Maui Reflectons...

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty NRDS # 146013739

 The Featured Image (above) is from our balcony at the Maui Marriott

Maui Reflections...


Lahaina from the Bay

Originally a tiny fishing village, Lahaina (Hawaiian: “Cruel Sun”) was chosen as the royal capital in 1820 by King Kamehameha II. It remained the capital until 1845, when Honolulu, on Oahu island, replaced it in that role. The Wainee Church Cemetery is sacred to islanders as a burial place for Hawaiian monarchs.


Maui Marriott Gardens

In 2001, Rick and I purchased two weeks of Marriott Ocean Club Ownership.  It is a two-bedroom ocean-front unit.  It can be split into a one-bedroom and lockout to get four weeks a year.  This is how we used it for many years until I started working as a Sedona REALTOR®.

After purchasing, we made plans to visit at the end of September 2001.  Well, we all know what happened.  Air travel was suspended, and tourists were trapped on the islands.  Our visit was planned two weeks after air travel was restored.  We decided to go. 

Most visitors canceled their travel.  Only a small number of tourists were on the island.  It was very eerie.  We had reservations at the Four Seasons in Wailea for dinner.  Only two other couples were there.  The Four Seasons had an entire room set up for a financial group out of NYC that had canceled their entire stay.  The management team even gave us a hotel tour because they had only a few guests.

Maui Marriott - relaxation

The last time we visited Maui was in 2015.  We have plans to visit in 2024 right after school gets out to bring Tristan for the first time.  Sadly, it will be a different trip than initially planned. We are heartbroken for the locals and pray for a quick recovery.

Cheeseburger In Paradise

Cheeseburger In Paradise T-shirt taken by RSperry

When arriving on the island, we would stop at Cheeseburgers In Paradise before checking in at the resort!  The image above is from my husband's t-shirt he bought well over a decade ago.

I did hear that the owners plan on rebuilding in the exact location on the water. But, as we know, the historical charm of this whaling village may be lost forever.

Attribution - Pinterest - Lahaina-Family-Vacation

Lauren Gartner and Edna Bayliff opened Cheeseburger In Paradise in 1989 in Lahaina, which dates to the 1700s and features a sprawling banyan tree planted in 1873.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company

Bubba Gumps Closed for good in 2021

My sister and her family came with us back in 2004, and my nephew had a project for school taking pics with "Flat Stanley."  Bubba Gump's closed for good on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021.  This park bench with shoes and a suitcase was a "Kodak" picture moment for many tourists. 

Whale Watching

Whale Watching Tour

The peak time to see whales is from February thru March.  Humpback whales come from the Krill-rich waters of the North Pacific and Alaska areas.  The whales go to the shallow waters between Maui, Lanai, and Molokai to mate and have their offspring.  Watching the babies breach is a fascinating experience.

Whale watching Maui Lahaina

Just about every year, we would take a Pacific Whale Foundation tour.  I have a thousand pics of whales.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of my own pics of whales breaching.  You have to be quick on the trigger!

Mamas Fish House

Mamas Fish House - Maui

Maui's bucket list must include Mama's Fish House. Decades ago, this was a hidden gem, but with the onset of social media, it is no longer.  There is no better place to dine to get that Polynesian experience with the freshest fish and superior service and atmosphere.  Make sure you make reservations far in advance of your travel. 

Mama's Fish House - Sheri Sperry 928-274-7355 for Sedona AZ real estate

The Quirky and Fun Side of Maui

You never know what to expect when you are visiting this island.  Rick and I were walking to the beach in Napili and came across something I have never seen.  I gasped at the size of these abandoned shoes!

gigantic shoes found abandoned in Napili beach

If you are adventurous, you will veer off the beaten path and travel to Hana.  Maybe you will take the unpaved road back through the lava fields.  Suddenly you will come over a small hill and find cows standing on the road.  Maybe you will even see locals selling some Maui-Wowie on the side of the road.

Halloween in Lahaina!

Halloween in Lahaina Maui

If you have ever been to Key West and had the opportunity to enjoy the craziness of Halloween, a Lahiana Halloween celebration is similar.  We decided to check out the PG version of the parade for the kids. I heard about the "adult" version and decided to stay away.  But we did enjoy the "tame" parade...

Lahaina Halloween kids style

Not So Final Thoughts

Rainbow at Wailea Marriott adult pool

The people of Maui will never be out of our thoughts, prayers, and support.  We know people who live there. There isn't a part of the island that we have not visited or hiked.  We love up-country and every part of the island.  We have explored it all.  I have talked to many locals who I have the utmost respect for.

I am still evaluating many options for supporting the Maui community.  One of our Coldwell Banker Realty Sedona agents has a daughter who lives in Maui and is coordinating supplies for the community. 

