It’s our last day in Maui and today we’re just soaking in our last few rays of sun as we start the countdown to surgery. I don’t know if it’s the time change here or if it’s all starting to catch up with me, but most mornings I’ve been waking up way before sunrise, which has given me the opportunity to get out for a run before it gets too hot. I have been kicking back a ton of mileage and now I’m only 4 runs away from hitting my goal of 100 miles before my gastrectomy. In total I have 23.2 miles left and I’ve been averaging about 6 miles a run. I actually broke a personal distance record on this trip running 8.8 miles. My previous best was about 8.5 miles. That should make Marne (Life without a Stomach) my fellow CDH1 blogger and endurance athlete proud!

IMG_1164Being here on Maui with Kate has been extra special. Kate and I have gotten a chance to reconnect before we start the next stage of our lives. We’ve been so blessed by our friend and pastor Dale who used to live on the island and hooked us up with cool excursions and places to eat. One of the people he connected us with was Trilogy Excursions. Our experience with Trilogy was incredible. We arrived and checked in at the boat just before sunrise in Lahaina Harbor where we were greeted with hot cups of Kona coffee, juice and homemade cinnamon rolls which were a 4th generation secret recipe. We embarked from the harbor to Lanai on water that honestly was lake-like. The Captain, Casey, said he had never seen the water so calm. As the sun started rising over Haleakala it made my eyes a little sweaty. It was almost as if in that moment, God was reassuring me, it’s going to be OK, and I was reminded of the Psalm I have been clinging on to through this experience:

Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen – 77:19


We were taken to a beautiful private island called Lana’i where we had the opportunity to do some amazing snorkeling. This actually brings me to an aside, because on this trip we’ve experience the most amazing snorkeling. Every time we’ve gone out we’ve seen huge turtles, eels (which are scary in real life) and tons of fish and I think I know why… It’s because I lost my GoPro a few days before the trip on a motorcycle ride. When you have no way of documenting it, of course, you’ll see cool sea life. Aside over, thank you for coming with me. After touring the island and learning that Larry Ellison now owns 98% of it, we returned to an lunch of home tossed soba noodles and teriyaki chicken. Our return trip was the best part. Just as we were leaving the island we saw a pod of about 50 dolphins which our guide told us was indicative that there might be about 300 in the area. A little bit further into a still calm ocean we saw a baby whale, mama, and an escort humpback whale. The baby humpback was curious about the boat and started swimming directly towards us so we killed our engines and watched as the whales swam directly beneath our boat. The water was so calm that I was able to snap this picture of the whales silhouette directly beneath our boat… yet again, another prime moment for a GoPro…

The quote from Kate and I this trip: “if only I had a GoPro”

We’ve met some pretty fun people on this trip. Apparently Canadians love coming to Maui in February. We’ve been running into our neighbors to the north everywhere: on early morning jogs (this hardcore lady who competed in Ironman: Canada), on snorkel tours, and at Luau’s. Aside from the not-so-gentle ribbing about our men’s and women’s hockey teams in the Olympics, they are some of the nicest and sunburned people I have ever met. We talked about food, sports, and sites to see in Canada which gave me another special connection with fellow CDH1 bloggers/Canadians who both happen to be named Rachel (Cytosine Deleted) and Rachel (The Daily Dump). One of the guys we sat next to at the luau played in the Canadian Football League and is cousin to Merton Hanks and he was HA-larious!

All this talk about food brings me to the Farewell Stomach Tour: Maui Edition, part 1.

Being on vacation means only one thing for this food tour: a lot of calories to cover, so let me break down the best of our trip.

Kate loves going to Luau’s so we went to what was regarded as the best one on the Island, the Old Lahaina Luau. First of all, when we stopped by their office they told us that the next available Luau was on March 5th! What?! They gave us the option to be put on a wait list, however, and to our luck we received a phone call that day and got in! Boo-yah. First off, when you arrive, the parking is terrible, but you are quickly greeted with a choice of fresh squeezed juice or Mai Tai’s to simmer your anger.

