Art, Culture and Chocolate – An Evening with Dale Zarrella

Every Wednesday evening Maui artist (and Maui Vista neighbor) Dale Zarrella gives a free guided tour of his sculptures at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort (formerly the Maui Prince Hotel). Not only do you get art and entertainment, Zarrella brings home-made chocolates shaped like little turtles. You can’t go wrong. Check with the resort to confirm dates and times.

Zarrella has four major works on display at the resort – two in the lobby and two in the restaurant downstairs. The two sculptures in the lobby are from Zarrella’s mermaid series: Mermaid Dream and Ka’ikehohonu (also known as 110 Turtles). Mermaid Dream began as a 3,000 pound Rain Shower tree root from which Zarrella removed 2,000 pounds of wood to reveal the mermaid. See Zarrella’s website (http://dalezarrella.com/) for a series of pictures on the making of this, and other, works.

Mermaid Dream

Ka’ikehohonu – 110 Turtles

Maui catching the sun (photo from Dale Zarrella website)

A life size bronze of the demi-god Maui holding the net by which he captured the sun can be found in the downstairs restaurant is. The net, we’re told, was woven from the hair of his sister Pele, the goddess of fire. I guess that must be why the net didn’t catch fire. (Click here for the story of Maui slowing the sun.)

The final piece of Zarrella’s work shows the bust and face of a woman emerging from a tree. The upside down stump turns the roots of the tree into wild hair blowing upward by the wind.

During the talk, Zarrella said the wood for this piece was found on Oprah’s Hana ranch while he was horse backing riding with some paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy)  friends of his.

See our other posts on Dale Zarrella:

Maui Artist Dale Zarrella at Work

Dale Zarrella’s Damien Taking Shape

Dale Zarrella and Helper Carve a Vision in Sand

 

Emergence

Mode of Transportation – PortaPotty Surfers

Maybe the nice man will give these ladies a ride

The wind was up, the paddle boarders down – stranded on Charley Young Beach a half mile from Maui Wave Riders where they’d rented their boards.

Gotta get back. What to do?

Hey, here’s a man with a truck. Maybe he can give the ladies a ride. (Hmm, why’s he wearing plastic gloves?)

Looks like he’s going their way! “Rainbow Rentals – Service is Our #1 Priority.” I wonder if that’s what the boss had in mind. Thank you Rainbow Rentals!

This is SO Maui (well, maybe not Wailea, Kaanapali or Kapalua – but definitely Kihei).

POST NOTE: Our neighbor reported she saw the truck going up the road and the ladies were waving to people as if they were on a beauty pagent float!

(Photos courtesy of Sandi Rethage. Thanks Sandi!)

Rowena’s Farmers Market is No Ka Oi (The best!)

Rowena is located about a 12 minute walk from Maui Vista 2418 just north of Foodland in the Aloha Open Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Rowena

It is not unusual to see the farmers stopping by with boxes of dragon fruit, wing beans and many varieties of avocados. Another family operates it during the rest of the week, but we find Rowena has the best local selection at the best prices. Rowena stands by her word. A customer told her an avocado he bought a few days ago was bad, so she gave him another avocado. She said, “It’s hard to see inside and I am sorry.”

Whether you’re looking for locally grown shitaki mushrooms or tender butter lettuce (at half the price in the grocery store), you’ll want to get there early (she opens at 7) because it can get elbow to elbow in the afternoon and the best things are gone.

West Maui Snorkeling – Black Rock

Black Rock with Moloka’i in the distance

In front of the Sheraton Maui at Ka’anapoli is Black Rock, a popular and easy snorkel. Ka’anapoli Beach is a large and fabulous stretch of white sand that can be very busy in the high season when the big hotels are full. It’s worth a visit all by itself.

If the waves are calm, you can snorkel out and around the point. Strong swimmers can even snorkel north to the next beach. The best viewing, however, is on the south side and at the end of the point. There’s not much coral and, for that matter, not a lot of fish. But we’ve seen green sea turtles near the shore and multiple spotted rays at the point in beautifully clear deep water.

Black Rock with Lana’i in the distance

To get to Black Rock, take the first entrance into Ka’anapoli and continue circling to the right. Look for the small sign for Beach Access after you pass Whaler’s Village. There are two small free parking areas. The Sheraton has 20 spaces in a corner of their parking garage. Just to the south there are 10 or so outdoor parking spaces that can be reached via the next driveway to the south. Getting a parking space can be a challenge. Go early or late or around lunch when people are leaving.

