Posts Tagged With: Maui

Hurricane Up and Wait…

Thursday we expected to feel the full wrath and fury of Hurricane Lane by 2pm in the afternoon. We had gotten up several times Wednesday night to check on things. But oddly things were still and calm.

The morning news brought us reports of widespread rain, wind, landslides, road closures, school closures, business closures, government offices closures, etc. But Kihei was quiet. No wind and only a drizzle. The town was also quiet with only a few stores opened. The staff at our condo was locking down furniture and asked us to do the same by bringing all the furniture off the lanai and putting it into our condo with us. We had drinking water, pots and pans and wastepaper baskets filled with water for flushing toilets, flashlights, food cooked and stocked, electronics charged, dishes cleaned, extra bags ready to go if we had to evacuate to a shelter. The news reports looked bad and the condo posted this in the elevator.

We watched the news much of the morning and while there was definitely flooding, winds, and issues around the island, Kihei seemed to be protected in the shadow of Haleakala. The surf was up! We decided to go boogie boarding.

Later that morning we checked the news again and it appears Lane was stalling. The storm had slowed its advancement across the Pacific towards Hawaii and had weakened to a Cat 4 storm. It would appear that the storm may not come in until later that night.

We decided to go see a matinee, assuming we may have heavy weather when the movie was over. There weren’t many choices in town but Tawny caught (and loved) Crazy Rich Asians, while the rest of us (being in Hawaii) thought it would be more fun to see The Meg (Spoiler alert: Pippen lives).

Thursday night we had dinner reservations at Ko, a seafood restaurant within the Fairmont Kea Lani resort for my mother’s birthday. We had called the restaurant the day before and they weren’t sure they’d be open. We called them again to see if we should cancel our reservations as it coincided with the forecasted impact of Lane. The restaurant manager assured us that although they are an open-air restaurant they’d do their best to accommodate us, even suggesting they could move us to an interior hallway and serve us if necessary. We felt at the very least we’d have an adventurous meal. We decided to keep the reservations. We arrived and saw the Fairmont was locked down and ready for the hurricane with furniture stacked, display cases secured, and shelter in place notices posted for their guests.

But the weather was calm and our meal was delicious. The sunset in the outdoor venue was the most spectacular of our trip.

Checking the news before bed we expected the storm to hit us during the night. It didn’t. Again we woke several times to check the weather. Calm. No rain.

When morning came we learned that the storm had further weakened to a Category 3 but was still headed towards Maui. It had slowed its advance to only a few miles an hour but was still assumed to be coming our way. We received several flash flood alerts throughout the day for Maui, just none in Kihei where it remained calm and only a drizzle. We learned there had been a large fire near Lahaina overnight burning over 300 acres and destroying several homes. Flights were getting canceled into and out of Maui. It looked like the storm was imminent. We spent our morning inside watching the rain and the weather from our lanai as well as all the other guests at our condo.

But the weather in Kihei actually improved by late morning. The surf was up and while it was cloudy it brightened up. We continued to get flash flood warnings and see widespread damage to some parts of the island on TV, but Kihei remained well protected. The wind did pick up for a bit, and with it the surf got HUGE! The result was we had some of the best boogie-boarding of our lives until the surf got so big we felt it best to leave the water with our spines intact.

As the day progressed Hurricane Lane became Hurricane Lame. It was downgraded throughout the day to a category 2, then 1, and by the late afternoon became Tropical Storm Lane. It wasn’t until well after dinner that night we actually got our first serious rain, which continues as I write this, but with no wind to speak of.

While we are personally disappointed we didn’t get to experience a little more Hurricane we are grateful to be safe and sound and flying home tomorrow. We feel sorry for those who weren’t as lucky as us. There were many reports of washed out roads, landslides, flooding (with up to 40 inches of rain), wind damage, power outages, and fires. We just didn’t have any of that. We do now have some newfound disaster prep skills we didn’t know we had previously which should prove useful for our next inevitable naturals climate change disaster or zombie apocalypse, whichever comes first.

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Hurricane Prep with an Ethical Will and a Pineapple Upsidedown Cake

Today we awoke to emergency alerts on our phones. I flipped on the TV and immediately saw the emergency alert system broadcasting this about Hurricane Lane:


Yesterday’s hurricane watch had been upgraded to a hurricane warning. I scrambled to the coffee maker…and then across the Googles and Interwebs on my phone to find more news….


