Maui, Hawaii

Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Movies under the Stars at the Maui Film Festival

movie
My phone’s slightly blurry view of the screen. You should have seen the stars (after the rain). It was a truly beautiful setting

This was my first time at the Maui Film Festival. I’ve been meaning to go ever since we moved to Maui seven years ago. I enjoy watching movies under the stars. But you know how it goes – there are family commitments, it’s late in the evening (once it’s dark enough to watch an outdoor movie), I’ve been unsure about parking etc…. so I’ve never gone.

Last night I joined neighbors in going. Tickets can be bought online – mine was $25. Of course, had I pre-planned and bought these a few weeks ago, it would have been cheaper, but in retrospect $25 isn’t a bad deal. It covered my parking, the shuttle bus and two movies under the stars.

I grabbed one of my low beach chairs, a jacket with hoodie (and at last minute a towel), drove to Wailea and parked on the lawn with the streetlights. I’m sure you’ve seen it, across the street from the new Wailea Marriott, kitty corner from the Monkeypod Restaurant. I’ve always wondered why it had a driveway and street lights in the middle of a nicely manicured lawn. Well, turns out it’s an overflow parking lot for Wailea events. From there I caught a shuttle bus to the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Course’s driving range (this is next to Gannon’s). There set out on the lawn was a large screen and hundreds of movie goers in their chairs.

movies under the stars
In retrospect, this rainbow on the way to the Maui Film Festival was trying to tell me something. It was a great evening despite the short rain!

Turns out, last night was the first time in their 18 year history that it rained during a movie. It wasn’t too bad, and eventually stopped. I was thankful for my jacket and towel to keep the worst of the rain off.

The movies we saw were Dean (with Kevin Kline) and Class Rank. I enjoyed them both and would see them again.

Note: not all Maui Film Festival movies are shown at the Celestial Cinema (aka the driving range). A number of them are also shown at the Castle Theater (Maui Arts and Cultural Center) and one (free) evening takes place on Wailea Beach (between the Four Seasons and Grand Wailea).

Would I go again? Yes – it was a fun evening! Would I bring the kids? It depends on the movie – I would check the trailers. Last night was definitely an adult crowd.

Comment »

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!

Comment »

Kids golf lessons

kids golf lessons
A great view and some shade for parents during golf lessons

Coming to Maui this summer and looking for something for the kids to do? How about enrolling them in kids golf lessons? Our friends Renee and Eddie Lee run the golf lessons at the Wailea Golf Academy, located at the Wailea Emerald and Gold golf course. While you can definitely book private lessons for the kids (they can also set you up with adult lessons, by the way), they are running six summer camps this summer (in June, July and August) – for beginner and more advanced students.

Our kids have taken many lessons from Renee. She is great with kids of all ages, patient and in control.

Their lessons are in a private setting at the top of the Emerald & Gold Course’s driving range. For us parents, it has the most beautiful view of the ocean.

The beginner camps  are held from 9am-12noon daily on

  • June 14, 15 & 16
  • July 12, 13 & 14
  • August 16, 17 & 18

kids golf lessonsThe intermediate camps are also from 9am-12noon daily

  • June 21, 22 & 23
  • July 5, 6 & 7
  • August 9, 10 & 11

Not here for all three dates in a set – no problem, you can also sign up just for one day of the camp. For more information about the camps check out their website or call them at 808-875-7450. Prices are posted with a discounted rate for residents (parents must hold a valid Hawaii driver’s license).

Additional kids golf lessons

The (cheaper) Maui Nui Golf Course in Kihei also offers kids lessons from time to time and I believe is offering summer camps also. Please inquire directly with them for further information.

Comment »

Gannon’s Happy Hour

Gannon's Happy Hour

After yesterday’s Junior PGA golf game, we decided we needed to reward ourselves with Gannon’s Happy Hour.

Gannon’s is one of our favorite lunch spots in Wailea. It is located on the beautiful Wailea Emerald and Gold golf courses with a stunning view of the ocean and Molokini.

On Maui lunch is typically the more reasonable time to eat out and that definitely applies at Gannon’s – lunch is significantly cheaper than dinner. However, Gannon’s Happy Hour is even more reasonable than lunch. The caveat is that you need to sit in their Red Bar area.

They have significantly increased the Gannon’s Happy Hour menu since the last time I went. There were 8 makai (to the sea) and 10 mauka (to the mountain) choices.

I ordered the poke bowl. This is a bowl of raw marinated chunks of ahi (tuna), onions and avocado on a bed of rice. It is honestly delicious.

Gannon's Happy Hour

My son claimed the burger (naturally). He said it was great – though the double kobe burger on the lunch menu is a bit better (the Gannon’s Happy Hour burger is cheaper).Gannon's Happy Hour

Before seeing the size of our pupu (appetizers), we also ordered the volcano fries. These are amazing – roasted garlic and seaweed crumbles topped with sriracha mayo.

