Friday, April 26, 2013

We Have Returned...

The last time we went to Maui, our children were much younger which made car trips unpleasant, our hotel room got messed up so we had to switch rooms twice, the kids got crazy sick, and I injured my knee so badly that I needed surgery when we got home.  

 Me, rocking a hospital gown on what was supposed to be our "date night."

None of these things are Maui's fault, yet neither my husband nor myself could really shake the dread before this trip.  I'm happy to say that this vacation was much, much better!!  Nobody needed surgery and we got to see much more of the island.  We honestly didn't understand why people liked the island before having mostly seen miles and miles of sugarcane fields and a couple of towns.  This time we saw the historic towns of Lahaina and Wailuku as well as some of the interior and even the crater of one of the volcanoes that formed Maui.  

View from the top at Haleakalā National Park.

While we were driving to the top, the clouds followed us and settled about half way up the mountain.  It was like being at the edge of the world.  On the way back down, surrounded by fog, I finally saw my first Nene (the state bird).  You never saw somebody so excited to see a goose.

I had embarked on our trip imagining we'd spend our time hopping from one trendy restaurant to the next, but my husband wasn't keen on that idea.  "I want to eat like Hawaiians eat," he said.

We did have a couple of fancy meals.  One at at the Fairmont Kea Lani and one at Cuatro in Kihei.

Our meal at was very good...

but Cuatro was better.  The best meal I had all week.

The rest of the trip, we focused on down-home Hawaiian comfort food.  On a night out, we found Mama's Ribs and Rotisserie near Napili.  Can't beat it for meat and macaroni salad, and the vegetarian lasagna was pretty good, too.

We found fresh and fabulous Malasadas at Napoleon's bakery in Kahului.

The one shining beacon from our last visit was the Olowalu General Store.  Brandon found his precious manapua and this is the hallowed spot where the boys tried their first shave ice.  To commemorate, we stopped and had, you guessed it...

and shave ice!  Done right, with vanilla ice cream on the bottom and generously dusted on top with li hing mui powder.  And doused in lots and lots of high fructose corn syrup/artificial flavorings/artificial colorants.  Like God intended.

And speaking of sugar coated awesomeness, just in case you need a reminder that sugar is a processed food, this is a sugar mill.  It's surrounded by fields of sugar cane in all directions, not terribly attractive and it's got at least two smoke stacks that periodically spew stuff into the air.  It ain't your grandma's molasses boil, folks.

Between the sugar cane fields and the volcano, is a small goat farm which produces some of the best cheese I ever ate.  Surfing Goat Dairy is a must visit if you are ever in Maui.

 These are some of the babies who had just been weaned.

 They sell rams as pets here.  If I'd been able to fit one into my carry on, we'd have been goat owners today.

There was a short tour, which I missed unfortunately, since both boys needed potty breaks.  But I assume it went something like this: These are the older goats, they're awesome.  This is where we milk the goats, it's awesome.  This is where we process the cheese, we're awesome.

Do you know what they make with the lovely milk?

 Chèvre of many flavors, and aged cheeses including feta and cheese balls.

 Mozzarella, perfect for a caprese salad.

The smoothest, fluffiest, cheesecakes I've ever had.  It's was like eating whipped cream.

 And chocolates.  Terrific, imaginative chocolates.  We had an apple curry, a mint, a couple of different kinds of lime as well as a few others.  I was not sad.
 We all loved every bite.  I am supremely sad we don't live on Maui now.

 This naughty little guy is one of the farm cats who popped by for a visit and a morsel.  Unfortunately for him, we are immune to feline pleas for people food as we've got a similar four legged stomach at home.   He is pretty though, isn't he?  Silly boy.

We proceeded from the farm to our volcano excursion, and as we were on our way down, our eldest made it known in no uncertain terms that food needed to be forthcoming in the very near future.  We stopped at a small convenience store and my husband came out with all sorts of good stuff.  Most of the gas stations we went in on Maui are nothing like gas stations on the mainland where you might find a few bagged salty things and a bland egg salad sandwich.  On Maui, bento boxes, and plate lunch items, hot food, cold pasta salads, comfort food at its finest all laid out before you in your local Shell.

We took our feast to a quiet beach and played in the tide pools until the sun went down.


I think my husband may have been on to something after all...


  1. Great post. I love Hawaii. I loved Maui, I loved Kauai, I want to go back... Great pictures, great fun! Welcome back friend.

  2. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! Lovely photos...

    1. Lol, you're too kind, Chimayie! I got a little lazy with the photos this year... =)

  3. apple curry chocolate?! we have been talking about going there, just waiting for our 2 year old to get a little older, I'm afraid he is not very airplane friendly at this age! Glad your second time around was a good one!

    1. I would like to encourage you to try it with a toddler. The airplane can really be one of the most fun parts of your trip (once you get past security, eek). Pack a bunch of food and a bag of toys and tag team it. We usually sit Mom and youngest in front, Dad and eldest behind. That way I'm not stuck with both kids and the kids have somewhere to visit if they get bored in their assigned seat. That said, if your little guy isn't fond of car trips, I would not suggest Maui, as it takes at least half an hour to 45 minutes to really get anywhere and several hours to get some places.

  4. Welcome back! What a marvelous family adventure. I've only been to Maui once (long, long ago) and now I'd really like to return. Visiting the goat dairy and eating cheese would be high on my list. Love all you shared here!

    1. I wanted to go last time, but now that we've been if we ever do make it to Maui, my son will be begging to get shave ice and I will be begging to go to Surfing Goat!

  5. It looks like you had a fabulous time! So glad it didn't involve surgery this time. Those goats are adorable! I've got to stop there when we go next fall. Your photos are stunning!

    1. You will love it. Is goat cheese kosher on the GAPS diet? If so, you are in for a treat!!

  6. Oh my God, Goats! Goats goats goats! I almost broke my foot in Hawaii. That place is full of hidden hazards, I tell you. So glad you had fun. Those meals look amazing, and make me want to make a smoothie in my. . . food processor? I don't have a blender.

    1. Just wait until my next post, Katherine, you're gunna die! EEEEEE! I think a food processor will do great for making smoothies. Worth a try anyway!


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