Home Life and Real Estate Experiences

Aloha All,
 It's close to 40 years since I decided life in Hawaii with it's laid back attitudes, interesting challenges, mixed cultures and varied landscapes was home. It took a long while to understand that Hawaii is much more than a beautiful place to live. The  history of Hawaii's native sons and daughters, offers life's lessons for all. I have a deep respect for how close the Hawaiian people lived to the aina ( land). Now, 40 years later, I have a much deeper understanding of being "Hawaiian at Heart".
Much has changed in Hawaii in these forty years, but the natural beauty that originally drew me here, still takes my breath away.
I look to Haleakala, "House of the Sun", crystal clear, shrouded in clouds or adorned with a white fluffy lei, under all conditions, it's majestic presence fills my heart every day.

My Real Estate business, 
www.homesalesmaui.com  allows me to further explore our beautiful Maui while looking for the perfect match for my clients. Last year I had the amazing good fortune of finding and successfully closing the sale of one of the largest pieces of land sold in Upcountry Maui in recent years. I spent many days tromping around high altitude boundaries of the wooded 350 acres.  Despite the thick underbrush, I really enjoyed the challenge, and am happy to know that much of this land will be replanted with native trees in the future.

Since then, I have closed 2 First Time Home Buyers, both  in Pukalani .  Steven and Kachina, my sweetest clients ever, had this to say about the experience," Working with Cherie was an absolute blessing. She was very much on top of things, honest and hard working. Always available  to answer questions, any day of the week, anytime of the day. She is number 1 in my book." Oh, what a wonderful time we had!

These  were followed by investment property in Wailuku. Then, there were  two gorgeous view properties on the slopes of Haleakala in upper Kula with very unique homes. One was a custom home by local designer, and the other an older Japanese cottage.
             One of my favorite experiences, however, was the most recent closing of a breathtaking 10 acre parcel with a rambling ranch house above Makawao. The south shore and sunset view across the rolling green pastures always made it hard to leave this unique property. I look forward to seeing the fresh energy that my new friends bring to this beautiful property.
The prior elderly owner put many years of love and work into this home, and it's enjoyable to participate in two parties moving on to new life phases.
We all make changes in our lives, and buying and selling our homes is a big transition. It's a sensitive time and my heart and expertise are involved in helping my neighbors.
Finding the perfect match for clients is exciting and very rewarding. 
Maui is beautiful, and living here  is truly a blessing.

Aloha , and I am happy to help with your vacation plans on Maui, or your Real Estate needs.

A hui hou, until later,

Cherie Attix R(S)
Windermere Valley Isle Properties

Haleakala, House of the Sun

Aloha from a Spring day on Maui,

Relief has come and we finally had some trade wind showers. It is raining right now and everything is greening up a bit. It does feel like spring is right around the corner.

I'm posting some beautiful pictures of one of my favorite places on the planet, Haleakala Crater.

The raw moonscape of this volcanic crater draws you in. This picture was taken by a friend of mine, David Frazier, on his early morning journey to the mountain. The dawn of this day held alot of promise as the sunlight stole away the dark blues of early morning.

The Sliding Sands trail is miles of red, black and gray lava rock dotted with the silver sword plants. The silver sword pictures posted were taken by a guest who stayed at the B&B for 5 nights. His name is Klaus Leemann and he is from Switzerland. It was interesting that during his stay there happened to be another guest from Switzerland in the house as well. Breakfast was lively this last week with some really great folks. Klaus took some beautiful photos during his stay, and it seemed that he really enjoyed the time he spent in Haleakala National Park.

Going down this trail is great, coming back up is another story. Because the climb in altitude is significant, it feels a bit like walking through cement coming back up Sliding Sands.
The tough and challenging hike through the crater is something I look forward to. I do have to spend time getting prepared for the 11 mile hike. Although it is a rewarding experience, I am definitely worn out a bit when the hike is over.

I go to Haleakala because it is visually stunning, and because it is magnificently quite. The silence of Haleakala is like no other place I have ever experienced. When you stop walking, the silence is total.......................................................... It empties you out.......... and fills you up. If you spend enough time enjoying the quiet, the layers and mind chatter slip away. The spacious feeling inside the crater, and the profound silence keeps me coming back again and again.

The last photo posted by Klaus was taken at the end of the day. Shadows are growing longer, and the wonderful day on the mountain is coming to a close.

Haleakala is in my backyard, and I am truly blessed.

Come and visit our island home, you will be glad that you did.

Mahalo for the great pictures!

A hui hou folks, see you soon.

Makawao blockparty, fundraiser and art show


This weekend's fun and fundraisers in Makawao were a great success. Two very different and worthy causes drew large crowds at either end of town.

