Tag: Sugar Beach 104

Continuing education for your condo owner!

Wednesday was continuing education day for me. I sit on two Boards of Directors – at both our Maui Kamaole and Kihei Surfside complexes. They like to send us board members to seminars, this week’s was on Disaster Preparedness. It sure was a good one!

Assistant Fire Chief, Maui Civil Defense Emergency Mgmt Officer, Kihei Police Captain

Did you know, there are four different natural disasters we plan for on Maui:
earthquakes/tsunamis, tropical cyclones (hurricanes), flooding and wildfires.

After sitting through this session I am happy to report that it sounds like the County has good plans in place in case of disaster. Each of the properties our condos are located in has its own disaster preparedness plan which varies depending on whether the property is located within the flood zone (Sugar Beach and Kihei Surfside are, Palms at Wailea and Maui Kamaole are not). I also have a plan for our condos, which involves calling our guests and telling them what to expect. Thank goodness in almost all instances (with exception of a local earthquake) we have time to prepare (from a few hours to days). I am now in the process of putting together an information sheet to place in each of our condos.

The two most important things to remember – don’t panic and use common sense.

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I finally found strawberry papayas – hooray!

When we first moved to Maui, farmers markets often carried strawberry papayas. But for the past few years, I have not been able to find any.

A neighbor recently told me she’d found strawberry papayas at the North Kihei farmer’s market (next to the ABC stand at the north end of South Kihei Road, near our Sugar Beach condo). Since I had to go to our condo for the annual dryer-vent cleaning, I stopped at the farmer’s market. Sure enough – they had strawberry papayas! That made my day!

The most commonly found papaya on Maui are rainbow papayas. While they look similar on the outside, strawberry papayas are red-orange when sliced. They are also sweeter and don’t have that bitter after-taste that rainbow papaya have (note, a squeeze of lime will help mask that after-taste). I’ve been told rainbow papaya are a more hardy variety and less susceptible to disease which is why you find more of them. Here is a great website by the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association with more information on papaya grown in Hawaii.

Strawberry papayas (also called Sunrise/SunUp)
Sliced strawberry papaya with seeds
Sliced strawberry papaya with seeds removed – so sweet and good!
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On blending in and coconuts

We’ve been living on Maui for nearly four years now. Hard to believe how quickly time has flown. I try to blend in. Not that easy to do, as I am a tall, blond-ish Caucasian and speak with a Canadian accent. Truth is, many mistake me for a tourist, despite the slippah-tan on my feet (you’ve heard of farmer’s tan, haven’t you? I have a slippah-tan. Slippah = flip-flops). There’s nothing wrong with looking like a tourist – we love having tourists here, you are, after all, the bread-and-butter of our island (thank you)! But it is tiring being treated like a tourist, having Hawaiian things explained to you, asked where you’re from etc. Over the past four years I have tried to de-Canadianize my accent, being very conscientious about saying ‘trash’ instead of ‘garbage’, and working so hard on my ‘a’ sound – such as saying ‘bag’ (with a tall mouth) instead of the Canadian ‘bag’ with a wide mouth. But it still always happens – you are Canadian, aren’t you? Yes, I am, but a legal resident of Maui!

For this reason, I usually try not to do overtly touristy things (except for the research for this blog!), and so I have never had a coconut at a farm stand because it seems, well, touristy. Not that locals won’t drink coconuts, but it seems I never see them buying them at farm stands. But I’ve always wanted to try one…

Anyhoo, I checked out the North Kihei farmer’s market today near our Sugar Beach condo as they carry strawberry papaya (more on that in another post). The farmer’s market also have fresh coconuts that you can have cut with a machete. So for the first time ever, I bought myself a coconut. That coconut water is good! I brought some home to taste-test compared to the Costco-bought coconut water. Pretty similar. Next on my agenda, trying to cut open the coconut so I can have some fresh coconut. I don’t have a machete, so I’m not sure how successful I’ll be.

My coconut being cut, strawberry papaya in the forefront. I tried to be very stealthy taking this picture, whereas a tourist nearby had no such concern 🙂
Here’s my coconut! Oh yum!

On a side note, I’ve been told that drinking one coconut a day will keep your digestive system regular. I’m not sure that’s a scientific fact. But now you know.

