You Know it’s Christmas in Hawaii When…


You know it’s Christmas in Hawaii when…

You’re Christmas shopping and it’s 88° outside.

Your Christmas tree is decorated with starfish and mermaids.

Your friends and family hope you’ll send Kona coffee and macadamia nuts as Christmas gifts.

So many people want to stay in your guest room, you could sell lottery tickets.

You have to run the AC while cleaning for said guests, or you’ll drip sweat everywhere.

People here get more excited about Bing Crosby’s song “Mele Kalikmaka” than his version of “White Christmas.”

You jump every time the fire crackers go off in your neighborhood, as locals rev up for their New Year’s Eve extravaganzas.

The geckos are nestled, all snug in your bed.

You can’t wait for Santa to arrive… by canoe!

Instead of snow, you get flash floods, and warnings going off on your cell phone (happened all night last night)…

Mele Kalikimaka! (Merry Christmas) and happy holidays to all of our mauidailyescape readers. Thank you so much for being part of our lives.

If you live here, please share the things you would add to this list! Mahalo.

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Hawaiian-Style Christmas


Remember the line in the movie “Moonstruck” where Cher slaps Nicholas Cage’s face and says “Snap out of it!” ? Good. Hold that thought.
We had a Christmas party at our house this past weekend with a group of longtime Maui friends. I cleaned, cooked, baked, wrapped, fluffed and planned party games. Everyone arrived at the appointed time and we sat down to eat. So far, so good.
Then it happened. (A Christmas party by any other name….would not be a Christmas party on Maui…) and someone brought up their rat problem.

These friends have a fairly new commercial-grade 6 burner gas oven, and a rat took up residence in it. She said, “Our whole oven smells like rat piss!” (At this point I reminded myself not to eat any baked goods from their house anytime soon). Then she told us of the cure for the rat piss smell: “Basically, you build a fruit salad, add lots of cinnamon sticks and bake it for a really long time.” At first it didn’t work, so they had to start over. I don’t know why these friends have such bad luck with rats, but their last oven also had a rat in it and they ended up throwing it out. (The oven, not the rat.)
Then the conversation turned to cockroaches, and what latest potions and poisons would work to kill them. Before we knew it we were on to centipedes, and the fact that two people at the party had Bug Man and Terminix, yet still get centipedes in their houses all the time. Donna said, “The bug guy was JUST out and I had a centipede in my hall THIS big this morning!” and she splayed her hand as wide as it would go. “Was it the blue and yellow kind?” Amber asked. Because we all know the many varieties, you see.
Then the conversation really got heavy as we moved onto the coqui frog invasion on Maui. Google “Coqui frogs” if you aren’t familiar with this terrible invader. They have basically taken over the Big Island of Hawaii, and then hide in the plants that get shipped out of there from the nurseries, so they encamp to Maui and other outer islands. My friend can’t sleep at night, as the extremely vocal coquis have invaded the gulch by their house. “And do you know that when we call the county to come out and spray, those frogs are smart enough to shut up?” she said.


Go here for “Coqui frogs up close and loud” at

By now the conversation was just out of control. And I said, “Guys, do you think a Christmas party on the mainland would have any one of these topics?” and they all murmered polite versions of hell no. And I was glad I didn’t have to say, “Snap out of it, it’s supposed to be Christmas.”
But that was our version of a Hawaiian-style Christmas party.

And as we were washing platters and wine glasses and packing up the leftover food later that night, Mike turned me and said, “Now do you see why Hawaiians just have a barbecue and sit around in their garages drinking beer for their holiday parties?”
Good point, Mike. Good point.

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

I Saw Santa Give the Shaka Sign


We just got back from a week on Oahu. And guess what? Santa was there! He was in his little grass hut, wearing his Aloha shirt at the Ala Moana mall


Apparently, these days the kids TEXT their Christmas lists to Santa!
And here is Santa out on the ocean near Waikiki. Did you know he arrives by canoe instead of a sleigh in Hawaii?


(Photo from Honolulu Magazine).

We stayed a couple of nights at the Hawaii Prince Hotel, which has a fabulous view of the Ala Wai yacht harbor and ocean.


