This week’s look back at Finn McSpool’s Hawaiian Adventure takes him away from the beautiful beaches and bustling towns of West Maui and whisks him off to the slopes of a volcano in East Maui where he got into a little trouble at the Kula Botanical Gardens.

Some Back Story

Now, before we start this tale, I need to give a little background about Finn’s first evening in Maui when he had a rough encounter with a couple of the natives. As you know from a couple weeks ago, our vacation rental came complete with egg-providing chickens. It also featured the hard-to-find amenity of the brother-and-sister-cat-duo, Kuma and Yuki. Don’t they look innocent?

Since Finn lives with cats and really enjoyed meeting gobs of cats on his trip to Italy last year, he thought he’d give a big “Aloha” to his two new roommates. Unfortunately, Yuki (who we later learned loves to hunt, especially geckos) thought Finn might make a tasty treat. Finn’s screams of horror as he was caught in her death grip were probably heard across the island.

Luckily, I dove in before any shredding or chewing could begin, but Finn was decidedly more wary when he said hello to Kuma.

Off to the Gardens…But Will We All Return?

With that bit of back story in play, it’s time we were off to Kula Botanical Gardens. As mentioned above, these gardens are located on the slopes of the volcano Haleakala that (according to the smarty pants who wrote the Wikipedia article on it) makes up 75% of the all the land area on the island of Maui, which is pretty impressive. And for those who love numbers, at a mere 8 acres, the Botanical Gardens make up only 0.00006% of the island’s land mass.

But nerdy math stuff aside, the gardens have been around since 1968 when Warren McCord thought, “Hmmm, how can I show off my landscape architecture skills to drum up business?” That’s right, these gardens were basically a marketing scheme by Mr. McCord.

While the gardens aren’t exactly the place to go to learn about native Hawaiian plants (lots of non-native species here, let me tell you), there are plenty of interesting specimens to catch your eye including this really cool painted eucalyptus (also known as the rainbow eucalyptus). And, yes, that coloring on the trunk is completely natural!

Of course, Finn was more interested in the plants that matched his color scheme.

And he got really excited when he found this Swiss Cheese plant. He was less excited to learn it isn’t actually where Swiss cheese comes from, but was thrilled to find out its scientific name: MONSTERA Deliciosa.

The garden has plenty of meandering paths that loop around to various displays such as a collection of orchids, a koi pond, an aviary, and even a chameleon. I got so fascinated watching the chameleon’s eyes goggle about that I completely lost track of Finn.

Finn? Finn? Where— OMG, Finn, get out of there! Did you learn nothing from your encounter with Yuki?

-What? He said he just needed some dental work.

Finn, you know nothing about dentistry! 

-Uh-oh. Arghhhhh!!! Not again!!!!!

Although Finn was making a valiant effort to save his hide by whacking his assailant with his much-beloved book, the struggle was tipping in the native’s favor. Before Mr Tiki could find out if Finn was truly a Monstera deliciiosa, I swooped in and rescued him. He was a bit shaky the rest of the day, but found this view from the parking lot to be quite soothing.

Any encounters with troublesome (and hungry) natives on your travels? Next Saturday I’ll be back with our Maui tale of being stranded at sea, and next Wednesday I’ll have more book news for you. See you then!



The Maze: Book Three of The Osteria Chronicles is now available for a special pre-order price of $2.99 for e-books and $10 for print books AND I’ve made it easy for you to jump into the series with discounts on the first book (The Trials of Hercules). For full details, please visit this post. You can also read a few sample chapters from The Maze (PDF)



9 thoughts on “Finn McSpool’s Treacherous Trip to Kula Botanical Garden

  1. Wow, danger is lurking around every corner in this seemingly tranquil tropical paradise! I can see why Finn was caught out by the cats – especially since his feline friends at home can apparently be trusted to play nice – but maaaaaybeeee he was tempting fate a little with his efforts at amateur dentistry? Lucky you were there to literally snatch him from the jaws of death… 😆


    1. I really don’t know what he was thinking with that attempt at dentistry. I mean how is he meant to hold dental tools when he won’t even let go of his book (never mind the lack of thumbs or other digits)? Just think of him with a dental drill! It was a near thing with Yuki the Beastie Slayer, but luckily she didn’t get her teeth in too deep. Finn did learn a few lessons though and wasn’t going anywhere near the chickens after that…especially after learning one of them likes to kill mice by trapping them and pecking a hole straight through their little mousey heads. EEK!!


      1. Jeeeeez, the Hawaiian islands may be a tropical paradise, but the locals really are hard as nails! Then again, their violent tendencies pale in comparison to the thought of Finn brandishing a dentist’s drill… 😱😱😱

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      2. You can understand why they wouldn’t greet him with open arms…or open mouths. I wonder if the huge number of dentist offices near my house has been a dangerous influence on Finn. 🤔


  2. Kittens!!!!!!! I’m gonna be honest, I’m a lil nervous about bringing home my new Beastie. Edward will eat anything he can get his paws on and Jane is notorious for stealing and hiding Beastie-sized objects. It’s going to require full-time monitoring–I better just quit my day job, probably.


    1. Beastie care really is full time job. I’m sure if you talk to your boss – and perhaps show evidence based on this blog – he/she will understand that there is no way you can be expected to work outside the home. Of course, Boss will also understand that you may need extra cash for Beastie-related repairs and will give you a HUGE parting bonus. :))

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