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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Adventure 8: The Big Move to a Little Village

Our jungle cabin.
If you've ever seen the show WEEDS, remember that catchy song?  "Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky, little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same...etc.".  That is how Kahana, (where our casa in a neighborhood  that is very WEEDS-esk and the neighborhood gossip could have made a hit show), had always felt to me.  I am telling you, from the core of my core of my core, I belong in the country, jungle, farmland, middle of nowhere...  Somewhere where the soil is richer and food is easier to grow, the dogs can just run around and play, and if you need to walk outside in your underwear because you forgot something in your car, you don't have to worry about your creepy neighbor across the street seeing you and taking pictures or posting your bed-headed booty on YouTube.  

Playing with the boys at Hamoa beach, Hana, HI.

Jun is a police officer and working in Lahaina meant long days and lots of overtime, (something I could easily deal with as it's writing, cooking, guitar/banjo/ukulele playing time for me), but now with baby Reise well on her way, he doesn't want to miss her childhood and all of the "firsts" that some Dad's never get to see due to their careers.  So we talked and created a top 3 list of places we would like to live in Hawaii.  #1) Kauai- Refer to my blog HERE and you'll see my passion for "The Garden Isle".  #2) Hana, Maui- You'll find out plenty more about Hana in a sec.  #3) Upcountry Maui- Cowboys, pastures, cooler air temperatures, great hiking, a short drive to town, less crowding, but the downfall to here is that Jun would work in an even BIGGER town/city, defeating the whole purpose.  #1 we tried, but the department transfer was such a headache that we just skipped right to #2, (which was incredibly easy and painless).  

Ahh... A happy/frustrating moment...
Watching my honey surf with my 7'10" at Koki. Me,
forced to relax... Wishing so badly I could go too!

Now "Hana" is a small village on the far East side of Maui that requires you drive 54 miles of 600 turns, yielding umpteen times through a lush jungle of oversized plants and gushing waterfalls.  The Hana Highway is one of the main "Must Do's" for tourists, whether it be via tour bus or rental car, and it is common that they walk away with the powerful knowledge that they MUST pull over and let locals pass, plenty of pictures of waterfalls, and a souvenir to take home that says, "I survived the Hana Highway".  To get back from where you started, you either have to go the same way you came, or take an unpaved road through Kaupo which is prohibited by rental car companies, but a rule many break.  Once you actually reach the "town" of Hana, do not expect too much... I imagine the whole population is close to that of my entire high school.  

Cuban Red Bananas in our backyard.
You will see a handful of churches, a school, some houses, lots of cow pastures, the Travaasa Hotel, (once called The Hana Hotel), and Hasegawa's General Store, (famous for its ability to carry most everything one might need, yet it has such a barn meets western meets broken down building appearance).  This place must be a total bummer to some who drove 2-3 hours one way to get here, expecting catering to tourism in some form of shopping, live music, or events.  Look deeper though and you'll find it to be magical, (hokey sounding, but totally true).  The gorgeous hikes, the best spear-fishing and rod fishing on the island, the stand up paddling, the uncrowded surf when a swell comes in, the protected bay for kiddos to swim, the Red Sand Beaches, Black Sand Beaches, White Sand Beaches, the local families having beach bar-b-ques no matter what day of the week, the food that grows everywhere, even along the streets, the cliff jumping, the swimming, the body boarding and body surfing, the people that, once they know you, will go out of their way to hug and kiss you on the cheek and say "Aloha" when they see you...  All of this and more is in a 7 mile radius.  The PERFECT place to raise a child, with the one exception that you are an hour and a half minimum away from the nearest hospital, (a realization that hit us with the contraction scares).

The little things that make a house a
home.  A book with a Rotty that looks
just like Koa from a friend that's
a story of how he cares for a baby
while his human Mom is away, my
world wide time telling paper
weight, (a gift from my Dad when I
was just a young girl), a
painting of Lono Mono from a friend,
a flute I got in Peru, and a singing
bowl from my oldest brother, Donny.
So we moved to a cabin in the jungle on 18 acres, (where other cabins are hidden on the land, only one we've actually seen).  Our little "hale" is PINK, (not my favorite color but it gives it character none-the-less), it's off-grid, (rain water catchment, solar electric, and propane for stove, fridge, etc.), and it's only 450 sq. ft., (don't panic!).  We put in three gardens within the first two weeks of living here, (you know I get impatient when it comes to growing food).  This place came bare bones so I had to do a little "nesting", (that's what they call it when you're preggo I hear).  I hung pictures, art, cut a beautiful jungle bouquet less than 15 feet from our doorstep, bought candles, picked an avocado, banana, lime, lemon, orange, and pumelo fruit basket right off the land, and I even, (GASP HERE), hand-sewed kitchen curtains for the under part of the kitchen cabinets as they were completely exposed and I imagine no one really wanted to see our tortilla chips, quinoa, nori, pasta, tuna fish, etc.  Those damn curtains took me two hours minimum a piece and there were FIVE.  My Dad taught me A LOT in my life, (installing drywall, insulation, electrical outlets, changing oil, changing tires, even replacing a head gasket... How to make deviled eggs, swedish meatballs, coleslaw, and lots more there in the world of meat and potatoes... He even instilled in me a love of travel and adventure and taught me that the journey can be just as great, if not better than the destination), but one thing he did not teach me how to do was sew. Come on Dad... Remember those iron-on patches that never matched what I had torn a hole in?  I'm sure my brother Chris does... and possibly my whole 4th grade class. ;) Sewing, thread, needle, yarn... not part of my vocabulary until now... BUT if I must say so myself, I did a pretty darn good job.  And as if to teach my ego a lesson, like a moron I sprayed a cleaner with bleach in it on to the counters the day I finished and the mist of the spray made the biggest curtain polk-a-doted with nasty splotchy bleach stains.  You win some, you lose some...

