Maui, Hawaii

Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

A-Z Challenge about Maui?

I recently came across a Maui blogger who is doing an A-Z Challenge about Maui… 26 days of letters of the alphabet (today will be G). For an interesting read from a local perspective, check out Maui Jungalow’s blog!

So far she’s tackled A for Aloha, B for Beach, C for Coconuts, D for Dolphins, E for Elvis (!) and F for Flowers. I can’t wait to see what G will be…

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Shaka Pops

Have you had a shaka pop? I had my first one today at the Maui Agricultural Festival. Shaka pops are handmade gourmet ice pops, made on Maui with locally sourced ingredients.

Shaka pops at the Maui Ag Festival

I had one of their ‘specials of the day’ – grapefruit rosemary. It was unbelievably good. In fact, my mouth is still tingling from the flavors…. I want another one…

Where can you find them? They are at most town parties, festivals and even have some retail locations… check out their website for more details. Four dollars an ice pop – well worth it!

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April is Tsunami Awareness Month

April is Tsunami Awareness Month in Hawaii. The likelihood of there being a tsunami while you are on holiday is very slim, and yet, it’s a good idea to know what to expect.

Tsunamis are caused by displacement of ocean water, usually by earthquakes. There are two types of tsunamis – those caused by a local earthquake and those caused by earthquakes far away.

If it is a local earthquake and you are at the beach, there will be little time for warning. Here are the signs to look for:

  • sudden pulling back of the water
  • earth moving for at least 20 seconds, possibly knocking people to the ground
  • hearing the ocean roar

If you experience any of these while at the beach, you should move away from the beach to at least 100 feet above sea level (one mile inland or in a pinch at least to the fourth floor of an apartment building). If it is a local earthquake, the tsunami waves could arrive within minutes.

If it is a far away earthquake, there will be more warning time. The NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tracks all earthquakes and monitors their DART buoys for possible tsunamis. Should there be a tsunami headed our way, they issue alerts via local media (radio, local TV stations etc). You can find warnings on facebook and twitter (try hashtag #hitsunami).

The most obvious warning will come from the tsunami sirens located wherever there is danger of flooding (if you are in a remote location, there may not be a siren). When there is a tsunami warning, these will start wailing (steady three minute tone), fortunately not non-stop but at regular intervals (note: there is a monthly emergency systems test the first day of every month at 11:45 – don’t panic!) If the sirens start wailing, listen to the local news and follow their directions. Warnings will always tell you when the first tidal wave is expected to arrive. Please listen to these warnings and obey them.

How do you know if you are in an evacuation area? Here are two evacuation maps for Kihei/Wailea, you can also look on the County of Maui website in the phone book (we have them in all our condos). If you are staying in our Kihei Surfside and Sugar Beach condos, you are in the evacuation area. If you are staying at our Maui Kamaole or Palms at Wailea condo, you are NOT in the evacuation zone (you do not need to evacuate).

If you need to evacuate:

  • pack your valuables and documents.
  • pack food and drink, a flashlight and blanket. Bring some beach chairs along too, evacuations can take a while.
  • close windows and lock the condo behind you.
  • head out of the evacuation zone. There are churches (Kihei Lutheran and Hope Chapel) along the Piilani Hwy that open their parking lots to those who need to evacuate. I’ve also been told the Safeway parking lot becomes a town party. County shelters don’t open until after a tsunami has occurred.
  • do not return into the evacuation area until officials give the go-ahead. Remember, it isn’t just one tidal wave, they come in sets for several hours. If there is damage, it may not be safe to go back – so please wait.

If you are not in the evacuation zone:

  • avoid unnecessary driving (the roads get really clogged).
  • make sure you have working flash lights (there is always the possibility of a power outage).
  • make sure you have lots of drinking water and also water to wash (clean and fill the bathtub for non-drinking water purposes).
  • listen to the local news – before the tsunami wave is expected to arrive, the County shuts down the sanitary sewer system. Avoid using the toilet once that happens – when the sanitary sewer is shut down, all sewer will go directly into the ocean.

It will be very difficult to find local Maui specific tsunami information. Most of the news will be about Oahu (this is frustrating).
 

Please do not put your life and that of others (who may have to save you) at risk by going to the beach to watch!

Here is a great list of frequently asked questions from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Here is a cute and yet informational video from San Diego County explaining about tsunamis (use this link if it doesn’t load).

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Have you been to Mama’s Fish House?

There is a lot of hype surrounding dinner (or lunch) at Mama’s Fish House. Mama’s is located in just past Pai’a (just before the lookout) and has been in business for 30 years now. They are known for serving wonderfully prepared fresh fish with a beautiful view.

In all the years of coming on vacation and now living here, we had never been to Mama’s… So recently I made reservations online (directly on their website which links you to Open Table). I also made a comment in the reservation that it was my birthday, hoping it would net us a better table….

Mama’s has valet parking (and a rather small parking lot, so that’s a good thing). We dropped off our car, then walked across the beautiful grounds to the restaurant. I’ve always heard it is gorgeous, and it definitely is.

We had front row seating (right next to the window) – hey, the birthday thing worked (and for the record, it really was my birthday, no lie!)

front row seating with a great ocean view!
birthday greeting waiting for us at the table – awww

 Lunch was pricey, but we had done our homework and that was no surprise.

