I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve had the time to post. Working full time and keeping up with my online shop has thwarted my efforts to keep up with my blog. But, I was able to carve some time away from work when my son Jaron and his girlfriend Alexa came to visit for 10 days. Time flew, but I was able to spend some wonderful moments with them.
The first night they stayed in my tiny studio with an airbed wedged in against the back door. Then, they moved into a sweet cottage in the Haiku jungle which they loved. I’m not sure how they ever found it as the cottage was quite a drive through the hills and valleys, but worth the drive.
We decided on a trip to Hana, a drive of 54 miles, 617 curves and 56 one-way bridges. But, oh what a drive. This is the Hawai’i you see on postcards! The day started out sunny and warm, but it had rained the day before so the waterfalls were plentiful, the fruit stands were open for business selling everything from passion fruit/ginger smoothies to banana bread. Many of the stands hire college students or young adults with a kind of “work for your room and board” contract. Many are reluctant to return to life on the Mainland after their experience living on the Hana Hwy. We made several stops on our way to Hana. The drive is sooooo scenic. The 54 miles took us 3 1/2 hours to make. When we reached Hana it was pouring rain. We had packed a picnic lunch but had to eat it under the roof of the Hana Beach Park pavilion with the wind whipping through our packages, napkins…flipping chips off the table. Still, the beach had children playing in the water and sand without a second thought as to the rainy weather. Wet is wet!
Hana is a small town and since it was raining we decided not to take the back road home in my low to the ground car and it was a little too cold for taking in the ‘Oheo Ponds or Seven Sacred Pools, but NEXT TRIP! Before leaving Hana we, of course, had to stop by Hasegawa General Store which has served Hana for generations. It is truly a general store with anything you could possible name…diapers, PVC piping for plumbing, electrical outlets, conduits and wiring, canned goods and fishing supplies, vegetables and rubber boots. It’s an amazing store. Fun just walking up and down the aisles and aisles of surprises.
On the way back from Hana the rain had stopped, the sun was again shining, but the waterfalls had increased in size and number ten-fold.
Following the trip to Hana we took a shorter trip to ‘Iao Valley. The rivers were quite a bit larger than my first trip after the rains.
There is a lot of history surrounding ‘Iao Valley. This was the place of one of the bloodiest battles fought by Kamehameha I in his efforts to unite the islands. It is a pristine valley, lush with tropical foliage and protected by the country and state. However, as a halau member, I can get permission to pick ferns, ti leaves, etc. for making lei. I do, however, always say an ‘oli or chant before doing so.
Another night, since Alexa had never been to the islands, we decided to go to a luau in Lahaina. I did some research and all pointed to the Old Lahaina Luau as the most Hawaiian. So, with reservations in hand, off we went. Lahaina, which in Hawaiian means scorching sun, was warm, dry and packed with tourists. We arrived early enough to walk through the town where Alexa found a very cute local style dress, perfect for the luau. We stopped at Banyan Tree Park where the Banyan tree was planted many years ago and has since dropped roots forming new trunks and now covers an acre. It is still considered one tree as all the “trunks” are from the original planting.
The luau was FUN! even for a kama’aina. We were greeted with a flower lei and a maitai…doesn’t get much better than that! The food was Hawaiian from lau lau to kalua pig, lomi salmon to haupia. Tropical drinks were included, the entertainment was excellent telling the story of hula. There were demonstrations of Hawaiian games and crafts and beautiful weather. What a fun perfect evening.
A pig in an imu (underground dirt oven) covered with banana leaves for that special luau flavor of kalua pig.
I was sad to see the two of them leave, but I think they are already planning a return trip. Maybe next time, a ferry to the island of Lana’i or Moloka’i.