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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog

Total Number of Entries - 571
  • A Gift of A Beach, A Day and A Man

    Destination: Kauai

    haena coastline, kauai, north shoreIt was off-and-on rainy in Kapaa one Kauai morning last week after rounds of loco moco, eggs and spam, buttermilk pancakes and shave ice at Ono Family Restaurant. Angry clouds circled Sleeping Giant and other inland mountains. Conventional weather wisdom in Hawaii says, “If it’s rainy where you are, go west.” Or, at the very least, on Kauai, go south to Sunny Poipu. But we wanted to go the other direction into the tropical rainforest  of Kauai’s North Shore, to a special  place, for a special reason. The beach is known as Tunnels. It’s Hawaiian name is Makua. The mountain, hovering like an anxious parent, overlooks the beach and was featured in the 1950s movie South Pacific and called “Bali Hai.” Its Hawaiian name is Makana, which translates to English as “gift.”

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  • Happy World Water Day

    Destination: Oahu

    Albatross skeletal remains packed with plastic at Midway AtollToday, March 22, 2011, is World Water Day, and I am headed to Waikiki not to go to the beach, not to surf the tail-end of a surprising south swell, not to shop at Ala Moana Shopping Center, not to go to dinner at Duke's. But to attend the 5th International Marine Debris Conference. The pavement was wet when I left the house just before dawn, thanks to some overnight showers.

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  • Hula Pie Is Hawaii Heaven

    Destination: Kauai

    I wanted the three kids to help me on a shave ice round up of Kauai. However, after five days, we’ve talked about going out for shave ice. We’ve remembered it at breakfast time, even. But we have hit shave ice stands exactly zero times. We have managed to put down—on three occasions and after big meals—hula pie. So, I guess this will be a hula pie round up.

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  • Trade Winds March in Like a Lion

    Destination: Kauai

    Laysan albatross adult flying into sceneThey're back. Our long absent trade winds arrived with vigor today. What is it people say about the month of March--in like a lion; out like a lamb. Well, we're right on track. During the first weekend of March, the volcano--Kilauea--blew in a fiery display. The second weekend saw a tsunami roll through the Hawaiian Islands, damaging harbors and homes but leaving Hawaii relatively unharmed, especially in light of what's going on in Japan. And, now, we're under a high-wind advisory—east winds up to 35 mph and gusts of 55 mph.

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  • Tsunami Preparedness: Live Aloha

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    dolphin painting from the Hawaiian Oracle cardsIt's Monday morning, March 14, 2011 in Hawaii. I pull back the sheer curtain covering the window beside my desk to peer through hibiscus bushes. I see blue sky, white clouds and the glare of sunshine through a dappled leafy view. A shama thrush belts out a musical tune. My dogs race upstairs to investigate a sound that only they can detect. I sit at my computer, fingers poised above the keyboard. Threads of sentences stream through my head. But I am at a loss for words. I must write about the tsunami in Hawaii, of course. How could I not?

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  • Malasada Tuesday Taste Testing Tour

    Destination: Kauai

    Line for malasadas on Malasada Tuesday in HawaiiToday, in Hawaii, is Malasada Tuesday. Elsewhere, you may know the last day before the Catholic tradition of Lent begins as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday or Maradi Gras. I started my Malasada Tuesday Taste-Testing Tour of Kauai by myself. It ended with help from my friend Susan and a black-and-white dog.  Here’s how it went.

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  • Talk of the town Restaurant

    Destination: Oahu

    Town restaurant entrance in Kaimuki, Oahu, HawaiiA group of us dined the other night at a restaurant called town (note to grammarians: yes, lower case "t"). The restaurant sits atop a hill in Kaimuki, a vibrant, old neighborhood community that is tucked behind Diamond Head, just mauka of the H1 and east of Manoa.

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  • Welcome to Maui. Welcome to Whale Soup.

    Destination: Maui

    Hawaiian humpback whale breaching off Maui We boarded a Trilogy's Elua catamaran on the sandy shores of Kaanapali, Maui at 4:00 on a hot February afternoon, as a Kona system from the south evaporated Hawaii's cooling trade winds and vog from Hawaii (Big) Island's Kilauea volcano settled on the islands of Lanai and Molokai to our west.  February is known for pretty much one thing in Maui: Whales. Just three days before a whole day was dedicated to the celebration of whales in Kihei, complete with a Parade of Whales, Run for the Whales, Hawaiian music concert, “Made on Maui” market, food--lots and lots of food—and more.

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  • Kohala Coast Getaway, Part 4: Mauna Kea

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    view of moon through mauna kea teleascope on big islandWe met Hawaii Forest and Trail at the King’s Shops in Waikoloa for a journey to the top of Mauna Kea and some stargazing. According to Jon, our guide, the night’s plan would have us traverse Waikoloa Road—with a stop at Waikoloa Village to pick up dinner and, “most importantly, cookies”—and continue to Highway 190. We’d take a left, passing through a one-time native forest and now pasturelands, and then a right on Hawaii (Big) Island’s infamous Saddle Road. We’d climb half way up the mountain, stop, eat, acclimatize, don jackets—really warm jackets—and head for the summit, where the temperature was predicted to be “about freezing,” a full 50 degrees colder than when we’d started out at sea level.

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  • Kohala Coast Getaway, Part 3: Manta Rays

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    Manta ray, underwater photograph, Hawaii Big IslandI squeezed into my full-length—and wet—wetsuit, slithered into another called a "shorty" and pulled a neoprene "hoodie" on my head, securing it with a chin strap. The ocean water temperature in Hawaii varies from about 76 in winter to 81 degrees in summer. A mere five degrees difference. On our earlier scuba dive at dusk here off Hawaii (Big) Island, my dive computer put the evening’s water temperature at 77 degrees.

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