Have you thought about renting a bike while on Maui? While I don’t know how handy it would be for going grocery shopping (probably not at all), there is some great biking to do here. One of our cousins brings his own bike along when he comes to Maui. Last week he biked all the way from our Palms condo in Wailea to the top of Haleakala (just over 10,000 ft elevation)! I didn’t know you were allowed to bike inside the national park gates other than for the annual Cycle to the Sun event (the road has no shoulder once you get inside the park), but apparently you can, as long it’s not with a commercial group. You may want to confirm that with the park.
Have you gone sports-fishing on Maui? If yes, I’d love to hear your recommendations. In fact, if you have a great experience on an excursion or at a restaurant, shoot me a quick email. I’m always looking for something new to try or recommend to our guests. Also consider writing an online review on yelp or tripadvisor – these days online reviews are hugely important, especially for small local businesses.
A friend of a friend went out with Die Hard Sport Fishing with Captain Fuzzy last year and this year again. This boat is based in Lahaina, and from reading the reviews, it’s something you definitely want to pre-book. He highly recommended it and came home with a cooler full of fish. Last year he went near the end of his trip and ran out of time to eat it all (we were the lucky recipients of some of his leftover fish!)
|photo borrowed from Tripadvisor|
If you go on a fishing excursion, check if you get to keep some of the fish – if yes, you might want to schedule it for the beginning of your trip, so you have lots of time to enjoy your catch! I recommend freezing the extra fish so it stays fresh.
Have you tried any other sports-fishing trips? Let me know what you thought!
Have you checked out the Enchanting Floral Gardens in Kula yet? It’s on my list of places to visit…
|stunning protea, Enchanted Floral Gardens website|
They have recently reopened under new ownership. It is 8 acres of botanical gardens, featuring over 1500 species of tropical and subtropical plants. You can stroll through the gardens, have a picnic or buy something at their cafe/gift shop.
Go for a drive and check them out! They are located at the 10 mile marker on Hwy 37. Admission is $10/adult with child and senior rates available. Open daily from 9am-5pm.
Maui’s own vodka distillery, Ocean Vodka, purchased and started an 80 acre organic farm on Maui last year. This family owned business has been making vodka in an industrial part of Kahului for the past 7 years or so, but have outgrown their facilities. This April they had the grand opening of their brand-new facility on Oma’opio Road (right next to the Surfing Goat Dairy).
CJ was our tour guide yesterday. As he showed us around the property (the nursery, sugar cane fields and then lastly the building itself), you couldn’t help but hear the pride he has in this business. Their new building has enough photo-voltaic panels to produce double what their energy requirements are (the extra going back into the electric grid). They also have a 1300 ft well on property used for irrigation.
|new factory, self-sufficient with photovoltaic energy panels and a 1300 ft deep well|
This family also strives to preserve many of the over 50 varieties of Hawaiian non-GMO sugar cane plants.
|a few of the sugar cane stalks grown on their organic farm|
I learned that most of the commercially grown sugar cane on Maui is GMO, which produces the sugary syrup in its stalks between 18-24 months of age (at which point the whole plant is harvested by controlled burn).
Ocean Vodka‘s sugar cane is non-GMO, meaning the plant will continue to produce sugary syrup in its stalks for 20-40 years. The mature stalks are harvested by hand while the plant continues to grow new shoots (this must be very labor intensive).
|Hawaiian non-GMO sugar cane field with coconut tree mulch|
|resident rooster showing us the baby sugar cane plants in the nursery area|
|sacred Hawaiian sugar cane which used to be reserved for ali’i (chiefs’) consumption|
What makes this vodka unique? It is certified 100% USDA organic, the only vodka in the world made from organic sugar cane. Ocean Vodka is also the only spirit in the world made with deep ocean mineral water (which is pumped from 3000 ft off the coast of Kona, Big Island).
I really enjoyed this tour – and went home to pour myself some Ocean Vodka. It is really good.
They offer tours 7 days a week, 5 times a day – just send them a quick email so they know to expect you.
It rained a bit yesterday late afternoon in South Kihei – our family got so excited! No, we don’t miss the rain from when we used to live in BC’s Fraser Valley, but sometimes it’s nice get a bit of rain. Kihei averages about 12 inches of rain a year, but for the past three years or so there’s been a real drought in Kihei (and a lot of Maui, for that matter). I think last year we had about 5 inches of rain in Kihei. It’s been really dry.
Anyway, yesterday after dinner we went for a walk around the neighborhood in the refreshing ‘just rained’ air. Our youngest brought along an umbrella, it’s a novelty for him to be able to use an umbrella. Guess what – we got caught in rain and he actually got to use it (he also discovered that the pavement can be slippery when wet). It started pouring for a few minutes and we sure got wet. It was lovely!
Imagine my surprise that it’s raining this morning again! Our kids are hoping that school is cancelled today! Really? Yes, sometimes when it rains, school is cancelled because of danger from flash flooding. Even when they don’t cancel school, you can count on half the kids not showing up to school. But like I said, with 12 inches of rain a year, it almost never happens!
The trade winds are back – this is cause for celebration! Yesterday morning when I woke up it was still 79F in the house even though we left windows open… that’s too warm for me. Now that the trade winds are back, the house cools off again in the evening. It’s nice to start the day cooler than we finished it off the previous evening.
I spent yesterday morning in Lahaina watching the ‘Ulalena production. As I had driven myself (as opposed to riding the school bus with my son), I enjoyed stopping for a cup of coffee at the Mauigrown Coffee Company Store in Lahaina, right next to the smoke stack (and a Shell gas station). Although I’ve driven past it several times, this is the first time I’ve gone in. I sure enjoyed browsing through their little store area, checking out all the different coffees and choosing a bag of coffee to bring home. I ended up with their Estate Blend, a medium roast of their Typica and Yellow Caturra varieties. It’s a nice mellow coffee – I sure am enjoying it this morning.
As I’ve been told Mauigrown Coffee Company gets their beans at Kaanapali Coffee Farms. If you are driving along the Sugar Cane Train line, turn right where their Kaanapali station is, but instead of turning left into the parking lot, keep driving up that road and you get to a new subdivision (5-7 acre lots with big homes, each growing a share of the co-op’s beans on their acreage).
When in Lahaina – go check the store out! This family business is open Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday).
Today I attended a special matinee performance of the ‘Ulalena show together with an audience of Maui’s school kids.
The grade 4 classes at our elementary school were treated to a field trip aboard the Atlantis Submarine last week!
|The Atlantis Submarine (photo courtesy Pride of Maui)|
My son LOVED the adventure. The highlights of the tour were:
– feeling the change in altitude when sinking to a depth of 116 ft below sea level
– seeing the spotted eagle ray in nature (as opposed to the aquarium)
– checking out the ‘shipwreck’ (a boat anchored to the ocean floor in 1995 to create an artificial reef)
– learning how things look with diminished light when you are so far under the surface (did you know the edges of your teeth look orange?)
– seeing goat fish and learning about corral
– watching the Atlantis’ tug boat
|imaginations run wild when you get to see an old sunken ship!|
For him, the best part was experiencing the submarine shooting out from the water, it was a huge thrill.
The Atlantis Submarine is anchored off-shore at Lahaina Harbor. You take a shuttle-boat from dock and board the submarine using a ramp.
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).
|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