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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

    After listening to a few books on Audible about Greek Gods, the Trojan War and a lot bravado…I was in search of something a bit softer. And I definitely found in in the sweet, sad and funny book, a debut novel. Here is my book review The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman.

    The Garden of Small Beginnings

    Although I am a writer, I do not write humor. Writing funny is hard. And it takes a very special talent. And Waxman nailed it in this sad story. This, her debut novel, is not about a funny plot…but she excels at dialogue that brings the reader right into the moment with hilarious quips and chatter. A big shout out too for the Audible reader Emily Rankin. She was a great.

    Lilian is a widow, a young mother with two small girls and a talented illustrator. For the past three years she has struggled to regain her footing in life after she witnesses the death of her husband in a car accident. She doesn’t believe she has the right to ever be happy again. She sees any future happiness as a slight to her husband Dan’s memory.

    New Beginnings

    But when Lilian’s employer asks her to take a gardening class in preparation to illustrate a vegetable gardening book, Lilian is thrust back into the social setting she has abhorred for three years. Here she meets an eclectic group of individuals each with their own mysteries and compassion, talents and foibles. The diverse group soon becomes close friends as they plant and bloom, and Lilian becomes even closer friends with the instructor, Edward Bloem. Edward’s family owns the European Bloem Seed Company the company Libby is illustrating the book for.

    Well of course there are many twists and turns, happy and sad moments and lots of plants and flowers as the gardening class individually and as a group all find their passions and small beginnings.

    I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it on Audible too. I hope you enjoyed my book review The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman. I look forward to what she does next.

    *****Five Stars for The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

    See last week’s review of Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker.

    My current read The Descendents

    We love it when you share and pin our book reviews. Thank you.

    At Home

    The History of Halloween

    Celtic Origins We Celebrate Today

    Note my facts here come from The History of Halloween from History.com

    As an adult I look back on so many fond memories of my 1960’s and 70’s childhood, including Halloween. As soon as school began in September we began thinking about and planning for that big day. We always made our own costumes just from found things around the house…never sewing anything elaborate and NEVER purchasing anything from a store.

    Halloween When I Was a Kid

    Unfortunately my parents were not big photo takers so I have only one photo I know of, of me with my siblings on Halloween. That was the year my sister proclaimed she was going to be the Fairy Godmother and I was going to be Cinderella in rags. Okay fine. My brother was a “hippie” and my littlest brother was a cowboy. It was a time in life when it didn’t take a lot ot make us happy.

    With my siblings, maybe around 1970

    In high school and even college we celebrated the holiday with homemade costumes but the trick or treating gave way to parties. Here I’m sharing a few photos I pulled up from those days.

    1979 College
    1975 High School
    At my job 2005
    1983 Newlyweds

    Halloween When My Kids Were Little

    When my kids were little I made their costumes most years and we had a lot of fun with Halloween as a family. In the 1990’s when my kids were young, trick or treating was still safe and the school always had a special event with costumes.

    1988
    1994
    1987
    1995

    Today fewer kids wander the neighborhoods, but with Covid it’s hard to imagine that communities and malls will be holding their annual gatherings.

    The History of Holidays

    I’ve always been fascinated with how our holidays evolved into what we accept today as normal, ever since I discovered that Santa Claus is a fairly new invention. So I have over the years gathered lots of fun information about holiday rituals and their evolution.

    Halloween Began 2000 Years Ago

    The origin of Halloween can be traced 2000 years years ago to the Celtic festival called Samhain. This festival was a celebration to ward off ghosts and included costumes and bon fires.

    Ghosts were responsible for death and havoc

    In the 8th Century Pope Gregory III declared that November 1st would be All Saints Day to remember all Catholic Saints and the Samhain festival the day before became known as All Hallows Eve.

    November 1st was also considered the New Year to the Celts and was marked as the end of the harvest and bounty and the beginning of the dark days of winter, a time of hunger and death.

