Saturday, November 28, 2009


Mahalo means "thank you" in Hawaii...

Mahalo for the crisp air and breezy trade winds that started off our morning.

Mahalo for the awesome winter swell that pounded our North Shores today.

Mahalo for all the Aloha and bounty shared with friends and family.

Mahalo for a great swim and sparkling sunshine on Maui's South Shore.

Mahalo for a brilliant sunset over waving fields of cane grass.

Here's to giving thanks and living in gratitude where ever you are.

Mahalo and Aloha,

Photographs by Cherie Attix (unless otherwise noted).

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Aloha ....

It's been raining wealth in Hawaii this past week. The Hawaiian word for fresh water and wealth is one and the same: wai, and wai-wai (lots of water means lots of wealth). The East sides of our islands have had some pretty good soakings this last week, and I wanted to share some wonderful photos that my guests took on their adventure to Hana. The well traveled "road to Hana" is pretty darn breathtaking when the rain is really falling hard in the mountains, and on the East side of the island.

The roadside cliffs are often sheets of water sliding down the rocks and crossing the road toward the ocean. The road crews are busy keeping clear passage for all the folks who brave the Hana Highway in the rain. I always remind folks to be safe and stay out of the water on these days. Mother Nature is unscripted, and a huge amount of water can come down from the mountains causing flash floods.

Much of the water in Hana is diverted to the central valley for the sugar cane. This is a heated and controversial subject with many of the taro farmers in Hana. When we see this amount of water shooting across the falls and flowing to the ocean, it is hard to believe that there is not enough to go around. Equally hard to believe that these same falls are sometimes little trickles.

My German guests packed up all their photo equipment and headed out this morning for a photo expedition to Hana. I will add more great photos to this post as I receive them. I ask guests to send me some of their favorites when I see that someone is really into their photography.

These three wild shots are courtesy of Kevin and Lisa Zobrist. They shared some great pictures with me during their stay. Breakfast is sometimes a "show and tell" with all the guests passing cameras around the table. I get a chuckle seeing how enthusiastic everyone is. Serious photographers will often download their pics onto laptops for a slide show.

Taking pictures is such a wonderful way to share your adventures with family and friends, and is also a special keepsake to remind us of our good times on travels. My daughter and I both remarked today when we were chatting, how much we enjoy our ongoing slide shows on our computers of our trip together this summer.

So, Adventure Seekers, pack up your cameras and head on over to the islands. Winter is dramatic and makes for some amazing photographs and wonderful memories. See you soon!

With Aloha,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lana'i Island


Yesterday someone who knows me well, remarked that my voice sounded relaxed on the phone.

I agreed, having just returned from the lovely island of Lana'i. The last time I visited was many years ago in an outrigger canoe crossing the Au'au Channel, landing on the white sand beach of Manele Bay.

My recommendation for travel nowadays would be the Expeditions Ferry departing from Lahaina with 5 round trips daily. It is a comfortable 45 minute ride, with spectacular views.

From the dock, one can take a shuttle up into Lana'i City to the Dollar Car Rental to pick up a jeep, one method of transport while visiting the island, the other option being the shuttle buses that travel from town to the two beautiful resorts, and the harbor.

My brother, sister-in-law, and I rented a jeep and cruised to the windward side of the island to visit Shipwreck Beach and Keomuku where the remnants of a failed sugar cane operation lay rusting in the kiawe forest. Here is a fisherman
throwing net in front of Shipwreck.

On our return we were treated to one of the most glorious sunsets I have ever seen. We were so busy oohhing and aaahhing and taking pictures that we never made it to the acclaimed Ko'ele Lodge. The largest wood framed building in the state is an elegant country estate on green pasture land surrounded by the wonderful Cook Pines.

The beauty of the pine forest sang to me, reminding me of my childhood in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I love the magnificent Norfolk Pine in my yard at Hale Ho'okipa, and to be caressed by the alpine air in a forested landscape was indeed a special treat.

We stayed at the Hotel Lana'i, a 1923 home built by Jim Dole to house his VIP guests. Our room was comfortable with the ambiance of yesteryear. In fact, most of Lana'i City is in a bit of a time warp. Loved it!!! The pace is slow, the people were friendly, and my favorite classic plantation architecture abounded.

The Hotel Lana'i is home to the Lana'i City Grille featuring regional cuisine for a sophisticated palate. We were very satisfied and impressed with their menu , preparation and delicious flavors.

Just down from the hotel across from Dole Park, a gym, two eateries, two galleries and a few shops beckon. We visited the Mike Carroll Gallery where my family purchased a great piece of art from a Hawaii artist. Mike was fun to chat with. His gallery is tastefully appointed with quality art from all over the islands and antique furnishings from the Orient.

After breakfast, we wandered over to the Lana'i Culture and Heritage Center. Their focus is to honor the past, and enrich the future. The director, Kepa Maly, was most gracious with his time and intimate history of his beloved island. The center is temporarily housed in a small room awaiting renovations to a more worthy space.

We stopped in the Manele Bay resort on our way down to the beach. The opulence was a bit over the top for my taste, but quite stunning. If you are looking for an umbrella drink, my guess is this would be a good place to check out. It is beautifully situated overlooking the blue Pacific rimmed by a half moon white sand beach. At the beach we took a hike to view the Pu'u Pehi, commonly known as Sweetheart Rock. Breathtaking beauty that filled us up to the top before our departure on the ferry back home to Maui.

If you want an added bonus to your Maui vacation, plan a day trip to Lana'i. If you live in Hawaii, visiting Lana'i will make you sigh with nostalgia.

The trades are blowing again, all is clear and all is well.

Much Aloha,