Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Our Friday day was quiet. Good pool and beach time. Brian finished reading "Tuesdays with Morrie" in 3 days. We had a bucket of shrimp at Bubba Gump's and found a parking spot close to the "Lahaina Cooler's" - which meant an excellent opportunity for a nightcap after our sail.
The boat was full.....21 on board so a bit cramped by our standards. The volcanic "vog" is still enveloping Maui so our sunsets have been interestingly nil - with glimpses of a hazy, pale sun.
A completely different crew this sail. An old salty dog, Gene (as Captain) and two assistants, Tony and Sara-Jo. Brian and I fantasized about renting the Scotch Mist II out for a private sail, but neither one of us could come up with the $795 (maybe our next trip). The tunes were good....Brian said "sailing with the whales and drinking champagne while listening to Van Morrison was an incredible experience."
The highlight of the sail was our incredible luck with the whales once again. This time we watched an entire pod, surface, breach and frolic in the water. It is so amazing to be so close to something so beautiful - experiencing nature up close. I took some really great video (I can't wait to share with everyone and try and figure our how to possibly post to the blog).
We are "short-timers" now.....trying to squeeze in as much as possible this weekend in anticipation of our return to normalcy.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Brian and I thought our journey would take much longer, but we broke the trip up with frequent stops as we soaked in all the beauty of the country-side setting. Breakfast at Charley's is a tradition. They were open and serving up the most wonderful Macadamia Nut Pancakes on this planet (fire destroyed the bar area last year). The sun was already beating down in Paia....no breeze, so our journey up to 2500 feet was welcomed.
Driving south on Baldwin Avenue we first came upon the little town of Makawao....a Paniolo or Hawaiian Cowboy town. Once a rough and tumble "wild west" outpost - it's now a lively "artsy" community with a main drag lined with fine art and a collection of boutiques.
Continuing along the Kula Highway, we were a bit disappointed with the low cloud cover, masking incredible views, but the sweet smell of the air and the cooling breeze more than made up for our lack of view. Vog (volcanic fog) began sweeping across Maui due to the on-going eruption of the Big Islands - Kilauea.
We made it to Ulupalakua, offering many treats for the eyes, palate and spirit. Our drive gave us a chance to get up close with wild horses and roaming cattle.
It's also the home of Maui's winery, Tedeschi vineyards. We sampled some unique wines in their tasting room located in the King's Cottage. This guest cottage was built specifically for the celebrated visit of King Kalakaua in April of 1874.
I begged Brian to drive 10 minutes further along the road, but the eerie remoteness and the on-coming rain proved too much for this trip. We've already travelled this back road to Hana before and neither one of us was up for the trip again.
We headed back north along the back road (Crater Road) nestled up against Haleakala Crater. Clouds enveloped the second largest volcanic mountain in the world (10,023 foot high summit), so we continued up to the Kula Lodge - and had a look around.
Kula has become a mecca for visitors looking for a glimpse of rural Hawaiian life - a longtime farming community. The lodge itself offers charming chalets and an extraordinary garden setting. The birthday girl had a chardonnay and relaxed in the mountain setting.
Our journey back to Paia took us through Haiku and Keokea, two rich - green pasture-land villages dotted with purple jacaranda flowers, which bloom every year around my birthday. The incredible beauty of this place has drawn artists from all over the world. Little studios and galleries are hidden around every turn.
Paia, is a bohemian north shore beach town where the start of the road to Hana begins. Boutiques, antique shops, fine art and native handicrafts fill the streets. Brian and I wandered around before heading just east of the heart of town to Mama's Fish House.
The island's iconic seafood house, Mama's Fish House has a unique location in a pocket-sized coconut grove, where the waves and the sun meet in perfect harmony. It's a classy, yet relaxed setting - and Brian and I had one of the best seats in the house.
Our meal was good, not phenomenal, but some of the best prepared "clean" food I have ever had. It's a pricey treat (something I had a hard time with upon review) You have to enjoy the entire "package" and realize that you are not just paying for the food on your plate, but rather - the opportunity to enjoy the ambiance and scenery of the north shore while eating fresh local fare.
Our pupus were delicious, Brian had Mama’s Macadamia Nut Crab Cakes with Fire and Ice Relish - 2 cakes each dabbed with a spot of caviar that were mellow and well seasoned.I had the Ahi Tartare, served with tomato and goat cheese bruchetta. Rich, buttery tuna offset by the earthy, mild cheese.
Picking our entree was tough. Brian went with a wonderfully prepared King Salmon caught off the waters of New Zealand and grilled in a Ti Leaf with macadamia nuts, cilantro, lemongrass and coconut milk - along side grilled plantanes.
I debated between the Kahlua Crispy Duck and a regional fish - in the end, choosing the Uku caught over the deep reefs near Kahoolawe – Sautéed with Maui tomatoes, mushrooms, white wine, garlic and capers. Brian picked a wonderful Carneros Chardonnay, buttery, velvety and smooth - the perfect accompianment to our meal.
Complimentary coconut ice cream (candle included) was the perfect way to end the meal.
It was a long 50 minute journey back to West Maui. I so much appreciated Brian driving the entire day so that I could enjoy the journey.
A perfect day.....my birthday
Thursday, April 24, 2008
We ate B'fast next door to our condo at the Sands of Kahana and spent some time at the beach (Brian) and pool (Stacy).
In the afternoon we drove up to Kapalua and Napili Bay and made dinner reservations and enjoyed driving around, looking at the other resorts and feeling the sun on our faces.
We had the most incredible dinner at the Sea House. We started out with pupus.....a Caprese tower and two butterflied Coconut-Macadamia Nut dusted Shrimp. Beautiful presentation and flavors.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Ahi Sashimi with Soy, Wasabi and Spun Veggies on the side - which Brian loved!!!