A number of years ago I discovered the joy of a pineapple jack-o’lantern, and frankly, we have not looked back! These little guys are so easy to carve and their crazy pineapple top hair make me laugh every time. Last weekend my son and I shot a short video on how to carve a pineapple jack-o’lantern. This video comes to you from the beautiful kitchen at our Kamaole Sands 2-206 condo. Hope you enjoy!
I wrote more about pineapples (how to carve and how to grow) last week – so check out that blog entry. I’ve also grown pineapples from pineapple tops in my flower bed, so search ‘Cara’s pineapple‘ on this blog for more pictures of that also!
A few tips for carving a pineapple jack-o’lantern
On Maui a pineapple jack-o’lantern will only last about a day before starting to mold. Save your carving for Halloween afternoon! For that matter, when I have carved pumpkins here on Maui, they’ve not lasted much longer than 2-3 days either.
Carving pineapples is significantly easier than a pumpkin – provided you trust your children with a knife, this is a fun activity for them to try!
Pineapple jack-o’lanterns are juicy. Unless they’re outside, put a plate under them!
Pumpkins on Hawaii
Why not carve a pumpkin? Honestly, pumpkins in Hawaii are expensive. The actual pumpkins themselves, but also canned pumpkin. Standard (15 oz)-sized tins average $3, the larger (29 oz) ones are usually $5-6. Our family loves pumpkin. My favorite recipe is this pumpkin swirl loaf. It is delicious – I triple the recipe, usually two loaves are polished off within two days, the third goes in the freezer for a treat. This year I bought a whole pumpkin from Costco, roasted it and made my own pumpkin sauce (and seeds). I may have regretted that by the time I started bagging all the sauce for the freezer. That’s a lot of pumpkin sauce! It also looks deceptively like frozen mango puree. Want to bet there will be some interesting ‘mango’ aka accidental pumpkin smoothies made at my house? Ha!
Have you been to the Kula Farms upcountry Maui? Every year they have a pumpkin patch, usually starting late September and running through Halloween. I love their farm stand.
This fall Mahi Pono harvested their first crop of Maui grown pumpkins. Mahi Pono is the owner of 41,000 acres of former sugar cane land here on Maui. Slowly but surely they are converting the dry former sugar cane fields into cropland. Their first plantings were potatoes, but they have branched out from that. Driving up Haleakala Hwy you can see fields of orange, lemon and coffee trees. Curious to buy their Maui grown produce? Per their website they currently sell under the Maui Harvest label at Foodland, Longs, Times and Tamura.
Yesterday around 9PM I saw on social media that Hawaii was in a tsunami watch with a predicted 1AM arrival time. There had been an 8.2 earthquake off the Alaska coast. I pulled out my guest contact information and started calling our guests, starting with the ones needing to prepare for evacuation. Thankfully by the time I was done (and had filled my own bathtub with water, started the dishwasher and plugged in my phone), the watch was called off. It’s good to be prepared.
The likelihood of there being a tsunami while you are on vacation 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.
Far away earthquake
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). For Maui specific news, follow MauiNow and Maui247 on Facebook or Instagram.
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 are monthly emergency tests 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.
What happens in a tsunami
Prior to the tidal wave, the water will recede further than normal, and then come rushing back in. This more extreme wave action will continue for multiple hours. Here is a NOAA animation of what can happen.
You will want to avoid going into the ocean for a day or two after a tsunami as the ocean is in turmoil, normal currents disrupted. The water will be brown and sharks hunting for food.
If you are familiar with our Sugar Beach condo, the former resident manager Cliff Jordan (now a local realtor) filmed this incredible footage after the Japanese tsunami in March 2011. Note, that tsunami hit Maui around 3AM. Cliff filmed this four hours after the initial waves hit. The initial waves came as far as the BBQ area but also circled around the building and flooded the parking lot. Thankfully the groundfloor condos were not flooded, however guests in the first three floors were evacuated. Ma’alaea Harbor sustained significant damage, in Kihei portions of South Kihei Road were covered in sand, fish and coral.
