Maui, Hawaii

Tag: shopping

Sig’s favorite upcountry drive

My hunny loves to go for an upcountry drive. In fact, we used to go about four times a year – every time we had company visiting us. Finally I stopped going – it’s a beautiful day trip. It’s just – well, it takes up a good chunk of my day 🙂

Today we went for his favorite upcountry drive as a family. It was drizzling as we left our house – that seemed a bit ominous since our ultimate destination, Ulupalakua Ranch is just 3 or 4 miles above Kihei/Wailea. And sure enough, it rained lightly for the majority of our day. But it was still a beautiful drive and fun family day!

upcountry drive
agapanthus in bloom at Maui’s winery

We drove from Kihei to Kahului, taking Hansen Road by the old Sugar Cane Factory to Hana Hwy and then continuing up Haleakala Hwy (which becomes Kula Hwy). We drove all the way to Grandma’s Coffee House where we took a little detour to a side road to drive by Oprah’s house (well, one of them I’m sure). Then back down to Grandma’s Coffee, a little detour to where Oprah’s private road down to Kihei starts (no, you can’t drive it – there are several locked gates). Then we continued to Ulupalakua Ranch

Our destinations….
upcountry drive
the Ulupalakua General Store – our favorite lunch destination

Ulupalakua Ranch‘s General Store is one of our favorite places to eat. They grill burgers to order made from their own meat. There’s something about eating fresh burgers at Ulupalakua.

Then we walked across the street to Maui Winery. Two reasons – the bathrooms are over there (the burgers were a little juicy) and a wine tasting. I picked up a case of their Mele red wine. They have a brand new wine – the Kula which according to their website is a rose white wine. It was really good. Be sure to check out ‘The King’s Room’ in the tasting house which tells some of the 150+ year history of this famous Maui ranch.

upcountry drive
agapanthus bloom bursting out of its bud

Next we headed back to Grandma’s Coffee House for some coffees and carrot cake. They roast their own coffee, make great sandwiches and have delicious baking.

This time we passed Kula Field’s farm stand, turned left on Oma’opio Road (a VERY winding road) and slowly followed it down to the Surfing Goat Dairy and Ocean Vodka (right next door).

Curious – go for a drive! See a part of Maui you didn’t think you’d find!

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The Amazing Maui Bread Company in Kihei

I just found out we have a new bakery in Kihei! Actually, not so new anymore. The owners of the Fish n Chips place in Dolphin Plaza (across from Kamaole 1 park) opened the Maui Bread Company 4 1/2 months ago. With my love of bread and baked goods, I am surprised that my nose hadn’t sniffed this place out yet.

Maui bread
a small selection of Maui Bread Company’s baked goods

Everything is baked in house and from scratch. In fact, this morning when I went into the store, the two bakers were working the retail end of the store. They can tell you exactly what’s in everything.

What do they sell? Besides the really good stuff (okay, cinnamon buns and danishes), they also sell cookies and a variety of breads. They also have a selection of gluten-free items.

Their only advertising is done by word-of-mouth. The prices are reasonable compared to the grocery stores. I picked up a nice loaf of sourdough bread for my hunny (his favorite) for $5. The cinnamon bun I got for myself didn’t make it home. It was really good.

Where to find Maui Bread Company? It is located in the Dolphin Plaza strip mall which is along South Kihei Road, across from Kamaole 1 beach park. This is close to Honolua Surf Company, Hawaiian Moons, Cafe o Lei and the ABC store.

Dolphin Plaza

Check out the Maui Fish’n Chips place, the Koiso sushi restaurant, Maui Gelato (yum), Cafe a la Plague (great sandwiches and internet)., Pizza Hut etc,

Maui bread
they also have a nice outdoor seating area
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World Whale Day 2017

Next weekend, Saturday February 18th, is World Whale Day. It takes place right here in Kihei.

humpback whale
The Parade of Whales

The Parade of Whales starts at 9AM at the Alanui Ke Alii/South Kihei Road intersection and ends at Kalama Park. It’s not a big one, though last year was a lot of fun (it lasted about 45 minutes or so). Hint, sit or stand facing the ocean, that way you get a great view in addition to entertainment AND you don’t have the sun in your eyes!

Also, you guessed it, South Kihei Road is blocked off for the duration of the parade.

humpback whale
fun humpback whale model (an adult humpback is the length of a school bus)

Following the parade there is a festival at the Kalama Park ball field across the street from Foodland. There are kids games, food, live music, a silent auction, local Made in Maui vendors and also a whale information gallery. As far as I can tell, the festival runs from 9:30AM – 6PM.

