Ma’alaea Beach

It was 57 degrees in our house this morning and we agreed it was definitely time for a beach day. It took us a while to get going, so once we arrived at our usual beach it was extremely crowded with no parking spots to be found. We decided to head south and try out a new beach, and it turns out we found a great spot to bask in the sun, tire Mochi out, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

We were headed toward Kihei when I remembered reading about Ma’alaea Beach, a super long beach stretching 3 miles long, perfect for a stroll or jog along the ocean.

Looking west toward west Maui mountainswestmaui

Looking east toward Haleakalahaleakala

Mochi had a blast fetching a stick and playing in the wavesbmochi1mochiheadamochi2mochi3mochi4mochi5–A


Jackson’s Chameleon

Today we encountered one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. As we were on an afternoon stroll, this little guy caught Brandon’s eye, and the way he grabbed me and stopped me dead in my tracks made me think there was a wild hog about to attack us. Then I saw him too, neon green against the grass, with three horns on his head.

1 It was fascinating to watch how he slowly moved, deliberately grabbing onto each blade of grass.3

Of course, we had to Google him immediately, and found that he is a Jackson’s chameleon, or Jackson’s three-horned chameleon. Mostly found in Kenya and Tanzania, this African chameleon showed up in Hawaii in the 1970s. It has since been made illegal to export from Hawaii. They are small to medium sized chameleons, usually around 12 inches, and only the males have horns. They enjoy high humidity and cool nights, so Kula is the perfect place for them! Now, whenever we are on this road, I will be ever searching for another glimpse of this beautiful and amazing creature.



Weekend in the City

It’s our first trip back to the mainland and we’ve squeezed a lot into these first few days. Brandon went straight to Tahoe and spent the first couple days snowboarding at Northstar with his coworkers. And I was able to spend time some quality time with family and good friends and try out a new sushi place in Midtown.

This past weekend we ventured into one of our favorite cities, San Francisco, and made sure to stop by our old standbys as well as explore some new places. Beginning in Golden Gate Park, we found a cozy place for dinner–Park Chow–and enjoyed some comfort food to warm us up. From there we walked to Brandon’s brother’s apartment to visit with family and friends.

We shopped Union Square.


We experienced the sweet potato latte at yakiniQ Cafe in Japantown and had lunch at our favorite Kui Shin Bo.

For dinner we dined at a trattoria in Little Italy, and ended the evening right with some classic Ghirardelli sundaes. It was a good day in the city.

The most interesting part of our weekend was our trip to Alcatraz. I’ve been before, but was so young I barely remember it. The history of the place is fascinating and I loved touring the old buildings and grounds.









Lahaina Pali Trail

About 1836, when I was a young lad at Lahiana, a native employed to bring letters from Wailuku to my father, reported that he was attacked by a robber on the mountain coast route not far from Ma’alaea Bay. In the struggle, he bit off one of the robber’s big toes. The robber at once relaxed his hold and fled. In proof of his story, the messenger exhibited the bloody toe.Dr. D.D. Baldwin, son of one of the first missionaries on Maui

In ancient Hawaiian times, few people lived between Lahaina and Wailuku. To travel between the two towns one had to walk along the coast where possible and swim wherever a sheer sea cliff blocked the way.  Sometime before 1825, a boulder and dirt paved trail was built by hand for a more direct route across the ridges and gullies of the steep southern slopes of West Maui mountain.mapSince then, this trail has been preserved and maintained. A few weekends ago our church organized a group hike along the 5 mile trail. We started from Ma’alaea and ended at Ukumehame where we shuttled people back to Ma’alaea.

About half way up the sun started to rise above Haleakalā. I can see why they named it Haleakalā (house of the sun).IMG_4204

Mochi got to know our friends in front of us and used his herding instincts to keep us together.IMG_4205IMG_4209IMG_4210In 2006 20 windmills were installed, and in 2012 14 more were added. These windmills provide power to 18,700 homes.IMG_4222IMG_4236IMG_7108You don’t realize how big the windmills are until you are standing really close to one of them.IMG_4251IMG_4263A great view of the reef as we dropped down the other side to Ukumehame.IMG_7111



DIY Chalkboard

Chalkboards are pretty popular right now, and with chalk paint they are showing up on all kinds of things like cabinets, jars, and even full on walls. I wanted to get in on the chalkboard fun, so Brandon and I made it a do it ourselves project.

We found a framed mirror at Ross, picked out a turquoise colored paint, and got chalkboard paint. Brandon primed it with spray on primer.1We tried spray on chalkboard paint and consequently do not recommend it. We may have just needed to start with more primer, or it could have been reacting with the mirror material, but it turned out really uneven and rough.3I painted the frame turquoise.4Then we had to sand down the chalkboard, prime again, and use roll on chalk paint.sandrollAnd here is the finished product! 6Fun, versatile, and brings out your artsy, crafty side. It works perfect in our kitchen for menus, recipes, and fun messages.