Maui, Hawaii

Tag: condo

I finally found strawberry papayas – hooray!

When we first moved to Maui, farmers markets often carried strawberry papayas. But for the past few years, I have not been able to find any.

A neighbor recently told me she’d found strawberry papayas at the North Kihei farmer’s market (next to the ABC stand at the north end of South Kihei Road, near our Sugar Beach condo). Since I had to go to our condo for the annual dryer-vent cleaning, I stopped at the farmer’s market. Sure enough – they had strawberry papayas! That made my day!

The most commonly found papaya on Maui are rainbow papayas. While they look similar on the outside, strawberry papayas are red-orange when sliced. They are also sweeter and don’t have that bitter after-taste that rainbow papaya have (note, a squeeze of lime will help mask that after-taste). I’ve been told rainbow papaya are a more hardy variety and less susceptible to disease which is why you find more of them. Here is a great website by the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association with more information on papaya grown in Hawaii.

Strawberry papayas (also called Sunrise/SunUp)
Sliced strawberry papaya with seeds
Sliced strawberry papaya with seeds removed – so sweet and good!
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Tips for Traveling Green on Maui

This morning I received an email from TravelGuard with tips for traveling green. While I can’t find where it is posted online, here are a few that I liked and have partially expanded on:

Fly non-stop. Not only is it more convenient, but airplanes burn the most fuel at take-off (see, there’s a more altruistic reason to pay a little extra for that direct flight! You’re welcome).

Stay in green accommodations. What a great idea! Though our condos are not specifically labelled ‘green’, we do, where possible, make an effort to be more environmentally friendly. Our condos are all equipped with LED light bulbs. When necessary, appliances and TVs are replaced with energy-star counterparts. We have tinted windows which helps reduce heat inside the condo. And all condos have recycling stations (though the Palms at Wailea station is limited). The recycling depot is just off the Piilani Hwy across from Hope Chapel.

Reduce your laundry by staying in a condo. Instead of providing you with daily housekeeping and linen switching which you would find at a hotel, our condos are equipped with washers and dryers, allowing you to do laundry as necessary (we do provide you with an extra set of linens in the closet). Not washing the linens on a daily basis saves energy and water but also saves our high quality linens and towels the extra wear and tear.

Save energy. We know it can be warm and sometimes a bit humid here on Maui, and so three of our condos are equipped with new energy-efficient A/Cs, and all of the condos with ceiling fans. However, 90% of Maui’s electricity is generated with diesel. Please turn the A/Cs and fans off when leaving the condo and pull the curtains to block the sun’s rays. It’s amazing how quickly the condo does cool off when you turn them back on upon your return.

On the energy note, our Sugar Beach and Kihei Surfside condos both have photo-voltaic panels on the roof, harnessing the sun’s energy and reducing our reliance on diesel. In low season, these PV panels generate up to 80% of the electricity used at Kihei Surfside’s 84 condos (in high season it’s more like 50% – these numbers depend on occupancy, the sun’s position in the sky, and also available roof space – we wish we could get to 100%!). As condo owners we are proud to be doing our part to reduce diesel consumption on Maui.

in the forefront, Kihei Surfside with its photo-voltaic panels on the roof. What a great place to stay!

Shop local. Visit local farmers’ markets or eat at restaurants that use local ingredients – you’ll reduce the carbon footprint AND support local farmers. You’d be surprised at the variety of food grown here on Maui! Also, buy souvenirs that have been made locally (rather than elsewhere such as Asia).

Volunteer. What a great way to give back to the community by making a difference in other peoples’ lives. Where can you volunteer on Maui? You can try the Pacific Whale Foundation, the Maui Humane Society, Haleakala National Park. Do you love kids? How about checking with one of the local schools (Kamalii Elementary School, Kihei Elementary School, Lokelani Middle School) if they need a volunteer to help struggling readers (the school would require a background check and TB clearance). Help feed some of Maui’s homeless at Halekaukau (at St Theresa’s Church in Kihei). Let me know if you hear of any good volunteer opportunities and I’ll post them here.

Most of all, enjoy yourself. You have worked hard throughout the year for this vacation!

Here are some more ideas for responsible, sustainable travel from TravelGuard’s website.

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We are having a spring sale on Maui Oceanview Condos!

Are you looking for a spring getaway? We still have April and May openings at our two larger condos.

beautiful Keawakapu beach – you can even build sand ‘snowmen’ if you miss winter that much!

Our Palms at Wailea condo is a beautifully renovated oceanview condo in Maui’s prestigious master-planned Wailea community (South Maui). This is a two bedroom, two bathroom condo, ground floor with an oceanview. Enjoy the private bbq on the lanai or treat yourself to dining at some of Wailea and Kihei’s wonderful restaurants. The complex is quiet and about a 7 minute walk to beautiful Keawakapu Beach, known for its gorgeous sand and great snorkeling! Sleeps 4 guests. $200/night plus cleaning and taxes (5 night minimum) for new bookings for available dates in April and May 2014.

