Tuesday, August 11, 2015

USA Part Two - Maui

The whole reason we went to the USA this year was to attend the wedding of our friend Val that  we met when we were teaching English in South Korea - I mean if you get asked to a wedding in Maui how can you turn that down?
 This is a photo of Val and I hanging out at  the beach for her bachelorette party (fun fact in New Zealand we'd call it a hens party). I'm not really into boozy party times and fortunately neither is Val.
Her party included fun times with her friends, Mom and sister - eating pizza, hanging at the beach, having a little ritual for well wishes on her big day and going to a LAVENDER FARM!

Rich and I did have some time to explore Maui by ourselves as well as hanging out with Val, Jessie and their family and friends.

The wedding was held in Lahaina and we spend most of our free time exploring the area. I found this cemetary (I think its called Puuphia Cemetery) fascinating. Firstly its built on sand and secondly most of the headstones are from Japanese settlers.

Across the road from the cemetery is a Buddhist temple, its obviously still being well used as when we were looking around the locals were tidying up for an upcoming festival.

The temple and cemetery were linked to the Japanese heritage on Maui, our next stop was  a look at some of the Chinese Heritage.
 Wo Hing is a museum in an old Chinese community hall, most of the Chinese who settled in Maui were hardworking people and the guide told us due to this its a pretty plain building. I thought it was really beautiful.
I was a little surprised to find this guy here Sun Yat-sen - we learnt a lot about him when we lived in Taipei. He even has a hall named after him and appears on the $50 New Taiwan dollar. He's a fascinating guy if you're interested in the Chinese revolution. As it turns out he spend around seven years in Hawaii - amazing.
The top story of Wo Hing house was my favourite, with its lovely balcony and shrines.

When we bought our tickets for Wo Hing house we were told that if we paid a few dollars we could also go and visit the Baldwin Home Museum, the home of an early missionary. So we decided we may as well check out both.
When  we arrived the guide asked us where we were from, we said New Zealand he was like "I'm glad, the last people here were from Germany and they weren't at all impressed with how old this house was!". How old is the house you may ask? It was build between 1834-35, making it five years older than New Zealand, so we were impressed.

The most interesting things about the house? Firstly the building materials include coral that the locals mined to build the house, secondly the missionary who built the house was a doctor who treated both humans (he also did dentistry!) and animals in his home (some of the medical tools used were brutal). The final thing that was interesting was by the time Rev. Baldwin finished his time in Hawaii the church decided there was no need to send further missionaries as the local population had largely converted to Christianity and learnt to read and the church felt that their job was done and moved missionaries elsewhere. The home was abandoned until the 1960s when the restoration began.

Final stop before the wedding itself - the banyan tree! So I've seen a lot of banyan trees traveling through South East Asia and the pacific. This one was bigger than most, in fact it was a whole block of tree and it had a craft market happening underneath it - fancy.

 After some exploring it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for Val and Jessi's wedding. There's one thing I didn't tell you about the wedding, it was a WHITE WEDDING - not in the regular sense, but the sense ALL THE GUESTS WERE ASKED TO WEAR WHITE! I usually wear EVERY COLOUR - except WHITE!

I told Val the fact I traveled 8 hours to attend her wedding wasn't really proof I loved her - the real proof was that I was willing to wear white.
The celebrant was wonderful, his other talents included being the "band" for the evening. We also had hula lessons and the brides looked lovely of course!

Our time in Hawaii came to an end with the wedding - next stop? Seattle, Washington.


Vix said...

Wow, I've always fancied Maui and it looks utterly fantastic. You should wear more white, you look fab! xxx

Curtise said...

Catching up with your posts, Trees - Hawaii certainly looks beautiful! And what a gorgeous location for a wedding too. Always enjoy seeing what you got up to on your travels. xxx

Louise said...

Oh, I am so jealous! Maui looks gorgeous. I can see why you flew all the way out for the wedding. (Y'know, friendship aside). It must've been blissful. The bride looks beautiful, and I love the type of hen night she arranged. (I'm not a huge fan of wild drunken partying, either). You look so lovely in the maxi dress and in white- it actually suits you! I rarely wear white, either. I don't know why, but I don't feel as confident in it. Give me colour any day! One day I will have to visit Hawaii and learn more about it; I don't really know anything about its history, apart from what you just explained above. We were never taught anything about it at school, except where to find it on the map. I also forget how young New Zealand actually is. It's a baby compared to England! xx

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I had to laugh at you wearing white. I don't own anything that's white either. The hubby's family once wanted a professional photo done & they insisted on everyone wearing white, but I didn't as I had nothing to wear & I look ghastly in it! What a super special place for a wedding! Xx