Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hawaii Summer Wedding Season

Many people would agree that Hawaii is one of the perfect backdrops for a wedding. Perfect weather, palm trees, sand and the ocean all add up for a dream wedding here in Hawaii. There are a couple issue with getting your wedding out here. The main issue is the cost of flying your guests out here, as well as the costs of the wedding it self. You can find discounts for flights out to Hawaii if you plan enough time ahead. There are many different wedding planners and photographer here and have the planning down to a science.

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Many different types of hotels and prices for your wedding party and honeymoon. Transportation via rental car, limousine, taxi cab, or bus can make getting around pretty easy. Also you can find many different venue spots and price ranges for your wedding. And if costs are an issue you can find a public park and set up a wedding, you just have to file for a temp pass from the state. Make your dream wedding come true, and come out to Hawaii and spend it with us.

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Snorkeling in Hawaii: Breathing like Darth Vadar

Snorkeling bridges the gap between air and water while allowing you to breath and view all the beautiful ocean and sea creatures. This was my first step to becoming an under water explorer and today I have dived 50 feet deep and have bypassed all my fears. If you follow these simple ideals you will have a great snorkeling experience.

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Equipment: Breathing like Darth Vadar
Fins, face mask, and breathing tube. Getting in the Water. Its best to get in the water before putting on your fins. Get your face mask on top of your head, and the breathing tube attached. Walk into the water and sit/float in the water. This way its easy to put on your fins, easier to get in the water, and avoid getting sand in your fins. Dip your head in the water and let your face mask fill with water and adjust to the temperature of the water. Drain and secure over eyes. Make sure the breathing tube is clear. Stay in the shallows and get use to the breathing process. Yup breath like Darth Vadar, this gets you focused on the proper way to breath into the air tube and takes your mind off any fears.

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Breathing and Equalizing Your Ears:
It is natural to have fear of the unknown ocean. Claustrophobia is also a normal feeling with you have your face in the water and start breathing from the tube.DON’T PANIC. Relax, this is the time people start to panic, it is natural to feel anxiety and want to breath normally, fight through this. To dive deep you have to pinch your nose and blow gently until you can feel your ears fill with pressure. If you cannot do this, you will not be able to dive very deep in the ocean.

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Waves:
If waves come, it is best to dive under them, do not stay where the wave lands it could push you into coral. Never go into the ocean alone, always travel with a partner, and if there aren’t people already in the water, there is probably a good reason. Know your surroundings.

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Don’t Do’s:
Don’t Go Alone, Don’t Panic. Don’t touch the sea life. Respect the ocean, it is powerful and can spit you out like a twig, this one I learned the hard way. Follow your instincts, and ask a local its a good or bad idea.

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Spots to go Snorkeling:
Best on Oahu: Hanauma Bay: Protected from Waves and fishing; Lots of sea life; kid friendly. This is the place I take all my visitors when they get to Hawaii. Every time I have swam with Crush the sea turtle.

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Google Map: Hanauma Bay

Summer Grilling Tips

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TIPS FOR GRILLING
Summer is here and our thoughts turn to…BARBECUE!. With the price of meat and groceries, we can’t afford any grilling disasters at the picnic, beach or backyard. These tips will guarantee a great barbecue.

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- Brush cold grill with oil to prevent sticking 

- Use one-gallon zip-lock plastic bags to marinate up to 1 pound of meats or vegetables in 2 to 3 cups of marinade; seal, pressing out air, set bag in a large baking dish and refrigerate, turning occasionally 

- Slash fatty edges to keep meat from curling 

- Fill a plant mister with 7 parts water and 1 part vinegar; use to spray grill when flames flare up 

- Preheat gas grills at least 15 minutes; for charcoal grills, light at least 45 minutes before, and let burn to hot embers, coated with ash 

- To flavor your barbecue, add hickory, mesquite or oak chips or chunks; soak wood in cold water for at least 30 minutes, then add to hot coals 

- Use your hand to determine approximate temperature; hold your hand 3 inches above the rack and count the seconds you can comfortably keep it in place: 5 seconds for low, 4 for medium, 3 for medium-high, 2 for high 

- For long-cooking vegetables or fruits (such as potatoes, whole heads of garlic or apples) cut a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, oil well, fill with sliced vegetables or fruit and seasonings, drizzle with oil, seal and place on hot grill Use long-handled tongs — not forks — to turn meat to avoid piercing and releasing juices 

- To prevent scorching, brush on BBQ sauce after meat is cooked. 

