Manny's Blog

a blog for kids and kids at heart


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Eyeing the Needle by Mrs. Eternal Traveler

Note from Me:  I loved this trip. Mom and Dad finally brought be on a trip, AND I got to spend time with my friends Mr. and Mrs. ET, and my really good friend, Justin Beaver. I’m posting this because I couldn’t have done a better job of describing this wonderful location myself.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

Feb28

Holiday in Hawaii #7

The rugged West Maui Mountains form a dramatic backdrop to the never-ending beaches and tropical gardens of Maui.

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To get a closer view of the grandeur of the mountains, we venture inland to ʻIao Valley State Park, where ʻIao Stream has carved a deep valley between the densely forested slopes.

Most people come to the park to see Kuka‘emoku, a volcanic ridge which ends in a sharp bluff rising 370 metres from the valley floor. Also known as ʻIao Needle, this volcanic formation, sacred to Hawaiians, is best viewed from a lookout at the end of a 300 metre walking track.

We begin our ascent to the lookout up a staircase cut into the mountainside before crossing ʻIao Stream. Icy water tumbles down the steep slope over large volcanic boulders and, although there are signs warning of the dangers of flash floods, daring swimmers try their luck.

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We continue upwards, stopping along the way to read about the historic Battle of Kepaniwai, which took place here in 1790 when the invading forces of King Kamehameha I defeated the army of Maui.

ʻIao Needle and the surrounding mountain peaks are often enveloped by cloud; ʻIao means “cloud supreme” in Hawaiian. Today is no exception; when we reach the lookout the needle is clear while the mountains are obscured. But as we admire the scenery the cloud lifts, and we have a perfect view of the needle and the mountains set against the deepening blue of the afternoon sky.

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On our return journey, a detour off the main path leads us on a circuit into the rainforest, along the bank of ʻIao stream and up the side of the mountain again. Looking down we spot the bright orange flowers of African Tulip Trees high in the canopy.

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Another detour takes us further down the valley to the Ethnobotanical Garden, featuring plants brought by the native Hawaiians when they first settled these islands. Just as they would have been 1700 years ago, banana trees and taro plants are watered by ʻIao Stream.

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It’s the heart of the valley, giving life and creating the spectacular scenery we’ve enjoyed on our walk today.

 

ʻIao Valley State Park is open daily. Entry costs $1 for walk-ins and $5 per car. There is no fee for Hawaiian residents.


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Acrobatics On Land and Sea

Normally I would never jump off an eight story building. This beaver named Justin Beaver is one of my best friends, but sometimes… Justin Beaver always manages to get me in trouble. He reminds me of Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver. Remember that show? Eddie always acted so innocent and the kid, Beaver, got in trouble. Mom and I like to watch old TV shows together. Of course, in this case, I AM always innocent. Justin looks so smart in his hat, and he’s always spouting off about learning how to do all kinds of jobs. Who wants to work? Especially when we’re on vacation in Maui Hawaii. Yep, even in Maui Justin insisted that we learn how to drive a whale watching cruise ship, but that’s another story.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

For me, Manny, I like to have fun. I hope I never have to grow up and work like Justin.

 

 

Our hotel is an old flamingo-pink Empress Hotel, built in the 1960s. It was one of the first hotels on this side, the west side, of the island of Maui. KBC stands for Ka’anapali Beach Club. Ka’anapali means rolling cliffs. I love cliffs. Back in the old days they used to run water down the front of the hotel.

 

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One of my favorite things about KBC is riding to our room in the glass elevator. I can see the little birds that fly into the restaurant down there.  It’s cool. All the doors open out to the beach. I’m just waiting for the day when a whale swims into KBC. Is that girl checking her cell phone while she’s walking? Hawaii 2016 KBC20 2448x3264

Trust me, you don’t want to do that in this hotel. You might walk right into a bird or a statue, Oprah Winfrey, Woody Harrelson, Jim Neighbors, or one of the other famous person that lives here. Worse yet, she might walk off the bridge into a stream of koi. Dad fell into the pool once and wrecked his iPhone. He said Mom pushed him, but she says she didn’t. I don’t know, but Dad WAS NOT happy.

