Monthly Archives: July 2014

Cheap flight ideas to Hawaii

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The West Coast Flights:
Flights to and from the west coast are normally cheaper because they are the closest flights and use less gas. If you look for cheap tickets to the west coast then look into air line tickets to California. You will probably save money booking a connecting flight yourself because vacation tickets to Hawaii can have marked up prices.

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Flights from Las Vegas:
Many Hawaiian’s choose to vacation to Las Vegas because the flights out there can be so inexpensive. Lets face it when you already live in Hawaii and taking your vacation means leaving paradise where are you going to go…? My wife and I decided to go to Rome for our honeymoon and it was the best trip I have ever taken. However the most trips we take are to Vegas because we have family there and the flights are always on special discounts.

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One Way Tickets to Hawaii:
I believe buying two one way tickets to Hawaii is cheaper than buying the round trip because you appear to be a local traveling home. Students also purchase one way tickets to start the school year for the University of Hawaii. The last trip I took out to Portland I saved about $200 because I got all one way flights. I also noticed it was cheaper to fly into Las Vegas first the out to Portland. This is because the airlines charge tourist more money for flights and it doesn’t hurt to look.

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Hawaiian Email List:
I would suggest getting on Hawaiian email list and give them your home destination. They will send you specials all year around for discounted lights. They will say you have to book in the next 7 days for the following month or later and those prices are pretty hard to beat. The airline usually picks times or months that are slow and this promotes sales for the airlines. I like to take advantage of these times and visit one of the neighbor islands, so when you get out here you could already plan a weekend trip to see the Volcano on the Big Island.

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United Airlines Club Room:
The last trip I took I upgraded to the United Airlines club room and I loved it. They provide many places to sit down with free wifi internet with a full service office, printer, and fax machine. They also had breakfast, coffee, tea, and alcohol beverages for free. I must say it was the best layover I have ever had.

McBryde Garden

McBryde Garden is a 252 acre botanical garden on the island of Kauai, owned and maintained by the the non profit organization, National Tropical Botanical Gardens. These beautiful gardens can be visited and are a great way to see and enjoy the natural magnificence of the “garden isle”. The gardens are open to the public for a nominal entrance fee.

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The garden is located above the Lawa’i Bay at the top of the Lawa’i Valley, which is divided by the Lawa’i stream. Queen Emma took up residence in the valley after the death of her husband and only son, the house that she lived in has since been relocated to the valley floor and renovated. The entire valley where the McBryde garden is located was purchased by the McBryde family for a sugar cane plantation. The property in the lower valley was purchased by Robert Allerton and John Gregg Allerton. Once the charter to start the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden was signed the non profit purchased 171 acres that became the first Tropical Botanical Garden called Lawa’i Garden. Lawa’i garden was later renamed in 2000 as the National Tropical Botanical Garden expanded to 252 acres due to a generous donation from the descendants of the McBryde Family.

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Today the gardens are purposed for a research and conservation garden, and is home to the largest collection of Native Hawaiian flora in the entire world. There are expansive plantings of palms, flowering trees, orchids, and other plants collected from tropical areas. Also located on the premises is a major conservation and horticultural center, complete with a nursery and micro-propagation laboratory. McBryde Garden is also adjacent to the national headquarters of the National Tropical Botanical Garden non profit, which includes a research facility and educational center as well.

Oh Ha’ena State Park

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Ha’ena State Park is a beautiful state park that is located on the island of Kauai. The north shore of the ‘garden isle” is home to this state park that is very popular among locals and tourists alike. This particular state park is also been referred to as “the end of the road” because it is at the very end of Kuhio Highway (Hawaii Route 560). This perfect little get away is situated about 1 hour away from the town of Lihue, and approximately 5 miles west of Hanalei. This park offers many activities to take part in, there are many trails to hike, beaches to enjoy, and historical sights to see.

