Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Season Maui

Aloha,

It has been  a  very wet and windy winter and spring  this year on Maui. The mountain grasses are taller than I have seen  in many years. My yard and fruit trees are flowering and getting ready for a bumper yield.  All the avocado trees Upcountry are completely covered in blossoms and my mangoes are growing larger by the week.
We are so fortunate that our reservoirs are now full to the top. Regardless of the extra work and hassles of rain and mud, there is something very reassuring about the abundance of water. I keep envisioning the aquafir  increasing the fresh water level as all this sweet rain filters through the porous lava rock.

I don't know if there is a more beautiful time of year to visit Hawaii.  The glorious Jacaranda trees are starting to bloom. The  harbinger of Spring, one very large purple blossom covered tree, is now in it's full glory. This particular tree on the Lower Kula Highway, is larger than most, blooms earlier than all, and stays in bloom longer as well. The purple highway is still a few weeks away from wowing all those who are lucky enough to drive our beautiful stretch of upcountry Maui. Before long, the road will be lined with blooming Jacaranda. Even our local residents like to roll Upcountry this time of year for a view of the emerald green pastures dotted with bright purple trees.

This weekend was one of my favorite events in Haiku, the 21st Annual Haiku Ho'olaule'a Flower Festival.This is a very well attended event with visitors and kama'aina  happy to spend a day with ohana and friends sharing some good outdoor fun.
 Despite the occasional showers, everyone was enjoying the Keiki performances and foot stomping local bands. Home style nurseries,  flower and vegies growers displayed their wares in attractive booths. Today I purchased a few unusual Antherium blossoms, hand painted greeting cards, and some unique, affordable locally made jewelery
If you want to experience the lushness of nature , the sweet scent of flowers and some locally grown ono food, come visit Maui during our quiet season. Off season travel is so relaxing. It's easy to park in town and at the beach, the sunsets are vibrant and our island home is a happy place to be.
Aloha, a hui hou,
Cherie

Thursday, April 3, 2014

In Support of Maui's Keiki

 Maui's Keiki need our support!! 
I have been moved to tears on a few occasions listening to the wonderfully grown young men and women of Maui who were At-Risk Kids and grew up to THRIVE due to the support, help and love from the Maui Boys and Girls Club.

If you are on Facebook, please, please take a minute to vote for the Maui Boys and Girls Club. We are so close to winning the $25,000. Charity Challenge on behalf of my Real Estate Company, Windermere Valley Isle Properties.

 We have today and the half of tomorrow to pull this off. We are behind because of a huge push from the California group. We exploded in the last few days and we need to double up our efforts for a few more hours (OK 30 more). Please vote and share with all your friends. This young girl and 5,000 others like her are the ones who benefit. It only takes 30 seconds. Mahalo!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

For the Love of Annie

Sometimes, we are fortunate enough to experience an uncomplicated devoted, unwavering,  love.
This quality of love, in the form of a goofy faced little mutt named Annie, brought happiness to many.
Six years ago, I received a call from a neighbor who worked at the local vet. He told me, " I made an appointment for you to meet your new dog,"  In disbelief at his bold move, I retorted,  "What!!?"  He went on to explain why I needed to keep this appointment with destiny.
  There she was with a  terrier face, long eyebrows and ear hair,  quite the underbite, and a shaved little greyhound body and stilts for legs.
When we met,  she started racing around the yard, dodging obstacles   like a pro on an agility course. I was tickled at how much fun she was having. She clearly needed space to move, and my yard had it.

