Monday, April 6, 2009

Maui Time

Many of you know we were in Maui last week. It was fantastic!!! Our traveling party consisted of many in the Beers clan- Dad Frank, brother Gary with wife, Kristi, and their children- Daniel, Caleb and Tatiana. A truly memorable week for company, scenery and awesome fish dishes. Here is a link to some of the Maui Highlights by photograph. Enjoy!

We like to get off the beaten path, tap into the local culture and history of any place we visit. In Hawai'i this meant seeing an area on the slopes of Haleakala (a resting volcano) referred to as Upcountry. Here there are farms and ranches, lush, sloping, verdant green pastures with a backdrop of the West Maui mountains, palm trees, jacaranda trees in full lavender bloom and incredible blues of the Pacific ocean. Stunning! We toured a goat dairy and found out selling raw milk in the state is not allowed, period. Supposedly, there were several deaths among the hippies decades ago due to unclean dairy practices. However, this dairy produces cheese, so we participated in a goat cheese tasting. Yum!

Then there are the miles of sugarcane fields in the flat isthmus between the 'mirrors' of each end if the island. In all, there are 34,000 acres in sugarcane in Hawai'i. We toured the sugar museum, located directly across from the last sugar mill in the state. Quite interesting. The mill produces raw sugar that is then shipped to California for refining and sold under the "C & H" label. It still is "pure cane sugar, from Hawai'i, growing in the sun!" In fact, Maui is on the same latitude as the Sahara Desert making it ideally situated for growing sugarcane because of long days of intense sunshine. A couple tidbits I didn't know- sugarcane needs lots of water, then two weeks before harvest they stop watering it so the leaves can dry out, at which time they burn the field. But the cane is not harmed since it is 73% water!

It was also noteworthy that much of their produce is imported and much of the tropical fruit produced is exported. There are bananas from Chile in their stores, too, even though one can grow them in their own garden. Seems a little mixed up, doesn't it? And steady yourself for this, one dozen free-range eggs (not organic) is as much as $8.40. Ouch! Made me appreciate my 'girls' back home even more. ;)

And just when we got the hang of pronouncing Hawaiian words, it was time to leave. We will always have a special place in our hearts for Maui and now a new phrase to snap our minds back into Maui time- Hang Loose!

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