The election is over so, let’s kiss and makeup, ’cause the year ahead is sure to be challenging and it’s gonna take all of us to pull together and weather the storm. Good riddance to 2020!
Hawaii has suffered more than most. We have been great in protecting ourselves from “The Virus” but in the process our economy has been ravaged and I am sure many other areas that rely heavily on tourism have also experienced a big setback.
This time of year is when we should pause , be thankful for what we have and celebrate with our family and friends, even if that means doing so from a distance.
So my friends, be safe and be well. Health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year.
I always wanted to get a drone. Over the last few months I have had plenty of time on my hands and took the opportunity to learn something new. So I went ahead and got two drones. A not very expensive Eachine E58 to learn and practice with and a not so inexpensive Mavic Mini.
The Eachine cost under $75 so if it crashed (which it did several times) it was not a crushing loss. It is very durable and was able to fly again even after quite a few mishaps. It was O.K. in light wind but became unstable in higher winds. If I knew then what I know now I would have spent a little more and gotten the GPS option. But not having GPS really improved my skills.
After feeling more confident with my piloting skills I went ahead and purchased a DJI Mavic Miniwith the Fly More option which includes multiple batteries a charging pack, prop guards and a nifty carrying case. Although not a commercial level drone it is certainly not a toy. This package cost just under $500.
Flying this drone is a pleasure even in pretty high wind. Very stable and responsive to the controls. Both photos and videos are of very high quality and add a whole new dimension to digital photography.
In the process of learning these new skills I discovered that there is a whole culture surrounding these photography tools. There are quite a few lucrative commercial applications for skilled pilots, these include: real estate photography, outdoor home inspections, construction site surveying, wedding photography and more. To fly commercially you need to obtain a special license.
If you would like to get into this, there are plenty of YouTube training videos as well as high end professional training.
If you are planning to travel to Hawaii in the near future, Please be aware of the following requirements:
You must receive a negative Covid test from a trusted partner 72 hours prior to arrival. If not, you may be forced into a strictly enforced quarantine until you do.
Masks and social distancing are required when out in public. This requirement will be enforced.
Everything is in flux. Check before you book your hotel and flight.
So far, thanks to our rules, we have for the most part dodged this bullet. That can easily change if our rules are not followed. We do not have the medical infrastructure that exists on the mainland. A serious surge in cases could easily send us back into lockdown, devastating an already ravaged economy.
We welcome you with aloha and hope that you can respect our culture and rules with your own aloha. I am attaching a link with up to date information on travel rules.
It has been quite awhile since we posted to our blog. And quite awhile since we moved back to Maui. We are finally settling into our lives here in Hawaii and although we lived here for many years prior to coming back, the transition still proved to be challenging.
One of the most unsettling aspects of living here (and the same was true the last time I lived here) is that you make friends and then they move away. I guess you can say that about any place. But, it’s more pronounced here.
We made a decision to stay in the original home we bought and not move to the larger home we intended to purchase. The first home we bought is much easier to take care of, leaving more free time to enjoy our surroundings. We also made a decision to get off the career treadmill and work part-time. Kathy settled at The Maui Brewing Company as an Administrative Assistant 3 days a week, I went to work with
State Farm Insurance as a Representative from which I retired on March 15, 2019. I have since returned to my passion of being a Hana Tour Guide. I connected with Temptation Toursand conduct Hana tours 3-4 days a week.
The weather on Maui this last year has been very wet. In fact it has been one of the wettest and coldest ( yes, we even had snow as low as 6,200 feet) years on record. Maui also had a very rare hurricane. Fortunately, the area where we live is protected by some large mountains and what we experienced was not much more than a very rainy and windy day.
So of course, we jumped at the chance to see in person an array of Hawaii’s greatest musicians at the concert titled “Henry Kapono & Friends”held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
These concerts are part of Henry’s passion to perpetuate his love of local music and musicians. In addition to the Island-wide concerts, Henry has established the Henry Kapono Foundation to support music programs for keiki (children), and provide career guidance and performance opportunities for emerging musicians, as he states on his site.
It’s been about three months since we arrived back on Maui to begin our new life in our old home. The first week was hectic, to say the least. All we had was a mattress and box spring, so we pretty much camped out until our container of personal belongings arrived. Immediately upon arrival at Kahului airport on June 27th, we picked up our rental SUV and then went to the agricultural station to retrieve our dog Teddi before heading home.
Our cars arrived from Matson Navigation about a week early, so we returned our rental car sooner than expected. We registered our cars and got new Hawaii driver’s licenses that week. Then around July 22nd, our PODs container arrived, with most of our personal belongings. About a week later our second container arrived with additional stuff that had to go into storage.
