Thursday, October 30, 2014

Maui Jims sunglasses

You've probably heard of Maui Jim's sunglasses. They are popular and can be bought both on island and North America-wide.

A few years ago we became the proud owners of someone's Maui Jims. To this date we can't figure out who left them on our kitchen counter (in our house, not at a condo), so after a while, Sig adopted them and started wearing them himself. A few months ago they broke.

He'd heard that you could get them repaired at the main store in Lahaina, so today we headed out to find it! Just a note - it's off the beaten path, two blocks off Front Street. I was impressed to see that across the rounded roof above the entrance it actually says - Maui Jim Building, together with the house number (721).

We went in, and there it was - one wall full of display cases of Maui Jims, while the other wall had displays and a collection bin for the Maui Food Bank. The table in the seating area had no Maui Jims literature, but instead there was a neat stack of handouts with a list of the Maui Food Bank's most urgently needed food items. Maybe it's just a food drive, but it made a good first impression.

Sig took his broken Maui Jims to the counter. The bad news - this particular set of glasses is discontinued. However, if he paid $60 and turned the broken frames in, he could choose any Maui Jims from the display case (up to a certain dollar amount). Considering that I didn't like the old ones to begin with, this was a win-win!

So, to whoever left that pair of Maui Jims on our counter - thank you! And to Maui Jims, thank YOU too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sand Fleas

A friend was visiting us this summer and started complaining of incredibly itchy bug bites. This is the tropics and yes, there are bugs, but we were all perplexed. Anti-histamines didn't seem to help terribly much, so finally she went to the doctor. Guess what the culprit was?

Sand fleas. 

photo from
Say what? I have never heard of sand fleas. So I looked them up. These are not actually fleas, they are tiny little crustaceans that look like mini-shrimp. They must have bitten her when laying on the sand at one of the beaches. Her husband who was at the beach with her, did not have any bites. Go figure.

The word from the doctor was - for most people ice for the bites and an anti-histamine like Benadryl will do the trick. Unfortunately my friend had an allergic reaction to the bites, but the doctors were able to give her something stronger.

The good news is - this is the first time I have ever heard of someone getting bitten by a sand flea, so go ahead and enjoy your vacation! If you want to grab an anti-histamine just in case - check out Long's Drugs or the Safeway pharmacy.

There are several medical centers in South Maui for your convenience. Maui Medical Group, Urgent Care Maui, Kihei Wailea Medical Center, Wailea Medical Center & Urgent Care.

Maui's hospital and emergency room (Maui Memorial) is located in Kahului. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Catch a ride to and from the Lahaina Halloween Street Party!

For years Lahaina has been hosting an annual Halloween street party. Last year's party had about 28,000 people attending! That's a lot of people! This event used to be dubbed the Mardi Gras of the Pacific, then it was shut down for a few years. Organizers brought it back four years ago, with the goal to have it a bit tamer, more family-friendly. But judging from pictures you can find online, you may want to make a judgment call on how family-friendly/appropriate some of the costumes will be.

On a normal day Lahaina is about a 45 minute drive from South Kihei. That's without lots of traffic and without accidents. Be aware, this is a one lane in each direction road, if there is an accident, it backs up quickly.

If you are headed up for the festivities this Friday - consider taking the Lahaina Halloween Express! Passes are $5 for a one way trip (ridiculously cheap compared to taking a cab). You will need to pre-purchase these, in Kihei you can buy them at Blackie's Pit Stop (the Shell gas station on the Piilani Hwy in North Kihei).

In Kihei, buses will depart from the Kihei Aquatic Center (corner of Lipoa and Piilani) at 4:30, 5:30, 6 and 6:30pm. The return buses leave at 9, 10, 11pm and mid-night. Check here for more information on buses and Lahaina's Halloween Street Party itself.

If you are interested - do look into this! I assume tickets could sell out, so plan ahead.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween in Kihei!

Are you looking for a fun family-friendly Halloween event this Friday in Kihei? Yes, you could of course drive to Lahaina for their annual Halloween festivities, or you could check out the second annual Trunk or Treat festivities at Hope Chapel in Kihei.

This Friday (Halloween) from 5-9pm in the Hope Chapel parking lot on the corner of Piilani Hwy and Welakahao. Admission is $3 (children $3 and under are free).

games, candy, mechanical bull, rides, dinner, 
indoor keiki zone, trunk or treat alley

All proceeds benefit 'Free World', an organization working towards putting an end to human trafficking.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shark attacks on Maui

If you've been watching the news these past few days, you may have heard about the three recent shark attacks off Maui waters.

What on earth is going on?? I'll tell you - very simply, murky water. We did just have Hurricane Ana pass through which sent us a lot of rain (though to my knowledge no storm damage). Rain runs off into the ocean, creating murky water (washing things into the ocean you probably don't want to swim in either). Additionally a storm passing through will whip up the water, creating weird currents and what-not.

picture taken at the Maui Ocean Center's shark tank
Noone was injured in these shark attacks, the sharks left bite marks on the surf/stand-up paddle boards involved.

