Tag Archives | Maui

Musings on Maui

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Calm after the storm

KULA  “Calm After The Storm” Photo via @ErikBlair of www.erikeverywhere.com

Musing on the storm before, during and after.

It was interesting the amount of preparation people on Maui did for these hurricane Iselle and Julio.  It was quite entertaining seeing so many photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter about long lines at Costco and empty shelves at Safeway. Even my boss who usually does not post on social media channels posted about it. What a hoot!   There was a bit of a panic buying, but then again, everyone wants to be prepared.

The school were cancelled.  Many of the offices sent their employees home early as well.

Then we waited, and waited.  It did not even rain in Kihei till the day after Iselle was supposed to hit Maui. Later we found out that Upcountry had a lot of rain and crazy wind that night, and there were some damages in Ulupakalua area. Considering what the Big Island Hawaii had experienced, Maui’s storm experience was mild. For that we are thankful. Now praying for quick recovery of the Big Island.

So was the 2 days cancellation of school a fail? Was the storing up of food ad water a fail?  In my book, it’s absolutely not.  Storms and hurricanes are have a mind of their own. It’s hard to precisely predict what is going to happen.  I remember one year when DOE did not cancel school, then it rained hard in the middle of the day, and then there were power outages, and there were chaos among parents trying to pick up their kids from school. That was a disaster.  So canceling  the school due to a weather forecast saying that a hurricane is hitting Maui is good in my opinion.

Musing on my new job.

Well, it’s not so new anymore. I have been with Wailea Realty for 3 months now.  Sometimes I still can’t believe that his hobby/passion of mine turned into a career/job. Friends always ask, how’s your new job? Are you still liking it? The answer is yes. My new job is great and yes I am still liking it. Who wouldn’t want to get paid  cruising Facebook and the Internet? ha ha.  OK, this job is not for everyone, and not everyone will enjoy what I am doing.  For me it’s great to be able to talk about Maui as part of my job. Of course I do more than cruise the internet, but it’s a fun part of the job. It is quite fulfilling too. Check out the comments on this Facebook Post when you get a chance and see how friends on the internet appreciates what I do :)

Musing on my kids and family.

When I started blogging, my kids were little  and  young. Now they are tall and teenagers.  Will I still be blogging when they turn into adults and then have a kids of their own? Ha! I would be a grandma blogger.  The question is, would blogging still be existing by then?  I wonder what other technology with come up.

Musing on Blogging.

Speaking of blogging, did any of you noticed that there was no “Best Local Blog on Maui” category in the recent Best Of Maui 2014?  I initially wanted to ask why, but then the more I thought about it, the more I feel I shouldn’t ask why.  I decided to apply the wisdom of Yoda as in this scene:

Luke: But tell me why I can’t… Yoda: No, no, there is no why. Nothing more will I teach you today. Clear your mind of questions.

 

Well, there goes the musings. Thank you for reading along. Hopefully this will jumpstart the blog and I will regularly blogging again.  However, if at any point in time I become MIA again, know that you will find me at Wailea Realty’s Maui Blog.

A hui hou!

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Hawai‘i State Chili Championship Cookoff on Sunday, July 20 at Ulupalakua Ranch – Come for a Sunday Drive

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Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 10.34.05 AM

Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill, along with Shaka Pops Maui and Maui’s Winery, invites the public to come on up to beautiful Upcountry Maui for the 2nd Annual CASI Hawai‘i State Chili Championship Cookoff on Sunday, July 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The cookoff, which is sanctioned by the nonprofit Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI), debuted last year at the Ulupalakua Ranch Store and was so successful that the organizers decided to expand this year’s event and make it part of the Ulupalakua Sunday Drive series, with proceeds again benefiting the Maui 4-H Livestock Association.

Chili Cook Off

As anyone knows who’s “come on up” for a Sunday Drive, the day is all about fantastic live music! Maui’s own Country Knights will be performing on the beautiful grounds of Maui’s Winery. The Knights are good-time island favorites, featuring Herb Andrews on vocals and guitar, Rob Loney on bass, and Jon Melia on drums. They perform at many major resort conventions here in Hawai‘i, with music described as having a relaxing, island-style country feel, especially their most frequently requested original song “Maui, You’re On My Mind.” The Knights will perform from 11 to 3 p.m.