    People believed black cats were witches in disguise

    The Druids (Celtic Priests) gave the Celtic people guidance during this time, when all believed the ghosts were responsible for failed crops, poor health and bad weather. The Druids built bon fires and everyone dressed in costumes to scare away the ghosts. Crops and animals were sacrificed.

    Rome, Of Course, Intervened

    When the Romans conquered this region, the Samhain festival merged with Feralia, a Roman festival similar to Day of the Dead; and Pomona, a celebration of the apple harvest (assumed to be where bobbing for apples comes from).

    Christianity

    By the 9th century the Celtic lands had become Christian and the November 2nd Christian holiday All Souls Day merged with All Hallows Even (Alholowmesse) and the costume tradition expanded.

    Ritual bonfires helped ward off evil

    Welcome to America

    Colonial America celebrated this holiday, despite the New England Protestant objection due to the pagan origins. As immigrants from many nations came together, the American version of the holiday emerged.

    Early Jack-o-lanterns were carved from turnips

    Outdoor parties, bon fires, scary stories, fortune telling, pranks, games, music and dancing were all part of the early American celebration. By the early 1800’s most communities celebrated an Autumn festival but Halloween as we know it was still a ways away.

    Irish Americans Bring the Tradition

    As Irish immigrants flooded America in the late 19th century, with them came many of the traditions we today associate with Halloween in the USA. This included costumes, Trick-or-Treat for food or money, and the focus of the holiday became more about children.

    Bobbing for apples is an ancient game still practiced today

    But in the 1920’s and 30’s vandals hijacked the holiday with pranks and sometimes drunken violence and many gatherings stopped. By the 1950’s local towns redirected the holiday back to family-focused and encouraged family gatherings. Trick-or-Treating was revived.

    Today’s Halloween

    Small homemade treats gave way to store bought candy in the 1960’s when parents feared for their children eating anything they didn’t know the source of. Today 6 billion dollars are spent annually on Halloween and it is the biggest candy buying time of the year in the USA.

    Halloween candy

    Both children and adults dress up annually, with many adults wearing costumes to their jobs. Halloween parties for kids and adults happen in the weeks ahead of the actual Halloween night.

    Halloween is the second biggest commercial holiday after Christmas in the USA.

    And now you know – the history of Halloween.

    See this week’s top performing pin here.

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker

    This book was written by a local author in the town where I live. I was asked to read this book, which sometimes can be a little tricky…but not this time. I really enjoyed this unique story. Here is my book review Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker.

    Location

    I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and on the Kitsap Peninsula. And, as you probably know, I also LOVE Hawaii and spend as much time there as possible. So when I realized this story was based in these two locations I quickly was intrigued.

    Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods

    Walker creates a well-developed cast of characters who befriend Eve Sorenson on the island of Oahu when she arrives to care for her dying aunt. Aunt Meg has lived on Oahu for thirty years. Her seventy-year-old body is failing her, and she asks Eve to care for her in her end of life. But Meg is no push-over…she calls the shots and Eve who adores her is up to the task, including writing her aunt’s memoir.

    But Eve has left a complicated list of catastrophes behind back home on the Kitsap Peninsula when she answers her aunt’s call to come to Hawaii. Everything from an accusation from a student, a 15-year old son with usual 15-year old problems, a jerk ex-husband and a deep sadness for the recent loss of her father and the family home she grew up in.

    Spirits and Ghost Gods

    On Eve’s first day in Oahu she goes to the Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawaii where she encounters a white dog. The dog leads her to a man who has fallen into a ravine and is injured and near death. After the rescue the dog has disappeared. Was the dog real? Or a spirit to help her find the man? Are the dancing lights around the man Hawaiian spirits? Are the tiny Menehuna forest people present and involved in the rescue? And why does Eve keep seeing her father’s eyes in the man’s face.

    This encounter will build the plot of this book that explores the Hawaiian myths and legends; the idea that our paths and choices may not always be our own; and how finding family and friends in the most unexpected places can change our lives forever.

