Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mele Kalikimaka


Happy Holidays! and as we say in Hawaii "Mele Kalikimaka."

It's been a wild and wet Christmas week. I arrived in Kona and swam across the tarmac to a soggy Big Island holiday. Many inches of rain blessed the islands during our holiday week. Despite the downpours, spirits were high with lots of ono food, holiday music, hula performance and the usual hustle and bustle of the season.

For me the sweetest part of the holiday season is spending time with my loved ones. I did miss my children that are not in Hawaii. Sharing the love with my grand children, grown children and old friends was so sweet and fulfilling. I arrived back home feeling all filled up, content and happy.

May the love of family and friends warm your hearts as we move towards the New Year.

Much Aloha,


Monday, December 13, 2010

Small Business "Good on Ya" Award

Just today I was chatting with someone about small businesses on Maui. We have a new administration about to take office in Maui county. Our conversation was focused on the hopes that maybe now there would be less hurdles to becoming a successful small business . The large resort have been the dominating presence in the islands for many years. We also have alot of big box stores and mainland chains that now compete with small businesses. My blogs have often focused on the wonderful small businesses for some extra pr. I always say, "It takes all of us to keep it going."
In 1996, I stepped out on a limb and thought, hmm, maybe people want another choice for their accommodations while visiting our island. It was a risk, but, it is paying off . I believe that these "vanity awards" are really just a ploy to get small business owners to buy the bling. I don't plan on purchasing the plaque they want to sell to me, but, I am happy that Hale Ho'okipa Inn is still hanging in, has staying power, and continues to attract the Cream of the Crop Visitors to Maui.
A Big Mahalo to all Supporters of Small Business Everywhere! ,
p.s. I sifted through the "award" to post the main theme..
Hale Hookipa Inn Receives 2010 Best of Makawao Award
-- Hale Hookipa Inn has been selected for the 2010 Best of Makawao Award in the Bed & Breakfast Inns category by" -------------".
These local companies enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community. (This part I like)

So, even if this is a "I Wish" award, I still say "Congratulations to all Small Businesses" I am officially honoring us with the "Good on Ya" Award!

Much Aloha,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Season Aloha


Today was a lovely start to our Holiday Aloha Season. We have been having gorgeous weather with colorful sunsets, cool and crisp all week. I just love this time of year!

My holiday fun started at the 25th Annual Haleakala Waldorf School Christmas Fair. I enjoy visiting the Waldorf School because it is a fairy tale come true. All the handmade toys, the rolled bees wax candles, and little gnome villages the children make are so sweet.

Today there was also an abundance of shell and beach glass jewelery amongst the crafters for sale. The fair had a great turn out, and hopefully the artists and crafts folks were well supported. I saw some of my guests up at this event enjoying themselves and shopping a bit as well.

My next stop was the Hui Noe Au Visual Arts Center to visit "Christmas House". Another striking sight , super blue sky behind the magnificent historic home. Our art center is a joy to the community, a place for classes and shows. I did a little shopping at the Hui and the fair, aiming to support the arts whenever possible.

Then to Makawao for town festivities. My Maui real estate office, Equity One in Makawao, has some awesome carolers, and they delighted the town with Christmas favorites. Dressed in holiday finery they strolled up and down the historic storefronts entertaining all the shoppers and shopkeepers. I wandered behind them taking pictures and enjoying the show.

Makawao town has a large Norfolk Pine tree, almost the same size as the giant growing on the grounds of Hale Ho'okipa. Part of the Christmas tradition is the lighting of the star. Auntie Rose, a Cowgirl Hall of Fame local horsewoman, always does her duty riding into town to light the tree. Some years I fire up the star at the top of my tree as well.

I am still offering a pre-holiday special as I have some openings at the Hale Hookipa Inn the week before Christmas.

If you feel like gifting yourself some time in a wonderful b&b in beautiful upcountry, Ho-Ho-Ho, give me a call, I'll give you a great deal!!

Warmest Alohas,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Big Island Giving Thanks


Ahhh, home from my own personal Thanksgiving, a week early. My grandson, Aukai, just turned 9 years old, and we had a great weekend celebration. This is my Thanksgiving, and on this particular weekend, I have alot to give thanks for.

