Maui, Hawaii

Tag: Maui artists

10th Annual Ukulele Festival on October 11th!

Coming up next week is the 10th annual Ukulele Festival at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. This is a FREE outdoor afternoon (1-6pm) event.

Bring a beach chair, bring your ukulele (optional) and prepare to relax, visit and listen as great Island musicians serenade you with ukulele music! There will be food trucks for you to buy snacks and drinks, and ukulele door prizes!

Also, there will be a free ukulele workshop the day before (Saturday Oct 10th), registration begins at 9am, workshop runs from 10-12pm. This is for kids and adults, beginner to intermediate. Must be able to play the C, F and G7 chords, bring paper and pencil. You will perform at the Ukulele Festival, and there will be a draw for a new ukulele among participants.

Check it out – don’t forget the sunscreen!!

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Curtis Wilson Cost gallery and lunch at the Kula Lodge

It’s been a long hot summer. We’ve broken at least 50 daytime high records here on Maui with weather in Kihei averaging in the low to mid 90s and I am seriously jealous of all you mainlanders celebrating the first week of fall and crispness in the air. Yes, I guess I am missing the change in seasons.

So yesterday Sig and I took an upcountry drive (up Haleakala) to cool down a little and went to the Kula Lodge for lunch. In all these years we’ve never stopped there. They have beautiful bi-coastal views, lunch was okay, the wait staff friendly. But the best part was the Curtis Wilson Cost gallery downstairs.

Looking out the open door at the Curtis Wilson Cost Gallery with the Kula Lodge pizza oven to the right.

If you haven’t been, go! The Upcountry Maui magazine always prints one or two of his paintings. He specializes in realism and capturing the light. He has some beach scenes, but a lot of upcountry scenes, some with upcountry’s famous purple jacaranda trees. They are just stunning! I picked up a small print of his latest painting (Keokea Picnic) for our house and a set of greeting cards.

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Did you know the owner of Snorkel Bob’s is a Pulitzer-nominated author?

We have a subscription to the Sunday paper. I’m not exactly sure why. I get most of my news online. I admit to being a holdout and still having CBC World News, a Canadian news agency, as my internet home page – I like getting world news and the local news stations have little of it. Facebook’s MauiNow is my main source for Maui related news, and then in the evenings we’ll sometimes watch HawaiiNewsNow‘s 10pm newscast on TV. But Sig has this Sunday paper deal going with the MauiNews. The kids enjoy the comics, I will look through it, but usually by the time I get to it, it’s a few days old.

I finally got around to looking through the paper yesterday – and guess what I found? An article on Bob Wintner, the owner of a popular snorkel rental shop here on Maui – Snorkel Bob’s. Turns out he’s also an author and activist. I have not read any of his books, but just might have to check him out at our local library.

You learn something new every day!

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So here’s a question we sometimes get – what is a luau, and should we bother going?

A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast, typically scheduled to celebrate an occasion (such as a baby’s 1st year birthday luau). It will include lots of food and music and sometimes hula.

There are several good tourist-oriented luaus on Maui. These will typically be served buffet style, include an imu-roasted pig and other Hawaiian ethnic foods and include a cultural presentation in form of song and dance. Usually they take place next to the ocean at sunset. They are really neat. Our first year on Maui we attended three (yes three) with family who visited us. Three luaus (all at the Grand Wailea) in four months was a little much. But the food was awesome!

Picture taken at the Honua’ula luau in Dec 2010.

It’s a fun way to experience a bit of Hawaiian culture (even if it is totally geared to tourists). If you don’t care so much about the food but want a bit more of the culture, check out the ‘Ulalena show in Lahaina. It’s an indoor (no ocean setting) live show with song and dance, definitely worth seeing!

According to online polls the most popular luau is the Old Lahaina Luau which takes place near the Lahaina Cannery Mall at 1251 Front Street. Friends just went on Sunday and said it was very well done. Keep in mind, from Kihei/Wailea you need to plan on at least an hour’s drive to get there. Please do not drink and drive.

Closer to home, we currently have two luaus in Wailea. The Grand Luau at Honua’ula (at the Grand Wailea hotel) is on an oceanfront lawn. The second is the Te Au Moana Luau at the Wailea Beach Marriott. A friend posted a recent review with lots of pictures for the Marriott luau.

There goes the Honua’ula’s imu pig to be carved for dinner – yum!

Yet another option which is a sit-down dinner as opposed to buffet is the Feast At Lele (also in Lahaina).

How to choose? Read up on the different luaus – Tripadvisor is often a great source of information. Look at the pictures and read the reviews. Our friends really enjoyed the Old Lahaina Luau, however, they preferred the Honu’alua luau which they had seen two years ago as it included fire dancers (they have boys).

