Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Maui Day 7: Road to Sacramento. Less funky, but more violent.

I began my last day in Maui the same way I started off my adventure to Maui. With Brussels sprouts.

The best part of waking up is cold vegetables in your cup. 

I was relegated to an open window to consume my killer breakfast.

After all the bitching about the unwelcome stank of b-sprouts at 7AM died down, we shared some more tropical fruit. It calmed the mind and cleaned my breath.

StarFruit. So cool!

PassionFruit. Still nasty looking, but still really delicious! Pineapple, too. 

Before taking off, there were still memories to be made. We decided to take some group pics in our awesome backyard where we all got eaten by mosquitoes on Day 1 - seems like an eternity ago!

We had Betty serve as the model for the set-up shot.


Places, everybody!

The first shot wasn't horrible, but I didn't' like that I was wearing my glasses, so we retook it.

I was in charge of setting the camera timer and was dared to jump over the ottoman in to place, so technically I'm not really snuggling Doug here - I actually fell into him. Made the shot, though!

The second shot was fine, but consensus was that Liz wasn't looking like she was ready for America's Next Top Model yet. So we had to retake it, this time with her Zoolander facial expression.

"I'm sorry that good-looking people like us made you throw up and feel bad about yourself."

"I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is."

After 6 days of living together in close quarters, most of us were at our limit - and I know whenever I see someone make the Zoolander face, I'm ready to go on the offensive. A brawl quickly ensured.

Wounds bandaged and apologies all around - we were ready for a final group shot. We went for the classic "let's have someone hang from a tree, while the rest of us do the Aloha sign" shot.

Top: Tree Aloha.
Bottom (L-R): No Aloha, Cheerful Aloha, aholA, Thug Life Aloha, and Happy Aloha. 

Of course, Tanya totally screwed up the sign by doing it backwards and Susan opted to just look cute in front of the camera. Needless to say....

Time to go. 

Maui airport, which had some views that were not bad. Not bad at all. 

Of course, I was mildly interrupted from enjoying the beautiful views by this discovery in the garbage can: 

Yes, that's right, somebody bought an ENTIRE BOTTLE OF ORANGE JUICE right before the security checkpoint and had to throw the ENTIRE THING AWAY. Not even one sip was taken. I'm sorry. You're on an island. This is not your first flight.

I know there were hundreds of people milling around the airport waiting to go home (or on vacation  - weird right, people in Hawaii go vacation to other places!). Still, I had a super strong feeling that I actually located the OJ Criminal: 

Socks + sandals just screams "I'm a local!", right? The tan lines on the foot of the companion don't help. 

You're wearing socks with thong sandals. This is confusing. You put on socks - why not go the extra step and just put on your shoes? Don't want to wear shoes? Then why put on the socks? It makes no sense! 

Already having had enough violence for one day, we booked it to the flight and got the hell out of Hawaii. And my bad behavior was totally rewarded with an empty middle seat! Score! 

Doug, relishing the joy of an empty middle seat. 

Of course, bad behavior was quickly punished, as my lunch was relegated to a non-stinky selection

Peanut butter and bread. BORING. But not offensive.

Made it home safe and sound... only to find this contraband in my checked bag. Apparently Tanya learned her lesson the first time, which is good, but sabotaged my checked bag with a jar of Jif, which is bad. I'm sure it was this, and not my initial plane lunch, that put me on the Do Not Fly list. 

This suitcase (and all it's contents), potentially contaminated by a jar of Jif, was subsequently burned in a alley bonfire. You can't be too careful! 

Mahalo, Maui!

Sunset at Honoapilani Beach in Kannapali - Maui, Hawaii. 

Aloha, Sacramento!

Sacramento Northern Bikeway Bridge over the American River - Sacramento, California. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Maui Day 6: Raw Fish and Book Club (both Hawaii Style)

Our last (full) day in Maui. Boo.

Our morning was leisurely, and may or may not have included some leftover cream puffs.

It also included some extreme morning reading.

Doug, very attuned to the tablet. Tanya is unimpressed. 

