A Miso Phat Date

Most times Toni and I have opposite working schedules; he works on the weekends when I’m off, and I work on the weekdays when he has days off. Although we may live together, it often feels like we don’t see each other! With the craze of being involved in several weddings this year now over, we came to realized that we should have made more time to go out on dates. Last year we spent most of our weekends exploring and discovering new trails and waterfalls…we need to continue our adventurous outings! With that said, we agreed to make time each month to go out on little dates! This time around, we plan to try out new restaurants and food around Maui.

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Toni heard of Miso Phat Sushi last year through a friend, but we never took the time to check it out. Genki, which is like the “fast-food” option for sushi, is our go-to restaurant for sushi. With it being a new year, he decided it was time to try something new and we drove to Kihei for some Miso Phat Sushi.

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We arrived around 7 pm on a Friday and the wait was only 10 minutes! The restaurant is located next to Island Art Party in the Azeka Shopping Center along South Kihei Road. Parking was pretty easy to find.

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Guy from the Food Network was here! (see tag on the wall in the photo above)

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The first thing we ordered was a passionfruit hard cider called Rekorderlig (which I can’t pronounce). In short, it was amazing! It was light, refreshing, and pleasantly sweet. It tasted more like a soda than any cider I’ve tried. It was so addicting, I started wondering if they sold it in stores on Maui. Where can I get more?!

Decisions, decisions…

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We have been watching the TV show, Anthony Bordain: Part Unknown, on Netflix. In one of the Japan episodes, Bordain said that “uni” was his favorite and Toni was determined to try some. Uni is Japanese for the edible part of a sea urchin…more specifically the sea urchin’s gonads. So, yes…we ate the gonads of an urchin and it was quite delicious! (See photo above). The taste reminded us of the inside of a crab’s body (not the leg meat). The creaminess and texture were similar to a crab’s inside as well. This was our first time eating uni and we would definitely order more in the future.

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We also ordered the unagi roll (front) and Miso Phat roll (back). Both rolls were awesome. We are a fan of unagi (eel) as you can see in the photo above. I can’t say we were “wowed” by these choices, but they definitely made our tummies happy.

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Toni also ordered the Dynamite roll which is a California roll topped with scallops and mayo. The roll was baked and served warm, which we didn’t expect. It was good, but we definitely prefer the fresh rolls. The Dynamite roll was our least favorite of the evening, but we still ate it all!

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Plates were all clean at the end of our dinner.

Overall, it was a nice evening. Service was good and sushi was yummy. We probably will continue to go to Genki whenever we are craving sushi, but I can see us coming here again. It is much pricier than Genki. We usually spend about $30 at Genki and would leave satisfied…we spent over $70 at Miso Phat with the same satisfaction. Maybe we should have tried their TNT roll and lilikoi ice cream, which seem to be their standout dishes according to Food Network…Until next time!

 

Backyard Firework Show

Happy Birthday, ‘Murica!

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I hope you all had a nice 4th of July!

We typically are not the festive type when it comes to Independence Day, but Toni decided to dress up this year and wore an American flag shirt…even at work. Like most holidays, we celebrated it with the Ong Family. We arrived just before dark and lit some small fireworks to kill some time. It was fun watching the little ones, Sophie and Trace, excite over the fireworks!

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Sophie’s reactions to the fireworks were very animated…it was easy to tell she was excited. Trace, on the other hand, was somewhat hard to impress…he often had a more serious and curious look on his face. However, when the better fireworks were lit – he was in awe.

We spent the evening lighting up small ground fireworks and spinners while the beef and steak cooked on the grill. Sounds of firecrackers could be heard throughout the neighborhood along with the occasional aerial firework (which is illegal here). As it grew darker, the breeze started to pick up causing the neighbor’s’ aerial fireworks to pop right above the house! We ended up having our own mini firework show in the backyard and watched the remaining aerials lit by nearby neighbors later in the night.

Here are some of our favorite shots from the evening:

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Trace does his zombie walk back for more fireworks!

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Like mother, like daughter.

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…and like son!

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Light more fireworks!

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The finale.

 

Maui: Lahaina Pali Trail Sunrise

We finally did a sunrise hike!!

I’ve been wanting to do a sunrise hike on the Lahaina Pali Trail for some time now. I was also very proud that I was able to convince Toni to do it with me (which wasn’t easy). We were pretty miserable the last time we hiked the Pali trail, so we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy climb and planned to take about 1.5 hours to get to the top.

We woke up at 4:00 am and grabbed some snacks at Long’s before starting the hike at 5:30 am. Toni took some pretty rad night photos. Here is one when a plane flew past us!

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It was pitch dark at the trailhead, so we brought a headlamp (200 lumens) and a $1 flashlight (which didn’t do much, so we only had the headlamp to light the path).

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The stars were shining brightly that night and we often stopped to take a moment to look up at the sky. It was amazing. As the sky started to get brighter, we were reminded that we were running out of time – so we hustled up the mountain.

