December 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM
When I travel, I always get the local newspaper (provided I can read the language) to get the flavor of a city’s life and politics. And I always read the obituaries because, in death, you can learn a lot about the lives and legacy of individuals and the culture of a place.
I’m in Honolulu and have been reading the obituaries in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. As in everything Hawaiian, the obituaries are a rich multicultural mix including people of Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and native Hawaiian backgrounds.
One obituary in particular caught my eye, of a 93-year-old woman named Te’amalelalolagi Lale Igafo-Saole. Born in 1920 in American Samoa, she would have witnessed vast changes in Samoa and Hawaii, from World War II through today’s mass tourism. But it was her personal history that struck me; she leaves behind five children, 66 grandchildren and (more…)
December 9, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Goodbye cold Seattle, hello balmy Waikiki with a sun-bronzed Santa Claus, in red shorts and a Santa hat, strolling the Waikiki beach. And local ladies dancing the hula at a beachside park, wearing sparkling green leis and swaying as a band croons “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
When fresh off the plane from deep-freeze Seattle, there’s something wonderfully incongruous about Christmas festivities in a tropical haven like Hawaii. In Waikiki, the Honolulu visitor epicenter, the warm ocean waves lap the beach by the hula dancers. Santa stands under a swaying palm tree, by the light of a sparkling moon and flaming torches. Christmas decorations and lights shimmer in stores.
And those stores … I haven’t stayed in Waikiki for many years and I was dazzled by the number of luxury stores that have (more…)
June 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Raindrops on roses? Whiskers on kittens? I don’t know about those, but these are a few of my favorite things from this past week’s visit to Maui:
- Best little tourist town: Makawao. Lahaina has great historical sites and museums, but it’s looking a little careworn and in need of fresh paint, while the surfer-dude haven of Paia is overloved and traffic-jammed. The upcountry cowboy town of Makawao has fun local shops, a couple nice cafes and cream puffs from Komoda’s bakery.
- Kapalua Bay for snorkeling: Get there early for a spot in the public parking lot of this beautiful little beach with a protected and quiet cove that’s great for beginner snorkelers or old pros. Good reefs with some brightly colored coral, big scarlet-colored slate pencil urchins, and lots to see throughout the bay, including schooling fish like you saw in “Finding Nemo.” Fun to swim with them.
- Plate-lunch place: Ono Kau Kau Mixed Plate, 3481 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Honokowai. I liked the Lau Lau Pork, wrapped in taro leaf for a taste of the islands. Tip: Unless you’re there for a real FULL meal, get the “Mini” plate ($7.95). All items on the “Local Food” menu come with the typical macaroni salad and (more…)
June 11, 2013 at 9:00 AM
crowing lustily at dawn.
Paradise; no sleep.
(Roosters aren’t really the state bird of Hawaii, it just seems that way. Click on comments and submit your own Hawaii haiku.)
June 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Reporting a recent story for our Washington State Parks centennial series, I got tuned into the impressive petroglyphs at Horsethief Lake and Columbia Hills State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. So when a local tipped me off during my Hawaii visit this week to a “secret” place to see petroglyphs on Maui, I had to go.
Nobody really knows the full significance of these ancient drawings of human figures, animals, boats and other phenomena — whether they told stories or recorded some historical event or were just the idle doodles of that day. In any case, they’re intriguing glimpses of a primitive art style and seem to give some pointer to what was important to the people who did the drawing.
In the Columbia Gorge, native people drew coyotes and moons and deer. On Maui today, I saw 200-to-300-year-old drawings — in Hawaiian, they call them ki`i pohaku, or rock pictures — of what’s (more…)
June 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Because of high surf, the weekly supply barge didn’t make it Wednesday to the Hawaiian island of Lana`i (population: 3,000) , so when I visited Saturday the market shelves were getting a little bare.
One lonely gallon of milk sat in the cooler at the Pine Isle Market in grandly named Lana`i City, which was the company town for Dole Pineapple during its 70-year reign here.