Maui Brewing Company – Good Local Brews

Entry to Maui Brewing Company

Up in West Maui, just off the highway 4 miles north of Kaanapali, is the nondescript Kahana Gateway Shopping Center. Its chief distinction is being home to the only local (and quite successful!) brewery on Maui. There are lots of good beers on the island, but only those made by the Maui Brewing Company are made on Maui. And many of them are very, very good.

Founded in 2005, the Maui Brewing Company has won numerous awards for beers with names like Big Swell IPA, Bikini Blonde, and Coconut Porter. If you like beer, you’re sure to find something that fits your taste at the Maui Brewing Company. We LOVE the Coconut Porter. Check out this list.

Maui Brewing Company Beer List (September 2012)

The ABV column in this list is alcohol by volume  – a pretty objective measure. The IBU column stands for International Bittering Units – a more subjective measure of the effect of hops on beer taste. You can see the brewing vats in action. It’s very casual with lots of TV’s, all playing sports. The food is decent pub grub with efforts toward a Hawaiian twist. We enjoy the variety of sliders at just $4 or $5 each. A slider or two, a side of fries and a home-style brew is well worth our drive from Kihei to Kahana. In fact, we wear our Maui Brewing logo shirts on Wednesdays and get a $3 pint!

If you can’t make it to the brewery, or if you’d perfer a nice Hawaiian view with your suds, ask your bartender what’s on tap from the Maui Brewing Company. Lots of places carry one or more of their brews. Many grocery stores do also, but we prefer it from the tap!

For exciting news about Maui Brewing’s plan to build a brewery and pub in Kihei, click here.

Hiking La Perouse Bay – The Hoapili Trail and Cape Hanamanioa

Getting to La Perouse Bay

If you drive as far south as possible through Wailea, Makena, and beyond, you come to La Perouse Bay. The drive takes you past Big Beach, through the Ahihi Kinau Reserve, and across a long stretch of lava from the last eruption of Mount Haleakala in 1790. After the manicured beauty of Wailea, the road gets narrower. Later it gets even narrower. Finally, it gets so narrow there are pull outs so cars going in the opposite direction can pass. The last few hundred yards are so bumpy you may want to park before the last turn toward the bay. Look for the horse corral and the stone monument. You can park there or bounce over the last bumps until you get to the water’s edge. It’s about 25 minutes south of Maui Vista.

The Hoapili Trail starts a few yards from the water’s edge on your left as you face the bay. The first portion of the hike is though a lava field. This, and other parts of the trail, need real shoes, not flip flops or sandals. Tennis shoes will do, walking shoes are better.

Trail Route

There are cultural artifacts in the lava fields – the lower walls of shelters built by Hawaiians sometime after the 1790 eruption. There’s not much to see, but some people find them interesting.

Look for the a small blow hole about halfway across the lave field. If the tide is high and the surf is up it makes a good splash.

A pretty bay greats you at the end of the lava field. After that you walk under the welcome shade of mesquite trees (locally known as kiawe). Lots of feral goats here. Keep a lookout for a surfer memorial on your right after you’ve walked for 5 or 10 minutes.

As you come out from under the trees you have three choices of route. You can keep on the “road” which will take you to the next shady grove or on to your destination at the end of Cape Hanamanioa. Alternatively, you can turn off the road through the broken wire gate and follow the King’s Highway cross the second lava field until you come to a sign that tells you it was reconstructed in its present form during the first half of the 19th century. If you take this route, turn right at the sign to return to the road or to the second grove. Finally, you can walk along a very rocky beach to the second grove.

Into the woods

As indicated in the map above, once you get to the second grove, there is an easier and harder route to the end of Cape Hanamanioa. The easier route is fairly boring, with little to see but lava and views in the distance. The harder route takes you along high cliffs over sometimes rough terrain with spectacular views of the bay and beyond. The water is multi-colored shades of crystal clear blue. Sometimes the trail is hard to find. Persevere, the rough parts lead to an actual trail.

Views from the coastal trail

It’s often very windy at the end of the cape – hold onto your hat. One way distance from start to finish is about 1.25 miles. It will take you longer than you think.

From the end of the cape you can return or follow more trails (for miles) onto new coves, beaches and interesting sights. Enjoy.

Hang onto your hat at the end of the trail

Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods Store

Do you prefer to eat local organic food? Are you vegan or do you have food intolerances such as wheat/gluten/dairy? Do you want to save money by buying just the right quantity in bulk foods rather than a whole jar or package of something? Perhaps you are looking for a good selection of Hawaiian Sea Salt. If so, Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods is the place for you.

Just a few minutes walk south of Maui Vista 2418, Hawaiian Moons is located at 2411 S. Kihei Road and has a nice selection of local produce, organic meats and bulk foods. They also have a hot lunch bar and an extensive supply of dietary supplements and natural remedies.

