Tag: kids

How hot is Kihei in the summer and do you need air-conditioning?

One of the questions asked today on the Tripadvisor Maui Travel Forum was – will we melt without air-conditioning in August? Good question.

The warmest months on Maui are definitely August and September. That being said, typically daytime highs in Kihei and Wailea are in the high 80s with evening lows in the low 80s. This is cooler than a lot of other places on the mainland.

However, the past two years we’ve also been affected by the El Nino weather pattern which has given us warmer and more unstable weather. Last summer we had 9+ hurricanes pass by the islands (thankfully they did not make landfall on Maui) and our temperatures hovered in the low 90s with high humidity. While the hurricanes did not cause damage, they did alter the wind patterns.

Maui Kamaole
one of the A/C compressors for the split-system at our Maui Kamaole condo

I personally like my A/C. Three of our condos are air-conditioned, however, our Kihei Surfside condo is not. Don’t even get me started on this – the building has only one electrical meter and A/C is expressly forbidden in the bylaws (something we would love to change). There is a great breeze, we have great ceiling fans and most of the year it is fine, but August and September especially are warm. Having said that, we have several repeat Septembers guests who keep coming back – apparently they like it! But, if you like it cool, please rent a condo with A/C.

As a homeowner, I ask that you please conserve energy when possible. Electricity on Maui is expensive. About 2/3s of our power is diesel generated (the rest is solar and wind which is also expensive). While electricity prices have come down due to the oil slump (from 40 c/kwh to 28 c/kwh currently), they are still multiple times higher than elsewhere in the country.

Here are three easy ways to help:

  • Turn off the A/C when you leave the condo – the condo does cool quite quickly when you turn it back on again.
  • Close all doors and windows when running the A/C so we don’t cool the great outdoors – trust me, this happens more often than you’d think especially with families 🙂
  • Do not turn the A/C below 70F. It will not cool the condo faster, but instead overexerts the compressor, causing it to freeze up and fail – yes, we’ve had this happen a couple times. A/C repair guys are in high demand in summer and it can take a week to get a guy out (supply/demand) leaving you with no A/C in the mean time. Also, with this being an island, it can take a week or two to get parts in.
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This weekend check out Maui’s premier craft fair!

The Seabury Hall Craft Fair is arguably Maui’s premier craft fair. It is set on the beautiful private prep school campus high above Makawao with beautiful bi-coastal views. This time of year is particularly beautiful with upcountry’s signature purple-blooming jacaranda trees in full bloom! The best part is – it’s the day before Mother’s Day, so you can pick up something for mom, or even let her choose! It’s also a great place to pick up locally made souvenirs and thank you gifts!

Maui's premier craft fair
Seabury Hall campus

It is held this Saturday, May 7th from 9am-4pm. Admission is $5/adults, children 12 and under are free. I believe parking is $5 (across the way at the Oskie Rice Arena) and $10 for premium (on campus) parking. Can’t make it this year – it is always the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

For the adults there are over 100 local crafters and artist booths (no made-in-China here), a silent auction, rummage sale, restaurant alley, bake shop, live music, and of course the beautiful views. This really is a special peaceful place.

Maui's premier craft fair
blooming jacaranda tree

The kids zone includes two giant slip and slides, bounce castles, face painting and many games.

How to get there? Take the Haleakala Highway upcountry to the Makawao turnoff. Turn left and follow the road to Makawao’s only four way stop (Makawao Ave/Baldwin Ave). Turn right (you will see Casanova’s and Poli’s Mexican at that corner). Continue driving up Haleakala, past pastures (check out the cows – this is farming country!) and great old trees. The school will be on the right side with additional parking on the left. Seabury Hall’s address is 480 Olinda Road, Makawao.

The craft fair is a financial aid fundraiser for this prestigious college prep school.

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Mother’s Day Brunch in South Maui 2016

Mother's DayCan you believe Mother’s Day 2016 is around the corner? This year I got it together and made a note of driving upcountry to Makawao to browse the art galleries for Mother’s Day cards for both my mom and mother-in-law. They go in the mail today and should make it back to Canada on time (I hope).

