Monday, December 30, 2013

Maui's Big Cheese - The Surfing Goat Dairy

Surfing Goat Dairy?  Is it a goat? Is it a surfer? Is it a dairy?  No, it's all three things in one!  Well maybe not the surfing part  but it IS a fantastic goat cheese farm that you might really enjoy..

A hop skip and a jump away from Kihei, the jaunt alone with its views towards the slopes of Mount Haleakala is pretty spectacular.  The Surfing Goat Dairy is one of only two goat dairies in all of Hawaii. It has won many awards and has been around now for over 9 years. In 2008 they were one of three Goat Dairies in North America who got the certification for "Humane raised and handled goats" They don't use any pesticides or herbicides on the farm and the milking goats are fed a special mixture of grains so that the milk is as fresh as it can be.

You can take a casual tour and have some fun interacting with the goats and feeding them.  It is a great family outing and you can watch your kids play with the goat kids!  You can even learn how to milk a goat if you happen to go at milking time....  Everyone is happy and smiling, and even the goats look like they are smiling too! 

Zar was our tour guide and we learned lots of interesting information from how the goats are raised to how they milk the goats to how they make the various cheeses. They keep a daily record on a chalk board of things like milk production, births, breeding, the number of goats in the herd etc.  Zar told us that the day we went there the goat count was 162.

Following the tour we tasted about 5 different flavors of cheese and they were all yummy and not too strong. There was one called "Canada" which has cranberries in it.  Maybe because we are Canadian, this is the one we chose to take home for our Christmas pupu party.
They also make cheese truffles and in the gift store you can buy infused oils, spices, souvenirs and even soaps.

Give it a try sometime.  It's a great day trip and you can combine it with a trip to the Alii Kula Lavender Farm followed by lunch at the Kula Lodge. 
For more information go to the Surfing Goat Dairy website. You can even order cheese and truffles online.
I first came across The Surfing Goat Dairy when I was staying at the terrific Maui Garden House in Kihei.  Wish I was there now.....

Thankyou "Travlin" Pat for contributing to this blog.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Green Sea Turtles Bask in the Sun on a Maui Beach

As we approached a corner section of a secluded Maui beach we saw what appeared from a distance to be quite a few large boulders in different locations on the sand. As we got closer we saw one moving as it made it way out of the ocean and slowly lumber towards the others. We soon realized that the boulders were green sea turtles basking in the late afternoon sun.
"Honu" is the Hawaiian name for turtle and they say if you are lucky enough to see one you will have good luck. Until now I had only seen them while snorkeling and never knew that they actually can come out of the ocean for long periods of time.  We counted 13 turtles in all, but apparently there can be 25 or more on the beach at once.
Naturalists have a few theories as to why the turtles come ashore to sleep on the beach.  One is that basking in the sun allows the cold-blooded turtles to regulate their body temperature or they may just be escaping from shark predators as they enjoy a peaceful rest.

At the site we met Miranda who is a volunteer for Hawaii Wildlife Fund.  This organization has a team consisting of educators, conservationists, scientists, students, communities and donors devoted to the conservation of Hawai'i's fragile marine ecosystems and inhabitants. Miranda was handing out brochures designed to educate the public about turtles. Ho'okuleana is a Hawaiian word which means "to take responsibility" and give the turtles their space so they can rest without harassment.  The rule is that you must stay at least 15 feet away and refrain from using flash photography or making loud noises. Miranda is a Naturalist/Educator and currently works at the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium.  She also has her own business giving private adventure tours around the island. Check her out at Maui Mana Adventures.

On the way home we all felt elated and privileged to have witnessed this amazing natural phenomenon.
Many mahalos "Honu", for making our day!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Clear Bottom Kayaking at Makena Landing in Maui

 Thanks Kay and Andy for sharing another Maui adventure.
Clear bottom kayaking was a good solution for us because there had been two shark attacks near Makena Landing since our arrival in Maui we were apprehensive about a kayak/snorkel adventure.  So my brother and I set out at 8:00 AM after some instruction about water safety and directions for the best areas to paddle.  The orange and green kayak was very sturdy.  It was not long before we sighted a turtle who obligingly swam under our glass bottom kayak.  We also saw lots of reef fish and coral formations.

