Friday, June 30, 2006


Flip Flop Fashion

Flip flops are the footgear of choice on Maui, especially the inexpensive rubber ones like "Locals" which you can buy at Longs Drugstores island wide. However, flip flops have become fashionable in Hollywood, and now flip flops are making a fashion statement on the red carpet and in trendy California restaurants. Read this recent article about flip flops from the New York Times.

Now that flip flops are "in", there are certain brands to become familiar with if you want your flip flops to flag others that you're stylin'. Havianas have a cult following. "The name Havaianas (pronounced ah-vai-Yah-nas), Portugese for Hawaiians, was a tribute to America's glamour holiday destination. The addictive nature of these flip flops is largely due to a 42-year old secret rubber formula, which makes them butter-soft, bouncy, flexible and durable."

Looking through their online catalog, I discovered more styles of flip flops than I have ever observed on Maui. This catalog even has flip flop socks for the super those I have never seen on Maui, I promise! What's more, Havianas prices aren't sky high which is amazing considering their cult status.

Another online flip flop brand, Ed Hardy, is more expensive, and you will see styles at Ed Hardy that you won't find anywhere else, so if you want the designer look, this is the place to shop. They have tattoo-like designs with geishas, "Love Kills" and skulls, tigers and kamikaze designs, all with the very visible Ed Hardy name printed on top of each flip flop so that you when you take them off at the door, as is the custom here in Hawaii, someone might notice your branded flip flops. More than likely no one will notice or even care for the upscale flip flop trend hasn't hit Maui yet. However, I will be checking out flip flop fashion all over Maui from now on (as well as doorways) and taking photos to update you on the ff-status and what is REALLY worn here. Who knows--maybe I will discover a Havianas or an Ed Hardy blending in with the Locals. Then I will know for sure California has finally moved to Maui!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Every Dog Has It's Lucky Day

Photo: Flickr

Dreaming of moving or taking a sabbatical on Maui but don't want to leave your beloved pet behind? The dark days are over when Hawaii had a long quarantine for your pets. The state relaxed these longer quarantine laws in 2003, and now according to this site which gives you all the details, the forms and what not, if your pet is "meeting specific pre and post arrival requirements, it may qualify for 5-days-or-less quarantine or direct release at Honolulu International Airport after inspection." No wonder your pet's ears perked up! Can you blame him? He gets to move to the land of milk and honey too!

While living the good life with you on Maui, he/she might need to be left behind while you whizz off for a quick business trip and this is the place I recommend on Maui to take care of your pet while you're away. The Central Maui Animal Clinic is not too far from the airport in Kahului (so you get to kiss your pooch goodbye almost at the last moment before taking off!)...the clinic has outdoor runs, playtime, large kennels, and bills itself as "Maui's Top Pet Resort for Cats & Dogs".

Of course, Maui has some stiff competition when it comes to pet resorts. Read this story from the New York Times titled "What's the Thread Count on My Dog's Bed?" The article lists some of the best resorts and hotels that cater to pets. Read the last paragraph. If someone is smart, they will think up the next money maker: Jets for Pets.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


The Maui Family

As mentioned in yesterday's posting, I would like to introduce you to the Maui community that isn't all pretty-picture-postcard beaches, resorts and upscale restaurants. My intention with this blog is to let you peek into paradise and discover what Real-World Maui is really like. With this in mind, I am going to feature two of my favorite places, tell you why and introduce you to them...just in case you might be needing their services now or someday when you visit or move here.

Brigit and Bernard's Garden Cafe is located on one of the winding streets of the Kahului industrial area, but don't let this location fool you. Because of their gourmet cuisine which features many European, Swiss and German dishes you can find no where else on Maui, this charming bistro is very popular with Europeans and those in the know. B & B has both indoor and outdoor seating under leafy-green trees. It's really quite amazing whom you discover here. I've been dining here for many years (before the word got out and it became packed), and the owner, Bernard has an impressive resume and fabulous food.

