Thursday, July 30, 2015

Check-in and Tree Trimming at our Sugar Beach condo

Yesterday was a check-in day at our Sugar Beach condo. Cindy had already given me the 'all clear' after cleaning the day before. Sig had already been in to get the lanai door screen back in its track (the previous guest had knocked it off track - it happens).

So I drove over with my trunk full of goodies. I always carry a big Costco-sized jug of laundry soap and fabric softener in the back of my car so I can refill the condo jugs for our guests. Why have a washer and dryer if you don't have soap, after all. I also had with me a supply of condo pens and paper, a few guest mac nuts (plain salted, chocolate and garlic & onion - try the garlic & onion, they are really good!), a starter pack of coffee, rags for random wiping, air freshener (sometimes guests fry up the last of their bacon the day they leave - that smell is hard to knock out). I looked around, checked the TVs to make sure they were set to TV mode (nothing like having to figure out how to switch the input right off the bat, though we do have instructions in the instruction manual in the TV cabinet). I checked the guest book (happy guestbook entry, mahalo!), placed the new towels Cindy had asked for in the bathroom cabinet. I double-checked the safe (we once had a guest forget a wedding band in there, oops!).

As I was leaving I snapped a picture of the palms being trimmed in the parking lot. Have you ever wondered why they need trimming and how they do it? Certain palm trees shed their spent palm fronds (they come crashing down on their own, hopefully not hitting a car or person below). These trees need to be manually cut. Also, all coconuts are removed (also for safety reasons - guide books will actually warn you to NOT sit under a coconut palm, those are high up and they pick up speed and power when they fall down and land on your head). One of my kids actually asked for a palms-climbing set a few years ago. It just looks like fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Baby gecko

The other day we were enjoying the pool at our Palms at Wailea condo (the condo was between guests). As we were cooling off in the pool, I saw a little gecko swimming next to me. I'm pretty sure geckos don't belong in pools, in fact, I didn't know they could swim. I scooped him up and the kids were pretty excited to hold him. In fact, he didn't seem to mind, until one of the kids pretended to kiss him. He jumped to safety in one of the bushes closeby. Ha!

what a cutie!
I still vividly remember my first experience with geckos. Our eldest child was just a baby, sleeping in a playpen at the rental condo, when I saw a gecko in the room. I tried to shoo it out of the room, having visions of the gecko walking on our baby. Sig just laughed at me. He also laughed at me when I screamed because a cockroach has surprised me (I really dislike them).

But seriously, you do not need to be afraid of geckos. Geckos are one of nature's methods of pest control. They do not hurt humans, but like to eat all those insects and bugs we don't like. In fact, in Hawai'i they are considered to bring good luck. So if you see a gecko, relax. He's eating those annoying bugs. When he doesn't find any, he will move on to 'greener pastures'.

Monday, July 27, 2015

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

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Splash Challenge TOMORROW

As you may know, unless you are staying at one of the resorts in Wailea or Kaanapali, there are no water parks on Maui. I don't know of any resorts that offer day passes to their water slides or pools, so the following is exciting news!

One day only on the big lawn around Hope Chapel church (corner of Piilani Hwy and Welakahao in Kihei - by the recycling station) there will be a 3 acre water event. Come enjoy giant slip and slides, an obstacle course, human bumper balls and a special keiki (kids) area for ages 6 and under. There will also be food for purchase.

Tickets are $10 for kids 12 and under, $15 for all 13+ or a family pass for $40. Kids aged 4 and under are free. You can buy tickets online or at the event. Proceeds go to Homes of Hope (a team from Hope Chapel will be going to Mazatlan to build a home this fall and another in the winter).

There will be a timed event competition from 8-9am, general fun and games (non-competitive) goes from 9am-5pm.

Come cool off and join the fun!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A little desert at Fabiani's

The other day after our brewing company tour, I was craving chocolate. Yeah, I know, it doesn't make sense. But I love chocolate. And most days I crave desert. Fabiani's (Kihei) is just down the road from the Maui Brewing Company, so down the road we cruised....

