Category: Maui to-do

Golf lessons for all ages

Thinking of taking some golf lessons to improve your game? Do give Eddie and Renee Lee a call at the David Leadbetter golf academy at 808-250-8150. Their golf academy is located at the Wailea Golf Club (just above Gannons).

While they both teach adults, Renee is also excellent at teaching children. As part of the instruction, they take video so you can watch your swing and improve.

You just can’t beat the location – the views of the ocean, Molokini and Kaho’olawe are just stunning.

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First humpback whale sighting of the season!

The first humpback whale for the season has been spotted off the coast of Kauai. Every year humpback whales (adults are the size of a school bus) migrate from their cold water feeding grounds in Alaskan waters to Hawai’i. They will spend an average of 6 weeks in our warm waters to breed and calve. During their journey and time here they do not feed, instead waiting to return to their favorite krill at their feeding grounds off Alaska.

Can you imagine not eating for a few months?

Humpback whales do not all arrive at the same time. While you typically see a few outliers in late September and October, the majority of humpbacks arrive between November and April, with February and March being the most favored months. In February and March it is literally ‘whale soup’ in the warm Maui water (between Maui, Kaho’olawe, Lanai and Molokai) – you really can see them jumping and splashing from shore (if you know what you’re looking for).

What else do you need to know? Humpback whales are endangered and it is against the law to approach a humpback whale. By law you need to stay at least 100 yards away from humpbacks (this applies to all boaters, swimmers, kayakers, divers, ocean users in general). Of course, a humpback may approach you. If one does, if you are in a boat, turn the engine off immediately, if you’re in a kayak etc, hold on (to your kayak) tight!

It truly is a magical experience to watch these giant animals!

Picture from my ‘best whale watch ever’ in February 2013 with Pacific Whale Foundation. In this picture a pod of 6 adult males is swimming directly to the boat, they then dove under the boat in unison (it was like synchronized swimming), coming up on the other side of the boat. On this tour our boat sat still while a pod of 9 males showed off for a few females. It was a truly remarkable experience!

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There’s no beer in Hawaii!!!

Do you know the German song, ‘Es gibt kein Bier in Hawaii‘ (there is no beer in Hawaii)? Austrian folk music singer Andy Borg sings a great version of it. I get a real kick out of it – because well, I like Austrian folk music and…. there is LOTS of beer in Hawaii! So don’t worry about it!

Check out the first part of the video, and in case you don’t speak German, here is a loose translation of it:
Marianne is my girlfriend,
we’ve been engaged for years.
She would love to have me as her husband
and has threatened to sue for it.
The wedding would have happened long ago
if it weren’t for the honeymoon
because she wants to go to Hawaii
but I just can’t go because…. 
There is no beer in Hawaii, 
there is no beer!
So I’ll never go to Hawaii,
I will stay here.
It is too hot in Hawaii,
no place to cool off
And hula alone won’t quench your thirst.
Still worried despite my claim otherwise? Here is a blog with some of Hawaii’s beers. And yes, you can get many US mainland beers and even some European beers here. You can even buy some of them in bulk at Costco!
You can also celebrate Oktoberfest on Maui! I’ll post info on the various Oktoberfest options once I find it, so check back! Brigit & Bernard’s Garden Cafe in Kahului (Swiss-German restaurant in an industrial part of Kahului) is always a safe bet for Oktoberfest celebrations and good German food!
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How to take great underwater shots!

Do you enjoy snorkeling? Do you take a camera with you? How do those pictures turn out? Many that I’ve seen are grainy, fuzzy and not that impressive.

The Maui Ocean Center posted a great blog by Pride of Maui on how to get great underwater shots! Here you are, for your reading pleasure!

this is the extent of my under-water photography…. through the glass window
at the Maui Ocean Center!
garden eel staring contest – are you looking at ME?
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Six new baby green sea turtles at the Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center welcomed six 2-month old baby green sea turtles last week. The babies were hatched at Sealife Park in Honolulu. Click here for the KHON2 news video.

