Part 1...The road to Lahaina...Many photos from a great outing in the charming village....


Quaint little shops in Lahaina , mostly pricey are filled with beautiful merchandise.  However, we got a kick out of perusing the shops.  This time, the temptation to make purchases was harder for me to resist than usual, especially the clothing.  There's no room in luggage for a thing.
This morning with clouds steadily rolling in, we spent little time by the pool as we anticipated raindrops at any moment.  The weather in the Hawaiian Islands seems to change quickly, typical for most tropical climates.

Hawaiian tradition is powerful in the island.  It is with great reverence and respect that we attempt to learn a little of their culture.
Never feeling disappointed considering all the sunny days, we hardly complain instead packing up our towels, smart phones and camera to head back inside.

The Humpback Whales come to Hawaii in order to care for their young beginning in December.  We're looking forward to Whale watching once we get to the Big island.
As much as we love going out and about, we are so at ease in this condo and its ocean views, we don't mind being indoors in inclement weather.  Over the past week, almost every day we've turned off the AC, opened both the front screened door and the sliding door on the lanai for a robust breeze that is both comfortable and refreshing.

This netting covers the dangerous rock and lava walls that line both sides of the highway in places where falling rocks had been an issue.  This netting could be used in many other parts of the world with the same hazard.
The temperature seems to vary only a few degrees during daylight hours, from 82F to 89F degrees cooling down to the 70's at night.  Sleeping without AC is the bedroom is no issue at all, although we anticipated it may be when we first arrived.

The first tunnel we've entered since leaving Madeira, Portugal three months ago.
Feeling a bit sluggish from my falling back to sleep for an hour at 8 am this morning, my usual energy level is at bay and for a moment I considered not doing today's post and saving the photos for tomorrow.

On Highway 30, we made our way to Lahaina from Maalaea Beach. a pleasant 40 minute drive including several stops for photos.
Honestly, posting has never been a chore or a burden for me.  Plus, I don't care to miss a day when I've been so diligent about posting everyday in so long I can't remember.  Oh, I may have missed a travel day, a no WiFi day or a "lights out" day here and there in the past year, not much more.  I don't keep track of those.
It wasn't easy to find a parking spot.  When we did, we parked in a strip mall, later to discover when we returned there was a 30 minute limit in the spot we'd chosen.  Luckily, we didn't get a ticket.  Next time, we'll be more observant.
When we arrived in Maui nine days ago, I promised myself that I'd go back to revising the zillions of errors in our posts going all the way back to the beginning on March 15, 2012. This is quite the task with well over 800 post since the onset. 

An authentic Chinese restaurant on Front St. in Lahaina.
In many locations a poor WiFi signal caused number alignment and photo posting errors, some of which are impossible to revise even now with a good signal.  My only choice has been to do the best I can on the revisions and save them, know that the only alternative would be to delete them and that, dear readers, I have no intention of doing.

We've been communication by email with a new reader, lovely Staci from Texas, who started reading every post from the beginning rather than starting at this point.  She's written a few email messages that we've both treasure for her candor and support. 
There was a tiny theatre next door to the authentic Chinese restaurant but it was closed when we walked by.  Apparently, they have videos of Chinese history in Hawaii.

It is for this reason that we'd never want to delete a post.  Keeping the continuity of our travels for new readers or those choosing to go back to the beginning is vital to maintain the flow of the ongoing story.

Each day I revise 20 daily posts which usually takes me from two to three hours.  So far, I've only completed up to and including April 17, 2013 with hundreds more to go. 

Many charming restaurants, most of which have ocean views, offered fresh fish and seafood selections.  Since we had a nice dinner awaiting our return, we decided to return for dinner at our next outing.

Amidst the time and effort it takes to correct the WiFi errors and my own typos and other errors, I've found it interesting reading what we wrote so long ago.  That's not to say that what we've posted is so interesting.  Instead, it speaks to my own curiosity to see how we've changed over these past few years, how we've adapted and how much more tolerant and less fearful we've become. 

