Magical Maui Weekend

by Dana Taylor

Magical Maui beckoned last weekend with an invitation to visit a new AirBnB cottage set up by a friend (Christine) of a friend (Patti). Before dawn on Saturday morning Patti and I took the 40 minute jet ride from Honolulu to Maui, rented a car, and set off for adventure.
 We began the day at the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm where we toured their garden, filled with unique tropical plants and flowers. With lookouts over the valleys and across the ocean, it is truly an enchanting experience. I sat on a bench and meditated while mild breezes ruffled my clothes.
On the recommendation from the friendly gals in the gift shop, we enjoyed a quality sandwich at Grandma’s Cafe for lunch.  Afterwards we visited the Maui Winery and purchased a bottle of their unique pineapple wine.

Kula Cottontail Cottage

It was only a few minutes from there to the main event– Kula Cottontail Cottage. The cottage is tucked into the hills on property owned by Christine and Sam Heidema, who live in another house on the grounds. This energetic young couple have turned a tired rental property into a cozy cottage on their small upcountry natural fiber farm. With a career in constructural engineering, Sam designed and remodeled the cottage with comfort and practicality in mind. Christine’s creative artistry added the touches of welcoming charm. A living room, a bedroom with a comfy kingsize bed, one bath, washer and dryer, make a it an affordable two-person getaway.

Christine Heidema

                          
While the view between the trees from the porch across the sea is lovely, it’s the unique critters in the backyard that provide the “wow” moment. Christine creates natural yarn from the animals on her property. Pictured here are her two pregnant alpacas, Faith and Hope. Their serene gazes are food for the soul. Each spring the animals are shorn. Christine uses age old techniques to wash, comb,  and spin yarn from their fleece. She also keeps an assortment of angora rabbits and laboriously combs and spins together strands of their fur into skeins of yarn. Each Saturday she sells her yarns at the local Farmer’s Market. Most weekends her stock is gone by the end of the morning.
The elegant outdoor seating area provides a fireplace to warm the surprisingly chilly Maui nights. Faith and Hope are just on the other side of the fence, providing a storybook ambiance. As the sun set, Patti and I sipped our pineapple wine (delicious) at the outdoor table, surrounded by alpacas, bunnies, and the occasional free roaming chicken.
After a good meal at the Kula Bistro, we slept under comforters to ward off cold night air. After living in the perpetual summer of Honolulu, cool air was a real treat. The next morning I roused before Patti and performed my daily yoga and meditations as the sun rose and the neighboring roosters provided a crowing symphony to greet the day. After a simple breakfast and a short visit with Christine and Sam, we packed up our belongings and bid the Cottontail Cottage goodbye to continue our adventure.
Cottontail Cottage is the perfect jumping off spot to visit the majestic Haleakala, the East Maui Volcano. Designated as a National Park, the dormant volcano rises 28,000 feet from the sea floor, making it the third highest mountain on the planet. The drive is a twisty, well paved road, up, up, up through amazing changing habitats. Areas of brush, eucalyptus, and pines ultimately give way to a moonscape of reddish lava boulders. Clouds dance across ridges and peaks. Artists strive to capture all the hues of earthen tones created by Mother Nature. Endangered and unique birds live in various areas. We spotted a few with great enthusiasm.
Volcano gazing can really build an appetite, so we wove down the mountain and cruised over to the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria for an elegant lunch. Tourists enjoyed their waterpark pools while the ocean rippled close by. The well appointed grounds display a dolphin fountain and a collection of world famous pudgy statues crafted by Fernando Botero. We finished out the afternoon in high style before we caught a plane home.
Would I recommend a stay at Kula Cottontail Cottage? Absolutely. Experience magical Maui away from the usual tourist meccas. You will love meeting Faith and Hope.

Find Kula Cottontail Cottage listed as “Upcountry Alpaca and Rabbit Working Fiber Farm” on Airbnb

For more information contact Christine Heidema at KulaCottontailCottage@gmail.com

Here are two videos of took of the interior and exterior of the property.

