Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Maui - Part 2

On Tuesday we spent the day checking out all the resorts that are along the beach. This beach has been voted the Best Hawaiian Beach and it stretches over 3 miles on the western shoreline!

The main Kaanapali Beach area was developed as a totally planned Golf Resort, Beach Resort, Hotel, Condominium, Timeshare and Shopping community. Surfing, swimming, sailing and snorkeling are examples of activities at the beach. Golfing and Whaler’s Village with shopping, dining, museums and galleries are a small example of what entertainment the community holds in addition to the great beach.

 This bar is underneath the waterfall at the Hyatt.  Right behind the bar where people are sitting is the pool!  

Hanging pool side!
 I have never seen so many waterfalls at one resort.

Loving every minute of Maui.


This morning we continued to be spoiled by a delicious pancake breakfast!  We spent the morning playing rummbikub (which is a very addicting game).  We are really enjoying having some time to relax.  I am especially enjoying being able to get up after the sun is up.

Later, went to the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort for lunch. 

On our way back to the condo we stopped at the most incredible beach.  It looked like a screensaver.  The water was calm and crystal clear.  The beaches on Maui are just unreal. Kauai does have some great beaches, however I think it is safe to say Maui has some of the best!

Napili Beach

In the evening we went to the beach for the Sheraton's "Torch Lighting and Cliff Diving Ceremony".  It is part of their nightly entertainment which also includes hula dancing and Hawaiian music.  During the ceremony a man ran up the side of Black Rock carrying a torch (the one that Cory jumped off of in the previous post).  When he got to the top he lit several torches.  Next, he threw the torch and the lei that he was wearing into the ocean.  Finally, he dove off of the cliff.  Wouldn't that be a perfect job for Cory?  The professional cliff diver. -Pictures to come, we did not have a camera with us. Stay tuned for those!

- Cory and Emilie

Monday, May 28, 2012

Maui - Part 1

On Saturday morning we arrived on the island of Maui! We are staying with Cory's grandparents at the best location on the island, and in a very nice condo (The Whalers)  with a amazing view....


On our way to the condo we stopped at Kimo's Restaurant for lunch and a slice of hula pie.  It was delicious, and we had a great view of the ocean.

Later that evening we relaxed in the lanai to watch the waves and people diving off the "black rock" in the distance.  We saw dozens of rainbows that seemed to last forever!

If you look closely you will see that this is a double rainbow!

In the morning Grandma made us omelets for breakfast. Yum!  Then we went to the Iau Valley Needle.  Here is what says about the attraction:

"The lovely, deep valley of 'Iao features the 'Iao Needle, a natural rock pinnacle presiding over the 'Iao stream and surrounded by the walls of the Pu'u Kukui Crater. Once used as a natural altar, the 2,250-foot stone pillar, covered in green foliage, is really a basaltic core that has survived eons of swirling water. 'Iao Valley is a peaceful lush area with easy hikes, exotic tropical plants, and clear, natural pools. The ridge-top lookout offers a fantastic view of the valley and Kahului Harbor.'Iao Valley is the site of one of the most famous and bloody battles that changed Hawaii history forever. On this site, In 1790, King Kamehameha I destroyed the Maui army in his effort to unite the Hawaiian Islands."

 The Needle

 We couldn't believe how big the tree trunk was!

 Beautiful valley.

Later that afternoon we had a picnic lunch at a nice Chinese themed garden in the valley.  It was packed!  We are thinking that everyone may have been out for Memorial Day weekend.

On our way back to the condo we went around the north corner of the island.  It was quite an adventure.  The road was one-lane at many points, extremely twisty, and on the edge of a cliff for most of the way.  Of course the view was great for the passengers.  Thank you to Grandpa for driving! :)

We went snorkeling today at the black rock at the Ka'anapali beach and it was crystal clear! We have never seen such clarity in Hawaii except for at Oahu's Kailua Beach.  This location happens to be in the same location as the world famous turtle story my Dad always tells when he went snorkeling in Maui.  I think I found that same turtle, or a relative. There were at least two or three turtles out there today, some interesting fish, and the water was shark free. After doing some snorkeling I decided that I would jump off the black rock too...

- Cory and Emilie

Monday, May 21, 2012

KANAKA Graduation 2012

This past Friday was KANAKA's graduation.  It was very different than my own high school graduation.  The biggest difference of course, was the number of graduates.  Instead of hundreds,  there was a grand total of five.  It took place at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center.  It was a perfect location because it is only minutes from the school.  Plus, we were able to enjoy the fresh air and the breeze from the ocean (which was right across the street).

The ceremony began with a hula performance by the whole school.  The girls all wore white muumuu's like they did at our Christmas program.  Of course, each student also wore several lei's.  The hula teacher made extra special leis for the graduates and the principal gave them each a maile lei. Here is some information about the maile lei from the website.

"The maile is most often reserved for memorable occasions. It is known to many as the “lei of royalty,” given to signify respect and honor. The maile is very popular at weddings, graduations and especially proms. On the US mainland, young men usually receive a boutonniere from their prom dates. In Hawaii, they are presented with a maile lei. 

The maile lei can also be used for other purposes. Some people dry the lei and use it to scent their drawers, closets, tapa (bark cloth), etc. Lei stands entwine the maile lei with a variety of flowers such as pikake, ilima or mokihana berries.The maile lei is noted for its rarity and considered by many to be the finest of all leis. Prices range from $30 and up. So place your orders early!"

The maile lei smells incredible!

After the hula performance the students were presented with their diploma and a class ring.  At this school, you can only receive a class ring at your graduation, and the school purchases it. Then each student gave a speech, thanking ke akua (god) and their ohana for getting them to this point in their lives.  

