Category Archives: Dining

Best Toiletry Bag

As en elite frequent flier, I always carry on toiletries. I will show you how to choose the best carry on toiletry bag for your needs. You will breeze through airport security.

Types of Carry On Toiletry Bags

Which type of toiletry bag is for you? Designer, Walmart, or plastic quart? There are a lot of good choices now for carrying toiletries on an airplane.  Some of my top picks include: 

Zip Top Bags

These bags are inexpensive, recyclable in many places, and easy to replace.  If you go with the gold standard zip top bag quart bag, some brands are thin and easy to puncture. Others are thicker plastic and withstand stretching. Unless you plan to change bags during your trip, find one that is strong and can stretch out without tearing.

Stretch strength becomes especially important later in your trip when you find yourself stuffing it to the max, and then it rips. Hefty One Zip Travel Bags Quart Size and Ziploc Double Zipper All-Purpose Storage Quart Value Pack Bags – 50 CT(2Pack) (or ziplock, depending on how you spell). Both companies make strong quart size plastic bags that meet TSA rules for liquids.

Another good option has emerged: the heavy duty polyvinyl chloride ziptop bag. These bags are TSA-approved and will take hundreds of flights before wearing out (assuming you don’t over stuff the bag and break the zipper).

Tip: Always carry backup quart bags in your luggage.

Type of Bag Closure

Most “zip top” plastic bags seal when you press two plastic seams together. Some even change color when the bag is sealed properly. This is fine for tonight’s leftovers, but for air travel it’s less than ideal. When you’re rushing to the airport at 4 AM it’s so easy to miss the seal, and colors don’t help in a dark hotel room. You end up later with a goopy mixture of lotion and toothpaste smeared into your luggage. Don’t get me wrong, this type of bag will work, especially if you’re careful to tighten all the lids inside and carefully seal the bag well. It’s just not my favorite.

I prefer the quart size bag with an actual zipper seal. These seal every time, and it’s obvious when they’re not closed. They’re also strong and stretch beautifully to accomodate that last-minute hand cream you just can’t travel without. As a bonus, TSA makes these bags available for free at many airports.

Hefty OneZip Storage Bags, Quart, Value Pack, 40 Count (Pack of 3) 120 Bags Total”>Zip top quart zie bag that meets TSA rules for liquids
This zip top quart size plastic bag cinches and stretches to accomodate liquids according to TSA rules. Even better, I got it for free at Portland International Airport.

For instance, I found a giant box of Hefty One Zip Quart Storage Bags, 22 Count Boxes (Pack of 4) Total 88 Bags bags just before the security ticket/ID check at Portland International (PDX). I grabbed a dozen to get me through the next year of flying. I always leave one or two empty bags in my carry-on luggage for the inevitable moment when the plastic bag rips and all of my toiletries spill out.

You might even try Hefty OneZip Glow in the Dark Halloween Quart Size Storage Bags (10ct) so you can easily find your toiletries in a dark hotel room.

Dining Review: Hailiʻimaile General Store (Maui)

3 Stars

I want to love the dining experience here more than I do. The location Upcountry is charming and rustic. I booked a table for four, and we ordered three courses with drinks. Overall, we spent $311 for dinner and left disappointed. 

     It’s important to realize that the restaurant is surrounded by sugar cane fields. Sugar is their primary “local” ingredient in most dishes, but they just don’t tell you that. If you have a super sweet tooth, you will be happy here.  
Here’s how it went:

– Quality wine list that suits the food and a creative cocktails. 

– Goat cheese tart – warm, savory and delicious. One tart cut into four single bites. 

– Shishito peppers – best dish of the meal, served roasted with alea salt and balsamic drizzle

– House salad – local greens with walnuts, mandarin orange wedges, optional cheese and a light vinaigrette. Our greens tasted slightly soured and like the refrigerator, and we sent it back. The replacement was much fresher. 