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Located withing the park are several ancient Hawaiian sites that include sea caves that are almost 4,000 years old! The park also has a few archeological finds as well, these sites are associated with the traditional Hawaiian form of dance, Hula. They include a Heiau (temple) built for Laka, who is the Hawaiian deity associated with the art of Hula. This important archaeological sites are located above the beaches at the park.

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The original parking lot was not big enough to hold all the visitors to the park and an overflow parking lot was constructed in order to keep up with the popularity of the park. Just before you reach Ke’e Beach there lies the Kalalau trailhead which begins the 11 mile foot path that is the only land entrance to the Na Pali Coast State Park. The Limahuli stream enters the park on its eastern edge, and to the south the majestic Makana mountains rise up to the skyline. These mountains provide a picturesque backdrop to the scenic Limahuli Garden and Preserve located in the valley.

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There are a great number of things to do at Ha’ena State Park and the amenities provided include; picnic tables, restrooms, outdoor showers, and pay phones. There are also scenic beaches and places to surf, swim, snorkel and go fishing, which makes this a great place to take the family for a nature outing. Ke’e beach is located at the far western edge of the park and is the spot for swimming and snorkeling due to the calm conditions. Ke’e has a unique reef lagoon which protects the area from the strong currents of the Pacific Ocean, past the reef there are many strong currents especially during the winter months. Makua Beach is also located in the Ha’ena State Park and is just east of Ke’e beach. The more popular name for Makua beach is “tunnels beach” and this is the spot to go surfing while at the state park. The larger waves come in here and are ideal for surfing conditions as the name suggests. The area around the beaches provide a home for ironwood trees, coconut palms, and guava trees.

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This is a excellent addition to any trip you take to the beautiful island of Kauai. With so much to see and do, your entire family can have a true “getaway from it all” experience. I would highly recommend that you bring a cooler and refreshments and spend an entire day taking it all in, just do not forget the sunscreen.

The 4 Main Islands of Hawaii: Oahu, Maui, Big Island & Kauai

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Oahu Night Life:
The island of Oahu in my opinion is a lot more fun and have much more to do than the others. Waikiki alone offers many different restaurants, events, and bars with dancing. The technology industry is growing very rapidly here on Oahu and will continue to do so. The beaches on Oahu are probably the more beautiful  beaches here in Hawaii. They have many combinations of styles that range from soft white sand with no waves to beaches with huge waves and amazing scenery to look upon.

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Maui Romance:
Spending time with your special someone on Maui is revitalizing to your relationship. There are many activities like sunset cruises and snorkeling on Maui that are perfect for couples. The time slows down on Maui so I say relax and count the waves. Many of the islands are special for there own reasons but Maui is the hippie version of Hawaii.

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Big Island the Island of Hawaii
Traditional Hawaiian culture at it root levels is the atmosphere you will experience on the Big Island of Hawaii. The main attraction on the big island is the active volcano and the Volcanoes National Park and obviously named so because it is larger than the other islands. I personally haven’t spent much time on the Big Island but is holds much of the young beauty the other islands have lots to time.

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Kauai Untouched:
The untouched island of Kauai is what I would call the country. Still one of the islands that still hold the Hawaiian culture and still without much of the outside world make in impact on. The cold water from the Pacific ocean hits Kauai island first and personally felt like one of the nicest swims I have ever taken. Still on Kauai you can find fun things to do like the Luau Kalamaku. This award winning  Luau is probably one of Kauai’s main attractions and should not be missed.

The Rogue Wave and learning to respect the Ocean

Every 30th to 40th wave comes a wave that is much larger than all the waves before it. Basically the set of 4 waves merge and create a super wave. Recent studies have shown that these rogue waves may be more common that we first thought. Some believe this may be the reason why so many boats have gone down in the Bermuda Triangle and the swept in the abyss.

