Eight months ago, we left Hawaii and headed back to the mainland. We are back in Hana once again, and this feels like a totally different experience. I expect rain in Hana because the first eight days of our last trip it rained non-stop. Pat says I’m exaggerating but I’m not. I am pretty sure I was in culture shock because my expectations of spending a month in Hawaii involved the beach. Our ranch life is not on the beach it is more like a jungle. The beach is close, but we can’t see it. Eight months ago I kept feeling “This is not MY Hawaii” and I felt a loss. I also was not feeling 100% from my back surgery and I couldn’t do some of the things I was hoping to do (like ride a bike or take a walk). However, it wasn’t until I got back to the mainland that I realized how peaceful and calming this ranch actually is and I missed that.
Of course I am not the one feeding and caring for the two horses and 40+ chickens. We are minus a dog, this time, (who is spending the two weeks at on the other side of the island with the family who owns this property). In addition they now have five ducks. They are a riot, they are never alone. The ducks travel in a group, like they are patrolling the property. If you recall, Pat fell in love with this piece of property 6 years ago when he found it for sale on the internet. We came by and he fell even more in love with it. But I wasn’t really on the same page. I was worried about owning a property so far from our home base in Reno, and it would have involved other people investing with us to be able to afford to purchase. We have been granted the best of both worlds. We get to come and enjoy the ranch without the responsibility of owning it.
We have come a long way. Two years ago we came by so Pat could check up on “his property”. Pat walked up to the house. Long story short he made friends with the owners and here we are on our second “visit”. Sharon is on the other side of Maui to be with family for the next two weeks including Thanksgiving. We on the other hand will be here in Hana and for one of the only Thanksgivings I won’t be cooking or with family (except of course Pat). In fact we are going out to dinner and that is a first. I’m actually excited about it. We are going to The Hana Hotel Travaasa restaurant, The Preserve Kitchen and Bar. It looks to be an interesting and unique menu. But more about that after we eat.
The weather has been cooperating much more to my liking. It is as I have remembered Hana from visits years ago. Rain early in the morning and late afternoon and sometimes at night. But we have had many breaks of sunlight and have even been able to go to the beach. It is in the high eighties most of the day and somewhat humid so the rains help chase the humidity away.
On the third night we were here our power went out and it lasted for about three hours. I learned a valuable lesson, make sure all your electronics are charged. Pat was out feeding the horses and chickens and all that goes along with that. I didn’t have a book and even if I had it was pretty dark (my books are in my Ipad – not charged) and my phone doesn’t always work unless the internet is working and it wasn’t. My computer and phone were both less than 10% charged as well. You can be sure that won’t happen again.
I had a difficult time last year with bugs. I think my attitude is better because I knew what to expect and I have to say it truly helps that it is not raining all the time. But the first night we did have a cockroach, about 3-4 inches long crawling on the wall above the bed. We tried to catch it (kill it) but missed because it ran into the fuse box. I have to admit we taped all the edges of the fuse box, it seemed to help keep them away last year. Then yesterday I was moving our portable canvas cooler bag and noticed something – it took a minute to register, but it was a dark brown centipede that was about 4 to five inches long curled up in the bag. Pat was out in the fields so it was up to me. I carried the bag outside and dumped it out into the field. I don’t mind the geckos but those crawly things just plain freak me out.
So far we have walked as far as I can manage discovering plants (many I have yet to find out what they are. ) Of course Pat had to pull a berry off a bush and taste it. I said “How do you know that isn’t poisonous? When his back started itching later I said “Hmmmm, strange berry getting to you.” It was short lived but even our friend and “Hana mentor” Sharon says when fruit is ripening it gets picked or picked up before you can even get to it. So if no one is collecting it maybe there is a good reason why not.
Pat works with the animals twice a day, around 1-1/2 to 2 hours in the morning and the same in the late afternoon. So we have about five hours in between to explore or just relax (we are supposed to be on a sort of vacation). But we have visited the bay in Hana, a famous beach Hamoa which was originally named MuKai,and driven to Alelele Falls which Pat hiked to because it is hidden from the road.
Sharon was here the day we arrived, Sunday November 17 and she left that day. She returned with her son and his girlfriend on November 22 and they left again this morning the 24th. We had a great visit with them and on Friday went “out to dinner”. One of the produce stands near by also has a grill that normally serves tacos, their own bar b que brisket, salads, sandwiches and sides. They offer fresh mostly organic produce, local grass fed beef and they also have fresh handmade ice cream. (vanilla macadamia nut is my favorite). But on Friday nights they fill the patio with mostly locals and offer the addition of organic pizza. Additionally they have local talent (we were treated to school age as well as professional performers.)
Since there are only two actual “restaurants” we were surprised at the number of food trucks and food truck locations. There are three main ones, one on the way into Hana, one in Hana and one on the way out of Hana which also offers Ono Farms produce. We have still been able to trade eggs for fruit, but the hens aren’t laying as much as in the spring.