    Healing

    The well researched and written Hawaiian historical and cultural information in the book meld beautifully into the plot of this story. I particularly liked how the book discussed life and death, afterlife and how different cultures view passing differently. I also enjoyed the healing nature of both Meg’s end of life journey and Eve’s emotional one with her beloved aunt and her son.

    An overriding theme in the book is the role flora plays in both the Hawaiian and the Pacific Northwest lifestyle.

    Surprise

    You won’t find this book on Reese Witherspoon’s list of the Oprah Book Club…but don’t let that put you off. Like the characters in this book the unexpected things we find when we aren’t even searching are sometimes the best. That is the way with Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods.

    I hope you enjoyed my book review Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker.

    ****Four stars for Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker

    See last week’s review of Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson

    My current read The Women in Black

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    Island Life  --  North America Travel

    Napili Surprise – Our New Favorites

    Location: Napili Maui Hawaii USA

    We have always stayed in Kihei when visiting Maui. Kihei is in the southern part of the island, with a dry and almost desert like climate. But this time we are house sitting for our friends, and are finding we are loving the west side and the experience of many new things. Although I have spent so much time on the island of Maui, it never ceases to surprise me! Here are some thoughts – Napili Surprise Our New Favorites.

    Napili Surprise

    Napili is a tiny hamlet tucked in between Kahana and Kapalua about three miles north of the more well-known and touristy Kaanapali area. Technically all these places mentioned above are part of the city of Lahaina, but each has a distinct flavor of its own.

    Napili is book ended by Kapalua on the north, which I would describe as affluent and upscale, home to the renowned Kapulua Golf Club. On its south flank Napili borders Kahana, more simple and family oriented with condos but also many local residential neighborhoods.

    Napili

    It’s actually hard to define where Napili begins and ends, but for my purposes in this blog post, my reference points are from Kapalua Beach to Kahana Sunset Condos along the Lower Honoapiilani Hwy.

    Climate and History

    Napili has a long and rich history going back to its first Polynesian settlers arriving in the 8th century. Wet and lush, the region was and still is a prominent agricultural area for native islanders.

    Dragon’s Teeth Labyrinth

    Although not the rainiest part of the island, Napili’s annual rainfall is four times that of the arid Kihei area. While we were here we saw spits of rain nearly everyday, but only two times was it significant enough to keep us from our plans. Much of the rain happens overnight or early morning from my observations. And due to this, there are rainbows every single day. So beautiful.

    Maui Rainfall Map – Napili in the yellow zone while Kihei is in the red zone

    During our six weeks living in Napili we have loved the low-key local vibe, especially since we have been living in an apartment complex of locals rather than in a tourist resort. The school bus comes each morning and neighbors are friendly and it feels very much like home.

    Our Favorites

    The Napili surprise – finding our favorites in this small little village has been very easy. There are a few ocean side resorts, and I hope when people stay in one of those, they get out and see some of this tiny town. For instance;

    Napili Plaza – the only shopping area in Napili, the plaza is home to a small but great grocery store (the Napili Market), as well as hair and nail salons, mail services, a coffee shop and bakery, a boutique and a handful of small restaurants which are all worth a visit.

    A’ A Roots – I’m not vegan, but I am very much into healthy eating and sustainable food and that is the mission of A’ A Roots, a small vegan restaurant in Napili Plaza. When we visited the inside was still closed due to Covid, but they had a few outside tables and take away as well. We had a fantastic meal for lunch and it’s a not-to-miss spot in Napili.

    A’ a Roots

    Slack Key Show – Grammy winning George Kahumoku Jr and a group of very talented local artists perform twice a week at the Napili Kai resort. This fabulous series is in its 18th year and is a great way to learn about Hawaii’s love of the slack key guitar, as well as the ukelele. This concert was an amazing Napili surprise and we enjoyed it very much.

    George Kahumoku Jr.

