Another Side of Maui (Beyond the Resorts)
Hawaii is known for not only its beaches but also its vibrant plant life, wildlife, and volcanoes. You cannot fully experience what the islands have to offer without investigating all four. The first two posts in this series focused on the leisurely beachside resorts and shopping areas in West Maui. This time, I will take you guys to the completely different landscape of Central Maui.
As you set foot on Honoapiilani Highway and drive away from Lahaina, the landscape changes. While you can still see glimpses of the ocean as you make your way to Central Maui, you now see flat, grassy plains on both sides. Rest stops and stores are far and few between on this highway, making it a scenic drive with plenty of opportunities for you to just admire nature.
Our destination today? The Maui Tropical Plantation, which offers 45-minute trolley tours around their grounds with a live coconut opening demonstration and free fruit cup thrown in. Depending on the day (we went on a Wednesday), you can sign up for one of their seven tours throughout the day pretty easily, making it an ideal activity if you are spontaneous or if you want to see what the weather is like before deciding when to visit.
Before we hopped on the trolley, first stop: coffee! (I am a little bit of a coffee addict.) The Mill House Roasting Café serves espresso and coffee they grow on the premises, as well as a variety of freshly baked goods. Not only was the iced americano excellent, their coconut cookie was hands down the best cookie I’ve ever had! They do sell out of their food items though, so be sure to visit early if you want to have your picks.
For this day, I chose the ayapooh collaboration dress from tocco closet, which is lightweight, easy to move around in, and comfortable, the perfect choice for a day out in the wilderness. Long-length dresses and skirts are in this spring/summer. It’s modest. It’s elegant. I’m all for it!
I have read a lot about Paris Kids hair accessories in Popteen, but this is the first time I purchased and wore one. (They are available on Amazon.co.jp.) The flower crown was affordable, of high quality, and true to what it looked like online. I highly recommend them if you are in the market for one. Speaking of accessories, I cannot get over how cute and comfortable these yellow titty&co sandals are. And of course, I have to point out that this is my third outfit with the LIZ LISA basket pochette. This just shows how versatile this bag is. (Read about my first two posts and outfits in the series here.)
Every turn we took on the plantation tour introduced a different tropical fruit, including rambutans, jackfruits, pineapples, and bananas. (Who knew pineapples grow in the ground?) At a detailed coconut husking and opening demonstration later, we learned how to pick a coconut, open a coconut at home ourselves, and peel off the coconut flesh effortlessly by using the oven or freezer. And of course, the most important thing of all: Watch out for falling coconuts from trees!
Another thing I really appreciate about Hawaii, besides the beautiful sceneries and proximity to nature, is the boundless opportunities to learn about the tropical environment of the island and the unique Polynesian history and culture. We were lucky enough to stumble upon one such opportunity again later that evening at a luau at the Ka’anapali Beach Club.
Indeed, a visit to the Hawaii islands is not complete without attending a luau, a party featuring a feast, live music, and performances. Titled “Huaka’i: Journey Through Polynesia,” the luau we attended told the story of Hawaii and the islands scattered throughout the Pacific such as those in Fiji and Samoa. The theme emphasized that all Polynesian islands are one family, and this message was echoed in the unity and warmth of the performers, who turned out to all be from the same family and passed on their hula dancing tradition from one generation to the next.
We can never truly understand people from other cultures completely, but we can definitely try to get a little bit closer by learning about their histories and what matters most to them. In the next post, I’ll talk about another landscape that we traveled to—atop a volcano summit at 10,000 feet.