Island Style

Aloha!

Are you a Hawaiian music fan?  There is so much to choose from , but two that I personally like are John Cruz http://www.johncruz.com/, particularly his song “Island Style”, which was a big hit, and of course Jake Shimabukura http://jakeshimabukuro.com/welcome/
the young ukulele virtuosa, who was a youtube sensation.

Speaking of music, there is an Internet email game going around. The idea is to name a song that’s so horrendous that it gets stuck in the recipient’s head. For instance, I would say “Muskrat Love”, and you would groan, because now that’s all you hear for the next hour. Then you’re supposed to tag me back with an equally bad selection. “Midnight at the Oasis” , for instance,sets my teeth on edge.  For many of us, the songs that get stuck in our heads came out before we were even born. But still we know them, possibly from  the dreaded Muzak, or from our parent’s collections.

When my dad was a kid in the 30s, his brother Jimmy bought the record “Frankie and Johnny.” (Cue music: Frankie and Johnnie were lovers…oh lordy how they could love…) Jimmy played it and played it and played it. One day my dad, who was five years younger than his brother and absolutely sick to death of Frankie and and her stupid, cheatin’ lover, took that record out across the road and sailed it into the field. Although his brother looked and looked, he couldn’t find it. Winter came and went, and the following spring my dad was out hiking in that field with his English setter. There, wet and mangled, lay,”Frankie and Johnny.” He never told his brother.

“Achy, Breaky, Heart” . “Seasons in the Sun”. Can you hear it?

Then there is Hawaiian music, an acquired taste for some.  I like much of it. I can even handle the high falsetto if it’s live, in person, and done well. Other people, not so much. A few years back I was at the Maui Writer’s Conference.( Don’t bother to Google it, it’s extinct now). Anyway, the line for the women’s restroom was a mile long, as all lines for women’s restrooms tend to be. I had probably been standing there for close to 10 minutes, and Hawaiian music was playing the whole time. I was enjoying it, as it echoed around the restroom and bounced off the walls.

A few feet ahead of me in line was a little Texan woman. She had the big hair, 2 inch nails, and little gold lame sandals. A Hawaiian falsetto song came on. All of a sudden she shuddered, covered her ears, and yelled in a southern drawl, “I just can’t take this horrible noise one more second!” and she bolted out of the bathroom, after waiting in line all that time. As the rest of us watched her go, there was a moment of silence, and then we all burst out laughing.

Seasons in the Sun. It’s a Small World After All.

Tag, you’re it.

Maui Weather Today: High 85, Low 71

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home page. Mahalo for stopping by.

Aloha, Jamaica

The Facts of Life on Maui

The Facts of Life on Maui

Aloha!

I always say that owning a house on Maui is like owning the Golden gate Bridge. It’s a fact of life that when those workers get to one end of the bridge and have finished painting it, they turn around and start again at the other end. In Maui, that’s true of both the inside of the house, and the yard.
In California, I worked like a maniac and had a housekeeper. In retrospect I ask, What for? There was no dirt! Just a little dust, every two weeks, and of course the bathroom can always use a bit of attention. But in Maui, it’s really hot, so you open the windows. Then the wind starts blowing. The wind is full of the ubiquitous red dirt.  You know the house is going to get covered with dirt, but it’s too hot to close the windows. And it’s too expensive to run the air conditioning… so you leave the windows open.
Today I cleaned my office. Not organizing, mind you, just cleaning.  Every book I touch has a layer of red dirt on the top of it’s spine. The books feel gritty, as do the bookshelves. My desk, mouse, computer screen; all covered with red dirt.

Then under the bookshelves, in the corners, and along every windowsill is the gecko poop! Another fact of life: the geckos know they own the house, they just let you live there. There is no catching them because they have amazing suction cup feet. You chase them and they just run up to the ceiling, hang upside down, and cackle at you. Literally, they cackle. And continue to poop wherever they like. Then there is the array of other interesting creatures. My friend Shel wrote to me the other day and said she was vacuuming (we spend our lives chasing red dirt) and she heard a caaathunk. She said, “Now just try googling ‘how to remove mangled live centipede from beater bar of a vacuum cleaner.'”