So how do you book a luau, and do you need to book ahead? Yes! If this is a must-do on your list, please book ahead! Luaus are typically not held daily, and particularly in high season you may be out of luck if you wait until you arrive on Maui to book. Luau tickets are typically in the $100+ range which usually includes a large buffet dinner (come hungry), drinks and entertainment. You can either book directly or through a concierge which may offer special deals. Do be wary of ‘luau tickets for $20’, there will usually be a hitch, such as a time share presentation involved. Some people don’t mind, others do. Costco offers discounted tickets for the Honua’ula luau (Grand Wailea). You can buy these online or in the store, but then will have to call the resort to confirm a date.

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Another Dale Zarella statue in the making

There’s a south swell in right now, with the weather man saying the waves are 10-14 ft high on south facing shores today. My favorite beach Kamaole I is technically west facing, but since we’re considering a beach day, I thought I’d go for an early morning walk to see what the waves were doing. Of course, walking at 6:30am is a bit deceptive, as the waves will definitely change between 6:30 and say 10am. If you are hitting the beach today, watch the water for a while before getting in, be aware of the conditions and head life guard warnings.

early morning walk

I do love early morning walks. I went to Southern end of Kamaole I beach, then walked down to the sand, kicking off my slippahs and walking where the sand is packed down from the waves. Yes, my feet (and legs and a few times my shorts) got wet, but you just can’t beat walking on the beach. I walked all the way to the other end of the beach (North side) which is actually Charlie Young beach, I guess. As I approached the lava outcropping, I saw Dale Zarella‘s latest project on the lawn above. Last time I walked there (maybe a month ago), his work station was empty. Today there was a beautiful statue starting to take shape.

Who is Dale Zarella? He’s a famous Maui sculptor and painter. There are numerous statues of his around Maui, check them out at the Grand Wailea, King Kamehameha golf course (private). One of his most famous statues is his bronze statue of Father Damien on Molokai. This statue was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.

Here are a few cell phone pictures of his current amazing project.

Dale Zarella‘s work station

his current lady surrounded by turtles

I absolutely love the two turtles swimming in her hair
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Any Canadian ukulele fans out there?

The Maui Ukulele Festival is coming up, this year on Sunday, October 11th! Why am I calling for Canadian ukulele fans? It’s the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend (our Sugar Beach condo is currently available that week).

A friend has been telling me about the ukulele festival, how they make it a family affair, bringing a blanket, games, ukuleles, participating in the group lesson with Roy Sakuma! In fact, my friend’s daughter won a high-end ukulele as a door prize last year. I am looking forward to checking this out!

Oh yes, and admission is….. FREE!

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Another Maui author for you!

The first book of JoAnn Bassett’s
Island of Aloha mystery series!

Much to the chagrin of my house-keeping skills, the old bookworm in me has been revived. After reading all of Maui author/therapist Toby Neal’s books, I promised I’d find you (and me) another local author. Amazon recommended I check out author JoAnn Bassett‘s books, and well, it sounded a lot better than tidying and dusting the house, so I did.

I’m currently reading my way through the Island of Aloha mystery series by Joann Bassett. Ms Bassett bought a home on Maui in 1996 and splits her time between Maui and Oregon. And yes, this series is also free to read as part of the KindleUnlimited package.

How do they compare to Toby Neal’s books? It’s still mystery and the stories take place in Hawaii, but that’s about where the comparison ends. Both are great, the Bassett books a little less intense or graphic, but fun!

You’ll have to check them out!! Great reading and insight into life in Hawaii.

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Yesterday I got to meet Maui author Toby Neal – I am such a fan!

Maui author and counselor Toby Neal

I had the opportunity to meet Maui’s own author and counselor Toby Neal yesterday. I stumbled across Toby’s books last summer at the Kihei library, starting with Twisted Vine and then Unsound. This winter I found her books on Kindle Unlimited and have since read them all in order.

I’ve met artists who have created jewelry and art I own, but never an author whose books I love!

Toby was so friendly and down-to-earth. We chatted for a while about the drawing classes she’s taking (she’s blogging about them, and quite frankly her posts are hilarious), her youth novel Island Fire and the latest project she’s working on – a memoir.

No, I didn’t get a selfie with Toby and I. I didn’t want her to think I was a complete nut!

If you enjoy mystery, suspense and good ole’ romance, pick up her books. They are great!

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Brushstrokes and Brews

I’m honestly more of a wine drinker, but there just are a lot of beer events going on this month!

On Wednesday May 12th the Maui Brewing Company (Kihei) is hosting an art party with Island Art Party. The fun goes from 6-8:30pm. Sip craft beer while painting a beautiful moonlit ocean scene (with help from the Partista)! Check here for more information and to book your spot. This includes all your supplies and your first beer.

What a unique memory/souvenir of your Maui vacation!!

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