Hawaii 2012

March 11-19, 2012

I first visited Hawaii in 2004 and liked it so much that I moved and lived there '06-'07. I had only been back once since, in October 2007 for work/see Jimmy/see a friend but it has certainly felt like a long time, so figured I would eventually go back in the next few years. In late January I was listening to a live broadcast of a Buffett concert and they dropped a big hint that a Hawaii date was going to be scheduled soon...the gears went into planning mode from there. After the dates were actually announced I waited a little bit to measure my job situation, then pulled the trigger on flying out directly from my California trip. March would be a busy month!

To add a component of seeing something new- I never made it out to the much less popular islands of Lanai and Molokai, so this would help to "justify repeating" somewhere.

Sunday 11th
Fly in/Lanai

Delta $485 round trip through Expedia
#4799 Oakland 6:30am to Los Angeles 7:55am
#1197 LAX 8:45am to Kahului, Maui 11:33am

Got picked up from my friend Rich's place in SF at 3:30am by SuperShuttle. Cost me about an hour's sleep vs a taxi, but I am on a budget these days. Transit time overall was about 12hrs (to include losing an hours sleep due to Daylight savings- what bad timing!) so for the whole flight over I felt wrecked. And to think for about 6 months of my life I did this as a work commute from Austin.

Exit row- tons of leg room!

Aloha Hawaii!

Northwest area of Maui below.

The next ferry to Lanai was leaving at 1:15pm. Unlikely that I could make it, but I wanted to try, which would save me about 2hrs of sitting around waiting for the next one. Not tragic, but let's see.
Ever been in a situation where you are treated differently because of the way you look? Well, for most non-whites in America that is generally a negative thing. However for me in Hawaii it is a positive- throughout the trip most

people think I am local boy back home and I can just feel a slight difference.
In the case of this situation, the shuttle person waited for my luggage to come out, got a shuttle van to me within 5 minutes after that, and took me out to the Lahaina ferry. Just me. And I made it with about 2min to spare.

We leave Lahaina Harbor and Maui behind.

Humpback whale breaching! We saw quite a few of them on the journey over, a little ironic since just in January I had traveled to the Turks & Caicos to try to swim with them and had no luck.

Lanai ahead of us.

"Lana?i or Lanai is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is also known as the Pineapple Island because of its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation. The only town is Lana?i City, a small settlement. The island is somewhat comma-shaped, with a width of 18 miles in the longest direction. It is separated from the island of Moloka?i by the Kalohi Channel to the north, and from Maui by the ?Au?au Channel to the east. Its total population is 3,102. Many of the island's landmarks and sites are reached by dirt roads that require a four-wheel drive vehicle.

There is one school, Lanai High and Elementary School, serving the entire island from Kindergarten through Senior in high school. There are no traffic lights on the entire island."

Arrival at Manele Harbor, where some locals fish.

Shuttle bus to hotels. For $35 you get unlimited use of the hourly shuttles that go between the two resorts, with my hotel/ city stop in the middle.

Hotel Lanai
$427 for two nights

"Hotel Lanai, built in 1923, by James Dole as lodging for Dole Plantation executives, was the first and only hotel on Lanai until 1990. Today, the owner-operated Hotel Lanai houses 11 charming guest rooms and a cheerful restaurant. Lanai City Grille, with its fresh innovative cuisine, is fast becoming Lanai's premiere dining experience."


My single- room 3

They provide a fridge and a cooler.

The lanai.

Think I took a short nap, then headed out for lunch. Dole Park is literally across the street, and forms a square which constitutes the main commercial/tourist area of town.

Lunch at the Blue Ginger Cafe.

Got me some loco moco with a side of Spam!
"Loco moco is a dish native to Hawaiian cuisine. There are many variations, but the essential loco moco consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy."

Then took the shuttle over to the Four Seasons at Manele Bay.
"Bordering a marine preserve perched atop a rugged red-lava cliff above a white-sand beach, our ocean-side resort will make you swoon – and the spectacular golf course with three cliff-side fairways will take your breath away."

Pool scene- from the shuttle drop off you had to walk through here to get to the beach.

"The pristine beauty of Hulopoe Bay has earned Hulopoe Beach the title of America's best beach in 1997 by Dr. Stephen Leatherman (Dr. Beach). Located on Lanai's southern coast, Hulopoe Bay greets you with a stunning expanse of pearl-white sand and crystal blue waters."

Dinner at Lanai City Grill, about 30ft from my room.
I would go back and order the same thing right now (but they are closed Mon/Tue).

App- beet carpaccio- crispy goat cheese phyllo, pistachio crumble & white truffle vinaigrette.

Main- Pecan crusted fresh catch of the day (walu- Hawaiian butterfish- this was crazy good- incredibly moist, non-fishy) w chipotle honey butter, chorizo mashed potatoes, and asparagus.