From that perspective, I'm motivated to continue on at the 20 posts per day.  If all goes well, I could be finished in five remaining weeks we have in Maui.  That would be a relief, having this project behind me.  Between writing the new posts and correcting the 20 old posts each day, I'm spending no less than five hours a day, often much more when there's many photos to manipulate.

Breathtaking ocean scenery is at every turn.
Even yesterday, when we were gone most of the day, when we returned from Lahaina before dinner, I sat down at my computer and got to work on the corrections, completing them before we finally sat down for dinner which I'd prepped early in the morning.

The street in Lahaina was considerably less busy than when I'd visited this quaint village many years ago before I met Tom.  Each time I'd visited Lahaina it was during the winter months when many more tourists visit the islands.
I suppose that a part of me never really wanted to retire.  In reality, with the business aspects we've included as part of our site, I do have a part time job.  Fortunately, perhaps even oddly, I enjoy it as much today as I did in the beginning. 

Houses and townhouses are not unlike those anywhere else in the US, are located in Lahaina, Maui.
I suppose never tiring of posting is comparable to our ongoing world travels; we enjoy it now as much now as we did in the beginning or, as comparable to us enjoying spending time together; as much as we did in the beginning. 

Good thing that hasn't changed!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 25, 2013:
With candles and lanterns we were prepared in Kenya for the power outage continuing after dark which proved to be for 17 hours. The water had been out the prior day. For details of that date, please click here.

Running late today...We had a amazing outing...

View from an overlook along the highway as we drove to Lahaina, Maui.
We just wanted to inform our readers that we'll be posting later today than usual.  I overslept!   Actually, I awoke during the night  from a disturbing dream about the state of affairs in the world, laying awoke for hours.

This morning when I'm usually writing the day's post, I went back to sleep and just awoke.  The sun is out for only a short time and we're heading to the pool since rain is expected later today.

We'll be back later today with photos from our fun day in Lahaina with some excellent photos!

See you soon!

Today, we're heading out to explore...

The sun reflecting on the beach in the late afternoon.  At the top of the hill, there are numerous windmills, a common sight in Hawaii.
We've been anxious to get out and about to check out Maui.  Soon, we'll be on the road heading toward the popular Lahaina and Whaler's Village, places I'd visited over 26 years ago and have been excited to see once again.

We've been sitting in these chaise lounges with our backs to the pool enabling us to watch the beach during the daily 40 minutes we spend in the sun.
Most assuredly, this location is popular with tourists and will be crowded.  Going earlier in the day will be to our advantage when later in the day on Friday, the weekend crowds will be daunting.

Tom's head is shown in the bottom right of this photo.
Late yesterday afternoon, we walked along the shoreline at high tide taking these few photos and looking for Sea Turtles we've yet to spot.  We'll never tire of the view, the surf, and the sandy beaches.

These chairs set up outside the gated pool area were all occupied today.  We prefer to stay in the pool area for an easy access to a quick dunk in the pool to cool off.
We returned to the condo on time to watch the 5 pm Hawaii news with not so good news updates on the lava flow on the Big Island.  We'll keep updating as more information becomes available. 


The ocean looked less murky than a few days ago after Hurricane Ana breezed through the area.  It was explained on the news that murky waters bring more sharks to the beach.
As of yesterday, the flow increased substantially, widening and is moving at an considerably increased speed.  We continue to wait with baited breath as to what will transpire in the next few weeks and if this will have an impact on our holiday rental homes.

This is a path we used to walk further down Maalaea Beach but it ended and we had to turn around.  Next time, we'll follow the road to check out the beach beyond the cut-off point.
Gee...Hawaii is an exciting place.  Between the lava flow, the shark attacks and recent Hurricane Ana, we've been glued to the news.

