Happy New Year!

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Letter from Diane Haynes Woodburn

Diane Haynes WoodburnAs I write this, 2013 is just coming to its close, with the news that Conde Nast readers have once again voted Maui the Best Island in the World.

I’m not surprised. Maui has so much to offer: iconic beaches, world-class resorts, nationally acclaimed chefs, fashion and jewelry designers, private yachts, private jets, oceanfront homes. . . . That’s what makes compiling our annual Luxury Issue such fun.

In just the last month (purely in the line of duty), I’ve been pampered at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua’s Fitness Week, spent a weekend at the Fairmont Kea Lani while attending the Noble Chef (a gala dinner that celebrates and supports Maui’s culinary industry), and found myself, the following weekend, at Andaz Maui’s grand opening. Luxury? You betcha.

This morning, however, I am washing dishes. A lot of dishes.

Last night we had dinner for twenty. As usual, Maui No Ka ‘Oi’s deadline is looming, and I am seriously behind. Our house is filled with visiting friends and family: Jamie’s twin brother, Jeff, and his wife, Elaine, are in the guest bedroom; our son Jon, between rentals, is camped in my maybe someday home office; and our Lahaina friends Deb and Chris are bunking in my husband’s office. (How has Jamie finagled a space for his work?) This means my “desk” is once again the kitchen table.

I’ve almost cleared enough space in the kitchen to cook breakfast, when Jamie comes in and starts clattering pots and pans. “I think I’ll make some liliko‘i butter,” he announces. Then Jeff emerges and begins assembling our first-ever fake Christmas tree. I remove myself to the kitchen table and try to work. (I should mention that our kitchen, dining and living rooms are all one big, open, unsoundproofed space.)

“I’ll get breakfast going as soon as Jamie clears space on the stove,” I promise. “No need,” Elaine says. “I’ll bring out the leftovers. You go work.” She happily begins reassembling the entire feast.

As I retreat to the far end of the table, Jamie sidles up and reads over my shoulder. “What’s the theme?” he asks. “Luxury,” I reply. “As in, ‘a room of one’s own,’” I mutter to myself. Debby joins us, dressed in PJs and Uggs, carrying ornaments and offering to adorn the tree. Elaine volunteers as elf, and I cave in to the food and fun as well.

An hour later, as I again begin to clear some space to work, Jon emerges from the office that just won’t happen. “Ham and eggs?” I offer. “You may as well leave it all out,” Debby advises. And she’s right. Jamie brings the gardener in for a piece of pie. Our neighbor comes to pick up the dish he left last night, and sits down to gab. My nephew drops by for a sandwich, and our two other sons arrive to hit the buffet line. By now, I’m looking around for a spot to put a cash register, or at least a menu board with the day’s specials.

The day is nearly over, and I haven’t finished a tenth of what I had hoped to. I take a deep breath and look around. Right here, right now, is real luxury—the kind I wish everyone: a home filled with family, friends, laughter and food.

I head back to my computer, grinning happily. “What are you doing?” Jamie asks. “I’m going to work,” I reply.

“Oh, right,” he says. “Pass the potatoes.”

Wishing you a new year filled with love and joy.

Diane Haynes Woodburn
Publisher, Maui No Ka ‘Oi


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