Aloha nui loa!

Yesterday was upcountry day, including lunch at one of our favorites, Hali’imaile General Store. The ladies all had shrimp & crab cakes while Richard and I ordered the lehi fish special and Cal the ahi tacos. Richard’s face says it all!

Across the street glass blowers had set up shop in a large building that had previously been used to hold equipment for the pineapple plantation. When we came out of the building a young guy walked up to us and said he wanted to explain to us about the land. (Karen has this type of thing happen to her often, which adds a lot of depth to life.) He said he was the youngest of 12 kids and was raised by his grandparents who gave him a special appreciation for the land. His other family members have all moved to the mainland. He also had gone at one time to the mainland but missed the land and retuned to work and live on it. He explained the use of the different buildings (pineapple processing, horse barns for farming). Now most land work is done by machine but horses are still kept to get into areas were the machines are too big. He mentioned the breeding of these very strong horses has continued to this day. He then wished us well and went back to work.

Next stop: Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm. We all joined Richard in his hike around the beautifully landscaped grounds to find all the stations (and get stamps) so we could get free lavender cookies. Which we did and ate them in a little secluded garden space.

Then onto Maui’s winery at Ulupalakua Ranch. The grounds are beautiful with gorgeous trees. The drive has outstanding views of the valley between Maui’s two volcanoes and of the islands of Molokai and Kaho’olawe.

I took a photo of the royal palms at the West because I love them and will have some on my Maui property when I win the lotto.

This morning Karen and I were returning from our ritual morning walk when a car pulled in. It was a friend of Karen’s from Regions Hospital and her husband. We invited them in to see our place and had a nice chat. Then after lunch, T.H.E. group (Richard, Judy, Susan, Cal, Karen and I) went to Airport Beach. Cal, Susan and I snorkeled, Judy went for a swim, and Richard and Karen lounged on shore. Next trip Cal, Susan and I agreed we must take a boat trip out to snuba at Molokini. I can’t wait!

And then it was farewell dinner time as we’re all returning home Sunday. Dressed for dinner, Richard, Judy, Cal and Susan donned their Matson aloha shirts. (Susan and Judy’s dad worked for Matson and the company gave all the kids and grandkids these shirts designed for the company.) Dinner was at Fleetwood’s (thank you Scott for the recommendation) and everyone enjoyed everything: the setting, waiter (exceptional!) and of course, the food and drinks. And Karen was the hero of the night when she found Judy’s lost earning.

Our last day Karen and I will take our final walk, swim, and celebrate sunset. Then … (sigh) … we head on out to the airport for our 11:15 p.m. flight (arriving home at 2:00 p.m. Monday to maybe 12 inches of snow).

We leave tanned, relaxed, certainly well fed, and sooooo ready to see our little family.


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