This lush botanical garden that is located between the Ko’olau and Wai’anae mountain ranges offers a quiet relaxing spot to walk around and view many tropical plants and flowers. It has received the nickname “tropical jewel” of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. This amazing stroll along paved walkways is a shady, cool, getaway from the warmer busier city scene. The 27 acres of land that the gardens currently sit on, was leased from the city by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association in 1920.
It was originally used for experimental tree planting, and most of the large trees that can be found were planted during this original lease. The land was turned back over to the city of Honolulu in 1950, and was opened as a botanical garden in 1957. The majority of the plants in the collection require a nice cool environment in order to thrive, and the emphasis is on native Hawaiian plants. The park is currently opened seven days a week, from 9 am to 4 pm. For anyone who is interested in a beautiful walk in tropical environment this park is a definite must.
Most of the natural surroundings you see in Hawaii, plant and animal life, were introduced to the islands rather than being native. Seriously, you point at it, and someone with knowledge will tell you, “oh, that plant is originally from so-and-so country”.
A nerd at heart, I geek out to seeing two types of lizards out here in the wild. Both being introduced to the islands by the pet trade. The Jackson Chameleon & the Gold Dust Day Gecko. I’ll save you the pain of having to read their scientific names. For all you lizard enthusiasts out there, you already know how spectacular these lizards look, but for the rest of you, you’ll most likely be blown away at the color and decoration these little guys display IF you’re lucky to spot one.
The Gold Dust Day Gecko. Originally from Madagascar is ordained in a beautiful display of bright colors. Green, Red, Yellow, and Blue. These guys that grow to a length of 4 to 5 inches can be easily confused with The Giant Day Gecko, also from Madagascar, which can grow up to 12 inches long. Primarily due to similar coloration. When they are the same size, the best way I’ve noticed to tell them a part is their tail and how many red stripes they have on their head. The Gold Dust has 3 red stripes on its head with a more stubby rounded tail while the Giant has a specific red stripe from snout to eye with a more long pointy tail. Both are active during the day and I have yet to see the Giant Day Gecko, but here are pics of a fully grown Gold Dust on a car in my driveway. He wasn’t shy. Probably trying to sell insurance. Knee slap!
The Jackson Chameleon. Originally from East Africa and probably the coolest looking of all the Chameleons due to the male’s small scale impression of one of our favorite dinosaurs, the Triceratops. And as you know, these guys can change color based on their surroundings and/or mood. Not to mention how funny it is each of their eyes can point in different directions and during feeding time their tongue can extend about the length of their body! I still haven’t seen one in the wild, but asking locals, they’ll tell you they see them all the time and are easily caught. Although, as pets, they need lots of care. They are a fragile species of lizard.
On vacation and feeling guilty because you strayed from the diet plan? Go for a walk or jog around Diamond Head! It’s scenic, it’s close to Waikiki and if you go early enough, you can end with watching the sunrise. Also, there are a few beaches & Kapiolani Regional Park you can check out.
To me, there’s nothing better than an early morning activity. You feel great afterwards. Get the endorphin’s going, you feel productive, you don’t feel guilty downing a two liter of coca-cola when you’re done. Ha-ha! Minus the coca-cola, you feel great. The hardest part is getting up! Just check out this pic in all its glory. This is why you’ll want to turn that early morning frown upside down.
We started jogging at 6:15 am from the corner of Monsarrat Ave & Paki Ave for a 7:00 – 7:15 sunrise. Made our way clockwise around Diamond Head. Monsarrat turns into Diamond Head Rd and you follow all the way around back to Paki Ave. Total length of the loop is 3.9 miles. Although be sure to time everything for the sunrise if that’s what you want. There are look out areas above Diamond Head Beach Park before you get back to Paki Ave where you can sit and enjoy. With jogging/walking, it took us just over 30 minutes in the direction we went to get to the look out area for the sunrise.