    Kapalua Coastal Trail – Although named after Kapalua, the trail begins in Napili and heads north through Kapalua. This trail offers astonishing views of the ocean, the island of Molokai and sometimes whales and dolphins. At the northern end of the trail you will find the Dragon’s Teeth Labyrinth, definitely worth a visit. If you are up to it, from the Labyrinth take Office Road up the hill past the Honolua Store to Pineapple Hill for a beautiful view and work out.

    Kapalua Coastal Trail

    Napili Farmers Market – walking distance from our apartment and Napili Plaza is the twice-a-week Napili Farmers Market. Held every Wednesday and Saturday, the market changes regularly but offers local produce, honey, baked goods and crafts. We purchased some delicious Baba ganoush and flat bread.

    Sunset at Honokeana Bay – This rocky bay is a bit difficult to access (look for the gravel trail between Honokeana Cove and Napili Point Resorts), but is a beautiful place for spotting sea turtles and for watching the sunset. Check it out.

    Honokeana Bay

    Honu (Sea Turtles)– The native Hawaii Green Sea Turtle is protected under the endangered species act since 1978. It is against federal law to touch or harass these beautiful creatures either in the water or on land. Every beach we visited in Napili offered a great way to view the turtle population from the beach. The Honu have increased in number since they became protected, and as frequent visitors to Maui we definitely have noticed an increase in Honu sightings. Napili is a great place to watch these beautiful creatures from a respectful distance.

    Green Sea Turtle (Canva)

    Check out this link below of a video we posted on Instagram of a green sea turtle.

    https://www.instagram.com/reel/CVRbNDXl_ot/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

    Napili Bay – This beautiful bay is a great place to snorkel, swim and enjoy the sandy beach. There is a small public parking area on the south end of the beach. A handful of small condos front the beach as well as the historic and beautiful Napili Kai Resort.

    Napili Bay and Beach looking south

    The Sea House Restaurant – One of my top restaurants on the entire island, the gorgeous beach front restaurant The Sea House is in the Napili Kai resort on the north end of beautiful Napili Bay. Make a reservation and don’t miss a beautiful evening at The Sea House. Funny story, when we ate there it started to pour down rain but my food was so delicious I carried under the eaves to finish it…I didn’t want to miss a bite!!!

    Napili Kai Resort and The Sea House Restaurant

    The Gazebo – So this is one of those places that gets a reputation and then it explodes…some people waiting hours to eat macadamia nut pancakes or a mountain of fried rice with eggs. I’m not sure it warrants a two hour wait, but the view is nice, it’s fairly inexpensive by Maui standards and it’s kind of a local icon. If you don’t want to wait for hours arrive by 7am for the 7:30 opening.

    Mountain of fried rice at The Gazebo

    On the Fringe

    Technically not in Napili, we also spent a lot of time at Kapalua Bay and Secret Beach in Kahana. Additionally we frequently visited The Fish Market on the border between Kahana and Kaanapali as well as the long stretch of Kaanapali Beach. Our favorite beach was Secret Beach in Kahana, because, as it’s name implies, we usually had it to ourselves, except for the dozens of green sea turtles that call this beach home.

    Talking to Green Sea Turtles at Secret Beach, Kahana

    Surprising Maui

    Through the years and our many visits to this beautiful island I continue to be astonished by the variety of hidden gems we find each visit. You will never see everything because Maui constantly changes and evolves while remaining graceful and beautiful and friendly. Maui – The Valley Isle. Napili Surprise – Our New Favorites.

    Maui No Ka Oi.

    See last week’s blog post Maui Top Five.

    See this week’s top performing post on Pinterest here My Self Care Journey With Noom

    We love it when you pin and share our blog posts. Mahalo!

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson

    This is a really great book, especially for me growing up in the Pacific Northwest, where when I was a child logging was still very much a way of life. Here is my book review Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson.