Midtown was featuring a blockparty for the Pacific Cancer Foundation on Maui. There was live music, a silent auction with amazing donations from lots of folks. I bid on a pilates class from my friend's great new OnCore Studio in Makawao.

This was a wonderful community effort to support our breast cancer survivors. All proceeds were donated towards breast cancer education and screening in Hawaii. Desiree from the boutique Pink by Nature did a wonderful job organizing this successful event.

At the far end of Baldwin Ave, near the Makawao Steakhouse, is the fantastic Viewpoints Gallery. They featured the long awaited "Malama Wao Akua" East Maui Watershed art opening. The show was well attended, overflowing with artists, fans, friends and family.

The Haleakala Watershed folks have highlighted their wonderful efforts of conservation of our mountain slopes with this uniquely informative art show. The quality and diversity of the show was very impressive and inspiring. My woodcut and watercolor piece was selected for the show, and you can tell by my smile that I was pretty excited. The image, is the harvesting of Naupaka seeds.

This show will hang for a few weeks, so if you are Upcountry, do stop by and spend some time enjoying the beautiful art at Viewpoints, and learn a few things about where our water comes from.

Honor the aina, take care of each other...

With much Aloha,


Protea Flowers

Protea Flowers on Maui Hawaii


Protea flowers are some of the wildest looking and longest lasting flowers grown in the islands. Today I want to share some photos and information about my favorite protea farmers from Anuhea Farms.

The woody stems and hardy blossoms of the Protea flower will also dry well for longer lasting arrangements. I sometimes use them in holiday wreaths. These are the flowers to bring or send home when you want to make a good impression.

Bill of Anuhea Flowers, Makawao, Maui, HawaiiThe soil and weather conditions of upcountry Maui, much like their native habitat of South Africa, is ideal for growing crops of protea. Dry, windswept slopes of Mt.Haleakala, from Kula through Makawao to Olinda are dotted with the explosive pinks, oranges and yellows of these other-wordly flowers.

Bill and Judy Mertins have been farming proteas in Olinda on the slopes of Haleakala since 1993. Their farm is 15 acres, with over 30 varieties of protea. Judy runs a sweet little retail shop called Anuhea Flowers in Makawao. Their flowers are also available on line, they ship all over, and Hale Ho'okipa Inn site has a link for ordering flowers as well.

A Protea Flower plant grows on the slopes of Haleakala, Maui, HawaiiMy favorite are the bright pink Minks, called Duchess, talk about a sexy flower!! I also like the Maui Gold of the Pincushion variety. Their color is so vibrant, they really brighten up an arrangement...and look great standing alone. These are the King variety, the largest blossom.

Aunhea Farms has offered a farm tour in the past, including a historical presentation by Dorothy Pyle, professor of history at MCC. Dorothy is a treasure trove of local historical information. They are prepared to offer a tour if a group of 12 or more are interested with advance notice. It's a great tour.

Many wonderful books are available on the flowers of Hawaii. Proteas in Hawaii by Paul Wood and Ron Dahlquist is an amazing photo journal and story of these colorful wonders. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in botanicals.

It's evident I love promoting our local farmers, merchants, authors and artists... Maui produces the "cream of the crop" and Anuhea Farms is another fine example of "All Things Maui"!

So, brighten up your day, several actually, with some protea from the sunny slopes of Maui.

Protea flowers in a field of protea flowers on Mount Haleakala, Maui, HawaiiAloha for now...the trade winds are blowing today, keeping it fresh!


Haleakala planting and restoration

Haleakala Maui Hawaii dry land forest restorationAloha,

The slopes of Haleakala are the backbone of our beautiful island. This majestic mountain is my anchor. I stop many times a day to gaze up the slopes to the crater. Sometimes shrouded in mist, often in full glory "The House of the Sun" rises up to the brilliant blue sky.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to give back to the mountain I love. Since 2000, the Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership has planted over 52,000 native plants in the dry-land forests of Haleakala.

Volunteers on Maui HawaiiUnder the guidance of Art Mederios over 2,700 volunteers and the dedicated staff of LHWRP are making a difference. The first Auwahi exclosure is now a functional native ecosystem.

The native 'A'ali'i ,being a fast growing understory species, is planted first to shade out the African Kikuyu grass. This sturdy seedling grows fast and strong, dropping it's leaves to help produce the appropriate soil climate for the other natives to fill in.

I had the honor of planting the Kauila tree, a rare native Hawaiian tree found in the dry-land forests. The Kauila tree was an important tree to the Hawaiians. The dense native wood sinks in water and was formerly valued by the early Hawaiians for spears and tapa beaters. Because Auwahi is surrounded by a high fence, I know this seedling will grow big and strong, protected from the cattle, deer, horses and boar of the high slopes.

