Favorite Local Beach

Aloha!
Keawakapu beach, in Kihei (south Maui) is one of our very favorite beaches. We have spent many lazy Sunday mornings there, as lots of locals do. The Hawaiian word Keawakapu means forbidden cave. It is pronounced with the “w” sounding as a “v”, just like the town of Haleiwa on Oahu is pronounced Ha-lay-eeee-vah.
It’s pretty low-key, especially on a Sunday. The best part, to me, is the shade trees:
image

A wise person told me, soon after I moved to Maui, that “Hawaii is best done in the shade.” As a newbie, of course I thought he was nuts. Then all I did was look for shade!

It is an expansive beach, which is good,
image

because on crowded days, you can barely get past all the sun umbrellas in the sand, and people picking their guitars and singing. It’s just a happy place to hang out. One interesting thing about the beach is that there is a reef around 400 yards from the shore made from 150 car bodies which were dumped in the year 1962.
The beach is adjacent to the Mana Kai hotel. There is Zack’s Deli, a good place to grab a wrap for lunch. And if you’re willing to part with some cash, there is the Five Palms Restaurant, with covered outdoor seating, a spiffy bar, and a really lovely dining room. (It used to be our go-to for special occasions, but then the prices got to be more than as locals we were willing to spend.) I still miss the days of $8.95 crab cakes there for brunch!

image

image

I really love a comfortable, quiet restaurant with booths, and this one can have spectacular whale-watching in the winter.

So check out Keawakapu beach and let me know your experience. You can rent boogie boards, stand-up paddle boards, and kayaks. There’s great snorkeling too, so there’s really something for everyone.

image

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

Advertisements

I’ll Be There For You

Aloha!

The 20 – some things I know are obsessed with the show “Friends.”
The catchy theme song alone will speak to that age group, and since fashion has been stuck in the skinny jeans/pin – straight hair rut for-ev-er, they can see themselves up on screen – – but with one major difference.

I happened to catch the episode recently where Rachel gives birth and the Friends get to come see little Emma Geller – Green for the first time. There is a reverent moment as they stand around the hospital bed and watch Rachel hold her… then they begin carefully passing Emma around. (Joey, of course, breaks the gravity of the moment by saying, “But, she looks so REAL!”)

And then it hit me. The Friends were having a moment, and no one had a camera or a cell phone. They said, “Me, next!” to hold the baby, not to snap a selfie with her so they could post it immediately. They were PRESENT. You could feel their very strong bond as a group. And wouldn’t those selfies be all about them and their reaction to Emma, instead of the joy of Emma herself?

And that’s why “Friends” wouldn’t get made today – – unless they did it as a retro show. I submitted a Family script to a producer who complained that there wasn’t enough technology in it.”But the character is TWELVE,” I said. “I did that on purpose.”

What does this have to do with Maui? When I moved here in 1999, I didn’t have a cell phone (just like the Friends.) I had to pay per call to talk to my mother. Today if she were still alive, we could Facetime each other in our kitchens.

And that is what makes a move to Maui easier these days – – you don’t have to lose touch with friends and family back home.

But, what about touch?

My friend Becky in California’s 98-year-old mother just fell and broke her hip in Minnesota. Do we really think mom is going to be happy with a FaceTime chat from her hospital bed? Of course not. Becky is making a plane reservation as we speak.

Maybe the 20 – somethings are so enamored with “Friends” for a subconscious reason: the very lack of technology. The Friends go hang out in each other’s apartments. They go to Central Perk and actually talk to each other, instead of staring at their screens.

The theme song says, “I’ll be there for you…” It meant in person.

Has that gotten lost in translation?

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 readin along!

Aloha, Jamaica

Locals Weigh in On Tourists, Part Two

Aloha!
Here is the second half of my last post (“Locals Weigh In on Tourists,” July 23rd.) A couple posted to reddit.com that they would be coming to Maui, but didn’t want to be annoying tourists….and asked what not to do.

Here are the Maui locals’ answers:

(Stop) Stopping at the top of my driveway to take family vacation photos.

Try to avoid renting a convertible Mustang please. (Author intrusion: nothing brands you as a tourist faster than a convertible. Oh, and an ugly visor – – particularly one with a Hawaiian print. People think they’re coming to Maui and blending in by doing these things, when in truth they are picking up bad habits from other tourists, not the locals.)

Another answer: THINK before asking stupid questions! I worked on a sailboat and actually got these questions:
“What elevation are we at?”
“Where can I dive under the island to see the chain?”
“Is there a bridge to the mainland?”
“Is that a cane fire or is the volcano exploding?”
(Author intrusion: and my favorite question that I got as a hotel concierge: “Is that Japan?” ….as they pointed at the island of Lanai.)

John Card, a mauidailyescape reader, wrote after my last post about tourists who drive too slow (also from reddit.com). John asked,
“They say tourists drive too slow (the speed limit) – yet I see “Slow down! This ain’t the mainland!!” bumper stickers all over the place when I am there. So which is it? I’m happy to oblige either way…”
My answer: Well, John, that is both simple and complicated. I can only speak for myself and Mike, but if I had to wager a guess, it would be that it is the old – timers you see with the “Slow down! This ain’t the mainland!” bumper stickers. People who have lived here forever, and aren’t used to the traffic patterns from the mainland or even Oahu. Or road rage. And there’s a good chance that even THEY are driving too slow for locals who have to be at work on time. So there is the complication.