Aukai turned 9 with several classmates in attendance. We had a water slide castle set up with "No More Tears" shampoo making it extra fun, a giant bubble bath and water slide. The boys got pretty wild and had a grand time.

Kona on the Big Island often has to contend with vog, which is volcanic smog from the active volcano down south. This weekend was clear, and that alone is reason to celebrate. Check out the nearly full moon rising over Hualalai at the end of my first day. This happens to be one of my favorite views, a super special sight since it is often covered in clouds by the afternoon.

In the morning we went for an early hike up this beautiful mountain that towers above the coastal town of Kailua Kona. The native forest of ohia lehua and koa trees are always so comforting . Each old twisted silver tree trunk supoorting deep red blossoms always leaves me smiling and reaching for my camera. We hiked to the peak where we could see my home island of Maui just across the Alenuehaha Channel.

The weekend was not complete without our customary beach day. The weather was absolutely perfect, clear, light breeze and beautiful little waves. Main bonus, for some reason the weatherman reported no swell, and the beach was quiet without competition for the waves. Yipee! I was even enticed to go out.

I used to charge the waves quite a bit in my younger years. Now I have a bit of an inner ear issue due to a surfing mishap many years ago that keeps me from anything but mellow waves. The first fifteen minutes in the water were spent helping out a certain 9 year old who had a wipe out and lost his boogie board and his brand new surf trunks as well. Classic.

Family, freinds and nature at it's finest, I have much to be grateful for. Each and every day and night I give thanks for my sweet life. is good.

With great wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday week spent with loved ones, I send Aloha out far and wide, and an invitation to come visit Maui and give thanks as well!

Mahalo for everything wonderful!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Designing Life in Hawaii

Aloha E Komo mai!

I am in an inspired mood right now. Usually a woodblock or watercolor image is sifting to the top of my thoughts with creativity calling for my attention. For many years my creative focus was a very large canvas called the " Old House." This wonderful old house was my subject matter, my inspiration, my muse, my headache and my challenge. Having little prior experience and a tiny budget, it became clear that my project was going to be "on going," forever it seemed.

The design and decor aspect of the bed and breakfast has been great fun. However, the sanding and scraping, roof repair, plumbing and dirty work, not so much fun.

My eclectic style was born from my Bay Area roots. I grew up around arts and crafts, and still hold it dear. I've never been drawn to the overwhelming bright tropical look that many Hawaii condos sport. Too much fluff, and not enough soul. Antique dealing was a passion for many years, and I still dabble on occasion. Great vintage items, that are good deals, always find their way to my door. Recently, I've been helping a friend with her Hawaiiana search, and her home shows the fruits of our labor. Our love of all things old Hawaiiana began with her purchase of my antique koa dining set, and has grown from there.

Today's design excitement was prompted by a visit from a guest and her daughter this last weekend. Cara Greenberg and Zoe spent a couple of days upcountry Maui at Hale Ho'okipa Inn. Cara's wonderful blog, "CasaCara Old Homes for Fun and Profit" brought her to my hale which she thoroughly enjoyed. In her words on her last post, MAUI Upcountry Ramble, the "homey hilltop b&b" was a perfect home base for their Haleakala explorations.

My heart started beating faster reading her posts--from salon style picture hanging to beach cottages. Cara is my kinda woman, one who enjoys punching out holes in walls to make a room more airy and pleasant. I always think like that when showing homes to prospective buyers, how to open up a space and add more light. In Hawaii, it is all about inviting the outdoors in!

OK, I've got my creative energy flowing, now to put it to work today, hmm, garden? My fall fruit and flowers are really coming on now that we've had some rain.

If you are thinking about a little time off to regenerate and relax, and maybe looking for some inspiration for your art or life, this is a beautiful time of year to visit the islands. I always say, in Hawaii, inspiration abounds!

Hele mai, come on, give me a call. I look forward to it!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Dine Out for Hospice Maui

Help raise money for Hospice Maui.
Click this image for the large version.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Maui Photographer Tom Mckinlay

Aloha Folks,

Today is a photo tribute to a great friend and a creative artist/ writer/ photographer.

Tom Mckinlay: Rest in Peace, brother.

