Peter and I have been coming to Maui every year for the past 8 years so you’d think we would have discovered every nook and cranny on this amazing island by now. Yet on this trip, we still managed to unearth a couple more gems.
Our first discovery was a restaurant that Peter read about several times in the Maui No Ka Oi Magazine. Called Hali’imaile General Store, we made a beeline for it on our first day in Paia. From where we were staying at the Inn at Mama’s Fish House, it was a leisurely 15 minute drive away .
So unassuming was the architecture of the Hali’imaile General Store that we drove right past it. Doubling back, we parked and approached a structure that looked like it belonged in the middle of a plantation field in the early 1800s. Walking up the front steps, going in and approaching the front desk, we saw a healthy line up of patrons who were waiting for a table, despite a large party that had just left. No, we responded, we didn’t have a reservation. Perching ourselves outside on the porch after ordering a glass of Pinot Grigio (me) and Zinfandel (Peter), we adapted ourselves to the Hawaii state of mind as we waited, typified by a peaceful acceptance of the inevitable. Thankfully, Americans like to eat early and it was nearly 2 pm so we didn’t have to wait too long. Walking back inside as our name was called, our eyes feasted on the laid back island chic and sunny works by local artists gracing the wall and ceilings.
The Chef responsible for putting Hali’imaile General Store on the map is Bev Gannon, whose food is l ovingly made with ingredients from local purveyors. Her cuisine marries fresh local ingredients, a Farm-to-Fork philosophy, and a fusion of foods and cultures brought to the Islands from around the world. Starting with a shared HGS House Salad (with Fresh island greens, orange segments, toasted walnuts and shaved Maui onions with a balsamic vinaigrette), I chose a delicious Blackened Ahi with Chuka Soba Noodle Salad for my main while Peter chose the Fish Tacos. By the time we’d finished our meal, we’d added the Hali’imaile General Store to our list of absolute “must-dines” in Maui. http://hgsmaui.com
11-Circuit Labyrinth at The Sacred Garden, Makawao (Maui)
As is often the case, one stumbles over the best places when one least expects it, making the discovery all the sweeter. This is exactly what happened as we nearly ran into a sign that read The Sacred Garden while navigating a 180 degree turn on Kaluanui Road, Makawao, while driving back to Paia from our lunch. Feeling a pull to explore this mystical sounding place, we drove our car into the lot, parked, and ventured inside. Founded and run by an amazing lady appropriately named Eve (Hogan), the Sacred Garden is a virtual Garden of Eden, nursery, retreat center with its own accommodation, a botanical garden, a school, a creativity center, and a temple. Partially housed inside a 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse, inspiration, creativity, beauty and peace are the undeniable themes of this peace sanctuary.
The Sacred Garden is also a Labyrinth Centre and have two labyrinths in their premises: A classical 7-circuit labyrinth in the greenhouse (found from England to India, South America to North America, and from Greece to Scandinavia) and an 11-Circuit Labyrinth (modeled after the pattern of the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth in France). As luck would have it, Eve was scheduled to give a talk that afternoon on the power of the Labyrinth, which have been around for centuries both in pagan and Christian sites around the world. According to Eve, Labyrinths are a metaphor for life; the way that one walks the Labyrinth is the way that one walks through life. We found it fascinating how I walked through the Labyrinth purposefully and efficiently, concentrating far more on “doing it right and completing the task” rather than slowing down and enjoying the journey. Peter, meanwhile, got impatient so he took various short cuts. And so we both do the same in life!