Category Archives: vacation

Paradise – Haiku Sugar Mill – Maui, Hawaii

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Dave and I took off for Haiku, Hawaii today (on Maui). Owner, Sylvia Hamilton-Kerr, has completed a restoration of the old grounds. The once-thriving mill had sat crumbling and was a historical loss to all. However, it is now protected and able to be enjoyed by visitors. A tour is given to a limited number of guests a few times a week. You get a dose of entertaining history, amazing tropical horticulture, and breathtaking photo opportunities. Their fresh mango lemonade at tour’s end isn’t too shabby, either. Note the Breadfruit tree and its fruit. Its uses are many.

It is starchy and sugary when ripe and can be baked, roasted, fried, or boiled. I’ve had it as potato chips and as a thickener in a Hawaiian preparation of an octopus dish. Both were tasty. Interestingly, the sap from the Breadfruit tree (see the white drip above) may be used as a latex in caulking waterproof boating vessels, homes, and in chewing gum. That was new information to me.

Ms. Hamilton-Kerr has made a garden of Eden under a mango tree that is approximately 150 years old. Cool breezes blew through my hair as I soaked up the ambiance and beauty of it all. Vintage French ironwork and woodwork adorn walls, decorates walkways, and even hangs from the tree. My senses were overwhelmed in this area of the mill tour. Bird songs in the background and sweet scents from nearby blossoms were a treat for everyone present.

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The actual old mill structure is only 1/3 present but in what a presentation it is offered! Old World Europe meets Island Tropics. Sylvia married these elements into a unique and delightful piece of Maui that seems a million miles from the “real world.”

As a side note, Haiku Mill is a perfect wedding venue. I have seen many settings, as I am a registered wedding officiant, but none so much a paradise as this.

Vines and other lush vegetation cling to the old mill’s stone facade. The inside of the entry wall is as beautiful as the outside.

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Our tour group of eight lingered after the presentation was shared. We took photos, chatted, and drank our mango lemonade. We were excited to be offered for purchase a fresh star fruit and a jar of homemade mango jam. This gem of Maui should not be missed. Escape the tourist areas, and enter a world steeped in island history and a place of peace and tranquility ~

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A Funny Maui, Hawaii Volcano Day

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Aloha hoa! Our part of Maui (Kihei on the Wailea border) is as lovely as ever. Look at the color variations on this plant. Beautiful.

We headed toward Mt Haleakala yesterday. It’s the larger of two dormant volcanoes here on the island. It’s summit is about 10,000 feet above sea level. Pretty darn high in the clouds and vog. What is vog? It’s volcanic “fog” or smog that drifts to Maui from the big island of Hawaii. It consists of volcanic dust and gases. Thank you for the residual dry, intermittent cough, Mt Kilauea (the active volcano on the main island that IS always active – but is very approachable). Back to our Mt Haleakala trip . . . the vog hung atop and around the midsection the volcano. Here are a few pics of the vog, and it doesn’t move slowly like fog but very quickly.

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As we ascended the mountain, Dave’s ears popped, and I popped two Dramamine and two Ibuprofen for sinus pressure! After seeing one guy puking from his Jeep, I decided better safe than sorry. The roads were quite curvy. That combined with altitude changes from 2500′ to 10,000′ then back down again, it’s a recipe for feeling like poop if one is not careful. Add the fact that the temp at bottom was 81 degrees and was 57 and windy at the summit. Glad we took jackets with hoods.

I did see pretty trees on the excursion. Turns out, they aren’t native to the island and change soil chemistry. I speak of the Mexican Weeping Pine. It’s gorgeous, though.

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These pines are highly invasive and displace endemic and endangered species’ of other plants.

One funny sign we encountered (and believed) was this one:

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We passed it quickly as we turned a curve. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What WERE these Hookers? Native birds? Or was that what hitch hikers were called here? hitcher, hooker? I told Dave I was going to ask the park ranger when we reached the top. Thank goodness there was no ranger in sight for me to gab with. I can only imagine how THAT conversation might have played out.

“What are these Hookers I’ve heard about? Birds?”

“Excuse me, ma’am?”

“I saw a sign a ways back that hookers could be picked up in 800 feet. What’s a Hooker?”

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Okay, laugh if you must.

 

There were also NeNe geese here and there. They are the State Bird of Hawaii and make a soft sound like “Nay Nay,” so, were aptly named.

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It was a fun afternoon, and neither of us got motion sickness or a headache or fell down the side of the crater we were so close to.

Love ya!

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Maui, Hawaii Snorkeling – Ahihi Bay

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Aloha, readers! Dave and I have been snorkeling in this (Ahihi) rocky bay the last two times, and we love it. If I can stop grazing against jagged lava rock while I swim, I’d come away amazed AND unharmed. πŸ˜‰ It’s in the area of the large Lava Fields. We are in Kihei, so just go South to find the bay.

When the tide is a bit high, the water in this area is perfect for snorkeling. We go at 7 am and don’t have to fight anyone else for the perfect spots. People are encouraged to only step on sand and not the coral growing underfoot. It’s a lovely spot to see needle fish (I call them that because they’re long and thin and shaped like an icicle), angelfish, eels, and any others I haven’t researched names for yet.

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This bay is clear, blue, and invites you to stay a while . . . and we DID. Take another peek or two at Ahihi Bay!

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Isn’t it delightful? We’re going back tomorrow morning. Today, it’s off to an old mill in the town of Haiku. I’ll blog on it later, too! Have a wonderful day, and subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already. There are many more fun little experiences in Maui to come. Love y’all!