Tom 's motto in his photography and in his life was simply:




I am happy to share some of Tom's work, and I will add what he told me when I first asked about posting his work...His message was : Enjoy!

Aloha to a good person. We had some fun outdoors in our kayaks and hikes..

In recognition of Maui's talented artists and craftspeople, I want to post this link..check it out. The Maui Crafts Guild is in Paia, and always worth a visit.


Monday, October 25, 2010

North Shore Clean Up: Success!


A wonderful event took place on the North Shore of Maui yesterday, and we are all the better for it.
+H2O of Maui organized a massive clean up of Maui's North Shore Beaches and Beyond. These awesome folks partnered with Community Work Days and Maui Chapter of Surfriders Foundation and other local folks to clean up the shoreline and raise money for their Water Charities Fund.

+H2O''s founder Levi Silver is passionate water man who walks his talk by raising more than awareness of our precious resource. Please check out their site and donate if you can to help create clean water sources for impoverished areas.

The community really pitched in with hauling truck loads of trash off the shoreline and pulling abandoned cars from the cane field surround the shoreline. It is hard to believe how disrespectful some folks can be their own opala (trash)......! I have been eyeing one of our upcountry streets to walk and clean up, gonna happen soon. I don't understand why we see more trash on the side of the roads lately...But, the good news is, the community is coming together for these sorts of wonderful events with the common cause to make a difference.

Come and visit and volunteer on Maui, check out my for a great experience during your island time. More of my guests are enjoying these benefits, discounted stay with me (!) and an opportunity of a life time, to give back, usually in some of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Do Good, Feel Good! Simple formula for a Happy Life.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Sea Surprises


It's been awhile since I have posted, and I have to say that I miss talking story and posting great pics for folks to share some Maui time. It's been a busy fall, and our visitor season has not really kicked into full gear yet. A few months to go until whale season when everyone wants to come to Hawaii!

If I have a chance to take an early morning walk on the beach, I always run into the" seaweed pickers". These folks are at the beach every morning with their laundry baskets floating down the shoreline collecting a variety of seaweeds. The beach strolls reveal at least four spectacular and varied types of seaweeds.

There is a beautiful pink lacy one, a dark green thick branchy one (my favorite to eat), a lime green flat variety and brownish one. I know they have names, and specific functions, and different flavors, but, I don't know them. The pickers separate the seaweeds looking for their favorites and usually leave the beach with full baskets. I always wonder where they go from there........

My friend Mike Eliers, sent me some new dive photos last week and I love sharing his pics. He has a way of getting in close and personal with the subjects of his amazing shots. Mike happened upon a Moray eel coming out of it's hole to investigate like Morays do. These rather aggressive and dangerous creatures are discreet and usually remain hidden in holes and crevices and rocky ledges. They have a keen sense of smell and poor eyesight. Their teeth are razor sharp and concave.

People sometimes try to feed these eels, and it is not a very smart thing to do. They are quick and, if somebody is accidentally bitten by a Moray eel, it can cause a serious injury. However, the Moray only attacks if it feels threatened. The "Puhi" Hawaiian word for eel, has smooth skin, a snake like body and supports small shrimp and wrasses who are "cleaners" feeding off of parasites and small scraps of food from it's mouth. The beauty of this relationship is in it's necessity.

If you are thinking about learning how to dive or getting certified , come to Maui. It's fun and exciting and a great experience....come and discover the amazing world of underwater.

Aloha......see you soon,


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pukalani Golf and Maui Fun!

Aloha Folks,

Last week was a great week, one that I had been looking forward to for a year. My brother and sister -in -law, Don and Karen, came to the B&B with some of their California friends for a play week. Their focus was golf, and they definitely fulfilled their quota. The beautiful Pukalani Golf Course, just 5 minutes away, was the main event. The course offers a weekly package with a further discount for staying at Hale Ho'okipa Inn. I also offer a discount for guests who are golfing upcountry at this wonderful course. All in all, the golfers felt challenged and happy with the course. I heard about it every night as they tallied up their scores and chatted over a glass of wine.

I am not a golfer, however I still love an adventure, and I was able to add to the week's excitement taking my friends and family on a "comando hike." We worked at clearing one of my favorite trails, and then were rewarded with a relax in an ocean pool at the end of the job. I think the gang had a gas, and were also rather surprised at our "hike", even though I warned them about the intensity ,"Black Diamond", "Level 5"...however you want to label was fun, and challenging, and the trail is passable once again.