    The year is 1977, the place Damnation Grove, California, where for generations fathers and sons have cut the Redwood timber for the Sanderson Timber Company. Rich Gunderson and his wife Colleen eek out a living but Rich wants more for his wife and young son.

    Colleen, who has experienced eight miscarriages also is searching for more…another baby, and better communication with her husband. Colleen’s unconventional sister Enid seems to drop out a baby everytime she turns around and Colleen finds the unfairness of it all stiffling.

    Daniel, a former boyfriend of Colleen’s arrives in town to research how the decades of herbicide spraying is contaminating the soil, the water and the people. Loggers and their families scoff at the research, saying if the herbicides were dangerous the government wouldn’t allow them to be sprayed.

    But when bees die, children are born malformed, cancer runs amuck and Colleen has another miscarriage, she begins to believe in the message Daniel is trying to spread.

    Set amidst a changing time in the lumber industry and in our country, Damnation Spring is a story of a vanishing way of life, family and tradition, big money and bribery and of course, the beginnings of the EPA. Told through the eyes of Rich, Colleen and Chub in believable and beautifully written chapters, Damnation Spring is a book you won’t be able to put down.

    *****Five stars for Davidson’s debut novel, Damnation Spring. I hope you enjoyed my book review Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson.

    Read last week’s review Run by Ann Patchett

    My current read The Warmth of Other Suns

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    Island Life  --  North America Travel

    Maui Top Five Things to Do

    Best of the Best, Maui Hawaii USA

    Location: Maui Hawaii

    Hawaii has strict Covid-19 restrictions. Know before you go. Learn more here.

    A re-share from October 2020 –

    Maui is hands down my favorite of all the Hawaiian Islands. We have now been on Maui for seven weeks and still have two more weeks to go! Everything about it I love. And despite the fact there isn’t anything negative I can say about this beautiful place, I do have some favorites. So today I thought I would share with you my Maui top five things to do – best of the best.

    Top Five Beaches

    Maui
    Secret Beach Makena
    1. Keawakapu – our most frequented beach in South Kihei offers a wide sandy beach, warm clear water and gentle waves
    2. Makena Beaches – Makena also in the south, is dotted with public access to dozens of beautiful and often secluded beach. Secret Beach is worth finding. MaKena Beach State Park is a wonderful huge expanse of a beach and rarely busy.
    3. Black Beach Hana – for the sheer beauty of it, Black Beach on the road to Hana is worth a visit
    4. Baldwin Beach – on the north shore Baldwin Beach is great for body surfing
    5. Napili Bay Beach – I have not swam at this beach but it is so beautiful and has easy access at the north end of the island
    Maui
    Maui Beaches

    Top Five Snorkeling

    Maui
    Keawakapu, Kihei
    1. Black Rock Kaanapali – the beach in front of the Kaanapali Sheraton known as Black Rock is one of my favorite places to snorkel. Clear and full of fish and turtles.
    2. Turtle Rock – On a guided snorkel trip a few years ago we had the most amazing time at Turtle Rock – hundreds of turtles here.
    3. Molokini – Though sometimes crowded, a snorkel tour to Molokini is a must at least once in your life to see the abundant marine life here.
    4. Makena Beaches – there are several public access beaches on this long stretch of south Maui with some of the best and easily accessed snorkeling on the island.
    5. Keawakapu – my favorite beach, and the one closest to where we usually stay, has an easy access into the water with snorkel options at the far north of the beach around a large lava reef. Wonderful sealife, turtles and fish.

    Top Five Activities

    Maui
    Maui Zipline
    1. Old Lahaina Lu’au – the creme de la creme of Lu’aus, Old Lahaina has just recently reopened after being closed for 8 months due to the pandemic. I have enjoyed this Luau several times, and although expensive, it is worth every penny. Reservations are required.
    2. Maui Zipline – Maui Zipline is where it all began, the first zipline in the USA. Safe and fun and now reopened with even more safety features.
    3. Whale Watching – from November to April Maui is home to some of the earth’s most amazing creatures, the magnificent humpback whales. A must-do activity while visiting Maui is enjoy a guided tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation.
    4. Ghost Tours Lahaina – more of a history lesson than a ghost encounter, this walking tour with a local will open your eyes to some of the hidden history and mystic Hawaiian lore. Very informative and entertaining.
    5. Chef Prepared dinner – many local chefs are available to bring dinner to you, cooking and serving a beautiful Hawaiian meal for two to ten or even more in your condo or local hale.