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Painfully having to learn things the hard way, I escaped with my life about the 8th time I attempted to surf. Almost getting the hang of it but not really grasping it yet. You see I came from a snowboarding background and people tell you ‘oh if you can snowboard, surfing should come easy’. They could not be more wrong and here is why. First when you are snow boarding you start standing up. Second you do NOT have salt water splashing in your face. Third paddling a surf board is all upper body strength and the ability to center yourself, not only side to side but front to back also.

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So on this most beautiful day a would-be-friend takes be to a beach that had awesome waves. However this 8 foot wave hung for about 35 to 40 yards and was beautiful. This bay in Waimea had a reef that channeled the power of the wave giving it a deceiving strength. Basically this would be considered a top level surfing beach, my friend told me I should give it a try. Breaking one of my first lessons of Hawaii Ocean Safety: Don’t go in the water if someone is not already there. He was not a good friend, this beach literally spit me out onto the beach.

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After about 10 minutes of assessing the situation I should have followed my instincts and have not gone in, but then I would not be telling this story. I paddled off of the beach and made it through the wave by pushing under it and holding on like my life depended on it. As I looked up the 2nd wave was a Rogue Wave was heading towards me and it looked like a 10 to 12 foot wave and I was directly in the kill zone (where the wave folds over and hits the water). Panicking I started to paddle to the right and I was hoping to get out of the way. Since I didn’t try to go under the wave, it lifted me up and smacked the board back at me. Hitting my elbow and dislocating my shoulder and smacking me in the face and spat me out onto the beach.

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After this day I really started to give the ocean more respect. Trust your instincts and remember the ocean is the most powerful element on our planet. So respect it.

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Fighting Breast Cancer and an Amazing Husband

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About 3 months ago my sister calls me and left an urgent message to call her. When I called her back she gave me bad news that she has breast cancer. She felt a lump and immediately got it checked out. When it came back cancerous they had to explain to there 3 kids what was happening to there mother. She is currently fighting it and has had the cancer removed and is currently ongoing radiation and chemo thearapy. On July 19th was her 40th birthday celebration and I am on the returning flight and I wanted to write about 2 amazing people. She is my hero.

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Having just moved to Indiana, Matt & Kelley needed help getting moved in to there new house. They had started going to Church at Hoosier Harvest Church, so Matt called up the guys and they got him the help he needed. They totally stepped up and helped Matt and Kelley out having known them for a short amount of Time. They not only helped out moving them in they also helped set up the rooms and got them moved in with true love from the Midwest.

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My sister and our family have been truly blessed to have Matt Sehy as a part of it. Through this he has shown me what it means to be an unconditionally loving husband. The strength and love shown by them the last 10 days is nothing short of heroic.

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So when I landed in Indianapolis and Matt told Kelley that he was working late to pick me up. We showed up at the house and she wasn’t feeling well, so I went up to her room and she said “are you kidding me” as she jumped up out of bed and began kissing and hugging me. I felt some nibbling on my foot because her dog started biting me from the excitement.

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Matt had planned a suprise party including about 50 friends, family and me. He actually managed to keep if from her for 2 months. Let me tell you she has always tried to find out about her supprises. The party was held at the church and the sweet people there made such a special event. She was totally suprised and please to see that much support and love from her friends and family. She told me that she was not looking forward to her 40th birthday but it turned out to be an uplifting event for her. Please send Kelley and her family prayers that she pulls through this.

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Bike riding and safety in Honolulu, Hawaii

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A Couple Simple Rules.

1. Watch out for drive ways
People in cars most times will look one way when pulling out and as you are crossing a street or driveway you should stop as if they are NOT going to notice you trying to cross. An automobile would easily crush you so why leave your life in a strangers hands? Be safe with your own life.

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2. Watch out for car doors
One of the first times I rode my bike in Honolulu I almost hit a car door opening. If someone is in a car you are passing, you should plan as if they are going to open the door and don’t be surprised when it happens. Remember they probably can’t see or hear you coming.

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3. Lock your bike up with a chain
Some people will walk or ride off with your bike, it is highly advised to lock up your bike here on Oahu.

