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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.)


  1. AMAZING PICTURES as always! Great job to Jun too! His pics were awesome! It's always nice seeing you on the other side of the camera! I should have Chris take a few shots every once in a while, huh? ;)
    So the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees...CRAZY COOL!! The colors are amazing! I definitely want to see those when we come!!
    My favorite pictures though were of my beautiful niece. She is such a beautiful baby girl, it hurts my heart! <3

    Great job sista!!
    Much love to all!!

    1. You DEFINITELY SHOULD have Chris take more pics of you! I love your beautiful face! Rainbow eucalyptus trees are my FAVORITE and we even have them at our dump... Crazy, right?! So when you come, all I have to do is take you to the dump. Haha! Just kidding! ;)


  2. The pictures from the arboretum are incredible! I love the torch ginger. The white, spiky flower with the petal backdrop is a peace lily, genus Spathiphyllum -- love those, though most people only see them as houseplants.
    I cannot believe how big Reise is getting already. 18 pounds!? She's just absolutely gorgeous and has the most beautiful smile. I bet you melt every time she cracks one. Looks like she's got such a big personality already, too. Just like her momma. We got a hiking backpack for $2.00 at a yard sale right before K was born. Best $2 I ever spent -- especially when I tried to replace it and couldn't find one under $75.
    Great post! I never get bored with your adventures.

    1. Wow! You know your flowers... I'm impressed! I wish I knew more... but hey, I'm learning slowly but surely. :)

      Reise is just the happiest, most giggling girl I know! She is so much fun and I love watching her and her Daddy interacting. They are really really cute together. Jun swears she gets her personality from me too, so thank you both for the compliment! :)

      You are SO LUCKY that you got such a steal on a hiking backpack! I will not even mention what we just forked out... it shames me.

      Much love to you and yours!


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