We could have opted to float around with all of the sea life below but we wanted to paddle too. As we headed in the opposite direction I spotted a fin surface on the water.  "Look, Andy," I said, "a shark!"  The "shark" was actually a dolphin.  In fact there were four dolphins swimming along beside us.  They even talked to us.
The water became somewhat rough so we headed back to look for more turtles. On the way back we saw a couple of parents with their two small children in a kayak, and commented on what a great option clear bottom kayaking is, to enjoy Maui's underwater scene, especially for families or people who don't snorkel.  Our two hours was soon up and Kyle Prescott pulled us into the shore.  We were glad that Kyle and his partner, Derek Brown brought this new activity to Maui this year.
For more information visit the website of Clear Bottom Kayaks.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hiking the Pali Trail between Wailuku and Lahaina, Maui

"One of the roughest and most difficult trails imaginable. It is all the way zigzag and winding, up steep, rocky and barren precipices…" Chester Lyman, 1847, tourist.

On Thanksgiving Day, 2013 my brother, Andy, and I started up this "difficult" trail from Ukumehame at 7:30 AM. We had hiked the whole trail two years ago. A friend picked us up at the other end. This time we planned to hike to the top and double back since we did not have anyone to pick us up. By the time we reached the windmills at the top, 1600 feet later, it was getting hot.
My brother Andy admiring the view

As we stopped to drink some water and to admire the fabulous view a jogger joined us. He ran up the trail rather than "hiked" up it as we had! Pali means "cliff, precipice, steep slope, obstacle" but maybe he didn't know the definition.
The trail is marked with points of historical interest. It was hand built before 1825 for horses and foot travel between Wailuku and Lahaina. Around 1900 the trail fell out of use when prisoners built a one-way road at the base of the Pali.
Our round trip took nearly 3 hours to complete. It took me longer to get down than up the boulder paved trail with my 69 year old arthritic knees. Although we did not jog we certainly had a good workout and felt that we could eat a few extra calories of Thanksgiving dinner that evening.

Many Mahalos for this post to my friend Kay from Kelowna BC !

If you are ever in Lahaina on Prison Street you will see an old rusted out 1923 T-Ford Touring car sitting just in front of the old prison, which is now a museum.  The man who originally owned this car delivered produce between Wailuku and Lahaina, on the old Pali trail.  If you don't have the energy to do the hike you can see remnants of the trail on the drive over the Pali before the tunnel and imagine him bumping along and beeping his horn at every turn.
Following is a photo of the old car and a photo of the plaque which tells its history.

If you have hiked the Pali trail we would love to hear comments about your experience.

Read about Hiking the Haleakala Crater, another hike that Kay and Andy did in 2012. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gannon's, Maui for Happy Hour on the Gold Course in Wailea

Our favourite spot on Maui for Happy Hour has to be Gannon's. It is located on the Gold Course in Wailea and the sunsets are spectacular from that vantage.
Prices for drinks are slashed and pu pus go for half price. What could be better than this?  Also the Happy Hour starts at 3:00 and goes until closing at 9:00 PM.  Of course you can choose to eat dinner there, but we usually find the appies fill us up.
We'll be bringing our company here for sure and we'll tell all the guests of our Maui Garden House about it too. We are so grateful for our Maui life!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Maui

I came across these two unusual looking island birds so thought I would share.  We don't have anything in Canada that compares.  Thanks Sunny for sharing them with me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Maui friends!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Maui Snorkeling Guide eBook

Snorkeling is one of my favourite activities when we are on the island every winter. There are so many places to choose from. A couple of years ago I wrote about six of my favourite picks on the post  Best Snorkeling Spots on Maui.
I have since found a great resource which I highly recommend to both beginner and experienced snorkelers.  Galen and Nicole's Maui Snorkeling Guide eBook contains a wealth of information including not only a thorough review of Maui Snorkeling Locations with maps and driving directions but it also covers water safety, coral reef etiquette and tips on equipment and underwater photography. A plus is that it contains a very cool fish guide with colour photos.  The eBook is user friendly and easy to download as a pdf file. You can even download it onto a mobile device that you take with you on your excursions.
I am excited because I found that there are many places to snorkel on Maui that I still haven't experienced. I can't wait to use my  Snorkeling Guide eBook when I get back to Maui.
Thank you Galen and Nicole. You did a marvellous job of creating this guide and I'm sure you had fun doing it!!


If you are going to Maui in late Sept to Oct 13, we still have availability in our Maui Garden House.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Maui Jazzercise Classes Are Finally Here

Thankyou Lucy for providing the following information about the new Jazzercise classes on Maui. 