Everything went about 95% according to plan. The one thing we didn’t anticipate was Teddi getting sick with bladder stones, which required expensive surgery that really set us back. But he’s doing well now, in fact more like a puppy than a ten-year-old dog. His vet was amazing, Tana Weeks, at Maui Lani Veterinary Hospital about 2 miles from our home. We are so very fortunate. He loves his new environment and has taken it upon himself to go strolling through the dog-filled neighborhood unsupervised. What a mayor! We had to put up doggie gates so that he stays in the house until we’re ready to take him out.
I got a job selling appliances at Lowe’s in Kahului and Kathy decided to take a few months off while she acclimates to the new environment (i.e., locating the best beaches and swimming pools). I previously lived on Maui for several years and everything was already pretty familiar to me. Kathy previously lived on Oahu, but Maui is very different, and required some getting used to. She has already made a lot of new friends, joined a local gym, and has taken a couple of great art classes. She anticipates looking for contract work soon.
Everything is pretty much humming along, and we are beginning to really settle down. We consider ourselves blessed to be able to achieve this dream, after many years of planning and hard work.
So what’s new in Hawaiian music? Kalani Pe’a, is what’s new. This Grammy winning artist takes Hawaiian music and some pop covers, adds some unusual chords and progressions and creates something beautiful and different.
Usually when going to listen to Hawaiian artists perform, I expect great musicians, maybe sitting, playing and talking story. Kalani, however, adds a touch of Broadway to his performance. His stage presence is amazing, and the Hawaiian language just flows effortlessly made more beautiful by his powerful voice. The backup musicians, vocalists and hula dancers that perform on stage with him just make his performance that much better. Each of them an outstanding talent in their own right.
One of the things we were looking forward to when we moved back to Maui was the wealth of great talent. Little did we know that we would be living next door to this amazing Grammy winning artist.
As we began to explore our new Maui neighborhoods, one of our most pleasant surprises was the Maui Ocean Center. Located in Ma`alaea Harbor, the Aquarium and Oceanography Center is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. Opened in 1998, the 3-acre center includes exhibits of coral reef habitats, sea turtles, sharks, and humpback whales. They even have a 360-degree tank with glowing jellyfish.
The Center’s mission is to “foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life.”
You will experience this wonder as you travel through the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean Exhibit that features a 54-ft walk-through tunnel where you can watch the huge sting rays, beautiful tropical fish, and graceful sharks swim overhead. Imagine experiencing Hawaii’s underwater world without even getting wet!
With spectacular views from Ma’alaea harbor to the outstanding exhibits, your journey includes a magical walk from the seashore to the bottom of the reef.
It has been quite a while since I posted to this blog. It was no accident. We have been waiting for this special day so that we could share it with our readers.
I usually include other topics, recipes, reviews and such in our blog magazine. But this post is about saying goodbye to the mainland and setting off to pursue our new life in our old home of Hawaii, specifically Maui.
Since moving to the mainland from Oahu, we have gone back and forth to Hawaii for both business and to visit so many times that I’ve lost count. But this morning is different from all others. Our plane tickets are one way, many of our possessions have been sold or given away and there is no turning back. If ever there was an act of faith, this is it.
It is the morning of June 27th. We chose this time of year because it was this month 30 years ago that we met in Hana and 23 years since we were married in that same place.
The time is 7:30AM in Los Angeles. Our cars are in the loading lot at Matson Navigation. Our dog Teddi is in the holding area of Hawaiian Airlines and we are at gate 57 in Terminal 5 of LAX. The adrenaline is high and our hearts are racing. In a little while Hawaiian Flight #33 will be coming to take us home. At 11:30AM HST it will be wheels down at Kahului Airport and the end of a long journey that was set in motion 3yrs, 3 months and 17 days ago. After our dog Teddi clears quarantine at Kahului Airport and is released to us we will go and get our rental truck and head off to our new home to pick up our lives where we left off so many years ago.
An important lesson has been learned, at least for us. What we have come to realize is that it is so much easier to leave Hawaii than it is to find your way back. Has the mainland been good to us? From a material standpoint life on the mainland has been kind. We accomplished everything we set out to accomplish and more. Was it worth it? Speaking only for myself I would have to say no. Moving to the mainland from Hawaii was an adventure and a great ride, but we won’t be coming back.
If you ever lived in Hawaii for a very long time and had to leave for whatever reason and after many years returned home, then you know what we are feeling on this exciting day. I can’t really explain it. All I can say is aloha to what was and aloha to what is yet to be.