Admission to the festival is $5 (the parade is free, of course).

seabury hall
a local middle school marching band bringing up the rear

Where to park? You can park for free at both Azeka Mall and Hope Chapel, and yes, there is a free shuttle.

The Pacific Whale Foundation is the main sponsor of this event.

It’s Whale Season

January-March are of course humpback whale season here on Maui. Have you been watching the whales? Do you prefer to watch from shore or by boat?

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How about giving the ukulele a try?

Did you know, the ukulele has its origins from Portugal? Over 130 years ago Portuguese sugar cane workers brought machetes (instruments, not knives) to Hawaii. A few tweeks and modifications later and Hawaii’s ukulele was born. It became a hugely popular instrument as it is small, portable and with four strings, easy to learn. By the way, ukulele is pronounced oo-kuu-leh-le (oo as in too, not you-kuu-leh-le).

At the local elementary school, kids take group lessons starting in second grade. It’s easier on the ears than recorders, trust me! They remain a popular instrument, especially with men. I am sure you have heard of one of Hawaii’s most legendary singers IZ who accompanied himself on the ukulele (Somewhere over the Rainbow). Also, check out Oahu’s Jake Shimabukuro.

ukulele
A tenor (26 inch) from Mele Ukulele, and a cheap 21 inch ‘ABC store ukulele’

If you are in the market for an instrument, you are in luck. Here on Maui you can find them everywhere. Try the ABC store or Whalers General Store for a cheap instrument. Or, if you are looking for a better quality or perhaps even hand-made ukulele, check out Mele Ukulele at their Shops at Wailea or Wailuku stores! They have instruments for all budgets and from our experience great customer service, from helping you choose your perfect ukulele to doing repairs. Yes, they service all their instruments. Remember to get a case to protect your instrument! You can even get an electric pick-up installed so everyone can better hear you practice (if you have an amp, I guess)!

Free ukulele group lessons!

On the fence about ukuleles? Mele Ukulele offers FREE group lessons at the Shops at Wailea every Monday from 5:30-6:30pm at the center courtyard (you may need to stop by the store to borrow an instrument). Learn how to play and how this instrument is part of Hawaiian culture!

Want more? Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday there are additional lessons as part of Wailea Wednesdays’ Ukulele Mix Plate program, also in the courtyard.

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Maui-Made Discoveries

This past weekend the Maui Chamber of Commerce hosted its 3rd Made in Maui County Festival. This was my second time going and let’s just say – it’s the perfect place to make Maui-made discoveries.

Picture a craft fair – without any of the made-in-China-or-elsewhere items. A REAL craft fair, the way they are supposed to be! It was awesome! This year there were more than 140 vendor booths featuring their products. The rule is that everything shown there had to be 51% or more value added in Maui County. That includes Molokai (they had ten booths or so) and Lanai (1 vendor). Finds included handmade cards, jewelry, hot sauce, coffee, clothing vendors, artists, a plant stand, alcohol, food, etc. etc.

My favorite discoveries this year?

Alohi Images

Maui-made discoveries
My friend Shelley with her Alohi Images cards
For the past few years I have been buying Alohi Images cards whenever I can find them. They are beautiful photographs of native plants and flowers. The problem is, these cards are hard to find. Imagine my surprise when it turns out I actually know the owner/photographer! Yes, I stocked up on Christmas cards. And, now I know that I can find her anytime! As for you, check out her website. Shelley tells me that her cards are now being sold at 5 Hallmark stores in the Hawaiian Islands.

Maui Fruit Jewels

Maui-made discoveries
These fruit jewels are so pretty and delicious
I had read about these in the Maui New last spring. Gourmet fruit gummies for adults – okay, so they are okay for kids too, but not shaped like gummy bears. They have all local flavors – lilikoi, papaya, pineapple pepper (that one has a little bit of kick), Maui Wine (think wine jelly)… I forgot to ask where you can get them locally, so let me know if you find them (check out their online shop).

Made in Maui County Marketplace

Did you miss this year’s festival? Looking for more Maui-made discoveries? Many of these vendors are featured on the Made in Maui County Marketplace, a website connecting you to the different vendors. Check them out! Mahalo for supporting local small businesses.

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Made in Maui County Festival and website!

Made in Maui County FestivalThis year the County of Maui is hosting its 3rd annual Made in Maui County Festival. This event is a coming together of local vendors, showcasing companies with headquarters in Maui County (Maui, Molokai and Lanai). The products sold must have at minimum 51% value added in the County of Maui. This is Maui’s largest product show.