Many of the condo complexes have steps such as these leading the sea with warning signs reminding bathers that the steps are slippery.
As our cough continues to improve a little each day, we find ourselves anxious for a full night's sleep and the refreshed feeling that comes with good consistent sleep.  Its either Tom coughing and awakening me or vise versa.  I suspect we haven't had more than five hours sleep in a single night since four nights before we left Waikiki when this virus began.

The perfect lawns along the beach look like carpet, perfectly trimmed and maintained.  Although we prefer more "wild" natural areas, we're definitely finding this location pleasing at this point.
It will feel good to get out and about especially when we're confident that we are no longer contagious and at this point, only cough at night.

More flower blooming near the beach.
We're enjoying our home cooked meals having little interest in dining out.  All the tourist-packed restaurants in Lahaina will be jammed with little chance of getting an appropriate meal befitting my food restrictions or even getting a table.

Beautiful flowers are blooming in some areas.
Also, Tom has joined me in this diet and hasn't had a morsel of anything not included in our way of eating.  We're better off continuing to cook as we have since arriving in Maui eight days ago.

The foamy surf at high tide.
Although we've hardly been out, we're loving Maui, fully understanding why so many people long to live in Hawaii, particularly in Maui, the most revered of the islands by travelers.

High tide at the base of the rocks on the shoreline.
We'll be back tomorrow, looking forward to sharing many new photos of our day of exploration on this exquisite tropical island in paradise.
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Photo from one year ago today, October 24, 2013:
My nemesis while living in Kenya, the dreaded poisonous centipede.  When stepping on them to kill them in our house, the sound of the crunching of their crustacean shell nauseated us both.  Luckily, we were never bitten but we'd heard that a bite usually requires a trip to an emergency room.    For details from this date's post, please click here.

What we love about this condo...What? We done our own cleaning for the first time in two years! Third shark attack!

 
The sky at sunset.


We don't have access to sunset view from our condo in Maui.  There's a monstrous hill blocking the view which would require a lengthy drive.  However, we are able to see glimpses of the sky at sunset which is a good alternative.
Without a doubt, this condo is one of the most well equipped vacation homes we've rented in two years, so much so that we haven't minded being "house bound" during Hurricane Ana and now recovering from our recent virus.

Lots of gadget along with our own stash.
We continue to cough all night (Tom more than me) making us feel exhausted during the days and we're anxious to get out and do a little exploring in Maui.  Soon, we'll feel well enough to get out and share lots of new photos with our readers.  Please bear with us and our current lethargy.

The condo feels like a home with artwork and decorative items on the walls and tables in each room.
Its so easy to get caught up into the casual ease of everyday living which we find to be pleasant.  This morning, after only about four hours of sleep, we decided it was time to clean having arrived one week ago today and it was time.

We flipped when we saw this tidy "junk drawer," a must in every home.
We washed and dried the bedding and remade the bed, swept and washed all the floors, dusted, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom and "windexed" every glass surface in the entire condo included the table on the lanai.  Tom swept the floor of the lanai while I washed the sliding glass door inside and out.

Memories of our old lives with a drawer designated for plastic bags.  Nice.

As we busied ourselves with the cleaning, it dawned on me that the last time we didn't have a cleaning person(s) or service was two years ago when we spent from November 3, 2012 to January 1, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona finishing our paperwork and digital needs. 

There's plenty of kitchen utensils.

In literally every other location in which we've lived, someone else has cleaned and scrubbed our surroundings with us only tidying up after ourselves from day to day, periodically doing laundry and washing dishes.

High quality dinnerware.
Comparable to driving a car, one doesn't "forget" how to clean and we breezed through the process with ease and good humor.  In no time at all, we were done.

Tiled showered with great faucet, plenty of fluffy towels, drawers and spotless countertops.
In a funny way, we kind of like doing our own cleaning after this long hiatus.  I'm always cleaning before the cleaning help arrives to avoid embarrassing myself making it a welcome break to be unconcerned about preparing for their arrival and getting out of their way.