- Don’t forget to use heavy-duty oven mitts

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The Thrill of the Hawaiian Pig Hunt

History of the Hunt:
Around the seventeen hundreds pig hunting was introduced from visitors who brought pigs as a food source that traveled easily on ships. After many years the pigs started to adapt to the forest living and began to thrive. These pigs over the years are growing in numbers and causing damage to the forests in Hawaii. Because of this there is a legal hunting season that goes from July 1st through June 30. Through hunting officials can keep the pig numbers under control. For the hunters that visit the islands this is an experience you will remember forever.

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The Luau Pig:
Digging a hole in the ground and putting hot coals from a fire and surrounded by ti leaves that are weaved into mats and the pig is put in the whole and covered by the earth. This process guarantees that the pig will be cooked slowly and with very tender meat. Along with this feast is an ancient Hawaiian tradition of the Royal Hawaiian court unearths the pig and the feast begins.

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Today’s Hunt & Requirements:
Today you can find pig hunting on many of the Hawaiian islands. For visitors there are a couple things you must do before you can go pig hunting. Every guest on the hunt must obtain a Hawaiian hunting license by attending a hunter safety class and apply from the state to go on the hunt. Also no one under the age of 10 years old can go on the hunt. Happy hunting and remember safety first.

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Honolulu International Airport (HNL)

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Airport Roads Confusing:
Take your time when driving through the airport because it can be very confusing. Most people are in a rush, so DON’t be. There are 2 terminals for drop-offs and pick-ups. The first one you come to is for local flights to outer islands and Hawaiian Airlines. The 2nd terminal is for all the Mainland and international flights.

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Airport Transportation:
There are many shuttles available from the Hotels in Waikiki and also shuttles with tour companies. A taxi cab ride depending on traffic could cost about $50 to $60 plus tip.

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Security & Check-in:
Check-in can go very quickly depending on the day of the week and time of day. Only take about 35 minutes to get through the airport security. Pretty simple, wear your slippa’s and don’t have any metal on you.

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Nice Scenery:
Once you get into the Honolulu airport it is very nice and clean, and on your walk to the gates you step outside with another change to smell the Hawaiian flowers. Its very open and nice and some can even take a smoke break.

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Chair Massage:
Before you flight I suggest getting a chair massage, either a $1-3 minute or the $5-15 minute one. You are about to sit on a plane for 6 hours, might as well treat yourself.

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Airport Location:

Manoa Waterfall Hike

Story:
The day before my wedding December 29th, 2012 and the guys in my wedding party wanted to go on the Manoa hike trail. So we put on our hiking shoes and headed out. We were able to find parking at the entrance for $5 and started on the trail. On the way up my friend mentioned there is a climb at the end of the trail, up the wall of the waterfall that goes up about 100 feet.

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Bamboo Forest:
There are many beautiful things to look at and a ton of photo opportunities. You pass through a bamboo forest and will want to take a couple minutes and listen to the crackling of these trees. The trail also runs along a stream and you pass over a bridge at the beginning of the trail.

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The Trail:
This is a pretty easy beautiful hike with some slippery spots but the trail has some built in wood steps that will help you along the way. There are also paths so you can get down to the stream and play in the water. This hike is great of people of all ages so bring your kids or parents.

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The Climb:
At the end of the trail is a 100 Foot waterfall with a small pool where most people conclude there hike, but not my friends. Just before the end, they crossed over into the deep forest and started to climb up to the top of the fall. I was getting married the following day, and I have an issue with heights, so of course I did not join them. I sat by the pool and soaked my feet in the waterfall it was quite refreshing. At the top they said there was a lake and they relaxed up there with a beautiful view. Perhaps next time I will make the climb, but not the day before my wedding.

