Hanohano O Maui

When I lived on Maui about 40 years ago I was working full-time and became a new wife so I spent most of the time at work or at home and did little traveling or exploring. Years later my perception of Maui was that of small cities like Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina, tourists stops with little for the local population. Now that I’m living on Maui again I’m trying to imagine how I ever had that perception. For some reason I was never aware of how rural Maui really is. It does have its little cities, but most of the island is agriculture, pastureland and forest. It is incredibly verdant. It is a country girls dream.

Today was another of those perfect days that I’ve experienced on Maui this time around. I got up and decided to treat myself to breakfast. So, off I went to a friend-recommended place in upper Kula called Grandma’s Coffee House or Grandma’s Maui Cafe as they have now expanded to menu. What a treat! I had a superior omelet made with fresh basil, fresh Kula tomatoes and feta cheese. So ono! The little place had a continuous stream of people, young moms with babies, families, upcountry cowboys. They had an array of yummy looking pastries, but I refrained for once.

Grandma's Coffee House in Kula, Maui
Grandma’s Coffee House in Kula, Maui

On my way down the mountain I came across a delightful fruit and vegetable stand and made a stop since veggies were on my grocery list. I’m so thankful I did. Not only did I discover Kula strawberries and amazing cucumbers, zucchini, dicon and asparagus, but the proprietor was listening to the country-western station and I now have it programmed on my radio dial! The farm stand was gearing up for Halloween with a soon to be opened pumpkin patch for the keiki. The place was a veritable playground for families with bunnies, bee hives, a Sesame Street garden, picnic tables and sunflowers. When I went to pay for my veggies, I had a $20 and aside that I had almost the exact change less $.20, but the owner just said to catch it on a future run. How great was that?

Kula Farm stand
Kula Farm stand

Sesame Street Garden
Sesame Street Garden

The last part of my perfect day was spent at Iao Valley. This is in the West Maui Mountains which gets 400+ inches of rain a year and supplies most of Maui with its water. Kamehameha I fought for supremacy at this very place in his quest to unite the islands under one rule. It is absolutely stunning in its greenery.
Iao Needle is right in the middle of the valley and is a sight to see.
I finally got someone to snap a photo of me so I had proof that was actually here.
I can’t seem to get away from inclines, but this one I just jogged up without a problem.
There were huge kalo plants, thick laua’e and lau ki in abundance. At one time the valley was planted in kalo, but after the islands were developed by foreigners sugar cane was planted instead.
<img src="https://sewmehawaii.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/dscn0860.jpg?w=300" alt="DSCN0860" width="300" height="224" class="alignleft size-medium ;
Lau ki for wrapping laulau, making lei, flower arrangement, etc.
Lau ki for wrapping laulau, making lei, flower arrangement, etc.

Iao Valley, Maui
Iao Valley, Maui

All is all it was a perfect day and now I get to go to hula and learn how to make a lei po’o of laua’e and ti.


9 thoughts on “Hanohano O Maui

  1. Hi Kiihele, was wondering where you were as I had not seen or heard anything from you in some time. Of course, I have not been on facebook or the internet nearly as much as I was for a while. I must say I have enjoyed your adventures immensely and hope you will continue to share them with everyone. Thanks for a great read.

  2. Maui is quite special. I’m finally coming out of a relatively dark place, but am now seeing the light! I am now working full time and trying to keep my shop afloat so haven’t had a lot of time for by blog. But, I’ve decided to save a little time to myself so this was one of my “perfect days”. Thank you for sticking with me.

    1. Thank you, thank you for the beautiful pictures. I like to garden and the plants were pure delight. Look for me on my website alltheateraspects@weebly.com. You live in a paradise. The entire island looks like a garden. I especially liked the swimming hole because, as you know, I like to swim and haven’t done so in several years. We’ve been going to the beach so I’ll soon get the suit on and venture in up to my knees, or so. You are so busy. So am I, waiting on another possible production. We’ll never quit – right?