If you are going to the Maui Ocean Center – be sure to check these babies out! So cute! By the way, book your tickets online and receive free one week upgrades. This is particularly great if you have kids with short attention spans. Or go before you go snorkeling, and then again after to find names for all those fish you saw!

one of six green sea turtle babies at the Maui Ocean Center

Additionally here is a very cool video of a recent turtle nest excavation. We attended a hawksbill turtle nest excavation at Big Beach several years back – it was so neat! When turtles come on shore to nest, scientists mark the nests and then watch them closely when it gets close to hatching-time. After the baby turtles have come out, scientists carefully unearth the nest to check for any turtles that were left behind. In this video by the Ocean Defender organization there are three live baby turtles found in the nest! Soooo cool!

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Fantastic Hawaiian Ocean Safety Video

Little known fact: “drowning is the leading cause of death for visitors in the State of Hawaii, and the activity in which we have the most fatalities in the ocean is snorkeling” – Jim Howe, Chief Operating Officer of Ocean Safety

Everyone who goes into the ocean in Hawaii should watch this short ocean safety video by Malika Dudley, Maui meteorologist. Please take the time to watch and don’t become a statistic. Click here if the video doesn’t load.

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Maui Film Festival – Dinner and a Movie Special!

Maui’s own Film Festival is just around the corner – happening next week, June 4-8, 2014! This is an annual event with several venues, one of them being the ‘Celestial Cinema’ at the Wailea Emerald Golf Course (just above one of our favorite restaurants with a view, Gannons).

Celestial Cinema? Movie night under the stars! But what will you need (other than tickets)? How about a beach chair and parking? Gannon’s is offering their ‘Dinner and a Movie’ special again June 4-8 – have dinner, and receive complimentary parking and a beach chair for the movie! Check with Gannons for more details and reservations. You can buy your tickets for the film festival at the Maui Film Festival website.


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Need a break from the kids?

Who are we kidding, there comes a point during the family vacation where you just want to step away from the family and spend some ALONE time without the kids. Maybe even without your spouse!

Well… summer holidays are around the corner (starting later this week on Maui), and for the next two months (June and July) there will be all sorts of day/week camps for kids on Maui. A few years ago we had a guest from South Korea who came for numerous weeks and enrolled her kids in a number of day camps so they would improve their English. What a great idea!

So where do you find out about camps? There is a quarterly publication, ‘Maui Family’ that lists a number of them. Keep in mind, some of these will fill fast as working parents on Maui book them for childcare.

Here are a few I’ve heard good things about (but we haven’t tried them, so I make no guarantees):

Pacific Whale Foundation Ocean Camp (single or multiple days)
Basketball Maui Camp (one week session)
Valley Isle Gymnastics Day Camps
Hope Chapel Sports & Drama Camp (one week session)
Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) Summer Camps
Maui Humane Society Animal Camps (single or multiple days)

Another alternative is to hire a babysitter to spend time at the condo, pool or even ocean with your kids (this depends a lot on your kids and your comfort level with your kids’ swimming skills and the nanny). A few of our traveling friends have been happy with nannies hired through The Nanny Connection and Happy Kids. While I haven’t used either of them personally, my friend Bonnie said this about Happy Kids: “We used Happy Kids on Maui for the 2 nights we went out for dinner and I would absolutely use them again. Our first nanny came by on our last day to say good-bye to the kids and the kids have both asked us to leave them with Yoli or Peggy when we go back.”

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FREE Elvis show in Wailea TONIGHT!

Last month we saw Maui’s Elvis impersonator in Lahaina. He was awesome! Curious but not quite ready to commit to spending $60 to see him? How does a FREE SHOW sound to you??

Darren Lee – aka Elvis – will be performing TONIGHT at 5:30pm at the Shops at Wailea Wednesday night party (free event)! Be there for fun, food samples, amazing music and more!!

Then, check out his show – Burn’n Love – at the Maui Theater in Lahaina. It really is a great show!

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