A table and chairs for dining wasn't always available in every vacation home.  This is ideal for our meals. 
However, part of our rental agreement of this lovely condo includes one complimentary mid-rental cleaning by a professional company hired by the kindly owner.  That's two weeks from now.  If we clean at least two times after the mid cleaning, we'll have it covered.

With the cupboards filled with dinnerware and supplies, there's literally not a single cupboard for food supplies.  In this case, we're messy, leaving everything in easy reach on the kitchen counter.  Tom wanted us to buy Spam for Hurricane Ana which now he's eating a little each day.  Its gluten free and low carb so I don't complain.
When the cost of a cleaner here in Maui is $100 to clean this small space, we opted to do it ourselves.  The most we'd paid for a full house cleaning in the few countries where it wasn't included in the rent, was $25.

The owners went over the top including these high cotton count Charisma sheets and so comfortapillowcases which I used in our old lives.  Comfy bed and covers.
Although some of our photos appear that we are messy, we aren't. At times, we don't have ample storage for all of our stuff, especially those items we often use.  We don't leave dishes in the sink and clean the kitchen each day.  We make the bed everyday. We frequently empty the trash cans and we clean the bathroom everyday.

The owners explained this is a new bed.  It is the most comfortable bed we've had in a long time, perhaps over two years.
In other words, it may be a little cluttered with our stuff but its always clean. The exception to that may have been that little condo in Waikiki where we spent 11 nights which was nearly impossible to keep it clean with no broom, cleaning supplies and it was old and worn.  Its hard to clean "old and worn." 

This large sturdy chest of drawers was a delight to fill with our clothes.  Tom took the bottom three drawers, leaving me the top three (as he always does).
On another note, yesterday afternoon, a third shark attack occurred in this area of Maui.  Click here for the article.  With this news as in the case of the last two incidents, we continue to have no interest in entering the ocean once the beaches are reopened after yesterday's temporary closing. 

Neither of us particularly cares to swim in the ocean especially when each time we lived walking distance to the beach there's either been sharks, stingrays or jellyfish, none of which we care to bump into. 

There are actually four chairs for this table.  These are comfortable swivel chairs.  Plus, the view is amazing.
The lava flow on the Big Island continues to advance toward the main road in Pahoa after a few day break in its movement.  For details, please click here.  We continue to keep a watchful eye on the lava flow hoping it won't be an issue for the two houses we rented in Pahoa in the Puna District on the Big Island for our family for Christmas.

Have a happy day, dear friends.
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Photo from one year ago today, October 23, 2013:

We were excited while living in Kenya to finally see the elusive Bush Baby while dining outdoors at a resort.  For details and more photos, please click here.

Grocery prices in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii including photos of products and receipt...


Here I am driving down the road on my way to the Safeway store in Kihei., totally at ease. By the way for safety reasons, I didn't focus the camera while driving.  I simply held it up and clicked.
Yes, driving a car is like riding a bike, one doesn't forget.  The moment I pulled out of the driveway, I instantly felt at ease behind the wheel.  With the directions on my phone, I had no fear of getting lost.  As it turned out, I remembered how to find my way from the last trip to the Safeway in Kihei almost a week ago. although I kept the navigation on during the trip.

As I entered the store, my eyes darted everywhere in awe of all of the "stuff" for sale.
Twenty minutes later I walked into the Safeway market attempting to turn off the navigation on my phone when I realized that the grocery store has free WiFi!  I'd never have imagined a grocery store having free WiFi.  Only in the US!

Please keep in mind that using navigation in many other countries is pointless when the directions are never correct. We'd tried on many occasions in many countries to no avail. 

Having not purchase meat at this store on our visit almost a week ago, I was pleased to see the prices on meats was no more than we paid in our old lives.
It was those past experiences when navigation wouldn't be correct that intimidated me when Tom and I tried to find new locations and "she" sent us driving around in circles, "Turn right, turn right, turn right," she'd say over and over again.  We became sick of her monotone.

