|Spam Musubi at Da Kitchen|
We obviously survived the walk and made it to "Da Kitchen." It was located in a strip mall alongside the souvenir shops, ice-cream parlors and surf rental shops ubiquitous to beach towns.
Spam Musubi - note the elegant presentation.I ordered spam musubi, a dumpling called mandoo (they were gyoza), and a monstrous-looking local dish called a 'Loco Moco.' It was all served to us "plate lunch" style on sytrofoam plates, with the traditional modern Hawaiian side-dishes of white rice and macaroni salad. How it came to pass that the Hawaiians chose two starchy sides as their complimenta for everything is a little bit of a mystery, but historians claim that it has its origins in both the Japanese bento box and the decidedly American influence that came with the US military's co-opting of Oahu as an important Naval base and bringing with them all the diner food they missed from home.
The Loco Moco is one of those diner gems as well. There's nothing exotic about it - a hamburger steak, smothered in onions and brown gravy, with two eggs on top. No tropical island influence, no local ingredient swap that makes it unique. Just a salisbury steak with eggs. *shrug*
The spam musubi, however, is sort of fascinating, even though the version of it we got at 'Da Kitchen' was less than wonderful. Musubi is a modified form of onigiri, a typical Japanese snack composed of a ball of rice, often filled with umeboshi plum or some fish, but in Hawaii, spam musubi is king. Spam is another one of those American military delights that settled itself into the Hawaiian culture and is now inextricable. I actually quite like spam musubi. The spam is fried in the oval-form shape of its container, giving it a slightly unnatural quality, but its usually garnished with ponzo sauce and wrapped in nori, and the effect is surprisingly pallatable.
On our walk back we decided to take a shortcut through some side-streets instead of walking through the South Kihei Road death zone. We managed to take a few wrong turns and walked about a half mile out of our way before realizing that the path we were taking was never going to get us back to the condo. We followed Google Maps through a small maze of little streets only to discover that it was leading is right through a private road - one that was marked off with barricades and signs saying 'No Trespassing' and all that. Well were were both a little impatient because of the rain and the bad guidance from technology, so we walked through the no trespassing zone anyway. I wish there was a cool story here but it was an uneventful thirty feet and I never once got the feeling of a sniper bead being drawn on us or anything.
|Bride and her Father entering the Chapel at|
the Grand Wailea
Went to the chapel. Went to get married.I was asked by Phil to be the Master of Ceremonies at the reception and my first responsibility was to get the guests from the chapel to the reception hall...but I was supposed to be doing that at 5:30, and it was 4:45 when the wedding group was unfettered from the photographer and all looking at me to direct them where to go. I decided to walk them over early. There was no sense in having everyone standing around outside with the threat of a hurricane, so we moved the whole group, one elevator load at a time, up to the reception, where they were then informed that it wasn't starting yet and they dispersed anyway. Shit. One MC responsibility failed.
Luckily Mary Ann, the wedding planner, runs a pretty tight ship and she got things pulled together quickly, and the reception started half an hour ahead of schedule. My other responsibilities as MC were to gameshow host style announce the wedding party as they officially joined the reception, tell people when they were supposed to speak (and to keep the microphone close to their mouth), and to announce the official dances and "moments" of the reception like the cutting of the cake.
Of course, I totally over-stressed about these responsibilities and made a much bigger deal out of it than it actually was, but once said responsibilities were complete, the reception for me was all martinis and dancing. Lots and lots of dancing. Sean and I got a lot of compliments on our blues dancing form.
Tomorrow is our last full day in Maui. We've got a wedding brunch to go to, then the rest of the day is ours. We're hoping to do something with my friends that are also visiting for the wedding, weather permitting that there is anything for us to do.
Until next time.