Please please please let this be a reminder, do not go out in murky water. You may be fine (shark-wise), but you may be asking for trouble. If you get in trouble, someone will (hopefully) rescue you, putting their own life at risk.

When in doubt, please do not go out.

Should you worry about sharks (other than in murky water)? Honestly, there is a much greater chance of you having a car accident while on Maui than being bitten by a shark. Do use common sense and if you are concerned, stay at beaches that have life guards (who keep an eye out for sharks and can help you).

More information on ocean safety.

A year ago scientists tagged a number of tiger sharks off Maui to track their travels - check out this website (unless you are prone to worrying, then don't). Please keep in mind, this is not real-time information, so don't use this as a tool to see where the sharks are. Additionally, they did not tag all the sharks swimming in Hawaii waters, just a few off Maui's waters. It sure is interesting to see where these sharks have traveled. Some have stayed close, while others have explored great distances.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Also this Friday - town party Kihei-style!

Don't feel like driving all that way up to Lahaina for some action? Check out the monthly Kihei town-party (takes place the 4th Friday of every month) at Azeka Plaza in Central Kihei from 6-9pm (parking is tight).

Talk about food-truck heaven (in addition to some of the local restaurants), kids activities, lots of live music, and vendors with locally made goods. Just looking at this list, you just may find me there....

Vendors: Beads Lead to Success, Boobie Shack, Glee Associates, Hale Kau Kau, Hawaii Blue, Jonerz & Sparrow (our friends!), Kanakala Pacific Trade, The Maui Cookie Lady, Maui Fine Arts, No Ka Oi Nut Company, Rock & Vibe Jewelry & Art, Shaka Pops (oh yum), SOS Enterprises, Morey Inc, Wanderlust, Maui Search & Rescue, Dept of Health, Paradise Now, Phillip Sabado Art Studios, 808 Clothing, Bellasolshade, Fresh Local Product, Frikum (Be Aloha), Giving Bracelets, Glee Associates, Hula Cookies & Ice Cream (double yum), KZZ Enterprise, Maui Macaroons, Mechanics of Healing, Origami Owl/Pink Plumeria Creations, Rotary Club of Kihei Sunrise Foundation (check out their coffee), Salter, Tropical Lanes, Enchantress Boutique, C Moore Glass, Bodhi Waves, and Awakening in Paradise LLC.

For more information - check their website or facebook page!

This weekend - Lahaina Plantation Days!

Looking for something to do this weekend? How about checking out the 5th annual Lahaina Plantation Days? It takes place from 5-10pm both Friday Oct 24th and Saturday Oct 25th next to the Old Smokestack in Lahaina (you can see the smokestack from the highway, you can't miss it). Music, food, games. Admission is $5/adult, kids 5 and under are free.

Hint: if you go on Saturday, you will be treated to (among others) a special concert by Lahaina's very own Elvis of Burn'n Love fame! What a deal for $5!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Geckos geckos everywhere

I just had to share this picture taken in my kitchen this evening. We have this tiny baby gecko (an inch head to tail) in our house - I tried to catch him in the bathroom yesterday (to release him outside), but he was determined not to be caught. Tonight I found him trying to use my laptop! Now he's peering over the edge of the counter, trying to determine if the drop to the floor is safe. Probably not little guy.

Should you be scared of geckos? Nope. Geckos are pretty harmless, and though they probably will startle you, they are considered good luck here in Hawaii! They also eat bugs - nature's pest control. But yes, I agree, I'd rather he go outside!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hurricane Ana update - looks like we dodged the bullet on Maui!

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center just released their latest Hurricane Ana information at 5am. Big Island and Maui County are no longer under a tropical storm watch. What does this mean exactly? It means that the storm is too far away for meteorologists to expect us to notice hurricane or tropical storm strength winds in these two counties. However, we can still expect rain and some wind. Currently in South Kihei there is no rain. It is just very humid. It looks like we dodged the bullet this time. We are really very thankful.

Please do not go into the ocean today. There will still be high surf, run-off from rain and a category 1 hurricane passing by which messes with currents and ocean conditions. Best to stay out and do something else today.

Deep Island Hawaiian Rum

Ocean Vodka, a Maui-based distillery, has started selling their very own rum this past month. It's called Deep Island Hawaiian Rum, and is a clear rum made from their organic sugar cane and deep ocean mineral water. It is produced at their farm & distillery in Kula.

How is it? We added it to pog (passion orange guava juice), wow! That went down really smooth. Not sure about their label design - somewhat pirate-y perhaps.

Also, Ocean Vodka has recently changed the design of their vodka bottle. Look for the new bottle on store shelves shortly.

Curious about these Maui-made spirits? Book a farm/distillery tour at their farm on Omaopio Road in Kula. It's really interesting!