Bright blessings,
Dana Taylor
 

In Paradise with Wayne Dyer

Danaheadshot by Dana Taylor

th-3 Last weekend I blew $2,000 on the Hay House Writing From Your Soul Conference on Maui. Happy Birthday to me. Tropical breezes, flamingos, waterfalls, stunning sunsets and Wayne Dyer. Worth every penny.

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Hay House is a major publisher of spiritual and self-help books. When Louise L. Hay couldn’t find a publisher for the book she’d developed helping AIDS patients, she published  YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE independently. Reid Tracy came on board as chief financial officer and brought a canny business sense to structure Louise’s passion and vision.  And the rest is history. Now every spiritual author holds Hay House as their dream publisher. Well, except me. More on that later.

Doreen Virtue

Doreen Virtue

This weekend brought 550 authors and wannabe authors to Maui to soak in the bliss of Hawaii and the wisdom of Tracy, Dyer, and other Hay House luminaries, including all-things-angelic, Doreen Virtue. She lead off on Friday evening, speaking for three hours about her career path. She’s not the top selling Hay House author by accident. The woman works hard. Writing, speaking, traveling. Non-stop for the last twenty-five years. Her degrees in counseling began with a more traditional path of self-help books. She fought the inward nudging to write about her angel messages until a terrifying carjacking incident rocked her world. Being true to herself became more important than potential ridicule. Virtue’s angel books are a global sensation. She is lovely in person. Friendly and generous.

11148396_10205550936626793_5963176679843527715_nSaturday and Sunday featured a cozy fireside chat with Reid Tracy and Wayne Dyer, minus the fireplace. No special effects, graphics, bells or whistles. Just experience and wisdom. Tracy shared the harsh realities of what it takes to be a Hay House author. Great books and a great following. Like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other. Tracy’s points:

  • Build Your Platform–an author must be social media savvy in today’s publishing scene. Thousands of Facebook followers, a dynamite blog site, a huge email list. 
  • Define Your Message–what are you saying to the world. What makes you unique?
  • Marketing–authors sell the books, not the publishers. Have a plan and execute it.
  • Write a great word-of-mouth book–Last, but not least. Building the biggest platform in the world won’t do much good if the book is a bore. Of course, that’s the elusive mystery. What makes a great “must read” book? Nobody can define it, but we know it when we see. 

51mjCI+NGYLWhile Tracy was instructive, Wayne Dyer was inspirational. Spell-binding even. At age seventy-five, he has reached a guru status that is well-deserved. I’ve admired the few Dyer books I’ve read through the years. He brings esoteric thinking to the common man. In 2003 when I was drowning in despair taking care of my stroke-affected father, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, pulled me out of the emotional flood waters.

Seeing Dyer in person feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. His rags-to-riches personal story is compelling. His brilliance is surprising, though it shouldn’t be. Quotes from Nietzsche, the Tao, Melville, Rumi, the Bible, Shakespeare and more comes trippingly off his tongue. He weaves a tale, meandering until you wonder if he forgot what he was talking about about, then he pulls it all together into a great life lesson. He is humble, grateful and giving. He is simply a Great Teacher. 

I went for the weekend because I could, living a short puddle jump away. I admire Hay House and what they bring to the world. I thought Wayne Dyer would be good. I hoped to network with some local writers. And of course, there was Maui itself. Paradise. I enjoyed it all.

As for my writing career, I don’t see myself getting The Call from Reid Tracy. I’d rather watch a beautiful sunset than attract another thousand followers on Facebook or jump in a pool with my grand kids than agonize over a book proposal. I want to meet new people and listen to their stories rather than pushing my agenda on them.

But, mostly, I want to write beautiful books that come from my creative heart. They may come fast; they may come slow. I’ll love them first and hope others love them later. That’s what Writing From The Soul means to me.

Aloha!

Dana Taylor

Visit my Books and Bio Page

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