I agreed to keep her, hoping it was not a crazy mistake. Annie, it turned out, was scared of everybody, except me. Like so many other rescue dogs, her trust in humans had to be restored. I figured a bed and breakfast where all the guests miss their own pets would make a good home with lots of loving attention. I instructed guests to turn their hands up when wanting to pet her, to be slow and get a bit closer to her level. In time, she allowed others close to her. When  responding with trust to someone, she would turn sideways to their legs and give a slight lean in their direction.
She often hid between my legs and became my shadow. If she could not physically follow me, her eyes did, she never let me out of her sight. I would see her stand on two legs, turning circles with her nose in the air trying to catch my scent.
Because she was a runner, going for hikes and adventures was her favorite. When my friends  arrived, she would start talking to me while doing an excited sideways shuffle...."look who's, here, look who's here!!......let's go, hurry up, there are trails and beaches out there,  I NEED TO RUN, , don't forget my ball...I'll wait in the car, come on, LET'S GO!!"

As her enthusiasm for adventure and interaction grew to a level that made my heart sing, I witnessed some touching relationships form. People loved her, she loved them. It was a circle of puro amor, simply love. She gracefully taught herself  to contain the joy so her human friends could share it with her. She would sit, barely hovering, physically vibrating waiting until the right moment to unleash, then she would start the wiggle so her whole body wagged, not just her tail.

Annie was the gate keeper, the front line, nobody could sneak by Annie, nor would they want to. She would show off her favorite toy, prance around, and maybe try to engage a game of "You Can't Catch Me".

On her last day, Sunday, she jumped into my lap. With her long pointy legs, her snuggling was akin to snuggling with a fawn...cozy? ....not really, unique, yes. Sunday morning, she melted into to me, she leaned in with such trust, such calm stillness, I found myself thinking...".This is sweet, this is interesting, this is love." ..... pure and simple. 
Her trust healed my heart, and I will miss her.

Cherie

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Maui Real Estate Update

Aloha,
Happy Spring  2014.
It's been a lush and rainy winter,
flowers are blooming, fruit dropping
 from the trees, and the magnificent 
Humpbacks are getting ready
 for their return North.
I wanted to share what's  happening in
our Maui Real Estate market. We are in
a new year and well into our upward cycle.
Likely we will see a continued rise in the
market for the next 3-4 years.
Changes from
12/2012 to 12/2013
Maui Single Family , Condo
Annual Sales and Price

Click link for info and larger map
http://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1411979821
Island wide for Single Family Homes there was
 4% increase in the number of sales, and a 13%
 increase in the median price.
For Condos a 6% increase in sales and  5%
increase in prices.
But the story is in the detail of area by area,
and in the inventory of particular areas.
Our inventory has been low, however, I do see
a small increase  in the last couple of months.
Sellers are encouraged by the up swing.
Even though prices are increasing,
First Time Home Buyers may still be
able to find a home in their range.
I recently closed a wonderful smaller
home on a great lot for some very
sweet Maui folks, this is what they said:
"Working with Cherie was an absolute
 blessing. She was very  much on top of
things,honest, and hard working. Always
available to answer questions, any day of
 the week, any time of the day.
She is number 1 in my book. "
 Mahalo it was such a pleasure, start to finish!
If you are thinking of retirement, first or
second home,let's work together to the  
finish line of the sale,
and the start of your new future.

Aloha for now,
Cherie



Sunday, January 19, 2014

Packing for Paradise, Maui

.Aloha,

As an innkeeper, I've had  lots of opportunity to  interact, advise and share with travelers. Twenty years now of helping folks unload  bleary eyed and weary from their journey, I can spot a seasoned traveler as soon as the trunk pops open.  Out comes  a compact carry- on or a double wide suitcase that barely make it through the front door.

 A seasoned traveler often goes in for the casual look that we in Hawaii have perfected. We are not big on  gaudy resort wear. We like to dress up for dining or the theater, and that means shoes, not  rubber slippers on special occasions.
We always joke that anyone can tell who lives in Hawaii on a chilly day. We are the folks with the Ugg boots, fleece vests and neck scarves on when the temp dips below 70 degrees.
 On winter mornings when I bundle up to walk across the parking lot to make breakfast for guests, only to see the early risers in shorts and t-shirts, I always  chuckle. Honestly though, many folks are happy to have a pair of socks to slip on in the house first thing in the morning. We are Upcountry and having some sort of layer for Upcountry climate is a wise addition to packing.

