Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween Costume for Waikiki!

HalloweenWhat up last minute people who use the phrase, “I’ll procrastinate tomorrow”? Haha! Are you looking for that last minute extra special Halloween costume for this weekend’s festivities? Well, I will personally say all the fun easy-to-buy costumes are slim pickings as of today, but I decided to get creative with some colored hairspray and face paint. Zombie style. The Walking Dead who? If you’re planning on going as a super hero or super villain, they seem to be the most popular this year and the costumes are getting picked off the shelves like it’s Black Friday at Best Buy….minus the hate crimes and attempted five finger discounts.

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So, for you last minute shoppers, here are 4 locations where you can still find costumes, and if you can’t find something in your size….get creative with the plentiful face paint and do-it-yourself special effects! The crowds may just appreciate it more than the ready-to-wear costumes that the masses are snatching up.

Halloween Spirits at The Ward

Halloween Spirits on Nimitz

Party Store on Nimitz

Hot Topic at Ala Moana

Happy Halloween Everyone! Have a blast and stay safe!

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Superheroes vs Villains Party

Written by Johann Moguel

The “Moke” Islands near Oahu

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The two islands seen in the distance from Lanikai Beach are commonly referred to as “the Moke” islands, when their true name is Na Mokulua. Na Mokulua means “the two islands” in the Hawaiian language. As you look out from the beach the small islet to the left is called “Moku Nui” literally translates as “big island” and is the larger of the two. The smaller island is called “Moku Iki” and is currently off limits. Both islands are part of the Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary and activities on them are regulated by state law. No pets are allowed on either island.

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Kayaking or stand up paddleboarding are popular ways to travel out to the islands and there is a landing spot on the larger of the two. The “mokes” are approximately three quarters of a mile and it takes in the neighborhood of 30-45 minutes to kayak from Lanikai Beach. The interior of the island is off limits as well. On the backside of the island there is a tidal pool for swimming and an area where you are able to jump off the rock cliffs into the pristine water below. It is a great way to cool off after making the trip out. During long holiday weekends this is a popular spot and I have seen many people BBQing on the islands, however I do not know the regulations on this type of activity so if you plan on doing some cooking I would suggest you do some research first. I do know that during those holiday weekends a representative from the Department of Land and Natural Resources does come out and you are not allowed to have a tent or pop up of any kind, as they consider that a “shelter” and shelters are not permitted.

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I have also seen some local people who like to surf the breaks on either side of the islands, as well as some spearfishing. I would take great care when spearfishing over in this area however as there have been reports of tiger sharks that like to hang out on the ocean drop off side, that is to say the side on the far side as it continues to run deeper out to the Pacific Ocean. Current changes in the law prohibit tour operators from dropping off kayaks in Kailua or Lanikai, but you are able to bring them in yourself. I have really enjoyed my time both on Lanikai Beach or traveling to the “Moke” islands. I would absolutely recommend you take some time and explore the beaches in Kailua and Lanikai, if you don’t get the chance to head over to the islets at least you will get a great view of them.

Written by James Bredeson

Big Island Current Lava Flow Advisory

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The might Kilauea volcano on the big island of Hawaii erupted on June 27 of this year and the lava flow front is now within reach of a residential area. The current activity began in two seperate areas; the Halema’uma’u crater at the summit and the Pu’u O’o crater and vent within the East rift zone of Hawaii volcanoes national park. Since the eruption a steady stream of lava has continued to move out of the East rift Zone and towards the town of Pahoa. There is currently no lava flowing towards or into the Pacific Ocean. The lava flow continues to advance at a rate of 10-15 meters per hour and is expected to cross Pahoa Village Road. The flow front continues to grow in width and height as new lava moves to the leading edge from breakouts along the current path.

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The safest and most responsible way to view the current activity is at the caldera rim area of Kilauea with the best vantage point being at the Jagger Museum. You will not be able to see the actual lava flow, however you will be able to see the giant plume of gasses and smoke from the active eruption that signals the mass of churning lava that is just below the surface. As the sky darkens into night you will be amazed at the colors that are affected at the vent. The crater glows with yellow, pink and red and appears to be spewing fire, a fitting tribute to Madam Pele. You can enjoy these amazing experiences with Polynesian Adventure tours that include admissions to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Jagger Museum.

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The drama continues to build daily as the lava flows from the Pu’u O’o vent as it flows towards a residential area. The length of the current flow is mostly within the closed access area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and next to state land that is managed by either the Department of Land and Natural Resources or Office of Hawaiian Affairs. It is currently ILLEGAL to hike to view the leading edge of the lava flow, not to mention dangerous. Fines are up to $5,000 and with the Governers recent emergency proclamation fines have been enhanced for crimes committed while the proclamation is in effect.

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Pahoa Village Road is closed between Apa’a Street and Post Office Road, and access is limited to area residents only. Residents of the affected area should not bring unauthorized guests into the restricted area. The activity is being closely monitored and evacuation advisories have been issued. The front has already crossed Pahoa Cemetery and claimed outlying buildings as it advances. Safety is paramount and no one should attempt to illegally view the leading edge of the flow. These events all serve to remind us of the power of the forces of nature that shaped and continue to shape the world we live in.

