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.
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.
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.
Immediately after arriving at Kahului Airport we shuttled over to pick up our rental car/SUV. The reservation was made through a third party and not directly with the rental car company. The Ford Edge that we reserved was not available and I really had to pull some teeth to get one. Lesson learned! Make a reservation directly with the car rental company, even if it costs a little more.
Napili Kai Beach Resort
So, after leaving the rental lot we headed over to the West Side of Maui and checked into The Napili Kai Beach Resort. A little bit of heaven! This is where Kathy and I met all those years ago when I was a Hana tour guide. She was staying here and I picked her up early one morning in June to take her on tour with a van full of other guests. The rest is history and a story for another time.
May is not that busy on Maui and the front desk was gracious enough to upgrade our room to a beachfront suite and apply a discount to boot. Don’t ya just love the aloha spirit?
Although the weather for the first few days was pretty wet and windy it did not dampen our spirits. In fact, it enhanced the beauty and Hawaiian feeling of the place.
This is a great hideout from the major resort hotels. Highly recommended!
Kahekili Highway, Hawaii State Highway 340
Next morning we are up bright and early. To get immediately and fully immersed we decided to do the most challenging thing first. What’s that you ask? Driving the Kahekili Highway.
Some years back I took some friends who were visiting on this drive. They wanted to get out of my truck and walk until we cleared the cliffside. Personally, I don’t think it’s all that rough. It all depends on what you’re used to.
As our morning adventure progressed, out of nowhere, on a clean stretch of road, appears a beautiful old plantation house. It turns out to be The Kaukini Gallery.
We did most our our gift shopping here. The gallery was surprisingly busy as many of the other adventurous souls on this road saw this as a good place to stop before moving on.
Further on down, the road was closed for improvements and we had to wait about two hours for it to reopen. So, we pulled off into a little ranch subdivision and just hung out, listening to the quiet and taking in the beautiful views.
After completing this drive we ended up in Kahului and stopped at Bounty Music to pick up a guitar rental. We then headed back to our hotel for a relaxing afternoon.
We always wanted to go here but never really had the time. Since we were in the neighborhood we decided to go for it.
This restaurant was started by Mick Fleetwood and the merchandise in the store downstairs from the restaurant is filled with Fleetwood Mac memorabilia and a $40,000 custom Harley that you can buy on the spot. The view of Lahaina Harbor from the rooftop lounge is outstanding and the martini’s were pretty good too.
After a busy day we headed back to our hotel for some rest.
The Road To Hana And Beyond
Today is Tuesday and has been set aside for a drive to Hana.
I posted this trip in a previous blog so, I am not going to go too far into it. I have driven this road at least 300 times. The trip never gets old and there are still new things to be found.
We stopped for lunch at The Travaasa Maui Resortbefore heading around the backside of the island. Cell service was surprisingly good and we were able to send and receive a few business texts.
For the full story, click on the above links
Cafe O’lei Kihei
Today is Wednesday and most of the day will be spent house hunting, But before getting into it we met our friends Joe and Marie for lunch at Cafe O’lei in Kihei.
This has become a favorite of ours and many other local Kihei and Wailea residents.
There are a lot of great things to do on Maui and usually, not enough time to do them all. Following, in their order of importance, in my humble opinion, are some of the things that will make your Maui visit memorable.
Over the years, the road to Hana has developed a reputation for being treacherous. Don’t believe it! For the most part, this winding road (600 or so hairpin turns) is modern and well paved. It is also much more than just a road; it is a drive into the past and a rolling view of Hawaiian history and culture. Plan the entire day for this great trip and don’t start out too late. Mornings on Maui are breathtaking and 07:00 would be a good time to hit the road. Be sure to have a map of Maui and if possible, a guide book or pamphlet.
First stop along the road (The Hana Highway) is the town of Paia, an offbeat artsy community of shops and galleries. Now would be a good time to stock up on some beverages. If you are predisposed to motion sickness you should also buy some Dramamine or ginger. Continue reading Maui Day Trips→
If you live in Hawaii or have ever visited Hawaii and you haven’t heard of Mama’s Fish House then you need to get out and about a little more.
Situated just off the Hana Highway past Paia,it doesn’t look like much from the road. But once you drive down to the place you immediately know it is something special. When I was a Hana tour guide I would always take my guests down the road for a visit and if they asked, I gladly made a recommendation.
The scenery is breathtaking, especially at sunset and just walking around the grounds makes the trip worthwhile.
Themenuis quite extensive and varies based on what is being taken from the sea. Not only do you know where your catch was made, you also know the name of the fisherman who caught it. But, seafood is not the only thing on the menu so, check it out.
No question about it, this is a tourist destination. But, you will also find plenty of local business people here as well, especially during lunch. Everything on the menu for both lunch and dinner is quite good and the staff is very, very knowledgeable when it comes to helping you choose.
How much does it cost? Hold your breath! Dinner for two with drinks and tips will cost between $250-$325. Is it worth it? Absolutely! And when the angels call your name it won’t matter anyway.
Adjacent to the restaurant is a nifty little inn which I will review at a later date.
Polipoli State Park or Polipoli Spring is a really remote part of Maui that very few visitors and most kama’aina never get to see. It is 10 acres of forested wonderment situated in the 21,000 acre Kula Forest Reserve on the slopes of Haleakala.
Most of the trees are non- native and were planted in the 1930’s depression by The Civilian Conservation Corps. The extent to which they have grown and prospered is a testament to the power of nature.
You will be at around 6,200 feet and it is often damp and foggy but, not always. The temperature is from 10-20 degrees cooler than at sea level so, bring a jacket. The hiking is superb and the whole experience is kinda romantic. Take your significant other.
There is an old ranger’s cabin available for rent in the middle of the forest. Personally, I found it a little creepy. But, that’s just me. Maybe you’ll like this hyper rustic stuff. You can contact: 808-981-8109 for more information on the cabin, camping permits and to check on possible park closures. Continue reading Polipoli State Park→
Hawaii inspired art, art wear, music and other stuff