Maui Time


“Maui Time” is that elusive feeling that tourists get while vacationing here: that time is standing still, that things are moving more slowly than they do back home. Many people crave a trip to Maui just to experience Maui Time, to step off the treadmill of their lives.

Fantasy? Myth? Or reality?

In his book “Time Shifters,” Stefan Rechtschaffen, M.D.,describes how researchers have found that people who live in the same cities or areas influence each other in how fast they move. Or, in Maui, how slowly move. Study shows that before the year 1900 and shortly into that century, no letters between people ever stated, “Sorry I haven’t written, I’ve been too busy.”

While “busy-ness” is only a concept, we all have things that must be done, and a hierarchy: I WANT to go to the beach. I SHOULD clean out the refrigerator. I NEED to meet my writing deadline.

In February, I ran into my friend April, who I hadn’t seen in months. She immediately apologized for not sending me a Christmas card, and said, “You’ll understand when I tell you that the fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving are still in my refrigerator.” April works as a supervisor and has two small children. Yes, she lives on Maui, but does not operate on Maui Time. She doesn’t have the time!

Mike and I go to Costco and see local families who walk in a horizontal line of four to six across, blocking the aisle. (By the way, we do not experience this at the Costco on Oahu.) This would be fine if they moved at a normal pace, or if people could get around them. But they move like turtles. And here’s the question: how do these people get their taxes done? How do they pay their bills on time?

These are probably the people who don’t keep their properties up. You can drive all over this island and see run-down houses with peeling paint, overgrown bushes, and 15 rusting cars in the yard. (This is not an exaggeration. There is a property down the street from us that has fifteen cars sitting around in the front, back and side yards. I know because I counted.) A property in Maui needs constant vigilance, or it returns to its natural state – a jungle. This takes an enormous amount of time, energy, and money… If you’re going to keep up with the weeding, the trimming of bushes and trees, and painting of porches, sheds, outside stairways, garages etc. Then there is dealing with the termites. Just getting ready to have a house tented is a huge committment of time. And it’s very expensive. That’s why the houses are falling down around us.

So those of us who work normal jobs, own houses, and take care of our yards don’t experience Maui Time the way the tourists do. We are not at luaus watching slow, beautiful hula shows, listening to laid-back Hawaiian music. (The Feast at Lele is $110.00 per person. Not in a normal Mauiian’s budget. We only go if we get company.(

The closest I get to Maui Time is at the beach, or when I am driving and turn on the radio and catch some really soothing Hawaiian music. Hawaiian music can always put me in a good mood. And every day I watch the sunset from wherever I am. That is how I remember that I am in Maui. I take a deep breath in gratitude.

What is the pace like where you live? Are you in New York City, Fargo, N.D., or Austin, Texas? And is “Maui Time” one of the reasons you love to visit Maui?

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

Aloha, Jamaica

Lahaina Ranks in Top Seaside Towns


No one that I know actually stays in Lahaina. They just do the “Lahaina crawl”: shopping, dining, taking a boat ride out of the harbor. They stay in Kihei, Kaanapali, Kapalua. As for my years as a concierge on Maui, my favorite dining experiences in Lahaina are: Io Restaurant, Gerards (it’s French, he was a master chef from France), and was awarded five stars by Forbes. If you go, ask to be seated on the veranda; the restaurant is in a lovely old hotel. For luaus, my favorite is the Feast at Lele because the food is fabulous and you can’t get any closer to the beach. It’s small and intimate (about fifty tables) you have your your own table,your own server, and the price includes champagne if you desire. I always told my guests at the hotel that it was a great last-night on Maui celebration place.Be sure to take a sweater or wrap, ladies, it cools down on the beach after you watch that spectacular sunset.

Lahaina Sunset

Here’s the AP article on Lahaina from  the Maui News May 17th:

NEW YORK – Lahaina was ranked 10th on Coastal Living’s 15 “Happiest Seaside Towns.”

The survey is a first for the magazine that covers life along the coast and is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Beach communities from California to South Carolina were ranked as the “best places to live along the coasts of the United States.”

In an announcement of the ranking, the magazine called Lahaina, “the charming gateway to Maui’s world-famous Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts to the north.”

“Its banyan trees add a courtly air to the downtown, and its brightly colored Front Street, busy with shops and galleries, keeps things lively,” the announcement said. “Lahaina has nearly perfect air quality, and when you add its dry, sunny climate in a tropical paradise, that makes life pretty ideal.”

There were no other Hawaii seaside towns listed in the survey. The No. 1 “Happiest Seaside Town” was Kiawah Island in South Carolina, followed by Naples, Fla.; and Sausalito, Calif.

“It’s wonderful news,” said Lynn Donovan, executive director of LahainaTown Action Committee, an organization that helps promote the west-side town. “Our reaction is that we are thrilled that this is happening and that we are lucky that we live Lahaina.”

She noted that the honor comes on the heels of being ranked 21 out of 25 island destinations listed in a TripAdvisor survey and Front Street being named one of the “Great Streets of America.”

The Coastal Living ranking appears in the June issue, which hits newsstands Friday.

…So folks, how do YOU feel about Lahaina? Do you look forward to visiting it when you come, or do you avoid it and its crowds?

A hui hou (til we meet again). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha! Jamaica