Haleakala Crater Hiking Needs:
 High top Hiking Boots are recommended. Some like to hike in less rugged footwear, and for these folks, I highly suggest the use of tube socks with the toes cut out to slip over shoes  as a gator to keep out the jagged cinders on the 11 mile trail.
Gortex unlined top layer that repeals rain and blocks wind is very handy as the weather changes all day long while inside the crater.

Haleakala Sunrise visit : I have a few warm jackets of varying sizes for my guests, as well as small fleece blankets for extra wraps. It is very cold at sunrise, bring long pants and layers..but , no need if staying at Hale Ho'okipa Inn to bring a heavy jacket. If you are staying elsewhere, bring a warm outer layer for the mountain peak.

Beach Needs:  Leave the beach towels at home, as they are bulky,  inexpensive and readily available to purchase here. I offer them to my guests, the large hotels also make them available. 
Beach Mats are the best for relaxing on the sand, and can be purchased in variety and grocery stores .  
Sarongs are also great for beach cover ups, work as towels in a pinch, and can be worn in a variety of ways. I must have 20 sarongs and have used them for everything from car seat protectors, to baby blankets and window coverings.
Caps or Visors are really nice to have on the mountain or on the beach, and purchase options are plentiful. The tropical sun is much stronger, so protective head gear is advisable. 
Snorkel Gear is very inexpensive to rent and easily available to purchase.  Plan on getting your gear here to  save lots of packing space and travel lighter.

T-shirts: We wear them anytime and anywhere we can get away with it. No need to bring lots of T-shirts with you, as you can choose from a huge variety of t-shirt purchases on the island. Quality T's are always found in  the many surf shops, as well as  boutiques. 

Camera: No brainer, it's whale season, and in every direction one looks, there is something beautiful to photograph.

Special Food Needs: I can safely say, that  whatever your special food needs may be, you should be able to find it on Maui. Maui is an island where lots of folks who have dietary concerns, live and visit. I have sung the praises of Mana Foods before, and will do so again. Gluten free, Dairy free, Soy free and whatever else is a concern , can be found here. There is also a Costco by the airport for those who want to buy in bulk. I had a guest once who packed a full suitcase of soup cans. I was speechless when I realized that he lugged 25lbs of soup cans across the ocean .

Maui is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We are blessed to live here. 
Visiting our islands is enjoyable and relaxing. Packing for paradise is easy,  and hopefully some of my tips are useful.

Aloha,
Cherie



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Makawao History Project, A Village and 15 Days


A wonderful new addition has come to Makawao Town. It took A Village and 15 days to create the Makwao History Project.

We got the keys to the space on Nov 1st, spent a full day of cleaning, and went to work painting the space the next day with a hard working core group of volunteers . We were ready to begin the creation, gathering, and installation of the new museum on the 3rd of Nov.

I had the privilege of doing the installation with Darrell Orwig. Darrell was the Gallery Director of the Schaefer  Gallery at Maui Arts and Cultural Center for many years. In the art community of Maui, Darrell is held in highest regard. 


I laid out what I thought to be the most important areas to consider for the history of our community. The sections I wanted to see highlighted were, Makawao Town, Schools and Churches, Island Cultures, Pineapple and Plantations, Paniolo and Ranching. Darrell had the great idea to designate areas with graphic silhouettes which he drew and painted. He and I worked well together, and I felt so privileged to work with such an artistic ,creative , funny and experienced person. I made a friend for life. 

We also asked local artist Debrya Fair  to create vintage signs for each area.

Then, I spent a few days gathering memorabilia from the A and B Sugar Museum, my own home, Hale Ho'okipa Inn Makawao, and other private lenders.
 Eddie Flotte, my favorite Maui water color artist donated a series of his renditions of the old buildings of Makawao.  We also counted on the community coming forward with their treasures, and they did. Once we had the goods, we had one whole week to design and install!!! Others were busy planning the opening party,sending out invitations and researching all the memorabilia and donated photos.

