Maui, Hawaii

Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Tour Ocean Vodka’s Distillery!

Did you know we have a vodka distillery on Maui? Did you know that it is organic and self-sustaining?

Ocean Vodka is celebrating their new facility’s Grand Opening on April 27th between 10am-4pm. Then starting April 29th they will be offering five tours a day, seven days a week. Tours will include the distillery, martini garden and gift shop. Unfortunately there will be no sampling, as Maui County doesn’t allow it (wineries yes, distilleries no).

Tours are $10/person or $25 including lunch. Children 11 years old or younger get in free.

Ocean Vodka’s distillery is located at 4051 Omoapio Road in Kula (just below the Surfing Goat Dairy).

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Pineapple update

Since cutting off the slips underneath the pineapple, the pineapple has grown. The fruit is about 5 1/2 inches tall, the crown another 3 1/2 inches. Looking good!

Not to be outdone, our first crop of mangos are coming along nicely (I have no idea how much longer these will be til they ripen). I am sure enjoying watching the fruit in our yard grow!
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Fresh ahi avocado poke

A few weeks ago our neighbor friends served me my very first poke. Poke? Yes, raw marinated fish… Hawaiian style.

I must confess, the smell of poke at the grocery stores turns me off. I purposefully avoid Foodland’s meat section and take a deep breath before crossing in front of the seafood section at Safeway. It’s a bit overwhelming.

However, I’ve been told that Foodland in Kihei has some of the freshest fish in Kihei (besides Eskimo Candy). So when our neighbors served us fresh ahi (tuna) avocado poke and encouraged me to give it a try, well, it seemed rude to refuse. It’s not the most appetizing food I’ve ever seen, but looks can be deceiving and I’m glad I gave it a try! My taste buds popped and I am hooked! It’s a bit spicy, tastes absolutely wonderful. In fact, I had a real craving for it this afternoon and made a Foodland poke run for some more…

Foodland’s fresh ahi avocado poke
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Local coffee…. Piliani Kope Farm!

owners Greg & Susy, and their House Blend City Roast coffee

I love finding and trying new to me local coffee.
Last week I picked up a bag of Piliani Kope Farm’s House Blend City Roast coffee. It’s a medium roast coffee, a combination of Yellow Caturra, Red Catuai and Heirloom Kanaka Kope beans. It is really good.

Piliani Kope Farm is located at 15 Wailau Place southeast of Lahaina. Their store is open from 9am-2pm or buy online.

They also offer tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays or by special appointment. Call them to schedule a tour 808-661-5479.

Tour 1: 3 hours
– seed to cup experience
– harvest season specialty tour
– tour a working farm from picking to processing
– coffee education
– talk story lunch
– roasting & packaging for take away

Tour 2: 90 minutes
– walk & talk the farm with coffee education
– roasting and tasting

tour 3: 60 minutes
– in house barn
– clipping experience
– roasting & tasting flavor profiles

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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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