Fabiani's did not disappoint.

A lilikoi roulade (check out the meringue!)

Sea salt caramel brownie. Yum!
By the way, there is a Fabiani's in Kihei and one in Wailea. However, Kihei is where the bakery is. They have a much larger goodie section. Just in case it's desert you crave.

Monday, July 20, 2015

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!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Maui Brewing Company Tour!

This has been on my bucket list for some time - a tour of the Maui Brewing Company! My friend Amy is in town, so she called and reserved us spots and we went and had our tour this afternoon up in the Maui Tech Park in Kihei (that's right, their new facility opened last year). The tour itself is about 30 minutes long and is $5/person and includes four 4 oz samples of beer.

This is where the magic happens! This facility is less than a year old
Our muffin tin of samples: Coconut Porter, Mana Wheat, Big Swell IPA and Bikini Blonde.
The bar area where they serve 30 different beers. While they don't serve food, they do have a food truck park on the curb. You can get food and bring it into the bar or outside lanai.
My favorites? They currently have a German lager - the Kihei Koelsch is quite yummy. As for their every-day beer, I like the Big Swell IPA. 

Did I learn something? Yes I did! I learned that it actually is important to keep beer cool (not store it in the cupboard). We may need to get a beer fridge. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Upcountry Walk

We went on a beautiful upcountry (that means part-way up Haleakala) walk yesterday, enjoying the cooler temperatures at 3000 ft elevation (it was about 73F compared to Kihei's 89F), but humid and overcast. Actually, it was perfect, except for my kids' whining, 'are we there yet?'

We ended up having lunch at Ulupalakua's General Store, a quick wine tasting at Maui's Winery, and coffee and carrot cake at.... can you guess?

beautiful bi-coastal views upcountry

awesome lava rock walls and lush lush vegetation (compared to Kihei)

an easy upcountry walk

lots of these cool plants - some of these spikes were over 7 feet long!

beautiful ferns

one of my favorite purple flowers at Maui's Winery

free wine tasting at Maui's Winery

orange blooms near that awesome upcountry coffee shop

where is this? Any guesses?

do you know where that picture was taken?

Have a look at those pictures?

There are a number of them with an older woman...

... any guesses?

oh all right, it's at Grandma's Coffee House. A great destination for a beautiful drive! And they grow/roast their own coffee beans!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Starry Night Cinema for the kids!

This Saturday at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, take the kids to see 'Frozen' in the A&B Amphitheater (outdoor lawn area) on a giant screen. Bring low back (beach-type) chairs or towels to sit. Gates open at 6am with food vendors. The show starts at 7:30pm!

Best of all - it's a FREE family event! Have fun!!

No coolers or outside food/drink allowed. In the event of rain, it will be held indoors at the Castle Theater (on site). Unlike the lawn, there is limited seating in the theater, first come first served.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Celebrating Five Years on Maui - with malasadas, of course!

This week we celebrated the five year anniversary of moving to Maui. It is something worth celebrating. Many don't last this long.

The saying goes, if you last a year (many don't), you'll likely leave within the next year. If you last for two years, you'll leave by three years. If you last three years, you'll have left by five years. Once you make it for five, you may leave by seven years. And if you are still around after seven years, you're probably here to stay. Yes, many of the friends we made in the first five years of living here have moved away. And those who have been here longer are shy to become close friends with the new people. Sad but true. It gets depressing when your friends keep moving away.

Many move here without seriously considering all the implications. Distance to friends and family (this is the most remote set of islands in the world), cost of living, difficulty finding well-paying jobs, school system, health care, rock fever etc.

So when we hit our five year mark, we celebrated - as is our family's tradition - with malasadas (made-fresh-to-order Portuguese donuts).

The Home Made Cafe in Kihei's Azeka Plaza serves malasadas Mon-Sat before 10am

Breakfast menu at the Home Made Cafe

mmmm malasadas - the creme filled ones are my favorite
We are thankful to call Maui our home. Thankful for the friends we have made.