See the cool pool? I couldn’t wait to get in it, but the pool wasn’t heated… I kicked myself for not asking before we went. Much too cold for this Hawaii girl to enjoy! In fact, we didn’t see a single person get in the pool the whole time we were there. We could see the pool from our room. The other great thing about this hotel is that all the rooms face the ocean, none of them face the busy road running through Waikiki, Kalakaua Avenue. The staff is friendly and the hotel seems to be well run. Not too excited about the restaurant choices there, so we ate at the Hau Tree restaurant, right on the ocean, which can’t be beat.

We have discovered that the first week of December is the time to fly interisland, stay interisland, or just about anything else. Everything is cheaper because everyone is home getting ready for the holidays and/or getting ready for their Christmas trip. But the tourists aren’t here yet (though Mike did have the drummer for the Doors on the boat the other night).

Hope you’re enjoying getting ready for the holiday season, and whether Santa paddles or flies to your house, that your home is filled with good cheer.

A hui hou! if you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right…
Aloha, Jamaica

Lava Flow Displaces Big Island Residents


The lava flow on the Big Island is now moving at 60 ft./hour. Three-hundred students who were displaced and had to switch schools were treated to being the first humans allowed to touch the cooled lava. Civil Defense oversaw the student’s field trip:


The children brought an offering tied in ti leaves (the green bundles) for the fire goddess, Pele. And how long will it be before a parent brings a lawsuit against the DOE for promoting paganism?

The cooled lava is so thick it was over the student’s heads by the side of the road


The lava is still moving, still threatening more homes….


And here on Maui, the VOG (volcanic organic gas) is so thick today because the trade winds have died down:


You should be able to see the West Maui mountains in the background, but they are a faint outline at best.

And life here in paradise goes on….

A hui hou! if you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right. Mahalo for reading along!

Aloha, Jamaica
(Photos, Hawaii News Now)

Holidays on Maui

A few things you might want to know if you are planning to spend part of the holidays on Maui. (Unless you are our friends spending the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s here with us–we’ve got it covered, guys.)

So, fresh Christmas trees:
Kula Botanical Garden began their annual Christmas tree sale yesterday and it continues today, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5,6,7. The trees are freshly cut and range in height from 3 feet for $36 to 20 feet for $950. The garden is located at 638 Kekaulike Avenue and is open from 9 AM to 4 PM every day of the year. 808-878-1715 This is a nine-acre farm owned by Helen and Warren McCord and they sell between 1,000-2,000 Monterey pine trees per year.

Upcountry Farm Specialties
51 Calasa Rd.
Kula 808-878-1468. Owned by Shirley and Hugo Buetler, this a coffee, protea and fruit farm with three acres of Christmas trees.

Other vendors with trees:
Walmart and Lowes
We usually end up at the King’s Cathedral church Christmas tree lot located at the corner of Puunene and Dairy Rd. (This is the large tin roof church on the corner that the locals call “God’s warehouse.”)

Now, onto viewing Christmas trees. If you have never done it you owe it to yourself to drive down to the hotels in Wailea to see the Christmas displays. (This is Maui’s version of going to see the Macy’s Christmas windows.) They have the most enormous trees I have ever seen…


Yes, that’s a real tree behind us! This was taken at the Fairmont Kea Lani when we attended the Aloha Ballroom Dance Academy Christmas ball ( Only time I’m ever able to get Mike in a tie.

And new this year: ICE skating on Maui! Start a new holiday tradition with ice skating in the tropics. Their ad says “The winter wonderland escape at the Westin Ka’anapli Ocean Resort Villas features a hybrid ice skating rink complete with holiday music, lighting, and magnificent ocean views. It’s the perfect place to create lasting memories with friends and family. Now till January 3, 2015 4 PM to 9 PM, daily. $15 per person for 30 minutes, including skate rental.

There are a number of things happening at the Maui Artsts and Cultural Center. There are the first light screenings of the new crop of Christmas movies on the wonderful large screen at the MACC. (
Check put the website for concert info, too…Jason Mraz and Raining Jane!

Then there is the Hui Visual Arts Center in Makawao. Just seeing the house alone that the hui is housed in is worth the trip. But they have lots of holiday gift ideas and noteworthy artwork. The Hui Holidays are till December 24th daily 9-4 pm
Hui No’eau, Maui – What will you create?
.Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center – 2841 Baldwin Avenue – Makawao, HI 96768

If you come to Maui for the holidays, I hope you find lots to enjoy!

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica<strong