Maui News Maui Scene Pic

Over at the Ranch Store, Bradda Francis will entertain from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bradda Francis has been called “the Hawaiian Elvis” for good reason. A full Native Hawaiian, he has a deep, rich voice that can transition into many different styles (and he can also sing in seven different languages!). Maui audiences especially love his authentic Hawaiian melodies, and you’ll hear plenty of those at the Sunday Drive event.

BraddaFrancis

Just as hot as the music that’s playing on the Ranch is the lunch that’s cooking on the Grill. Executive Chef Will Munder has created a spicy new menu that’s all about chiles in all shapes and sizes. Try the Anaheim Chile Enchiladas with Queso Fresco, or Steak Tacos with Pasilla Pepper Salsa. From the Hawaiian Chile Pepper Croutons in the famous Caesar Salad, to the Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos you can order on the side, to the Red or Green Ranchero Sauce you can add to your Elk Burger, it’s a day full of flavor and spice. Yes, and that includes dessert: Ancho Chile Pepper & Double Chocolate Tarte with Cinnamon Whip Crème—¡ay, caramba!

The event also marks the debut of Ulupalakua Ranch Store’s own Pulehu BBQ Sauce and No Bull Hot Sauce, newly bottled, labeled and on sale. Like everything else at Ulupalakua, the sauces are all made from local ingredients and created fresh in-house. If you love what you taste, take some home with you!

Shaka Pops for Chili Cook Off

The chili cookoff was brought to Maui by husband and wife chili enthusiasts Larry Lutz and Christine Vestfals—the makers of Shaka Pops Maui. These handmade, natural Hawaiian ice pops are the perfect way to cool down after a bowl of hot chili. (Unless you’re trying the Spicy Mayan Chocolate pop, made with fiery chili spices just for the event!) How many pops can you eat? That will be the question during the Shaka Pop-Eating Competition at the Ranch Store. Keiki from Maui 4-H will be selling pops, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the 4-H program.

Popsicle eating contest Maui

Just across the road at the King’s Cottage Tasting Room, Maui’s Winery is offering new kama‘aina pricing all day for all visitors. The Winery recently brought home two prestigious medals from the 2014 Los Angeles International Wine Competition: a Gold for the lively and elegant Lokelani Sparkling Rosé, and a Silver for the layered and intriguing 2011 Plantation Red. In celebration of these triumphs, the Winery is offering low celebratory pricing on both wines just for the day.

Lokelani-Sparkling-Rose1

Tasting room staff will offer visitors advice on “Pairing with Heat,” with a display of the do’s and don’ts of pairing wine with various levels of spice. “It can be hard to find the perfect marriage between wine and spicy cuisine, where the classic rules of food and wine pairing just do not apply,” says Joseph Hegele, Director of Marketing for Maui’s Winery. “Pairing the wrong wine with spicy food can actually accentuate the heat and impair your palate.”

For the chili cookoff, visitors can purchase a $5 tasting kit to sample the competition from 12:15 to 2 p.m. and place their vote for theirfavorite chili in the People’s Choice category. “Anything goes” for that category, as well as for the Best Restaurant category, so cooks can get creative. Rules are a bit more stringent for the official CASI Rules chili. All three categories require that the chili be cooked onsite the day of the cookoff. A limited number of judging seats are also available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dan MIller

Maui’s own Don Miller of Makawao will be returning to defend his 2013 title, taking on chili aficionados from around the islands. The competition will be spicy, as 2008 Terlingua International Chili Championship (TICC) winner Susan Dean from Johnson City, Texas, and Texas Men’s State Champion Alan Dean will also be competing. Winners will be announced at 3 p.m.

The winning three Hawai‘i resident cooks will be invited to compete at the legendary TICC in Texas on November 1, 2014. Prizes include a hand-painted cookstove donated by Shaka Pops Maui for the first-place Hawai‘i cook, as well as gifts from Ulupalakua Ranch and Maui’s Winery. Last year’s event raised more than $1,600 for Maui 4-H. Ulupalakua Ranch has a long-standing commitment to Maui County’s agriculture community, as well as to the future farmers and ranchers in the Maui 4-H program.

