Good eats on the island of Maui


Dan "The RCI Guy" - Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI Guy"Last year, my best friend asked me to join him in Hawaii to celebrate his birthday. He was going to be staying at a beach house in Paia on the north shore of Hawaii. Since it was still a bit chilly where I live in Salt Lake City, the answer was easy... "yes"!

I've been coming to Hawaii since I was 10 years old...at first it was always the island of Oahu, but over the years I've been able to visit almost all the islands – Kauai (where I own a timeshare), Oahu, Maui and even Lanai.

Our flight landed in Kahului and the beach town of Paia is only about 10-15 minutes east along the north shore. We arrived at night, so I really couldn't see anything, but I could sure hear the surf from the beach house we were staying at. There's something magical, almost mesmerizing about the listening to the ocean surf, especially at night. For me, it easily lulls me to sleep. My first morning was beautiful, the ocean was only 50 feet off the back porch and there were shallow tidal pools where the locals loved to go fishing.

When I go on vacation I love to go off the beaten path and Paia is exactly my kind of place – a local surfing town with VERY friendly people and lots of little, funky shops and restaurants. Some of my favorites were the Paia Fish Market - try the mahi mahi burger with onion rings. Cafe Des Amis serves up great crepes with a fun, outdoor patio. No matter what, take the time to check out Mana Foods. It's the local health food/grocery store and it has the coolest items that you won’t find anywhere else. It seems almost everything in the store is organic – really fun. And if you go during the day you should check out their hot and cold deli. We bought a bunch of the buffalo wings...seriously some of the best wings I've ever had! Finally, perhaps the most famous restaurant on the island is just a couple of miles east of Paia. Mamma's Fish House has been right on the beach for about 40 years and the food is amazingly good. The atmosphere is hard to beat and the service was impeccable. I ordered the wild boar and mahi mahi – fantastic! My friends ordered the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi stuffed with crab - mmmmm good! Your meal starts with fresh baked bread and a complimentary "shot" of the soup of the day. Mamma’s Fish House may be pricey, but it is well worth it!

Another great spot on the island is Wailea. There are three or four great beaches but my favorite was Big Beach – just ask any of the locals how to get there. Look for local food trucks selling everything from shaved ice to shrimp scampi along the way. Big Beach is just that... BIG! It stretches along the west coast for almost half a mile - the sand is soft and the waves are perfect for boogie boarding or body surfing.

Also on the west coast, but further north, is Ka'anapali. There are a lot of beautiful beaches here and my favorite place is Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop. It's about five miles before you get to town, look for it on the right, and it is HEAVEN! Yes, their pies are incredibly good, but so are their sandwiches and pot pies...everything is amazing!

I LOVE Maui - hope you do too!! Come back to the RCI Blog this week to read stories and see photos from RCI subscribing members who have also visited Maui. Trust me, these photos will not disappoint!

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From Christel House to an internship


Estefany B., Christel House Graduate, Christel House MexicoEstefany B., Christel House Graduate, Christel House Mexico

This year has been a very special year, as I’ve had many opportunities in the tourism field that have helped me grow and learn.  One of those is the internship at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar in Cabo San Lucas, México this past summer.  This great experience was very important for me and my future, the future that I’m working on.

Currently I am studying Planning and Tourism Management at the Tourism University in Mexico City.  The opportunities I had during my internship were more about hospitality and timeshare, but it gave me a general overview of my career.  Thanks to this opportunity, I feel like I am a step ahead compared to my peers.  I know that everyone will have the chance to experience what I did this past summer, but at the moment, I know that I have a better understanding of the industry as a whole.  I had the opportunity to meet people that work in the industry and know their jobs very well and they can possibly help me gain employment in the future.

I’m very thankful to every person who has made this possible for me, without them this would not have happened.

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Thanksgiving with the Christel House Cousins


Becky A., Director, Christel House

By: Becky A., Director, Christel House

 

My first real job out of college was at RCI.  I started as a vacation guide 22 years ago.  As a small town girl from the middle of Indiana, working for RCI opened my eyes to different people and cultures and created a broader view of the world for me.  I learned to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity.  After all, isn’t that part of the magic of traveling to a new place?