Lately they have been opening at 5am, 6am and 9am for the World Cup of Soccer live from Germany with three tv's showing the games, European food and German beer. Now who could beat that for a treat on Maui?

The second photo is of Valley Isle Dry Cleaners located in Kahului on Wakea Avenue. Why did I pick this one? First of all, I know the owner so I'm plugging him. Seriously, if you are a bride bringing your wedding dress to Maui (and the tux too), this is the best place to get your wedding apparel pressed for the big day. Valley Isle Dry Cleaners works with the majority of the upscale resorts on Maui, and it's most likely if you turn your wedding dress over to their valet services at one of these resorts, they will then send it off to this well-established and service-oriented drycleaners. Valley Isle has been in business for twenty years on Maui, and from the kind owner to the counter ladies with lots of smiles on down to the hard-working pressers/cleaners, they are friendly folk with lots of aloha.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Another Favorite Beach...Baby Beach!

As I continue on today with the series of My Favorite Maui Beaches, I would like to introduce you to what locals call "Baby Beach". Actually, there are two Baby Beaches on in Lahaina, and the one you see in the photos here which is located on the North Shore of Maui at the far end of Baldwin Beach.

Here is why this beach is one of my favorites:

Can you see from the photos that there is very shallow, turquoise water protected by a coral reef? This makes this beach a great floating beach for you don't have to be concerned about waves plopping over your head. You can float with ease and feel very safe. Childrean can play in the water or at water's edge and feel unchallenged by the waves too...hence, the name Baby Beach.

This is a rustic beach which you reach by wiggling through the back lanes of Spreckelsville until you park on a red dirt parking area. It's rustic and without toilet facilities, restaurants or any other amenities, but it's fabulous factor is really high. Why? You feel as if you've traveled back into time to a slower Maui. The trees behind the beach are beautiful...the water is pale turquoise and shallow....the people on the beach are mostly locals.

Spreckelsville is a community with older homes not far from the airport and the primary business town of Maui, Kahului. Willie Nelson has a home here. Yet new homes are always being built, as you can see by the above photo.

Since Maui has 81 accessible beaches, I could continue this series for awhile, so I am going to break it up with my next posting of some of my favorite stores on Maui so you can see more of the Real-Time-Maui!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


My Favorite Maui Beaches

As I mentioned in my last posting, I plan to do a series on my favorite beaches on Maui as well as my favorite 'everthing'. My first favorite beach is:

KEAWAKAPU BEACH on Maui's South Shore

and here's why:

Keawakapu Beach sits at the gateway to Wailea, and if you park at the Kihei end in the public parking lot, you can walk the length of this beach easily as it isn't too long and return to have breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Five Palms Restaurant situated in the Mana Kai Maui Hotel or dinner at Sarento's On The Beach.

There is an easy mix of locals and tourists on Keawakapu beach with a choice of a nice broad, grassy area for lounging or a beautiful sandy beach that doesn't get the crashing waves of other beaches (normally, but there is always those days!). Inside the newly renovated Mana Kai Hotel, there is a beauty salon, convenience store and of course, the amazing view from the Five Palms restaurant. The Mana Kai has both condominium and hotel accomodations, a pool, and it isn't as pricey as other resorts in has a comfy, family feel to it.

As you walk barefooted on this beach, you can ogle the multimillion dollar mansions which line the beach. There simply is no other beach on Maui with this many expensive mansions lined up that are easy to walk by. There are beaches with gorgeous resorts (which I will post about later), BUT for mansion-gawking, this beach is the one!

It goes without saying that the water is gorgeous...the scenery is exactly what you have imagined when you dreamed of Maui...and the beach isn't all that congested. There are places you can plop your beach chair/towel down and feel somewhat private, depending upon the day or hour. Keawakapu is a great place to take in a sunset or stroll in the twilight.

Sarento's Restaurant is also open to the elements like the Five Palms Restaurant (although both are covered). It is an elegant, chic Italian dining experience-- one where you will need to get your reservations in early, especially if you want to snag a table upfront for the best sunset viewing from your dinner table.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Speaking of beaches on Maui....