– Mahi Mahi with lilikoi butter, sweet potato mash and greens – best entree in the table. 

Stars = 4 stars

– Roasted chicken with root vegetables- meat was a tad dry but otherwise very flavorful. Good sized portion. My dining companion took home 1/2 of it and was looking forward to eating the leftovers steamed in his homemade chicken stock to add moisture. Stars = 3 stars

– Rack of lamb with mashed potatoes, broccoli and Hunan sauce – high quality quality ingredients cooked perfectly. As is, the dish is great for people who don’t actually like the taste of meat or veggies. The Hunan sauce utterly ruined the dish because it is candy sweet (think shave ice level of sweetness) and blocks out every other flavor in the plate. Worse, the chef drowned the plate in sauce. I took two bites, sent it back and asked for no sauce. I received the same food items coated in sauce re-plated to a smaller plate with more sauce pooled in the corner of the plate (instead of drowning the food). If you order the lamb, ask for the SAUCE ON THE SIDE, if at all. 

Stars = 1 star with sauce, 3 stars without sauce. 

– Duck with maple bacon mash and veggies – description sounded amazing. This was easily the worst dish on the table. The duck was utterly dry, and it takes efforts cook duck that dry because it is literally one of the greasiest birds. We were baffled. The mash and veggies were also super sweet, rendering the dish almost inedible. My dining companion refused to send it back (she never sends anything back), ate 1/3 of it and declined to take home leftovers. 

Stars = 1 star. 

We skipped it. We had sugar headaches from the entrees and couldn’t bear any more sweetness. 
Bottom line: go for drinks and appetizers. If you’re looking for a high quality dinner experience, go to Mama’s Fish House in Paia or Merriman’s on the West side.

Maui Dining and Art: 3 Top Meal Deals in Kihei

http://www.mauiartonline.comBy Stephanie Sachs

Maui can certainly be expensive. Plus you can easily end up in a tourist trap and spend good money for bad food. Being an artist I always look for clean food on a budget. Here are some of my favs.

1. Maui Thai Bistro – Great flavors, fresh herbs and friendly service. Portions are large enough to eat family style. Meal for two $20. If you’re local, ask for the kama’aina discount.

Address: 2439 S. Kihei Rd. #103B, Kihei, HI 96753 Phone: (808) 874-5605 Cuisine: Thai Hours: 11:30 am to 9 pm Daily

2.Jawz – Tried and true. Clean Mexican with a wonderful array of fixings at their salsa bar. I am not crazy about their fish but I do enjoy their enchilada pie and soft corn tacos with steak. Located at the back of Azeka’s II 1279 South Kihei Road. Air conditioned, which is a plus in Kihei. Most items under $10.

Address: 1279 S Kihei Rd Kihei, HI 96753-5228 Phone: (808) 874-8226 Cuisine: Grill Hours: 11 am to 9 pm daily; Happy Hour 3 pm to 6 pm Monday through Saturday

3. Sansei – Yes, sushi can be expensive but you have to know when the locals go to get the dakine deal. On Sunday and Monday, sushi appetizers and entrees are 50% off from 5 to 6pm and 25% off on Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 6pm. Be sure to get there no later than 4:30, or even earlier during season. Bring a beach chair and a book or enjoy meeting local people all waiting on line and happy about eating a great meal at a killer price. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday after 10pm, sushi and appetizers are 50% off plus they offer drink specials. Free Karaoke at night which can be a mixed blessing.

Address: 1881 S Kihei Rd Kihei, HI 96753 Phone: (808) 879-0004 Cuisine: Seafood and Sushi Hours: Dinner nightly

Please feel free to comment on these and add your own suggestions.

Warmest Aloha, Stephanie

About the Contributor:

Stephanie displays and sells her art work Tuesday mornings at the Four Seasons Wailea. You can meet her in the lower lobby. Enjoy videos hosted by the artist at . Feel free to see her artwork at