Written by James Bredeson

Sandbar in Kaneohe Bay

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There is a unique spot located in Kaneohe Bay that is the only one of its kind on or around the island, its perhaps one of the most popular bars on the island…it is the Kaneohe Sandbar! People have been enjoying this little piece of land in the middle of the bay for years. If you or your friends have a boat or kayak you too can enjoy this amazing relaxing spot. At low tide the sandbar is fully exposed or just barely covered and at high tide the water level reaches about waist high.

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You will need to bring your own refreshments and plenty of sunblock or shade, and your own chairs, but despite those small requirements there is a lot of fun or relaxing that can be had. It is always pretty cool to be standing on soft sand while completely surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and enjoying the company of good friends. We have at times also carried the barbecue grill and during low tide grilled and held a picnic right there on the sandbar. There is also plenty of room to throw a football around or host a volleyball game.

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Kaneohe Bay has been known as a breeding ground for hammerhead sharks, however they are not typically a threat to humans and no one seems to mind at all. There is also some snorkeling that can be done around the sandbar, also just off the edge of the sandbar there is a steep drop off so the more adventurous snorkelers can swim to greater depths and check out the marine life if they so choose. This is a very popular weekend spot so plan on arriving early in order to make the most out of the time between the tides. Speaking of the tides be sure to check on the times of the tides in order to maximize your experience.

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So don’t wait or even hesitate, grab your friends and a boat or kayak and get out there and explore the only sandbar on the island. Make sure you bring a trash bag and take all of your trash with you when you go, we must remember to always respect the ‘aina’ (land). Oh and please do not forget your sunblock or shade and bring plenty of water you will need it!

Written by James Bredeson

Shark Tour in North Shore of Oahu

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North Shore Shark Adventures to be exact. So much fun for those shark lovers out there! We busted out of Honolulu to make sure we were 30 minutes early to our 11:00 am departure so that we would have time to check-in and get the information that we needed. 11:00 am is a perfect time to go if you like to get up at a nice relaxed time, but I hear it’s better to go early in the morning when the water is calmer. I have to admit, the water was a little choppy mid-day which made a couple people on the boat sea-sick. Good news is neither of them puked! Haha, but they probably didn’t enjoy themselves as much as the rest. If you’re the type of person that gets sea-sick, take your medicine before hand because it’s a 15 minute/3 mile boat ride from shore.

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What to expect. You’ll be riding with 15-20 other customers on a decently sized boat & an experienced crew who are very cool and there to look out for your safety. They give you a couple minute pep talk and actually have a go-pro to quickly interview before you jump in as well as video you while you’re in the cage. And yes, you have the option of buying it which comes with a 30 min DVD of highlights from other cool dives. You also have the option of purchasing T-shirts.

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Best part of this is that you are guaranteed to see sharks and lots of them! What we had the pleasure of seeing were about 15-20 Galapagos sharks, schools of fish, a 4 foot Barracuda, and if you’re observant enough you may notice tiny half inch striped fish swimming right next to the cage. Among all these large fish swimming around, you wonder for second how in the heck half inch fish decided to be out in such deep water. Any how, these sharks were 10 to 15 feet long and it’s a trip to look them in the eye just inches from the cage!

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Total time you’re on the boat is one and a half hours from take off to landing. It’s definitely a fun adventure to do while touring Oahu. I recommend hitting up Matsumoto Shaved Ice or a shrimp food truck in downtown Haleiwa right after!

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Written by Johann Moguel

Local style plate lunch at Rainbow Drive In

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Rainbow Drive In is an island favorite place to eat and has been for more than 50 years. Opened in 1961, they have been serving local style “plate lunches” for a very reasonable price. Seiju Ifuku who once worked at the well known “Kapiolani Drive In” took a chance and opened a smaller version with his wife Ayako. The couple believed in catering to the working class and wanted to provide quick service with generous portions that include 2 scoops of rice, and 1 scoop of macaroni salad. When they first opened the prices were low; 50 cent chili rice plates, $1 barbecue steak plates, and 14 cent french fries with 25 cent hamburgers. They were counting on the volume of people who came to eat there to make up for the prices.

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Every time I drive by their location in Kapahulu it is always full of cars and a line at the counter. Everyone I ask has their own favorite order however, everyone agrees that it is one of the best values on the island. The menu offers a range of items that include breakfast, lunch, sandwiches and chili. The prices have risen slightly over the years and still remain very reasonable. One quirky fun fact from the Rainbow Drive In is that the owners have never charged tax, instead believing that the customer should know exactly how much their meal will cost.

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This very affordable local restaurant has been featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives” hosted by Guy Fieri. I highly recommend a visit anytime after the beach in Waikiki or for no reason at all. This classic local joint still maintains its rustic charm and offers a sense of small town charm.

