Sunday, November 28, 2010

History of The Pioneer Inn - Lahaina, Maui

While enjoying a yummy breakfast with my friend at Lahaina's historic Pioneer Inn, we happened to glance at the back of the menu which told quite a colourful story, dating back to 1901, the year that President William McKinley was shot and succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.

As the saga goes, a 6 foot-five 300 pound Englishman named George Freeland, came to Hawaii as a Royal Canadian Mountie with instructions to "get his man". I guess the venture failed so in order to avoid embarrassment back home in Vancouver, he decided to make Hawaii his new hale.
Somehow he managed to convince some local citizens to put up the money in stock shares so he could form "The Pioneer Hotel Co. Ltd." He then went on to build the plantation style hotel after a likeness of a similar structure on the island of Lanai.
This was a time of transition in Maui, when sugar plantations replaced the whaling industry as the primary source of income.
There is much more to the story, so if you want to read all about it, consider eating a meal or staying in this very historic building located at the ocean's edge of Lahaina Harbor in downtown Lahaina.

The old Plantation Inn now operates under "Best Western" offering 34 rooms. The restaurant provides breakfast, lunch, pupus and dinner and is a favourite eating spot in the heart of Lahaina. The manager, Mr. Guerrera was happy to pose for us in front of the restaurant. For more information visit the website of The Pioneer Inn.

You might want to make your base in a local Maui Vacation Rental when you explore Lahaina and area.

Please do not copy any articles or photos from Maui Vacation Guide without obtaining written permission.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Zumba Fitness in Kahului Maui

When my friend Lucy invited me to a special Thanksgiving Day Zumba class this morning I didn't know what I was getting in for except that I had to drag myself out of bed bleary eyed at 6:30 to be at her house in Wailuku at 7:30. After a protein shake to sustain us, we piled into her van but not before she had lent me a special skirt that she said I must wear during the class. The skirt looked something like belly dancer attire, with coin shaped silver bangles all over it. In a daze I tied it around my middle and I guess was all set to wiggle my hips and jingle.

As we made our way to the YMCA, Lucy filled me in on what Zumba was all about. Apparently celebrity fitness trainer "Beto" Perez stumbled on the concept of a fitness approach inspired by Latin music. The story goes that one day he arrived at his class, and realized he had forgotten his music, so he settled for some latin tapes that were handy. He improvised the whole class based on traditional latin dances such as the salsa, cha cha and merengue. From this idea, Zumba, a new revolutionary fitness program was born. Some entrepreneurs started a company that promoted a global Zumba fitness philosophy and voila, it is now here on Maui. Instructors have to take a qualifying course and learn all the universal Zumba steps and dances.
The room was crowded, mainly because it was a special Thanksgiving class and anyone could go as long as they donated canned goods to the food bank.

As Lucy and I crammed ourselves into a corner at the back of the room, the music started up and I desperately tried to follow the steps without hitting the person next to me. We did dance after dance and what a work out it was, with quick breaks for a drink and a much needed hasty wipe off with a towel. I have to say that I was enjoying myself so much and realized that as long as I was moving it didn't really matter if I missed a step or turned the wrong way. I was getting EXERCISE. I have to admit though, that it was a relief when the teacher announced that it was cool down time.
After class Lucy introduced me to the instructor Jean Nagata-Sevilla, who is the Health and Wellness Director at the Maui Family YMCA.

I found out that Zumba is one of many different classes that are offered there, including water aerobics, different types of Yoga, Pilates, Body Sculpting, Power Step, Cardio/Sculpt and more. If you are on a Maui vacation and miss your weekly exercise you can drop in for just $10.00 and if you know someone already in the class you can go 3 times as their guest for free.  Please watch the fun video I took of the class below.

Zumba classes are held Monday and Wednesday 7:00 - 8:00 AM and 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM, Thursday 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM and 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM, and Friday 8:00 - 9:00 AM and 5:30 to 6:30 PM.

For more information visit the YMCA Website

Make your base for Zumba at a Maui Vacation Rental

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kool Time in Upcountry Maui

A huge Mahalo to Travelin' Pat for another great Maui day trip.

Self imposed mandatory walk complete, next on the agenda is an excursion upcountry to Kula Lodge. It is 3000 feet in elevation in a lovely garden setting. I have to admit though, I felt a bit chilly way up there. However it’s a neat place with a restaurant, chalets, a nifty market place and an art gallery featuring local artist Curtis Wilson.
Onward and upward we go and on impulse turn and head to the Alii Kula Lavender farm. It's nestled on the slopes of the Haleakala crater and if I thought it was getting nippy before, add 1000 more feet and my first thought was to rush straight to the gift store and buy a sweatshirt. Alas all they had for sale was every kind of lavender gift you could think of (they grow 45 different varieties) plus an enticing lavender and scone tea. In my mind it is a pretty “cool” spot to see.
Finally, we wind our way along the narrow road toward our last stop, the Tedeschi winery. This time we lose some elevation, now we are down to 2000 feet and all thoughts of buying warmer clothing have vanished from my mind. The air-conditioning comes back on and we drive through astonishingly pretty green hills reminiscent of parts of England. The views are almost too spectacular because with that big ol car of ours too much gawking at the view can be a dangerous thing! Anyway bellied up to the bar for the free wine samples, we tasted a refreshing chardonnay, a fruity red blend and their unique pineapple wine. Happy as heck we head home.

An hour later we are sitting on the ocean shore, glass in hand enjoying the Maui sunset and congratulating ourselves for being so clever as to choose to come to Maui for a vacation.

Make a Maui Vacation Rental your base when you explore Upcountry Maui.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Maui West Side - A Day Trip to Lahaina and Kaanapali

Today I'd like to share with you another article by our friend,Travelin' Pat, who just spent a week with us here in Maui.
Floating along in our gi-normous white 96 Cadi, tropical air blowing in our faces, excitedly we made our way toward Lahaina. On one side the ocean sparkled brightly, car pullouts appear here and there, a perfect view stop for the tourists keen to see a glimpse of whales or have a good look at distant islands. On the mountain side an ancient lava rock wall defines the old road to Lahaina, inviting us to drift back in time and imagine what it must have been like for the old Japanese fellow who travelled daily from Wailuku with his truck loaded with produce. Quite the journey on a rough road with the dust trailing behind and air conditioning still a thing of the future.
Lahaina, once the centre of the 19th c. whaling industry, still retains the flavor of days past. After poking through the shops we climb up to the Cool Cat Café, a 50s themed diner where we luck out with a perfect view seat enabling us to not only see the water but also to gaze down at the gigantic banyan tree that shades the always interesting weekly local arts and crafts bazaar. 
Next off we go to one of my favorite beaches at the Kahekili Beach Park. We wind our way on our sea- side ramble past the luxury open-air hotels, and past all the ensuing action along the way. Talk about lots of things to do! We pass windsurfing lessons, condo sellers, water sliders, bathing beauties, exercisers, massage therapists, paddle boarders, scuba divers, snorkelers, golfers, (breathe Pat) whale watchers, sun bathers, divers, walkers, shoppers, and runners. The area tries so hard to cater to their guests that they even have (cough cough) outside designated smoking areas. I had a twinge as I ambled past the Castaway Café wishing maybe I had waited a bit longer and eaten my lunch there feeling the ocean breeze and relaxing by the water.

 We end up at the Hyatt hotel and pay our respects to Roger the resident Parrot, procure a wave from him and make our way back to the park. Back in the cadi fed up, shopped out and exercised nicely we head home. Another fabulous day in Maui.

Make a Maui Vacation Rental your base for exploring Maui West Side.