Sunday, July 12, 2015

If you don’t kiss, you’re no fun!

I know that is an enticing title; I’ll get to that phrase in a bit. After that long run on Friday, we had one more day of touring.  Our first stop was to Hamura Saimin.  When we landed a few days ago, we were starving and made our way to this very modest counter service noodle shack, which we had heard great things about.  This is one of those, don’t be put off by appearances sort of a place, as soon as you spot the older woman in the kitchen lovingly preparing these noodles and the line of people waiting for a seat, you know you’ve found the real deal.  The rich broth and tender noodles are so soothing and nourishing, all you need is one bowl to steel you for any adventure.

Our adventure for the afternoon was to take a river cruise.  The Smith family has several jungle cruise style boats that will take you to the fern grotto, but not only do they ferry out to this unique site, they entertain you on the way. Four local musicians played traditional Hawaiian music and we were taught to dance the hula as we took the 20-minute river cruise to the grotto.  At the grotto, we were serenaded the Hawaiian Wedding song and told that we were now “Hawaiian married” so all the wives and husbands had better kiss because “If you don’t kiss, you’re no fun!”  Well, we certainly had fun on this excursion.  Back down the river the captain gives narration about famous local spots and legends.  This hour to 1.5 hour experience only cost us $18 each with our triple A card.  Quite a deal considering how expensive most things are on the islands.

Next we drove up to see Wailua falls.   Farmland and foliage flanked the sides of the roads and we saw one big black pig dart across the road followed by 4 babies…no wait 5.  Slowpoke! The falls were breathtaking.

Being it was our last night, we headed back to our dinner spot from last night to meet up with the creative bartender who made Greg a basil, cucumber and gin gimlet.  He explained that the juniper and lavender of the Tanqueray complimented the garden flavors he paired with them.  We enjoyed the Ahi belly and Unagi (tuna and eel) followed by the butterfish with delicate green beans and carrots in a Mirin sauce. Ryan, the bar tender, so enjoyed tantalizing our palates that he even threw in a complimentary dessert, like an adult shave ice,  pineapple ice, passionfruit sorbet and diced papaya. Everything was so delicious!  After dinner we browsed the shops and heard a great young voice singing along with her ukulele, turns out this teen age girl is touring all over this summer.  Check out Dakota Cohen, quite a talent.  Before we knew it, it was time to pack our bags.


In the morning after checking out, we made one last stop on the way to the airport.  We had been staying so close the spouting horn but never made the turn off to check it out.  Glad we did!  This blowhole of sorts, makes a sound like the ocean breathing, deep resonant Ujjayi breaths!  Then water spurts way up into the air, churning turquoise blue beneath, sending a white spray high above.  Pretty cool!

Kauai was amazing, but it was hard to mourn our departure when our next destination is one of our all time favorites.  A patient wait at the airport and a quick 45 minute flight later, and we were in Kahului.  We got a rental car to get us from the airport to our neighborhood and do a bit of grocery shopping to stock the condo for the next couple of weeks.  We’ll have the car until Monday afternoon, then it is back to the Maui bus system and hoofing it to get around our familiar little burrow.  But I have a feeling Greg is going to fully enjoy driving us all over the island in his manly red jeep for the next couple of days.

We stopped off in Wailuku, one of our favorite little towns to grab some lunch at Stillwell's and share a piece of mac nut cream pie.  Stillwell’s is my best recommendation for a bakery on Maui, yum!  Then it was time to hit the local record store (yes, they have CDs but mostly LPs), it is Greg’s tradition to stop here and ask the guys about new local artists and albums.  He gets a few CDs and an update on what’s happening in Maui Music.  On the road to the west side, we stopped by the egg man’s house and picked up a couple dozen of his organic pastured eggs with a healthy helping of friendliness.  After some grocery shopping we got our first fish tacos at the Fish Market and they were just as good as we remembered.

Later once we were unpacked and cleaned up a bit, Greg got a text from a friend we met last year.  Allen Jackson, a local bass guitarist (no relation, to us or the country singer), befriended us on our last trip when he and Greg played together a few times at a local restaurant called Lulu's.  Here it was our first night on Maui and Allen was going to be just down the street from us at Java Jazz where a buddy of his was playing.  We met up with Allen who was thrilled to see us again and quickly invited Greg to play with him and Howard on Thursday night.  It is nice to be comfortably installed in our home away from home again!

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