An Amazing Woman

My cousin, Carrie Molz, passed away Christmas Eve morning, at the age of 53. I find myself unusually affected by her passing, in part because her death was so unexpected and she was so young, but also: 

… the sheer number of people whose lives she touched. The crowds at her visitation and funeral were unlike any I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been to a lot of funerals). We barely found a place to park at the visitation. And after standing in a very long line for at least 30 minutes, the funeral director nicely asked everyone to move more quickly as there were so many people who wanted to offer condolences to the family. 

… and the beautiful eulogies from family and friends who spoke so eloquently of her life’s work caring for others through her volunteering. She’s inspiring me to step it up! 

… and the grace and compassion Todd, Tyler, and Trevor had for us mourners; even in their grief, they cared for the comfort and concern of those who came to show their respects.

… and being reunited with my far-flung brothers and sister as well as all the Hogans, Kortes, and Fladungs. We shared so many family stories and got caught up with our current lives. While talking with Ed Hogan about all the fun we had visiting them on the farm when we were young, he told a new-to-me story about my dad. He said every time our family got in the car to go back to Ottawa, Dad would roll down his window and yell, “Ed!” When he looked up, Dad would make the sign of the cross. This went on for years and Ed thought it was just a thing he and Uncle Al did. But about 10 years ago, his family finally explained it to him. One summer when he was young, he stayed for a week at Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Bob’s farm. One day Charlotte was driving with Ed on a rural, empty road and ran through a stop sign. Little Ed questioned her about it, and she explained that she could see in all directions and there clearly weren’t any cars, so it was OK. But as she was explaining her poor driving habits, she looked over and saw Ed making the sign of the cross. Ha!  That was sure my dad’s teasing way!

Right after Mom died, I was with my 8-year-old granddaughter. She noticed I was very quiet and asked what was wrong. I told her I was sad because my mom had just died. She said, “Grandpa, many people believe you can carry another person in your heart.” So true, sweet girl. And Carrie that’s where you are too! 

A Little Hoyochi Nikko History

By Way of Introduction 
So many of us who stay at Hoyochi Nikko return year after year. And it got us to wondering about its history. Thanks to Peter Stursberg, son of the property owners when it was a home before it became a resort, we have lots of photos and stories to share. Thank you Peter!


In the beginning …
There was a house, purchased by the Stursbergs in the 1960’s, which they enjoyed for years. The Stursberg clan 1969 (left to right): Dick, Marg, Marg’s mom Florence, Peter, Janet.


Dick & Marg, with the empty lot behind them and no Kuleana yet.


This was taken from the area that is now the upper driveway entrance and walkway to the pool. The sugar cane fields come right down to the road, which was the ONLY road north of Kaanapali. After the Honoapiilani highway was built, this road was renamed Lower Honoapiilani.


The Mustang would be where the stairs to #205 are today.


Far south end of the lot, where 101/201 are today.


Stairs are on the left and there is no sand on top yet.


Peter’s sister, Janet. The stairs to the ocean are right behind her.


There is another house to the south of their property, where Hale Mahina is now. Obviously, the original seawall looks quite different.


The boundary between the two properties is where the seawall comes up about a foot. At this time the other property was an empty lot.


There was a beach in the late 1960’s, which disappeared in the 1970’s. Kuleana hasn’t been built yet.


Peter’s mom and grandma standing at the edge of their lot, looking into the empty lot, which would later become part of Hoyochi Nikko.


Photo from the empty lot looking south.


A goofy photo of 16-year-old Peter in 1969 when there was just a house. Peter says he never got very skilled at surfing.


Inside the Family Home

Master bedroom.


Living Room


Kitchen with a view




Hoyochi Nikko (“Resort of the Sunbeam”)
In 1973 Peter’s parents and business partners purchased the adjacent land and built Hoyochi Nikko. Peter says the name was chosen, in part, to honor his father’s Japanese grandmother. The fellow walking past the pool is Fred Paquette, who with his wife Filly, were the managers. Peter took this shot from a stepladder on a Kuleana lanai in the mid 70’s to create a free postcard for guests to send to their friends and help advertise this little-known destination in the process.


