Maui is a special place filled with real magic that some people have experienced daily for their entire life. To them Maui has it’s own time separate from the rest of the world and that clock comes from within. So don’t be surprised if you notice that this isn’t Kansas anymore.
Maui No Ka Oi
You’ll hear people from all the different Islands of Hawaii say, “Maui No Ka Oi” when they are describing the island of Maui. It means, “Maui is the best”. And it’s true. They say so because Maui has it’s own energy and vibe. It’s laidback but not boring. There’s always something going on when you are seeking an adventure or entertainment, but there are just as many opportunities for seclusion and relaxation here on Maui. If you are blessed with an abundance of time to explore Maui, you’ll start to understand Maui better if you begin at an unhurried pace.
Every Friday is affectionately called, “Aloha Friday”, and for good reason. It is for all intents and purposes a holiday that is celebrated once a week. Because these are the “islands of Aloha” we embrace and practice Aloha here 24 hours a day, all year long. In fact, Maui doesn’t have a “happy hour”, some claim we have one “ok hour” and 23 happy hours every day. Aloha means so much more then we can share here in this article. You’ll see and experience it for yourself no matter how long you are here.
We Celebrate at the drop of a hat
There’s always a celebration somewhere on Maui for some reason. Here we have a different “Friday Town Party” in the evening every week. We celebrate because it’s Aloha Friday. 1st Friday is in Wailuku, 2nd Friday is in Lahaina, 3rd Friday is in Makawao, and 4th Friday is in Kihei. Every once in a while there’s a 5th Friday, and that Friday Town Party is held on the island of Lānaʻi. You can find more details at MauiFridays.com. Maui is home to hundreds of fantastic festivals, events and celebrations about the diverse cultures, music, dance, holidays, art, history and much more. Any excuse to celebrate with the Ohana is a welcome pastime here on Maui.
Directions, Distances and Time
Distances are typically measured in time rather then miles and 5 or 6 miles or more is far on an island. Remember that when you ask how long it might take to get somewhere, the answer is probably “probably 15-30 minutes” even if it could take 30-45 minutes, and when you ask how long something is going to take, you might get, “eh, 5-10 minutes” when it is really going to be 15-30 minutes or more. Here on Maui, when giving directions we use landmarks and island navigation terms such as “Makai” and “Mauka”. We also say “west side, south side, upcountry and Hana side” to mean the different parts of the island. Everything in the middle is called “Town” which is comprised of Kahului and Wailuku. So you if you ask where the Costco is and how far away it is, you might get this answer depending on where you are, “It’s in Town right next to Kmart. Bout 15-20 minutes if you leave now”. If you are asking directions to Maui Brewery in Kihei, you might hear, “It’s on Lipoa, Mauka of Piilani hwy”. Mauka means towards to mountain, and Makai means on the ocean side. So if I said that “Longs is on the Makai side of Piikea across from McDonald’s”, you can bet that I mean the CVS Drug store is towards the ocean side on Piikea street near a fast-food restaurant that you can’t miss.
Spam, it’s what’s for dinner
Photo credit: Arnold Gatilao
What is Spam? I’m not going there, but it’s not unwanted email, it’s something you eat. For most people vacationing to Hawaii is about experiencing something new and different. Spam is one of those things. It is a tradition here in Hawaii. Get used to it. If you stay in a resort and never venture out of your hotel you may never experience this island delicacy. But I can tell you that wherever rice is on the menu, you can bet Spam isn’t far away. My favorite place to dive into Spam is at Da Kitchen restaurant in Town. It’s on the Makai side of Hana Hwy. It’s kinda hard to find but it’s worth looking for! Try it with rice or have a Spam Musubi for a real local spam experience.
We only touched on a few of the amazing things that make Maui unique. There is so much more to understanding Maui that we will be sharing is future articles. What’s your favorite thing about Maui?