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4. Stop and Help
Stop and help any sweet old ladies crossing the street it only takes a minute and you may just be the sunshine in someones day. I had a lovely conversation with a sweet old lady who used to be a Bon Festival dancer. Spread the Aloha.

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Stan Sheriff Center for Sports

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History of the Center
The sports center was named after on of the universities Director of Athletics, he passed away in the early nineteen eighty’s and the sports center was named after Mr. Bruce Stanley Sheriff. The location of the center is in Honolulu, Hawaii and seating over ten thousand guests. A feisty student section with pep band attends the Universities games.

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2014 Season Tickets to Hawaii Men’s Volleyball
My summer tickets this year was to support my wife’s nephew and Senior volleyball player Joby Ramos, who was the teams starting setter. Standing at 6 feet tall Joby looked like he was among the giants and still managed to get up and block some of the NCAA top players. It was a lot of fun watching the men’s volleyball team this year and a bit saddened that he finished this year.

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Other events at the Stan Sheriff Center
All of the University of Hawaii indoor sporting events are held at the Stan Sheriff Center for sports. Season tickets are available for purchase at a discount for any sport. Tickets Info

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Parking at the Stan Sheriff
The parking lot has many floors with 2 exits. Parking costs about $5.00 per event and does not get validated. When the event is over and you are leaving, taking a right turn out of the center is the best bet and make a quick U-turn. When you walk to the building you will see the ticket booths.

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Be sure you grab any money at the ATM outside the center, because that’s the only one and the center does not take credit cards. I have learned this the hard way and now prepared when I go. You can bring in snacks and other juices in your bag. Beer on tap is available for purchase.

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Geckos in Hawaii

History of the Gecko
The seven different types of geckos were brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesian tribes. Most common today is the house Gecko and is the most commonly seen by humans. These little bug catchers make great house pets, the only set back is little tiny dropping they leave behind. Personally I will take house Geckos and little droppings over any of the bugs they eat. Since the Geckos are great at reproducing many eggs and can turn the sex to all females, it was easy for them to grow the numbers throughout Hawaii.

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Hawaiian Folklore
The locals here believe that Geckos are the spirits of the past ancestors of Hawaii. They are treated with love and many are taken in as pets. Eating my favorite nemesis, the Cockroach, I love these little guys. My wife on the other hand is afraid of them, this I don’t get, they are harmless and eat bugs.

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Today’s Gecko Design
Gecko’s are used in many of the local Hawaiian design for clothing and apparel, surf and boogie boards, tattoos, jewelry and many other products. It is easy to see why SO many people here in Hawaii love our Geckos.

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Spouting Horn & Liko vs. The Great Lizzard

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An interesting tourist attraction on the island of Kauai is known as the “Spouting Horn”. There is also an interesting Hawaiian folklore tale about this site. According to the story a giant lizard was once the protector of the island and then one day a man named “Liko” challenged the lizard. The lizard was threatening visitors to the island who came for fishing and swimming.

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While the two battled Liko thrust a sharp stick into the mouth of the great lizard and jumped into the ocean. The angry lizard followed the man into the water, as he was being chased, Liko swam through a small lava tube in the rocks and back to the surface. The great lizard tried to follow the young man and found himself stuck in the lava tube. It is said that every time the Spouting Horn Blowhole blasts into the air that you can still hear the great lizards roar.

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The blowhole is in the Koloa district of the island of Kauai. The town of Poipu is nearby and the entire area along the southern coast is known for the crashing waves. The waves that crash against the rocks eventually erode the lava rocks and create narrow openings. When the waves crash against these openings a large amount of water erupts from the surface opening and shoots into the air.

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While the water is shooting out, sometimes up to 50 feet into the air, the rush of air creates a hissing sound. This happens to be one of the most photographed places and attractions on the island of Kauai, and is a part of the Koloa Heritage Trail which is a 10 mile trail in the Koloa district.