Oh mai… tai…

Before dinner starts, you are are allowed to cruise around and experience assorted traditional Hawaiian art and culture. You’ll even get to see the Imu, which is an underground BBQ pit in which they bury coals, an entire pig, cover it in leaves, sand and left to cook for hours. What emerges is a like a delicious, salty version of pulled pork… but that’s not all… When they pull the pork out of the ground they begin to excuse you, table by table, to a buffet that starts with a salad, two kinds of poke: ahi (tuna) – delicious… and tako (octopus) – not so delicious… not because I don’t like octopus, but because I didn’t really like how it was prepared. Then there is a crab salad (imitation- not so delicious) and an assortment of other vegetables and stuff that I just skipped because I knew there was still a hot side to explore…

Here’s the breakdown by menu items:

Oh mai…. waist line.
Kalua Puaÿa (delicious) – Pork roasted in beachside Imu; the Hawaiian underground oven
Laulau (my favorite) – Pork wrapped in Lüÿau leaf steamed to perfection
Maui Style Mahi-Mahi – It was fried with some kind of sauce over the top that was really tasty.
Pulehu Steak – a tenderloin, which was tender, good, but a little over-cooked for how I like steak… but then again, I like steaks rare.
Chicken Long Rice – If you haven’t had Chinese style long rice, it’s more like a noodle, very light and jelly-like, but delicious.
Island Style Chicken- Chicken marinated with guava sauce garnished with fresh pineapples and toasted sesame seeds. This was really good, a little dry, but good.
Local-Style Fried Rice- The fried rice here was absolutely awesome and had green onions, peas, and sesame oil.
Fresh Island Fruit & Banana Bread – The banana bread here was OFF THE HOOK, they even give you a mini-loaf as a parting gift for breakfast the next day.
Before starting the final segment of the night: the retelling of Hawaii’s story through song and IMG_1139dance (hula) they give you a fresh Kona-blend coffee and desserts which included: Chocolate Mac Nut Brownie, Maui Macadamia Nut Tart, Lilikoi Mousse Chocolate Cups, and Coconut Haupia.
All that I have to say if you come to this luau is wear some stretchy pants, because good golly, the amount of food they give you is ridiculous. I know what you’re thinking, what about the waste? They told us not to worry about it because all of the left overs get sent to a local pig farm where they feed them left overs.
The next stop on our trip, the obligatory, but always delicious Cheeseburger in Paradise in downtown Lahaina. Why eat a burger in some mall when you can eat a giant burger sitting and looking out on beautiful ocean with humpback whales jumping and playing in the distance? There is an interesting story that goes along with afternoon this which includes a scooter, a wheelie and a direct collision with a vehicle where Kate had to go into ER Nurse mode. Also later that day, a woman passed out in a bathroom, lost EMT’s and watching Kate go to work… all in a two hour stretch, but I digress. Kate and I decided that we were going to go for broke so we split a Kobe beef burger with swiss cheese, bacon, and a fried egg… with, cheese fries. Good night. If you have never had a fried egg on your burger it’s worth a try.
The final stop on our Farewell Stomach Tour in Maui deserves it’s own post, so stayed tuned, I’ll be writing it on our 5 hour flight back home. Until then, cheers!

3 thoughts on “Sunrises and Canadians

  1. Steve

    Love the NLY of your verse. I have clung to it as well and you know why! Your road led through the seayour pathway through he might waters. A pathway no one knew was there!

    May I offer for your comfort and security, Isa 43:2? Whey you go through deep waters, I will be with you. Whey you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.

    Blessings of grace to you and Kateand my love!



  2. Steve- It is so good to read this blog, with all of the fun details about you and Kate’s Maui vacation, and I truly am so happy you are having such a wonderful time! But more than that, it is also so comforting to me, to be able to see how deeply God has comforted you and Kate, in preparing you for this next chapter, with your big surgery and all, which I’m sure has every reason to make you pretty scared. Instead, I see a man who knows in the depths of his soul, that God has him right where he wants him to be, and so you can rest in his arms, and take every day, living each moment to it’s fullest possibility! God is using you to teach us so much!!

    So Thankful for You Steve, and for your Beautiful Wife, Kate!!!
    Praying for safe travels on your way home….. ❤

    Nancy Price

    1. Thanks for the shout out!! I’m proud of you for going 8.8 miles!! That’s so awesome. Sounds like you’ll be able to hit your 100 mile goal!! And love your farewell stomach tour. Makes me hungry just reading about it!!

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