One of my best friends in the whole wide world is someone I have known since the beginning of time, Miss Kamaile of Kula, Maui. Over the past few years, we’ve gone on countless adventures together, laughing all the way. We’ve trekked across our island, visiting beaches, lavender farms, and even jungles. We’ve decorated cookies and cupcakes, shopped until we dropped, and shared cups and cups full of the best homemade hot chocolate imaginable.
This summer marks the first time that Kamaile and I have both been working full-time, but despite our busy lives, we still make time for a few wild adventures of our own. This time, we chose Maui Tropical Plantation on the west side of our island home.
The Plantation has been a part of Maui’s history for a long time; before it became a tourist destination, it was a sugar plantation. Today, the land is still used for agriculture as it is leased to growers of papaya, coffee, and even hosts some of our own family’s cattle. The Mill House, the Plantation’s locally-sourced restaurant, often uses these and other local resources to form their daily menu.
Kamaile and I started our tour of the Plantation with the gift shop, where we found jewelry, tropical-scented candles, handmade goods for a local kitchen, and an amazing assortment of stuffed animals. Our next stop was the Plantation’s resident allspice tree—and yes, allspice really does come from a tree. The leaves, when broken, smell just like pumpkin pie, or, for the Saints out there, just like the Monk’s Bean’s spiced latte served around Thanksgiving.
We enjoyed leaves and petals all around, and even met a few geckos along the way.
One of the coolest things about the Plantation is the animals found amongst the blooms. When Kamaile and I were young, the Plantation was home to monkeys in large enclosures all around the park. Today the monkeys are gone, but in their place, dozens of ducks roam free! These guys and gals are the tamest birds I’ve ever met, and enjoy bread sticks thrown to them from restaurant customers and other sightseers.
We rounded out our tour with a little exploring, and found a gazebo tucked away at the far end of the property. This, my friends, is my new favorite spot.
Kamaile and I said our goodbyes to the ducks, the geckos, and the trees, promising to come back again one day. Another adventure had gone by, another day spent with a friend, and another hidden corner of Maui explored. Where will the wind take us next time?