Photo: terragalleria

What is the first thing most people want to do when they land on Maui? The answer is a simple one for me since I have hosted so many visitors in my day: they want to go to the beach! Yes, beaches are a huge draw for visitors to Maui, and thus, I have decided to do a special series on Maui beaches. If you have read an earlier posting of mine, I wrote where Dr. Beach had picked a Maui beach (in Kaanapali) as his number one pick for the best beach in the whole wide world. This got me to thinking...why should he have all the fun at picking beaches? So I am going to pick MY favorite beaches on Maui-- tell you why they are on my list-- and showcase them with beautiful photos so if you don't live on Maui, you may drool on your computer keyboard and imagine you are here.

Who knows? Maybe these beach photos will entice you to buy a ticket and try on one of these beaches for yourself. One word of caution: it happened to me, and it happens to others too. So it could happen to you. It's the matter of the round-trip ticket. The return ticket doesn't make any sense at all, for once you are here, your heart tells you to call work and turn in your resignation, and then you call all your family members, tell them to pack up your stuff, sell your home, and if they want to join you, you will meet them at the airport with a lei.

After I finish with beaches, I am going to pick other favorites, such as my favorite trees, shops, hiking trails, look-outs, people, friendly stores, etc. So hang onto your beachtowels until I finish this series, and you will be prepared to visit Maui.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Far from the Hazy, Lazy Days of Summer

Whew! The four-day summer Maui Film Festival at Wailea ended yesterday. There were so many events and films to choose from at Barry River's annual event that one wishes they could cancel work and only attend every last single one...well almost, but more about that later.

Besides honoring these actors (Joan Allen, Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Yeoh and Jessica Biel) this year with various tributes and awards, there were films, films and more films plus culinary arts celebrations, a sand sculpture contest, a Starry Night MoonDance, a Cosmic Comedy Club and various Filmmakers Panels.

One film which showed at the Marriott Resort with many people I know making a contribution to it, either as producer, director, or documentary subject was the excellent film called "Return to Tibet". It was preceded by a very touching (but somewhat disturbing) animated art short film about a praying mantis that still gives me nightmares.

I skipped the "Taste of Wailea" and the chocolate culinary event which is so tempting and offered every year because I prefer fitting in my skinny jeans and Brazilian bikinis. Now I can get back to work (or do some beach-time)without buying a new wardrobe!

If you want to scope out all the Maui Film Festival goodies, click here.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Hawaiian Ghost Story

Photo: terragalleria

Hawaiian Ghost Story

Patricio lived in Kalihi. One afternoon he is reading
The Honolulu Advertiser and sees a pork sale in Kailua.

Just right kine for lichon. So he takes 'Da Bus' to Kailua
as it was getting dark. By the time he bought the pork,
'Da Bus' was no longer running so he had to walk
back to Kalihi.

It was dark and foggy, and no MO moon. So he starts
walking up the Pali. As he is walking up the Pali with his
bag of pork he sees one car coming an den stop. Without
thinking he gets in the car and closes the door. Only
then did he realize nobody stay behind the wheel!

The car starts very slowly. Patricio looks at the road and sees a
curve coming up. Scared, he starts to pray, "Our Pahder
who art in Heben...", begging for his life. He hasn't come
out of shock when, just before the car hits the curve, a hand
appears from out of the fog, comes thru the
window, and turns DA wheel!

Patricio, paralyzed with terror, watches how the hand appears
every time they approach a curve. He gathers all his strength,
grabs his package of pork, gets out of the slow moving car,
and runs like hell over the Pali all the way to Kalihi.

Sweating and in shock he stops at a Korean bar, orders two shots
of whiskey, and starts telling everybody about the terrifying
experience he just had.

The place goes quiet when they realize Patricio was crying
and wasn't even drunk.

About two hours later two Samoans walk into the same bar
and one says to the other, "Heh, Tuvesi, dat's DA buggah
who wen jump in DA ka when we was pushin' um!"