“It gets to be slim pickings!” said local resident Bruce Harvey, my guide for the day.
But reflective of Hawaiian tastes, one thing Pine Isle Market did have: the best selection of Spam I’ve ever seen — in 10 varieties. Who knew it came in such gourmet flavors as (more…)
June 6, 2013 at 11:01 PM
A couple days on Maui have brought back to me how expensive everything can be — from the $4.59/gallon gasoline to the $5.99-a-pound butter and $14 cocktails — but it’s also heartening to be reminded that by state law all of Hawaii’s beaches are public, which means that when your holiday cash feels stretched, you can always take a day off from the tourist traps, put together some sandwiches and head for the beach.
If an island getaway doesn’t feel like it fits your budget once you’ve priced resorts and beachside condos, take a look at the places that aren’t right on the beach. And remember that Maui, for example, has loads of little beachfront parks with picnic tables and barbecue grills, so even if (more…)
June 4, 2013 at 11:03 PM
A current report says Hawaii’s tradewinds are waning, causing more muggy days without enough wind to blow away the “vog” — volcanic smoke from Hawaii Island’s volcanic eruptions.
You sure wouldn’t know it from Tuesday on Maui.
Stepping off an Alaska 737 in Kahului, I watched women’s hair get the full “Hurricane Uplift” hairdo as they were blasted by the north wind that often makes this shore the windsurfer’s paradise of Maui. I don’t think I’ve ever had a smooth landing at Kahului, and this was no exception. As usual, passengers applauded when the plane was safely on the ground after getting jounced around by winds.
Visibility was good, too, with a crisp and clear view of the summit observatory on Mount Haleakala.
One day doesn’t disprove the trend, of course. But on Tuesday it was, in old-fashioned sailor’s terms, blowing like stink.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been on Maui. While the area around Maui’s main airport has become more strip-malled than ever, it was heartening to see that the long line of surfer-dude beaches between Maalea and Lahaina remains unmolested by developers. It was only a minor letdown to find that the fruit stand beneath the spreading monkey pod trees at Olowalu was charging robber-baron prices (7 for $10, and you couldn’t buy less than 7) for lilikoi — the Hawaiian passion fruit — that I used to pick up for free from public sidewalks when I’ve visited Hilo.
It was still impossible to resist buying a couple of perfectly ripe papayas (2 for $5 — the sucker tourist price), but I plan to find the farmer’s market this week and expect to do much better. I’ll keep you posted.
June 3, 2013 at 11:10 AM
It’s my month for visiting the 49th and 50th states. Just got back from Alaska, and tomorrow I head to Hawaii.
I’ll be on Maui — mostly — for the coming week, gathering stories for future Seattle Times travel stories. I’ll be spending “volunteer vacation” time helping on a taro farm restoration and joining in a sea-turtle watch, and I plan to take the passenger ferry from Lahaina, on Maui, to the island of Lanai for a day of exploring at places such as Shipwreck Beach.
But I’m also looking for tips on where to go and what to do. If you’ve been to Maui recently and made some good discoveries, or you’re curious about something you’d like checked out before you make the trip, please click on “comments” and let me know.
I won’t be blogging every day on this visit but when I come across something worth a heads up I’ll be sure to let you know.
April 26, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Eleven people have drowned so far this year in Kauai, almost triple the number who drowned in the same period last year on the Hawaiian island. Some have been swept off remote beaches by large waves, others have died trying to cross streams while hiking on the island’s Napali coast.
Hawaiian leaders are very concerned, and trying to educate tourists about the dangers, especially those who go to swim or walk at the wilder, more remote beaches. Wave conditions can change very quickly, and many tourists are not aware of the ocean currents that can rapidly carry them away from the shore. (Tourists also have drowned on other Hawaiian islands this year, including two vacationers from Washington state on Maui, but Kauai has had the most drownings.)
On a visit to Kauai in January, shortly after two people had drowned on the island, (more…)
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