Where is the Cabana Boy?

Aloha!

When you live on Maui, an odd thing happens: you never go on vacation. Having grown up in Hawaii, Mike just has a really, really hard time spending money for a hotel, when we already live in “Paradise.” And we are probably just like you, in that if we stay home, all we do is work! I am currently on a writing deadline, so I thought I’d share with you the thing I wish I could say right now:

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But obviously, I can’t complain! It’s warm, the sun is out, and even though I am chained to my desk right now, I am well aware, every single day, of where I live. So here’s what I really need to say:

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I hope you have found your Paradise, too.

“It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”
– Thomas Jefferson

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner of the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

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Michelle Obama Visits Oprah on Maui

Aloha!
Just in case you haven’t heard –because you haven’t dug out from under that snowdrift yet– Michelle Obama is visiting Oprah Winfrey on Maui.

I love how the news sources get it wrong. Breitbart.com said that Mrs. Obama was partying at “Oprah’s Maui Beach House.” And yet Oprah’s house is nowhere near the beach. It is a ranch. A ranch on the side of Haleakala Mountain. Oprah can see the water, yes, but she is not at the beach. (See this blog’s Post “Where Does Oprah Live on Maui?” Nov.25, 2012.)

The news first hit here on Maui because a man trying to take his normal bike route near Oprah’s house was blocked by Secret Service agents and alerted The Maui News. (http://www.mauinews.com)

White House reports indicate the First Lady stayed behind this week in Hawaii to chill out with friends before her 50th birthday. Sources with direct knowledge tell TheDC that the First Lady is relaxing in Maui at Oprah’s estate with CBS’ Gayle King, Valerie Jarrett and Sharon Malone, who is Attorney General Eric Holder’s wife.

“Yesterday, we saw bomb-sniffing dogs and Maui police in the bushes,” Heather Long, the manager of nearby Grandma’s Coffeehouse, told The Dailey Caller. “We’re very close to Oprah’s property. They’ll probably walk up and down the road.”

Winfrey stops by the coffee shop regularly, but employees “try to not to make it a big deal,” Long said.

http://www.Oprah.com says this of the Hawaii home:

Once an ordinary little gray ranch that Oprah saw “for less than 10 minutes” and considered a tear-down, Oprah’s Hawaiian home has been transformed into the perfect 21st-century farmhouse, with great pieces of folk art, beautifully embroidered curtains, comfortable furniture, and inviting colors:

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Michelle Obama’s extended stay is reportedly part of a birthday gift from the President. The Obama daughters headed home to Washington. A birthday weekend without the children…sounds like Mrs. Obama needed some R&R.

And what better place to get it than here on Maui, land of plumeria breezes and sunsets that make you feel like you’re at the center of the earth?

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

New FAQ’s on Maui

Aloha!
Ta-da! There is something new at Mauidailyescape.com. So many readers have been writing to ask questions about moving to Maui that I was spending hours each week answering individual letters. So instead, I spent a few hours compiling “FAQ’s on Moving to Maui” (frequently asked questions). You’ll find the Tab at the top of each page.

It’s my Christmas gift to you (and myself!) because this leaves more time to post on this blog. And I will continue to post new questions as people ask me, so check back on the FAQ’s once in a while. Today I just added a section on “Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selling Everything and Moving” at the bottom of the FAQ’s…so Janet and Gaylynn, those are for you!

The Tab that was called “Moving to Maui” (my own story )is now called “Unexpected Paradise.”

Readers, please do me a favor and take a moment to share how you found this blog, so I can see what I’m doing right….what were your Search terms that led you here?

As always, thank you for your interest in the blog…thank you for your very kind words and comments on how the blog is helping to expand your view of Hawaii and Maui. I appreciate you all, and look forward to sharing the islands with you in 2014. And I ask that if you enjoy mauidailyescape.com, that you’ll please tell a friend!

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Warm Aloha, Jamaica

What Are You Dreaming Of?

Aloha!
Do you have a dream? Maybe something small that you harbor in your heart, sure you will find a way to do it one day? Or do you try to remember what it even felt like to dream…as you put one foot in front of the other in your daily grind?

Meredith Novack, 37, just completed her dream of breaking the world record by swimming the Auau Channel between Lanai and Maui, twice. It took her 11 hours, 1 minute to swim the 20 miles, and broke the previous record by 44 minutes. A former US Masters national champion in the open water 3K, Novacks trained for 10 months to prepare.

She said she did it because “Number one, no woman had ever done it, and number two, because I felt I could break the men’s record.” She said she made sure to follow strict rules for the world record attempt: “You can’t grab onto a kayak. You can’t use anything for support and people can’t touch you.”

Novacks wore an electronic device called a shark shield that kept her safe from a 15 ft. Tigershark that her escort team did not tell her about, till after she finished. They did not want to let her know that the Tigershark had shown up with less than two hours to go, for fear she would not finish.