Friday, June 16, 2006


Bernie's Busy Building

Last evening at the home of Nancy and Tom Vendetti, many Maui folk had the distinct pleasure of listening to the lifestory of a dynamic man, Bernard Krisher. Bernie's a man with a passion and a mission: he's built hundreds of schools in Cambodia and STILL building. As the fundraiser for this enormous and much-needed project, he keeps quite active, even at the age of 75 when many men are retiring. Named by Time Magazine as one of the 2005 "Asia's Heroes", you can read more about Bernie here.

Another excellent article about Bernie's Cambodia project by CNN is here.
This one requires a 9MB, high resolution Windows Media Player.

Here's a brief bio on Bernie:

Moved to Tokyo in 1962 and began his career as a journalist... was the first journalist to interview Hirohito, Japan's wartime emperor... founded the Cambodia Daily (an independent press) in 1993... raised more than $50,000 to ship rice, corn and medical supplies to Korea after their devasting 1994 floods... resides in Tokyo with his wife...travels around wheedling and cajoling others to fund the Cambodia School Project.

Check out these articles and Bernie's project. I'm sure you will come to the same conclusion as did Time magazine. After he worked out a deal with the famed, wealthy British author J. K. Rowling and convinced her to allow a "cut-rate, Khmer-language version of Harry Potter", Time magazine wrote, "Today, Cambodian families can buy their child Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone for 50 cents--thanks to Bernie Krishner's wizardry."

Once you meet Bernie face-to-face, you meet a modern-day Merlin alright, for he has all the elements: charm, humor, compassion, vision, drive, and intelligence.

And if you're in the mood for shopping, be sure to look at these Cambodian products here. Just another of Bernie's many projects, natch!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Hike with me through bamboo

Photos courtesy of: terragalleria

The Great Way has no gate;
there are a thousand paths to it.
If you pass through the barrier,
you walk the universe alone.

- Wu-Men
from the The Enlightened Heart

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Well...Hello Dali!

The word is out...His Holiness The Dalai Lama is coming to Maui in 2007! Of course, I already knew that, but I was sworn to secrecy until the Maui News blabbed it on their June 10th Front Page. You know how that goes! They are the paper of record here on Maui after all. As many of may recall from my earlier postings here on Who's Yo Mama, I journeyed to visit His Holiness at his home in McLeod Ganj, India this March with three others. We had a private audience at his home which is where the original photo was taken. Each of us had the great honor of being photographed with him as he graciously grabbed our hands and held them for the photograph.

Today I decided to do a little of my famous collage work with the original photo and make it Maui tropical (minus me and us). I dressed the Dalai Lama for his Maui visit with a lei around his neck, a palm tree in the background, a compass and the ubiquitous 'Aloha'. I think this art piece has an interesting vintage vibe, don't you? I sense he'll love it here. Who knows? Maybe he'll want to stay on a little for some r & r. Heaven knows, he deserves some. Want to take a look at his schedule?

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Mamas Fish House and Who's Yo Mama git it on

Probably the most celebrated restaurant on Maui (and one of the oldest restaurants as well), the venerable Mama's Fish House on the North Shore of Maui deserves its reputation as one of the finest dining experiences one could brag about on Maui. I will let my photos do the talking. So starting at the beginning when we pulled our car into the valet station, I will walk you through the Mama's scene. I even include the requisite doggy-bag as the end photo because when food is really, really good, one wants to take just a little bit home for a late-night snack, eh? Enjoy this June Full Moon, and perhaps one of these days, you will see my fiction book "Under A Maui Moon" at your neighborhood bookstore, on Amazon and on Oprah! By the way, Oprah and her posse are on Maui this week in case you were wondering what she was up to, but I'm not saying exactly where. I have to hold SOME secrets.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Maui's OWN Fashion Police

I have decided to initiate a new weekly addition, Maui's Own Fashion Police which I am titling SIN POLICE. Since the celebrities have the glorious opportunity to be picked apart in the magazines and on television, I told myself, why not do this on Maui? Thus, I assembled my team of sistahs to be the judges. The Sin Police name is called thus for this reason: S.(Slight) I.(Itsy Bitsy) N.(Nicks). In other words, we don't plan to savage people in the weekly photos... we will nick the unfortunate ones in the photos a little and all in good fun and sporting manner.

