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Star Struck on Maui - Part 2
Mark Twain also wrote about Maui landmarks. He dubbed Iao Valley "the Yosemite of the Pacific," while penning some of his most popular news reports from Lahaina's Pioneer Inn. While Yosemite might be an exaggeration, Iao Valley proved a captivating subject for artist Georgia O'Keefe, who traveled to Maui to paint tropical fruits and flowers on behalf of the Dole Company. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's work can be found on the Valley Isle. He designed a nautilus-shaped mansion for Marilyn Monroe, who died before she could take up residence in it. Today it's the Kahili Golf Course clubhouse in Waikapu.
Charles Lindbergh retired from a life spent in the public eye to the remote village of Kipahulu, where he lies at rest.
Notable musicians have always favored Maui, where the small venues offer intimacy and opportunities for spontaneous performance. Elvis flew into West Maui's private airstrip to play at the Sheraton Kaanapali. Jimi Hendrix climbed Haleakala to perform his legendary "Rainbow Bridge" concert. George Harrison, who lived for years along the wild Hana coast, occasionally popped into Paia to play with local musicians, and Prince has been known to surprise clubgoers around the island with saxophone solos. Longtime resident Willie Nelson regularly donates his talents onstage (and on the golf course!) during island charity events.
Maui's own musicians are making waves on the world stage: George Kaahumoku Jr. and master slack key guitar players have been collecting Grammies since the Hawaiian music category was added in 2005. This summer Mick Fleetwood debuted his Island Rumors band, a star-studded line-up including the lovely Raiatea Helm, sexy Barefoot Natives duo, Willie K and Eric Gilliom, and Lopaka Colon from Kapono's Wild Hawaiian band. It's easy to catch these local songsters between international tours.
The most famous guest to visit Maui recently was His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, who traveled from Dharamsala to bless a Tibetan temple in Paia. Over 20,000 Maui residents attended his lectures on world peace and the tenets of Buddhism.
And so celebrities come to Maui for inspiration and recreation. Consider yourself one of them. We do.
Shannon Wianecki investigates the often-contentious territory dividing her two passions: sustainability and luxury travel. Her articles on food, travel, social dilemmas, and the environment have been published in magazines throughout the US and Australia. As Food Editor for Maui No Ka Oi Magazine, she takes the pulse of the Pacific dining scene in "Gossip Gourmet." She's the author of several travel books, most recently Fodors Maui 2007. Read her work at www.shannonwianecki.com.
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