Someone asked me why I was committing my time and energy to this project. I had some vague notions, but, it became crystal clear on our Grand Opening night.


An older gentleman was one of hundreds who came to our Grand Opening. I was touring a friend around and we were in the Schools and Churches section.  This elder  fellow was taking digital photos of a very old Makawao School pamphlet.  I asked him if those were his classmates, and he quietly replied, "No, it's my Sister." Tears sprung to my eyes and I felt humbled and satisfied .I instantly knew why I had invested so much in this project.

Our own Cowgirl Hall of Fame resident came into the History project  a few times with her treasures. They included a photo of her beloved husband, his bio and his well worn cowboy hat. Other elders have stopped by with their family and friends to hang out and talk story, and share their memories. One woman had tears in her eyes, she was sad that so much had changed, but she was delighted to visit the  Makawao History Project to see old photos and old friends.

There are still so many untold stories. Our Living Treasures will not be around forever, and they have so much to share. We have enough funding to stay open until Dec 31st. I hope we can make it through our busy season until the end of Feb, so that many of our Upcountry visitors are also able to enjoy the museum. If anyone wants to make a donation, please let me know, and I will happily give further details. We are staffed by volunteers, but, we need more rent $ and other expenses to keep our doors open. Lots more photos are available on our Makawao History Project Facebook page, and a website is also being created now. For those who read the Maui news online, more info is available in this article.
Check out our new video that is on Maui Akaku community television :video  It's a great video with interviews and our Grand Opening.

To give back to your community is a great joy. I am so very honored to have been a part of this Village, Makawao Town, my town.

With Aloha,
Cherie

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pi'iholo Adventures

Aloha,

My grandson recently came over from Big Island for a visit and we shared some great Upcountry adventures.
Aukai really likes to ride horses so we set up a ride with Pi'iholo Ranch on a beautiful sunny morning. I really enjoy Pi'iholo, they are first rate, take great care of guests, and the location is very close to Makawao.

Our horses  were sweet, Aukai really loved his friend, Buddy. We rode through pasture with amazing views, and  upcountry rainforests on the large ranch. Our wranglers, Tara and Meagan, took us by guava patches and my horse loved the guavas that Aukai  fed him. At one point, we had a cattle round up and Aukai  charged into the herd to get them back into the proper pasture and  behind closed gates. That was a highlight of our ride. It felt like we were working the ranch for a little while. This makes the third ranch ride we have taken together in lovely Upcountry.
                                                                                                          
The Pi'iholo Ranch is owned by the Baldwin family, a long time Panilolo and ranching family who have lived on Maui for many generations. Peter Baldwin founded the Pi'iholo Ranch with the help of his three sons.

We also had an exciting adventure on the Pi'iholo Ranch Zipline. Our friends, Jo and Olivier joined us for the day. Jo and Aukai were pretty brave, always jumping to the front of the line ready to zip away.
It was a short but beautiful walk in between zip lines. There are several lines, with the last one being really long, and very high. This was my favorite line as I was able to have a few of upper Makawao that I don't often get to see. 

 Our guides were fun, caring and very professional. I had been looking forward to the zip experience for a few years while waiting for my grandson to be the required 75lbs. It was worth the wait, and we all had a great time.
Pi'iholo Adventures did not disappoint. I am very happy to be able to recommend either one of these fun adventures to my guests.
Whooo..check out Aukai flying down the zip!
Have fun... Aloha..Cherie   

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Malama Wao Akua 2013

Aloha,

One of my favorite art shows of the year opened Friday night at Viewponts Gallery in Makawao.
Malama Wao Akua 2013 is a juried art exhibition where Maui's artists help raise awareness  about Maui's native species. Elementary and High School artists gain a greater appreciation and more knowledge about the Natives as they research and create their art project for the show. We know the value in engaging our children in important matters to their communities, environment, and cultural heritage.
Many children of Hawaii have been learning hula since they were very young, while others are new to the art. Hula takes commitment, and these lovely girls delighted guests with their performance.