Finally- Pulled pork won tons.

Monday 12th

Continental breakfast.

Breakfast at Canoes.

Won ton mein with a side of spam.

Funny Jake played here the week before- I have a front row center ticket to see him in Austin April 5th but now I am going to have to miss it due to a work conflict.

Apparently Jimmy's beer has made it all the way out here.

"The residents of the state of Hawaii...consume the most Spam per capita in the United States...Guam, Hawaii, and Saipan (the CNMI's principal island) have the only McDonald's restaurants that feature Spam on the menu. In Hawaii, Burger King began serving Spam in 2007 on its menu to compete with the local McDonald's chains. In Hawaii, Spam is so popular it is sometimes referred to as "The Hawaiian Steak". One popular Spam dish in Hawaii is Spam musubi, where cooked Spam is combined with rice and nori seaweed and classified as onigiri.

Spam was introduced into the aforementioned areas, in addition to other islands in the Pacific such as Okinawa and the Philippine Islands, during the U.S. military occupation in World War II. Since fresh meat was difficult to get to the soldiers on the front, World War II saw the largest use of Spam. GIs started eating Spam for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Army soldiers commonly refer to SPAM as Special Army Meat due to its introduction during the war. Surpluses of Spam from the soldiers' supplies made their way into native diets. Consequently, Spam is a unique part of the history and effects of U.S. influence in the Pacific.

The perception of Spam in Hawaii is very different from that on the mainland. Despite the large number of mainlanders who consume Spam, and the various recipes that have been made from it, Spam, along with most canned food, is often stigmatized on the mainland as "poor people food". In Hawaii, similar canned meat products such as Treet are considered cheaper versions of canned meat than Spam. This is a result of Spam having the initial market share and its name sounding more convincing to consumers.

In 2007, the seven billionth can of Spam was sold. On average, 3.8 cans are consumed every second in the United States."

"The Lanai CHC seeks to collect, document and share the history of Lanai with residents and visitors. The center includes artifacts of Hawaiian origin collected through archaeological investigations, and by plantation employees over the years found while working the fields with plow and hoe. Historical plantation era documents and family memorabilia have also been donated to the Lanai CHC. These combined collections represent the cultural diversity of the island and enable us to share of Lanai's history—remembering those people who have come before us, and upon whose successes we stand."

Back at the hotel had to switch to room 6, a more expensive double, due to availability when I booked.

Back to the beach!

Close up view of an urchin type I hadn't seen before.

Tide pools! Dave happy.
"One of the highlights of Hulopoe Bay is its large tide pools located at the eastern side of the bay. Carved out of volcanic rock, these tide pools are well protected, keeping the waters calm for exploring. Tide pools are created when rocky shores are covered and then exposed by the fluctuating tide. Small organisms adapt to this changing landscape, and many hermit crabs, sea stars, opihi (limpet) and small fish dwell here."

Pu'u Pehe (or Sweetheart Rock)
"...Besides being a picturesque natural landmark, Puu Pehe is also steeped in Hawaiian legend.
Legend tells of two lovers, a Hawaiian maiden named Pehe from Lahaina and a young warrior from Lanai named Makakehau. He was so taken with her beauty that whenever he laid eyes upon her they would mist up in tears. Hence his name: Maka (eyes) Kehau (mist). He took her back to Lanai and hid her in a sea cave at the base of Manele’s cliffs.

One day while gathering supplies he noticed a storm brewing and started back, only to find Pehe drowned by the surge of the storm waves. Stricken with grief, Makakehau gathered his beloved in his arms. He wailed out to the gods and his ancestors to help him climb the steep rock island where he eventually buried her. He then jumped from this 80-foot summit into the pounding surf below."

Just one more benefit of being single.

A lone paddle boarder.

Sunset over Dole Park.

Dinner back at the Blue Ginger Cafe- the Hawaiian staple Kalua Pig with a side of spam.
"Kalua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, a type of underground oven. The word kalua, which literally means "to cook in an underground oven", may also be used to describe the food cooked in this manner, such as kalua pig or kalua turkey, which are commonly served at luau feast.

Kalua pig is a main tourist attraction at many luaus, though it is sometimes made using a gas or electric stove with artificial mesquite or kiawe wood liquid smoke. Other tourist businesses substitute the use of rocks and leaves or use an imu pao, an above ground variation of the imu. The term "Kalua pork" has been used by famous Hawaiian cook Sam Choy to describe pork shoulder butt which is rubbed with sea salt, wrapped in ti leaves, and slowly cooked in oven using liquid mesquite smoke rather than an imu.

At one time, standards enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture prevented traditional kalua pig from being sold commercially except in Hawaii."

Lanai Official Travel Site