When Peter lived in #202, from 1976 – 1981, there was never a beach and the palm trees were small.


The old BBQ and rocky beach.


Before the highway was built, the cane field came all the way down to Lower Honoapiilani Road. Peter said it was quite the sight when it was lit on fire. In the 1980’s, the land  was subdivided and housing built.


Sales brochure.


2018 Hoyochi Nikko
Thanks to guest Chad Berndt for this aerial shot via drone.


Maui February 27 – March 1st

Tuesday—last full day—we took special care on our morning walk to soak in all-the-everything. We also continued to search in vain for the name of the artist who had a palm leaf piece at a local spa. Karen called the spa, the hotel with which the spa is associated (x2), asked at several galleries, but zippo. I’ve made many tries too and I’m still trying. If anyone has a lead, give me a call.

Our last sunset had only little color but was still beautiful and peaceful.

Wednesday we did all the usual morning stuff, packed, and said goodbye to the ocean. We also stopped to say goodbye to Melody. While sitting with her, a guest returned a coffee pot she had loaned them because theirs didn’t work, and I was struck by how many guests they help so graciously every day, all day.

Checkout was 11:00 a.m. and our flight 10:15 p.m., so LOTS of time ahead of us with only a few plans, but we thought we could punt, and we did; in retrospect though, it would have been more fun to have better plans. But we did very much enjoy lunch at Honu (we had our favorite: fish dore-style) and noticed that their paper straws had honus (turtles). If you haven’t read Karen’s blog post on the straw pollution here, take a look at:

After lunch, we headed to Maalaea Harbor to see the Hokule’a; she was back in Hawaii after sailing for three years around the world. We’ve been interested in these voyaging canoes for a long time, ever since Richard, Karen, and I saw the Mo’okiha O Pi’ilani being built inside a hangar at Kamehameha Iki Park and Captain Tim Gilliom gave us a tour. The Hokule’a was in Maui for a couple weeks so the crew could share their sailing and navigating knowledge with the public in general, but with the keiki (kids) in particular. Kala, an apprentice navigator, was on board when we visited and there is a remarkable, short film of her here that is definitely worth checking out:

Earlier in our trip Karen and I felt privileged and emotional to hear five crewmembers, captains, and navigators, speak of the history of Hokule’a and their experience as part of her 3-year World Tour. As Karen mentioned in her blog it is such a powerful tale from many perspectives, including how it was a catalyst for Hawaiians to come to know and reclaim their culture in the deepest possible ways.  See Karen’s blog for more insight into the Hokule.

By early afternoon, Karen, who hadn’t had much sleep the night before, was really aching to take a nap. And I wanted to explore the beaches around Wailea. So we did both. I found this beautiful place where she could nap in the car and I could enjoy the ocean one last time.

I’d been wanting to go to Monkeypod, and we finally made it for happy hour and pupus. Great (I mean REALLY great) drinks and good food. The interior design was interesting and the bubble bar back caught my eye. We lingered as long as we decently could, and then it was time to bring this Great Hawaiian Adventure to a close.

A hui hou, Maui! We’re booked for 2019! And mahalo to everyone for coming along on this ride; Karen and I have enjoyed all your comments immensely.

Textures of Hawaii-The People

For this final installment of Textures, Surfer Sue here represents all the cheerful, interesting souls we’ve met here.

David and I met “Surfer Sue” (as her name tag proclaims), a bright, perky woman at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers. When I stepped up to the counter to order I was so struck by her happiness that when she later stopped by our table to comment “You seemed to have liked the food” I mentioned she seemed so remarkably happy. She just smiled and said, “As long as I can get out on a surf board, I’m happy.” So surf? She looked to be in her late 60’s, early 70’s and she was strong and agile and working in a fast food restaurant. When was the last time you saw a worker truly happy in such a place? We got to talking and she told us she was originally from Washington, DC but the first time she landed on the tarmac in Hawaii she felt she was home. She does stand up paddling now and loves that she can see what’s beneath the water in a way she couldn’t when she surfed.

David and I left feeling privileged to have met her, as we have with so many, many people in Hawaii.

A hui hou!