Happy Thanksgiving to our family and friends in the US...Happy day to our friends all over the world...More new photos...

 
In Maui its not unusual for clouds to suddenly roll in along the mountains.
Every Thanksgiving Day of my adult life except for the past three years of living in the "world" I'd dash out of bed early in the morning, hurriedly shower and dress to begin the day and the process of making the big Thanksgiving Day dinner, having made the eight to ten pumpkin pies the previous day.
Entrance to the beautiful beach in Kaanapali.
The time would quickly pass, as I multi-tasked making one familiar dish after another, enjoying every moment as I jammed our multiple refrigerators with one pan of yet-to-be-cooked dishes in preparation of later in the days' appearance of family members, or not.

In later years, three of four of our grown kids and their families (living in the area) often spent the holidays at the "other side" or had begun to develop their own traditions and Tom and I were alone, a not uncommon scenario for families of divorce and multiple and varying family lifestyles.

A view of the sea and cloud as we walked the boardwalk in Kaanapali Beach.
Those last years in Minnesota, whether we were alone on holidays or together with family and friends, Tom and I made the day festive about the varied dishes, fabulous smells wafting through the air and, thankful for our lives filled with abundance in many ways.

Today, not unlike this third Thanksgiving in a row, I awoke this morning, hurriedly showered and dressed and turned on the hot water for my tea.  There's no food to cook when yesterday I roasted two chickens and vegetables that we'll happily reheat tonight, adding a salad and fresh cooked green beans, prepared in a matter of minutes, not hours.


Along the boardwalk at Kaanapali Beach.
Do I miss the preparations of years past?  Not, at all.  I often ask myself how I seemingly happily spent so much of my time cooking, cleaning and preparing meals in my old life when now, the simplicity of the way we eat takes little time mostly spent in washing, chopping and dicing vegetables for side dishes and salad.

Kiosks appeared every few hundred feet offering various ocean activities.
Of course, we miss the playful and meaningful interactions with family during get gatherings. That fact will never change, soon to be revived in a matter of weeks on the Big Island.  But the work, we don't miss at all. 

Restaurants line the boardwalk at Kaanapali beach.
As time has marched on, we've come more to the realization that it never was about the food, the beautifully decorated house and the endless gifts under the tree, the 18 decorated Easter baskets carefully arranged on the massive dining room table or, the bunny rabbit cake, although each of these aspects and many more added to the traditions and festivities.
Whether its the ocean or the mountains, Maui is breathtaking in every direction.
In time, those traditions will be but a distant memory for all of us, as new traditions are born, each bespeaking this time in life, for us, for them and for generations to come.

Skeleton of a humpback whale at the Whalers Village.
Soon, as we anticipate their arrival, we wrap our brains around simple time spent together, sharing stories, playing games, gazing out at the sea all the while embracing these special moments, that in themselves, become the new traditions of another place and time.
The boardwalk is cluttered with accoutrements appealing to the tourist population.
So, today, we'll happily enjoy our "leftovers" put together in a matter of minutes for another fine meal, on yet another fine day, knowing that what we have today is all we want and what the future soon brings when we're all together again, is all we'll need.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate today.  And, happy day to all.
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Photo from one year ago today, November 27, 2013:
In error, yesterday I accidentally posted a photo from this date one year ago.  As a result, there will be no year ago photo for today. 

Remembrances of the ocean awhile ago...The seafarers life awhile ago...One year ago today...We gave away 40% of our clothing and shoes...


Whale ship masthead rings that held the sailors to the mast.
Its funny how as time marches on, many memories flooding our minds have become some of the most treasured experiences in our travels.  Now, into our third year on the move, Belize, our first vacation home outside the US lingers in our minds for our close proximity to the ocean.

Whale blubber pot.
Early this morning I stared out the glass door to the sea feeling that same warm sense of comfort familiar from so long ago with the ocean at our door beaconing thought provoking gazes at the sea at every opportunity.

Blubber hook. 
The sea has held a mysterious attraction for sailors and land lovers alike since the beginning of time.  On Monday, as we wanders through the Whalers Village Museum the passion for the sea was evident in every artifact, painting and representation of sea life. 

Tools used in whaling.
Whaling was big business in centuries passed.  In today's world and particularly in Hawaii, the love and the preservation of the life of whales is a profound aspect for oceanic devotees and the scientific community.

Replica of small whaling boat.
Although the museum depicted the long ago whaling business, it was evident that today's profound sense and love of the whale and other marine life is in the forefront of the hearts and minds of the people of Hawaii.

Pilot whale blubber.
While at the museum we watched an amazing movie learning about the humpback whale, much of which neither of us had any awareness.  Many of these facts are depicted in the following site.