The reforestation projects attracts a variety of people including the Maui youth from Americorps. Art is a wealth of information, and he feels it is important to pass his knowledge on to the youth of our islands. Voluntourism in Hawaii - volunteer on vacationThese hard working young adults were a delight to listen to as they were being quizzed by Art throughout the day about the properties and Latin names of the trees we were planting. Their desire to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture through their efforts was evident.

We drove through "na ulu" the low clouds of the forest to 3800' elevation with magnificent views of the ocean below. It was a wild and bumpy ride up the slopes of Ulupalakua ranch.

Orange Lichen on Mount Haleakala, Maui, HawaiiThe beautiful orange lichen growing on a low branch is one type of the approximately 110 species of lichen. The dry-land forest is one of the richest spots for lichen in the world. Rare native spiders live inside the safe haven of the lichen.

This month's O magazine features four hotels in the world that promote voluntourism. My voluntourism program caught their eye, and I had the good fortune to be chosen for their magazine article. I was pretty excited to spread the word in Oprah's magazine. Offering our visitors the opportunity to participate in some really amazing experiences is very rewarding.

Volunteer tourists help restore native Hawaiian species to Mount Haleakala, Maui, HawaiiSteffan, and his godson from Germany, joined the group for the planting on Saturday. This was his second time planting with LHWRP, he came back for more! To thank all those visitors who come and give their time and effort to our aina, and to encourage more to do so, I am offering a 10% discount on their stay at Hale Ho'okipa.

So, here's to volunteering, and enjoying all the wonderful fruits of our labor.

Malama Maui, and mahalo to all who do so....


SnowBird Special

Haleakala Sunrise Picture
Aloha from Beautiful Upcountry,

Check out this morning's sunrise over Haleakala. On my way across the yard to make breakfast this morning, I did a double take on the sky, and turned back around to grab my camera. There was a Kona storm brewing, and the sunrise was spectacular. The quality of light in Hawaii is every artists dream. The natural beauty of upcountry is truly inspirational.

This past week I have had three sets of guests from Alaska. I shivered when I listened to their stories of extreme weather. Yikes, I am definitely a fair weather bird at this point in life. They oohhed and aahhed over my breakfasts all week. I served fresh banana, the sweetest you've ever tried, and the season's first Cherimoyas, and of course, loads of lilikoi, passion fruit. All this luscious bounty is from my garden.

My guests mentioned that Alaska Airlines is now offering more flights to Maui. In celebration of this, I am offering a discount to all snowbirds who book their accommodations before Christmas Day. Tell me how cold it is where you live, and I will give you an 8% discount off the price of your room before tax...that will certainly get you some great fish lunches at my favorite, Paia Fish Market. These folks prepare a perfect mahi-mahi plate. Take it from me, an old Kona fisherperson(!?) who prepared fish dishes for my family 7 days a week. "Ono", as we say (delicious).

So, hang up your winter coats, dig out your rubber slippers, and book a flight to Maui!

A hui ho, see you soon!

Hawaiian Nene Goose, Haleakala National Park


I wanted to share a great photo of the endangered Hawaiian Nene goose that I recently took on a hike in the Haleakala National Park. I spotted these geese at the bottom of the switch back trail in the late morning. It was a wonderful site, and this is what keeps me getting up early and putting my hiking boots on.

The Nene goose was re-introduced on Maui in the early 1960's. Prior to this reintroduction, Maui did not have any nene left. In the mid 1900's there were less than 30 Nene in Hawaii. Before the arrival of Capt. Cook, there were an estimated 25,000 Nene in the islands. Now, there are approximately 2,000 Nene in the state of Hawaii. Hopefully the population will continue to grow.

The Nene goose is the Hawaii state bird. It is classified by the State and Federal governments as an endangered species. In 1907, a hunting ban was passed. Nene are non migratory, and the only goose endemic to Hawaii. The habitat for the Nene is the dry grass areas, and dry-land forests of the island. The goose consumes berries for it's water intake. The Nene's nest is on the ground, and the eggs and gooslings are being threatened by the mongoose. The clutch size is between 2-5 eggs. It's egg laying season is Oct. to Feb. The Nene has the longest nesting season of any wild goose.The male and female birds are nearly identical, with the male being larger in size. They normally grow to 5 1/2 lbs.

In the Haleakala National Park, sometimes Nene can be seen in the upper parking lot area around 8,000 feet. The birds are almost too tame. If you are lucky enough to see one, please do not get too close, nor feed them, or give them water.

Pi'iholo Ranch, a wonderful place to experience upcountry horse back riding, provides a Nene habitat for birds that were raised by the Maui Bird Conservation Center. To learn more about Piiholo Ranch, visit www.piiholoranch.com The DLNR has chosen a few areas in the state to re-introduce and monitor the Nene population.

OK, until next time, a hui ho, and Aloha!