Blog-Blond is such a beguiling beoytch that I figured she would be perfect for this job, and when I inquired if she would join us, she said, "At last!" Whatever that means we will soon discover.

The Art of Living and Dying is the bright, studious sistah, and she readily agreed to come on board since she has observed some strange attire on Maui.

Aquamarine is the gentle, flower-child of the bunch, and I debated whether to add her as a judge. I questioned if she might not actually swoon over some of the get-ups that I photographed. In the end, I went with her because she is the softie of the family and felt she might soften some of the harsh comments from Blog-Blond.

Here are their comments and mine on the above photo:

WYM: Uh, maybe he's trying to show-off those shapely legs, ya think?

BB: This is the attire of one on meds. Serious meds!

TAOLAD: When one wears his bathrobe up on one side, this is code to others. They get the message loud and clear if you know what I mean.

A: I like the lavendar's very pretty.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Yet Another Transformation

" I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow." Julia Cameron, author of "The Artists Way"

Who's Yo Mama blog is surfing her way to to a BIGGER audience, and a NEW DAY is dawning for her, my first blog. The success is due to a combination of factors.

First, I have been extremely diligent, spending long hours at the computer learning a whole bunch of new terms and skills...and making multiple mistakes time and again! My alterego Blog-Blond captures some of my angst in an edgy, satirical way which has been very therapeutic for me.

The success is also due to LINKING up to a whole BUNCH of wonderful, helpful new friends and colleagues through the blogosphere. You have taught me so much! And I have to add my gratitude for the blessings of my angels, spirit guides, the spirits of the land, the Ancestors, and the Grace of Mama Maui. The new header due to be installed today by a talented artist will enhance the beauty of Who's Yo Mama many times over. If the new header and design isn't in place by the time you read this, it should be up by tomorrow, so come on back ya'll and take a peek. This artist (I don't know if she wants me to mention her name, so I will wait to see if she signs the blog somewhere!) captures the essence of the Divine Feminine which is palpable here in these Holy Hawaiian Isles.

Mahalo Nui Loa each and every one of you for your nurturance, your readership, your comments and your support. I am ever so grateful! I send out a special Warm Mahalo for close friends and family who have been more than patient with me as I agonized, fretted, stomped and stormed my way through the steep learning curve of the ins-and-outs of the blogosphere. I'm sure my attention on learning hasn't been easy for them. I know I haven't reached the mountain top yet, and I'm merely catching my breath at a plateau where I can see how far I've come. So hang in there with me!

Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono
"The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Ten Ways I Like To Relax

1. Swimming in beautiful clear, clean, blue ocean water or swimming pool

2. Reading current magazines, one after another while sipping chardonnay

3. Meditating in front of my altar

4. Yakking & laughing with a close friend on the phone

5. Reading emails from friends

6. Using my chi machine...ooooohhh it feels so good!

7. Swinging back and forth in my hammock

8. Hot rock massage from my favorite masseuse for 1 1/2 hour

9. Using my private outdoor jacuzzi

10. I think we all know this one, don't we??? :-)

In case others don't know, I was tagged to play Ten on Tuesday.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Just Another Maui Sunday

....with an old dog as doormat, listening to a twosome singing and playing the blues, friends laughing, eating and drinking at Life's A Beach in Kihei.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Come to Yo Mama Nice Kitty

In practically every business or restaurant in Hawaii you will see displayed near the cash register or the front of the establishment the famous Maneki Neko cat, sometimes called the Lucky Beckoning cat. Most often, you will see more than one grouped together, each with various colors and different paws raised. Have you ever wondered about this ubiquitous Japanese lucky talisman? What do the different paws and colors mean?

