mysterious frozen dessert whose nature could best be described as a sherbet with cream. You would think that’d make it an ice cream, except it’s definitely not… it can’t be described (the best of us have tried). Guri Guri  was a favorite treat for my brother and me, though I don’t eat it anymore. It’s a small, family-owned business, and by family, I mean that the Tasaka family has fervently guarded their recipe and refused the notion of expansion. Tasaka’s remains more a lemonade stand than a commercial business. That recipe will go with them to their graves.

Speaking of graves, the first place we visited after Mom and Dad picked us up from the airport was the Maui Memorial Park in Wailuku, where my Mom’s family has their plots. We went to take flowers to my Grandparents. Callaghan had the honor of dividing and arranging the flowers while Dad stood with a foot over the sprinkler, shielding us from the violent and far-reaching spray of water; Mom observed the flower-arranging, my brother cleaned off the flower receptacles, and I went stalking the nene who were wandering about the grounds. I had to get some pics, you see.

The nene are the state bird of Hawaii. Pronounced “nay-nay,” this magnificent species of Hawaiian goose had its name long before the dance craze.

I also wanted to show Callaghan the Buddhist temple where my Grandparents were heavily involved. They were devout Jodo Shinshu Buddhists, as is tradition in my family… and, as such, the temple was an important part of our lives. At home in California, we attended our local Jodi Shinshu temple, but my butsudan came from this temple in Kahului. Grandpa had been a carpenter, and he’d refurbished the donated butsudan especially for me.

A disheartening change: sugar cane production in Hawaii has officially come to an end. We drove by the cane fields in Puunene near Grandma’s house (Mom was born at the hospital in Puunene) and beheld smoke from the last fire that would burn in the fields, and then the last steam pouring out of the factory pipes. After this harvest cycle, it’s all over, sugar cane farming in Hawaii. The sugar cane fields in the Kahului area on Maui are the last to go, and they’re already gone, the dead growth just a field of rubbish.

I love Mom’s recounting of Grandpa bringing home leftover raw sugar cane for her and her sister and brothers. They also procured some themselves: they would stop on their way through the cane fields (on the Big Island, Dad, too, had to walk through the sugar cane fields to get to school), where they’d cut a stalk, peel it, and divide it into sections. Then they’d each have a piece to chew and suck out the sugar syrup before spitting out the pulp.

The next time we go to Maui, we plan to go to the sugar cane museum to visit the history of the sugar cane industry in the islands… now that it’s a thing of the past.

[Aside: Hawaiian pidgin was developed as a result of foreign immigrants working with native Hawaiians at the sugar cane plantations; they needed a common language in order to communicate. Pidgin derives mostly from Hawaiian, American English, Samoan, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Filipino, and Korean.]

What else? We went to a luau, the Old Lahaina Luau (it was one of the two times we ventured into Lahaina). We went with the wedding party a couple of days before the wedding, which was also on Lahaina (on a boat from Lahaina, that is). The luau and the wedding were joyous, and it was wonderful getting to know new family and friends!

For Callaghan and me, one of the highlights was getting to spend time with our nephew, Rudy, who is an awe-inspiring human being and one of the best people I know. It was just a wonderful family trip, brief as it was. Every minute of it was special.

In my next post, I’ll include pics from the road to Hana, and also from the haleakala volcano crater, two of Maui’s many special features that I thought Callaghan would enjoy.

Here are a few pics from some of the above-mentioned:

 

Off the plane!

Off the plane!

 

Tired and bedraggled, but there! Mom and Dad were armed with sushi for us to eat on our way to the Maui Memorial Park. Mine was brown rice and veggies.

 

Maui Memorial Park in Wailuku

Maui Memorial Park in Wailuku

 

Callaghan sorting and arranging flowers for my Grandparents' graves.

Callaghan sorting and arranging flowers for my Grandparents’ graves.

 

The cremains of most of Mom’s family are here.

 

Nene (state bird of Hawaii) on the cemetery grounds.

Nene (state bird of Hawaii) on the cemetery grounds.

 

The nene are such magnificent birds! They evolved to adapt to a lava environment.

 

Kahului Hongwanji Buddhist temple

Kahului Hongwanji Buddhist temple

 

The Buddhist temple where my Grandparents spent many hours each day, and where we went when we were staying with them.

 

Callaghan at Tasaka Guri Guri!

Callaghan at Tasaka Guri Guri!

 

Next stop, Tasaka’s!

 

Target on Maui

Target on Maui

 

The Target there in Kahului looks so strange. We did not have reason to go inside.

 

Smoke from the sugar cane fields in Puunene. The cane is cut and set on fire to burn off the leaves, leaving the stalks to be taken to the factory and boiled down.

Smoke from the sugar cane fields in Puunene. The cane is cut and set on fire to burn off the leaves, leaving the stalks to be taken to the factory and boiled down.

 

Driving by the final sugar cane harvest in Hawaii. I’m glad we were there to see it.

 

HC and S sugar cane factory. The steam is from the sugar cane being boiled down.

HC and S sugar cane factory. The steam is from the sugar cane being boiled down.

 

Old Lahaina Luau

Old Lahaina Luau

 

The luau was a blast! I had nothing luau-y to wear, so I just wore all black. But it made the lei stand out, right?

 

Goofing around while taking pics with family and friends at the luau.

Goofing around while taking pics with family and friends at the luau.

 

My nephew Rudy!

My nephew Rudy!

 

Rudy is The Man! We love our nephew to the moon and back.

 

On the boat for my brother's wedding.

On the boat for my brother’s wedding.