If golf is not your thing, you will be able to find lots to do while other folks are on the green. One of my guests discovered the nearby botanical gardens called the Enchanting Floral Gardens and the Kula Botanical Gardens. She borrowed one of my many plant books and had a great time.

A couple of folks also hiked the Haleakala National Park, a hike for prepared and fit hikers. They were rewarded with mostly sunshine and some rain at the end of the trail.

I have a b-b-q in the yard, and wow, did we ever eat some yummy dinners! Lots of local and organic greens created our delicious nightly salad, and fresh fish for the barbie... ono!... everyone ended their day fully satisfied.

So, gather up your possey, and make plans for a super Stay and Play golf vacation in Upcountry Maui.

Write me for rates and availability, I'll be happy to help make your trip a memorable one.

Here's to family and friends, life is good!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Maui Real Estate


Being able to call Maui "Home" is a dream come true. Every day I get to experience my guest's excitment and awe of our island's natural beauty. Honestly, I have seen more amazing photos than most folks. Evenings and early mornings often find guests pouring over their shots at the table.

I enjoy sharing Aloha and my life in the islands . Because of my deep respect for the aina (land), I feel privileged to be a guide to my guests. When I used to fish on the Big Island, the greatest joy I experienced was when we had guests on board that had never seen the ocean before their trip to Hawaii.

The visitor industry in Hawaii has been my focus for 25 years, and now this focus has progressed it's natural course to helping folks find their new homes on Maui. I am now a licensed Realtor (S) in the state of Hawaii. I am a member of RAM, the Real Estate Association of Maui, and NAR, the National Association of Reators.

Many guests at Hale Ho'okipa Inn are staying with me while they are searching for their next big adventure, a lifestyle change, a move to the lovely island of Maui. I have often answered questions about schools, cultural experiences, and climates in different areas of the island. People are curious about building restrictions and requirements, and I refer them to our Maui County Building Depts, and Maui County website for property tax info, etc.

I spend time at breakfast with guests setting out for their day's adventures, be it a trip up the spectacular Haleakala Crater, a road trip out to Hana, or a snorkel or golf adventure.

Even folks with their island maps looking at different areas that may suit their needs, or searching for a realtor. Because of the personal attention that I give to guests, I realised that this is a relationship being built on trust. I trust guests in my home, and they in turn trust me to take good care of them while they are here.

Having owned a number of properties on Maui and the Big Island , my focus has been on restoration of heritage homes. Two of my homes were built in 1924, and 1939, and have been a rewarding challenge to restore them to their former charm. The complex history of the islands fascinates me, and restoring an older homes opens a window to this rich history.

The quality of light in the islands is so special, many artists reside here with inspiration all around. Maui has a growing reputation as an international art mecca. My own art forms are watercolor and woodblock. I always look to enhance the light and allow ways for the outdoors to flow inside.

Hawaii has been my home for over thirty-five years, Upcountry Maui is where I live, garden, work and play.....with regular walks and swims along the beautiful, windswept North Shore. The rolling pasture lands, and breath taking vistas from the slopes of Haleakala are awe inspiring.. Maui is a place of spectacular views, lush gardens, friendly people, great resturaunts, organic gardens, cultural events, art galas, walks on the beach, swims, surfs, and paddles in the ocean.

Maui truly is "no ka oi", the best.....and I am so very pleased to share my home with you, and to help you find yours.

With warmest Aloha,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Best Hotels of Makawao, Maui, Hawaii

Quick note about another award for the Hale Hookipa, this time from!

Dear Hale Ho'okipa Inn,

We are pleased to inform you that Hale Ho'okipa Inn has been identified as "Best of Hotels Makawao Hawaii", by awards are based on a careful analysis of customer reviews and expert ratings from across the web collected from over 5000 different websites and millions of customer opinions.

This award has been posted to's page for Hale Ho'okipa Inn, and is visible to all UpTake users.

Congratulations, Cherie!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

End O' Summer Special #2

Aloha Folks.......