Written by James Bredeson

Macadamia Nuts, Coffee, and Chocolates on Oahu

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If you like Macadamia Nuts, Coffee, and Chocolates…Tropical Farms is the place to go. And yes they grow their own macadamia nuts. You literally get the chance to go out back and crack them yourselves and eat them! For free! Not only do they sell 100% Kona coffee, which comes in several different flavors, you get to have cups of it for free while you sample gourmet sugar coated macadamia nuts. If you have a sugar tooth, be careful because these nuts come in many different flavors. Cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, coconut….I could go on. Your taste buds will scream with joy.

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Located on the east side of the island off the Kamehameha Highway by China Man’s hat, treat your taste buds to some luxury. Let Tropical Farms welcome you in to the experience of flavors. Yummmm.

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Experience Tropical Farms on the: Oahu Circle Island Tour

Written by Johann Moguel

 

Natural Hot tub on the Big Island

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This is one natural wonder that many people do not know about located on the Big Island of Hawaii. I recommend this stop to everyone who travels to the Big Island. Ahalanui Park is a volcanically heated natural hot springs that is also known by the name “Warm Ponds” by the locals. It is partially naturally occurring and partially man made. There are cement walls that now surround the pool, and the bottom has been contoured to allow for a shallow area as well as ladders having been added for ease of access.

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While this particular pond is not technically a tidal pool, the tides do play a small role. During the high tide cooler ocean water comes in via a small inlet that also allows smaller sea life access as well. Usually the temperature is around 90 degrees, however when it is being “cleaned” by the influx of cooler water at high tides it cools down a bit and some areas are warmer than others. The water is calm and snorkeling is also allowed.

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The area is surrounded by palm trees and green vegetation, and you can look out and enjoy the view of the majestic blue of the Pacific Ocean. Even if you do not choose to go swimming in the pool, and i highly recommend you try it, the photo opportunites and scenic vistas are worth the trip. THe water has a slight sulfur smell due to the volcanic nature of the heat source, and there are lifeguards present throughout the day.

This place is an uncrowded hidden gem and I can not wait to go back and take my friends with me. The park also has restrooms, picnic tables, barbecue grills, ample free parking, and the admission is free as well. Located approximately 40 minutes by car from Hilo, and just west of Pahoa a short trip that everyone would be grateful for.

Rediscovering the beauty of Oahu

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My friends and I have recently started rediscovering the joys of living in the Hawaiian Islands. We have actually started heading out a couple of times a week and just checking out new or interesting beaches or things to do. My friend Steve and I had gotten so wrapped up in everything else going on that we started taking the beauty of the islands for granted. When Johan arrived and wanted to start hiking and snorkeling we were more than happy to join him, and by doing that we started getting really excited about our next adventure!

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Our latest excursion took us out to the North Shore, and after we ate and spent some time around Haleiwa we drove further out past Wailua and took Farrington Highway to the end. We passed Dillingham airfield and ran out of pavement and since we didn’t have the right type of vehicle we were forced to stop and pick a spot on one of the beaches in the area. The beach area was very nice with soft sand and the views were amazing.

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We ventured out into the water in a relatively safe spot, by that I mean there were not to many rocks to worry about. The waves were about 4-6 feet and pretty consistent and we spent a couple of hours just getting tossed around and attempting to body surf. There were a few other people out at the beach on this particular day, a few of them were body boarding and just enjoying the day. The current here has a pretty good pull and the waves are larger so as always safety first, do not try to swim out farther than you are comfortable with as there are no lifeguards out there. The beach drops off dramatically when you pass a certain point, which is about when the water level reaches your mid thighs.

We will continue exploring the beautiful island of Oahu, and who knows one day we just might go to another island and take full advantage of living in paradise. We will take another trip out here and check out more of the area since we really enjoyed the little time we spent out on the farthest we have driven on that side of the island.

Written by James Bredeson

One of a Kind Mochi Ice Cream

My friends and I spent an amazing day at the beach in Waimanalo Bay this past week and we wanted to stop for shave ice on the way back into town. Unfortunately we had waited until after the sunset and all of the places where we wanted to try to get this Hawaiian treat were closed. As we tried to get a delicious cold treat we were thwarted at every turn, and then someone suggested Bubbies Ice Cream. I had never enjoyed this popular Hawaiian ice cream spot and we decided to check it out

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My friend gave me directions and we headed into town in order to satisfy this craving for something cold and sweet. We arrived at the spot located on University Avenue. I was told to expect a busy store and luckily the line was not that long, although as we were eating the traffic coming through the store was steadily increasing. We grabbed a table in the back and waited for our friend to bring the treats to us. We were not disappointed, the ice cream was delicious. I have not encountered anything like the mochi ice cream balls that we devoured. These little servings were just out of this world, the ice cream was very flavorful and is wrapped in a sweetened rice confection, and the combination was delectable.

Bubbies not only serves the Mochi Ice cream balls, they also serve traditional ice cream and sorbets. They offer over twenty flavors, all of which are wonderfully delicious. There are gourmet ice cream cakes as well. This was a perfect stop after a day of fun out in the sun. I was thoroughly impressed and can not believe i waited so long to try this out for myself. I would absolutely recommend ordering a serving from any of the restaurant that serve Bubbies or going into the store and enjoying this magnificent dessert. A stop here is well worth the wait and should definitely be on your list of things to try in Hawaii.

Written by James Bredeson