      1. No, we’ll never quit. I think it’s important to challenge the brain daily. We have added an “Express” service to our already busy work and are greeting guests at the gates, giving lei, helping with luggage, arranging their shuttle buses, etc. So now instead of only doing walk-up on demand shuttles we are also handling reservations both arrivals and departures from the hotels. It keeps us hoppin’. Unfortunately, I’m back on full time and haven’t had time to even look at my shop which is extremely low on inventory. Thank God I’m still getting a lot of custom work. But, two work schedules is hard.

        Yes, Maui is absolutely gorgeous. It is so rural with a lot of farmland, ranches, sugar cane, gardens. I can’t wait until Spring as I missed our historical jacaranda tree in the front yard blooming. I guess it’s pretty amazing. My landlady has a landscaping business so our yard is just loaded with trees, flowering shrubs, etc. Most of them bloom all year long so it’s really a wonderful place to come home to. It sounds like you are also living in a really nice spot, close to parks, Balboa, etc. I love to hike, but I wish you had been there with me. It was a little daunting going up that switchback!

        Well, I’m off work now and have to go to work here at home so I’ll close for now.

        Keep in touch. Aloha Pumehana,.


        On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM, sewmehawaii

  3. Janet Iokepa

    Hi, Carol!!! I just love your photos and commentary! It’s wonderful how much you’re enjoying Maui and your life there. I am grateful for your blog, so I keep up with you! Much love, Janet

    1. Hi Janet,

      Thanks for keeping up because I’m sure not! I’m back to working full time again. One of our girls went away to college and we added a new “Express Shuttle” which greets at the gate, gives lei, collects luggage, arranges for transportation to the hotels, etc. It’s an added dimension to the “on demand, walk on shuttles”. I enjoy the work and am good at it, but my shop is sorely lacking in inventory because I’ve not had the time to replenish it. I’ve had a ton of custom work and I’ve sold just about everything in the shop. Today I have a day off and I will probably spend most of it sewing blouses for a 20 blouse order of which I’m done with six and only have about a week left before they’re due. But, as you can see, I’ve been able to make a little time for exploring and yes, I do love this island. It’s so lush and rural. My next trips planned are to Hana, Kealia Bird Sanctuary and the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium. And, one of these days I would like to go to Lahaina again and see the play Ualena which is a hula, chant, storytelling musical play (mostly for tourists but I think I would enjoy it as well as I’m still sort of a tourist here). I want to eat at a couple of Kula bistros, get piecrust manju from Home Maid Bakery and go to the big swap meet at the UH of Maui. There is a lot to do here, but I have to find the time to do it all…a little at a time.

      I have a big performance coming next month. We are dancing live to Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu which is a little scary! And, also live to Na Hoa which were the big Hoku Hanohano award winners this year. Unfortunately, it’s our annual fundraiser and I have to sell tickets–$40 each! Yikes! The only people I know on Maui are Keith and his family and of course, the 20 somethings I work with who don’t give a rip about Hawaiian culture. If all kids were like this, the culture would be doomed! I also have to donate two silent auction things, but that’s not a problem as I can make two pa’u sets, one for an adult and one for a keiki. And, to top it off I have to be on a committee. Where I will find the time is beyond me.

      Keep reading my blog (it won’t be long hopefully before I add something). And, let me know what you’re up to, especially now that you are a new grandma again!



  4. Carole Wille

    Thank you, Kiihele, for transporting me back to the magical island of Maui. I love driving up country–cows, horses, beautiful vistas, gardens overflowing with fresh produce, beautiful flowers, on and on. I appreciated connecting with you on Etsy (blouse order) and after reading this blog I feel like I know your heart.

    Ke Aloha,

    1. Thank you so much Carole. I’m new to Maui, but I’m finding it so incredibly beautiful. I live upcountry in Kula and everyday I seem to find a new something to take my breath away. Of course, all of the islands have their own special wonders. Today at work a couple from my church in Hilo came to say hi while I was at work. I miss them and had to hold back tears. I hope one day to find friends on Maui that are as special as those I have on the Big Isle. I have a lot more photos to post on my blog but right now I’m so swamped that I’m working about 70hrs. a week both at my “work job” and my own home job. Whew! Hopefully I will catch up soon. Mahalo for reading and responding. I appreciate it.

      On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM, sewmehawaii

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