Gannon's Happy Hour

While the volcano fries were delicious, the size of our poke bowl and burger would have filled us just fine. The cookies and ice cream desert was definitely over the top. But the cookies were delicious.

Did you say Junior PGA?

Why yes. Maui has several junior PGA teams. The teams have been formed and are currently practicing for their tournament starting later this month. Check out this blog post on kids golf lessons.

Comment »

Maui’s Goats at Work

Goats at work
very clever…

Yes, you read that right! Maui has a new weed control program. Actually it’s a pilot weed control program. As of a few days ago there is a herd of 50 goats eating weeds along the side of the Honoapi’ilani Hwy (near the Maui Tropical Plantation). Naturally as former dairy farmers we had to go check it out.

No, we did not stop, though we may have slowed down to take the picture.

It is pretty cool though. This is a new pilot program – the Department of Transportation here on Maui has partnered with Beyond Pesticides and Goat Green to manage weeds on the shoulders of some highways.

What? I will admit I had visions of temporary fencing right up on the shoulder of the highway and goats escaping, or worse being stolen. Unfortunately that (the stealing) happens here on Maui. Why would anyone steel a goat? Beats me.

goatsWhen we drove by, the temporary fencing was actually set back quite a ways and the herd of 50 goats rather difficult to see in all the weeds. Nonetheless, there they were, doing what they do best – eating weeds and fertilizing the weeds…. oh yeah that…. I’m not sure just how successful this program will be – it seems to me, the goats may just be increasing their demand in that way.

So… if you see goats alongside the road, smile. Please do not honk, don’t stop and definitely don’t park alongside the road. Goats at work, after all.

For more information about the pest control goats, check out this Maui Now article and this Youtube video.

Just can’t get enough of goats?

If you are wanting to see, pet and learn more about them – check out the Surfing Goat Dairy in Central Maui. They also have great goat cheese and goat cheese truffles!

Comment »

June 2-9 Cancellation Special!

I just had a call from a guest who needs to cancel his June 2-9, 2017 booking at our beautiful Maui Kamaole I-103 condo!

Maui Kamaole
Welcome to Maui Kamaole I-103

How about a Maui getaway? We just renovated this condo this past fall. It is an over-sized one bedroom, two bathroom condo. California king bed in the bedroom and a queen Murphy bed (the kind that hides in the cabinet) in the over-sized living. No need to sleep on a pull-out couch!

Sleeps 4 guests.

$160/night plus $135 cleaning and 13.417% tax. Minimum stay is 4 nights.

Call 808-281-7934 to book, or send me an email!

Comment »

Spring Activities in Wailea

It’s spring and the Wailea Community Association has sent out their latest newsletter concerning spring activities in Wailea!

Here are some highlights!

Restaurant Week Wailea is next week! Twice a year a number of restaurants offer a 3 course prix-fixe menu (prices vary between $29-$59/person plus drinks, tax and tip). It’s a great way to try out a new restaurant at a reasonable price. This year there are 21 restaurants participating. Check here for the list of restaurants and menus! You do NOT need a ticket or coupon, but reservations are recommended!

WaileaThe Wailea Film Festival is coming! This year it takes place June 21-25, 2017. This is theater under the stars! What a great place to watch a movie, mingle with some stars and take in some special events. For more information, check out their website. Films have not yet been announced, so do check back on their website for more info!

A new farmer’s market at the Shops at Wailea! It will take place every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, starting June 28th 4-6pm. Look for ‘The Market’ on the main floor in the courtyard at the Shops. Remember, the first hour of parking is free at the Shops, after that make sure you pick up a parking validation from one of the many shops and restaurants.

Comment »

It’s Mango Season!

Have you ever had a juicy tree-ripened mango? Be sure to find one when you come to Maui!

mango
our mango tree

When we bought our house, we planted a dwarf mango tree. Somewhere along the line the tree forgot that it is a dwarf and has been growing like crazy. After its first five years in our yard, this year we have a deent crop of mangos. If only they were ripe.

For some reason our tree ripens about 2 months after others here in Kihei. However, the good news is that the mangos don’t all ripen at once but rather over a 3-4 month time period. Perfect! We have several months to enjoy our fruit.

Did you know, some people are allergic to mango skin? It has the same chemical compound as poison ivy. If this is you ~ I feel so sorry for you!

Since my mangos are far from ripe (it’ll be another month or two), I’ve sourced mangos from a friend. They are delicious. If you are in Kihei and would like some, I can tell you where to find them. He sells them for $2/fruit (cheaper than Yee’s which is $3.50/mango). Please, don’t buy your mangos at Costco or even the grocery store… treat yourself to a local-grown tree-ripened mango! You won’t regret it!