CASI is a major nonprofit organization that raises over $1 million annually for local charities and its scholarship fund, all while promoting chili appreciation.

Poster Chili champsionship Maui

 “We are so proud to welcome the state chili championship here once again,” says Diana Azevedo, manager of Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill. “It’s a wonderful and fun way to bring the community together, and we’re excited to introduce our new line of Ulupalakua Ranch branded food products on this special day!”

For more information, visit www.shakapopsmaui.com/chili.

About Sunday Drive events at Ulupalakua

Ulupalakua hosts twice-yearly Sunday Drive events to share and honor different aspects of this unique historic area. Each event features live music on the beautiful grounds of Maui’s Winery, lunch specials at Ulupalakua Ranch Store, complimentary wine tasting, and opportunities to learn more about the area’s history and culture.

For more information about Sunday Drive events, call toll-free (877) 878-6058. To learn more about Ulupalakua, please visit www.mauiwine.com or www.ulupalakuaranch.com.

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PLEASE KOKUA and support Ulupalakua! Help us keep these events free and open to the public by patronizing the Tasting Room and Ranch Store and by respecting our rules: NO DOGS (for the safety and comfort of all), NO COOLERS (purchase your delicious meal and drinks here in Ulupalakua!) & NO OUTSIDE ALCOHOL (county liquor laws are very strict). Mahalo!

 

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The 2014 Maui Film Festival

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The Maui Film Festival in Wailea, Hawaii.Photo Credit: Maui Film Festival

Film is a beautiful opportunity to learn, to express, to empathize and to progress as a people, especially film done well. Back in my college days Film Studies was part of my degree and I absolutely loved every minute in class! What could be better than watching different movies from diverse genre, spanning across many decades? To top it off my professor was one of those people who could aptly tie history to film to science to politics to religion, effortlessly. While I’m no longer receiving a grade for my study of film, I do still enjoy a broad range of movies and feel blessed to live on Maui where other movie buffs can gather together each year to revel in cinema, food, music and community.

Greg-Poppy-Jennifer-Poppy-Maui

My hubby and I at the 2013 Maui Film Festival.

The 2014 Maui Film Festival is set to happen June 4-8, 2014. Below are the venues available for the festival, and if you’re on island, I highly recommend you check them out:

  • Celestial Cinema: Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course, Wailea, Hawaii.
  • Seaside Cinema, Music Cafe & Sunset Lounge: Grand Wailea, Wailea, Hawaii.
  • Maui Arts and Cultural Center: Castle Theater & McCoy Theater, Kahului, Hawaii.
  • Toes-in-the-Sand Cinema: Wailea Beach, Wailea, Hawaii.

Whether you’re a tourist visiting during the festival or a long-time resident, I encourage you to make attending a priority!

Why you need to go to the Maui Film Festival:

1. An awesome, diverse selection of films. My personal favorites are the surf movies at Celestial Cinema. There’s nothing more amazing than sitting under a blanket of stars on this beautiful Hawaiian island, gathered with other ocean lovers, enjoying surf cinema together.

The Maui Film Festival in Wailea, Hawaii.Photo Credit: Randy Jay Braun

2. Unique, elegant events. I remember my first summer on Maui and all of the ladies in my neighborhood excitedly talking about finally getting to dress up for an event…The Taste of Wailea! Of course, for chocolate lovers there’s The Taste of Chocolate, too!

Taste of Chocolate 1Photo Credit: Randy Jay Braun

3. Movie stars. Yup, our small island boasts our fair share of celebs, and the Maui Film Festival brings in a few more, as they honor several each year with various awards. This year’s award tributes go to the following people: Shep Gordon, Emma Roberts, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Manganiello and Lupita Nyong’o. There are even various Filmmakers Panels, where you get to hear directly from the filmmakers, which is like a dream come true for a gal like me!

