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.
- 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
As can be expected with anyone so wealthy and famous, lots of stir is created by Oprah’s presence on Maui. Here’s what we can piece together based on newspaper and magazine articles.
Oprah owns three properties on Maui. The first property she bought is 1,000 acres near the rainy town of Hana. That’s right….the town that’s about 65 slow miles from us at Maui Vista 2418. The second property is about 300 acres in the up-country outside Kula which is on the slopes of Mt.Haleakala and looks down over Kihei. We can see “her road” from our front door as shown by the red arrow in the photo below. This road is controversial because Maui County approved Oprah’s private road which would save all of us from many miles of driving to get to Mount Haleakala National Park and other up-country destinations. Many Mauians wish the county would have built the road instead. At almost $5 per gallon of gasoline, it would have spoken well for sustainability!
Oprah’s most recent purchase is reportedly a waterfront home in the posh Makena neighborhood just a few miles south of Maui Vista 2418. The homes in that area are incredibly expensive. For example, we know of someone who paid $14million for a non-waterfront lot!
When we were at Grandma’s Coffee House in Kula the lady who works there reported Oprah having been in the restaurant a few times. Other than that, Oprah is known for being very private and is not able to saunter around the island on foot like many other stars such as Steven Tyler, Willie Nelson, Mick Fleetwood and Kris Kristofferson. My advice: don’t go to Kula for the chance to see Oprah.
Located at 9232 Kula Highway, Grandma’s is one of those destinations reached more by curiosity than intent. It’s past the cut-offs to Haleakala National Park and the Lavender Farm but before you get to the Tedeschi Winery and long before you get to Hana by the back way.
From the outside Grandma’s looks like a hole in the wall; but behind that humble facade is some of the best coffee and desserts you’ll find on Maui. In fact, Grandma’s coffee may be one of the best coffees anywhere. (Note: this is from a guy born and raised in Seattle where coffee is either an obsession or an addiction. I can still remember the first time I sipped fresh-roasted Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee on a trip to the Carribean 30 years ago. Grandma’s coffee is in the same class.) Since 1918, four generations of the same family have been growing, hand-picking, and roasting organic coffee on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala. They even have a few coffee plants growing next to their outdoor seating.
Grandma’s also serves breakfast and lunch. Once, when we were there with friends, there was live music in the outside seating area – a guy with a good guitar and nice voice. Another claim to fame is that Oprah has a home nearby and occassionally drops by. At least that’s what we were told. If I were you I wouldn’t go there just for the chance of seeing Oprah. I’d go there for the tiramisu. Check out this beauty. And how about that cool table?
Want to learn more about Grandma’s? You can even have some of their great coffee shipped to you on the mainland by visiting their website at http://www.grandmascoffee.com/homepage.html.
Perhaps a pound of Grandma’s coffee is too expensive for your taste. Fly to Maui (and stay at our condo!) At Grandma’s a latte or other coffee drink is no more expensive than at your local Starbucks. And believe me, those young ladies working at Grandma’s know how to pull an espresso!