And if you want to reward yourself with some delicious breakfast afterwards, check out Bogart’s Espresso & Cafe Bar on Monsarrat & Kanaina Ave. You’ll feel your day is already complete. Insert smiley face here.
This New Years Eve there is always a lot of options to pick from when trying to find a way to celebrate the coming of another year. This year the M Nightclub and Tantriq Entertainment are hosting a New Years Eve Block Party at Restaurant Row in Honolulu. This event will be something to remember as we greet 2015 in style.The block party will begin at 9 p.m and is a combination indoor and outdoor venue. Tickets can be purchased here, if you were unable to purchase tickets in advance there will be a chance to pay upon entering the block party on New Years Eve.
This New Years Eve Block Party will take place between 9 p.m and 4 a.m. Come on down and enjoy the Star Studded New Years Eve party. The theme for this years event is “Old Hollywood”, and will feature all of the glitz and glamour that was celebrated during that time. Guests will reminisce about the past year and look forward to their future endeavors in the coming year. There will be a complimentary champagne toast, and classy party favors for every guest. The New Years Eve Block Party at Restaurant Row will also allow guests to catch an amazing view of the fireworks show at midnight. Fashionable attire is required in order to attend this soiree, and guests are encouraged to dress in the theme of the evening, which is “Old Hollywood”.
This amazing event is for 21 and over only, and will feature drink specials from Grey Goose Vodka, and Budweiser. There is also a VIP guest list and packages begin at $400 for 4 people. If you would like to get VIP access you can email ” firstname.lastname@example.org ” and request a VIP package.. If you need more information or have additional questions you can ask via the same email address or just call (808) 529-0010. Free parking is available to all guests who attend. I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Years Eve celebration.
There are quite a few New Years Eve celebrations going on this year. The New Years Eve Celebration at Kakaako Waterfront has been voted Hawaii’s best show for the last four years running. There is something for everyone at this one stop block party. This is one heck of a party, the area is separated into many different sections that offer all different types of entertainment for your enjoyment. Prices vary depending upon the experience you want at the New Years Eve Celebration at Kakaako Waterfront. You can click here for a list of prices.
The first two areas offer E.K. Fernandez rides and carnival games as well the well known “Eat the Streets” experience. There will be over 40 food trucks and vendors for you to make your way through and sample all kinds of wares. E.K. Fernandez will provide plenty of rides and games including a giant LED ferris wheel.
Area Three will be home to the live bands section. There will be many amazing live bands playing for the crowds enjoyment including national recording artists; Steel Pulse, Jimmy Weeks Project, Kaipo Kapua, and many more. Area Four is where you will find the DJ Stage. The DJ’s will be spinning the latest and hottest Las Vegas mashups and hip hop top 40 hits. This area will also feature some of the nations hottest DJ’s like, Far East Movement and Caked up. This hot DJ’s will be helping us bring in 2015 with their countdown performances.
Areas 5 & 6 are for the VIP and Super VIP elevated skydeck. This exclusive area is an elevated skydeck that offers a 360 degree view from the deck around the entire event area and a magnificent view of the firework shows. There is one every hour starting at 9 p.m until midnight. With your VIP access pass you will get access to the skydeck, exclusive bars, bottle service and food. You must be 21 or over in order to have access to the VIP skydeck.
The last area is home to some other attractions that are fun and include, a mechanical bull, fire dance performers, and many other attractions for you to check out. One ticket will get you access to all of these areas (except for the VIP and Super VIP areas), including the fireworks and all the music stages. What better value can you get for your New Years Eve Celebration! Hope everyone has a great and safe time this New Years Eve. You can click here to check out how the areas are mapped out and find parking.
After the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holidays my friends and I decided to take a day off and hit the beach. We could not have picked a better day, we got together early in the morning around 10 am and set out to enjoy the day. We always try to leave early, but it never quite works out that way. Today was no exception, by the time we picked up everyone and supplies it was noon before we actually set foot on the beach.
