Monday, January 20, 2014

I Saw a Hawaiian Monk Seal!

Last week there was an article on Huffpost Hawaii with this header "Rare Monk Seal is Born on Hawaii Beach, Entire State Dies From Cuteness."

The pictures are beautiful and the "AWWWW" echoed throughout our office.    The article said that baby monk seals seek affection and hugs....even from people.

On Saturday night, I walked down to Napili Bay to catch the sunset and instead I saw a roped off area.     What was in that area?   A Hawaiian Monk Seal!

When I shared the joy of the seal with a friend who had read the article, it went a little something like this....

On a serious note, the Hawaiian monk seal is endangered.    According to the Monk Seal Foundation, there are fewer than 1,100 seals remaining.     There are hotlines on each of the islands to report seal sightings.    Volunteers had roped off the section of the beach where this seal was resting and provided information about the seals and their fight for survival.   
Visit the Monk Seal Foundation or the Marine Mammal Center to learn more about the Hawaiian monk seal and how you can help.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Upcountry Adventures: Kula Country Farms

Aloha!    The Broncos game just started and since it's still morning here in Hawaii, I'm watching, coffee-ing and blogging all at the same time.    My Facebook newsfeed is full of United in Orange and Time to Ride. 
On our touristic adventure upcountry last week we went to Kula Country Farms after our visit to Surfing Goat Dairy.   Kula Country Farms is where everyone goes to pick their pumpkins in the fall.    And at the end of February, their strawberry patch will be open.     I'm pretty sure that a return visit will be in order....quickly followed by shortcake or pie.     The farm has a cute keiki (children's) garden as well as a farmstand.    Great prices on fresh herbs and lots of locally made sauces, jellies and marinades.
Proof that yet again....I love a good farm.
Other Recent Maui Adventures and Eats:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Upcountry Adventures: Surfing Goat Dairy

Let me start with this:

You never, ever, outgrow feeding the goats.

Proof.   Feeding  goats is fun!

I'm still in full on "I just moved to Hawaii and I want to do all the things" mode.   And I wanted to go to the goat farm.   

I mention this in passing at work on Friday and on Saturday we had a girls road trip to visit some of the sights upcountry.     Upcountry may be a Maui specific term.    Here on the west-side (represent!) there is no "up".   You can't drive over the mountain.    You can drive around it.    On windy coastal roads that have some harrowing one-lane stretches.  Good thing that banana bread is your reward.

On the other side of the island there is a north-side, a south-side, the road to Hana, and Upcountry.    It's the country.   It's where Maui-grown produce comes from.   There is even a rodeo in the summer.   And it's up.   Elevation.   Sometimes it's even cold there.

On our way, we stopped at Anthony's in Paia for Anthucinnos (with ice cream!).    Then butter rolls and stick donuts at the Komoda Store and Bakery in Makawao.    Proper pre-goat nutrition is important.

Surfing  Goat offers tours or even a chance to do chores.    We opted to buy a bag of hay to feed the goats.  $1 well spent.     And we sat in the sun and had a cheese tasting with three kinds of chevre and three kinds of feta.    The lemonade, made with lemon, lime and honey was awesome.   Can I recreate it at home?   Or will I use it as an excuse to go and pet more goats and eat more cheese?

This Wisconsin-born girl loves her cheese.

To reiterate:  you never get too old to feed the goats.  (so cute)


Sunday, January 12, 2014

How Happy is this Honu?

Sea Turtle in Paradise

Every time I see the Hawaiian Honu (sea turtle), I smile.   
Yesterday the turtles were just soaking up the sun at Ho'okipa Beach on the north side of Maui.

I don't have any pets at present to post cute photos of and as we've already determined, whales are hard to photograph.   Maybe honus will be my thing this year.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Whales are Hard to Photograph

'Tis the season here in Maui.

The season for whale watching, that is.    Each year the humpback whales spend their summers feasting on delicious krill up in Alaska and then cruise to Hawaii to calve and teach their baby whales to swim.

The thought of a baby whale is so cute.  
12-14 feet long and one ton cute.

That's one BIG baby.

I went on my first whale watching excursion of the season right after Christmas.    We took a catamaran through Trilogy Excursions straight from the beach at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel.    

Not too far from the shore we saw lots of spinner dolphins.    Apparently for each enthusiastic dolphin we saw leaping (and yes, spinning), there are 2-3 more snoozing beneath the surface.     Dolphins, like whales, are hard to photograph.     They are wild animals.    This is not a show at the aquarium.    At any given moment they will launch themselves into the air.  By the time that you do a little dance and squeal "look at the whale/dolphin!" it's all over.  

There were dolphins everywhere!
But you'd never know by looking at this picture

It's almost impossible to get a picture unless you taken constant shots.    Or you get lucky.    Or maybe you're a professional with endless patience.   

Your odds of a great wildlife photo are much better if you see sea turtles napping in the sun.

See?  Turtles
Or can take stylized pics of the sail and sky.    Instant awesome.  

I know I will go on another whale watching cruise.   And probably another after that.

Because I still want my "I saw a whale" shot.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolutions...and some scenic pictures of Oahu

Scenic pictures of Oahu

Happy 2014 to You!

Hard to believe it's a new year.   Everything is new.  
-You will have to remember to write/type 14 on things
-You're going to have goals and expectations and resolve to do least for January
-You can no longer pretend that cookies for breakfast is normal (after is a holiday so cookies are perfectly acceptable)

I haven't resolved to do anything yet...I might as well wait a few days.   
The things I know for sure:
-I am living in Maui
-I am going to Ireland
-I'm going to get some kind of furniture for my living/dining room
-I am starting 2014 by sleeping in

That's all I can resolve for now. 

And now for a few pictures of Oahu.    Last week I mentioned that the big thing to do in Oahu (at least when you live in Maui) is to go shopping.   But I didn't go shopping.*   Instead I sat on the canal, drank wine, went to the beach, and went to Island Snow for shave ice (the same place the Obamas go...we're cool like that). 

*I lied.   I bought a housewarming gift.   And I received the "Journal of Awesome" from my friend.   I also bought coffee, pastry and musubi. 

Alright you overachiever (yes you).   Did you make a resolution?   Have you broken it yet?


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