We had already done a lot of prepping for the hurricane yesterday before going zip-lining. As our Walking Dead skills started kicking in we decided perhaps we could do better. Tawny and I ran out to see if we could find a portable radio and more wine. No luck. We were met with long lines at Longs Drugs, Safeway, and other locations across Kihei. We decided to head back closer to our condo and top up our fuel at the nearby ABC Store. But it turns out they sell wine! We fueled up, grabbed another bag of ice, a few bottles of red, quarters for the laundry, and a few other miscellaneous food items to top up our already ample supply.

We spent mid-morning enjoying the last of the good weather. The snorkeling was surprisingly good and the water still clear, although choppy. The surf was up so we hit the waves and did some boogie boarding before lunch.

We grabbed lunch across the street at Coconut’s Fish Cafe. We weren’t expecting much but surprisingly this Zagat rated restaurant serves a formidable mixed fish: ono, ahi, and mahi-mahi fish taco.

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A single order of fish tacos includes 2 of these sea-beasts!

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Mmmm….fis,h tacos

After lunch, we went for more shave ice under the assumption we wouldn’t be able to enjoy any tomorrow.

Our afternoon was spent doing some laundry, and prepping for my mother’s birthday dinner. We had planned on going to dinner on Thursday (during the hurricane) to Ko at the Fairmont Kea Lani for dinner. However, we called the restaurant and they said they’d probably be closed as they are basically an open-air restaurant and it would be impossible to have the restaurant open during the hurricane.

We improvised. I prepared a kalbi-style beef short ribs and grilled Shishito peppers with Hawaiian sea salt as appetizers with chicken, bok choi, and broccoli stir-fry for dinner. Tawny made her famous (made every Hawaiian vacation) old-school time-traveling pineapple upsidedown cake as a birthday cake for my mom. My sister tried to find birthday cake candles but could only find a scented coconut candle. We made it work!

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Pineapple perfection!

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All the kids!

After dinner, my mother shared her ethical will with us with hopes of imparting her pioneer stock wisdom and values on to her grandkids. She handed each of them a value and had them read it aloud:

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Don’t feel entitled to anything you don’t sweat and struggle for.

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Never give up. You can make it no matter what comes. Nothing worth having is ever achieved without a struggle.

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The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

And finally my mother read her own:

“Always remember that you are never alone. You are loved unconditionally.  There is nothing you can ever do or say that can ever take away my love for you all.”

I told my mother that the Goddess Pele herself and the God Kanaloa had perhaps sent Hurricane Lane to either help her blow out all her birthday candles or as a guest worthy of such a momentous birthday party. Either way, she is a divine mother and grandmother to us all worthy of a party with the Gods!

We ate our dessert with the sunset as the rain began. It was perhaps our last sunset for a few days to come.

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Happy Birthday, Mom. I look forward to braving the hurricane with you tomorrow.



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Ziplines and Hurricanes

Monday was another perfect day. Woke to a beautiful morning. Took my young niece and nephew snorkeling and spotted many green sea turtles, moray eels, and octopus amongst all the other fish of the Hawaiian reefs. Then spent the day sunning, swimming, and boogie boarding (as well as a fair amount of drinking and eating).

But all was not well as we started to hear a tale of Hurricane Lane. But it was like 500+ miles away, a weakening category 4, and projected to turn away from the Hawaiian Islands. Most of the locals were talking about the surf being up as a good thing. But it did mean rain later in the week.

We decided we’d plan a Tuesday adventure and go ziplining with Jungle Ziplines. We book the excursion for myself, my wife and daughter, her boyfriend, and my niece and nephew. We all had to run out and buy either closed toed shoes, or long pants, or both to ensure we met their clothing requirements. After a few trips to Ross, we were provisioned to zip.

But then we also realized our rental car was not large enough accommodate six. My mother, wanting us to have fun for her birthday and to live vicariously through us (not wanting to zip line herself) offered for us to get a larger rental car for the day. It would be her treat, so we could all go. We made a few phone calls, got a mini-van through Avis nearby and would pick it up in the morning

Morning came. I rose early and put on the local TV news to catch up on the hurricane. While they thought it would weaken overnight they were now reporting that it had actually strengthened and was still a solid Cat 4. And it was turning towards Hawaii. Hurricane watches were now issued for the Big Island and Maui. The first thing I heard the meteorologist say was “People, this is not a drill. There’s a hurricane coming”.

I woke the family for prepping. We quickly headed across the street to the small local store and bought supplies: Water, a flashlight, some additional food, cold coffee drinks (in case we can’t make coffee we’d still get our fix!), did we have enough booze? Yes!, cash from the ATM, etc. We then checked in with the office. They told us we had 36 or so hours. That they’d give us instructions on how to hunker down if necessary or evacuation instructions. EVACUATION INSTRUCTIONS?! Say what? Basically, it was to make our way to a nearby school as a shelter in the unlikely event it might come to that. We felt prepared. At least enough to go pick up the rental and head out to the ziplines.