My entry, " Vintage Lauhala Hat with Lehua Lei'po'o" ,was selected for the show.  I had a great time creating my first copper plate etching, and was pleased with the outcome. Being selected for the show was super. I look forward to this event every year, and my art has been selected  for the last four years that I've entered. The collection in the area of the gallery where my piece was displayed was an interesting mix  depicting  native species in clothing and jewelery.These pieces were "out of the box"  yet still met the requirement of showcasing native species.

  Many artists chose to highlight our popular native birds, the red feathered Apapane being a favorite. An informative display was available for anyone interested in learning more.
Malama ( To Protect and Preserve) East Maui's Native Hawaiian Forested Watershed 's rainforest and primary water source, has been the mission of East Maui Watershed Partnership. This partnership , created in 1991, is a combined effort between federal, state and private land owners with the common goals of controlling invasive species and animals, and education through outreach. Lands are being preserved ad protected, and the staff who build fences and pull invasive species are hard working and dedicated folks.

Combining art and the protection of our environment, how lucky are we!
Here's to doing what we love to do.
 Our home in Hawaii and our planet need our attention, before many things are gone forever.

With Aloha,
Cherie

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Maui Hiking

Aloha,

A special week has come to a close. Last week was spent hitting the trails on Maui with my active family visiting from the mainland.
After a couple of years of swimming for my main excersise, I have made a switch back to hiking and walking, and am very happy for it.  So is my dog, Annie, as she  loves  running and sniffing and meeting other dogs  on the trail.

Our first hike was one I call the  Bushwhack Hike. This hike is challenging because it's an old fisherman's trail that is often overgrown and difficult to find. Without a machete or a sickle it's impossible to navigate when in the overgrown state. One needs to really remember the topography and landmarks when hiking this area. Someone has put a few markers on the trees recently and that helps when standing in deep brush. The trail finally opens up to a cliff requiring some careful maneuvering to get to the beach. This hike will whoop even the hardiest of hikers. We all survived, a bit scratched up, and I ended up carrying little Annie for a good portion as the underbrush was so thick and overgrown with vines. Floating in the pools at the ocean after all the work of getting there, is a wonderful reward.


After a day of beach time rest and recovery, we were ready for a Haleakala National Park hike. The young folks in my family took off for a little beach retreat while us older members laced up our boots and headed up the mountain. I did not have a full 11 mile crater hike in me, so we went for a stroll down switchbacks, Halemau'u trail at 8,000ft level . This really is an amazing hike that leads down to the Holua cabins. I would recommend good hiking shoes or boots as the rocks on the trail are uneven at best. It was mostly clear when we started, and then clouded up on the way back . It can get a bit damp  because of the usual cloud cover. A rain jacket has come in handy here more than once. This trail is a mystical experience, native plants line the rocky path, and the vistas are  definitely other worldly.

If you are not ready for a challenging hike, Haleakala National Park has many other options available. The trail walk at Hosmers Grove usually is dotted with birds for the bird watching folks. The top of Sliding Sands Trail will give you a magnificent view into the crater and walking a short ways down the trail still can be a bit challenging  due to the altitude at the top. I happily share my knowledge and experience of Maui trails with my guests at Hale Ho'okipa Inn..
Maui offers many, many opportunities to enjoy nature on the trail, easy, or rugged. If I could hand everyone a script for a healthy, happy life, it would read :
" Walk Every Day that You Can"
Hope to see you Walking Maui, soon. With much Aloha,
Cherie

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hana Real Estate Talk Story

Aloha,

Recently, I took a day trip to Hana to preview property for a client. The back road is the only way I go to Hana. It's one of my favorite roads on all of Maui. Usually the drive is mellow, with very little car traffic, mostly local folks who live in the area and the occasional  cattle wandering the countryside.
 The sloping desert is  home to the native Wiliwili tree and is quite rugged, cut deep with gorges running down the mountain side. The view of Kaupo Gap from the backside of Haleakala is one of the most impressive sites on our island.