I guess I forget that we're in the US where everything, literally everything, is accounted for, available, user friendly and accessible.  Its hard to believe and above all, its more excessive than it was when we left almost two years ago.

I needed on box of Ziploc freezer bags in the half gallon size that surprised me at only $4.49.
The beautiful grocery store illustrated a perfect example of excesses.  Every possible grocery item that I could imagine or want for even the most obscure of recipes was available, fresh, wrapped well and priced accordingly.

I'm sorry.  But those of you who believe grocery prices are so high in Hawaii are mistaken.  They are no worse than the prices we paid in Minnesota over two years ago at the local Cub Foods where I shopped each week. None of the items I perused or purchased were more outrageously priced than prices in over half the countries in which we've lived.

I purchased this 3.32 pound package of three New York Steaks for $26.93 at $8.98 a serving.  That was an excellent price!
To prove my point today, I'm sharing pricing and photos of some items I purchased yesterday including a copy of the receipt for the total bill.  For those considering a move to Hawaii, unless you live in Africa, Belize or Madeira, Portugal, you'll pay no more in Hawaii for groceries than in any other country we visited thus far.

I can't speak for the cost of utilities and housing.  Hopefully, while we're here we'll be able to explore these costs and share them.  As far as fuel is concerned it may be 20% more in Hawaii based on the prices we've seen at the pump, around $4.25 a gallon, certainly less than many other countries.

Upon returning home, I used the Ziploc bags to individually wrap each of the three steaks which Tom will eat while I'll have the rack of lamb.
In Maui County, the sales tax on most items is 4%, not the 6.875% in Minnesota (as an example), 7.875% for the maximum local surtax and a maximum of 10.775% on prepared foods.  And yes, there's tax on items in Hawaii not taxed in Minnesota such a groceries and clothing.  (We'll discuss prices and taxes on both the Big Island and Kauai after we've shopped on each of those islands).

Of course, one must take into consideration as to the types of foods one purchases.  We don't buy pricey snacks (other than nuts) and processed food.  I noticed the cost of numerous brands of cold cereal at no more than $4.50 for a large box, certainly no more than in other states in the US and other countries.

I cut this free range Rack of Lamb into three portions which I'll have when Tom has the above steaks.  At $20.15 for the entire package, it is $6.72 per serving.  We'll cook the lamb and the steaks on the outdoor grill that overlooks the ocean, which we're anxious to use.
I wish I'd been more diligent in taking photos with prices.  I was so busy trying to find the items on my list, I was distracted.  Figuring my way around a new market has always taken a few trips to get it under control.  After yesterday's second trip to Safeway in Kihei, I feel comfortable that I'm able to find most products.

Last week, when the cashier encouraged me to sign up for a Safeway Club Member card I shrugged it off.  This time I decided to go for it when she explained I'd save quite a bit, which I did, saving a total of $15.16 as show on the receipt. 

This receipt is not easy to read resulting in my listing the items above for details and clarification.

I didn't feel comfortable holding up the line when I filled out the form.  I offered to step aside to complete it but the cashier explained it was necessary to do it now in order to get the offered discount on my items.  I apologized to the others in line as I hurriedly filled in the form with name, address and email in my illegible handwriting.

When I realized how much I saved, I was thrilled, saving a total of 7% on my entire bill.  Please keep in mind that I purchased several non-food items when I was excited to find a few items that hadn't been available in any other grocery stores in our travels; a few cosmetic items at $22.67, Crest Whitening Mouthwash at $8.49, two  small paring knives at $4.29 (last week I'd purchased a larger knife that disappointingly wasn't sharp enough). 

Tom's gluten free, low carb, starch and sugar free pizza with fresh mushrooms, green olives, onions and Italian sausage, topped with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  This will last for three delicious nights.  We never mind repeats three dinners in a row.  The crust is made with cheese and egg.
These non-edible items totaled $35.45 excluding tax.  Taking this amount off the total bill of $215.58, leaves $180.13 for the remaining grocery items with tax.