One of our condo guests has been asking where to book their Mother’s Day 2016 brunch in South Maui, so here are some ideas:

  • 5 Palms Restaurant on the Northern tip of Keawakapu Beach (this is just across the parking lot from our Kihei Surfside condo).
  • Sarento’s on the Beach also on Keawakapu Beach doesn’t currently have a Mother’s Day menu posted, but check back!
  • Gannon’s on the Emerald/Gold Course has a stunning view of the golf course, the ocean and Molokini.Mother's Day
  • The Grand Wailea is known for their Sunday Champagne Brunch. I don’t know if there will be a Mother’s Day twist to this – for now the champagne brunch is all I see on their website.
  • The Makena Resort at the Southern tip of South Maui is hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch.
  • The Ka’ana Kitchen at the Andaz Maui is showing a Mother’s Day brunch on Open Table, though I am not finding a menu yet.
  • Mother's DayLonghi’s at the Shops at Wailea is also advertising a Mother’s Day brunch on Open Table.
  • The new Oceanside Restaurant at the Shops at Ma’alaea also has a Mother’s Day Brunch advertised on Open Table. Check out their beautiful view of Ma’alaea Harbor (formerly the Waterfront and Saltimbocca).

This is what I’ve found to date. I will add to the list as I find more. Please, make reservations so you are not disappointed!

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Upcoming Maui Events

On Maui and looking for something to do? It may be low season on Maui, but there is lots to do! Here are a few upcoming Maui events you may want to check out:

The annual Maui Onion Festival had been announced to be on for this May, but I am not seeing any information on it at this time. Whalers Village in Kaanapali has been undergoing a renovation, so it could be the venue isn’t ready on time.

Also, remember the Maui Swap Meet takes places every Saturday 7am-2pm at the University of Hawaii Maui Campus (across from the MACC).

And yes – we do have spring availability at our condos!

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Free Admission to Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park is gearing up to celebrate its 100th anniversary this summer. That’s right! This national park pre-dates Hawaii even being a state (1959).

Haleakala National Park
cinder cone in Haleakala’s crater valley

This week is National Park Week and in celebration of that, there is free admission to Haleakala National Park from April 16-24, 2016. Have you been on the fence about checking out Maui’s resident volcano? This is your week to do it and save the $10/car admission fee!

But what’s there to do on Haleakala? Let me tell you about our mountain! As you may know, the Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanic activity with Maui being the second youngest in the island chain (Big Island is still growing courtesy of its active volcanos – Kilauea has been active since 1983). Maui itself has two volcanoes – the West Maui Mountains being the remnant of extinct volcano Mauna Kahalawai and dormant volcano Haleakala which boasts an elevation of 10,023 ft. Haleakala’s most recent eruption occurred sometime in the 1400s which caused the lava flow down to La Perousse Bay (check it out!). Haleakala has a stunning crater valley – that’s right, there are many cinder cones within the valley. The colors in the valley are just amazing. But, be aware should you hike into it, when the wind picks up, that’s ash flying around you. Bring a bandana or something to cover your mouth and nose.

Saturday April 23rd there will be a special centennial celebration with special junior ranger programs, walks, talks and short volunteer opportunities. Among other things you can plant one of Haleakala’s rare silversword plants (this is the only place in the world they grow).

Don’t enjoy the crowds? Hey – you and I have more in common than you’d think!

  • admire a stunning sunrise or sunset from up high
  • go star gazing (stars begin to pop about one hour after sunset)
  • go hiking – either in the crater or one of many other hikes on Haleakala
  • bring a camera and enjoy some photography

In related news, the US Postal Service is releasing a special edition Haleakala National Park stamp!

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One of our favorite lunch spots

If you are looking for a reasonable delicious air-conditioned lunch place – I know just the place! Cafe o Lei, on the second floor of Rainbow Plaza across from Kamaole I beach in Kihei is great for lunch and dinner! Confession – we rarely go out for dinner. Dinner prices on Maui are often double of the lunch prices. How are the prices at Cafe o Lei? Most everything on the lunch menu is in the $9-14/person range.

So what’s good at lunch? Pretty much everything!