There is resistance in the water with each stroke. Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art” met with Oprah Winfrey at her beautiful Maui home for their interview on “Super Soul Sunday.” He says there is always resistance with a goal, no matter how worthy. The form the resistance takes is the thoughts in our heads: “I’m not worthy.” or, “It’s been done 100 times before, what am I going to say that they haven’t heard?”

Pressfield says we have to “Face the Dragon.” And then we will ask why we didn’t do this months ago…

Meredith Novacks faced her dragon and set a new world record.

“Tell me, what is it YOU plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Now THAT’S a Papaya

Aloha!
When was the last time you saw a papaya the size of a man’s head? These Tahitian papayas were grown by Mike, from seeds he got from a Tahitian neighbor.

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Here they are in close-up on the tree:

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And here they are in the kitchen. As you can see, they are the size of a butcher knife.
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The taste test? Juicy, and a bit like a cantaloupe. Paradise!
In an upcoming post, I will share a video of Mike stunting a papaya tree, which makes it bear fruit earlier. This was a secret technique he learned from a wizened Japanese gardener on the North Shore, Oahu. Stay tuned…

Hope you have a great weekend! Mahalo for reading along.

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Brief Relief

Aloha!
Regarding my last post about the VOG (volcanic organic gas), and that we’d had unrelenting VOG for 43 days, I wanted to give you an update. Shauna wrote to ask if I had asthma before moving to Hawaii. The answer is no. I’ve written about this in the past, but I really did move to Maui for the “clean” air. So I was shocked to find out that Hawaii has a high incidence of asthma, and particularly the children are at risk. You can check it out at http://www.CDC.gov/asthma/stateprofiles/asthma. An estimated 36,738 children have asthma in Hawaii. Child lifetime asthma prevalence in Hawaii is 18.6%, compared with the 38 participating states rates of 13.3%.

There have also been questions about whether Hawaii is a good place for those with allergies. See also: http://www.allergyclimates.com/2006/06/03/Denver-Hawaii.

I’ve sat in my chiropractor’s office, and listened to parents bringing their children in for adjustments, saying, “I pulled the children out of school today because of the VOG, and they’re doing so poorly, I brought them in for an adjustment.” Many Hawaii schools have open windows and no air conditioning. I spoke with the man who owns Air Filters Hawaii, and he was hired to go to the Big Island and fit the schools over there with air filteration systems for the VOG. I think Maui should be next.

The thing with the VOG is that it’s so in insidious. Most places on the island, you don’t even know it’s there. We can go to downtown Kahului (where the airport is),and not see the VOG at, all because we are IN it. We can go down to Kihei, or to Wailea, on the south part of the island, and it’s the same way. But we come up the mountain and have a view of the valley, and bingo! there it is, hanging over Maui like a gauzy blanket. The shorthand at our house now revolves around the VOG. The question, “Is it thick?” means, is it time to close up all the windows?

I am on the email notification list for the island’s HC&S sugarcane company. This year during our 45 day VOG seige, they would send an email that said they were going to burn in the morning between 4:00am and 6:30am, and then a few hours later another email notification would come, saying “burning suspended due to weather.” They’re not saying due to VOG, but that’s what it means. They canceled the burning so many times I lost track, and the upside to the VOG siege was they were not burning cane. So it’s a choice between VOG and cane-smoke, I guess.

We had a three day VOG reprieve, so we went to the beach. I was so happy to be out of the house I cannot even tell you! However, now I’m thinking I need to do a blog post about “what not to do at the beach.” There was the guy who stood directly in front of me and chain smoked the whole time. Then the guy next to me smoking a cigar. Honestly, people, you can’t do this in your own backyards?

So today the wind is directly out of the south, and the VOG is moving back in. All of our windows are closed, and I am so weary of it, and wonder how long it will last this time. At one point I worked in a law office here on the island, with a large group of women. On voggy days, you could just see the effects all across the office… People with itchy eyes, scratchy throats, and the inability to concentrate. People would think they were coming down with the flu (with the achiness), but it would just be the VOG.

So there’s your report from Paradise today.

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the follow button on the homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Hawaii Housing Ranked Most Expensive in Country

Hawaii Housing Ranked Most Expensive in Country

Aloha!

If you love to visit Hawaii and hope to buy a home/condo here in the future, better make it soon.

Coldwell Banker http://www.coldwellbanker.com/ just released a report that puts Hawaii’s housing costs the highest in the nation. An average 4 bedroom/2 bath home is more expensive than any other state, with an average listing price of $742,000.

Kailua, on Oahu where Mike grew up (in a modest 3 bed/1bath home) and where President Obama and family plan to vacation this holiday season for the fifth straight year in a row, ranked 8th out ot the top 10 most expensive places to buy a home.

We are so glad we bought our house when we did (2002), even though we tore it down and built what we now have. Because building materials have just spiraled upward also.

Analysts say they expect prices to skyrocket even further in the future. I suppose the next thing they will rank is how Hawaii housing costs compare to the entire world.

If your dream is to live in Hawaii, better buy while you can. I wish you the best of luck.

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

Aloha, Jamaica