When food shopping I tend to consider, "How many meals will we get out of a trip to the grocery store?"  In this case, I purchased enough meat and produce to last for more than a week, in the following manner:
 
Protein                                   Total Cost           
3 New York Strip Steak             $ 26.93                     
Rack of lamb                            $ 20.16                     
2 packages Italian Sausage       $ 12.00 (for Tom's LC, GF pizza)                     
1 4lb package ground beef        $ 19.06                      
2 package nitrate free bacon     $ 13.98                     
Chicken Sausage                      $  6.00 (for my pizza - LC, GF)
Total                                       $ 98.13

 Of course, I purchased vegetables and other items to accompany the above meats including:
 
Vegetables
Zucchini                                   $  2.57
Eggplant                                  $  1.79
Tomatoes                                 $  5.50
Cabbage                                   $  6.85
Romaine lettuce                        $  6.99
Bag Bell peppers                        $ 6.00
Total Cost                                $ 29.70

Miscellaneous Items 
Black pepper                            $ 6.29
Anchovies                                $ 3.09
Enchilada sauce (GF, SF, LC)     $ 3.69
Taco sauce (GF, SF, LC)            $ 4.09
Pork rinds - 4 bags                   $ 9.56
LG. grated cheddar cheese        $10.49
LG. Ziploc freezer bags (20 ct.)  $ 4.49
Bleach                                     $ 2.99
Total cost                                 $44.69

Total of above                       $207.97
Tax                                               8.62
Grand Total                            $216.59

Based on the receipt, the total bill was actually $215.58.  After carefully perusing the receipt I can only assume the $1.01 difference must have been an additional discount I couldn't find on the receipt or a tax adjustment on a particular item.  In any case, its close enough to illustrate the point.

Although we already had a few ingredients on hand to accompany the above items in making full meals, overall this list is comprehensive. From the above products, we'll be able to make the following meals (for two) which we began last night, starting with making with our LC, GF, SF pizza:

Pizza -  3 dinners
Steak - 3 dinners (for Tom while I'll have the rack of lamb on those three evenings)
Ground Beef - 3 dinners (taco salad for two nights, Italian meatballs with pasta sauce and mozzarella for one night)

My pizza made with free range chicken sausage, anchovies, onions, olives, mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, organic zucchini, eggplant with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. This crust is also made with cheese and egg and is low carb and gluten, sugar and starch free.  Love it!
Overall, in the worst case scenario, we'll have 9 dinners for the above $180.13 averaging at $20.01 per day (includes cost of non edible grocery items, not toiletries). 

This amount is slightly less than our daily average in our old lives.  Also, for us, we don't eat starches, lunches and desserts, although I've made breakfast every other day this past week since we arrived (thus, the bacon purchase) in Maui.

Gosh, I'd love to see how others manage their groceries and how much they spend.  Its not a topic that readily entered into conversation as if what one spends on food is sacred, or in some cases embarrassing and private.

For us, its all a part of the process of making our lives work with delicious homemade meals befitting our way of eating which Tom has joined with me during our time in Maui.  Every item listed is low carb, gluten free, sugar free and starch free.  As much as possible the foods are organic.  (Grass fed meat wasn't readily available in the cuts we desired).

The gorgeous Maui scenery on the return drive to Maalaea Beach.
I hope this provides our readers with a perspective while dreaming of living in Hawaii at some point.  We certainly understand the passion for this dream as we languish in Maui feeling relaxed and somewhat lazy, not yet up to getting out and about.

Although, at the moment the pool and two chaise lounges are calling us on this beautiful sunny day in paradise.

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Photo from one year ago today, October 22, 2013:

Aerial view of home (middle house).
It was a year ago today that we posted the second house that we booked for Big Island for our family reunion upcoming in December.  For more photos and details, please click here.