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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Adventure 21: A Crazy Paddling Adventure, Heiaus, Thai Food, Flowers, and MORE!

Adventure 1: Keanae Arboretum and Keanae Peninsula

It's crazy how you can pass something nearly every single week that you've never stopped to see, and yet you'll go out of your way to drive far to see something new.  This was the case for me with the Keanae Arboretum.  I always use to say that the only flower I wanted to see was the one that comes before the food I can eat shows its face in my garden.  I guess as I get older I've learned to appreciate all flowers and plants for their ability to captivate and make you stare at their incredible colors and beauty, and even if they don't produce food for us directly, they do produce necessities for humans through other life forms, such as our best friend pollinators and seed spreaders, the birds and the bees.  

I became curious many months ago to go see the arboretum and so we finally took the trip.  It was not only gorgeous, but EXTREMELY educational.  There were plaques explaining different native plants and scenery abound.  And you know me, where the main trail ended and a small fence stood in the way of me and the small, pig trail like path behind it; well, let's just say I had to see if the grass was really greener on the other side...  ;)

I was mesmerized by this torch ginger.  It makes an
INCREDIBLE desktop background too, so if you want it,
just send me a message or leave me a comment.

We HAVE to get this baby a hiking backpack
because this front pack is a killer on the ole'
lumbar as she approaches 18 lbs.  She loves
to munch and lick on this front pack too.

I thought the base of this tree was enchanting, (a fig tree
perhaps?).  I wish I could suddenly be from "Honey, I Shrunk
the Kids" and climb up its valleys to the trunk.  (Some of you
young folk might not have a clue what movie that is... Did
my 10 year class reunion really just pass?  Ugh.).

Past the fence, we found ourselves by
a pretty stream in the middle of the
woods.  Love them!

A close up of the torch ginger, (another
great desktop background).

I tried to remember the name of this plant,  (take
a picture of the plaque next time Danielle... DUH),
but I see its leaves everywhere yet I have NEVER
seen it flower.  It's texture and thickness
makes it look unreal.

Oh yes, my favorite tree, (the rainbow eucalyptus).
How gorgeous are these?  And this, my friends,
makes an incredible phone screensaver.

If you happened to look down the jungly valley that
runs along the roadside at the entrance, you would find
three cars that plummeted to the bottom at some point
while driving the infamous Hana Highway.  This one
had a large bamboo stalk running straight
through the windshield.  OUCH!

My familia, checking out the plant life.
Lono Mono is with us too, of course,
but he's hanging back with me.

We also went to Keanae Peninsula where I was inspired
to paddle to lava coves and caves I could see in the
distance.  Luckily Jun explained to me all the bad
ideas about doing that on our SUP surf board.

I am teaching Jun how to use the camera because, (A. He
wants to learn... and B. I really want Reise to know
that I existed in her life as a child.  :)

Melty melty gush gush... (That's what
my heart does when I look at this).

Adventure 2: Kahanu Gardens Day with Jen's Thai Food

A lot of my happiness comes from trying new things.  That's basically what my vision/bucket board is, but I also mean the small things too, (like the above Keanae adventure).  I always want to try new foods, see new places, make new recipes, experience new adventures, etc... However, I not only want this all for myself, I want it for those I love too.  Lono and I have nearly adventured most every accessible nook and cranny on Maui, (not all of them, but close), but Jun was still working on the basics when we met.  Kahanu Gardens was a place I had went a couple years back with Lono to walk the gardens and see the Ancient Hawaiian Heiau, (temple).  Jun had not seen it yet and it is a mere 5 minute drive from our home, so I insisted.  When we arrived he took over the camera and got an on-site photography lesson.  Most of the pictures below are by him and some are by me... but all in all I must say, "Not bad honey... not bad at all!"

I say, "Taro... YUM!"  Reise says, "Carrying pack... YUM!"
Lono models the Heiau.

You can't fathom it's largeness by any pictures except
from an aerial shot from above.  This ancient lava
rock temple is HUGE.

Me and the kids, chillin' ocean side.

The Heiau from a bit further back.

Somewhere in the middle of it all...

Crazy tree, beautiful coastline.

Lono watching the ladies in his life.
Nice shot honey, (creative perspective!).

And so there's this place I found the last time I went there that
is off the main trail and requires you make your way through
some brush to get to it, but it is an irresistible location of sheer
beauty, lava cliffs, and crashing ocean waves.  So I took
the family and we just wave watched for awhile. 

Shot of a white water wave by Jun himself.  Another
great desktop background.  :)

I took this shot of the lava rock cliffs at the secret spot.

We are both suckers for Thai food, so the same day we went
to check out Jen's Thai Food in Nahiku, a place we hadn't
been yet.  Hands down, my new favorite Thai place on the
island since Kak's closed down a year or so back.

Jen prepares the food in front of you, (always a good thing!),
and you can see her fresh chopping and grating the
ingredients as they go into her woks and skillets.

The most outrageous pad thai I've ever had the pleasure
of tasting.  Instead of just a sprinkle of peanuts, there is
an abundance of veggies!  Pictures of thai food may
not look as appetizing as it tastes...  ;)

And this is a SPICY tofu curry... equally outrageous and
exceptionally fantastic.  (And she didn't do the "white
girl" spice thing... She actually brought on the
heat... Major bonus points!).