My mission for this adventure was to preview two beautiful East Maui properties for sale of large acreage in the Makalae area of East Maui. One of the 11 acre parcels is a  former flower farm filled with many varieties of ginger, and fruit trees, with a seasonal stream and dipping pool . The adjoining 11 acres, being located above the flower farm, has a wide panoramic  view of the ocean with the waves crashing against the shoreline below. The upper property borders state land, and the privacy of these two properties make them both very desirable.

Hana has a special slow pace. Ruled by nature, sleepy, remote, lush and tropical, it is  dotted with  organic farms. Growing fruit, flowers and vegies in Hana is easy considering the daily rain squalls that come in off the ocean and the showers from the upper slopes. Many people have water catchment tanks on their properties to supply their needs.  The average rainfall of Hana is around 400 inches per year, compared to the less than 10" per year in the central valley of Maui. More than 70 miles of water canals built in the late 1800's  bring water from Hana to the center of Maui for the sugar cane.
Some years back, Hawaiians from Hana challenged this age old practice of water being taken from Hana stating they needed the water from the streams to grow wetland Taro. The Hawaiian word for fresh water is Waiwai, which also indicates wealth. The population of Native Hawaiian people is larger in Hana than in any other district of Maui.

I could not pass up the roadside stands selling Plumeria lei. This was one of the sweetest sights of my day. I stopped the car, took a photo and dropped some money in the can for a fragrant lei.
Many people visit Oheo Gulch located in Haleakala National Park and pass by these and other interesting stands and vendors along the way.
Overnight accommodations are available in Hana for guests wanting to unwind for a few days. If you are game to make it out and back in one day, stay at Hale Ho'okipa with me. We'll get you on the road  after a great breakfast.  It's a long day, but, well worth the effort. Stop often, smell the flowers, pull over to take in the views, eat the fruit, chat with the folks of the area. It's is an adventure to remember.

Hana is a beautiful place, and a relaxed state of mind.

A hui hou,

Cherie

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Maui Outrigger Canoe Championships

Aloha,

This past weekend was the Maui island canoe championship races at Kahului Harbor Na Kai Ewalu Canoe Club hosted the 2013 MCHCA Championships.  At the end of Regatta season, all the clubs on each island have their island wide championships to compete  for the State races.  It was a hot, hot day with little wind, normally the trades blow at the harbor.
Championships are  fun times of tough competition,  and alot of Aloha spirit.  Folks gather early for morning blessings  to start the races. The lanes are set in the harbor and the canoes line up waiting for the green flag. What a rush it is!! I used to paddle for Hawaiian Canoe Club and my seat was the Stroker of the boat. The person who sits in seat #1  sets the pace for the race. Getting a 400# canoe  going from a dead stop to flying across the water takes alot of strength, team effort, and  proper technique .

My guests at Hale Ho'okipa Inn   Olivier and Jo Mischon, came to the races, helped out,and took photos. Mahalo Oli, I am happy to post these great shots.



 The Koa Canoe of Hawaiian Canoe Club is important to the ohana (family). Koa canoes are a work of love, taking many months and many hands  to complete. Sitting in a Koa canoe at the race start line always made me feel emotions way beyond race jitters... a bit awestruck and very blessed.
We were working at this race. My daughter from the Big Island brought her goods over to set up a booth . Moku Nui has beautiful parreo, t-shirts, hats and paddle gear. A sweet model showing off her new hat posed for us. Island clothing made for island life style with Polynesian print is quite popular . Moku Nui means, Big Island. Endless Summer Surf Shop in Honokahau Harbor is just opening and will be carrying Moku Nui gear. Check em out if you are in Kona. The shop is shaping up to have all sorts of great goods, and, you can look into some dives with Sunlight on Water while you are there. That will be another post  soon, as their photos and snorkel trips are amazing!