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Justin got dizzy the higher we got. Dad offered him a Dramamine, but Mr. ET had a better idea. Don’t get the wrong idea. Bears and beavers who are 12 are almost adults.

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This bottle kind of tipped over, and a bear’s gotta do what a bear’s gotta do. My tongue stuck to the can. Mr. ET forgot and left it in the freezer too long. Mom made me come home. She didn’t know about it until after Mr. ET posted it on Facebook and one of her friends worried her that the animal protection people were coming to get us. She made me lie low for a while and drink a bunch of coffee. Blah! Justin still felt dizzy. Mrs. ET held him on her lap.

Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny8 2157x1618For me hanging from a railing is as easy as sitting down in a chair. I’m twelve now. I know I told you that, but it IS important. Some people still think I look like a cub, but I have some pretty good moves. For years I’ve trained all over the world to be a world-famous acrobat bear.  Yeah, sometimes Justin makes me do things I love to do, too.  So I don’t know why my parents and other adults get so jittery when I start climbing. The railing was only eight stories up, and right on the ocean. At low tide, too.

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You can see how calm and beautiful it is – at least somewhere over the rainbow. It almost always rains here in places like Hana or in the mountains. It rained on Mom when she exercised. They can get 300 inches of rain a year. We only get ten inches during a wet year in Woodlake, CA where I live.

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So I climbed up to get a better look. Actually I had a bit more trouble climbing than normal. Mom wasn’t fussed about me climbing, but like I said, I’ve had lots of training. By the way, Mr. and Mrs. ET say really fun things. Mrs. ET is not fussed about POKE Ahi tuna. Mom hates it too.

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But really climbing is so easy a beaver could do it. But you don’t see Justin out here do you. No. I just use my lei as a rope, and up I go.

Woah, it's farther down there than I thought.

Woah, it’s farther down there than I thought.

Easy as… OK that looks a bit far down there. Those little chaise lounges look like they are for Barbie dolls. You have to admit the view is gorgeous. I don’t see any whales. Oh wait, there is one way out there.

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That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a real whale. IMG_5261

There’s two of them. Love is in the air. I wish I was on that boat.

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Oops!

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Under the Banyan Tree in Waimea, Kauai, HI

Hi Everyone,

I love to go places.  If anyone is going anywhere, I grab my suitcase and stow away.  When you open your bags, you never know, I might be there with you!

Manny at Grove Cafe in Waimea, Kauai, HI

Today I am visiting the town of Waimea ( Wy – may – uh) in the Garden Island of Kauai (Koo – eye) in Hawaii.

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Mom, Dad and Aunt Cindy stopped for lunch at the Grove Café.  I wasn’t hungry.  I wanted to play.

Manny at Grove Cafe in Waimea, Kauai, HI

The gardener let me ride on the cart.  I wanted to drive, but I was too short.  I hope I grow.

Could this be a bear cave?  Maybe I’ll find my ancestor’s ghosts inside.

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I didn’t find any ghosts.  There was no pizza in the oven.  My stomach growled.  I was as hungry as a bear.

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Grove Café sits on the edge of an old plantation.  They built it without windows.  I didn’t need windows anyway.

It didn’t take too long for the food to arrive.  I behaved myself in the restaurant.  I used my inside voice even though it seemed like outside.  I kept my napkin on my lap except when I used it to wipe my fur.

Finally I got to go play.  Hot weather makes me sweat. It felt good to go down by the ocean, and  climb in the shade of the banyan tree.

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The ocean looked inviting, but Mom threatened me with another bath if I got wet.  I climbed on rocks instead.

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You can visit Mom’s blog and read more about Grove Café.  It is closed for remodeling right now.