Once we arrived at Waimanalo Bay we picked a perfect spot on the beach and set up our little area. The sand was warm under our feet and the sun reflecting off it made it seem like we were on a white beach. Once we got our chairs set up and everyone was comfortable, we started playing our portable radio and just talking story. We were quite relaxed, but as the afternoon wore on we began to get pretty warm. It was now time to get into the water, and what I refreshing swim that was. The water was cool, and felt amazing after sitting in the sun for awhile.
The waves were just the right size to attempt body surfing and a little bit of body boarding as well. We had a lot of fun just trying to catch a nice ride back to the shore. The beach and water was busy but not crowded and lots of people were enjoying the windward side of the island. After spending many hours hanging out together on the beach we decided to stop off in Hawaii Kai for dinner. We decided on The Shack Hawaii Kai and got there in time to enjoy their happy hour. The place was not quite busy yet, and service was excellent. We all got our drink orders and food orders in a timely fashion and it was the perfect way to end the afternoon.
We all appreciated the day away from downtown or the city, even though we know its not really that far away. Heading over to the windward side of the island presents a new perspective away from the city area that we all find refreshing. Polynesian Adventure Tours offers a Grand Circle Island Tour which allows you to visit all the major destinations in the city and Pearl Harbor as well as taking the trip around the entire island so you are able to see the diverse landscapes of Oahu. I highly recommend that you try to make the trip around the island, whether you allow us to drive you or you rent a car and make the drive yourself, you will appreciate the natural scenic beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. This is a great trip to make memories and share the experiences with all of your loved ones.
We have all heard the phrase “Aloha Friday” out here in Hawaii, but have you ever asked yourself where it came from? Today I decided to find out and share the knowledge with you. It is well known that aloha Friday is the last work day of the week, however did you know that aloha Friday started the worldwide phenomenon of casual Friday? We will get to that but first lets go back in time and see how it all began.
The city and county of Honolulu used to allow their workers to wear casual sports shirts during the summer months in 1946. These were the warmest months during the year and it allowed for the employees to be comfortable while working. Then in 1962 the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began promoting the wearing of aloha attire in the workplace, particularly as business attire. So in the early 1960′s, fashion designers began designing the aloha shirt with subdued colors and patterns. So the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began a campaign called “Operation Liberation”. They then distributed two aloha shirts to every member of the Hawaii House of Representatives and the Hawaii Senate. Soon after that a resolution was passed in the Senate that recommended aloha attire be worn throughout the summer, starting on Lei Day.
When the resolution passed it became a common practice for employees to wear aloha shirts on the last workday of the week. Aloha Friday officially began in 1966, and by the 1970′s here in Hawaii it was an accepted practice to wear an aloha shirt every day of the week as business attire. As the popularity continued to grow, businesses located on the mainland started to take notice and eventually adopted the practice. As it spread around the globe, it was called “casual” Friday and people would be allowed to dress down on the last workday before the weekend. Today the practice continues and it allows people to get in the mood for the weekend.
A local musician took notice of this phenomenon and recorded a catchy tune in 1982. Whats the name of that tune you ask? Why it’s “It’s Aloha Friday, No Work Til Monday”, and was recorded by Kimo Kahoano. You can hear it playing on almost every radio station in Hawaii on a Friday morning. Since then it has long been considered Hawaii’s version of “Thank God It’s Friday”, TGIF.
Polynesian Adventure tours would like to take this chance to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas. We hope the day brings you joy and happiness. We also hope that you continue to enjoy your time in the Hawaiian Islands.
As we continue to enjoy a little cooler weather here in the islands it reminds me that I am lucky to live in such a beautiful place among family and friends. The weather is perfect today and provides an amazing backdrop for this holiday, and the perfect opportunity to spend some time outdoors with loved ones.
