Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guys and Dolls - Fabulous Musical Theatre in Maui

Credits for this photo go to Ray MainsHave to blog about this because there is only one more performance which is Sunday matinee at 3:00 and you can't miss it. We were completley blown away this afternoon after we experienced a production of the classical musical comedy Guys and Dolls produced by a fantastic group of Baldwin High School Thespians under the direction of Linda Carnevale.

The talent and energy of these young people was never ending and the choreographer, Andre Morrisette deserves so much credit for the fabulous dancing and group scenes which were flawlessly executed throughout the whole performance. The orchestra, also high school students displayed exceptional talent, especially the drummer who created so many amazing sound effects. Can't say enough about the talent on this wonderful island of Maui. I hope some of the tourists will take in the local entertainment. Kudos to the whole production staff for an unforgettable show!!! I strongly encourage anyone who enjoys musicals to take in their last show Sunday April 19th at 2:00 PM. Tickets at the door.
P.S. I forgot to mention that the sets were fantastic!!!!! A very professional show!!!!!

Read the review in the Maui News.
Please let us know if you have experienced any other Maui talent during
your vacation on the Valley Isle.

Best Maui Water Aerobics at Kihei Aquatic Center

In this blog I would like to share with tourists and locals, one of the best kept secrets on Maui. A friend introduced me to water aerobics at the Kihei Aquatic Center last Fall. Until then I didn't even know that Kihei had a pool, or that it was just a short walk up the road from where we live. I also wasn't aware that the Community Pools in Maui are paid for by the State, so
anyone can use them for no admission fee. The facility itself is amazing, and features an 8 lane 50M Olympic sized competition pool, a 25 X 30 yard warm up pool and a 10 X 30 ft. Keiki pool with fountain.

In my opinion the best water aerobics classes are on each Monday, Wednesday and Friday because on those days, we are fortunate to have Sara Zander as our instructor. Not only is Sara extremely well qualified to teach a wide variety of group exercise programs, but she is also a certified personal trainer and water aerobics instructor. Her experience as a personal trainer, has given her the uncanny knack of modifying the water aerobics exercises to suit everyone's specific needs. For each exercise she always offers at least 3 levels which you can choose from, and then goes the extra mile to help people with specific problems. For example I went to the class with some hip and back issues and Sara lost no time in giving me my very own, hip/back friendly options.

For Sara's classes she recommends the use of an aqua belt, in the deep and also the shallow pool. The reason for this is that it allows you to stay buoyant enough to get the full benefit of each exercise. Wearing the belt also makes some of the exercises more difficult, thus giving you a better workout. During the class we also use water dumbbells and noodles, for upper body, arms, legs and core muscles. Believe me pushing those dumbbells down against the resistance of the water is a great way to firm up those arm muscles and doing "Superman" (underwater flutter kick), with the noodle, is a terrific leg exercise.
My favourite exercise with the noodles is called the chariot race which involves the person at the front using arms to pull the chariot along and the person behind doing Superman. Lots of fun!!!

Sara has the ability to constantly change the exercises so it is never boring and always fun. She also is expert at incorporating Yoga, Pilates and stretch into each session so when you are done, you know that every part of your body has had a workout. The class is mixed with usually at least one or two men in attendance, and attracts locals and tourists alike. I have been going now for almost 6 months and vote Sara Zander's Kihei water aerobics class the best on Maui!

Below is a short Bio on Sara
Sara Zander is originally from Santa Monica, California. She started her training as a group exercise instructor with the YMCA in 2003, where she taught aerobics, stretch, Pilates, and dance classes, as well as specialized exercise classes such as pre-natal, post-partum, cardiac rehab, and Parkinsons. In 2004 she became a certified personal trainer and water aerobics instructor.

In July of 2007, Sara moved to Maui and began work as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor for Powerhouse Gym. Sara now teaches shallow and deep water aerobic classes at the Kihei Community Center pool on Lipoa Street. Her classes are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:30 am. These classes are for everyone over 18 years of age. These classes are free, although donations are welcome. Sara encourages you to come and join in the fun. For more info, contact Sara at (808) 283-7231.

For a link to more community pools on Maui go to the Maui County Website

Would love to hear comments on your favourite water aerobics classes.

A Maui Vacation Rental - just a short walk to the Kihei Aquatic Center

Friday, April 10, 2009

Full Moon Labyrinth Walk at Maui's Sacred Garden of Maliko

On Wednesday evening I drove to Makawao with my friends Joyce, Verity and Terrill, to the Sacred Garden of Maliko. Our purpose was to go on the full moon labyrinth walk, hosted by inspirational speaker/author, Eve Hogan.Eve greeted us with hugs and offered hot chocolate or tea, which was very welcome on that particular chilly night. The sacred garden, is actually a 10,000 sq.ft. greenhouse, once known as Maliko Farms, selling only orchids. Now the nursery has an assortment of beautiful tropical plants, and offers people the ingredients to make their own private sacred gardens.

Eve invited us to have a seat in front of a beautiful massive 600 lb Buddha which was carved from a single piece of Balinese Monkeypod wood. We gathered here so that Eve could tell us a little about the history of labyrinths and to give us guidelines for walking the labyrinth paths. Until very recently I had no idea what a labyrinth actually was, except that the word conjured up the idea of a maze.

