The Featured Image (above) is from our balcony at the Maui Marriott
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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...
Not So Final Thoughts
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.