Packing for Paradise, Maui


As an innkeeper, I've had  lots of opportunity to  interact, advise and share with travelers. Twenty years now of helping folks unload  bleary eyed and weary from their journey, I can spot a seasoned traveler as soon as the trunk pops open.  Out comes  a compact carry- on or a double wide suitcase that barely make it through the front door.

 A seasoned traveler often goes in for the casual look that we in Hawaii have perfected. We are not big on  gaudy resort wear. We like to dress up for dining or the theater, and that means shoes, not  rubber slippers on special occasions.
We always joke that anyone can tell who lives in Hawaii on a chilly day. We are the folks with the Ugg boots, fleece vests and neck scarves on when the temp dips below 70 degrees.
 On winter mornings when I bundle up to walk across the parking lot to make breakfast for guests, only to see the early risers in shorts and t-shirts, I always  chuckle. Honestly though, many folks are happy to have a pair of socks to slip on in the house first thing in the morning. We are Upcountry and having some sort of layer for Upcountry climate is a wise addition to packing.

Haleakala Crater Hiking Needs:
 High top Hiking Boots are recommended. Some like to hike in less rugged footwear, and for these folks, I highly suggest the use of tube socks with the toes cut out to slip over shoes  as a gator to keep out the jagged cinders on the 11 mile trail.
Gortex unlined top layer that repeals rain and blocks wind is very handy as the weather changes all day long while inside the crater.

Haleakala Sunrise visit : I have a few warm jackets of varying sizes for my guests, as well as small fleece blankets for extra wraps. It is very cold at sunrise, bring long pants and layers..but , no need if staying at Hale Ho'okipa Inn to bring a heavy jacket. If you are staying elsewhere, bring a warm outer layer for the mountain peak.

Beach Needs:  Leave the beach towels at home, as they are bulky,  inexpensive and readily available to purchase here. I offer them to my guests, the large hotels also make them available. 
Beach Mats are the best for relaxing on the sand, and can be purchased in variety and grocery stores .  
Sarongs are also great for beach cover ups, work as towels in a pinch, and can be worn in a variety of ways. I must have 20 sarongs and have used them for everything from car seat protectors, to baby blankets and window coverings.
Caps or Visors are really nice to have on the mountain or on the beach, and purchase options are plentiful. The tropical sun is much stronger, so protective head gear is advisable. 
Snorkel Gear is very inexpensive to rent and easily available to purchase.  Plan on getting your gear here to  save lots of packing space and travel lighter.

T-shirts: We wear them anytime and anywhere we can get away with it. No need to bring lots of T-shirts with you, as you can choose from a huge variety of t-shirt purchases on the island. Quality T's are always found in  the many surf shops, as well as  boutiques. 

Camera: No brainer, it's whale season, and in every direction one looks, there is something beautiful to photograph.

Special Food Needs: I can safely say, that  whatever your special food needs may be, you should be able to find it on Maui. Maui is an island where lots of folks who have dietary concerns, live and visit. I have sung the praises of Mana Foods before, and will do so again. Gluten free, Dairy free, Soy free and whatever else is a concern , can be found here. There is also a Costco by the airport for those who want to buy in bulk. I had a guest once who packed a full suitcase of soup cans. I was speechless when I realized that he lugged 25lbs of soup cans across the ocean .

Maui is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We are blessed to live here. 
Visiting our islands is enjoyable and relaxing. Packing for paradise is easy,  and hopefully some of my tips are useful.


North Shore Maui


Ah, just returning home from a great North Shore beach morning.

The crazy tradewinds have finally calmed was howling across the state for several days, with Maui topping off at 71 mile per hour gusts out in Kaupo.

Annie and I walked Baldwin beach, she chased shredded coconut pieces and I hunted for shells. Because of the wild winds, we have not been to the beach for awhile, and we were both missing it. I had my camera in the beach bag and caught a few nice shots on this sunny spring day.

Someone has built a "fort" on the beach with washed up coral pieces. I love the indoor/ outdoor space it creates. It has a bit of a romantic "cast away" sort of look, but is kind of breaking down at this point. The beach is always changing, the tide washes in and out, and the wind blows, covering and uncovering .

I walked quite a ways down the beach enjoying the day. The tide pools were perfect for playing in and enjoying, crystal clear in some areas, and milky blue in other spots.

Some "stoked" kite boarders were out dancing across the waves and flying through the air. It looked like conditions were perfect. Kite boarding is really a spectacular sport to watch. The folks that are accomplished spend a lot of time in the air doing tricks and flips. My stomach lurches watching them from shore.

Kite boarding has gained in popularity in the last few years. I know there is a major learning curve involved in this sport, and it is not my thing, but pretty exciting to watch. I do have a good friend who kite boards on Maui, and also has her own kite school in South America. If you are looking for some "south of the border" adventure and you sail or board, drop me an e-mail and I will get you in touch with Laura.

OK, I've had my fun for today, now back to the business of living and the Hale Ho'okipa Inn.

Aloha for now,


Mahalo means "thank you" in Hawaii...

Mahalo for the crisp air and breezy trade winds that started off our morning.

Mahalo for the awesome winter swell that pounded our North Shores today.

Mahalo for all the Aloha and bounty shared with friends and family.

Mahalo for a great swim and sparkling sunshine on Maui's South Shore.

Mahalo for a brilliant sunset over waving fields of cane grass.

Here's to giving thanks and living in gratitude where ever you are.

Mahalo and Aloha,

Photographs by Cherie Attix (unless otherwise noted).

Aloha Style

Aloha , it's a New Year.. Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! (how-oh-lay-ma-ka-he-key-ho)!!!

The year end saw everybody rushing around, buying lots of food and stocking up on fireworks. Despite being busy, people were still taking time out to talk story and wish their neighbors and friends a happy upcoming new year. This relaxed approach to a hectic time is one of the things I love about Hawaii.

The year started with a bang, as usual in Hawaii. Even though aerial fireworks are illegal, there are plenty in every neighborhood across the state. I saw a little news clip that stated on Oahu, there were over 1,000 illegal fireworks related complaints, with no fines, or tickets issued. I guess nobody like point da finga.

Pretty funny.

Aside from the loud and smokey mayhem at night on the 31st, the beach was a wonderful place to recover and relax on the !st. Lots and lots of folks were enjoying their picnics, the glorious sunshine, visiting with friends and swimming in the ocean. It was a glorious sunny day after a week long winter storm.

So, here's to getting back into the groove.....


May 2009 bring to you, your heart's desire.



Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka!!!

Merry Christmas!!

I'm posting a photo of the Kona coast of the Big Island for all to enjoy.

This beach scene is one of my favorite spots in the entire world...a beach worth walking to on the the Big Island of Hawaii. This place is one to dream about. The sand is white powdered sugar, the water is a beautiful shade of turquoise, and the sun bakes.

A slice of paradise is where I spent my Christmas Eve. I hiked across the lava fields with my grand kids to reach this oasis. We swam and played in the sand, had a picnic, and really enjoyed our adventure.

Wherever you are in the world, may you have a blessed holiday.

Sending warm Alohas. May this holiday season bring families together to celebrate the joy of Love and a life worth living!!