We headed to Maluaka Beach for some snorkeling. Luckily there was a high surf warning, as well as some giant ass boat dropping off people in the middle of the beach (I remain confused as to what was actually going on). Doug and I opted to sit on the beach and laugh at the rest of the group attempting to get in to the water. Because it's totally, totally OK to make fun of people trying to do something challenging when you're sitting on your butt eating snacks underneath a tree on the beach. (Yes, that's right, we weren't even brave enough to venture in to the sunlight.)

Beautiful beach with a ridiculously strong surf today. 

The tree. 

Sitting around on the beach watching other people swim really increases your appetite, so we headed out for some poke at Eskimo Candy.

It was good. I've had better "plain" poke (with sesame/green onion/etc.), but I've never had these particular flavors of poke, so it was fun to try. The poke bowl (which we opted for without rice and a seaweed salad instead) came with four different varieties: Wasabi, Shoyu, Furikake and Spicy.

Poke Sampler. Awesome. 

Doug doesn't like fish in particular so he didn't eat anything, but the trip was still fun for him because there was a pirate.

Arrgg. Me don't like raw fish. Ahoy Matey! 

I am unclear on what the pirate has to do with Eskimo Candy.

Doug, Tanya and I headed back home for some relaxation. On our way home, we stopped to watch the kite surfers and wind surfers near our rental property at Ho'okipa Beach.

Kite surfers. 

Wind surfers. They look like moths on the water. 

The house we are staying at is actually really nice. It's in a quiet part of Maui, in a small town called Haiku near Paia. It's recently remodeled on the inside, spacious and beautiful.

Clown Car entering the property through the bamboo gate. 

View from driveway (gate open). 

Can you find the Clown Car?

View from front steps. 

View out our bedroom window. 

View from the kitchen. A Gecko! Geico? Gecko? 

Since all members were in attendance and sober, we decided to have our Book Club meeting. Book Club is always off-site and there's no better place for an off-site meeting than Maui.

I don't have many good pictures of our Book Club session, so we decided to do some dramatic reenactment shots of the meeting about 5 minutes after the session was adjourned. And by "we" I mean "me and Doug". Tanya's reenactments are actually pretty realistic.

I made a giant "try and eat up all the leftovers" dinner, which turned out pretty OK. The highlight was the pesto grilled cheese sandwiches (total win!) and the chicken taco station. The lowlight was the frozen stir fry vegetables that I tried to roast. They were awful (but we all powered thru a generous helping of veggies anyway!).

Cleanup dinner. The veggies were terrible. 

So what about you? Are you sick of cream puffs yet? Did that giant bowl of raw fish look awesome or horrifying? Every try windsurfing or kite surfing? Read any good books lately?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Maui Day 5: Eat like a whale, then float like one.

Doug's ears are feeling better!

When you've got a full day of activities ahead, it's best to power up with some donuts. Komoda Store and Bakery helped us start the day off with a spoon full of sugar. Or 80 spoons of sugar. Whatever.

Clockwise from top left: guava filled something? Plain something? Bean paste donut, plain bean paste donut, chocolate pudding filled donut, macadamia crusted long john (awesome), coconut croissant thing (center). 

Another long john and two donut sticks. Kind of like donut holes on a stick. Good. 

These cream puffs were giant. I'm not a huge fan of custard but these were popular with the group.

Yes. This was twelve donuts and twelve cream puffs for six people for one breakfast.

Donuts - yum. 

We ate in the breakfast nook and enjoyed the beautiful Hawaiian sunshine. It was just a hair short of being perfect. Thankfully, Doug was able to identify what was missing from the meal: tater tots. (Gena Love, you'd be proud!)

Everybody happy and relieved with the addition of a giant plate of tater tots to the 24 pastries.  

After powering up we were off to a morning of snorkeling at Honoapilani beach in Kaanapali.

By the way, thank you to Christa K for the awesome snorkel gear. She gave it to us as a wedding gift almost 5 years ago. Since then we've brought it to Oahu, Hawaii for our honeymoon, to Kauai, Hawaii for a trip with my Grandma Sonnie and Noliy, and now it makes an appearance on multiple beaches in Maui, Hawaii. We love the gear (and Christa too!).

