Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hidden Hawaii Tour, part 1

My sister Penny and her husband Brian came to Hawaii for their 25th wedding anniversary. Penny had been here 25 years ago, and Brian had never been here. The first part of their trip, they stayed here on the north shore with us, then spent the latter part in Waikiki.

While they were out here, I wanted to show them a "good time". There were only 3 things they wanted to do...1. Pearl Harbor 2. luau 3. the swap meet (yikes!). So weeks before their visit I got tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Center for their luau show and dinner. We'd done it before and it's really good. I found out about Pearl Harbor. I planned on doing a "circle island tour" on their first day here, to hit all the points of interest most people want to see.

Well since we live here and know some out of the way places and some "long cuts", Penny started calling my little tour the "Hidden Hawaii Tours". The following pics will show some of the "not on the tour books" things we did.

Wedding on Lanikai Beach in Kailua. This is said to be one of the "BEST" beaches in the world. Crystal clear water, the reef is far out, so no waves, white soft sand and lots of room. So these are just a few of the reasons this beach is very popular with the Japanese wedding couples. Every time I've been there, I've seen a wedding.

Punchbowl, National Cemetery of the Pacific. I had been up there before, but only to drive around. Never actually got out to walk around. At the visitors center, they give you a map showing where some of the famous grave sites are located. It was a very peaceful place and place to reflect on how lucky we are to have these people to give their lives protecting our freedoms.

Something that was very interesting was seeing all of the graves that had the date "Dec. 7, 1941" on them. This was the date of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Penny and Brian (and Becci) are HUGE fans of the bounty hunter, Dog Chapman. So I knew where his office was and took them by it. We even had to go around to the back of the building. In case your wondering, No, we didn't see him or really anyone else for that matter. Just part of the "Hidden Hawaii Tour".

The next day it was raining, so I decided to take them to the West side. We went over Kunia Road and through Scholfield Army Base. Drove through all the small west side towns to the end of the road...Yokahama Bay. Turned around, and just was Makaha Beach, the traffic stopped. Penny said "there's a fight", sure enough the boys were dukin' it out in the street. In case your wondering-the girl probably got the best of everyone. At the beginning of the snake road leading into Waialua, I commented that I bet the hunters would be out, because the rain brings the pigs down from the hills. Sure enough, on the side of the road (to the right of the blue sign) was a huge pig!!! Don't see that often in Minnesota.

That night we went to PCC for the luau. Now look at this picture! Who stands out the most? Geeezzz. But you will notice I was leaning into the other cute guy! They put on a really good show during dinner. For luau food, it's actually pretty good. They have enough local food to satisfy the rest of us. The show later in the evening is excellent! It goes to all the different island groups in the South Pacific and shows the differences in dance and song. Reminds me sort of like a show at Disneyland, but in the tropics. Not sure that makes sense, but it really is good.

Well that was the end of the first day...more later on the completion of the "Hidden Hawaii Tour".

a hui hou, aloha


The "Board" meeting

The other morning I was on my way to work at the school and stopped to look at the waves at Ali'i Beach Park. The park was closed off because there was a movie being filmed there. So I decided to go to the other side of the harbor, Haleiwa Beach Park.

As I was sitting there, I noticed three stand-up paddlers in the water. The water was so calm, no wind, no waves. They were sitting on their boards, going into the water to get wet, just having a great time. As I watched them and took some pictures I realized they were just out there having a "board meeting". What could be better?

A hui hou aloha,


Monday, April 14, 2008

Merrie Monarch

For the last several years I've gone to a huge hula competation in Hilo on the Big Island. One of my hula sisters here has an "in" to getting tickets, and the same seats pretty much every year. People come from all over the world to see this. It's actually not something that just any halau (school) can have to be chosen.

This is really THE biggest thing going on in Hilo every year. The actual competition is only three evenings, but the festivities last pretty much for a week before hand. Then on the Sunday after, the whole town seems to close down for a rest.

Thanks to DeDe, we also have an "in" for rooms on Banyan Drive in Hilo. A lot of people end up staying farther away or not being able to get rooms or not have friends/relatives to room with.

The "Merrie Monarch" as he was called was King David Kalakaua. He is credited with reviving hula after the missionaries banned it here. So every night before the performances, everything stops to let the Royal Court enter the stadium. Then they leave it's the same thing. The people who portray the king and queen have been selected based on their community service.

So for three nights, it's hula, hula, hula. Since I've gone for so many years, I know to bring a stadium seat (for all those hours sitting), water and binoculars. Our seats are high up, this makes it easier to see the formations the dances are in.

This is such a big thing here that it's televised every night "live" on the ABC station. One of the news gals went to school with my kumu, so every year she comes up and does "spot interviews" with someone in our group. Good fun!