A few days ago we were in a road construction zone, and I pulled onto the road from a parking lot, only to have a Local in a big black truck lay on his horn, and zoom around me at the earliest possible opportunity. Maui is going through growing pains, there aren’t enough roads for the number of tourists, and drivers are frustrated by the road construction, which at times seems it’s being headed up by the Three Stooges.

The areas with speed limits that seem too low to the locals who have to be at work on time are Mokelele Highway (to and from Kihei), and Dairy Road (Kuihelani Highway) that leads to Lahaina from Kahului. There were sections of this road at 35 mph and then 45 mph for years, which frustrated people no end. (I did notice a new sign at 55 mph just the other day, so maybe they are testing it out!)
Then there is the whole “Pali,” issue, the road that winds through the mountain and tunnel from Maalaea to Lahaina. The problem with this section is that it scares tourists half to death to have a steep cliff on one side and ocean drop-off on the other, so they white-knuckle it. Then there’s the problem of tourists busily sightseeing instead of driving. (“Oh look, a WHALE!!!) This adds up to 25 mph in a 45 mph zone…and locals who are just really needing to get work are ready to kill somebody.

The road to Hana? Don’t get me started. An angry local who lives out there and has made his monthly trip to Costco and just wants to get back home before dark will ride your bumper whether you are local or a tourist. It’s like the wild West out there. They have no patience with people who are driving the speed limit, scared of the curves, sightseeing, or just enjoying the day. I would imagine people in convertibles are particularly vulnerable to their anger!

Back to an answer on reddit. com:

Avoid being rude/demanding/complaining. They’ll either act like they’re taking you seriously, then have all their co-workers start pulling pranks, or you mess with the wrong person and they’re ready to fight. Since you’re asking this question, my guess is that you will not run into this problem. Just be respectful. Maui is more fun if you don’t expect everything to go according to plan. Be ready to improvise. It is what it is.

Wise advice. Maui is particularly vulnerable to bad service. Many people who work on Maui just don’t have the mainland work ethic, and then there’s the whole “Surf’s up, dude!” culture, and the truth is that on any given night, there’s a high likelihood that multiple waiters and/or the chef himself did not show up at a restaurant where you’re dining, and that’s why your food is taking so long. So resisting or complaining is fruitless.

In Maui, the best motto is “Just go with it!” (Ironically, the name of the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston film set on Maui).

So, if you are a Maui local reading this, what are YOUR pet peeves about tourists?

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

Maui Voted Seventh Best Island in the World

Aloha!

In case you haven’t heard, the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine have once again named Maui the best island in Hawaii, and the seventh best in the world.

image

Readers voted in the magazine’s annual “World’s Best” awards, based on the ratings of five characteristics: natural attractions/beaches, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people/friendliness and value.

The island of Kauai followed at the number eight ranking.

Here are the 10 best islands in the world, according to Travel + Leisure:

Galapagos Islands
Bali
Maldives
Tasmania in Australia
Santorini in Greece
Moorea in French Polynesia
Maui
Kauai
Great Barrier Reef and
Malta.

So, mauidailyescape readers, how would YOU vote? Where does the beautiful isle of Maui rank for you out of the Hawaiian islands…and in the world?

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

Monday, Monday

Aloha!

It seems Monday is the day people most often dream of running off to an island where the living will be easy.

Every day when Mike goes to work as the Captain of The Scotch Mist (www.scotchmistsailingcharters.com/) out of Lahaina Harbor, some tourist will say, “Wow, you must have the best job in the world!”

So here is a look at Mike’s day. First up, the Hawaiian monk seal on the beach in front of his friend Barry’s house, where he often stops off before work:

image

Being a monk seal must be hard work, because he needed a nap

image

Then, onto the boat. They are still seeing whales this late in the year on the whale watches
image

And then there are the champagne sunset sails (well, everyone but Mike and the crew gets champagne…)

image

From the outside looking in, yes, Mike’s job looks perfect to many. He’s basically getting paid to live a Jimmy Buffett song, right?

But scratch the surface and you will find long, long days in the hot, hot sun. And the skin cancer that required 30 stitches in his left cheek. During the busy whale season (January-April) he might leave the house at 7 am and not get home till 9 pm. And although his commute isn’t bad, it does take 50 minutes.

Sometimes boat trips get canceled due to not enough passengers. So he might have a snorkel trip that’s over at 1 pm but the evening sail doesn’t start till 5 pm, with no sail in between. He’s sitting in Lahaina with no work–a “split shift”, and not paid for those extra hours.

If there are no trips scheduled yet for a workday, he is home but on call. Like a doctor, but without the fabulous wages…yet still responsible for twenty-five lives. He can’t really go anywhere or do anything, because he might “get a trip.”

But in all, when he’s actually on the water behind the wheel he’s loving life. So, all in a days’ work, eh?

image

Hope wherever you are, and whatever you do, you’re having a good Monday.

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

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:

image

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

The Real Reason I Live on Maui

Aloha!
So here it is, the REAL reason, above all others, that I live on Maui. My sister, who still lives where I grew up in Indiana (and teaches at our same junior high), sent this to me this morning. My teeth chatter just thinking about it:

image

To all of you in the Midwest and on the East Coast battling this type of weather, please stay warm, and stay safe on the roads out there.

Have a cup of hot chocolate and think of me…I will soon be deluged with letters from people asking me questions on “How to Move to Maui.” (See FAQ’s on Moving to Maui).

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

Aloha, Jamaica