July 22, 2012

Vacation: True R&R comes from nature, local traditions, meditation, love—not cable TV, minibar & other entertainment.

First Vacation Ever:




A different kind of vacation: one that doesn’t tire us out, but rejuvenates us from the outside, in, waking us up.

Vacation isn’t about TV and busy entertainment within a sterile walled-off hotel: it’s about community, adventure, learning about local culture, reconnecting back to oneself. ~ ed.


Going on my first vacation. As a Buddhist, less is more: true R&R comes from nature, local traditions, meditation, love.

What, what? Speedy, busy, tireless, tired Mister elephant is taking a working vacation to Hawaii.

I’ve never been over an ocean. Other than Halifax (where my ma lives), and Montreal, and Quebec City, and a half mile over into Nogales (where I ate too much, smoked a Cuban cigar, drank a Mexican Coke) I’ve never been out of the US. I’ve just worked and worked and worked: I’ve never been particularly motivated to take time off—I love what I do and believe in enjoying simple service—and I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable with the privilege involved in taking care of myself (it took me, say, 30 years before I got my first massage).

I’m going with my longtime friend Melanie Freeman, of huge wonderful Black Swan Yoga, and she and I will share up some videos of our stay, as well as a review.


elephant goes to Lumeria Maui.

We’ll report back with a review, and videos.

For my first vacation ever I wanted a few things:

1) nothing. I don’t need bells and whistles. I don’t want or need TVs or entertainment.

2) I do want luxury—I want to be able to relax, and renew. But I mainly want nature, simplicity, daily yoga, organic local food, and water. And love. I basically need to sleep, rest, recover, and, hopefully, cry. I haven’t cried in, like, nearly two years. Don’t make fun of me.

Videos of this new, yet historic, connected-to-the-place-people-spirit of Hawaii, luxurious yet simple eco yoga resort (where elephant may hold future yoga retreats):

Opening Ceremony featuring the founder, Xorin:

A tour with Xorin:

A different kind of vacation: community, organic local garden, meditation, yoga, healing, Hawaiian culture. Reconnecting back to oneself. Recalibrate. Well-done video:

Another tour:


I chose Lumeria, instead of various other retreats, because of my longtime friendship with Craig King, one of elephant magazine’s first columnists. Craig now lives and chefs at Lumeria. After months of calls and texts and patient emails (he must have known I was finally able and interested) we just bought out tickets today.


More on Craig:

Dining Philosophy


Here at Lumeria Maui, we believe that healing the human body and soul begins with our connection to the earth and the love that is present while growing and preparing food. These crucial elements promote transformation for each other and the world. Our nutritional alchemist, Chef Ben Diamond, has designed our menu with the freshest and finest quality seasonal ingredients—all harvested from the bounty of our organic gardens and other local farms.

Harvest, our farm-to-table dining café, provides a rich journey of awakening the senses of taste and smell and providing nutritional, emotional and physical wellness. Each of the meals presented are visually artful and provide a balanced blend of natural nutrient-rich foods.

Additionally, our master cleanse chef, Craig King, offers the Lumeria Glow Cleanse for those on a cleansing journey. We understand the importance of periodically detoxifying the body and have designed this program to sustain you as you cleanse.
More Information on the Lumeria Glow Cleanse

Included in your stay is complimentary Lumeria coffee and tea service, fresh juice, organic fruit, yogurt and granola, available from 7 to 9 a.m. in the café.

Retreats and property buy-outs please call for a full menu of dining services.

Bonus: I love history, you may too:

Property History


Designed by Honolulu-based architect, H.R. Kerr, our property holds its own unique heritage: The once Fred C. Baldwin Memorial Home was built in 1909 by the Baldwin sugar cane family. They used it to house aging plantation laborers who had dedicated much of their lives to work the cane fields. Since the early 1900s, the property and buildings were used for a range of purposes: At the beginning of World War II, it was commissioned by the military for housing. By the 1950s and 1960s the site was repurposed again as additional dormitory housing for the nearby Mauna Olu Women’s College, and most recently, it was used as a dormitory for Maui Land and Pineapple workers.

Inspired by the history and the rare courtyard design, Xorin Balbes fell instantly in love with the authentic feeling of the property, its location on the island and the remarkable buildings it possessed. Today, the property is listed in The National Registry of Historic Places and is one of the largest historic renovations on the island of Maui. By honoring the past while implementing innovative designs, Lumeria Maui has been born.

The Maui and Los Angeles-based architecture and design firm, Templehome (www.templehome.net) orchestrated the entire restoration, interior design and landscape design.

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