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Difficulty:
Distance 0.8 mi.
Basic terrain is rain forest with a thick lush valley.
General Public is Welcome.
800 ft.
$5 Parking Fee

Location:
Monoa Valley, Oahu Island

Hawaiian Sweet Potato Casserole

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Preheat oven to 350 F. Mash cooked sweet potatoes. Add coconut, milk, brown sugar and butter; mix well. Fold in 1/2 cup of the coconut flakes and 1/2 cup of the pineapple chunks. Place in casserole dish and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle remaining coconut on top and broil until lightly browned. Serves 8.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, cooked and peeled
3/4 c. coconut milk
1 T. dark brown sugar
2 T. melted butter
3/4/ c. coconut flakes
1 can (15.5 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained

Dessert:

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Lilikoi Chiffon Dessert

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix softened butter and flour together and pat into a 9″x 13″ pan. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine condensed milk, juice, pineapple, and large container Cool Whip. Mix well. Pour on cooled crust and spread the small container Cool Whip on top. Top with mac nuts. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c flour
1 can condensed milk
1 can (6 oz.) frozen passion fruit or orange passion juice
1 lrg can crushed pineapple, drained
1 lrg container Cool Whip
1 sml container Cool Whip
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Aloha Tower Clock in Honolulu

When the clock was completed with the tower in 1926 it was the largest clock in the Territory of Hawaii, and one of the largest in the United States. The clock is a weight driven clock with a swinging pendulum and weighs 7 tons. The E. Howard Clock Company in Boston completed the clock using precise German movement.

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The clock has kept excellent time throughout its lifetime except for a brief period when the weight fell and the clock was damaged in 1984. Also, in 1993 the clock was a victim of vandalism, however it still keeps time to this day. The clock can be seen from many different vantage points all all around the Aloha Tower Marketplace.

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Makapu’u Lighthouse on South Shore of Oahu

Makapu’u Lighthouse is located near Makapu’u Point on the far eastern side of the island of Oahu, just off of Kalaniana’ole Highway. There is a popular day hike of about 2 miles up to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was established in 1909, after the steamer Manchuria ran aground in 1906.

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When the lighthouse was constructed and even through today the optics on the lighthouse have had the distinction of being the largest lens in the U.S., the lens is 12 ft. tall with over a thousand prisms. As well as being the largest lens it was also the second highest in height behind Cape Mendocino in California. Today it is the third tallest after Old Point Loma and Cape Mendocino, and is still active in naval navigation.

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The lighthouse was originally powered by a three mantle oil vapor lamp, that had to be started using a supplementary alcohol burner. This method led to a tragedy on April 25, 1925, as the alcohol reservoir was filled some alcohol was spilled. When the assistant struck a match and triggered an explosion. The second assistant was in the doorway and escaped injury, however the first assistant was severely burned and died the next day.

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His wife gave birth shortly after, and unfortunately also died three months later. In 1927 the lighthouse was outfitted with a radio beacon, the first ever in Hawaii. Since the radio beacon required a generating station the oil lamp was replaced with a 500 watt incandescent bulb. In 1973 the radio beacon was discontinued and the lighthouse was automated in 1974.

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Shortly after the automation of the lighthouse the keepers quarters were used to house some of the witnesses in the federal tax evasion case of Wilford “Nappy” Pulawa. Due to the isolated location of the lighthouse and keepers quarters, it left the buildings subject to vandalism. In 1984 a hole was shot through the lens. In 1987 the Coast Guard declared the land around the lighthouse as surplus and turned it over to the state of Hawaii.

One of the buildings was then seized by an armed group of Native Hawaiians in a land protest, after a few weeks the situation was resolved peacefully and the buildings torn down. The lighthouse itself still remains in the control of the Coast Guard and surrounded by State owned land.

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