Starfish Flower

Denis left yesterday morning. I was kind of in a sad mood all day. It was nice to have such a good friend here for so long.

School starts again this morning, so I spent a while at school yesterday. I got lots of stuff done, but there is always more to do.

I did have something fun to look at when I got home: my starfish flower (stapelia gigantea) has finally opened. The bud has been developing for weeks! It opened two days ago, but I waited until today to post about it.

The flower is gigantic!

The flower is gigantic!

The pollinators for this flower are flies, so it smells like rotting meat. Fortunately, my particular plant has only the slightest scent when you get extremely close. The flower itself looks sort of meat-like too. It’s pink and mottled and hairy”

So cool!

So cool!

Posted in Gardening | 3 Comments

3 Responses to Starfish Flower

  1. Lauren says:

    That is a frightening flower!! It’s like an optical illusion! Those lines look like someone drew them on. Fascinating!

    I’m so glad that Denis could spend the week with you. He’s a great guy! 🙂

  2. Gretchen says:

    Beautiful flower!!

  3. Debbie Fettig says:

    WHAT a cool flower!!!!!!!! So unique! Maybe you could give it a breath mint? HA

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Haleakala Day

First thing in the morning yesterday, we went to the swap meet in Kahului. I think it’s a fun thing to do when you’re in Maui, so I recommend it.

It looks super cloudy, but it was still hot and sunny.

It looks super cloudy, but it was still hot and sunny.

Denis said we should get some coconuts to drink because he hadn’t done that for many years. I hadn’t either. The coconut water was delicious!

It always reminds me of Gatorade for some reason... lots of electrolytes?

It always reminds me of Gatorade for some reason… lots of electrolytes?

After the swap meet, THEN we went to Haleakala. The drive up was pleasant – lots of nice views, and puffy clouds. The cloudiness was a little bit of a problem at the top. We couldn’t see the surrounding islands at all. The nearby views of the crater and such were enhanced by the clouds though. They would speed by, and when they hit us, it was COLD!

This is a view of the volcano crater.

This is a view of the volcano crater.

There are observatories at the top of Haleakala. Denis and I both commented on how much they reminded us of some kind of Star Wars scene. I think it’s the white buildings and the barren ground.

It makes me crave blue milk.

It makes me crave blue milk.

The whole time we were driving, we kept looking for nene, a kind of goose native only to Maui. We didn’t see any. We did, however see some non-native chukar. We thought they were baby nenes, but they weren’t.

There were two of them running alongside the road.

There were two of them running alongside the road.

On the way back down the mountain, we stopped at a lavender farm, where we ate some sweet goodies and relaxed a little.

The view was nice, but the breeze was too cool for me... brrr!

The view was nice, but the breeze was too cool for me… brrr!

We planned to have a nice dinner and relax and hang out for Denis’ last evening here, but I found a couch on Craigslist, and asked him to help me move it. The evening turned into kind of a mess. We had to cram some pizza in our faces before meeting the couch person and then doing a bunch of heavy lifting. It was not a very relaxing or fun end to a Maui vacation. Sorry, Denis. But thank you SOOO much for helping me with the couch! I’m so happy to not have to sit on the floor!

It's kind of big, but it's very comfortable.  I really like it.

It’s kind of big, but it’s very comfortable. I really like it.

Posted in Journal | 3 Comments

Snorkel Day (but not really)

We tried snorkeling yesterday. I maybe should have known better. On a short morning walk, we saw some pretty serious clouds.

Undaunted, we decided to go to a Wailea to a snorkel site by a hotel that I remembered from 2013. We had a little trouble finding it, but once I got in the parking lot, it looked familiar. The beach looked familiar too.

We should have noticed how big the waves were.

We should have noticed how big the waves were.

The snorkeling wasn’t successful at all. The water was too choppy, and the waves were too big. Both of us struggled to breathe normally, and the waves kept pushing us close to the rocks – we were going to be squashed! Besides that, the rough water stirred up a lot of sand and made visibility difficult. I remembered an old saying that murky waters were dangerous because of sharks, so I was nervous about that too.

We got out after only a short time.

Waterlogged and defeated.

Waterlogged and defeated.

After cleaning up at home, we headed to Kahului. I had a few errands to run. I swapped my cable box for a new one because the DVR wasn’t working, then I headed to the DMV to get my Hawaii license. It was just going to be a short visit…. I was there for over two hours. Sorry, Denis.