Bulk Spices

Although we provide a fairly extensive carousel of spices at our condo, you might find you only need a teaspoon of something different. Why spend $6 or more for a whole jar at another store when you can spend less than a dollar at Hawaiian Moons for the quantity you actually need?

Nakalele Blowhole

When exploring west Maui, consider a trip to the Nakalele Blowhole. It’s a 10 minute drive past Honolua Bay on the north shore. Look for a dirt parking lot on the ocean side of the road about a half mile past mile marker 38. If you can see a white navigation light near the shore, keep driving unless you want to take the long walk to the blowhole. A little way around the next bend is another dirt lot where the hike is much shorter.

It’s not far to the blowhole but good views can be had after a very short walk. For example, the pictures in this post were taken from a vantage point less than 100 yards from our car.

As you can see, many people hike down to the blowhole. Be advised, don’t go too close. In the summer of 2011, a young man on his honeymoon slipped on the wet rocks and was sucked into the blowhole. His body was never found. As a handmade sign we saw at the parking lot said: “This is not a water park.”

West Maui Snorkeling – Honolua Bay

There’s so much good snorkeling not far from Maui Vista (see South Maui Snorkeling – 3 Favorite Spots), why drive an hour to Honolua Bay? There are plenty of reasons. First of all, Honolua Bay is a spectacular snorkeling spot. In addition, there are lots of other fun things to see and do in West Maui. For example, the Nakalele Blowhole is just another 10 minutes down the road past Honolua Bay.

Honolua Bay from the Highway 30 overlook

To get there from Kihei, head north on South Kihei Road or the Pi’ilani Highway and follow the signs to Lahaina. Continue north on Highway 30 through Lahaina, Ka’anapali, and Kapalua. When the road narrows and slows for tight, blind curves, you’re almost there.

Stop at the overlook (pictured above) and check out conditions and the best snorkeling spots. (If you click on the picture and blow it up you can see snorkelers and areas with coral – that’s where you want to be.) If the surf’s up, the snorkeling won’t be good – but there will be surfers to watch. You can watch from the overlook or, better still, drive around the bay and turn left onto the dirt road high on the other side side of the bay. Find a  parking spot and walk out for the best views (see Surfing the Big Water at Honolua Bay).

Trail to Honolua Bay

For snorkeling, drive to the bottom of the hill and look for a parking spot. If you don’t see one at first, keep driving – there are several other areas where people park. You’ll find a trail near each parking area. All trails end up at more or less the same place.

It’s a pleasant, but surprisingly long, walk to the water through a shaded grove. People do it in flip-flops, but a sturdier sandal or shoe is recommended.

The beach itself is rocky with few places to even put a beach chair. There are no restrooms, no water, no garbage cans, no nothing – except begging chickens and great snorkeling.

The wet and sometimes slimy rocks near the shore are slippery. Lots of people get in from an old broken boat ramp that the two people on the left side of the accompanying picture are standing on.

Most people snorkel on the right side of the bay, but there is plenty of coral on the other side as well. It’s a fairly long swim before the viewing gets good. If you’re not a strong swimmer, you might want to take a boogie board or a noodle. At first the coral and fish are mainly close to the shore on the right. As the coral gets denser you’ll see it expand out toward the middle of the bay. Explore this area to your heart’s content.

A word to the wise: several large snorkel boats anchor at Honolua Bay around mid day. If you want to miss the crowd in the water, go early. If they’re there when you are, just remember that they’re paying the big bucks while you’re getting the same views for free. Enjoy!

Cafe O’Lei – Highly recommended

Café O’Lei sounds Mexican, but tastes Hawaiian. This restaurant is an easy walk from Maui Vista 2418 and wow is it good! You’ll find it across the street from the Royal Mauian, between Kameole Beach Park I and Kameole Beach Park II. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it is elegant and comfortable. Be aware the lunch hour can be quite loud. Dinner was more subdued.

Cafe O’Lei from South Kihei Road

Although the menu might look a little pricey at first, the delicious portions are generous and include salad, main course, steamed veggies and rice. Kathy’s blackened Mahi Mahi was enough for her dinner and two lunches the next day. Chris managed to finish his seared Ahi which was also worth writing home about. Café O’Lei is known for their coconut/macademia chicken, so we plan to try that next time.

Blackened Mahi Mahi at Cafe O’Lei

Seared Ahi (they’ll cook it the way you like it)

Coconut/Macademia Chicken

The refreshing cocktails are original, yummy and only $7 each. We were too full for dessert.

We highly recommend Cafe O’Lei!