 

My brother’s wedding took place on this boat on the last day of our trip. The sun set while we ate dinner; the lights on the Lahaina coast in the dark of night were beautiful. After leaving the boat, we walked through Historic Lahaina Town to get shave ice from a side-street shave ice place. (I enjoyed Callaghan’s shave ice vicariously through him, as I didn’t order one.)

 

Lahaina from the boat.

Lahaina from the boat.

 

At my brother's wedding... pic taken with Mom.

At my brother’s wedding… pic taken with Mom.

 

This pic of me at the wedding was cropped from one with Mom by my side. She does not want to appear online, so you get only the half with Yours Truly.

 

Complete rainbow

Complete rainbow

 

What would Hawaii be without its rainbows?

All pau! (The end.)

 

I went to Hawaii and ate all the plants.

We flew back in quite late last night after four days out of town, and a busy four days, it was! We took a family trip to Hawaii, where my parents were born and raised, and where, in the homes of extended family scattered across three islands, I spent most of my summers growing up. In my adulthood, I’ve only visited my family on the island of Oahu, because that’s where my parents live half the time. My one adult visit to the island of Maui had been at the end of the 90’s when we went to Grandpa’s memorial service. Last week’s long-overdue return to Maui was also for a special family event, but a happy one this time: my brother’s wedding!

We had a fantastic visit with my parents, brother, and nephew, and we got to know new family members and friends, all lovely human beings. It was an enjoyable way to flex my minuscule extrovert muscles a bit! We stayed with my parents and nephew in a condo we rented in Kihei, a place rich with memories of my favorite beaches on Maui (and my one interesting encounter with a Portuguese Man O’War). We braved the mad tourist bustle of old-town Lahaina only twice, both for wedding-related events, including the wedding, itself. Well, the wedding wasn’t exactly in Lahaina… it was on a boat, but the boat departed from Lahaina.

The highlight of the trip was the wedding, of course, but I also wanted to show Callaghan as much of Maui as possible in the four days we had. He’d been to Oahu with me, but never to Maui, and I’d spent more time there at my grandparents’ house than anywhere. Thanks to my brother and parents, we were able to drive up to Hana (on the infamous Road, which is more of an attraction than Hana, itself, if you ask me – it’s an exhilarating ride, and there are fabulous places to visit along the way. More on that later!), attend a luau, and hit the haleakala volcano crater. The first important thing we did was visit a few precious sites in Kahului, Mom’s hometown. The last important thing we did was go to the beach, where I did a little training (beach workout post forthcoming!) and swimming.

Callaghan loved it. He was also fascinated to hear that a Jurassic Park helicopter scene (view) was filmed over the rain forests around the road to Hana.

It was good times.

I ended up with more pics than I could prepare all at once, but they’ll get captured in the next few posts. For this first installment, I’ll show you some of the things I ate during the trip, as a few of you were interested in seeing what a person can eat in Hawaii other than seafood and Kalua pig.

Without further ado, take a gander at what I ate on Maui, if you’re so inclined!

 

I had fruit on the flight going over:

 

Breakfast on the airplane

Breakfast on the airplane

 

For dinner at Monkeypod, I ordered the delicious fresh island herbs farm organic kale salad (Maui onion, golden raisins, Mandarin oranges, organic waihe’e macadamia nuts, miso sesame vinaigrette):

 

At Monkeypod restaurant: Fresh island herbs farm organic kale salad

At Monkeypod restaurant: Fresh island herbs farm organic kale salad

 

For dinner at the luau, I had garden salad, taro leaf stew, stir-fried vegetables, pohole salad (fern shoots, Maui onions, tomatoes), and pineapple:

 

Dinner at the Old Lahaina Luau

Dinner at the Old Lahaina Luau

 

For dinner at the BBQ my brother, his wife, and her family hosted at their house, I had salad, veggie kabobs, a little rice, and a few small potatoes:

 

Dinner at the BBQ

Dinner at the BBQ

 

(Plate of fresh fruit for dessert not pictured)

For lunch at Ono Organic Farms along the road to Hana, we enjoyed the plethora of exotic fruit we tasted, some of which I’d never even heard of. My favorite was the rambutan, the barbed red fruit. I don’t remember the name of the spiky white fruit, but it was good, too:

 

Fresh organic fruit at Ono Organic Farms

Fresh organic fruit at Ono Organic Farms

 

For lunch at Zippy’s (it’s like a Denny’s; this one in Kahului is the first and only Zippy’s on Maui. I’d only been to Zippy’s on Oahu), I ordered their veggie-tofu burger, which I ate open-faced on a whole wheat bun:

 

Zippy's veggie-tofu burger

Zippy’s veggie-tofu burger

 

We also had lunch at good old Taco Bell one day, where I got the power menu burrito bowl. It’s like a Chipotle burrito bowl, but better, in my opinion! Black beans, rice, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, and six packets of diablo sauce:

 

Taco Bell power menu burrito bowl

Taco Bell power menu burrito bowl

 

And for lunch at Honolulu international airport heading home, we went to Chow Mein Express and had tofu, eggplant, and steamed white rice (they didn’t have brown). This was by far the best airport fast-food I’ve ever had:

 

Honolulu International Airport fast food: Chow Mein Express

Honolulu International Airport fast food: Chow Mein Express

 

During the trip, I also had a variety of protein/nutrition bars, raw nuts, and whole grain breads to fill in gaps. For breakfast, I had Dave’s power seed bread with coconut peanut butter (two ingredients: peanuts and coconut!):

 

Coconut peanut butter

Coconut peanut butter

 

A lot of wonderful local plants were consumed. But don’t worry… I did save some for the dinosaurs! The veggiesaurs.