I Made It – the Fiftieth State!

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Not only is Hawaii the fiftieth state, it was also my fiftieth and final state. I have now been in all the states! The first thing I noticed is that Hawaii has a spicy, flowery smell. On doing some research, I read that part of it is because there is no industry pollution floating around. The other part is that there is a lot of puakenikeni, plumeria, and ginger perfuming the air.

I arrived in Oahu, Hawaii about seven at night and immediately Tom and Marti gave me a new experience … we went to a conclave of food trucks, ordered dinner … and then ate a new-to-me dessert – malasadas (Portuguese doughnut). Malasada specifically means “poorly or undercooked” which refers to the crispy coating and the soft, doughy insides (but you don’t think of them as undercooked). I would compare them to beignets.

Malasadas are thought to come from Sao Miquel, an island in the Azores settled by the Portuguese in 1427. When the Hawaii sugar and pineapple industry needed more workers, they hired many of them from other Pacific Islands, most often from Madeira and the Azores because those people already knew about harvesting sugar cane. They brought the Portuguese malasada with them. The doughnuts are egg-shaped and often filled with a creamy custard, chocolate or coconut filling.

Leonards is the most famous bakery on Oahu for malasadas … and we purchased ours at Leonard’s Malasadamobile.

Yum!

And how I missed taking a picture considering how many hundreds of pictures I’ve taken the past few weeks, I have NO idea.

 

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At the food truck – shelves full of malasadas, ready to fry.

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Another new food I had the very  next morning was an apple banana. They are from the Philippines and are sweeter, shorter and have a thicker skin than the bananas we are used to. They also have three times the Vitamin C that we’re used to and 1 1/2 times the amount of Vitamin A. A great start to a great trip.IMG_0700.jpg

Historic Bridges Off of 94

I knew before I left to travel north through Michigan earlier in the week, that I would have some extra time before meeting friends. So before I left,  I checked out the web for some place I could hang out for awhile and take some pictures. I found the Historic Bridges County Park which highlighted  — ahhh … historic bridges.

I knew it was off 94 near Battle Creek, but that’s all. My GPS led me down miles of bumpy roads greatly in need of repair. I thought about turning around, but kept thinking I had to come to the park behind the next bend or the next bend or maybe the next bend –

And then I was there – at a beautiful landscaped area next to the Kalamazoo River. The parking lot was full. People were there mostly to canoe and kayak  down the river. The river itself was so clear, you could distinctly make out every rock on the bottom.

A boardwalk snaked off from the picnic area through fields of flowers and cattails. The afternoon was bright with sunshine enhancing the summer day.

I saw trails going back into the woods, but I stayed near the park area where four of the bridges were located.

If you’re traveling north on 94, and you want a place to hike, or picnic, or just sit and watch the lazy river go by, here’s your stop. And, I think there’s a playground area, too. I didn’t go in the restroom, but other reviewers say they are large and clean. I was glad I took the time to stop.

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The glass-like clear Kalamazoo River.
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Another view of the river.

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As I was coming back from viewing the bushes, I was standing here on the boardwalk – when all of a sudden two HUGE branches cracked away from a tree. I don’t know if there was a storm the night before or what, but they were big and then just hanging there.

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This sign almost made the entire stop worth while!

Morton Arboretum on a Spring Afternoon

I got a cool Christmas present this year – given to me by my in-laws, picked out by my daughter – a pass to the Morton Arboretum.

Morton Arboretum is 1,700 acres in Lisle, Illinois founded by Joy Sterling Morton. Mr. Morton’s father founded Arbor Day. Mr. Joy Morton, himself,  not only developed the Arboretum but also started the Morton Salt Company,

The main focus of the Morton Arboretum is … trees. The 1700 acres have 222,000 plants of all kinds. I could say a lot more … and probably will because I’m sure I’ll be back.

So since Christmas I’ve wanted to go … first it was cold and then it was snowy and then I had a lot of writing assignments to do … and then spring happened and we’ve had rain and rain and rain.

And then we had a beautiful afternoon and I took advantage of the opportunity.

Here are some of the pictures I took.  (Other trips, I’ll focus more on identification, etc.)

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