Dispatches from June 28, 2013
6 AM: En route to Honokaa. Mom’s driving while I look out the window and we chat about research methodologies.
9 AM: Strolling through the tiny town of old Honokaa. It’s a historic ranching and sugar-growing town, and contains the only paved road into the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country of Waipio Valley.
I walk to Tex’s Drive Inn. They’ve served local-style grindz for 43 years, but I only ever go there to get one thing: a hot, fresh malasada. The Portuguese immigrants brought these toothsome yeast doughnuts to the islands. They’re a tender, doughy treat rolled in granulated sugar.
Noon: Meeting all of Mom’s coworkers.
3 PM: We continue our drive to Kailua-Kona, where my grandfather grew up. This town was once the center of government and the capitol of the Kingdom of Hawaii. They grow the famous Kona Coffee, which my grandpa grew up picking, and now lay claim to a nice tourist center.
6 PM: Dinner at Manago Hotel, which, as you may remember, fostered my lifelong devotion to lima beans. It’s every bit as delicious as always. Mom and I split a misoyaki butterfish and an order of pork chops, and sip our hot green tea. The night gets even better when one of my cousins, Ke’Aloha, shows up. Small world!