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We stopped more often than we planned, but we constantly looked back at Haleakala to get an idea of how much time we had left. About a quarter of a mile to the windmills, Toni knew the sun was going to peek up behind Haleakala and I ran and climbed up on top of a huge rock to set the camera and start the timelapse. I literally finished setting up the camera just in the knick of time! It was crazy how close I almost missed recording the beginning of the sunrise.

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Our photos and video don’t do it justice but it was definitely my favorite sunrise on Maui. The sunrise at Haleakala is still Toni’s favorite, but this for me was my favorite for these reasons: 1) It wasn’t freezing cold unlike Haleakala (the temp was perfect); 2) we had the view all to ourselves (no selfie sticks blocking our way and it was so peaceful!); 3) Even though it was hazy that morning, the hard climb up was worth the sunrise (because the moment felt so magical); and 4) it was like watching Maui turn from night to day.

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We decided to finish the hike to the top and continued up to the windmills.

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After a few photos and resting at the top, we headed back down the same way since we only brought one car. If you want to hike the entire trail, you would have to park a car at both ends of the trail…unless you wanted to hike the trail twice (which would be a 10-mile round-trip hike in the heat…yikes!). We hiked this entire trail in the heat, which was pretty miserable – check it out here!

Anywho, we need to do more sunrise hikes. period. Until next time!

Maui: Waihee Ridge Trail

We revisited one our favorite hiking trails on Maui…the Waihee Ridge Trail. This is probably our fifth time hiking this trail in the past few years, but the views never get old! This time around we didn’t plan to hike the entire trail. Our intent was to play around with our mirrorless camera and practice our photography skills! It was also cloudy and gloomy out with a high chance of rain – so we didn’t want to stay too long.

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The trail begins with a 200-foot cement road that is much steeper than it looks. It will have you huffing and puffing before reaching the top – but don’t worry, the rest of the trail won’t be as steep.

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While walking up the cement road don’t forget to look back at the view of the ocean and the cattle grazing in the distance.

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At the top of the cement road, we reached the trailhead sign and a stack of walking sticks underneath it. We didn’t take any of the walking sticks – but they would’ve been useful trekking through the slippery and muddy path that lied ahead of us!

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The trail was super wet and very muddy at the beginning of the forest path. It definitely required a lot of concentration and balance to get through without falling. Did I mention it starting pouring right before we made it to the forest?

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As we continued deeper into the forest, the path became narrower and steeper.

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About three-quarters of a mile, we reached a lovely view of the Makamakaole Falls. With all the rain that morning, the falls were raging!

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This is only a sneak peak of the amazing views you will be rewarded with as you continue up higher. The trail will continue along the ridge shown on the left of the above photo.

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Beautiful view of Wailuku/Kahului and Haleakala out in the distance. You can even see a little bit of Kihei/Makena from this point too (see upper right-hand corner of the photo above)!  Everything is so lush and green.

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Admiring the view.

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Further up the path you will be rewarded with a better view of Iao Valley. You can even hear the stream from up here!

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Huge spiders dwell within the plants.

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Wild orchids can be found on the trail as well!

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We only planned to hike up the first “hill” on this trip (shown on the right). If you plan to hike the entire trail, continue on to the second “hill” covered by the clouds on the left of the above photo.

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Parts of the trail were still very muddy! So bust out your walking sticks or prepare to have wet feet if you visit on a rainy day! We wore hiking boots, so we managed to make it through without getting water in our shoes!

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Again, don’t forget to look back once in a while to admire the view!

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Can you see the people on the ridge?

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Made it to the bottom of the stairs!

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We made it to the top of the steps and snacked on some beef sticks before heading back down. The gloomy clouds were moving our way so it gave us more reason to turn around at that point.

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Obligatory shaka hiking photo.

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One last look at this view.

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Into the dark woods.

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This was the hard part of the trail…walking through the slippery and muddy path downhill without falling. We made it through the forest slipping numerous times – but not falling on our butts! Anywho, it was a nice day hike and a successful photography day for us! I hope you all enjoyed our hiking photos. Aloha!

Maui: Haleakala (Sliding Sands to Halemauu Trail)

Hiked in and out of the volcanic crater at Haleakala from Sliding Sands to the Halemauu Trail to start off my birthday weekend! We began our journey at around 10 am at Sliding Sands Trail and ended our hike at the Halemauu Trailhead just before sunset. We were able to enjoy approximately 9 hours in the crater and trekked 11 miles from start to finish! This was definitely one of our most memorable hikes yet on Maui.

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Maui: Birthday Poke

We have decided to start a VLOG on our YouTube Channel! Yay! So far we have “vlogged” two of our hikes (here and here)…but recently we thought it would be fun to create a weekly video diary of our everyday activities.

Maui: Mahana Ridge Trail

Last weekend we revisited the Mahana Ridge Trail. It was a rainy, yet very humid day! We weren’t too thrilled about the weather, but as we climbed further up the ridge the humidity was more tolerable and the air was nice and cool. We could have turned back and not hike that day, but I was so determined to get some practice in before our 3-day hike at the Haleakala Crater for my birthday!