Adventure 3: Paddling from Hana Bay to Hamoa Beach

I have no pictures to prove this awesome adventure, but I do have witnesses.  One of Jun's "brothers in blue" and a friend of ours wanted to do the Hana Bay to Hamoa paddle on a rather windless day, which was also on my bucket board of things to do, (before we leave Hana especially).  So Jun watched Reise with a fellow "sister in blue" at the beach while Brad and I paddled from Hana Bay to Hamoa.  We did this just days after I began using the smaller 9' SUP surf board we got, and let me tell you, it felt like I was stand up paddling on a surfboard in the middle of the open ocean, (because I was).  The trip was wobbly, wavy, and if I didn't speak, then I wouldn't fall.  If I tried to talk then there was bound to be a "Kurplunk" followed by a "SPLASH".  It required every ounce of our concentration to stay afloat, but we made it!  The scenery was pretty amazing from the ocean, (like seeing Red Sand Beach from a different advantage point), and of course the lava rock seashore and mountains in the backdrop.  The gang was waiting for us as we paddled into Hamoa.  Then we all went for a swim... Even Reise.  :)

And just some pictures because I think she's darn cute...

The End.

Lots of Love and Aloha,
Danielle (Q.B.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Adventure 20: Flossie Got Bossy and Told Me to Get with the Program!

That's right... Flossie, right at the point of reaching light rain, knocked out the internet.  I swear Hana's internet lines are made out of candy necklaces sometimes... (Remember that stuff?  If you accidentally got the string caught in your teeth, all your candy was bound to end up on the floor.  Its creator must not have liked children much).  Back to internet outage... So I immediately declared, "HALLELUJAH, what a relief!".  That meant I was back to being slightly "off grid" and it was time to go through my photos that I'd taken on recent adventures.  I'd been putting them off for the perfect rainy day because the sunny ones are just too great to go out and play... And rainy, windy, thunder, lightening, trees falling down... a sleeping baby... and then a wine glass in hand, I felt perfectly ready to get lost in this past months adventures.  It will take two blogs divided into two adventures each to share this month with you as to not bombard you with picture sensory overload.  Even with a baby, a lady full of wanderlust still seeks out her fill of adventure.

Adventure 1: Lono's Birthday Trip

Yes, our dog gets his own birthday trip.  I'm certain there is nothing he would want more than to go for a long ride in the back of the truck, only to stop and demolish sticks and then go for a swim... So that's what we did.  We drove out to Kaupo to a couple more secretive spots, (all of Kaupo is pretty desolate so it's not like this place is hopping with people anyways... It's more so hopping with wild billy goats).  

Behind this church is all mountain and valleys... In front
of the church is a cemetery and a 200+ degree
view of the ocean.  
In front of the church, with my sweet family,
(Of course Jun is taking the picture so he's there too).

Cemetery fronting the ocean... Not a shabby
place to lay to rest.
Happy Birthday Lono Mono Monkey Boy!
Then we went to Nu'u in Kaupo, where the water is pretty
well protected by a cove, and I gave the boy his birthday
swim and stick fetching fun.
Someone made this perfectly great fireplace
and it's even got a rock wind barrier.  I think
I'll have to utilize this someday soon. 
The view from the standing on the lava rocks at Nu'u... Our
next camping/snorkeling destination perhaps.
A sweet curious colt peeking out at us.

Adventure 2: Our 1st Anniversary

I love men.  That came out all wrong... Let me explain myself.  I love men and special occasions... and, well... their adversity to them.  I knew the day before our anniversary that my plan to surprise Jun with a breakfast picnic would be easily pulled off or totally ruined since either: A) He was equally trying to surprise me and was hoping that I forgot and was playing it SUPER cool, (which wasn't likely since he can't contain himself for more than 5 seconds if there is a surprise, even if it's days, weeks, or years early)...  Or B) He totally forgot, in which case my plan to surprise him would be a super success!

So as we did our morning surf checks and dump run, (which takes us just a few minutes round trip), I asked to stop at Waianapana, (black sand beach), to take a picture for my sister so she could see where the black sand on her sea glass art came from.  He thought nothing of it and even didn't say anything when I grabbed Reise's backpack out of the back seat, (which I'd packed with breakfast, blankets, and Bailey's the night before).  I even had made coffee to go that morning and made a home made card the night before while he was at work.  He had to work that night, hence the Bailey's for a toast in the morning time.  

So I walk us down to this super secluded gorgeous area by the sea.  No one can see us and we can't see them.  Then as I start unpacking our breakfast picnic he asks, "What are you doing?", (still so completely clueless), to which I say, "Happy Anniversary honey... I thought we could have a breakfast picnic!"  (Insert not a happy face, but a look of absolute horror here).  His eyes grew HUGE and he looked severely panicked.  I immediately hugged him and said, "Don't worry babe, if you hadn't forgotten, this surprise would have been really hard to pull off."  

It was a nice morning by the sea with our munchkin, picnic, and spiked coffee.  I think the look
on Jun's face was the most priceless thing I have ever seen in my life and by the end of the day I was so sick of having to tell him that I didn't care, (and I really didn't care), that he forgot, that having to tell him I didn't care was the only thing upsetting me at that point.  Ha!  :)

Looking towards the Black Sand Beach from near
where we had our picnic.
Jun and Reise reading his Anniversary card.
We moved the party to a picnic table in
the shade so munchkin could hang out.
These two are so cute together!
The Black Sand Beach from an above view.

Coming next... Keanae Arboretum and Kahanu Gardens.  Does everything in Hawaii start with a K?

Hugs and Aloha,
Danielle (Q.B)

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