All in all, it was a great day, and wonderful to be with family and friends, enjoy the races, sell some gear and feel grateful for all the wonders, natural beauty and good folks of Hawaii.

Aloha,
Cherie

Monday, July 15, 2013

Silversword of Haleakala

Aloha,
High atop Mount Haleakala a  plant grows that is unique to this moonscape environment.  The Silversword only grows on Haleakala in volcanic cinder,  subject to freezing cold and high winds.The skin and hairs are strong enough to resist the wind  and protect the plant.The succulent leaves of the Silversword are covered with silver hairs reflecting the bright sunlight on the rocky slopes . In the leaves  a gel like substance attracts and stores water for dryer seasons.
 Blooming usually occurs from July through October.. The flower stalk can reach up to 6.ft.  in height covered in  sticky hairs to prevent crawling insects from creating damage.. The life span of a Silversword ranges from five to fifteen years.  After flowering the plant will die. 
 It's summer, and I am due for a trip up to Haleakala to look for  blooming plants to photograph. This photo I took a few years ago, and it's still one of my favorite images.


 In the 1920', visitors to the summit  uprooted  silversword plants to roll down the jagged lava slopes, also picking them  as souvenirs  These practices brought the Silversword close to extinction . The shallow root structure is very delicate and can be crushed by walking  around the plant. I was once lucky enough to smell the exotic fragrance by leaning in towards the blooming stock without stepping off the trail..
 Feeding by goats also severely damaged  plants. Goats and pigs are  fenced out of the crater area and since 1992, the Silversword is legally protected from damage by humans.
The protection of our  eco system is important in so many ways. We have lost so much that was unique to the Hawaiian islands. 
Enjoy and visit the House of the Sun, and please be very sensitive when visiting the treasure that is Haleakala.

With Aloha,
Cherie

Monday, July 8, 2013

Windermere Community Work Day at Maui Farm

Aloha,

Every year , all across the country, Windermere closes its offices for one day to make a positive difference in their local communities. Two years ago we deeply cleaned the Makawao Boys and Girls club, and last year we worked on the Kihei Youth Center. This year was the most rewarding experience for me. On June 21st Windermere Valley Isle Properties closed all three of our offices on Maui and spent a beautiful morning in upcountry Makawao working with the families at the Maui Farm gardening, pulling weeds, organizing and cleaning the nursery.  Our Windermere ohana (family) working toward a common goal of helping our community is one the yearly highlights.
I wanted to share the Mission statement of the chosen community service project this year:
"The Maui Farm provides farm-based, family-centered programs that teach essential life skills for self-sufficient living. We offer services in a safe neighborhood setting where individuals and families are nurtured to their full potential."

 Pulling weeds and talking story with resident moms and their kids was a special experience. This safe environment they call home, allowed them to open and share their stories as we worked.  Moms  receive guidance on parenting, develop a strong supportive community, and work towards personal and achievable goals. Their quality of life is greatly improved  thereby encouraging these families to grow in  independence, while at the same time forming bonds with other women of similar circumstances.  
The Maui Farm is available for volunteer opportunities, and I hope to post their contact on my www.volunteer-on-vacation-hawaii.com site soon. Please visit their site and look for ways to share your mana ( energy) and good fortune with these deserving folks.

Mahalo for all you do for your community.

With Aloha,
Cherie

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tripadvisor , the New Guidebook

Aloha,

Hale Ho'okipa Inn opened  in 1996 .As I look around in 2013, with the birds singing and wind chimes clanking, I realize what fullness feels like. My goal from the start has always been to provide guests with a true taste of Aloha in  the comfort of a restored historic home, honoring a bit of old Hawaii.
Even though, I like to write and design,  the art of hosting and helping people is my  main focus.

Taking a beaten down old home and breathing life back into it has certainly had it's fair share of challenges. Besides sanding floors and such, there was a business to create.