You heard me.
A large chunk of the budget when we built our house was installing wood floors. I would not have put carpet in my house if someone paid me. The reason: I was in a client’s home, who had orange carpeting. Except that then she moved a dresser, and underneath, the carpeting was BLUE. The entire carpeting was so full of red dirt it had turned orange. Tile or carpeting it is!
I am a writer and I love books. I have books everywhere. If I had my way I would own the expensive old Barrister’s bookcases, because they have a glass door that you could pull down over the books to protect them. In Maui, that would help keep out the red dirt.
I know of women in Haiku who take every book off their bookshelves, turn on blower fans, open up all the books, and let the fans blow through to drive the humidity out of them. They do this multiple times throughout the year. Otherwise, they mold.
Just another day in Paradise!
Maui Weather Today: High 85, Low, 72
A hui hou. If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, click the Follow button on the Home page. Mahalo for stopping by!
Aloha, Jamaica

Progressive Ka’anapali

Progressive Ka’anapali

Aloha!

I’ve always liked the idea of a progressive dinner, but in reality the ones I’ve attended have been kind of frenetic and the food was cold. But on Friday, August 31st, from 6 to 10 pm, you can get a taste of the first “Progressive Ka’anapali” in a fun, moveable feast. It will be the launch for the three-day “Ka’anapai Fresh Festival.” You can stroll from venue to venue on the beach boardwalk, or opt for the event shuttles. The cost for this three-course meal is $69.00 per person and tickets are going fast.

It begins with “Sushi, Sake, Seafood and Champagne” at the Hyatt’s Napili Gardens, with foods from the hotel’s Japengo (the reigning “Best Resort Restaurant” in the Maui News) and Umalu restaurants, and also from Hula Grill. There will be an array of award-winning nigiri and maki sushi, sashimi, fresh jumbo shrimp, shucked oysters, snow-crab and Seafood-pancakes, served with sake by Yuku no Bosha and Moet & Chandon Champagne.

Then it’s on to the Westin Resort–guests have 15 minutes to get there–for “Flavors and Fire of Maui,” a contemporary twist on traditional luau offerings. It will showcase Maui’s only extreme fire-knife performance. It will include entrees and small plates of kalua pork and poi with with lomi Kula tomato, local steamed snapper, seared beef and Hamakua-mushroom poke with ulu crisps; decontructed Hawaii-island kampachi laulau, pan-fried Molokai prawn tacos, and grilled Colorado natural lamb loin chops with sweet-ginger glaze.

Last, it is on to the “Plantation Nights” at the Sheraton Maui with views of famous Black Rock. Guests are invited to gather around the fire pits and star-gaze while they enjoy coffee or espresso.

So if you’re on Maui, come on out and enjoy this festival, which continues on September 1st and 2nd, with Spyro Gyra and Makana playing, and a Third Eye Blind concert on September 2nd. If the turnout is good, hopefully it will become a yearly event.

For tickets: www.kaanapalifresh.com

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page. Mahalo for stopping by!

Aloha, Jamaica

A Silver Lining

A Silver Lining

Aloha!

Police say a California woman robbed a bank and fled to a Pacific Gas & Electric office to pay her utility bill. The Fresno Bee said the woman was arrested shortly after the Bank of America heist.

Kinda makes you long for the days when a good old-fashioned bank robbery netted you enough to buy diamonds or retire for life. Now it only pays the electric bill. Hawaii’s economy closely follows California’s…so I expect to see a rash of bank robberies here, since Hawaii’s kiilowatt per hour electric cost is five times higher than the mainland’s. That’s another one of those shockers that people experience when they move to Paradise.

I hang my clean laundry and sheets on the clothesline, as do most of my neighbors. It’s a lot more work that way, almost like doing the laundry twice, vs. tossing it into the dryer, but it shoots our electric bill sky high if we use the dryer. There is no natural gas on Maui.

But for these many things that make living on Maui so very expensive, there is a silver lining. Each time we get in the car to drive anywhere, we are treated to sublime views. I never tire of heading down the mountain and seeing the cloud formations over the West Maui Mountains, seeing the pinky-sunset hues shoot up into the sky and color those clouds every evening.

On our way out to dinner for Mike’s birthday, we saw this, the very essence of a silver lining.

West Maui Sky

It’s been doing this every evening for a week now. I’ll never grow tired ot it.

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page. Mahalo for reading!

Maui Weather Today: High 85, Low 72

Aloha, Jamaica

Shark Snack

Shark Snack

Aloha!

As those of you who follow this blog know, Mike works as a boat Captain on the Scotch Mist out of Lahaina www.scotchmistsailingcharters.com/

A couple of days ago he came home from work and told me this story: another Captain out of Lahaina had taken a snorkel tour over near the coastline of Lanai. The group of snorkelers were in the water enjoying themselves.  While the Captain waited on the boat, he looked down in the water and saw a large turtle surface. Under the turtle he saw another shape, and assumed it was a second turtle…when suddenly an eight-foot tiger shark surfaced just behind the turtle, and opening its large jaws–swallowed the turtle whole!