I also know a family who had a thriving business on Front Street and lost everything.  The business owner took her two children with her to retrieve the day's receipts and never made it to the store.  They were part of the people who had to jump into the ocean to save their lives. They lost everything. 

Rick and I have always considered Maui a second home and are still reeling from this tragic event.  There is a Sedona/Maui connection.  Many of us feel it.

A Need For A Sense of Normalcy...

Besides food, water, and immediate shelter, the community now needs permanent housing and a place where their children can attend school and be with friends.  This should be the focus of the rebuilding effort. 

Aloha Spirit Is Alive and Strong

More Info

Mama's a Rick Sperry image

Comments (58)

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ -  There is a personal connection with the people and businesses in the burn areas.  Our next trip is scheduled after school gets out in late spring so we will be following this closely.  I have a personal connection with one family who lost everything, including their home, and businesses.  The owner was on the way to collect the receipts and her and her children had to jump in the ocean or be burned alive. They are alive.  She had just lost her husband 9 months earlier to a stroke.  I am still numb and can't believe the devastation and loss of life.

Aug 18, 2023 09:21 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi John Juarez,

Thank you so much for putting that list together.  I read it line by line. Each time I saw a business we frequented, a memory would flash into my head.  There are at least 20 on that list of businesses and restaurants we visited every trip we made to Lahaina.

I heard about a few and knew that the rest would be on that list but reading it was very sobering.  Each line with a memory was another stab to the heart.  

I knew the owner of Maui Jewelers well.  She and her children escaped the flames by jumping into the ocean.  Her businesses and home are completely gone.  Ironically, her name is Phoenix.

Aug 18, 2023 10:04 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Carol Williams -

I appreciate you taking the time to read it.  I am praying every day for the entire island community. 

Aug 18, 2023 10:06 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Thank you, Sam Shueh, for this history.  There is so much rich island history.  I am fascinated by how the islands were developed through the migration of Polynesians and Asians.   I have visited every island and love the individual history of each.

Aug 18, 2023 10:11 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - You are so fortunate and blessed to have been able to make one last and very important memory by celebrating your son's 40th birthday in a magical location.  Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts and memories. 

Aug 18, 2023 10:15 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS

Sad, sad but still praying for the people of Maui Sheri Sperry - MCNE® 

Aug 19, 2023 10:43 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Though I have never been to Hawaii, I can only imagine the long lasting devastation from this disaster. Thank you for sharing your experience and prayers continue for those on this island and their family members.

Aug 18, 2023 10:51 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

We have spent a few vacations on Maui and even shared an anniversary dinner at Mamma's Fish House.  The island holds a lot of wonderful memories for us and it just not seem possible that so much destruction has hit the island.  Thank you for writing such a nice tribute about it. 

Aug 18, 2023 03:00 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There’s so much to all of it, and all the things we go through, but once you find your way, you’ll find that you’ll probably grow into a better person

Aug 18, 2023 11:24 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Leanne Smith - Thank you.  I am sure that many on the island are still in survivor mode.  It will take time to heal. 

Aug 19, 2023 09:08 AM
Leanne Smith

I would imagine so and that surviror mode may last for many months. Probably and unfortunately many will have PTSD as well.

Aug 19, 2023 12:04 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Thank you Ray Henson - For those of us who have many memories, there is a deeper sadness, because those memories of the people and places flashback.

Aug 19, 2023 09:14 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I am really upset by these wildfires. This is such an amazing place. How will they rebuild?

Aug 19, 2023 01:21 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Sheri, for this post.

The loss of so many lives is difficult to comprehend.

Aug 19, 2023 01:22 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®  I re-read your post and it is so powerful now with that said the comments are interesting too, Endre

Aug 19, 2023 09:39 PM
Rosalind Nicholas
RE/MAX Condos Plus Corporation, Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Toronto Condo Real Estate Agent, Toronto ON

Thank you for sharing. A few years ago we spent some vacation time in Kihei, and this holiday included a trip out to Lahaina for a ‘luau’ unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances it was cancelled …….. and now we will not see this beautiful place as it was …….

Aug 20, 2023 09:49 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Monday morning, Sheri.

Have a great day and a very productive week.

Aug 21, 2023 07:51 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi, Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty - I hear you.  This will be a slow process because so much needs to be shipped in. 

Aug 21, 2023 08:29 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Roy,

It is so very sad. However, I do beleive in the Aloha Spirit and know that this area will come back. 

Aug 21, 2023 08:31 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Thank you Endre Barath, Jr. for taking the time to reread the post.  I do appreciate it.

Aug 21, 2023 08:32 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Rosalind Nicholas - Thank you for your comment.  Our home resort is about 10 minutes west of Lahaina.  We spent a lot of time there and will miss it dearly. 

Aug 21, 2023 08:34 AM
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent

Thanks for sharing this Sheri!


Sep 10, 2023 12:45 PM