Maui, Hawaii

Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

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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Maui’s very own Ocean Vodka

Did you know that Ocean Vodka is building a new distillery upcountry (Kula)? Starting April they will be offering three tours a day, Monday through Saturday! Reservations required – (808) 877-0009.

Ocean Vodka is made from 100% certified organic sugar cane and desalinated deep ocean mineral water. Interesting…

nice view over the building (look at all the solar panels)

Our neighbors took a drive up there yesterday afternoon, though at this time there isn’t much to see yet besides the gorgeous bi-coastal views. It’s close to the Surfing Goat Dairy.

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Pidgin: The Voice of Hawaii

As part of the Heritage Film Festival, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) is showing the film ‘Pidgin: The Voice of Hawaii’ on Sunday, March 10th at 3pm. You can buy tickets at the box office or at the MACC website.

Here is what the MACC writes about the film:

‘Pidgin: The Voice of Hawai‘i’ profiles the language of Hawai‘i’s working people in its rise from plantation jargon to a source of island identity, pride and controversy. Born on sugar plantations and spoken by more than half of Hawai‘i’s population, Pidgin captures the heart and soul of multi-ethnic Hawai‘i. Once again under attack by educators and bloggers, will Pidgin survive? A Q&A session with producer and director, Marlene Booth, will follow the screening.

It’s always interesting to learn more about the places we love! Check it out!

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Pineapple update

Have you been waiting for updated pineapple plant pictures? Am I the only one completely fascinated with this pineapple plant growth? It can’t be… it just can’t be!

Joking aside, we planted the top of a Maui Gold pineapple (from Costco) in our flower bed in January 2012. It was an experiment, to see if we could really do it. Here’s what it looked like in February 2012 with some new growth in the center.

A year later (end of January) it developed a red bud. And yes, I’ve been checking on it every day since… you can’t take the farm out of the farm girl, it would appear.

Here’s what it looks like today! I love how the leaves around the bud have turned a beautiful pink!

The plant is now 2 feet tall and four feet in diameter.
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What’s your favorite local coffee?

Are you a coffee drinker? What kind of coffee do you drink when you go on vacation? Do you stick with what you know, bringing your own can of Timmy’s coffee? Or do you experiment?

Generally, I like to stick with what I know… but when we moved to Maui, I couldn’t get my ‘usual’ coffee anymore (and no, it wasn’t Tim Hortons coffee)… So we’ve been trying our way through different coffees, and I’ve discovered that my former ‘usual’ wasn’t that great! I’ve also discovered that I prefer to grind my beans every morning. We’ve added coffee grinders to all our condos last year so you too can grind your coffee if you like.

We are currently drinking Pekelos Hawaiian Coffee’s 100% Maui Red Catuai medium roast. There was a friendly gentleman from the Hawaii Coffee Association at the farmer’s market at Queen Kaahumanu Mall this week, selling a variety of beans. This one is quite lovely. The beans are grown on West Maui and Upcountry Mountains and sold by the Vineyard Food Company Catering.

This is the coffee we usually drink – the 10% Maui Coffee Blend from Maui Coffee Roasters. We buy a 2 lb bag at Costco for under $18 (you’ll find it next to the Starbucks and Kirkland brands). Of course, I realize it’s just 10% Maui coffee. Maui Coffee Roasters have a store in Kahului, close to the airport. Go have a look, try some of their 100% Maui coffees and see which of their coffees is your favorite.

Another coffee we’ve enjoyed several times is the Kihei Sunrise Rotary Club’s 100% Maui Red Catuai roast. It’s a fundraiser for the local Rotary Club, and yes, you can order it online, or arrange to pick it up here in Kihei.

If you’ve stayed at one of our condos since this past September, you will have found a small one-pot packet of Coffees of Hawaii whole coffee beans for your first pot (those coffee grinders in our condos will come in handy) or to take home with you. This coffee is grown on Molokai. You can buy more online, or pick some up at Hilo Hattie’s.

Here is another coffee that I’ve had tucked away in my closet for a while, saving it for a special occasion. I know, you coffee connoisseurs out there probably would say it’s ruined as it’s been sitting so long. I’m sure it will still be fine for my non-gourmet taste buds. Keokea Farms won 2nd place for the Maui district at the Hawaiian State Cupping Competition this past July with this roast. It is grown in Kula, upcountry Maui.

So how about it? Which coffee will you try when you come to Maui? Let me know which new favorites you find!

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Hawksbill turtle nest

Our neighbors invited us to join them in the unearthing of a hawksbill turtle nest this afternoon. The hawksbill turtles are on the critically endangered animal list. During nesting season, volunteers comb the beaches, looking for turtle tracks that would indicate nesting. Once a nest is found, it is staked, and watched (I’m not sure on the details). Then when the turtles are due to hatch (after about 2 months), volunteers camp out by the nest, through their presence scaring away predators… This particular turtle nest on Oneloa beach (Big Beach) had hatched a number of turtles a few days ago. This afternoon they unearthed the nest, checking for any other live turtles.

carefully opening the nest

They found egg shells, dead turtles and 6 live turtles. Once everything was recorded, they took the baby turtles to the beach where they slowly crawled towards the water, eventually being swept away by one of Big Beach’s giant waves. It truly was the coolest thing to see. Reminded me of a kids movie (Turtle Tale?) I recently watched – and yet, not.

look who we found – a little guy quite eager to head towards the ocean

the live turtles waiting for their release into the Pacific Ocean. Safe swimming, little guys!
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The old lava flow

La Perouse Bay, known to our family as ‘the old lava flow’, is definitely worth checking out! As you may know, Maui was formed by two volcanos – the now extinct Mauna Kahalawai (West Maui Mountains) and Haleakala, which you will find labelled as both active and dormant. I’m not sure how a volcano can be active and dormant at the same time, but there you have it. 

You take the main road through Wailea and just follow it to the very end. You drive through Makena and through wilderness and brush, along the ocean, past beautiful mansions… the road will get narrower and narrower and you will probably think to yourself, ‘I must have missed it’. No – keep going! When you are almost there, you will be surrounded by broken up chunks of lava on either side of the one lane road. Once through that, you pass a ranch on the left and the road ends with a parking lot on the right next to the ocean. I encourage you to get out of the car and hike around in the old lava field next to the parking lot. It is really cool, and it is free!

hiking around in the old lava rock at La Perouse Bay – you CAN do this in slippahs (flip flops)

Some say this last lava flow occurred in 1790, but according to Andrew Doughty’s ‘Maui Revealed – the Ultimate Guide book’ (5th edition, page 135), it could have occurred 300 years prior to that in 1490 also. Incidentally, this is a great guide book, I highly recommend it – look for it on Amazon, your friendly neighborhood ABC store and even Costco!

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