    Top Five Hikes

    Maui
    Kapalua Coastal Trail
    1. Waihee Ridge – mid island, five mile roundtrip with incline to spectacular views but weather can be unpredictable.
    2. Kapalua Coastal Trail – hugging the coast from Kapalua to Napili this rugged and beautiful hike has views of Molokai, Lanai and the ocean. Windy.
    3. Halemau’u Haleakala – hike down into the crater starting at 8000 foot level where you will find easy parking. The trail is a switch back and easy for most fit hikers. Temperatures can be very cold at times.
    4. Sliding Sands Haleakala – this is a work out let me tell you, but if you are fit it’s spectacular. Bring lots of water, be prepared for wind and cold or heat and sun you never know. A great place to see the rare and beautiful Silver Sword plant.
    5. Hoapili, La Perouse – past Makena where the road ends you will find parking and the trailhead of the Hoapili, the historic Kings Road. The rough trail takes you over a 300 year old lava field to the far south end of the island. Bring lots of water, it is a hot and dry trail.

    See a great article here with more great hikes from Pride of Maui.

    Top Five Fine Dining

    Mamas Fish House Maui
    Mamas Fish House
    1. Mama’s Fish House, Paia – one of the supreme dining experiences anywhere in the world
    2. Mala Ocean Tavern, Lahaina – Tiny but local chef has created a wonderful menu
    3. Sea House, Napili – One of the best pieces of fish I have ever had
    4. Roy’s Kaanapali – Celebrated chef Roy Yamachuchi’s restaurant never disappoints
    5. Ko, Wailea – we celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary at Ko. It was incredible. Beautiful location and great service.

    Top Five Casual Dining (six in this category!)

    Star Noodle Maui
    Star Noodle, Lahaina
    1. Sam Sato, Wailuku – tourists don’t know about this hidden local gem. Best noodles anywhere
    2. Paia Fish Market (Kihei, Paia and Lahaina) – favorite among visitors and locals
    3. Three’s Bar & Grill Kihei – creative menu of delicious small plates
    4. Maui Brewing (Kihei and Kaanapali) – simple pub food with a healthy twist
    5. Star Noodle, Lahaina – simply incredible. Be sure to have the Vietnamese pancake
    6. Cafe O’Lei – Various locations. Great food, great price and prix fix menu daily.

    We have also heard great things about Kula Lodge, Kimo’s and Down the Hatch.

    Top Five Take Out Foods

    1. L & L Plate Lunch, Kihei – quintessential Hawaiian plate lunch
    2. Maui Taco, Kihei – fish tacos!
    3. Island Gourmet Market, Wailea – great selection of local cuisine as well as sandwiches, pizza and more
    4. Honolua Store, Kapalua – similar to above as well as a great gift shop
    5. Food Trucks, Everywhere and for every taste bud

    Top Five Breakfast Places

    Paia Maui
    Island Fresh Cafe, Paia

    There are several breakfast places we have heard are great (The Gazebo Kapalua and 808 Grindz Lahaina to name two) but these are the ones we have enjoyed so far.

    1. Kihei Cafe, popular, casual spot in Kihei
    2. Sugar Beach Bake Shop, North Kihei – you gotta try the malasada donuts
    3. Kula Bistro, Upcountry great Eggs Benedict
    4. Island Fresh Cafe, Paia worth the trip, healthy and inexpensive
    5. 5 Palms, Kihei, a great view of Keawakapu. Try the lox and bagel.

