I’ll start by saying I am a long-time Verizon Wireless (VZW) customer. 25-years, actually (back when it was known as PacTel Cellular in the LA-area). And I’ve kept it all these years because it works – in all my travels, there haven’t been too many place where they DIDN’T work and someone else DID. As the ads once said – “It’s the network.”
They also DO work on Molokai. Mostly. Maybe the “can you hear me now?” guy should have spent just a LITTLE more time here, but maybe that’s not their fault either.
Food is expensive here. We expected that, it is an island in the middle of a very large ocean. Foods that are not grown here have to be brought in from far away places. My plan was to eat mostly locally grown foods. Shouldn’t be a problem. My research showed that Molokai has at least 2 organic farms, a coffee plantation, a macadamia farm and a ranch that produces quality grass-fed beef.
The problem is that the stores in Kaunakakai don’t seem to carry much of the local products. Eggs, cheese, milk, and most of the dry goods and produce are brought in from the mainland. The stores in Kaunakakai carry Maunaloa brand macadamia products (grown in Hawaii, but not on Molokai) at prices that are very close to what they sell for on the mainland. To buy Purdy’s macadamia products, you have to drive out to the farm or order them online. most of the meats and produce items are from the mainland, but a few locally grown items are available. The stores do have a delightful line of jellies , and a selection of pancake mixes that are produced in Hawaii. I really like the passion fruit jelly and the pineapple coconut pancakes. Trog likes the chocolate macadamia pancakes.
I always try to eat locally. Buying locally produced items is a good way to give back to the community that is hosting you. Local produce is generally fresher, which means that it usually has better flavor and texture and is more nutritious than fruits and vegetables that have traveled long distances. Being a locavore is also a good way to reduce one’s carbon footprint.
Kaunakakai does have a lovely Farmers Market every Saturday morning. A great place to buy tropical fruits, fresh greens, and delicious cinnamon rolls and home-baked cookies. Some of the prices are refreshingly low and some are shockingly high. Not all of what’s on offer is locally produced, at least one vendor is reselling commercial produce, but I buy my pineapples from her and she has given me papayas from the tree in her parent’s yard.
To save money on food, it is important to check prices, shop around, and eat like the locals. Foods that are staples of the islanders (like noodles, bean sprouts, teriyaki sauce) are priced very reasonably.
As mentioned in a previous post, the Hotel Molokai does an event on Friday (the ONLY day they DON’T have a “Happy Hour,” by the way), that features Hawaiian music.
Turns-out that Paddler’s Inn (a review on that place another time – we’re giving them an opportunity to impress us a little better) does one as well — and they HAVE a “Happy Hour” on Friday (actually it’s a little closer to “most hours” Monday through Friday, 11:30 am — when they open — to 6pm).
From our position on the main street we could see the shadowy figures slipping quietly into the dark alleyway. We decided to follow. There was no traffic at this time of night so we quickly dashed across the street and headed into the alley. About halfway down a passageway opened off to the left. We veered into it and were warmly greeted by the strangers cued up at the open window. They recommended the strawberry and cream cheese version, but assured us that it was all good.
To those who have visited Molokai, this may be a familiar ritual. After the others stores have closed up for the night Kanemitsu’s bakery sells hot-from-the-oven loaves of their soft white bread, cut in half and slathered with the buyers choice of cinnamon or jam, and butter or cream cheese (or both). A fun outing, and a delicious indulgence.
About a mile west of Kaunakakai, this is an ancient (to the extent that 1890 is “ancient”) coconut grove planted during the reign of King Kamehameha V.
According to one source, it was said to have once numbered 1000 trees, each representing a warrior in the king’s mighty army, on a 10-acre site. They were said to have been planted to provide shade for the seven sacred pools once there (I noticed kids throwing coconuts into something that had water in it – that might have been one of those pools) and the
royal family bathing therein.
Only 100 some palms remain and the area is undergoing rehabilitation. Of the trees that remain, most are not tended to – beware of falling coconuts!
Great little convenience store (28 Kamoi St) with friendly service that probably is better-known locally for Dave’s Ice Cream (free samples of a good selection of different flavors). Which is a good reason for stopping, although they do have Icees and the convenience store stuff (candies, snack, drinks) as well and are open late (10a-9p M-F, 9a-9p Sat, 12noon-9p Sun). Air-conditioned, which is nice on humid days.