Here are a few pictures of our orders from this past Sunday.

Sig likes the fish special – this is usually a mahi mahi, either mac nut or panko crusted. Sig isn’t a rice lover, so he goes ‘light on the rice and heavy on the salad’.

Cafe o Lei lunch
Cafe o Lei ~ fish special

I often get the Quinoa Salad. It has lots of greens, roasted vegetables, feta cheese, some sprouts and a great vinaigrette. My other favorite is the crab club sandwich – come hungry!

Cafe o Lei lunch
Cafe o Lei ~ quinoa salad

My sister-in-law tried the Jumbo Shrimp Papaya Salad – she was a fan.

Cafe o Lei lunch
Cafe o Lei ~ jumbo shrimp papaya salad

I can’t speak to their desert – if we want desert, we will often walk downstairs and grab a shave ice from S&Q’s. Have you had a shave ice yet? (Note, no D at the end of shave). Delicious and refreshing!

The owners of Cafe o Lei own several additional restaurants: Ami Ami at the Maui Coast Hotel, Cafe o Lei at the Dunes Golf Course (in Kahului) and the Makawao Steak House (in Makawao).

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Support Hawaiian language education on Maui!

Did you know there are two official languages in Hawaii? English and Hawaiian. Just a few decades ago, the Hawaiian language was a dying language. In 1978 Hawaiian became the second official language in Hawaii (the only State to have two official languages) and there has since been a renewed push to revive Olelo Hawai’i (the Hawaiian language). There are Hawaiian language immersion schools, children in public schools have Hawaiian culture/language classes… Even so, there aren’t that many people who can speak it fluently.

Hawaiian language
the 29th annual Ho’omau – supporting Hawaiian language on Maui

This Saturday, March 19th, go to the Maui Botanical Gardens in Kahului to get steeped in Hawaiian culture and support Hawaiian language education on Maui!

Maui’s only Hawaiian language preschool (Punana Leo o Maui) is hosting the 29th annual Ho’omau – an event which features Hawaiian music, crafts and demonstrations. There will be a live and silent auction, ono (good) Hawaiian food, keiki (kids) games etc.

Tickets are $10 presale (available at U’i Gallery, Native Intelligence and all Minit Stop locations) and $15 at the gate.


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Where to eat breakfast in Kihei?

You may have heard… Kihei’s Denny’s restaurant closed down a while ago. My friend Bonnie’s kids loved eating at Denny’s when they come to Maui. No worry, I told Bonnie – we can find you much better places to eat!

So where to eat breakfast in Kihei? Here are a few suggestions, in no particular order.

  • wonderful breakfast at Kihei Caffe
    wonderful breakfast at Kihei Caffe

    If you are looking for plentiful and cheap eats – check out the Kihei Caffe across from Kalama Park. They open daily at 5am and serve huge delicious portions at very reasonable prices which explains the at times long-line-ups. However, if you are up early and considering hitting the beach at 6AM because the kids are wide awake, you will likely avoid line-ups at that time. Cash only.

  • 808 Bistro – tucked in behind Fred’s Mexican Cafe (2511 S Kihei Road) this place has been around for several years, serving breakfast and dinner (closed for lunch).
  • Chez Meme – in Kihei’s industrial area, just down the road from Eskimo Candy, is a cute little French restaurant, known for their breakfast! I’m told they have great lunch also!
  • For breakfast with a view check out the Five Palms restaurant, on the main floor of the Mana Kai building. Their banana mac nut pancakes are wonderful. If you are staying in one of our condos, grab the Pueo discount card for an additional 20% off the bill.
  • Nalu’s Southshore Grill – a new breakfast/lunch place in Central Kihei behind the post office and next to Ace Hardware. I have heard rave reviews of their breakfast items, in particular their Acai bowl.
  • D’Lite – a healthy fast-food place in the old KFC location across from Kalama Park. I have not tried this, but it keeps popping up in my Yelp and Tripadvisor searches. Check it out, it has good reviews!

If you must have Denny’s, I believe the Kahului Denny’s near the airport is still there.