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. In the past Safeway parking lot has become a bit of a town party. County shelters don’t open until after a tsunami has occurred
on Maui shelters do NOT provide anything besides a roof and bathrooms. You will need to bring all your own supplies
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)
ensure you have working flash lights and your phones are charged (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, sinks, pots 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).
Remember the good old days, when I blogged about things to do on Maui? I really look forward to no longer writing about Covid updates, but they are important for right now, so here is the latest. The State is loosening the Covid rules. A little.
To preface, all those who have NOT been vaccinated IN the State Hawaii still need to do their pre-travel Covid test. Once 60% of Hawaii’s residents have been fully vaccinated, the State will announce a lifting of the pre-travel testing for US mainland and Alaska residents. So hang tight. And schedule your pre-travel tests, in accordance with the official State website.
This week (June 15) you no longer need to take Covid tests when traveling between islands, regardless of your vaccination status. So for instance, if you are spending some time here on Maui and then hopping over to one of the other Hawaiian islands, you no longer need to pre-travel test before that island hopper flight. Yay. But, you do still need to pre-travel test to come to Hawaii. For now.
A little complication
To complicate things a little, as of June 15 those who are fully vaccinated (vaccines administered and logged) in the State of Hawaii do NOT need to pre-travel test when arriving on the mainland. This mainly applies to Hawaii residents. They do still have to upload their vaccination card into the Safe Travels app. I’m sure this will add a wrinkle or two at the airport.
Are you confused yet? Sorry about that. But please check out the State’s official website re the current rules and loosening restrictions.
Looking for more Maui information?
Have you checked out Tripadvisor’s Maui forum? This is a great place to get specific information from recent travelers and locals.
It’s been a year…. we’ve been thankful to have a steadier flow of guests since October’s reopening of tourism with the introduction of the pre-travel Covid test.
Our most recent guests at our Kamaole Sands 2-206 condo left us a really nice review on the booking platform (we advertise on Airbnb and VRBO) and guest book entry at the condo.
We realize travel during Covid-19 is more complicated than it used to be. We appreciate those willing to travel and are so happy to have you stay at our condos!
“Wonderful space, clean and bright! The condo upgrade/remodel was well done, so comfortable in the space & location was very safe! The two (2) bathrooms is this one-bedroom is definitely nice to have, earns this place extra points! The space was well equipped with all the necessary items you’d need from kitchen tools to boogie boards and beach chairs.
The complex itself was impressively very well maintained, so clean from the gym to the swimming pool area & the grounds are beautifully manicured.
You are directly across from Kamaole Beach III, literally you walk across the street, too easy to catch the sun rise or set. Compared to Kamaole Beach I and II, Kamaole Beach III was so much nicer, a no crowds beach with plenty of room to social distance, sand so soft + clean and the ocean swimming will not disappoint and the best part – there’s a life-guard who actually pays attention!
The host/s were always quick to reply and ready to assist when I had questions! I would absolutely recommend this condo without reservation.”
We are one week into having the pre-travel test option for arrivals in the State of Hawaii (check here for more info). There have been hiccups and bumps along the road, however, it is wonderful to have this as an option to avoid the mandatory 14 day quarantine. Of course, this doesn’t mean anyone is exempt from the Covid rules.
Wear a mask when in public (ages 5 and up) – unless you are doing strenuous activity or in the water. Yes, we have to wear a mask on the beach and when walking. Many have not been doing this – the State is stepping up enforcement.
Social Distance six feet or more.
Wash your hands and/or sanitize often.
Indoor/outdoor gatherings of up to ten people allowed subject to social distancing.
Stay home and isolate if you are sick. Get tested.
Check out this graphic from Maui County with their new Arrive Healthy, Stay Healthy campaign. Maui County is offering complimentary post-arrival tests (only to those who did the pre-travel test). You cannot do an on-island test to opt out of quarantine.
How is it going?
