I feel like it’s been a while since I wrote anything and that is probably because in my mind I am still on vacation. Nine days in Hawaii can have that effect. It could also be that like always, I have very little of value to say. So let’s throw some Jake Shimabukuro on my iPod and see what comes out of my thumbs as I ride the rails.
Yes I was in Hawaii for the Tsunami but it really was a non-event for us. We were without water for a few hours and the beach was closed for a day. Pretty trivial when compared to the devastation in Japan. I found the "I survived the Tsunami" t-shirts that popped up around the island to be in particularly bad taste. I did get a kick out of the Tsunami Evacuation Plan shirts. They said "Grab Beer & Run !"
I bought some new hot sauces for my hellacious wall of spice. I got a Fresno Coconut Sauce that delivers a smooth heat that builds and a Pineapple Lime Habanero Sauce that EXPLODES in the back of your throat after the hint of citrus dances across your tongue. I can’t wait to try it in my next batch of fish tacos. Come to think of it, I have added so much to my hellacious wall of spice in the last few months that I am going to have to update my youtube video of it.
Backing up a second, I used to think that Alexander’s had the best fish tacos but then I had the fish taco at Fred’s. Both use Mahi Mahi but Fred’s uses thick filet chunks. Is their a better fish for a taco than mahi mahi ? I don’t think so.
And speaking of Fred’s, my daughter had a Dude vs Food rematch with the One Pound Carnitas Burrito that bested her last year. Her appetite is bigger but she still couldn’t get the job done and the white flag of gustatory shame was waved. Maybe next time.
It took two days of lying on a beach chair for the sun to leech all the stress & toxins out of my body before they were replaced by the Hawaiian spirit of Shaka. Now I can feel those same toxins from work, my commute & New York in general trying to take back over. The snow & cold weather aren’t helping the cause. It also didn’t help that after 9 days of wearing nothing but t-shirts & shorts, I had to start wearing suits & ties again. I did fight back so to speak in my own way in that every day this week I wore a different vacation themed tie. Monday it was cocktail glasses & pink parasols, on Tuesday it was beach chairs, on Wednesday it was sea horses and yesterday it was coconuts & palm trees. Today is casual day at work but they said no to my Hawaiian shirt. After seeing the pictures of myself in said Hawaiian shirt from the luau, I should probably say no to the Hawaiian shirt too.
We went whale watching one calm afternoon a few days after the tsunami. We got to see a baby whale breaching over & over again. The mother even rolled onto her back and waved her flippers in a clapping motion after one particularly big jump by her baby. The skipper dropped a microphone into the water and we got to hear the whales singing to each other. It made us all realize that Dori in Finding Nemo couldn’t speak whale at all.
Speaking of fish, we went to the Maui OceanCenter on our last day. The admission price is sky high and the exhibits are limited but you are supporting a good cause. Unfortunately, one of our kids, once again, came down with some funky virus after visiting an aquarium so we think this is probably the last one we visit for a while. I did like checking out the Hammerhead Sharks.
I learned during a visit to the Maui Tropical Plantation that if you drink bad or cloudy water from a coconut that you will get the runs and you will get them badly. I will have to remember that for when I finally figure out a way to have my mortgage pay itself so I can go on Survivor. I would smile as I watched my opponent drink it too.
I have a confession to make. I am a t-shirt-a-holic whenever I travel and my wife is an enabler. I only packed four t-shirts for a 9 day trip because I knew I was going to buy a few shirts along the way. My bag was pretty well packed upon my return. The only new shirt that I didn’t wear while on the island was an original dirt shirt that needed to be washed twice before it could be worn. As an aside, anybody want to guess what my wife had to say about my dirt shirt after she ran it through the washing machine the first time and please remember, this is a family blog.
Breakfast may have been my favorite meal of the day since our hotel had a pretty extensive breakfast buffet. There were Eggs Benedict with Mango Hollandaise, Macadamia Pancakes with Coconut Syrup, Pineapple Blintzes, fresh fruit out the wazoo and more. It was easy to see why some dude named Ahab tried to poke me with a sharp stick on the beach the first morning. Come to think of it, it may also be why Greenpeace kept hovering around when I was body surfing.
Speaking of surfing, we did go out to Ho’okipa Point along the north shore near Paia to watch the surfers but the beach was closed that day. We had to settle for watching kite surfers & wind surfers play offshore while giant sea turtles floated in around the smaller waves closer to shore. I almost killed the battery in my camera getting pictures of it all. It’s not easy to time that perfect wave.
Back to breakfast for a second if you don’t mind. When we finally made it back to NJ, I tried to make a breakfast that would make us feel a little like we were still in Maui so I made banana pancakes. Which then led to banana blueberry pancakes and almost led to strawberry banana pancakes. That possible combination then got expounded upon and became a strawberry banana pancake made with coconut milk and topped with pineapple syrup & whipped cream. Should I ever open my diner someday, I guarantee that you will see the “Smoothie on a Plate” on the menu. You will see my alligator chili too. () *cheap plug*
We may have had the ugliest rental car on the island. My daughter picked out a silver gray Dodge Nitro that almost made a shoebox look sleek by comparison. The birds in the valet parking area of our hotel didn’t seem to like it much either. By the time we turned it in, it looked a like a leopard.
All in all, I would have to say that as good as last year’s family trip to Maui was, this year’s version was even better. As a family we laughed, played, explored, ate & shopped and ate & shopped and ate & shopped. We also learned that while Aloha means not only Hello but also Goodbye, the phrase that best fit our trip as we said goodbye to our friends and to Maui was really “A Hui Ho” which roughly means “Until we meet again”.
And that’s all for now from Behind The Shades….swampy abides
A Hui Ho !