How to score a deal on Maui Film Festival tickets:

One word: Volunteer.
I absolutely love volunteering at the Maui Film Festival! Keith Ranney is the festival’s Volunteer Manager and does an excellent job of training, encouraging and bringing lots of aloha to the volunteers and community. If you can spare a few hours of your time, you will be rewarded greatly for your efforts. According to the festival website, “each four-hour volunteer shift entitles you to three movie vouchers good at this year’s festival. An evening at the Celestial Cinema in Wailea requires two vouchers per person, so if you work two shifts, you will have earned an evening at the Celestial Cinema for you and two friends (or 3 nights just for you).” You’ll also get a cool festival t-shirt!

The volunteers create a lei of aloha through their service, attitude & availability to patrons’ needs.
-Keith Ranney, Volunteer Manager

The festival still needs about 200 volunteer shifts to be filled.  The most needed area is 9pm to 1am at the Celestial Cinema. Visit the Maui Film Festival Volunteer page to sign up for your shift and score a deal, i.e. FREE FILM TICKETS!!!

Note: Keiki (12 and under) are admitted FREE to Celestial Cinema at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course on Wednesday, June 4 (Goddess) and Thursday, June 5 (Thundercloud and H2MexicO)!

How to glam it up at the Maui Film Festival:

Taste of Wailea-Randy-Jay-BraunPhoto Credit: Randy Jay Braun

As mentioned before, there are several specialty events in conjunction with the festival. There are also V.I.P. Passes available, so if that’s more of a fit for you, you are certain to enjoy the glamorous offerings the festival provides.

I want people to leave the cinema feeling that something’s been confirmed for them about life.

-Danny Boyle

 

Other cool deets about the Maui Film Festival:

There’s often hula, live music, and wonderful food vendors!

It’s an eco-friendly event!

I will be there!!!

For more information about the Maui Film Festival, including film passes, showings, times, locations and more, please visit Maui Film Festival. If you’re into the social media scene, be sure to use hashtag #MauiFilm for all of your tweets and instagram pics. I hope to see you there…if not this year, then save the date for next year! And hopefully, just as Danny Boyle said, you will leave the cinema feeling that something’s been confirmed for you about life.

Livin’ la vida aloha,
Jennifer Poppy

Jennifer-Poppy-Island-Gypsy-Hawaii

About Jennifer Poppy

Jennifer Poppy is livin’ la vida aloha on Maui, Hawaii. Have you ever held a dream in your heart? One of Jennifer’s came true when she and her family sold their home, their car & their stuff to move to Hawaii! She says this lifelong dream, turned ongoing adventure has been worth it all. She is a freelance writer, public speaker and creative soul. You’ll find her beautiful photography, upcycled furniture projects and stories of island adventures at Island Gypsy Hawaii

 

 

 

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Maui Matsuri 2014: A Festival You Don’t Want to Miss

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Are you ready for the 14th Annual Maui Matsuri festival?

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly contain my excitement! I’ve already started working on a festival checklist, and the event is still a few weeks away!

  1. Charge camera phone for selfies & photo ops with Hello Kitty.
  2. Wear stretchy pants to accommodate food consumption.
  3. Go to the ATM for some spending money.
  4. Get pumped up & work up an appetite (refer back to “wear stretchy pants”).
  5. Bring reusable grocery bags for omiyage (gifts) & take-out food.
  6. Write a blog post about the festival. Check!

Maui Matsuri

“Matsuri” means “Japanese festival,” and the Maui Matsuri incorporates some of the most notable cultural exhibits, educational activities, entertainment and food in order to bring the community together to celebrate Japanese American history, heritage and culture on Maui. The event is produced for the public by a volunteer team, and admission is free.

The official theme of the festival is “kodomo no tame ni” or “for the sake of the children.” Each year, the popularity of Maui Matsuri grows, and there are thousands of people in attendance. Proceeds of the event go to the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui to support the work they do to preserve and perpetuate Japanese culture on Maui.

Maui Matsuri

The 2014 Maui Matsuri festivities will begin on Friday, May 2 for the kickoff event, featuring karaoke, taiko, kendama, obon odori (bon dance) practice, and more from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall center stage.