We are starting to see a few more people on island. Sig and I walked the Wailea beach walk again yesterday (we do this twice a week) and saw a few visitors at the beaches. There were a few people in lounge chairs on the Four Seasons property and we have seen a little activity at the Grand Wailea, but unclear if they are open yet.
We saw a few people across the street from Fred’s Mexican (Kamaole 2 beach), sitting on the wall watching sunset. It has been 7 months since we last saw that.
Some residents remain skeptical about allowing visitors back. Others are hugely relieved as they hope to be able to work again after all this time. We are hopeful people will obey the Covid rules and that Maui County can avoid an outbreak. On that note, Lanai is currently struggling with an outbreak. It appears it may have been a traveling construction worker at one of the hotels.
Can you believe it – after nearly 7 months of Covid, our politicians are going ahead with Hawaii’s grand reopening! Kinda. Sorta.
Nearly a month ago the Governor announced October 15, 2020 as the official date when travelers can take a pre-travel Covid test to avoid the mandatory 14 day quarantine. Then a few weeks later the individual County mayors piped up with their own ideas. Nothing like waiting until last minute to add more confusion to the mess.
The long and short of it is, many of Hawaii’s residents are worried about the reopening. Those not personally affected by the disappearance of tourism would rather just keep things as they are and wait out the pandemic. Maui and Kauai are offering voluntary secondary Covid tests to be taken 3 days after arrival. There are additional rules for inter-island travel.
EVERYTHING IS STILL IN FLUX. PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK THE STATE’S RULES REPEATEDLY IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO YOUR ARRIVAL TO ENSURE YOU HAVE THE UPDATED INFORMATION.
Figure out where and how to take your pre-travel Covid test at your expense. Note you need to take this test within 72 hours of your scheduled flight (or the scheduled last leg of your flight to Hawaii). The State of Hawaii requires very specific tests (make sure you get the right one) and you will want your results back PRIOR to arriving on Maui. All traveling in your group will need to take the test including children 5+ years old.
Upload your negative test results to the Safe Travels website/app.
Keep a copy of your results on hand to provide to your condo/hotel provider. The rental car people may need them also (they are currently not able to rent to those in quarantine, so you will need proof of test results).
If you are staying at one of our Maui Oceanview Condos, you will not be able to stay in our condos should you or anyone in your travel group have a POSITIVE test. Again, as noted in all of your rental agreements, PLEASE PURCHASE CANCELLATION INSURANCE. We can be fined if one of our guests break their quarantine. We are not able to take that risk.
Please note, everything has been changing frequently. If you have an upcoming trip, please keep a close eye on the official government websites for changes.
Indoor/outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted.
Everyone must wear face coverings/masks when away from your place of residence. All ages 5 and up must wear masks with exception of when swimming or when engaging in strenuous physical activity (with proper social distancing). Note, to date enforcement has been rather lax. We expect with the arrival of more visitors, enforcement will pick up. Hey – this is your chance to add some Hawaii-themed face masks to your collection.
People who are sick are to stay in their residences except to seek medical help.
Try to maintain social distancing of 6 feet from those not within your immediate group.
As of right now, if traveling inter-island (except to Oahu), you will need to quarantine on that island for 14 days. The Governor and mayors are hoping to have a pre-travel test option, but this is NOT confirmed at this time.
Many shops and restaurants have shuttered in the past 7 months, some temporarily, some permanently. Some are on limited hours, while others are waiting to reopen once tourism restarts. We are all waiting for Hawaii’s Grand Reopening. Yes, we are a little worried but also very relieved.
It’s been six months since Covid-19 brought Hawaii travel to a standstill. As we anxiously await Hawaii Governor David Ige’s announcement of when tourism can resume to the Hawaiian islands, here is a trend to consider.
Yes, we are getting inquiries again. The big trend I’m seeing is longer-stay inquiries. Specifically we are seeing one or two month inquiries. At this time it’s mainly younger professionals, looking to escape the West Coast wild fires, or just work remotely from Maui since they are working remotely anyway. We’ve also had families whose kids are doing school remotely inquire.
