When I lived on Maui about 40 years ago I was working full-time and became a new wife so I spent most of the time at work or at home and did little traveling or exploring. Years later my perception of Maui was that of small cities like Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina, tourists stops with little for the local population. Now that I’m living on Maui again I’m trying to imagine how I ever had that perception. For some reason I was never aware of how rural Maui really is. It does have its little cities, but most of the island is agriculture, pastureland and forest. It is incredibly verdant. It is a country girls dream.
Today was another of those perfect days that I’ve experienced on Maui this time around. I got up and decided to treat myself to breakfast. So, off I went to a friend-recommended place in upper Kula called Grandma’s Coffee House or Grandma’s Maui Cafe as they have now expanded to menu. What a treat! I had a superior omelet made with fresh basil, fresh Kula tomatoes and feta cheese. So ono! The little place had a continuous stream of people, young moms with babies, families, upcountry cowboys. They had an array of yummy looking pastries, but I refrained for once.
On my way down the mountain I came across a delightful fruit and vegetable stand and made a stop since veggies were on my grocery list. I’m so thankful I did. Not only did I discover Kula strawberries and amazing cucumbers, zucchini, dicon and asparagus, but the proprietor was listening to the country-western station and I now have it programmed on my radio dial! The farm stand was gearing up for Halloween with a soon to be opened pumpkin patch for the keiki. The place was a veritable playground for families with bunnies, bee hives, a Sesame Street garden, picnic tables and sunflowers. When I went to pay for my veggies, I had a $20 and aside that I had almost the exact change less $.20, but the owner just said to catch it on a future run. How great was that?
The last part of my perfect day was spent at Iao Valley. This is in the West Maui Mountains which gets 400+ inches of rain a year and supplies most of Maui with its water. Kamehameha I fought for supremacy at this very place in his quest to unite the islands under one rule. It is absolutely stunning in its greenery.
Iao Needle is right in the middle of the valley and is a sight to see.
I finally got someone to snap a photo of me so I had proof that was actually here.
I can’t seem to get away from inclines, but this one I just jogged up without a problem.
There were huge kalo plants, thick laua’e and lau ki in abundance. At one time the valley was planted in kalo, but after the islands were developed by foreigners sugar cane was planted instead.
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All is all it was a perfect day and now I get to go to hula and learn how to make a lei po’o of laua’e and ti.