I had the lehi (red snapper) – it was mild and delicious
Sig had their signature dish, the crab-stuffed mahi mahi with lobster tail

apple-banana macademia nut crumble – so delicious… I will definitely need to make this with our next harvest of apple bananas.
 

After lunch we rolled ourselves back out of the restaurant – we definitely ate too much. But it was well worth it!

another picture outside Mama’s… yes, I am overdressed – but on Maui there aren’t that many occasions to dress up, so I went for it!
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Would you rent an electric car?

It’s Sunday and it’s my ‘sit on the couch and read the local paper’ time of the day. The Maui Weekly has an article about an experiment to drive an electric car to Hana.

Have you ever rented an electric car? Would you try it? I guess it would depend a lot on the availability of charging stations… On that note, according to my March power bill, energy on Maui is currently at 38.4 cents/kwh (compared to the US national residential average of 11.47 cents/kwh). Please don’t plug in at our condos!

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Kamaole 2 beach on a busy morning

The kids and I walked to Kamaole I beach yesterday. We enjoy this beach, usually camping out right in front of the life guard station. I personally enjoy going to life guarded beaches – always nice to have a second and third set of eyes on the kids.

Our aim was to go exploring the rocks on the south end of the beach – climbing around looking in the tide pools for animals. We saw a huge crab and various other tide pool creatures. It’s not the best place to go tide pooling, but we’d never tried this location. We ended up walking across the lawn in front of the Royal Mauian to Kamaole II beach, just to the south of Kam I. This is the beach across from Fred’s and Moose McGillicudy’s in Kihei. I was surprised the beaches weren’t busier, it being a holiday.

Kamaole II beach in South Kihei on Good Friday – compare this to beaches in Waikiki (Oahu)!
looking from Kam II beach towards West Maui



Wait a minute – was that a whale?
yes, there’s a humpback whale saying hello to the boat!

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Maui Ag Fest coming up on April 6th!

I know, when you think of Maui you automatically think ‘agriculture’, right? Probably not. But we do have agriculture here, we certainly love the local farmers markets!

On April 6th the Maui Tropical Plantation will be hosting the annual Maui County Ag Fest. It’s a fun day with exhibitor booths (yes, that’s right, another farmers market), flower shows, competitions, kids activities, live music and… FOOD.

In addition to the obligatory food stands, there is also a Grand Taste Education event. What’s that? The Maui County Farm Bureau explains: ‘presented in partnership with Slow Food Maui, Maui’s farmers and chefs come together to showcase all that Maui has to offer. Talk story sessions take place under a tent allowing the community to learn about the food grown and raised on Maui. Chefs are on hand to offer cooking tips and techniques.’ Sounds fun and tasty! Get your tickets here!

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Cell phone roaming charges for our Canadian guests

About half our guests are Canadian, so here’s something for you to consider when coming to Hawaii…

Did you hear about the dad with the $22,000 cell phone bill? CBC News reported about a Canadian man whose son managed to rack up that bill in roaming charges while recovering from a sunburn in Mexico. Ouch.

As you know, if you use your Canadian cell phone in the US (yes, including Hawaii), you will incur roaming charges. Here are 5 ways to avoid excessive roaming charges.

When you stay at one of our four condos in South Maui, you have free wireless internet, a phone with long-distance plan to Canada/US and an answering machine. I know, it’s not the same as having your cell phone with you, but it will save you on your cell phone bill!

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Travel with kids – revisited

In June last year I wrote a blog entry with 10 suggestions to make your flight with kids easier… One month later we got to re-visit some of those lessons with our three year old. Oh boy.

The previous time we had flown with him, I had brought the car seat and strapped him into that. It went so well. So here we were again, and it was a no-brainer… bring the car seat on board for our 5 1/2  hour red-eye flight to Vancouver. He really tried to sleep, he did. For the first hour he tried to sleep. But then he got frustrated and started swinging his feet. Now the car seat didn’t just keep him in his seat, it also brought him three whole inches closer to the seat in front of him. Which was fully reclined because a woman was trying to sleep in it. Kick. I felt so badly for her. I did my best to catch his feet and talk quietly with him, trying to calm him down. But a few kicks did make it to the seat in front of him. And she did glare at me and mutter under her breath. (I’m sooo sorry).

I gave up. Here it was, one o’clock in the morning our time, but I hauled out his brother’s i-touch. He then proceeded to play his Thomas the Train game (thankfully on silent-mode) for 3 hours until he finally fell asleep as we were descending into Vancouver. Yes, I stayed awake too, in case he started kicking again…

You know what I discovered as we got up to get off the plane? There was an empty seat between the lady in front of us and her husband…. It sure would have made my flight easier had she moved a seat over! Ah well.

We de-planed, two sleepy adults, two drowsy (but awake) kids and one dead-weight heavy three-year-old. You know how kids are when they’re completely out? They don’t even pretend to hold on to you when being carried, so you absolutely need both hands to balance them. We also had the car seat, his stuffie, our hand luggage, his backpack… a stroller would have been nice, but we’d left that at home…

Was the flight worth it? Absolutely! We wouldn’t have missed visiting our family and friends! How was the flight back? Much better, thank you for asking! We checked the car seat with the luggage, planned for his being awake, packed plenty of toys and snacks to try to keep him busy for the flight home.

Will we do it again? You bet! And guess what – he’ll be a whole year older on his next flight. Every year it gets easier… you just have to plan! Don’t skip out on a fun family trip, just make sure the trip is long enough to be worth the effort!

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