How to cut a mango

First set the mango on end. It is a narrow long pit so you cut parallel to the fruit.

mango
slicing into the mango

Cut alongside the pit on both sides.

mango
here I am holding the piece with the pit

Score each half of the mango, then push in at the center while pulling the edges down. You can either eat it like that, or slice the mango cubes off the peel.

mango
here you can see one half scored, the other half has been ‘pushed out’. In the back is the piece with the pit (cut the fruit around it)

Lucky me ~ I enjoyed this delicious breakfast candy this morning! Only two mangos left…

Comment »

The Lahaina Crawl and Cool Cat Burgers

Lahaina ~ once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and an old whaling village. There is definitely some history to be found in Lahaina. There are of course also many tourist traps and shops along famous Front Street. Most tourists end up driving to Lahaina. The West Side (Lahaina and Kaanapali area) is also a popular tourist destination with many resorts and condos. Some prefer South Maui, others West Maui, and that’s fine.

lahaina
the view from the outlook direction Kihei

The problem with Lahaina is the one lane in each direction highway, also known as the Pali or Honoapiilani Hwy. I would say the main problem (besides the lack of lanes) is that it winds along the Maui coastline. The view is frankly breathtaking. In fact, in parts it is so close to the ocean that during high tide the ocean will actually spray onto your car. As you can imagine, this is not good for the road….

This is THE ONLY road to Lahaina, unless you count the somewhat treacherous backroad (driving from Wailuku counter-clock-wise to Lahaina) which is really not recommended. Increased tourism, increased development, a two lane road and a gorgeous view – this road can get very backed up from people slowing down to either enjoy the view, pull into beach parks or just due to traffic signals. Locals call it ‘the Lahaina Crawl’. While the drive should take about 45 minutes, it can take twice that, even without an accident. Just last summer people were stranded in Lahaina and Ma’alaea because the road was impassible due to accidents and wild fires.

Rule of thumb, leave yourself extra time and don’t get excited when traffic ahead of you isn’t going even close to the speed limit (it fluctuates between 35 and 55 mph, watch the signs). Just ignore your speedometer and ‘go with the flow’. Unless you are the front car – then please drive at least the speed limit and watch out for those speed signs. Please.

Is there no plan to widen or relocate the road? Well….. yes and no….. I wouldn’t hold my breath. Last Sunday’s Maui News has an article about that.

Cool Cat Cafe
lahaina
our burgers at Cool Cat Cafe

A few weeks ago our family braved the Lahaina Crawl and then tried a new-to-us restaurant, the Cool Cat Cafe. It’s upstairs across from the Banyan Tree. I highly recommend. These burgers are enormous and super fresh.

Comment »

What should be on your Maui packing list

Currently there’s an interesting discussion thread on Tripadvisor’s Maui forum that I thought I’d expand on. When you book a vacation rental condo on Maui, what can you expect to find and what should you bring from home? What should be on your Maui packing list?Maui packing list

Vacation rentals and what is provided can vary greatly across the US and Canada. On Maui you can generally expect to find the following in a fully furnished vacation rental condo:

  • bedding
  • towels
  • beach towels
  • a starter pack of paper towel, toilet paper, trash bags and soap
  • dishes, pots and pans, small kitchen appliances

Beyond that it really depends on the owner, management company and cleaner. Some have a bare cupboard policy, others allow certain things to be left behind by guests. It’s a good idea to ask the owner/management company.

If you are staying at one of our Maui Oceanview Condos’ apartments, you will also find the following:

  • beach chairs, boogie boards, cooler (no umbrella unless left by a guest)
  • laundry soap/fabric softener
  • dish washer pods
  • tin foil, plastic wrap
  • fully stocked spice rack, salt & pepper
  • small DVD library (and a dedicated condo netflix account)
  • hair dryer
  • small book library
  • Maui guide book
  • power bar (to charge electronics)
  • laundry drying rack
  • basic cleaning supplies

Our policy is to evaluate things left behind by guests – we will leave some cooking oil and condiments if they look to be in good shape. If you are a guest and think something is questionable, please throw it out.

Your Maui packing list

Things you may consider bringing if you have room in your luggage:

  • a few ziploc baggies (for leftovers, snacks, your cell phone at the beach, to pack that wet swim suit on your last day)
  • extra trash bags (we provide 3-4)
  • your favorite bar of soap, shampoo/conditioner
  • sunscreen and after-sun care product
  • your favorite spices (a couple spoonfuls in a ziploc bag in checked luggage)
  • a few extra rolls of toilet paper (we supply 2 rolls/toilet)
  • a swim suit or two and a favorite beach cover-up if desired
  • casual clothing and shoes (even at the fancy restaurants all you need is a pair of khakis and Hawaiian-style top or a cute sundress).

But guess what? If you forget anything, we have stores here! You can just easily run out and buy it!

Maui packing list
Are you missing the beach?
Comment »
1 2 3 65