day 10 :

wednesday, 13 february

Whales greeted us on our lanai as we ate breakfast, spouting water in the distance and dipping in and out of the water in unison. We were here during the peak of whale season, when they come to Hawaii to breed and give birth to their young. About three-quarters of the whales that visit Hawaii are found on this side of Maui. They are truly amazing creatures to watch!

This morning we went to Lahaina, with a first stop at MauiGrown Coffee. We tried a sampling of their coffees (delicious, and each quite distinct), and bought some beans, both green and roasted. This was the only place that we found on the island where they pulled great shots. They also have some decent pastries to go with your coffee, which you can enjoy outside on their wraparound covered porch.

As a side note, we feel the lack of great baristas in Maui (that we could find – please clue us in if you know otherwise!) is a huge disservice to the wonderful beans that are grown right on the island. Eric is scheming on how he could possibly move to Maui and live on the paycheck of a barista, in order to correct this injustice.

Eric and Ian explored the docks in Lahaina and the big banyan tree, while Dawn went shopping. She picked up fudge from Lahaina Fudge Company. Their slogan is "the best you'll ever taste," and we agree. The chocolate fudge with macadamia nuts was simple and delicious, and the chocolate peanut butter fudge was absolutely amazing! The Lava Flow fudge (coffee and chocolate) and the Rocky Road (aka Road to Hana), are fantastic as well. The guy working there threw in a couple free salt water taffy, too. They were delicious, with tangy tropical flavors.

For lunch, we wanted to try another place with traditional Hawaiian food, so we went to Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina. We ordered the Aloha Mixed plate and the Kalua Pork and Cabbage plate. Across the board, the meats were all overcooked, and the pork particularly so. Da Kitchen's pork plate was soooo much better. Overcooked meat aside, the shoyu chicken and teriyaki beef were both very flavorful with their respective marinades, and the mahimahi was decent.

We made one last stop at Yee's, this time to pick up candied mango and coconut to share with our co-workers at home. We nabbed a small loaf of mango bread to try. It seemed like it was only hours out of the oven, and was quite yummy, but with raisins inside and very little mango flavor, it seemed more like raisin bread. We also bought a coconut, drank the water inside (it was just as yummy-sweet as the one we'd had at the swap meet), and they cut it open for us to take home and eat the meat.

We sat and watched whales for a while during Ian's nap, and then did some more time on the beach digging tunnels and trying to catch some waves, before a relaxing dinner with the sunset.


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