Where do I eat breakfast? Personally, all I want for breakfast is a good cup of coffee, a piece of whole grain bread with peanut butter and jam and maybe some fruit. I personally prefer to eat breakfast at home – staying at a condo gives you this option as you have a full kitchen! I love to go out for lunch instead!

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Party time at Kihei Surfside!

How was your Valentine’s? Do you celebrate this holiday, or is it a non-event for you? It can be tricky to go on a romantic date when you have kids, and so for the past number of years we’ve joined other owners and guests on the oceanfront Kihei Surfside lawn for their annual Valentine’s sunset potluck. This is such a wonderful event! True, this time of year there are a fair number of snowbirds staying at the Surfside (there are families too!), but you know snowbirds are the best cooks!

Valentine's at Kihei Surfside
It’s almost sunset at the Valentine’s party

This year’s festivities went from 5:30-8:30pm (the party ends well before quiet hours, so that’s nice for those who go to bed early). Everyone brought a pupu (appetizer) to share and their own drinks, and enjoyed a sunset dinner, watching whales, blowing conch shells at sunset, listening/dancing to live music (one repeat couple has a great jazzy lovesong repertoire) and visiting with those around you. Don’t know anyone? No problem – meet someone new, most everyone is friendly!

Valentine's at Kihei Surfside
The sun is setting!

Now the sad (for you) news is that we have repeat guests who come every February, so our Kihei Surfside condo isn’t available over Valentine’s. However, Kihei Surfside owners and guests are known for their love of parties – they celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with elaborate turkey dinners, Superbowl, Valentine’s and St Patrick’s Day! They are all celebrated on the beautiful green lawn leased and maintained by the Kihei Surfside from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Kihei Surfside Haleakala
Aerial view of the Kihei Surfside with its great lawn

Regarding the lawn. The Kihei Surfside leases this space, maintains and landscapes this beautiful oceanfront lawn, but the public is welcome to enjoy this park. As per the DLNR lease, weddings and commercial activity are unfortunately not permitted in this space.

Public access to the lawn is from the ocean walkway (coming from Keawakapu beach) and from the Kihei boat launch. Public parking is available in the gravel parking lots next to the Mana Kai or the gravel lot at the boat launch. Please do not park in the Mana Kai or Kihei Surfside paved parking lots as those are strictly for owners/guests staying at those complexes.

See you there!

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Where to golf on Maui

If you have been following this blog for some time, you will have noticed that I do not post about golfing. The main reason is, I don’t golf. However, the Pride of Maui recently posted a Top Ten Golf Courses on Maui blog. Please check it out for much information on some of the nicer golf courses on Maui.

If you enjoy golfing but don’t want to break the bank, there are also some less expensive options to golf on Maui.

  1. Maui Nui Golf Course in Kihei. This is the former Elleair course. It is conveniently located right in Kihei (at the intersection of Pi’ilani Hwy and Lipoa). They have a pro-shop, offer lessons, rentals and a restaurant (Kono’s on the Green).
  2. Pukalani Golf Course is located upcountry in Pukalani. Check out their website for a map and directions.
  3. Waiehu Golf Course – this is a County of Maui owned and operated golf course in Waiehu (past Wailuku). It is likely the most reasonable golf course on Maui, with non-resident golf fees at $20 (compare that to $235 at some of the high-end courses).

What is a kama’aina rate? Kama’aina is another word for local or resident rate. Yes, many golf courses and some other activities offer locals a discount to encourage them to also use the facilities. Typically all in the party must show a Hawaii driver’s license or ID to get the rate.

What about club rentals? From what I can see, in most places you can rent from the individual course’s pro shops. There are also a number of individual rental shops. Again, not my area of expertise, so I suggest checking reviews on Tripadvisor or Yelp for more information.

How about lessons? I am happy to recommend Eddie & Renee Lee at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, located above the driving range at the Emerald Course. Renee is also a great kids instructor and regularly hosts kids’ golf clinics. Contact her for details.

How about mini-golf? There is one mini-golf place on Maui, the Maui Golf and Sports Park at Ma’alaea Harbor. They have two 18 hole mini-golf courses, bumper boats, extreme trampoline and a climbing wall on their wedge-shaped lot.

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