This year’s Made in Maui County Festival is being held Saturday, November 5th from 8-4pm on the lawn at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Admission is $5 with kids 12 and under free. In addition to some great shopping (Christmas shopping anyone?), there will also be food demonstrations and a fashion show.

I attended the first one 2 years ago, it was amazing! Who knew we had all this talent on Maui?

Shop locally – online!

If you can’t make it or want a preview of what may be there, they have just launched a new website – the Made in Maui County Marketplace! All vendors who have a booth at the Made in Maui County Festival are eligible to be listed on this site. While you don’t purchase here, it links you back to the vendors’ individual websites where you can purchase, get more information and contact them directly. Pretty cool!

What are you shopping for? Do you have your Christmas lists put together? Maybe you’re looking for that perfect keepsake to remember your special Maui time by.

As you come to Maui and consider buying souvenirs, keepsakes and gifts, thank you for shopping local! It keeps money in our local economy, creates jobs, contributes to the community and encourages entrepreneurship! Mahalo!

As you return home, carry forward that aloha and consider supporting your local shops and entrepeneurs also. You will make their day!

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Lahaina and the Maui Tropical Plantation

My hunny is away, so today the kids and I spent a fun day doing Mom-son stuff. Lahaina was on the agenda (we had to make a stop at the Adidas outlet store for some new shoes) and without Sig present we had a big decision to make…. where to have lunch? In seven years of living on Maui we have twice NOT gone to Bubba Gump’s when in Lahaina – yes, Sig is a huge fan of Bubba Gump’s. To be fair, it has a great location on Front Street, the building being on stilts over the ocean, but…. I like a little variety. (FYI, the other two places we’ve been were Longhi’s and Pi Artisan Pizza – both very good).

lahaina
our burgers at Cool Cat Cafe

Today’s lunch choice was the Cool Cat Cafe for some burgers. This restaurant is located on the top floor of the Wharf Cinema Center across from the Banyan Tree. Our burgers were excellent, and honestly, we should not have ordered the shared basket of fries… we had way too much food.

After lunch we headed across the street to a fun gift/clothing shop, Maui Memories, owned by Austrian transplant Dany White. This shop relocated from Wailea to Lahaina a few years ago and is now in the old Pioneer Hotel building, also across from the Banyan Tree. I had a gift certificate burning in my pocket and found some beautiful abalone jewelry for myself ‘for Mother’s Day’.

lahaina

On the way home… a stop at the Maui Tropical Plantation

After some successful shoe shopping, we headed back towards Kihei where we took a little detour to visit the local ducks at the Maui Tropical Plantation. If you haven’t been here, do go check it out – it’s only about five minutes from North Kihei! Apart from the obligatory gift shop, they have repurposed some old sugar cane factory gear in their landscaping and an actual steam engine in the bar at the Mill House. So very cool. I have yet to come hear for dinner or drinks, but it’s on my list…. Additionally they have a (beginner) zipline, coffee roaster etc.

lahaina
A train in a bar? Yep! Only on Maui 🙂

What a fun day! Unlike the Anaheim Ducks (who were soundly defeated by the Edmonton Oilers today – oh dear), the local ducks were in great spirits, happily eating what kids were feeding them 🙂

Now back to the grind – cleaning and doing homework for the kids, blogging and making dinner for me.

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Coupons and that kama’aina rate!

Have you ever wondered how you can get a kama’aina rate? Wondering what a kama’aina rate is? It’s a discount some shops and restaurants will give to local customers, hoping they will be repeat customers.

Generally you need to have a State of Hawaii driver’s license or other State of Hawaii ID to qualify for that local discount. By the way, did you know Hawaii driver’s licenses have a rainbow on them? I would show you a picture of mine, but…. well…. as with most IDs the picture turned out ‘just great’.

If you are staying at one of our four condos, we have the next best thing to a kama’aina rate: the Pueo Premier Card – a discount card for our guests to use! This is a fundraiser put on by one of the local elementary schools. No worries, you do not need to buy one – we always buy them and leave them in the condos for our guests to use. The discounts are similar to what some of these businesses offer as a kama’aina rate, and some of these businesses don’t actually offer a kama’aina rate, so this is as good as it gets!