Our Maui Kamaole condo is a nicely renovated oceanview condo in South Kihei, a 3 minute walk from Kamaole III beach park, 7 minute walk to Keawakapu beach. You are in walking distance to numerous restaurants, ice cream and shave ice stores. Enjoy the beautiful park setting of this property, two pools and plenty of bbqs. This is a one bedroom two bathroom condo with a unique queen-sized Murphy bed in the living room. Sleeps 4 guests. $155/night plus cleaning and taxes (5 night minimum) for new bookings for available dates in May 2014.

Please contact us for more information!

How about waking up to this in the morning?
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Possible Tsunami following the 8.2 Chile earthquake

As you may have seen in the news, Chile had a big earthquake a few hours ago. Experts at the Pacific Tsunami Warnings Center are currently evaluating to see if Hawaii is to expect a tsunami sometime early morning on April 2nd. Please check the local news for up-to-date information.

This is a good time to review what to expect in case of a tsunami and what to do. A year ago I wrote this post on tsunami awareness. I thought this is a good time to refresh our memories…

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 amonthly 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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    What are your Christmas 2014 plans?

    Is that a typo? Nope! I have just booked two of our condos for Christmas 2014 – both our Maui Kamaole and Palms at Wailea condos are already snapped up. Talk about planning in advance!

    So do you need to book your condo a year in advance? It really depends on when you are traveling. Christmas often books a year in advance. Some of you planners out there book your high-season (winter) trip a year a year out, too. Especially if you have your heart set on a certain condo and you know your dates, it’s best to get the condo booked as soon as possible (I accept bookings up to one year in advance). Having said that, I still have some dates in March and April available at a few of our condos. I am sure they will fill.

    For low season (mid-April to mid-December) most people book two or three months in advance. However, the early bird does get the worm. The earlier you book, the better your selection of condos will be.

    A friend asked me the other day – there are so many condos on Maui, for people who are coming to Maui the first time, how do they choose? I honestly don’t know. For us, ten years ago a friend had a friend with a condo to rent. That was how we determined where on Maui to stay. Nowadays there is so much more information readily available on the internet. But it can still be overwhelming.

    How do you choose where to stay?

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    Updates at our Palms at Wailea condo

    September can be slow on Maui. Kids are back in school, the weather is typically still decent ‘back home’, so September often becomes our default project month. This year’s project at our Palms at Wailea #503 condo involved replacing our three sliding glass doors that open out onto the spacious (450 sq ft) lanai. Unfortunately for us the original doors had wood frames that had started to rot (and they are our responsibility, not the homeowner association’s).

    The new sliding doors are beautiful and lightly tinted for heat abatement. The tinting also gives you a little extra privacy. Additionally, we did some plastering, paint touch-ups, restored the two glass shower doors and fixtures (I love it when they polish all the watermarks off them!), steam cleaned carpets, replaced a door knob, did some blind repairs, inventoried everything (oddly the potato masher had gone missing – I wonder where it went off to), bought some replacement items and did some thorough cleaning (I got to deep clean the propane bbq – always lots of fun!). I also bought new bedding for the master bedroom.

    new quilt set in the master bedroom is bright and cheery

    Yesterday our first guests post-project arrived. I’m glad these September projects are done!

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    How about a massage while on Maui?

    A Maui vacation is supposed to be relaxing – and depending on your itinerary it can be. However so many people we meet are go-go-go during their Maui trip, they have only so many days and want to make sure they get it all in. That’s not fun! How about taking it a little easier and planning another trip in a year or two instead?

    One of our guests recently had a massage at our Maui Kamaole condo. She has used this massage service before and highly recommends them. So I asked for the information to share with you.

    The massage service is called Na Alii Massage – no worries, you don’t have to remember how to spell that for the website, just type in My Maui Massage and it will take you there. Our guest has been having massages from this place for several years – they service Kihei/Wailea but also the Lahaina/Kaanapali area. Need more convincing? Check out their reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor.

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    Watching the snorkelers

    We are between bookings at our Kihei Surfside condo. My lovely cleaning lady (I also call her my cleaning fairy) Cindy had cleaned and prepared the condo as she always does. Yesterday I had a few minutes, so I went over to check on things – such as the guest book and the view.

    There is a really nice guest book entry from our most recent guests (one of three honeymooning couples to stay here this year). I was going to do a kitchen inventory, but enjoyed the view instead… (I’ll go back today to do that inventory). Yesterday morning the ocean was perfectly calm. Just gorgeous. Love the view from this condo!

    Watching snorkelers explore the reef directly from our condo
    (this is at the northern end of Keawakapu beach). 
    Another look from our fourth floor condo. Love this place!
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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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