Can you work remotely from Maui?
Well, why not? The main hurdle you will face is the State of Hawaii’s 14 day mandatory quarantine. Starting October 1 there is supposed to be a workaround, a ‘test negative pre-travel to avoid quarantine’ option. I hate to say this but….. it doesn’t sound like the State has the details worked out yet (what are they waiting for???). We will see if it gets further delayed (we were supposed to have this option August 1).
Well, Maui isn’t exactly the way you may remember it from your last trip. The disappearance of tourists has meant the closure or at least reduction of hours at many stores and restaurants. Many activities have shut down. We hope some of them will be able to restart their businesses once tourism resumes. Instead of having a fully packed and planned agenda, plan on a relaxed beach vacation. The businesses open will be thankful to serve you.
Are there any deals?
You bet! At this time we are offering 20% discounts on weekly, 35% discounts on monthly rentals. We may be able to give a better deal, depending on when you are planning to come? Please do get cancellation insurance. We will not refund due to Covid, however, if the State of Hawaii does not have a ‘test to avoid the quarantine’ option for your travel dates, we will give you a refund.
We are thrilled to welcome guests back to our condos. Today I cleaned and prepped our Kamaole Sands 2-206 condo for tomorrow’s arrival. We are thrilled to have them! Enjoy this walk-through video I shot today.
How are things going Covid-wise in your neck of the woods? Here, after months of good numbers, the Hawaii governor has re-instated the inter-island quarantine AND pushed back the start ‘avoid quarantine by showing a negative test’.
We were doing well with low numbers, thanks to an island-wide shutdown and the mandatory quarantine. Then we got complacent as things opened back up. On Oahu the numbers have been increasing rapidly, with new cases numbering 200+/day in the past week.
Last week Hawaii Governor Ige (pronounced Ee-geh) instituted a new inter-island mandatory quarantine. It will run August 11-31, 2020. Oahu is also doing a partial shut-down, while Maui and the other neighbor islands are staying their current course. We’ll see what happens.
A week or two ago Canadian media outlets were running stories that Canadians will be allowed to travel to Hawaii once the mandatory quarantine to Hawaii is lifted. I haven’t seen this on any of the official sites here in Hawaii, so I’m not sure if it’s true. For now Canadians still have a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon re-entry from the US into Canada.
Cancellations of upcoming trips
Since everything is so up in the air with Covid-19, I have temporarily pushed back the ‘balance due date’ to 30 days prior to your arrival (from the usual 60 days). If you need to cancel your upcoming stay, please do so prior to the due date and please give as much notice as possible so we can reopen dates for others (mainly staycations).
Once you have paid your balance in full, your stay becomes non-refundable even for Covid-19 reasons. We always recommend trip cancellation insurance. As I understand, the only trip cancellation insurance that covers COVID-19 cancellations is a CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) policy. Please study the terms of any cancellation insurance carefully to know what is and isn’t covered.
If you would like to be added to my newsletter mail list, please send me a message, either here or directly through email. I foresee sending newsletters every few months and you may always unsubscribe if you don’t find the information useful. As always I invite you to check our blog for updates and things to do on Maui. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you are interested in reading about.
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Unfortunately there are problems with that. For one, local politicians and Hawaii residents have the jitters thanks to the surge in cases on the mainland. We are being told there is a shortage of testing kits because of the mainland surge. Many travelers and mainland owners are reporting problems getting tests (without having Covid-19 symptoms) and timely results which would be required at flight check-in. Finally, public school is slated to begin the first week of August and allowing tourism at the same time would make it more difficult to see if new flare-ups are community-based or due to travel (or so I’m told).
In short, it’s a bit of a kaffuffle.
Unfortunately, this further delays tourism to Hawaii and with that a kickstart to the economy and completely flat-lined tourism industry.