That time of year again, facing the wind down of summer fun, (aahh, already?!). However, this is a nice time of year to visit Maui. Despite our dry months, the air is fresh, the trade winds blowing, with fluffy white clouds in a deep blue sky.

My hens starting laying for the first time this morning, and I look forward to having local, fresh eggs to offer to guests for breakfast (is this a strange thing to feel proud of?). I don't think they could get any more local or fresh...

I did try having ducks, but they were pretty quacky a bit too early for me. I love hearing the birds singing as the day breaks, there are lots and lots of birds here. The ducks were drowning out every body else, so they moved on to a large gathering of wayward ducks on a big property in Haiku. They look pretty happy with a crew of friends now.

Sunset last night found me picking papayas all around the property. My arms were full of sunrise papayas as the day was ending. A nice feeling of contenment and gratitude to close the day.
I've decided to post a End O' Summer Special again... I am offering a 15% discount (! wow, the prices were low already) for anybody booking a stay at the Hale Hookipa for the August 15 to Sept 15 time period.

It's a bit quieter out and about, and really a super time of year in the islands. I have to ask myself here, when is not a super time of the year in the islands? Well, specials like this may just make the difference in waiting or booking now. So, limber up your fingers and drop me a line, or pick up the phone for some friendly Aloha, and a super deal. As always, I am happy to help with your plans while on our beautiful island. Folks usually like my suggestions for places to eat and things to do.

It's a beautiful Friday, and I am going to put some greens in the garden today, and maybe an afternoon stroll on the north shore with my dog Annie. She needs to chase rocks and seaweed at least three times a week, and we are due.

Life is good.....sending out Aloha worldwide.

See you in paradise soon.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Outrigger Canoe Paddling


Today I want to share one of my favorite sports that is in full swing during the summer months.

This is outrigger canoe racing season in Hawaii.... only a couple of races are left before the last regatta culminating in the State races. Canoe races are great fun to watch, and even more fun to participate in.

Each canoe club has divisions from the keiki (kids) to the Golden Masters. I paddled for Hawaiian Canoe Club in Kahului for many years. My club has always been very competitive ,often winning the State Races. We have done a lot for the kids in our community, and we take racing very seriously. Even though I have not raced for years, I still feel a kinship with my canoe ohana. The camaraderie and bonding is born out of a deep respect for this sport and the Hawaiian culture. It is a lifetime connection.

Racing in and watching the State Races is awe inspiring, as this is when the revered koa canoes come out to shine. Members of our canoe club hiked through upcountry forests until the perfect koa tree was found. After prayers many hands brought the tree down the mountain to be lovingly fashioned into a beautiful vessel. Getting the koa canoe up and running takes finesse and a lot of hard paddling, it is heavier, but once it is going...................

When the regatta season is over, comes long distance paddling. After training for short races, it is time to get out into the open ocean and go for distance. At this point of the summer paddlers are in good shape and jumping at the chance to get in the zone and become one with the ocean. It is a hypnotic rhythm with a very particular stroking method and pace. I used to sit seat one, the stroker of the boat, the person who sets the pace. When in long distance it is important to be able to feel the waves in order to catch as much of a push as possible. There is a special point when you feel that the boat is about to lift ..and that is when the stroker can dig deep and change the intensity of the pace. It is such an amazing feeling.! I have raced accross a few channels in the open ocean. The 40 plus miles Ka'iwi Channel runs between Molokai and Oahu. The pictures posted here are from that amazing race in of my favorite photographers Mike Elhers took the shots from the escort paddling buddy with an AMAZING reach, Susan Ramos, seat four, is in the boat racing her way across this awesome challenge.

My daughter's family used to have a 4 person canoe and we spent some great times surfing the waves in the canoe........oh, how incredible to dig in hard and feel the canoe lift up on the face of the of my all time favorites feelings rushing down a wave in an outrigger canoe !!!!!!!!!

Outrigger canoe racing caught the attention of the ali'i (royalty) during the later part of the 1800's. It was reported that canoe competitions were fierce with intense betting and high stakes.

The early seafarers made their way across the oceans in sailing and paddling canoe. Great distances were covered in large well stocked double hull canoes. The warring Hawaiians would paddle across dangerous channels, fight a battle, loose, and have to paddle back.

That put some perspective our our races, one of our coaches used to remind us of this fact.