In case you can’t zoom in on the picture here are some of the businesses participating in this year’s Pueo Premier Card:

5 Palms Restaurant (at our Kihei Surfside condo) – 20% off

808 Wellness 10% off

Aloha School of Massage Therapy – $5 off

Amigo’s 15% off

Cow Pig Bun 15% off

Cupie’s Drive-in 10% off

Dina’s Sandwitch (at our Sugar Beach condo) 15% off

Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse 15% off

Fork & Salad $1 off

Duo Steak & Seafood 10% off

Four Sisters Bakery – buy 1 doz, get 1 free

Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods 10% discount

IHOP 10% off

Java Cafe 15% off

L&L Hawaiian BBQ – free soda

Maui Brick Oven – free soda

Maui Sandwich Shack 15% off

Panda Express 3 for 2

Peggy Sue’s 15% off

Round Table 20% off

Ruth Chris Steak House 15% off

Sanrio 10% off

Taqueria Cruz 50% off 2nd entree

Tutti Frutti 50% off 2nd cup

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade 10% off

Where can you find this card? If you are staying at one of our condos, look for it in the condo (near the business cards, at our Palms at Wailea condo it’s next to the kitchen phone). You are welcome to use the card, please just remember to leave it in the condo when you leave so our next guests can take advantage too.

If you are not staying at one of our condos, swing by Kamalii Elementary School on the corner of the Piilani Hwy and Alanui Ke Alii (just up the road from Kamaole I beach) in Kihei. They have them for sale in the school office (by the flag pole). Thanks for supporting the kids!

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Oceanside Restaurant up in smoke

Oceanside restaurant
photo from Oceanside Restaurant’s facebook page
We had some sad restaurant news on Maui this past week. The 6 month old Oceanside Restaurant at the Maalaea Harbor Shops went up in flames during their busy dinner hour.

The story I’ve heard is that staff had asked a disorderly guest to leave. To spite the restaurant he supposedly lit a fire at the back of the building. By the time the fire was discovered, it was too large to put out with a fire extinguisher. Dinner patrons and staff were all safely evacuated while the fire department was called. The news outlets are reporting $300,000 in damages.

The Oceanside is a new farm-to-table restaurant that opened this past winter in the former Saltimbocca, before that the popular Waterfront restaurant location. They have a beautiful view of the ocean and Maalaea harbor. By all accounts it was popular and doing well. I had meant to check it out, but hadn’t made it there yet.

The police arrested the supposed arsonist (a Kihei resident), however he was released while investigations continue. I assume there isn’t enough evidence to charge him at this time.

I do feel badly for the restaurant owner who had invested his life and money in this new venture. Sixteen employees are now without work also.

The Maui No Ka Oi Magazine has announced some fundraisers are in the work to help them get on their feet again.

This past fall a Texas investor bought the Maalaea Harbor Shops and has been revitalizing the shopping area. This is also the location of Beach Bums and the Pacific Whale Foundation, sharing a parking lot with the Maui Ocean Center.

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What to do on a rainy day in Kihei?

rainy dayThis morning we woke up to an unusual weather phenomenon in Kihei! It’s raining! Do you know how unusual a rainy day is in Kihei?

Kihei and Wailea lie in the rain shadow of Haleakala. Most of our rain clouds come from the other side of Haleakala (the green rainforesty Road to Hana side). The rain falls on the lush green North/East side of Maui, while Kihei and Wailea get about only 8-11 inches of rainfall a year. Suffice it to say – Kihei residents get a little excited when it rains. Kids run outside to play in the rain, adults contain their enthusiasm by sitting on the lanai with their coffee. Many even bust out their ‘winter clothes’ (long pants and sweaters) and claim it’s cold. Cold? It’s all relative – try low 80s.

Of course, we realize you weren’t planning on a rainy day for your Maui trip, so what to do?

Go for a drive. Did you know, Maui has 30+ different micro climates. Chances are really good that it isn’t raining a short five minute drive from where you are.

Go shopping.

  • Shops at Wailea – they now have paid parking, however the first hour is free. After that, make a minimum purchase of $25 at most shops (including restaurants) and get a parking voucher (don’t forget to ask)
  • Maui Tropical Plantation – this place has been reinvented and is pretty neat. Check out their stores, but also the very cool Mill House bar (with a train engine inside), coffee house and restaurant.
  • Shops at Maalaea
  • Lahaina

Go to the movies at Queen Kaahumanu Center or Maui Mall in Kahului.

Go for lunch.

Go for a walk – it’s just warm rain, pick up an umbrella at the convenience store.

Check out ‘fishes’ the Maui Ocean Center.

What NOT to do when it’s raining?

Please stay out of the ocean, particularly if the water looks brown and murky. Several reasons for that, it could be run-off from land (particularly if it is raining heavily upcountry), it could be run-off from overflowing cess pools (gross). Additionally, sharks tend to come closer to shore to check out the run-off. Just stay out until the water clears up again.

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