  I had one of the first web sites for bed and breakfasts on Maui...www.maui-bed-and-breakfast.com was a combined effort between myself and my web master, Scott Supak.  At first I thought I needed to learn html, and was relieved  when I realized not so..  I only needed to write content and provide photos. Scott did the rest.

Years ago, the promoters of our industry were the guide books, Frommers and Fodors, Moon books, booking agencies and the scouts who stopped by for tea and visits.

This bed and breakfast had been an adventure of historic proportions from Day One It takes a lot of  continued dedication, hard work, commitment and time to "get things right."

Throughout the years, travel dialogue has developed into sharing sites, with Tripadvisor being the front runner. This site posts reviews from guests and that goes for rants as well as raves. Personally,  I would prefer to deal with an issue while it is happening, instead of waiting to read about it on Tripadvisor. That being said, I have learned to check in regularly  with guests to make sure people are comfortable. We all have become more diligent with the knowledge that a guest's comments will directly affect our business and reputation. Business owners or managers are given an opportunity to respond to reviews.  Responding to all reviews honestly and graciously  seems to be the best approach.  Many say that people are able to take all that they read with the understanding that you cannot please everyone, even if you try.

 In June, 2013, I was honored with two different awards from TripAdvisor.. A Certificate of Excellence, 2013 based on ratings and reviews by guests. I was also honored with a Tripadvisor  Green Leader, 2013 Gold status for my green practices at Hale Ho'okipa. Usually Hale Ho'okipa is ranked #1 of two bed and breakfasts's in our area, and I notice that changes occasionally.  If people leave Maui a bit happier,  more relaxed, informed and rejuvenated from their time here, we have done our job.

If you are ready for some Upcountry Historic Hospitality, I look forward to sharing a bit of Maui No Ka Oi with you.

Maui the Best.

With Aloha,
Cherie

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June Celebrations and Savings

Aloha All...


  This is a celebration time for many families. Graduation has just finished and here in Hawaii it's a really BIG deal, especially for high school. Seeing your kids and grandkids covered in lei, with huge smiles is one of life's greatest pleasures.  Two of my grandchildren graduated, Aukai from 5th grade. to middle school, and Raven from high school. My other granddaughter, Mehana, was the emcee at Raven's graduation, and my, oh my, what a happy and proud Tutu, I was :).


 Hale Ho'okipa Inn Makawao  is also celebrating an award...Tripadvisor. grants an Award of Excellence yearly, and Hale Ho'okipa is the recipient once again. It makes me very happy to know that guests who visit and stay at Hale Ho'okipa really enjoy our Historic Hospitality.
2013 Award of Excellence

In honor of this award, I have just posted a special called the "June Juggle" offering an $8 savings off the room rate per day for the rest of the month of June. Below are some tips of what an $8 dollars  a day in your pocket  can do to make your vacation even more wonderful:

1 pound of ripe delicious Lychee from Mana Foods ( the best food store in all of Hawaii)
4  boxes of local ono strawberries at Pukalani Superette
2 nights of discount will satisfy your appetite at the popular Paia Fish Market (best fish burgers around) 
2 nights discount will get you into the amazing Haleakala National Park, good for three days!

If you have the Spirit of Adventure, come to Maui. Please always treat the Kai ( Ocean) and Aina (Land) with  respect. One of the reasons that I love my guests so much, they usually arrive with the clear understanding that Maui is a very special place. 
If you live here, you know that a swim in the ocean will change the rest of your day for the better, a dip in a mountain stream when it's safe, is worth the effort of getting there.
A glorious sunset  on the beach won't cost you anything. Cooling off in a tradewind breeze is yours for the receiving..

It is possible to enjoy Maui for the budget conscious. Our local Saturday Farmer's market is a great place to shop locally for great produce and great prices .

 Come,relax and enjoy the  breeze on the lanai under the branches of the majestic Norfolk Pine.
Here's to the Good Life, a life with purpose and full of gratitude, lived with respect.

A hui hou,
Cherie