Scrimshaw, which is the use of bones and teeth of whales and other marine mammals, was commonly made into a variety of items the sailors later sold at port for additional income.  Also, there were many boring hours at sea and making scrimshow kept them busy.


Scrimshaw picture frame.
Please click this link to find an audio file of the actual sounds of the humpback whale.

Equipment used in making various artifacts.
The humpback whales come to the Hawaiian Islands and also to Maui in December on their long journey from Alaska.  We're are only weeks away from their arrival, although we've heard a few have been sighted.  We've spent many hours gazing at the sea hoping to spot them.

Sleeping quarters of whaling boat from early 1900's.


In getting close to these bunks, we could see how small they actually were, as short as five feet long and two feet wide, certainly inadequate sleeping space in today's world.

The prevalence of the humpback whale is much greater in Maui than on the Big Island so we're hoping to see them before we leave in five days. At the moment we're awaiting a confirmation on what may prove to be a pointless expedition out to sea in hopes of spotting whales.  We'll certainly post updates here in the next few days.  If "safari luck" prevails, we may have whale photos to share on Sunday.

Ship octant and charting tool.
Today, we share our photos of some of the memorabilia from the much maligned days of whaling in an era when extinction wasn't given a thought.  Sadly, whaling continues in many parts of the world with little regard for the likelihood of extinction of the whale, perhaps in the lifetime of this generation.

Sailors would make this decorative canes from whale bones selling them in port to supplement their income.


A fiddle kept on the ships for entertainment for the sailors
We'll be back tomorrow with more new photos and an update on our possible whale watching outing.

Rigger tools.
Have a lovely pre-Thanksgiving day.  In my old life, today was the day I'd make eight to ten pumpkin pies rolling the made-from-scratch dough for the crust of each pie. 

Actual photo of seamen on a whaling boat.


This interesting chart depicts the income earned for various positions aboard ship after a four year period at sea. 
Each of our families or friends that came for Thanksgiving dinner was given a pie to take home along with containers of leftovers.  I don't miss making the pies but, perhaps, the eating them was worthy of mention.
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Photo from one year ago today, November 26, 2013:

One year ago today, we completed boxing up 40% of our clothing and shoes to give away when we'd accepted the fact that further lightening our load was imperative to avoid continuing excess baggage fees.  More photos of the clothing we gave away are shown in this link.  Please click here.

WiFi issues resolves...Here's today's post from Monday's visit to Kaanapali Beach...Many new photos...


The entrance to the popular Whalers Village shops an attraction for many travelers to the area.
As the holiday tourists arrive in Maui we thought we'd better get to Kaanapali Beach before it became unbearably crowded over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.  Yesterday morning, we took off for what proved to be an enriching day.

The mountains in Maui on the way to Kaanapali Beach almost don't look real.
Kaanapali Beach is one of the most popular tourist areas in Maui with hotels lining the gorgeous beach, one after another, from the most posh and expensive hotels and condos to the more moderately priced vacation rentals in some of the older condo/hotel complexes. 

There are many more hotels along the coast in Kaanapali Beach than are shown in this photo.
Hotels, restaurants, shops and sports adventure huts and kiosks line the boardwalk attempting to lure takers and shoppers of their variety of offerings.  In all, it was a feast for the eyes, not unlike the boardwalks of many major oceanfront vacation locations.

With a straight shot on Highway 30, we had no doubt we'd easily find Kaanapali Beach and Whalers Village.
As we perused the row of hotels and shops, we weren't surprised by the cost of dining at the numerous restaurants nor the cost of products and services.  Although prices were high, they certainly weren't any higher than that which we've observed in other popular holiday destinations throughout the world thus far in our travels.

The Kaanapali Golf Course is close to Whalers Village.
Upon arrival in the popular Whaler's Village shopping and dining complex, we parked in the ramp noting the parking fees at $6 an hour.  Knowing we'd most likely stay for several hours, we flinched at the thought of paying $18 to $24 for parking.

One of the first shops we spotted was "Jessica's Gems."
Upon entering the Whalers Village Museum we were surprised to discover that by paying the $3 each for entrance in the famous humpback whale museum we'd receive a free parking pass to present upon exiting the lot.  For a total of $6 we wandered though the interesting museum, watched a movie about humpback whales and received the parking pass.

This old whaling boat was on display in Whalers Village.
Also, we conversed with the lovely managers from Minnesota, Marie and Terry (small world).  Terry had lived in Minneapolis as had Tom when growing up.  Oddly, they knew some of the same people.  It was delightful sharing stories with them about their passion for Hawaii. I drooled over Terry's profoundly beautiful photography on display and for sale in the museum's gift shop.

Koa wood is commonly used in creating interesting decorative items in Hawaii.  Click this link for more information on various woods used in Hawaii.
Marie, his wife, and I chatted about letting go of "stuff" in order to change one's life to a less stress inducing lifestyle.  They arrange tours, events and condo rentals in Maui.  To reach them, click here.