"I’ve been waiting for EIGHT years for Jazzercise to come to Maui and finally it has arrived! YAY!
If you aren’t familiar with Jazzercise, it is really a great overall workout.  When I was attending regularly, I was in the best shape ever! 
They have spent many years perfecting Jazzercise and I find the workout to be fun and not boring at all and it works every part of your body without stressing joints etc.  Kind of like Zumba but I enjoy the music much more and, because Jazzercise uses bands/weights etc., it includes a strength training element not available with Zumba. 

Maui Jazzercise Instructor, Nicole Ayala
The instructor, Nicole Ayala is also a personal trainer at the gym called “Reps”.  This Gym is exclusive “by appointment only” (did I say exclusive?…  I saw Steven Tyler there last night!) And the location is very convenient especially for those of you who live in Kihei/Wailea.  The Wailea classes are held on Saturday mornings at 8:00 AM Tuesday, 10:00 AM and on Thursday evenings at 5:30.
Nicole will also be starting classes in Wailuku on May 1,2013.  They will be held at the Maui Unity Church on High Street, every Monday and Wednesday at 4:30 PM. I am so happy because I can walk there and won't have to drive all the way to Wailea.

Here is a link to the Jazzercise Website.  You will find more information about Jazzercise and you will be able to search for locations worldwide, where the classes are held.  

Thanks again Lucy for this info. I can't wait to get back on Maui and try this out.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Vacation at the Maui Garden House in Kihei

The following is another post is by our guest writer Pat Anderson Thankyou Pat!

It’s February and I am in Hawaii, Kihei Maui to be precise. I know I’s a dirty job and all that. Maui is a place where the sea is always blue, the sand is soft and warm, and the sun a welcome golden light.

As I was lounging on my deck surveying the lush landscape below I started to think about all the families here and what a great place this is for a family holiday. There are oodles of things to do for everyone and I pretty much can guarantee that the weather is warmer and more consistent than where you are at the moment.... I've been entertained just watching all the kids playing on the beach having a blast. It's a bit of a miracle I know but so far have only heard one kid crying. Something to do with ice cream I think! Kids are just too busy having fun to do much fussing. I would love to come here with my grandkids one day.

I, however, am not here with children and am having a wonderful time regardless. We are staying at the Maui Garden House booked through and it is a perfect fit for us.
It has 2 bedrooms 2 bathrooms, pool, hot tub, BBQ area and only 60 seconds from having our wine on the beach at sunset. Gotta love it! I've heard through the grape vine that due to a cancellation there is still some availability in March and April.

Anyway, Aaron and I explored the Kula botanical Gardens and was that ever something! Some of these exotic flowers look like they could be in a Harry Potter movie. Every time I come here I get to do something I didn't do before. Here are some pictures to enjoy. Aloha



Thankyou Pat for sharing these fabulous photos!!!!!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hana Day Trip - A Top Ten on Maui

The following post was contributed by our guest writer Pat Anderson.  Thanks Pat for sharing your story.
Alice White
Our destination for the day is Hana.  So we hopped in the enormous Cadillac (now named Alice White) and hit the road.  As we gained elevation the weather shifted, a light rain started and a misty shroud slipped in to hang over the mountains creating a slightly mystical atmosphere.  The road was scarily narrow; these things can give those wee little roads in Ireland a run for their money!  As we lurched along through the hairpin curves and one lane bridges, I was riding shot gun so I was very busy flinching, gasping and jamming down my passenger side brake pedal...was it possible to have any bigger of a car on that road???

Everywhere the scenery was lush and green and enchanting and I felt like I had somehow stumbled onto the island of Dr Moreau.  Remember that movie?  HG Wells flick with Burt Lancaster cast as the evil Dr Moreau and cute Michael York as the ship wrecked sailor who ends up on the Island?  At first he is elated to be there but then to his horror he discovers that that Dr Moreau is conducting these diabolical experiments meshing animals and humans together.  Of course it all goes terribly wrong….  I loved that movie!  Well this isn’t really like that, but the lushness of it all and the island thing stimulated my memory…

Just outside of Hana we picked up a hitchhiker and he told us that the word Hana means work.  He also said it is a ton of work to keep your car from rusting, and the houses from rotting and keep yourself safe from all the tourists on the crazy road ….

Wonderful Vistas
It is a fabulous day trip!