I managed to open my coconut. It was a bit of a process:

Got the coconut open – with some gardening tools!
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Tips for Traveling Green on Maui

This morning I received an email from TravelGuard with tips for traveling green. While I can’t find where it is posted online, here are a few that I liked and have partially expanded on:

Fly non-stop. Not only is it more convenient, but airplanes burn the most fuel at take-off (see, there’s a more altruistic reason to pay a little extra for that direct flight! You’re welcome).

Stay in green accommodations. What a great idea! Though our condos are not specifically labelled ‘green’, we do, where possible, make an effort to be more environmentally friendly. Our condos are all equipped with LED light bulbs. When necessary, appliances and TVs are replaced with energy-star counterparts. We have tinted windows which helps reduce heat inside the condo. And all condos have recycling stations (though the Palms at Wailea station is limited). The recycling depot is just off the Piilani Hwy across from Hope Chapel.

Reduce your laundry by staying in a condo. Instead of providing you with daily housekeeping and linen switching which you would find at a hotel, our condos are equipped with washers and dryers, allowing you to do laundry as necessary (we do provide you with an extra set of linens in the closet). Not washing the linens on a daily basis saves energy and water but also saves our high quality linens and towels the extra wear and tear.

Save energy. We know it can be warm and sometimes a bit humid here on Maui, and so three of our condos are equipped with new energy-efficient A/Cs, and all of the condos with ceiling fans. However, 90% of Maui’s electricity is generated with diesel. Please turn the A/Cs and fans off when leaving the condo and pull the curtains to block the sun’s rays. It’s amazing how quickly the condo does cool off when you turn them back on upon your return.

On the energy note, our Sugar Beach and Kihei Surfside condos both have photo-voltaic panels on the roof, harnessing the sun’s energy and reducing our reliance on diesel. In low season, these PV panels generate up to 80% of the electricity used at Kihei Surfside’s 84 condos (in high season it’s more like 50% – these numbers depend on occupancy, the sun’s position in the sky, and also available roof space – we wish we could get to 100%!). As condo owners we are proud to be doing our part to reduce diesel consumption on Maui.

in the forefront, Kihei Surfside with its photo-voltaic panels on the roof. What a great place to stay!

Shop local. Visit local farmers’ markets or eat at restaurants that use local ingredients – you’ll reduce the carbon footprint AND support local farmers. You’d be surprised at the variety of food grown here on Maui! Also, buy souvenirs that have been made locally (rather than elsewhere such as Asia).

Volunteer. What a great way to give back to the community by making a difference in other peoples’ lives. Where can you volunteer on Maui? You can try the Pacific Whale Foundation, the Maui Humane Society, Haleakala National Park. Do you love kids? How about checking with one of the local schools (Kamalii Elementary School, Kihei Elementary School, Lokelani Middle School) if they need a volunteer to help struggling readers (the school would require a background check and TB clearance). Help feed some of Maui’s homeless at Halekaukau (at St Theresa’s Church in Kihei). Let me know if you hear of any good volunteer opportunities and I’ll post them here.

Most of all, enjoy yourself. You have worked hard throughout the year for this vacation!

Here are some more ideas for responsible, sustainable travel from TravelGuard’s website.

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Possible Tsunami following the 8.2 Chile earthquake

As you may have seen in the news, Chile had a big earthquake a few hours ago. Experts at the Pacific Tsunami Warnings Center are currently evaluating to see if Hawaii is to expect a tsunami sometime early morning on April 2nd. Please check the local news for up-to-date information.

This is a good time to review what to expect in case of a tsunami and what to do. A year ago I wrote this post on tsunami awareness. I thought this is a good time to refresh our memories…

April is Tsunami Awareness Month

April is Tsunami Awareness Month in Hawaii. The likelihood of there being a tsunami while you are on holiday 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.

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). You can find warnings on facebook and twitter (try hashtag #hitsunami).

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 is amonthly emergency systems test 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.

How do you know if you are in an evacuation area? Here are two evacuation maps for Kihei/Wailea, you can also look on the County of Maui website in the phone book (we have them in all our condos). If you are staying in our Kihei Surfside and Sugar Beach condos, you are in the evacuation area. If you are staying at our Maui Kamaole or Palms at Wailea condo, you are NOT in the evacuation zone (you do not need to evacuate).