    Top Five Places for Drinks

    Lahaina Maui
    Waikiki Brewing Co, Lahaina
    1. Maui Brewing, Kihei
    2. Merriman’s for Sunset, Kapalua
    3. Hula Grill Kaanapali
    4. Waikiki Brewing Co, Lahaina
    5. Tommy Bahama’s Wailea (try the Mai Tai here)

    Top Five Just For the Heck of It

    Maui
    Nakalele Blow Hole
    1. Ocean Vodka, tasting and tours, Kula – an innovative entreprenueal effort on Maui worth your support. I love the gin.
    2. Spend a day shopping in Paia and Makawao
    3. Nakalele Blow Hole, Napili – a wonderful site. Don’t get too close.
    4. Sunrise or Sunset Haleakala (sunrise reservations required. Learn more here.)
    5. Drive Hana Backwards (counterclockwise) – miss the crowds by doing this drive the opposite way most people go. Read what we wrote about Going to Hana Backwards here.

    Top Four Inexpensive Golf

    Maui Nui Golf Club
    Maui Nui Golf, Kihei

    Golf can be very expensive on Maui, but if you know where to go, you can play nine or 18 holes on a budget. Here are our favorite budget friendly courses (we can’t find five, so four will do).

    1. Maui Nui, Kihei – well cared for grounds at a great price
    2. Waiehu County Golf, Wailuku – county run course with a magnificent ocean view
    3. Pukalani, Makawao, upcountry course with beautiful views, sometimes wet
    4. The Dunes at Maui Lani, Kahului, beautiful course built on natural dunes.

    That’s My List

    So if you are thinking about visiting Maui for the first time, or are planning to return for another visit, check out some of my top fives – you can’t go wrong with any of them.

    Maui
    Wailea Sunrise

    Be a Kind & Generous Visitor

    And remember, Maui took a big hit during the 7-month closure during the pandemic. The local people lost jobs, income and businesses closed permanently, on this island that depends on tourism. If you can afford to visit Maui, you can afford to make a donation while you are there. Many local agencies can use your support now. The Maui Food Bank is one that is helping some 32,000 local residents who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

    Help breathe life back into the local economy by shopping and dining at locally owned stores, supporting locally run activities, taking time to talk to and understand the local people and their culture, and donate to a local non-profit agency that is helping the local people.

    Mahalo!

    See last week’s post Maui Hidden Gems here

    Read My Favorite Islands Around the World here.

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Run by Ann Patchett

    This is one of Patchett’s older novels, published in 2007. It’s another gem I found in my neighborhood’s “little library”. Although not my favorite of Patchett’s work, I did enjoy this family story. Here is my book review Run by Ann Patchett.

    There is a lot going on in this book. Beginning with a statue of the Virgin Mary, a family heirloom cherished for it’s family resemblance. But is the story behind this family piece true?

    Bernard Doyle is the former Mayor of Boston. He has one biological son, who has been in and out of trouble, and two adopted sons who are brothers. They are also black.

    Four years after adopting Tip and Teddy, Doyle’s wife Bernadette dies. He is left to raise the three boys. Sixteen years later, on a cold snowy night, Tip is nearly killed when he steps out into the path of an oncoming vehicle. He is saved by a bystander who pushes him out of harms way. The black women named Tennessee, is seemingly a stranger. But as the story develops we learn she has much to do with this family, and knows everything about them.

    Tennessee’s daughter Kenya is taken in by the Doyle’s while her mother is in the hospital. And it becomes clear that Kenya and Tennessee are family to Tip and Teddy. How will this tale come together? A few unique twists at the end I did not see coming, but in true Patchett fashion she weaves a story of family and faith, race and politics and particularly how close the have’s and the have-not’s live in a world of invisible people. I hope you enjoyed my book review Run by Ann Patchett.

    ****Four stars for Run by Ann Patchett

    Read last week’s review of A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

    My current read Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods.

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