We wish you were here. I really do. In the mean time, we hope the US mainland is able to curb their cases so Hawaii politicians feel more comfortable with reopening to tourism. But we also hope the increasing numbers of returning Hawaii residents who traveled to the mainland this summer adhere to the terms of quarantine so that Hawaii also can keep its numbers under control.
How many people are actually arriving in Hawaii?
In case you are interested, here are the posted mainland arrival numbers for yesterday 7/12/20 as compiled by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. For comparison purposes, in 2019 the average arrivals were 35,000/day.
Crew = flight crew members
Transit = people who are in transit to another location through Hawaii and aren’t leaving the airport
Military = military exempt personnel
Exempt = people who are exempt from the 14-day quarantine after receiving prior approval from the state
Relocate to Hawaii = people who are moving to Hawaii
Returning Resident = people who indicate on the DOT’s form that they’re returning residents
Visitor = people who are not in the above categories
A few months ago the Governor of Hawaii instituted a mandatory quarantine for all arrivals into the State of Hawaii. We even had to quarantine when traveling between the Hawaiian islands with a few exceptions including medical travel.
Pre-Travel Testing Option for Trans-Pacific Travel Beginning August 1
Gov. David Ige announced today all travelers arriving in Hawai‘i from out-of-state will be required to get a valid COVID-19 test prior to their arrival, and to show proof of a negative test result, to avoid the 14-day quarantine. The pre-travel testing program begins Aug. 1. Out-of-state travelers arriving in Hawai‘i must get a PCR test prior to arrival from any testing location approved by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. Evidence of a negative test result must be provided upon arrival in Hawai‘i. Without this, passengers arriving from out-of-state will be subject to the 14-day quarantine. No testing will be provided upon arrival at the airport.
DOH is still in the process of developing this program but anticipates requiring an FDA-approved PCR test from a CLIA certified laboratory. Travelers will be required to provide printed or emailed pre-test certification as evidence of a negative test result. Travelers will be responsible for the cost of the pre-travel test.
Temperature checks will continue at airports across the state. Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees or who is experiencing other symptoms will be required to undergo a secondary screening at the airport with trained healthcare staff. In addition, travelers will be required to fill out the State of Hawai‘i Traveler and Health form.
Gov. Ige said, “Now is the time to work together to ensure that our residents and local businesses can safely reopen to incoming travelers. We expect more cases as travel reopens and the State is confident in its ability to monitor and respond to new cases. This is a marathon, not a sprint.” Numerous community leaders were instrumental in helping to develop the plan along with county mayor’s and legislative leadership.
State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson commented, “Lifting the 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travel will require an intensive airport screening process, increased contact tracing and monitoring of cases, and careful tracking of the state’s progress in controlling and containing the coronavirus. This is a huge undertaking by the state and a tremendous commitment from public health as we embark on these new and untested initiatives and face many unknowns. It is definitely a new normal and we have much to learn as we lift restrictions and rebuild our economy while safeguarding the health of our people.”
Exact details have yet to be figured out. Visitors would need to have the testing done at their own expense prior to getting to the airport and have results in hand.
What is an FDA approved PCR test?
The press release specifically mentions needing an FDA approved PCR test. I know there are several tests out there. Several of my side-job coworkers had them done in the past few months (thankfully testing negative). One had the full-on nasal swab experience (the turnaround time on her particular test was nearly a week), another had a cheek swab and had the results within a few hours. Here is what the FDA has posted on PCR tests – apparently there is even a home test kit. Who knew. At the press conference, Governor Ige mentioned working with CVS pharmacies for this proposed testing.
What does this mean for your Maui trip?
Not having to do the mandatory quarantine is in my mind definitely game-changing when it comes to planning your next Maui trip (or for us Hawaii residents, our next mainland trip). However, there are still many questions to be answered. Will visitors be able to get these tests on the mainland? How can you be sure to get the results on time for your trip? What if you test positive (please get trip cancellation insurance!!)?
I know the Hawaii visitor industry as a whole will be pushing hard for the governor’s office to provide answers and finalize details in the coming weeks. As I find out more information, I will post it here on the website.