If you need to evacuate:

  • pack your valuables and documents.
  • 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. I’ve also been told the Safeway parking lot becomes a town party. County shelters don’t open until after a tsunami has occurred.
  • 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).
  • make sure you have working flash lights (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 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).

    Please do not put your life and that of others (who may have to save you) at risk by going to the beach to watch!

    Here is a great list of frequently asked questions from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

    Here is a cute and yet informational video from San Diego County explaining about tsunamis (use this link if it doesn’t load).

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    Have you been to the Sugar Beach Bake Shop?

    Their lilikoi tart. So delicious!

    Did you know there’s a new bake shop in town? In Kihei, that is? And it’s within walking distance of our Sugar Beach condo…. just in case you’re staying there, this is good (or not so good) to know!

    I knew my readers would appreciate a review (right?), so I stopped in this afternoon. There probably is a better selection to choose from in the morning, however, I found this bit of lovely delight for myself…. a lilikoi key lime tart. Oh my it was so good.

    Where is the Sugar Beach Bake Shop? You will find it right between the North Kihei ABC store and Ululani’s Shave Ice at 61 South Kihei Road. Enjoy your treat! I sure did!!

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    This weather isn’t normal, is it?

    Wow, we’ve had two unseasonably cool days here on Maui – overcast, rainy and just downright cold. Ok, so it’s not been ‘cold’ per se (low 70s), but I have been wearing long pants and today even a sweater. This morning I had to drop something off for my Sugar Beach guests – wearing my winter clothes… They probably thought I was nuts. But rather than complain, they just said, ‘It’s not cold, it’s just damp.’ Apparently I’ve acclimatized.

    So, what to do at 9am on a dreary Maui morning? How about warm up in the ocean-front hot-tub? The good news is that it’s stopped raining and the sun is trying to peak out. Hooray!

    you could warm up in the ocean-front Sugar Beach hot tub

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    Santa at Sugar Beach

    If you ever stay at Sugar Beach Resort at Christmas, keep an eye out for Santa’s arrival! We sure enjoy this annual tradition – cookies, Santa, sunshine and the pool… sounds about right, doesn’t it?

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    What are your Christmas 2014 plans?

    Is that a typo? Nope! I have just booked two of our condos for Christmas 2014 – both our Maui Kamaole and Palms at Wailea condos are already snapped up. Talk about planning in advance!

    So do you need to book your condo a year in advance? It really depends on when you are traveling. Christmas often books a year in advance. Some of you planners out there book your high-season (winter) trip a year a year out, too. Especially if you have your heart set on a certain condo and you know your dates, it’s best to get the condo booked as soon as possible (I accept bookings up to one year in advance). Having said that, I still have some dates in March and April available at a few of our condos. I am sure they will fill.

    For low season (mid-April to mid-December) most people book two or three months in advance. However, the early bird does get the worm. The earlier you book, the better your selection of condos will be.

    A friend asked me the other day – there are so many condos on Maui, for people who are coming to Maui the first time, how do they choose? I honestly don’t know. For us, ten years ago a friend had a friend with a condo to rent. That was how we determined where on Maui to stay. Nowadays there is so much more information readily available on the internet. But it can still be overwhelming.

    How do you choose where to stay?

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    Discount cards and coupons

    One of the advantages to renting a condo vs staying in a hotel is having a full kitchen and the ability to prepare your own meals. Many of our guests stop at grocery store on the way from the airport to the condo – however, you may want to consider waiting until you get to the condo.

    Discount cards at our Maui Kamaole condo

    Did you know… we have discount cards for two of the local grocery stores (Foodland and Safeway) in each of our four condos for you to use? We also have Pueo (Hawaiian for owl) discount cards, purchased by us for you, our guests, to use while staying in our condos. These provide discounts for a variety of restaurants and stores, such as… 5 Palms Restaurant, Buzz’ Wharf, Dina’s Sandwitch (Sugar Beach), Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods, Java Cafe (Azeka), Mama’s Ribs and Rotisserie, Pizza Madness, Round Table Pizza, Ruth Chris Steak House (Shops at Wailea), Spago (Four Seasons), Subway, Three’s Bar & Grill (Kalama Park) and Tutti Frutti Yogurt (to name a few).

    We hope you can use them! Please just remember to leave them for our next guests to enjoy. Mahalo!

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