The Chrysler Town and Country is a bulbous piece of shit of a van, IMO. It drove terribly and sounded even worse. We loaded up and headed on our way to Jungle Ziplines in the jungle at 50 Waipio Road, but with a quick stop in the hippie/surfer town of Pa’ia first. By the time we got to Pa’ia the transmission started slipping. I couldn’t get the car (an automatic) to shift to anything but first or reverse. I pulled over and call Avis. They were great. “So sorry to hear that. You are close to the airport, do you think you can get it to our main Avis location where you can swap it out? I’ll call ahead and arrange a new car for you”. I dropped my family in Pa’ia to explore and grab lunch and I made a harrowing trip, in first gear, on a highway, near redlining, back to the airport for a swap. They had a car waiting for me and the swap took only minutes. I was really impressed with their customer service. It was a far cry from the miserable experience I had with Hertz and the Fiat 500 I rented in Portugal.

Back on the road, I found my family waiting for me at Flatbread Company in Pa’ia with a fresh flatbed just delivered. It was delicious. We ate up and headed towards the ziplines for a fun-filled day of zipping in the rain.

After successfully zipping our way through 7 courses of jungle foliage in the rain, we set back out for Kihei, but first, we made a quick stop at the Ho’okipa Beach lookout to watch the surfers, boogie-boarders, kite-surfers, and windsurfers taking advantage of the rising swell preceding Hurricane Lane.

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When we got back to Kehei we took advantage of the increasing wind and surf ourselves with a little boogie boarding, body surfing, and skimboarding before dinner.

As we prepared dinner we learned that Hurrican Lane had grown to a Category 5. Tomorrow we’d spend more time preparing for a potential hit or a close call. Either way, we are going to see some storm.

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How to have a perfect day on Maui

We’ve returned to Hale Pau Hana, a favorite spot of ours on Maui, to celebrate my mother’s 75th birthday.

This is a special place for us. We’ve been coming here on and off for the past 40 years. Hale Pau Hana is uniquely placed in Kehei between Kamaole Beach I and Kamaole Beach II. It is one of the few condos in Kihei located on the beach side of busy South Kihei Road. It has everything you want and nothing you don’t. Small enough to feel exclusive, yet remaining unpretentious. Great snorkeling (with turtles and rays) and boogie boarding right out front on a beach of fine Maui sand. But offering enough shade for extended periods of book reading under a palm of your choice, with a nearby pool to cool off in if the drier side of Maui gets too hot (and it is HOT today – over 90º with 82% humidity). There are many stores (grocery and liquor), shops, restaurants and food trucks, and shave ice all across the street. Everything you want and nothing you don’t.

We have this Hale Pau Hana thing down pat and today we followed our typical agenda for a perfect day in Maui.  We started with breakfast on the lanai with Maui Lovebirds and a sunrise over Haleakala before heading to the beach for some morning snorkeling.

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Sunrise over Haleakala

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Sunrise and calm surf on Kamaole Beach II

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Papaya and Avocado

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Breakfast w/Lovebirds

We had a lazy mid-morning sunning ourselves, cooling ourselves in the ocean, reading books, trying out a skim board, and following a turtle that came close to shore.

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For lunch, we walked to Kinaole, a nearby food truck, for chicken katsu, pulled pork sliders, and some coconut shrimp before hitting Beach Street, a local shave ice shack, for dessert.

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Kinaole food truck near Kamaole I

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So much awesome!

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Waiting for our food order

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Chicken katsu and pulled pork sliders

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Tawny’s Shave Ice: Ice cream on the bottom, 1/2 tigers blood 1/2 lilikoi with “snow cap” (sweetened condensed milk)

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My shave ice: Pineapple, Li Hing Mui with Ice Cream, Azuki Beans, Haupia and Lihing Mui Powder

Our afternoon started with Tawny’s preparing her most excellent Mai Tais while I made mango gazpacho for dinner.

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Strong Mai Tais

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Mango gazpacho

My sister and her kids arrived in the late afternoon and we all swam until the Portuguese Man-o-War announcement drove us all from the water. We saw a few dead ones on the beach and thought better about returning to the waves until the winds shift in a day or two.

We had dinner on the lanai at sunset and tried to keep cool as the trade winds subsided with the sun.

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Our evening entertainment was a praying mantis that came to visit our lanai.

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