Thanks Christa for the awesome snorkel gear. 
 After seeing some tropical fish on a beautiful beach (this time with shade from buildings and palm trees - stolen shade not necessary), we were off to Maui Grown Coffee for some tasting and touring. The coffee farm is about 4 miles away from the coffee store and tasting room, so we stopped by the tasting room first to motivate and caffeinate.

First coffee tasting. Pinkies up! 

Doug, not normally a coffee drinker, tasting coffee. 

Susan and Liz, inspecting the products. 

Much like two dozen donuts/cream puffs was not enough for breakfast (thus the emergency tot job), drinking five samples of coffee was equally inadequate.

Doug, happy camper with his mocha coffee. 

Completely wired, we made our way to the coffee farm.

View of a few rows of coffee trees (vines?), the ocean, the other side of the island, overall awesomeness and beauty, etc.

More coffee rows, plus our clown car. 

Another shot of the farm. 
 Apparantly there is a beetle that is devastating some of the Hawaiian coffee crops. There are signs posted all over the place that if you've been to a Kona coffee farm, you CANNOT get out of your car and walk around due to cross contamination risks.

Susan is a former coffee tour guide from a different island, so she was able to give us a self-guided tour with some fun facts. She showed us some coffee shells and explained how they "bloom" and the two coffee seeds that come out in this particular varietal.

Coffee pods. 

The two beans in one of the pods (you can see pods scattered on the ground below). 

There was a really neat viewing terrace in the middle of the farm, where you could see some stunning views of the ocean, mountain, and the coffee farms. This view was ruined quickly by two drunk idiots on a motorcycle, who decided to ride up right.next.to.us in their obnoxious vehicle, where they promptly parked (illegally), and cracked open two Budweisers and lit some cigarettes.

Hawaii's Best! 
After they stumbled up the steps, speaking loudly and arguing to each other and grunting intermittently, Betty decided to ask them to take our picture. Rarely does someone drunk take my picture, so I decided to take the opportunity to capture this special moment with my own camera phone. Surprisingly, he was so flabbergasted by her "point and shoot" camera (which proved to be complicated for him to operate) he didn't notice my photographing him.

Drunk Idiot Smoker, with Betty's camera, praying to the heavens to help him push a fucking button to take a photo. 
For some reason we were all in the mood for some beers after that. We headed straight to Maui Brewing Co.

Sampled to Coconut Porter, Mana Wheat, Lorenzini Double IPA, and the Double Overhead IPA. 

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em for a beer. 

Tanya, Doug, and myself headed back to the same beach afterwards, while Betty, Liz, and Susan went out to track down a Loco Moco (reportedly, it was awesome).

We had, not surprisingly, another amazing sunset under the trees on the beach.

Our evening sunset. 
Of course, we had to get a few cheesy yet classic stereotypical Hawaii Sunset Silhouette poses.

Tanya at sunset. Cute!

Doug at sunset. Sexi!

Met back up with the rest of the gang at Duke's Beach House (they got a great view of the sunset from the bar).

Me and Betty, eavesdropping on some tourists. 

We'd basically been starving ourselves all day, so it was finally time for some sustenance! Hit up the famous Paia Fish Market. It was absolutely delicious.

My fish tacos (mahi-mahi). Bomb. 

Chicken quesadilla for the non-seafood eaters (Tanya and Doug). 

Blackened Mahi-Mahi, excellent. Came with cajun rice (which I thought was mediocre) and home fries/potatoes, which were excellent. 

Ono Burger - didn't get to try it but heard it was good. 

Fish and chips. 

In addition to great food it was also a great place to meet new people :)

Last stop was for gelato at Ono Gelato.

We shared a small Sandy Beach. Small size because we definitely know how to limit ourselves when it comes to food!

Our hunger finally satisfied, we come home for some rest, relaxation, and digestion.

So what about you? Drink any good beer lately? Or, watch anyone drink crappy beer like Budweiser lately while smoking? Still using any of your wedding gifts? Any ideas on cures for cream puff overdoses?