It is our continued wish that everyone enjoys their time here, and appreciates the natural splendor of the land, and the majestic history of the Polynesian people. We offer tours that showcase all of this and more. We offer fully guided tours using professional tour guides and drivers that are shining examples of the spirit of Aloha. Enjoy the rest of your stay with us in our tropical paradise and we hope to see you soon. Aloha and Mahalo!f
It’s not only the football that we look forward to on gameday, the entertainment is also watched. From the pregame entertainment to the halftime show, the gameday entertainment is an integral part of a football game. This years entertainment will feature Maunalua, Dita Holifield, and Jordan Segundo. This years gameday entertainment at the Hawaii Bowl is sure to be very entertaining.
First of we have Dita Holifield singing the National Anthem. She is a great singer as well as a local DJ and songwriter. Originally from Lubbock, Texas, Dita Holifield made her way to Hawaii and has made a name for herself throughout the country music scene. She has been asked to open for many people over her career including, Willie Nelson, Brooks and Dunn, Leann Rimes, Joe Diffe, and Brad Paisley. With her resume and amazing vocals the National Anthem will be in excellent hands.
Next to perform will be Jordan Segundo, who will be performing Hawai’i Pono’i. Hawai’i Pono’i is the current State Song of Hawaii, in case you didn’t already know that. Jordan Segundo started his current national recognition by competing on … you guessed it “American Idol”. He was a season two finalist. Due to the exposure provided by his performance on the show Jordan was invited to play for President Obama at the annual Democratic Party Convention Banquet here in Hawaii. He has performed at multiple L A Lakers games, sang with Kenny Loggins at his CD release party, and shared top billing with Jennifer Hudson for concerts. I think he will do a masterful job of the State Song.
Maunalua will be taking on the halftime show at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. The band was formed in 1993 and their first album was released in 2000. Their first album, which was titled “Moanalua”, was wildly successful and won the Hawaiian Album of the Year at the Na Hoku Hanohano awards. Their last album was released in 2007 and the group won another award for “Group of the Year”. Moanalua performed at the Presidential Inauguration Luau in 2009 for President Obama in Washington DC. Later in 2009 they were the stars of the “Curators of Hawaiian Music” concert series playing at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Their next album is planned for a December 2014 release. They will be performing three of their classic hits and the island Christmas classic “Mele Kalikimaka”.
This years gameday entertainment at the Hawaii Bowl is sure to fire up the crowd and keep everyone interested. I can’t wait to see how all of these wonderful performers do at their respective gigs on December 24. Hope to see everyone support the local talent that is all over this years gameday entertainment at the Hawaii Bowl. You will be able to watch the game live, or on your television or mobile device on ESPN or the WatchESPN app respectively.
This years Hawaii bowl will be played on Chrismas Eve at Aloha Stadium and aired on the ESPN family of channels. The game will start at 3 p.m local time and will feature Rice and Fresno State. I hope everyone will watch or get tickets to the game and support the last NCAA bowl game in Hawaii right now. The game day looks to have a great lineup for pregame and halftime as well.
The Fresno State Bulldogs will make their second appearance in the Hawaii Bowl as the Mountain West Conference representative and the West Division Champion. Their first appearance at the Hawaii Bowl was in 2012 where they fell to SMU. The bulldogs are bringing a 3X first team All Mountain West Defensive Back in Derron Smith, as well as first team wide receiver Josh Harper and defensive lineman Tyeler Davison. We would like to wish the Fresno State Bulldogs good luck in their Sheraton Hawaii Bowl quest.
Rice University will be playing on the other side of the field and will be making their first Sheraton Hawaii Bowl appearance. The Rice Owls finished their season second in the West Division of Conference USA. This years bowl appearance will mark the third consecutive bowl game for the Rice Owls. Conference USA has sent a representative to the Hawaii Bowl 9 times and the conference hold a 6-3 record in the Hawaii Bowl. We would like to extend our congratulations out to Rice University for their bowl appearance, and wish them luck in the game.
I am looking forward to the NCAA bowl season this year, including the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Good luck to all of the teams who worked hard this year no matter what the results were. A special nod to the University of Hawaii players and program, and we hope to see the continuing effort and support of the football program here in the islands.