The tri-colored ones are supposed to be the most lucky while the black ones work to ward off stalkers. The gold ones invite money and success. About 60% of them are lifting up their left paw to beckon customers to enter the store, while the right paws attract money and good fortune. If you want to read more about the lore of these sweet felines, check out this website.And if you want to help fund the animals as I do every Saturday and Sunday, you can purchase some here. The Animal Rescue site has a litter of them in all colors.

I have my own litter surrounding my computer with different paws raised. You've heard the saying,"One can never be too rich, blond or thin." I'd like to change that to: "You can never have enough Maneki Neko cats." Meooooowwww. Come to Yo Mama now!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Wassup on Maui

Will the planned Superferry service in the works and scheduled to begin operating July 1, 2007 be a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? The pros and cons are being hotly debated right now by many folks and groups with different points of view. I just read the free Maui Weekly June 1-7 newspaper where they highlight this story. According to this article, a poll taken by Market Trend Pacific last spring suggests that most Mauians think the Superferry is a good idea. My initial thought was that the ferry would good for many reasons, but then I read on with some uncomfortable feelings.

For instance, on page two it is written that the Superferry will more than likely be regularly used by platoons of military Stryker vehicles. It seems the Superferry would be much cheaper and more efficient for the training of soldiers and transporting their vehicles. That doesn't feel good to me at all. I think of these islands as a peaceful place, even though there has been an invasion of darker energies in the last ten years, a lot of it from crack and the multitude of problems that result from the availability and use of this deadly drug. Stryker vehicles moving back and forth between the islands? Yukky thought.

On page three the possible traffic nightmare is brought up, and this could have serious consequences for Kahului and Wailuku traffic. Maybe it's true what some have been predicting for awhile that Maui will become just as snarled with traffic as Oahu if the Superferry comes to town. One of the many blessings of Maui at this present moment in time is that you can still get around the island fairly fast and easy. We don't have any freeways, and I like it that way.

Also on the front page of the aforementioned tabloid newspaper is an article about the deterioration of the coral reefs in south Maui. This decline of the living coral has been going on for some time, and it's caused by a lot of different abuses, primarily gill nets. These nets have been banned in every other Mainland coastal state, but here they are still being used. The way they work is they are laid over the reef and capture the fish by gills, hence the name. They are made from a plastic substance called monofilament which can break up, and then it kills fish as it decomposes. It can also rise again and do the same thing again and again. Very unkhool.

Another yukky thing (maybe you won't want to eat fish after having read this?) about our fishing practices: the exporters of fish from the Hawaiian waters "use poisons like cyanide to catch the fish at night, then use a hypodermic needle to burst the air bubbles created by the poison." How TOTALLY unkhool is that? The fish are being ripped from the ocean faster than they can be replaced. I don't know if this is going on elsewhere too, but if it is, the thought of becoming a vegetarian is looking mo' bettah. No wonder so many sharks are coming in closer to shores...duh! They're hungry. It makes sense, eh?

I gotta think of some good news to share with you on this beautiful early summer day. You don't just want to read troubling news, right? Ok, here it is: the famous international beach expert "Dr Beach" has announced that D.T. Fleming Beach in Kapalua is America's best beach! Ya see, even though there are Perils in Paradise (read my earlier blog), there are many beautiful beaches, places and people to make it worth sticking around for at least another year or so. We'll see if Paradise is going to remain semi-idyllic or becomes a nightmare like "Lost".

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Monster Arrives on Maui

The Pride of Hawaii, Norweigan Cruise Line's brand-new, most luxurious offering in their fleet, made its inaugural visit to Kahului Harbor on Maui yesterday. So I went down to check it out and marvel at this monster mama. I use the word monster in the most respectful in 'colossal', but not as in 'ugly'!The Pride of Hawaii is a beauty! I'd like to check out this beauty on the seven day, four-island cruise and report back to you dear readers.

Look for the soon-to-be-installed Tip Jar icon upon the sidebar with the Pay Pal donate button below it. This way generous readers will assist me in making my dream come true and inaugurate my monster smile.

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