 

In my role at Christel House, I love working with RCI and all of the timeshare companies that support our efforts.  But, my favorite thing is spending time with our kids. I personally know most of the young people you’re hearing from this week on the blog.  Some of them have been to the U.S. to attend a summer leadership camp and have stayed at my house on numerous occasions.  They are part of my extended family and like all families, we have special traditions, including an annual Thanksgiving feast.  Only, our feast takes place in August at the end of camp and green bean casserole is nowhere on the menu.

 

We give thanks the Christel House way, with Indian flat bread, guacamole, curry, tacos and other “family” favorites from the across the globe. The kids each pick a food from their home country that they would like to share with their Christel House “cousins”.  That’s what they call each other – they may be from different countries, but to them, Christel House is home and we are all family. 

 

The kids do all of the cooking.  My job is to make sure no one cuts themselves or burns the house down – they aren’t used to sharp knives or cooking on a stove that has more than one heat setting.  The end result is a humble meal made from the most basic of ingredients.  Yet to me, it is far better than a gourmet meal in any five star restaurant.  It isn’t just about the food.

 

Just like with lots of families, some of the best conversations take place around my kitchen table.  The kids take so much pride in sharing their unique customs and traditions with each other.  It is something we all have, regardless of whether we are rich or poor.  They also love to find the common threads that run through all of our cultures. That’s what happens when people of different backgrounds come together through travel or over a shared meal; it breaks down barriers and promotes mutual understanding and respect.  And, that is the magic of what happens in my kitchen each August.

 

A photo of me and the “cousins” cooking our Thanksgiving dinner.

A photo of me and the “cousins” cooking our Thanksgiving dinner.

 

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It’s Christel House Week on the RCI Blog


Christel DeHaan - Christel House News and Updates

I am thrilled to welcome you to the very first Christel House week on the RCI Blog.  As the founder of Christel House and co-founder of RCI, it gives me immense pleasure to witness the outpouring of generosity that RCI and its employees have shown to the children of Christel House.

 

I could never have imagined what was to come when my family’s living room served as the first RCI “office” in 1973.  As the timeshare industry evolved and business grew, so too, did RCI’s reach.  We rapidly became a multinational company with offices spanning the globe.  And, our corporate culture, including a strong belief in giving back to the communities where we did business, quickly transcended international borders.  That rich culture of social responsibility continues to be a hallmark of RCI’s business today.

 

After the sale of RCI in 1997, I was in the unique position of being able to focus my time and resources on making a difference in the world.  Christel House is my way of doing just that. We opened our first learning center for impoverished children in Mexico City in 1998.  Four more centers in India, South Africa, Venezuela and the United States soon followed.  And, fourteen years later, we continue to grow.  Most of our learning centers are strategically located in third world countries where RCI had much success during my tenure.

 

It also is important to recognize that you, the RCI subscribing members, have played an important role in this story since day one.  Without your patronage of RCI throughout the years, none of this would be possible.  For that, I thank you. 

 

This week, you will have an opportunity to read blogs from some of our students, teachers and even a few RCI employees who have visited our learning centers.  You will also have an opportunity to join RCI in supporting our work.  True to its culture of giving back, RCI will match all donations made to Christel House in 2012 by its members up to a cumulative $25,000.  I invite you to join us as we transform young lives.

 

A photo of me and Christel House students in South Africa

A photo of me and Christel House students in South Africa

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Branson, Missouri


My husband's family is scattered all over the country. Our reunions always consisted of gathering at someone's house where we were all crowded together...I suggested timesharing instead. Since we had several weeks deposited, I was able to arrange, through our own resort and RCI, for each family to have their own timeshare condo in Branson. We all had a wonderful time and it has become a tradition to have our reunions this way. Several family members have since purchased their own timeshares.

- Pam R. from Gas City, IN
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