Monday, May 2, 2011

My Trip Maui, Hawaii

April 19th, 2011

Aloha All !

I started this blog while waiting for my flight to depart magical Maui, Hawaii. I wanted to capture the inspiration in words why this place invokes a good feeling from within me. It is never easy to leave here. How I love the islands and just about everything related to Hawaii nei. I even like the open air halls and corridors of the airport. It is always inviting and refreshing to feel the breeze off the ocean and smell the fragrant flowers from a nearby lei vendor or walk pass a person adorned with this handmade garland of flowers draped gracefully over their shoulders and to see colorful plants and trees decorate the perimeters of the airfield. Unlike other airports in the United States, you see most of the passengers wearing tank tops, shorts, flip flops and hula shirts a plenty. I find this style of Hawaiiana high fashion to be sexy. A man has to be confident with him self to wear a floral designed dress shirt. And I can always spot a new arrival to the islands, they are anxious to get on with their vacation and their pale skin is begging for a dose of vitamin D that only the Maui Sun can administer in a soothing way. There are a few people running through the airport trying to catch their next flight in or out. However, there are some people like myself, who linger and do not really want to board the plane. Ah yes, the island has a way of casting a spell on its visiting guests.

Even earlier, while on California soil, waiting for our plane to carry us to paradise, I could sense the Hawaiian mood at the Oakland airport gate. People happily waiting to board the flight bound to Maui, Hawaii. Most everyone dressed in colorful tropical prints. The moment you board the plane the good vibes continue to grow stronger. This is a long awaited vacation for many, and for others, the return home is just over the horizon. The Aloha Spirit is onboard with us. I normally fly Hawaiian airlines. They play nice videos during the flight that reveal the visual beauty of Hawaii and Mother Nature plus they do great interviews and stories about Hawaii and her people. I feel prepped for my vacation.

The trips I take to Maui are a regular voyage for me. This April vacation was a 6 day getaway for my fianc√© and myself. It was time to recharge our batteries. My place in South Kihei was booked so we stayed at another nice property that is ocean front with great ocean views, unit #851 at the Ka’anapali Shores Resort This condo is part of my MauiVision network. The beach in front is long and stretches south to Black Rock where many locals and some daring tourist jump and dive into the inviting waters below. Just past this landmark is the Whalers Village and famous Ka’anapali Beach continues on. I enjoy snorkeling here with the turtles and variety of colorful fish. Black Rock is a short distance to Whalers Village where there are many shops and restaurants to choose from. We always go to our favorite place, the Hula Grill on the beach. There is live music day and night. The sand is soft and a light cream color and the beach is wide and long and stretches far. The color of the ocean is a pretty clear blue. And in fact, most of the Hawaiian islands have miles and miles of soft sand beaches and inviting aqua colored water that is comfortable to swim in almost year round. There are some Hawaiian Island beaches with black, red and even green sand.

I have visited Maui so many times, but I keep discovering new places to dine, shows and activities to see and do. In fact, there is so much more to discover outside my favorite places, including new alluring beaches to hang loose at. I have included some videos of my favorite beaches in Maui and I hope to have more videos to share with you later in the year.

One of the highlights for me this trip was to find a rare shell washed up at Baldwin Beach Park in Maui, Hawaii. It appears to be a Tiger Cowrie shell. I am told they are not easily found in the shallow waters of the Hawaiian islands anymore. I was only on the beach for 15 minutes to shoot some video when I came across this natural treasure mixed with other pieces of bleached coral. It is a rare find indeed! It was in perfect condition with a little fading of color on the sides. I am told you have to dive deep for this type of shell and they do not usually wash ashore. There was no critter inside…as I had taken it out……Just kidding folks! I did actually check the shell and there was no one home. I would not feel good about taking a shell if there was a sea snail inside. These cowrie shells were once prized and used as currency in Africa and Egypt and other places long ago. It is also a sign of good luck and fertility among other things. However, at my age I will just accept the finding of this shell as a good luck charm and nothing more thank you. Here is a link to read more about this shell:

Click on photo below to enlarge....

Baldwin Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii

Tiger Cowrie shell found on beach

Shell found here among coral

I titled one of my recent paintings (see below) “There is no other place I’d rather be but all washed up on the shores of Kauai.” I love Kauai, too I must say.  Today, I realize it is reallly Maui I'd rather be... Below is a video I took at Baldwin Beach Park the day I found the shell:

Oil painting by me titled "There is no other place I'd rather be but all washed up on the shores of Kauai"

I videoed so many locations and places that out of the 80 short videos I took, I felt there were a few worthy ones to upload on YouTube. If you want to take a short virtual tour to Maui visit my videos on-line anytime. I created a few hyperlinks of these videos on my home page Please take the time to LIKE the videos.  I will upload more in the future once I figure out how to edit the other clips….In the mean time, these videos were the best I could do with no editing.

We love visiting Lahaina Town, in Maui. We have soooooo many favorite restaurants too numerous to list here. And in fact, Maui has many great places to dine all over the island! Next visit and blog, I will take the time to write in more detail other favorite features and places of interest of this island Maui. Kimo’s Restaurant, is another favorite place of mine that sits over the ocean in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. You can view great sunsets from here, listen to live music from guest performers and hear the ocean roar and smell the sea and sometimes feel the mist. When the sun begins to set the tiki torches are lit and this really adds to the ambience of this open air dining establishment. Plus we really enjoy the food here. I captured this group at Kimo’s for you to listen to in the clips below. The Hawaiian musical group is called “1810.” I love their sound, energy, and bare feet performance. This is the Hawaiian way “laid back” and “hang loose.” Please like this group and help get them more exposure on YouTube. I told them I would be posting my amateur videos of them.

We discovered a new restaurant “The Sea House” that overlooks Napili Bay. The food and service was excellent. The sunset view over the ocean memorable.

Another beach I have never taken the time to visit before is DT Fleming. It is a great beach with a lot of shade plus a very nice restaurant that you can dine at called “The Beach House.” The food was very good and the prices reasonable. And let me tell you, it is sure a nice way to end a beach day having lunch and a fun beverage beachside under the shade of some tall protective palms while the ocean beacons you to come back and take another dip.

My home is really Kihei and South Maui area. I love the beaches here! We drove to this side of the island, so I could film a couple of my favorite beaches. This is my son’s favorite as well as mine, Makena Beach aka Big Beach. I love how pretty the water is here and there are NO HOTELS or condos nearby. It is pure, pristine and natural. I love it. It is untouched by man except for the new lifeguard stations placed there a year or so ago. It is fun to watch the locals boogie board and have some good clean fun in the water. Very entertaining!

Another romantic and picturesque setting located in South Maui is Secret Beach. This is my personal favorite place to be. You often times see turtles, monarch butterflies, and on occasion people getting married. The beach is not big and it is hard to find. It is hidden. There are some big houses nearby but they are mostly obscured by foliage and rock walls. The only restaurant nearby is an outdoor cooking vendor who serves up some good fresh fish!

Remember if you need a place to stay in Maui, please contact me. We have many beautiful, clean, ocean view properties located in South Kihei, Haiku, and Ka’anapali. I’m happy to share what I know about the islands with you.

A hui hou kakou (Until we meet again)

Kathy McCartney