Monday, March 18, 2019

Maui, Day Six: Black Rocks and Banana Bread

If you read yesterday's post, then I know you are just dying to know how the banana bread taste testing turned out; I mean, you are, right?

Well, allow me to put you out of your misery; it was all pretty damn tasty!

However, after a blind taste-testing of each numbered loaf...

Please ignore the random JC Penney credit card in the photo above; the Cub rescued it from the bottom of the ocean while snorkeling and we were debating the merits of disposing of it properly vs. making a shit-ton of fraudulent charges to vex one Ms. Patricia Price. Plastic has no place in the ocean, Ms. Price! (Don't worry, we disposed of it; felons, we are not)

 Twin Falls, aka: the first loaf

 The loaf from Ke'anae

 Halfway to Hana loaf

 The "original" loaf, from Hana

The blind sampling

... and, following exhaustive discussion on the various merits of each sample (moistness, banana flavor, texture); we arrived at a clear consensus: the winner is....the loaf we picked up halfway to Hana!

We all agreed that the bread had the best flavor, none of the aftertaste of shortening (an issue we found with the loaf from Ke'anae), the perfect level of moisture (the loaf from Twin Falls was a bit damp), and the best texture (the loaf from Hana, advertised as the "original" Road to Hana banana bread, was a crumbly mess).

So, now you know! Although, I highly recommend that you conduct your own taste testing; you know, for the sake of comparative data. Also, if you do, make sure you cleanse your palate between bites of bread. We used mimosas; also highly recommended.

After our tasting, and, a breakfast of bagels, eggs, and fresh fruit, (man cannot live on bread, alone), we loaded up the beach chairs and headed for the north end of Ka'anapali Beach to snorkel and to watch the kids jump from the heights of the legendary Black Rock.

Parking for that part of the beach is best accessed through one of the Ka'anapali beach resorts (resorts on the beaches in Maui are required to provide a certain number of free parking spaces for the general public as well as to provide clearly marked beach access points), or, if the general parking spaces are filled; through Whaler's Village (parking validation for up to two hours, with purchase). We ended up parking at Whaler's Village, but, made a purchase, so the first two hours of our parking were free (more about that purchase later!).

The beach near Black Rock was busier than any beach that we had been to while in Maui, and even then, it was far less crowded than the beaches on Oahu, so, no complaints. We were still easily able to find a nice spot on the sand (under a tree, even!), and, while Hugh donned snorkel gear and waded out into the water, I shot some pictures of the girls climbing the rock (the Cub swam out and accessed the rock outside of my viewpoint)...

...some shots of the kids contemplating their jumps...

...and, some shots of them actually making the leap.

Hugh couldn't be left out of the fun, so, naturally, he eventually joined in...

...after which, he cajoled me into joining him in the water while the kids took over the beach chairs, while enjoying some adult beverages from the resort bar which was just steps away.

We snorkeled for quite a while, and, saw a plethora of colorful fish. Unfortunately, no sea turtles that day, but, it was fun, nonetheless; totally worth the dent that my mask left in my forehead for the next several hours.

Once we were snorkeled, jumped, and sunned out, we wandered back through Whalers Village, window shopping as we went, until, we turned a corner, and, I swear to God, it was like the freaking Mothership had landed:


What the what!?!

Obviously, this is where we made our parking validation-worthy purchase, I mean; was there ever any doubt? Of course not.

What may come as a surprise is the fact that I did not get another set of bangles.

Really?! Yes, really.

Instead, I got these two gorgeous necklaces, which, layer together, beautifully and are a great reminder of our trip.

(Katie did get a bracelet, and, Queen B got a ring, so, I would say that our jewelry bases were completely covered.)

By this point, Hugh was more than ready to get out of Whalers Village; bless his heart (and, his wallet), so; we went back to the condo to shower and make ourselves presentable for our last dinner in Lahaina, and, for the family photo session that I insisted we have prior to leaving the island :)

Once I was satisfied that we had at least one frame-worthy photo (Maui Bucket List item, believe it or not), we drove to the food truck park (there was a vote, and, the food trucks won), where I again had the drunken noodles with chicken, from the Thai truck (it was seriously good enough to eat twice).

Then, we returned to the condo to start packing for our departure the following day. Well, that was the intention, anyway; in reality, we drank the last of the wine and beer and watched more episodes of Santa Clarita Diet (you've heard about the road to Hell, right? Yep, paved with good intentions. It should be noted that we did not, in fact, wind up in Hell, so, go, us?).

Then, we went to bed with full bellies and a slight buzz, because vacation.

Tomorrow: Paia and the airport

Almost done, folks! Thanks for hanging in!

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