The holidays make me think of family, so finally, I’ll report on the rest of our trip on the U.S. Mainland, an important part of which was getting to visit relatives.
On the way to Loveland, near Cincinnati, to see Paul, my oldest nephew, and his great family, we first spent several days with Servas hosts. The first was a wonderful Servas family outside Philadelphia; they welcomed us on very short notice. We first met them in a park to listen to a great concert!
And then our surprise was Pittsburgh–no more steel mills but a wonderful city of rivers, bridges, museums, and music! The incline, which is what used to take workers to the steel mills, is now a tourist cable/trolley car ride.
Then on to Loveland.
Then on to Bloomington, Indiana (home of basketball — Indiana University) to see cousins Vanessa, Ryan, Ashlyn, and Carsyn.
Then back to St. Louis in time for fireworks.
Cousin Elaine has been researching our family history with the help of a Wisconsin cousin and Vanessa. They found we are related to Mary Laney Backensto Moreland whose grave is in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis. One hot summer day, my sister, cousin, and I ventured out to see what we could discover. Established in 1857, Bellefontaine Cemetery has numerous historic and extravagant tombstones and mausoleums for prominent local and state politicians, as well as soldiers of the American Civil War.
Mary Laney Backenstoe Moreland’s will was executed in 1864 in St. Louis City. [When Elaine first wrote to me about Mary, I read that she was executed in 1864, which makes a very interesting twist–but not true]. Mary was married to Hanson Moreland a businessman and wagon builder who built the first fire engine for St. Louis and owned land in the city. Hanson died on 6/9/1863. Those buried in this same plot include Mary D. 4/3/1863, Wm. H. Nelson 4/3/1863; Mary Backenstoe 4/3/1863, Virginia T. Moreland 4/3/1863; Lloyd H. Moreland 4/3/1863, Mary L. Moreland 3/22/1864, Fred Fursch 2/20/1867; Mary A. Moxham 6/11/1878. We don’t yet know why five of them, including Mary Backenstoe, have their date of death as 4/3/1863. My grandmother, on my father’s side, was a Backenstoe, and my dad’s middle name was Moreland.
The graveyard contains those known and unknown:
Some of the prominent people buried there include William S Burroughs (writer), Adolphus Busch (founder of Anheuser-Busch), William Clark (of Lewis and Clark), and Thomas Hart Benton (the politician).
Elaine, Trish, and I had fun wandering among the graves in this beautiful old St. Louis cemetery.
As a family, we also celebrated birthdays and being together.
We’re particularly proud of Mark who besides being a great dad and husband, works in a challenging career, coaches elementary school basketball teams, and has been continuing his education–for years. He recently graduated with about 160 credits to earn his B.A. Yeah, Mark!
Our next stop was Las Vegas where Barry has family–and according to him–you can get the cheapest flights between the Mainland and Maui.
Then on to Honolulu to visit friends Jamie, Jeremy, and Lilia:
And we’re back to our son and friends …
and turtles . . .
and the whales are now back for the winter.
Although it is great to be on the road, it’s wonderful to be back home.
*Except where noted, photos by me.
Flat Stanley, according to the book, is a resourceful boy. After a bulletin board hung over his bed falls and unfortunately flattens him, Stanley started traveling the world (since he can easily fit in an envelop, which saves a lot on air fare). He makes the best of his difficult situation.
My great-nephew, Bryce, who is in 4th grade, mailed Flat Stanley to me, and I have been showing him Maui.
Here is Flat Stanley’s report to Bryce and his class.
One of the first places Flat Stanley saw was Tasty Crust.
Not too far away from Tasty Crust is Iao Valley. Locals go to Iao to swim in the cold water; tourists go to see the waterfalls and replica houses of the many ethnic groups who live here on Maui: Hawaiian, Filipino, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Western missionary.
Hiking is great on Maui.
Of course, you probably know that Maui is famous for its beaches. Maui has been voted “Best Island in the World” by Conte Nash Traveler readers for 17 years, so of course, Flat Stanley wanted to see the Pacific Ocean. Maui is about 3,000 miles from any continent, so there is a lot of ocean around it. Look on a map to see how far Hawaii is from the rest of the U.S. mainland and from Asia too.
Of course, Flat Stanley wanted to see a Maui sunset.
On another day, we rode upcountry (up the side of Haleakala, the volcano) and saw ranches and farms.
Flat Stanley spotted a very creative mailbox.
Flat Stanley has come with us, of course, to celebrate a few holidays. As usual, for instance, we went to the beach for our Thanksgiving dinner with friends.
Another day, we hiked the Maui Coastal Land Trust preserve. http://www.mauicoastallandtrust.org/ourwork.php
When we drove upcountry one Sunday to join our Quaker Friends in Eve’s Sacred Garden, Flat Stanley came too.
Flat Stanley comes to gatherings with friends.
Although 90% of our food and energy are imported from at least 3,000 miles away–so we really need to work on sustainability–we do have good locally grown fresh food.
Because the temperatures are very moderate on Maui, we feel it is winter when it rains–especially in Kihei where we live.
Since you go to a Catholic school, you might be interested in the churches here on Maui. The missionaries had a big impact on the culture and religion of the Hawaiians.
The church was the only Keanae building to survive the devastating tsunami of April 1, 1946.
Another interesting church is the octagon-sided Holy Ghost Catholic Church upcountry in Kula; it was built in 1875 by Portuguese immigrants who had come to work on the Maui sugar cane plantations.
Stanley wanted to see more of Maui, so we drove to Hana with friends. The road crosses 52 one-lane bridges through rain forests. The area is one of the wettest places on Earth.
Many tourists rush to get to Hana, but as with life, it is the journey that is important. We stopped to eat lunch and hike at Waikamoi Ridge, saw Keanae, took breaks to see waterfalls, and had a good time on our trip. We stayed in cabins at Wainapanapa State Park.
Although it rained a bit (we were in a rain forest), we got to hike, talk–and eat well. John was our excellent cook 🙂
Flat Stanley, Barry, and I got to spend another night. The next day we went to Hamoa Bay.
There’s windsurfing at Ho’okipa.
There’s much more to do on Maui. Hiking in Haleakala, paddling outrigger canoe, watching whales, going zip-lining . . . What do you like to do? Come do it here on Maui.
Come visit us.
Aloha, Flat Stanley and Aunt Renée