The Mahana Ridge Trail is a 17-mile roundtrip hike, but we ended up hiking 3 hours from D.T. Fleming Beach and back. To our surprise, we were able to get in about 10 miles in 5 hours (2 miles per hour!) and climbed approximately 1,500 feet in elevation. Yay! This made we more confident that we could survive our first day at Haleakala which will be a little less than 10 miles. Anyhow, check out our vlog above to see how our hike went and scroll down to see our nature photos!

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Maui: Kapilau Ridge Trail

DSC01494.JPGKapilau Ridge Trail, better known as the St. Anthony Cross Trail or Wailuku Cross Trail, is a short, steep unmaintained footpath that starts just up the street from Wailuku Town. The cross was placed up there by the students from St. Anthony School back in the 1950’s and I believe it is still maintained by the students. The trail follows the spine of the mountain and is a straight path up to the cross (no switch backs here!). The hike is a steep climb up which made for a good workout. However, on the bright side, the path is covered by trees so it was nice and shady.DSC01470.JPGDSC01469.JPGDSC01473.JPG

The hike to the cross was shorter than I remembered. We hiked this trail a couple years ago and I ended up not liking it because I didn’t feel that the views were worth the hike. One day my coworker told me that the trail continued pass the cross and I just had to check it out. The views pass the cross were pretty amazing and definitely worth it to me. The path pass the cross were not as steep – although, it was still a straight climb up.DSC01477.JPGDSC01475.JPGDSC01475.JPGDSC01482.JPGDSC01480.JPGDSC01483.JPG

We were hoping to reach the top of the mountain following this ridge, but didn’t realize there was a fence for the West Maui Forest Reserve Boundary – which prevented us from hiking any further. We thought about going pass the fence through the gate, but there were signs that clearly wanted people to keep out in order to protect the sensitive environments within the watershed. If this was a matter of safety, we would normally assess the path and continue up at our own risk – but since this was an environmental concern we didn’t want to be responsible for harming any endangered plants up there. So, we hung out by the fence and admired the view before heading down.DSC01492.JPGDSC01493.JPGDSC01487DSC01503DSC01515DSC01498G0050595.JPG Overall, we had climbed about 1000 feet to the top and hike approximately 1.8 miles in 2 hours. Which trail will we revisit next? Stay tuned!

Dog Day with Bordeaux and Roshe!

Dog Day! We celebrated Bordeaux and Roshe’s birthdays by dedicating a day of outdoor doggy fun. Roshe turned one on June 23rd and Bordeaux turned two on July 1st (8 days apart)!

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We started our Saturday morning driving to the Makawao Forest Reserve for a short hike at Waihou Springs Trail. It was a shady and cool hike, which was perfect for our frenchies!

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Next stop was the Upcountry Dog Park at the Eddie Tam Park. This is the newest and largest dog park on Maui and we were pretty excited to visit it for the first time. For some reason, not a lot of small dogs get along with Bordeaux – so we were relieved there were no small dogs during our visit.

The park was much larger than the one in Wailuku (Keopuolani Park). There was a nice shady tree in the middle of the park and a couple of really nice wooden benches for us humans! Bordeaux and Roshe played with the larger dogs by running up and down the shared fence. Roshe got tired after a few runs and hung out with Toni and I under the tree while watching Bordeaux run non-stop. Eventually, a couple of small dogs arrived and we decided it was a good time to head out.Dogs Day_5.JPG

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Before driving to the next dog park, Toni and I ordered a couple of Reuben sandwiches at Kula Bistro and drove to Rice Park to enjoy our lunch in front of the gorgeous panoramic view of west Maui.

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We stopped by Kilohana Dog Park in Kihei and had the park all to ourselves. It was a small fenced in area next to a play field. In addition to a bench and large tree, it also had a unique water fountain for humans and dogs. The gate was a bit confusing and didn’t seem secure – which made us a nervous since Bordeaux is a little escape artist. Eventually a family brought their greyhound (puppy) to play with Bordeaux and Roshe. The greyhound was extremely fast – but our frenchies really enjoyed chasing around their new friend.

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After Kilohana Dog Park, we checked out Keonekai Dog Park and found out that it was an open dog park (with no fenced-in area) so we didn’t stay there long.

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We drove down Kihei Road to visit Sugar Beach before heading back to town. It’s been a long time since we brought Bordeaux to the beach, but it was Roshe’s first time to one! It was a nice evening and the waves were smallish – so we thought it would be a good time to introduce baby Roshe to the ocean and sand. Roshe was obviously curious and a tad nervous. At one point he surprised me by jumping into a wave and swam toward the ocean! We had both dogs on a leash – so I was able to pull him back toward the beach. However, it was obvious that Roshe’s moment in the water had terrified him so we took a break from the water and sat on a large piece of drift wood…and did some people watching.

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We had some time to kill, so we walked around Keopuolani Park – which we visit every now and then. We took a nice walk around the park before sunset and then headed home.

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The dogs loved their Maui adventure! We ended the day by giving the dogs a bath and giving them treats to chew on while we finished the night watching a movie. It was a successful day filled with fun for both us and the dogs!

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