On Saturday, during the day there's a parade down the main street in Hilo. This year it was 2 hours long! There is something so unique to Hawai'i that's in pretty much every big parade. This is the Pa'u riders. These are ladies with ornate floral headdresses with long dresses. There is one for each of the different island. The flowers, shirts, dresses, horse lei are all in the colors of each island that they represent. For example, Oahu is yellow, Big Island is red, Maui is pink. It's really something to see.

On Thursday night it's the "Miss Aloha Hula" competition. These girls dance both ancient and modern hula by themselves. Friday night is the ancient or kahiko hula for men and women. Saturday night is the hula auana or modern hula. This is actually what most people are familar with.

"Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people".
King Kalakaua

Aloha and a hui hou,


Sunday, April 13, 2008

The MH

Bet you're wondering what's the MH? Ever since Terry aquired his parent's mobile home as part of the trust settlement...we didn't know what to call it. It's not a condo, it's not a house (bigger than our home, though), it's not a trailer... the correct term, as we've found out is "mobile home". Just too long, confusing and it's not mobile! So now we just call it the "MH".
Even Jack and Lauren are calling it that now.

The day that hubby took posession, we stripped off wallpaper and started painting. If hubby was going to be there two weeks a month, we were going to make it ours. The first two months, the only furniture we had were things that our kids gave back to us after their years of use! Strange feeling to be getting used furniture from our kids. We did buy a bed like we have at home because a good nights' sleep is a must!

You have to appreciate that the MH is probably double the size of our hawaii hale. When I was there the first time in March, I had wanted to buy some furniture, but because of being sick, that was put on hold. When I went back a week later, I was feeling better and went a little crazy!

The day that Lauren and I had lunch together, we stopped in Pottery Barn. There on the floor was the perfect sofa! To make it even more perfect, it was more than half off. For those of you who know Pottery Barn, this was a huge bargin. So with the help of son and son-in-law and daughter and daughter-in-laws expert advice, we suddenly found ourselves with a new white sofa!

Since this seasons BIG color is green, I got the pillows. I was so pleased and could hardly wait to show hubby the pics I'd been taking. Cruzin' WalMart late one night, I found the perfect table...not only was it the perfect size and color, but the $$ of $25.00 made it even more perfect~ Now I was on a roll. Since the store that I bought the sofa at didn't have the chair that I'd always loved...I was on a mission to find it.

After going on the internet and calling the Pottery Barn stores in the area, I found one. I begged daughter to please, please, please take me (I just knew it would fit in the back of her van). So after dropping Lauren off at school, buying her a Starbucks we were off to South Coast Plaza with Jack. Sure enough, they had the chair un-boxed and ready to go. Got one more "perfect green" pillow and we were off.

Since these pictures were taken and hubby has been there working, the bedroom is now painted to match the spread, he bought a flat screen tv and even went to Crate & Barrel and got an entertainment center for it.

So next time I go, I'll be taking some pictures for the walls, and little things to help the MH become more of a home-away-from-home.

Aloha and a hui hou,

Grandparents Day

Months ago, I was reading the school calendar that Lauren had brought home from her new school. I saw that they had "Grandparent's Day" listed. Right away I knew that this was something I really wanted to do. So I made a reservation immediately on my favorite airline!

I didn't realize that I'd be going over to help with the grandkids two weeks before my much anticipated "Grandparent's Day" trip. But that is another story!

I flew in the night before and picked up Lauren in the morning and took her to school. Then I waited until the appointed time. I'd been to her school numerous times, even working in the classroom, but this felt like "the first time".

All of us grandparents were treated to a tour of the classroom, looking at artwork and assignments. We were given a packet to work on with our grandchild. Lauren had to put a plumeria in her hair. I answered questions about mommy when she was a little girl. Lauren really thought that some of these things were pretty funny!

A bell rang and we were dismissed to the chapel for the program. Lauren's class was first up and performed a song and poem about grandparents. That's her in the blue hat on the end! The rest of the program brought a lot of laughs and also a few tears.

At the end of the program, we grandparents were allowed to take our grandkids for the rest of the day. Lauren wanted to go to Nordstrom Cafe for lunch and then shopping. Sitting there talking with her (she seemed so grown-up), I realzed how truely blessed I was to not only have this special little girl in my life, but also the rest of my family. The best part of being a grandparent is having the time to really appreciate the Grand-est things in life.

Big Mahalo to Jen for the photos!

a hui hou and aloha,

I Promise!

After realizing that there are bloggers out there that have WAY more going on in their lives than I ever could, I've been shamed into trying to get my blog caught up!
So now that I'm back from the mainland, no court for a couple of weeks, no company, no association pressing matters, no short trips to Hilo, no talks to give in church, feeling really good and hubby is off to the mainland, I'm going to get caught up! I promise!

So without any pressure I'm going to start posting all the exciting, fun, aggravating, breathtaking and just plain boring stuff I've been up to in the last, let's see...month! Yikes, that long! This could really keep me busy for awhile!

So stay tuned for the "trying to get caught up" posts in the near future!

Aloha a hui hou,