So, state races are in Oahu this year, coming up soon...check it out, and island hop over to Maui for a different pace.....You'll be very happy that you did.

See you out there, and remember to tell the special people in your life just how much you care.

" Ho O Makaukau. Hoe Hapai. Imua~ Huki": "Get ready, lift paddles, forward... pull!"

Commit, and go for it!

Much Aloha,

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Going, going, gone green!

Upcountry Maui photograph from Green Traveler Guides Review of Upcountry Maui


There has been alot of talk about "green" in the last few years...Since I started the restoration of "this ol house" 15 years ago, I've always felt that I was in the green zone, or at least headed in the right direction. Recycling has always been part of the way that I approach life, especially given my HUGE love for antiques and restoration.

Luckily I am not one of the folks who stores lots and lots of old things in case I ever need them.

I made a deal with myself a long time ago, to buy a piece, I must sell another...that keeps me from becoming overrun with goodies. However, I have gotten alot of mileage from my stash of old windows and lumber., (and even used nails , my friends and family will testify to that!)

Some of my favorite things to re-cycle are the old plantation style furniture from the Territorial Era. These pieces are basic with crown molding, made from fir and usually stained dark. It takes some effort to give them new life, but I love seeing them in the B&B as era pieces. My display is all found objects from the property.

As far as green practices in the B&B, I do ask folks to re-cycle and unplug items when leaving for the day. Besides using organic cleaning products, I try to line dry when possible. As much organic fruit from my garden as I can harvest is served for breakfast, and the compost goes to the chickens. I have plans to restore the old cistern to use rain water for the garden, and relocate the old bread oven to use.

These practices have been a way of life for me for some time now. There is always room for improvement. I have many projects I'd like to do to make things even greener, but I have come to the conclusion that Rome was not built in a day, and neither will Hale Ho'okipa Inn be everything I want it to be in a day. When I figured out this was a wonderful work in progress, I relaxed a bit so I could enjoy and smell all the wonderful flowers I've planted.

I am so happy to support the growing trend of Green Travel. There is a wonderful, award winning site called Green Traveler Guides, and what a site it is! A very impressive lay out, great information, and they even link to Green Travel blogs...I have alot of reading to do to catch up to these folks. Gary and Peggy Diedrichs personally check out the local green scene before they reccommend it. I love networking and am very happy to spread the word about Peggy and Gary's green travel guides. ( What a sweet job, somebody's gotta do it!!)

I also have been working with Responsible Travel out of Europe for some time now. I know that traveling does require energy and leaves a carbon footprint. I'm hoping to step lighter and "leave no trace" as often as possible. The reward of experiencing other cultures and the wonderous sights of our world is the attraction, let's do so with care and consideration.

I hope this post today gets some folks excited to come and experience the greener side of the islands. It's a growing trend, so get your feet wet , you'll be happy you did.

Here's to stepping lighter and having a great time doing it!


Monday, July 5, 2010

July Chop Suey

Aloha ~

It's the Fourth of July weekend and upcountry is rockin! It's been a great week with some fun guests. The week started with a wonderful family from Shanghai, a sweet Italian couple and a happy mainland couple. It was quite the International House at the breakfast table, with Italian, Chinese and English going back and forth across the delicious fruit salad. I even learned how to say good morning in Chinese! The international departures were followed by a couple of quiet days with a friendly East coast couple I thoroughly enjoyed.

Being the Fourth of July weekend, cowboys and cowgirls are now the name of the game. A Portuguese ranching family from the Big Island are staying at Hale Ho'okipa for the weekend's festivities. The rodeo bull riding was Friday night, this morning was our wonderful parade, followed by more rodeo tonight and Sunday, and live music from Upcountry Sundays and Mana'o Radio at Cassanova.

I always enjoy the beautiful horses and riders in the parade. From the little ponies, to the working horses, each one is decked out for their prance down Makawao Ave. The riders are always a crowd pleaser as well, a tiny tot on a BIG horse, a "Cowgirl Hall of Famer", some sassy outlaws, and even Avatar on a blue horse!