Eve told us that the difference between a labyrinth and a maze is that a labyrinth does not trick you as it has only one path leading to the centre and the same path leading out. The idea of the labyrinth originated in Greek Mythology and has been adopted by many cultures as a path of peace, prayer and contemplation. It was interesting to learn that during the crusades of the 13th century, labyrinths offered a safe alternative to going on a pilgrimage, since travel to sacred destinations was much too dangerous.

The Sacred garden has a medieval 11 circuit labyrinth, modeled after the one in the famous Chartres Cathedral in France. This one has a peaceful outside location under the Kukui trees beside a running stream. Inside there is a classic 7 circuit labyrinth and it is a mysterious fact that variations of this labyrinth have been found all over the world.
We learned that the most important guideline while walking the labyrinth is to be aware that everything you feel along the way is a metaphor mirroring the things you have to pay attention to and perhaps amend in your own life. Eve told us that if we experience a feeling or thought that doesn't serve us, then we should let it go and then move on.
The middle of the labyrinth is a place for meditation, contemplation and renewal, and we were encouraged to stay there as long as we felt like. The way back out of the labyrinth is a time to think about the insights that we have had into ourselves and how we might use this knowledge to implement change in our lives.

After the introduction we all went to the outside labyrinth, and each rang a bell as we started the walk. For me the experience evoked a mixture of feelings from insecurity, to confidence and then to joy. The presence of a child running around the path was a wake up call to lighten up and not take yourself so seriously. Afterwards we all met again under the Buddha, so that those who wanted to could share their experiences. Finally Eve told us the fascinating chicken skin story of how she managed to acquire the giant Buddha, which you can read about on her website. (link below)
As we said our goodbyes, I was overcome by an amazing feeling of gratitude, for being able to share this magical evening with my friends, because a beautiful person named Eve created this lovely sacred garden. Walking the labyrinth is an amazing spiritual experience no matter what religious belief you may have.I highly recommend a visit to the Sacred Garden of Maliko, in Makawao, Maui. You can visit any time in the day, and each month Eve hosts the full moon labyrinth walk.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Maui Revealed - Best Maui Travel Guide

Maui Revealed by Andrew Doughty is billed as the ultimate travel guide, and I have to agree whole heartedly. This cleverly written guide, not only gives the traveler to Maui a comprehensive overview of the sights, beaches, activities, restaurants and accommodation that Maui has to offer, but it also is presented in a simple straightforward manner that makes it a necessary book to have at your fingertips.

The beginning of the book, gives basic information about Maui, including some snippets of history and also some useful Hawaiian phrases. It also includes advice on car rentals, weddings, the music of Hawaii, and how to save money on your Maui vacation. Maui Revealed is divided into the various regions of Maui, and the sights in each area. The best thing about this book is that it gives explicit directions to each place, with interesting and sometimes humorous commentary thrown in.

If you want to know the most popular beaches, great snorkeling places, hiking trails or best luau, you will find this information and much more in the Maui Revealed travel guide. The author sometimes has a biased opinion, but that doesn't stop you from seeing and judging for yourself. Most of the time Andrew Doughty is right on the mark, in his analysis of a place or activity.We keep a copy of Maui Revealed in our condo at all times, and believe me it has been very well used by our guests.

We highly recommend Maui Revealed, the ultimate travel guide to the Valley Isle.

Click on the link to buy Maui Revealed at Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook

For links to vacation rentals by owner Maui, visit Ideal Vacation Rentals - Maui

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gian Don's Italian Bistro in Kihei, Maui

We have adopted Gian Don's, an Italian Bistro just a block from our condo, as our neighborhood pub and one of our Favourite Maui Restaurants. The staff is very efficient and a lot of fun, and getting to know the locals at the bar is reminiscent of the TV sit com "Cheers".

The restaurant building is just like a Mediterranean villa with Roman pillars, and has big airy wide open doors, perfect for bringing in the tropical surrounds.

Owner Debbie Defanis, tells us that she named the restaurant after her two grandsons, Gianni and Dant'e and that Gianni's Mom is the main chef in the restaurant. We know from experience what a fabulous chef she is!!!The food is billed as affordable contemporary Italian cuisine with a splash of Maui and it is delicious. My favourite entree is the basil pasta and my husband enjoys the Gian Don's Opakapaka. They also serve wonderful pizza, great appetizers such as brushetta or shrimp scampi and their ceasar salad is to die for!! Check out their menu here.
On Sunday afternoons between 4:30 and 8:30, Gian Don's features Sunset Jazz with various talented musicians. It is here that we met Gord and Joyce, our favourite Maui Jazz Duo. So, If you enjoy live background music and great food, mark Sundays on your calendar.

Billed as Maui's most exclusive restaurant and club party site, you can reserve the restaurant for private functions such as meetings, weddings, and banquets with accommodations for up to 290 people. Smaller groups up to 30 can reserve the patio for private dining.

Gian Don's proudly flies a rainbow flag, the worldwide symbol of the LGBT community and every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday starting at 10:00 PM the place rocks with late night entertainment. For example on Saturday April 11, there will be an Ultra Fab Easter Candy theme party with a Bonnet Contest. Sounds like a blast!!! For more information about this fascinating restaurant visit the Gian Don's website.

A wonderful condo to rent in Kihei is The Maui Garden House.