The festivities continue the following weekend on Friday, May 9 with a storytelling night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College student center (Pilina Building) in Kahului, followed by the actual Maui Matsuri festival on Saturday, May 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College great lawn or courtyard.

This is the first year that Maui Matsuri is introducing the storytelling night on Friday, May 9, and it will feature fables and stories from Hawaii and Japan, including obake (ghost) stories. One of the performers for this event will be Maui’s own “Tita,” radio personality, actress and emcee, Kathy Collins.

Here is a sneak peak into this year’s festival on Saturday, May 10:

  • Onolicious grinds (delicious food). What can be better than being able to savor fresh and tasty poke bowls, bento, abalone, teriyaki, chow fun, poi mochi and shave ice conveniently in one place? You only have to walk a few steps to get to all of these amazing food booths instead of driving all over town.

Maui Matsuri

  • Contests gallore. Maui Matsuri will have the following contests: eating (natto and saimin), hanafuda/sakura (Japanese card game), Cosplay (costume), video-gaming, kendama, and Manga (Japanese comic cartoon or anime) and art drawing. If you are competitive at heart, want to have fun with your friends, or just love to people-watch as others compete for prizes and bragging rights, this part of the festival is definitely for you.
  • Live entertainment and demonstrations. From taiko (Japanese drumming) and karate demonstrations, to Japanese singers like Hikariyama Torao, A.K.A. Tevita Apina (who also just won the karaoke contest at Kawaii Kon, by the way… wow!) and the group Bento Rakugo from Oahu that specializes in magic shows and variety acts. Bento Rakugo also tells obake (ghost) stories and will be performing on Friday, May 9 for the storytelling night.

Maui Matsuri

  • Kodomo (kids) corner. If you are looking for fun for the entire family, this is the place to be! The kids will enjoy a variety of activities, while the adults join in the fun, snap a few pictures, or simply take a moment to savor their chow fun and poi mochi. Some of the activities at this year’s festival include: make your own hachimaki (Japanese headband), gyotaku (fish printing & painting), and Japanese food games such as a colorful dango (rice dumpling) stacking game and takoyaki flipping.
  • Cultural exhibits. Bonsai, Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) Sangetsu flower arranging, Maui Ki-Aikido martial arts, Consulate General of Japan, and the art of calligraphy are just some of the many exhibits you can visit at this year’s festival.
  • Craft booths. Buy local. Support local. Meet local artists, crafters and vendors, many of whom feature Made in Maui or Made in Hawaii products.
  • Obon odori or bon dance (Japanese group dancing). Kickoff the Maui obon season with obon odori on the great lawn. Follow along and join in the dancing dressed as you are. No kimono or happi (pronounced “hoppy”) coat? No problem! T-shirts and rubba slippas welcome.

Maui Matsuri

Arigato (thanks) for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the festival! As the P.R., Marketing & Social Media Chair for Maui Matsuri, I’m sure you will see me there. Look for the gal running around, taking photos, and posting about the event with the rest of our social media team. The other members of our social media team include: Brian Nagami, Jody Yoshida, Sherman Peros, Yuki Lei Sugimura and Kay Fukumoto. If you know any of them, please feel free to say “hi” and stop them for a photo op!

The festival website is www.mauimatsuri.com, and the official hashtag for the event is #MauiMatsuri. There will be 2 Instagram contests this year, and the winners will receive free festival t-shirts, so be sure to like/follow Maui Matsuri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get all the contest announcements.

Kashiko (sincerely yours),

Traci Giordano Silva

Silva GangAbout the Guest Blogger: Traci Giordano Silva is a freelance designer & writer at Miso Creative; partner & marketing specialist at Fukumoto Engineering (FE); PR, marketing & social media chair for Soroptimist Maui & the Maui Matsuri; & blogger & creator of “Life on a Silva Platter,” a whimsical blog focused on finding humor in life’s quirks. She lives on Maui with her hubby Mike & their “kids” (pet cats & dogs). She blogs for fun, loves making new friends in the blogosphere, & enjoys giving back to the community. Blog: www.silvagang.com. Twitter & Instagram: @SilvaGang

 

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