This large Koa wood bowl was particularly interested as we wandered about this expensive shop.
After touring the gorgeous mall, boardwalk and various sites in the area we were back on our way to Maalaea Beach, thrilled we'd made the effort to get out as our time in Maui rapidly withers away.

These handcrafted lacquered lamps caught my eye for their quality design.
With only six days until we depart Maui next Monday, we're beginning to make preparations for our arrival on the Big island which includes:

1.  Pack all of our clothing and belongings scattered about the condo.
2.  Ship a box of leftover supplies to the new house.
3.  Make the comprehensive grocery lists for each family from their list of preferred foods they provided (upon my request) to have on hand when they begin to arrive beginning on December 6th.
4.  Organize and arrange all of our receipts and expenses from our time in Maui which we'll report in the next few days.

A decorative Hawaiian cape.
This departure list is considerably easier than many we've had in the past.  Throwing in time to clean the condo, cook our remaining meals and finish any last minute laundry, we'll be good to go on Monday morning. 

These Koa wood hats and caps were priced from $36 for visors to $48 for the full hats.
We both laugh at how much better we're getting at this part which now is relatively stress free when we no longer have to suck the air out of the no-longer-needed space Bags. 


Standing at the third floor railing before entering the museum, we spotted a display at a distance, of a humpback whale skeleton, an attraction many check out when visiting Whalers Village.  Tomorrow, we'll share close up photos of the skeleton.
We further lightened our load when we left the small vacuum in Honolulu at the condo for the future use for other renters, tossing the remaining Space Bags.

By turning around from the second floor railing, the ocean views were breathtaking from Whalers Village.
Thanksgiving will be simple for us with two large chickens, vegetables to roast and salad to make, leaving us with a few days of leftovers.  As always, we've carefully monitored our remaining perishable food to ensure we use it before departing Maui.

There were numerous "chain stores" in the mall and also many locally owned unique boutique type shops.  We actually entered several shops to revel in the local merchandise, most of which was very expensive.
We'll continue to post photos from Whalers Village, the museum and Kaanapali Beach over the next few days as we wind down the treasured time we've spent on the tropical island of Maui, a new favorite on our list of places to visit.
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Photo from one year ago today, November 25, 2013:

One year ago, as we continued to wind down the three months we spent in Kenya, we shared some of our photos.  For details from that date, please click here.

Sightseeing yesterday...WiFi issues today...

We have a post ready to upload from yesterday's sightseeing in Kaanapali Beach.  Unfortunately, there's some issue with the internet preventing the upload of any photos.

Most likely this issue will resolve over the next few hours.  Please check back later today for this new post with photos.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  We'll e back later today!

Hawaii's favorite food...Unbelievable! Monty Python Spam video

It appeared that all 14 flavors of Spam were offered at the Safeway store in Kihei.  The bottom shelf was selling out quickly yesterday in preparation for Thanksgiving which I believe was the original Spam flavor.
Recently, we'd found that CBS Sunday Morning most current episode, a favorite TV show of our long ago past is shown at noon on Sundays on the Smithsonian channel.

Click here for the video about Spam in Hawaii from CBS Sunday Morning

Spam flavored macadamia nuts we spotted in a visit to Lahaina.
Most often, we're outside around noon but on a few occasions, we've made an effort to come back inside to watch the show while Í stand in the kitchen, able to see the TV while chopping and dicing for the next meal. 

Yesterday, a perfect day, we languished in swimming pool contemplating going inside to watch the show.  After drying off, we returned to our condo 15 minutes after the show had started.  Within five minutes after starting to watch the show, the story on Hawaii's love of Spam started. 

We chuckled over our good timing and the fact that this was only the second time we'd managed to catch the show.  Also, we giggled over the fact that when we'd shopped at Costco in preparation for Hurricane Ana, we'd purchased eight cans of Spam in a single typical Costco over-sized package and Tom has since eaten all eight cans. 

I never took a bite although oddly, Spam is befitting my way of eating. Had we been stranded for weeks with no food, surely I'd have eaten some. In our cozy well equipped life here in Maui, I had no desire.  Tom ate it cooked with eggs a few times.  For the balance, he sliced it into thin pieces eating it with sliced cheese. 

Yesterday, during my last trip to the grocery store in Maui, I wandered over to the Spam aisle taking the above photo.  I believe that the 14 varieties mentioned in the video were all represented but so many shoppers were clamoring to grab a can, I wasn't able to count.