The Captain started yelling, “Everyone back on the boat. Back on the boat, NOW!” but the shark had his snack, and took off, not bothering any of the humans.

I guess he didn’t get the memo that the turtles are endangered and not to get too close.

For those who would enjoy a sailing adventure the next time you’re on Maui:

Scotch Mist Sunset Tour Highlights:

The Scotch Mist is the fastest production line sailboat of her size in the world.

■ Bubbly Champagne, Kula Chocolates, Beer, Wine, Soda & Juice ■ Quiet and Relaxing Sunset Sail ■ Beautiful views of Maui, Lanai and Molokai ■

Snorkel Trips Available (to the brave and fearless!) to Lanai

Call 1-877-669-1077. Enjoy!

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page. Mahalo for stopping by.

Maui Weather Today: High 87, Low 73

Aloha, Jamaica

Restaurant Review: Colleen’s at the Cannery

Restaurant Review: Colleen’s at the Cannery

Aloha!

Colleen’s at the Haiku Cannery http://colleensinhaiku.com/location.html is an out-of-the-way gem mostly frequented by the locals, but it would be an excellent stopping-off point on a trip back from Hana for the tourists. When you come to the Haiku Community Center, make a left and then another left onto Haiku Road, and up to the Cannery, which will be on your left also. It’s across from the Haiku Post Office. On our visit for Mike’s birthday, we saw one tourist couple waving a Maui driving map about, but other than that it was an interesting mix of locals who could have been doctors or windsurfers, sitting next to the guy with hair halfway down his back….and bare feet. Only in Hawaii.

We went on a Friday night and waited about thirty minutes for our food, but the service was good and the wait staff attentive with refilling water glasses. Colleen’s ambience reminds me of something you would find in Berkeley or Benicia, the town I was from in California. It has a restful vibe and they’re doing it right with the portions and flavors. The the only thing missing for me is artwork–a place for the eye to land. So I had to content myself with people-watching.

The place was packed and all tables full during the dinner hour (we arrived at 7 pm, with no reservation). Don’t stand at the door and wait, because it’s seat-yourself. Mike had the special: mahi-mahi with tiger prawns in a beautiful beure-blanc sauce that was excellent. We detected a hint of saffron. It came with a large scoop of fluffy, not gummy, rice and asparagus, for $25.00.

I had the Warm Bacon Spinach Salad for $14.00. It was quite large, had crispy potatoes, carmelized onions, cherry tomatoes, fresh bleu cheese and white truffle vinaigrette. If anything there was a little too much dressing and bacon in it (full slices, unusual for this salad.) In addition to their full pizza menu, the dinner menu is imaginative and it would appear there is something for everyone: BBQ Baby Back Ribs in a Maker’s Mark Honey sauce, a Shrimp and Garlic Linguine, Wild Mushroom Ravioli for the vegetarians (very important in Haiku) and a Vodka Penne Pasta, in addition to the Burgers and Fresh Daily Catch. I saw a number of Fish and Chips baskets come out, so they must be worth trying, if that’s your thing.

We were too full for dessert. We grabbed their breakfast and lunch menus also and plan to go again soon. The breakfast menu is typical and includes an Organic Tofu Vegetable Wrap. For the vegetarians, lunch includes a Grilled Ono and Avocado Wrap  (if you eat fish) and a  Roasted Vegetable Wrap.

The place is clean, comfortable (lots of booths, a biggie for me) and the noise level surprisingly low for concrete floors and high ceilings with an open-kitchen plan.

Give Colleen’s a try if you venture to Hana, or make it a destination with a pretty drive and side trip to Paia or Makawao. I think you’ll be pleased.

Colleen’s at the Cannery: 810 Haiku Rd., Haiku, HI 96708. 808-575-9211

Zagat Rating: 21/30.

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Home Page.

Aloha, Jamaica

Big News

Aloha!

Big news on Maui. Costco opened their gas station! We who live here have been waiting and waiting for this, we have been gouged on gas for so long… With rumors of price-fixing and legislation trying to get that stopped…But now  Costco has come in and solved the problem.  They dropped our gas prices by a dollar a gallon! Could it be we will no longer have the highest gas prices in the whole nation?

Had to love the letter to the editor in the Maui News on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. Linda Beech of Makawao wrote in and said: “Thank you, Costco, for bringing down gas prices on Maui. Can you please start an airline?”

Well said, Linda!

A hui hou,

Aloha, Jamaica