The night ended with dinner, prepared by the families of the students.  At many graduation parties on the "Mainland" you would expect mostacholi, chicken, maybe some sort of salad, cake etc.  Well, not in Hawaii!  The type of food served at parties is exactly what you would find if you paid for a luau.  We had kalua pork, poi, lomi lomi salmon, opihi, and rice.  One thing was the same though, there was cake!

- Emilie

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lei Making

In preparation for the graduation ceremony, the entire school has busily been making lei's this week.  All of the students have a simple lei made out of an opihi shell.  Plus, the girls are wearing three strands of crown flowers.  That is a lot of flowers!  I was helping one of my students with their lei and it was probably 5 feet long so she could ensure that she could wrap it around her neck three times.  The boys are wearing lei's made out of ti leaves intertwined with crown flowers. 

Tomorrow is the last day of school!  We will be finishing up the lei's and practicing for their hula performance.  Meanwhile, I will be practicing a Hawaiian chant that I will be reciting with the other teachers at graduation.  Each day, the students do this type of welcoming chant and the teacher's chant in reply.  We will also do this at graduation, except the chant we are doing is one that is new to me.

 This is what crown flowers look like!  I really like this type of lei because it is simple, pretty, and not too bulky.  They are also really easy to make.

This is a ti leaf lei.  This lei is also easy to make!  I like this one because it is one of the longest lasting lei's.  Ti leave come in both green and red.  These will look great with the purple crown flowers.

- Emilie

Kilohana Plantation and Wailua Falls

Last weekend was pretty action-packed for Cory and I.  After school on Friday, my class and the kindergarten/first grade class all went to the principals house.  The kids were spending the night there and going on a class trip the next morning.

At the house the kids got to make some delicious treats, play outside, and watch a movie.  As you might imagine, they were all very excited.  Quite of a few of the kids were attempting handstands and back-walkovers while they were playing outside.  It was quite entertaining.  The principal has a very nice grassy yard, which was a great change for the kids.  Our schoolyard is mostly dirt with a small amount of scattered patches of grass.

The next morning, we went to the Kilohana Plantation in Lihue.  We went on a train ride around the plantation.  We saw an orchard that was filled with different types of tropical fruit trees and the beautiful Painted Eucalyptus tree.

The train!

Painted Eucalyptus 

About half-way through the train ride we stopped to feed pigs and goats.

After the train ride was over we went to Wailua Falls.  Cory and I actually did not know that it even existed.  Turns out it was really close to Lihue, we just had to go a little ways off of the main road.  The road twisted and turned for a ways until we were met with a dead-end.  We had a great view of the waterfall and it was beautiful!

There is a trail from where this picture was taken that leads to the top of the waterfall.  Supposedly, you can swim in the river before the falls (just don't go too close to the edge)!  We also saw two people down below the waterfall going for a swim.  I'm not sure where the trail is to get there, but Cory and I definitely want to swim beneath the falls.  Hopefully soon!

- Emilie

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kapa'a Bike Trail

Cory and I recently bought mountain bikes!  We have been on a couple of rides in Kalaheo, where we live.  It is definitely a great workout, because our town is entirely composed of serious hills.

 Last weekend we got to use our bikes for more of a leisurely ride.  We rode on the Ke Ala Hele Makalae trail in Kapa'a, the name  means The Path That Goes by the Coast.  The whole trail is 7 miles, but we only did part of it... we stopped to relax on the beach after about 4 miles.  I can't wait to do the whole thing!

 This is the best bike trail I have ever seen!

 We found this beach which is only accessible from the bike path!  We had it all to ourselves! Lots of driftwood.

 Strange looking tree on the edge of the beach.

The end of the trail stops at the ocean.

- Emilie

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today at work I got to try something called kulolo, a traditional Hawaiian dessert. It is made from taro, which is what poi is made out of. Poi is a staple food for the Hawaiian people. I am not personally a big fan of poi, so I wasn't sure if I would like kulolo, but I did! I only had a little piece and it was pretty filling too.

Here is what Wikipedia says about kulolo...

Kulolo Hawaiian dessert is made primarily from mashed taro corms and either grated coconut meat or coconut milk. Considered a pudding, kulolo has a solid consistency like fudge and is often served cut into squares. Its consistency is also described as being chewy and lumpy like tapioca, and its taste something like caramel. Traditional kulolo recipes call for wrapping the mixture in ti leaves and baking it in an imu (underground oven) for 6 to 8 hours.

On a side note, I saw SEVEN rainbows today! A double rainbow over the school this morning, three on the way home from work, and another double rainbow this evening!

 - Emilie

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Countdown until Summer!

11 days of the school year left!  Teachers and students alike are definitely feeling summer approaching.  The whole school has been working really hard on perfecting their hula dances.  They will be performing at the graduation ceremony.  The middle and high school students are doing this really cool dance with wooden staffs.  They found their own branches and had to sand them to perfection.  The dance is hard to describe, so hopefully I can videotape it at graduation and post it. 

I'm excited to see what graduation is like here.  The ceremony can't be too long, because there are only 7 graduates.  I've been told that they will be showered with so many leis that you wont be able to see their neck at all!  After the ceremony the evening directly turns into one giant graduation party.  Each student will not have their own separate one, we have one party for all of them with the whole school and all of the families at once.  The following week, they are going on a trip to Disney World!  Apparently seniors from across the country can sign up for some kind of Disney senior trip.  The students from my school will get to do different activities with other schools that are also there for the Disney trip.  Sounds like fun!

- Emilie