Here's some of the dialog from Sunday Morning's story:

"SPAM may come in 14 varieties, but as far as its detractors are concerned, it's all just Spam. Not so in the place our Lee Cowan has traveled to, where Spam always gets the warmest of receptions:

There is hardly a more maligned meat than Spam. But if you think Spam is just a culinary punch line, you haven't spent enough time in Hawaii.
Known for their trade winds and rainbows, the Hawaiian Islands are also a Spam-a-alcoholic's paradise. In fact, no state eats more.

spam-musubi-244.jpg
Spam Musubi.
 COURTESY SPAM.COM
On the island of Kauai, at the Foodland Waipouli that Orlando Dutdut manages, Spam is as plentiful as sun block.

"It's a staple," said Dutdut. "Everybody eats it here."
They sell 14 varieties of Spam. There's Spam with cheese, Spam with Garlic, with Turkey and Jalapeno . . . and nothing says "Aloha" quote like Spam-flavored Macadamia nuts.
In fact, the taste of Spam is so popular in Hawaii you can even order it at McDonald's.
Here, Spam and Eggs beats out the venerable Egg McMuffin, says McDonald's Ruth Johnson.
"We call it Hawaiian prime rib, or Hawaiian roast beef," she laughed.
Hawaii's love of all things Spam started during World War II. Millions of pounds of the stuff were shipped to GIs in the South Pacific, largely because it didn't spoil in the tropical sun.
But when the serviceman left, the Spam stayed -- and it became part of the Island diet.
By far the favorite local dish is a Spam Musubi, which looks a bit like sushi.
Robert Kubata's grandmother taught him how to make a Musubi the Island way.
He bathes the Spam in teriyaki, and then places the pink rectangles between layers of sticky rice.
After it's pressed together, it's all wrapped in seaweed.
"It's like Asian culture, Western culture, everything was mixed up," said Kubata. "Put it all together, wrap it in nori, and here you go!"
Spam has even entered the kitchens of the touristy restaurants, like Tiki Iniki in Princeville, where ordering the Spam Burger has become as daring as the owner's blue hairdo.
Cowan asked, "So what do the tourists think?"
Michele Rundgren replied, "Most people say that's the best burger they've ever had. Or, 'Oh my God, it was good! It was amazing!'"
"Well, the cocktails have a lot to do with it as well!" laughed her husband, music legend Todd Rundgren. (Remember, "Hello It's Me?") Mixing Spam with ground beef was his idea.
Rungren says he wrote that -- and plenty of others -- while eating plenty of Spam.
"He has been eating Spam since he was little," said Michele.
"Really? It's no worse than a hot dog . . . " said Cowan.
"No, it's way better than a hot dog!" said Todd. "It doesn't have any snouts or anuses in it!"
"Dude! You can't say that on TV!" said Michele.
The good folks at Hormel Foods -- an ocean away in chilly Austin, Minn. -- tell us Spam is mostly pork shoulder and salt, and not much else.
Spam is cooked in its own can. They rattle through the plant at an astonishing pace.
"We're running about 395 cans a minute," said Donnie Temperly, Vice President of Hormel's Grocery Products division. "So we've created a real Spam highway right here next to us!"
Since its invention in 1937, Hormel has sold eight billion cans.
But marketing the food with the quirky name has always been a curious challenge. At first, Spam was touted for its canned convenience, then for its versatility.
But it was Monty Python who did more for Spam than perhaps any commercial ever could:
Man: "Well, what've you got?"
Waitress: "Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam spam; or Lobster Thermidor aux Crevettes with a Mornay sauce garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top and spam."
Wife: "Have you got anything without spam in it?"
Waitress: "Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam -- that's not gotmuch spam in it!"
In the end, Spam's marketing director Nicole Behne says Spam's kitsch may be its best selling tool.
"People make up love songs about Spam," Behne said. "We have a fan who actually created a rocket out of Spam cans. People make musical instruments out of Spam. So there's a lot of fun that's had out there with our brand."
Not that everything's funny. Hormel wasn't laughing when "Spam" officially entered the dictionary as a word to define unwanted emails.
But Hormel's CEO Jeff Ettinger says the company realized that having a sense of humor about its flagship product was really the only way to go.
"I think maybe our low moment with it was when we decided to sue the Muppets," Ettinger laughed. "There was a movie they put out that had a Spa'am character that was an evil character. I think that was kind of a turning point to say, you know, I guess we really need to be with the joke."
This seemingly indestructible meat has been matched by its indestructible image.
It's fed armies, helped America through recessions, and has endured as a true slice of Americana."
To watch the "Spam" sketch from "Monty Python's Flying Circus," click here.
We hope you enjoyed our Spam story.  Back tomorrow with exciting new photos!
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Photo from one year ago today, November 24, 2013:
On this date one year ago we dined at our favorite Sail's Restaurant in Diani Beach, Kenya after a bad dinner out the prior night.  For details of that story, please click here.
Tom, that same night with me at Sail's Restaurant in Diani Beach, Kenya.