The kitchen that had no character with the curtains
I made.  If you want to hear something that's a trip,
the onions on the far left shelf were packed and
distributed in Greencastle, PA. (The next town over
from where I grew up and graduated.
I love this little cottage, but as of mid December we are headed in to a bigger home in "town" with two bedrooms and all the luxuries, (running water, electricity, cell phone reception, and even the capability of INTERNET).  After the hospital shananagans, we realized that we should be ON grid in case of an emergency, plus we're almost out of water since it hasn't rained at all this week, plus an extra bedroom is great for guests, plus less mosquitos for the baby, plus it costs the exact same, plus West Maui Animal Clinic, (my job that I adored and left in Lahaina, was amazing enough to keep me on board as their tech/advertising girl, which having internet to do is kind of important)...  I will miss this little home dearly and can only hope that the next person will enjoy the gardens, curtains, and love that was put into making here a home.  

The unfathomable...

As I sit in the cabin now and hear nothing but the birds song, the leaves rustling here and there, (probably a mongoose in the jungle), and the dogs lazy breathing, I'm dreaming of rain, going surfing in just a few months, and a giant spoonful of organic crunchy peanut butter in my mouth...  Oh the life of an A.D.D. pregnant woman.

The fish the guys got when they went spearfishing
at Red Sand Beach.

Too many bananas... Must make more banana bread...

More of the little things that make a house a home...
The picture I painted of The Grand Tetons, (one of
my favorite spots on Earth).  Plus check out that
jungle bouquet in the wine bottle on the counter. :)

Fridge material is super important... My incredibly
precious and amazing nephew Warren and one
of my best friend's baby, Harlow, (automatically
making her a hanai niece).  ;)

Another kitchen view...  With nowhere to put my
longboard, so why not the kitchen?  ;)

Dining area... 450 sq. ft. means the
surfboard goes here.

To the right of the dining room table is this precious
piece of art from my best friend/sister, Kristina.
"Love you to the moon and back"... a phrase we
commonly use and a present from her in the mail.
Thanks sis!

Tin roof means music during rainstorms....

Sleep happens here...

I could call the bathroom Elise's room because...

I hung her surf art pieces she gave me in here.
Doesn't she rock?

Herb garden #1...

Bearing it's first jalapeño.

The bigger garden in the back with green beans, snow peas,
sunflowers, corn, lettuces, chives, and rosemary.  I staked
this baby in with local bamboo... Gotta love FREE!

Our first Thanksgiving dinner.... Mashed taters, roasted
okra, cilantro corn, and a chicken that I cooked like a
turkey with rosemary, lemon, garlic, etc.  YUM!

The boys having some Thanksgiving dinner.

I made pumpkin roll too for Thanksgiving... SO YUMMY!

Lono wearing his mustache... :)

And beyond the onions from Greencastle,
I found a taste of home right in Hana at
Hasegawa's store!  These are addictive!

Going away party yummys from my awesome bosses
in Lahaina.  They know I love my veggies and bagels!  :)

You know I love hearing from you!

Love and Aloha,
Danielle (Q.B.)


  1. LOVE IT! Glad to see you have the sign I made hanging up..made me blush.. ;)
    Keep the adventures comin' girl!!

  2. I love your curtains! I too am sewing challenged...just never could learn.
    We have been skyping with our eldest daughter, Amber lately, she is currently living and working as a teacher in Shanghai, China. Not only was I way more comfortable with her doing this a direct result of meeting and admiring you so, but I also was incredibly proud to have my daughter be brave and strong and independent....again, like you.
    Your blog reminds me of our recent skypes, the everyday ness of them

  3. Ooooops, wasn't quite finished. :)
    I'm so happy you're so happy! Can't wait to see your little one!
    I'm very glad we met you, and please know you hold a very special place in our hearts!
    Mahalo, Maui Daughter.
    We think of you often.

  4. Im up at 4 am so I figured I would read your blog. Nice article. Miss you and love you!!


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