The real one comes in a month or so.  I hope I don't need valid picture ID before then.

The real one comes in a month or so. I hope I don’t need valid picture ID before then.

Meanwhile, my friend Dave had landed in Maui from Oahu for a conference. He was going to stay at my apartment last night. We kept texting back and forth. When I was finally free of the DMV, I remembered that I offered to help my principal and his wife move their stuff to their new house yesterday. Oops!

Dave and Denis both went with me to help with move. They’re awesome! We ended the evening with some thank-you-for-helping pizza from my principal, and some great conversation.

Posted in Journal | 1 Comment

Upcountry Day

Our food adventure was at the beginning of the day yesterday. We went to Jack’s Inn. It’s a restaurant in Kahului that’s off the beaten track. In 2013, I had the most delicious saimin noodles there. This time, I had the banana pancakes. Oh. My. Gosh…. they were wonderful!

The banana slices caramelized and became super sweet.  Mmm...

The banana slices caramelized and became super sweet. Mmm…

Our first stop upcountry was about as far across the volcano as anybody ever goes – we went to the winery.

It's located in ranch country.  It's beautiful.

It’s located in ranch country. It’s beautiful.

The air was cool and pleasant. We tasted some wines, but didn’t end up buying any.

It sprinkled a little while we were there.

It sprinkled a little while we were there.

After the winery, we stopped at a garden center that is having a Fall celebration all month. There were a lot of people there. They had food, and fun stuff for kids. And LOTS of pumpkins. Instead of stacking them, or putting them in boxes, they spread them out in a field. It was amazing:

We did not buy a pumpkin.

We did not buy a pumpkin.

I had to take Denis to the succulent nursery I went to a couple of months ago. I don’t think he was amazed as me, but at least he indulged me.

It rained while we were there.

It rained while we were there.

The workers were very nice. One of them even gave us a taste of some fruit that some of the plants were producing. They were relatives of dragon fruit plants, so their fruit tasted similar, but it was much smaller.

Sweet!

Sweet!

We were back to Kihei by afternoon, had some down time at my apartment, then went out for dinner in the evening. Before dinner, we watched the sunset from the beach by my apartment. It was beautiful, and a great ending to the day.

Amazing!

Amazing!

Posted in Journal | 4 Comments

Hana Day

We decided to take the road to Hana yesterday. We got an early start.

Getting to Hana isn’t really the point of taking the road to Hana. It’s about the journey – the twisty, jungley, breathtaking-viewy journey. Our trip out was fast so we could make a few stops on the way back.

We got some takeout in Hana, then went back to Wai’anapanapa Park. That’s the place with black sand beach.

It's mostly rocks until you get closer to the water.

It’s mostly rocks until you get closer to the water.

We ate quickly because of some really annoying flies. Then we saw the sites. Next to the black sand beach is a little cave. You have to duck down to get inside, but it was worth it. It’s cool.

The cave was dark, and the sun was bright.

The cave was dark, and the sun was bright.

We also walked over to the blow hole area. There are rocks there that sound like they’re breathing or hissing. It was fun to listen to for a while, but then the sun got hot.

Hissing Rocks

Hissing Rocks

On our way back to Kahului, we stopped for ice cream. We also stopped a couple of times to look at interesting sites. My favorite was a swimming hole that I’ve seen before. There is a deep pool of water there. In 2013, I watched people jump off some rocks to the water far below. I was excited to find the same place again.

The girl in the right side of the picture is about to jump into the water.  No one jumped from the higher spot while we were there.

The girl in the right side of the picture is about to jump into the water. No one jumped from the higher spot while we were there.

Back in Kahului, we had some food adventures. We stopped at a candy store for mochi. It’s a doughy candy made out of rice. I like it. The texture is like uncooked bread dough. The flavor is like… sweet, uncooked bread dough. It’s so interesting. We got the kind that had sweet red bean filling.

The filling tastes like sweet beans.  It's not as gross as it sounds.  It's actually pretty good.

The filling tastes like sweet beans. It’s not as gross as it sounds. It’s actually pretty good.

After church choir practice, Denis and I went out to eat. We went to a noodle restaurant. It was fun to watch the cooks at work. I’ve never had a job where I worked in a kitchen like that, but I imagine it’s hard. Lots of movement, and lots of heat. Ugh. But I did appreciate their hard work. It was delicious!

The egg drop soup was the best I've ever had.

The egg drop soup was the best I’ve ever had.

Posted in Journal | 1 Comment