Today's parade had more politicians that I cared to see however. I think anybody who was running for anything showed up in Makawao today. I am not kidding, we must have had a half dozen mayoral candidates, as well as state office seekers. Each one tried to outdo each other...the candidate that went all out came with a large cheer leading squad who delighted the crowd with their wild arials. Makawao is the "it" place on the 4th, our parade must be the longest one around, especially in election years.

We are having some relief from the drought this week also . It's been a bit chilly at night for July, and, yahoo, a little rain to green everything up...that has really has not happened yet, but I sure hope we continue with the sprinkles for a few more days.

The plumerias are in full bloom, with many colors to choose from. I'm excited to see if the deep red plumeria has a few more blossoms this year. There is nothing like a good ol fashioned plumeria lei, especially a full one that is strung with flowers all the way around.

The peach tree is still sporting a few late bloomers, I ate a couple of ono peaches off the tree today. There are also lots of papayas, and bananas galore. Good sunshine and some water makes everything grow so well.

While I'm talking about the garden, I want to share this request, do something nice for the earth this week, our wonderful planet needs all the Tender Loving Care we can give! Help on a clean up, plant a tree, put your hands on the earth thinking healing thoughts. We cherish our beaches and the life giving ocean.........

Hawaii is a special place to experience the wonders of nature. Everyday I wake up grateul for my beautiful home, and the walks on the beach, or in the mountains. It's pretty grand, or to borrow a phrase from my UK guests, "Brilliant!!" (I love that)

Sooooooo.......plan your fall trips right now, it will be here before we know it. Every season has something unique and special here in the islands. Fall is crisp and wonderful with stellar sunsets!

Stay tuned for a fall special that I'll post soon.

Here's to hoping one and all are finding something to feel good about.

A hui hou and Aloha,


Monday, June 21, 2010

Living Aloha

E Komo mai........Welcome!

Today's "talk story" has been rumbling around in my thoughts for awhile. I'm not sure how it's going to roll out because I'll be exploring a way of life rather than sharing a place, or art form or particular event.

Award winning Maui author Jill Engledow has done a wonderful job sharing the many nuances of life in Hawaii in her book called Island Life 101: A Newcomers Guide to Hawaii. This is not one of the guide books that causes island folks to wrinkle their noses. Instead, Jill's book is a rich tapestry woven with lessons on Hawaiian language, fascinating history, music and dance, cultural diversity, current and environmental issues. The information is presented in an entertaining fashion geared towards folks who want to make Hawaii their new home. It is also a great read for guests who are visiting with a desire to have a deeper understanding of Hawaii, a sense of place.

Looking back to when I moved to Hawaii 36 years ago, I felt a little a little like a foreigner in a another land. However, I was thoroughly smitten the first time a child in the grocery store called me "Auntie" and asked if I would help her reach something. I knew this was the place I wanted to raise my family, where people were warm and friendly, and the children had a sense of relationship to the adults around them. Growing up, we often shared our home with exchange students from other nations. I guess my desire to learn about other cultures had it's early beginnings in our family home.

It's been a remarkable journey of exploration of self, and how I can contribute to my community. Visitor industry involvement has always been very satisfying. I feel content when guests enjoy their stay, taking home great memories of their experiences in our island home. If you are interested in giving back to the place you are visiting, check out my Volunteer on Vacation in Hawaii site for more information.

I love to travel, and when I meet friendly and helpful people out in the world, I am inspired to do the same for our visitors.

Jill devotes a section in Island Life 101 to a calendar of events that will enrich all of our lives, kama'aina and visitors alike. The Maui Calendar of Events is also available on line and keeps up to date on all the wonderful festivals, lectures, activities and traditional ceremonies happening.

Be sure to check this out if you want a taste of authentic Hawaii.

Many events are associated with fund raising for charities through silent auctions. If you are fortunate enough to find yourself at one of these events, do check out all the gifts, packages and possibilities available to bid on. This is a great way for visitors and local folks to give back to the community. You might even been able to bid on a night or two stay at Hale Ho'okipa!

Live Aloha, and treat all with respect, we are all guests in someone's home at one time or another. Let's be mindful of how we visit a place, of how we live on this land.....

The main thing I have learned in all my years of welcoming visitors into my home, is to be open to see who walks through the door, and to know they have something valuable to share.

If we keep our eyes, ears and hearts open ...the journey will be the reward!

A hui hou....