Samantha Bomkamp of the Associated Press writes:
…. You’ll have to know the right time to look. There are "sweet spots" in which to get the best deals this year…
Actually this week is the best time to start. If your flying from the Mainland to Hawaii around Thanksgiving it would pay to do some intense price checking NOW. Why? Because within a couple weeks of Thanksgiving fares on the Mainland are going to start going up, up. Everybody’s going "across the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house." If you’re coming to Hawaii, you’re probably not going to Grandma’s house, but if you wait too long to purchase tickets you might get caught in the airfare cross-fire of mainlanders that are.
Buy Your Cheap Tickets Now
The consensus among experts at Expedia and Travelocity is to buy now rather than later; especially if you don’t have flexibility on travel dates. But even if you are flexible don’t expect the airlines to post a "desperation" sale at the last minute. Flight reservations are getting a lot of pressure, so although the complicated matrix used by the airlines may squeak out a few bargain seats at the last moment, don’t expect a big drumroll about it.
What a little Research for Cheap Airfares will do
It took me about 5 minutes to look up the following fares. All are for round trip single passenger coach, Denver to Kahului, Maui, and don’t include taxes, etc.
Dep 10/19—Rtn 10/26 $621.00
11/30 12/7 $542.00 (going down, down!)
12/15 12/22 $683.00 (Going up,up!)
But, here’s one right off Alaska Airlines website:
12/1 12/8 $557.20 (Not too bad! Connections weren’t too bad, either. Leave Denver 12:05 pm, Arrive Kahului, Maui 4:40 pm)
So What’s the Bottom Line for Hawaii Airfares During the Holiday Season?
If you have ironclad travel dates, don’t take a chance, buy now. If you’re really flexible, let the dice roll.
Off subject, but will Make Nevadans Happy
Hawaiian Airlines just announced a non-stop schedule from Las Vegas to Maui. Flight 31 departs Las Vegas on Sundays and Wednesdays at 6:25 pm, arriving Kahului, Maui 9:25 pm. Return Flight 32 departs Kahului on Mondays and Thursdays at 8:00 am, arriving Las Vegas 4:35 pm. Way to go, Hawaiian Airlines
Keep your sights on this site. More good stuff coming soon. a hui hou
"Ono" Hawaiian Food … Part Two
In case you need to catch up from the last post about Hawaiian food, just go here.
Fish There are so many edible fish in Hawaiian waters it would be impossible to list them all in this post. Besides, you will only find a few, out of all the fish, on menus intended for visitors. Unfortunate, too, because many of the less well known fish … to visitors … are very tasty.
Here’s a list of the better known fish … and a few not so well known.
`ahi (ah’ hee) This is a very well known fish, often served as Japanese-style raw thinly sliced "sashimi", or as Hawaiian-style “poke” (po keh … chunked, marinated raw fish). This fish is also incredibly delicious, filleted and grilled.
aku (ah koo) Very similiar to ‘ahi but stronger tasting. Aku was very well known to the ancient Hawaiians.
- ono OK, this is the ‘ono ono I spoke of earlier (in case you didn’t read the previous post; ‘ono also means “delicious). Thus, ‘ono ono. This fish is tasty grilled or baked, and appears on just about every menu where local fish are featured.
- `ôpakapaka (OH’ pah kah pah kah) This fish is just an all around favorite, and can be prepared baked, fried, broiled, or as "sashimi."
- mahimahi Appears on menus all over the world with its Hawaiian name intact. Maybe because it’s just fun to say …mah’ hee mah’ hee. Say that a few times and you’ll never forget it.
- ulua (oo loo ah) Super game fish, and extremely good eating, to boot. You won’t find this on all menu, but ask for it anyway.
- Here are some favorites you might find in local markets and restaurants: `û`û (menpachi), `ôpelu, akule, a`u, `ula `ula (onaga). All of these are excellent eating fish.
Ah, well it’s time for News Flash and Fun Facts About Hawaii.
News Flash: Help the folks in Samoa
Fun Facts About Hawaii: What’s one of the top places in the world to locate a telescope? Right on top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii, that’s where. There are 13 scopes up there right now.
Next Post: All about volcanoes.
a hui hou
“Ono” Hawaiian Food
What the heck is “’ono” Hawaiian food? Well, the Hawaiian word ‘ono means delicious or tasty (there’s another ono Hawaiian word, but later on that), so that’s what this post is all about; delicious Hawaiian food.
If you’re on your first (or even second) jaunt to Hawaii, Hawaiian style food is probably still pretty much a muddled subject to you. Mostly, because there’s a lot of myth and misunderstanding about the food of Hawaii. Much of this comes from the menu mix of traditional Hawaiian, Asian, Filipino, and Portuguese recipes.
So, in the interest of clarity, I’m offering the following ….
Traditional Hawaiian Food
Poi (poy) Made from the thoroughly cooked, mashed, corm of the Taro (Kalo in Hawaiian) plant. Traditionally, Poi is not mixed with other foods, and is eaten by twirling one or two fingers (never three; greedy, eh?) in a bowl of Poi, then popping what’s collected in the mouth. OK, in modern times, not so much, but it is usally offered as a side dish. I’m a slob, and I like to mix it with my rice.
Kalua pig (kah loouh …. hey, you know how to pronounce pig) Traditionally, and the only authentic kalua pig is cooked in an underground oven called an imu. The heat source is hot rocks, and much of the unique flavor comes from salt, and wet banana and ti leaves. So, you folks who go to a lu’au where the pig is cooked in a pit are treated to the real deal, no matter how much other imitation stuff is going on. (Note: The word kalua literally means "to cook in an underground oven" and also describes the flavor of food cooked that way).
Lu’au Thoroughly steamed young Taro leaves … also what a festive event is called. A very popular party dish is lu’au steamed with coconut milk and some kind of fish, meat or fowl. “Eh, you like squid lu’au?“
Laulau (think “bow wow“ …only with L’s) Lau is the Hawaiian word for leaf, so laulau is two leaves. This is a handy little food package consisting of a single portion of meat (usually pork) and butterfish wrapped in lu’au (taro leaf), then wrapped in ti leaf … the aluminum foil of the Pacific. Then the whole package is thoroughly steamed. When served, you unwrap the ti leaf and set it aside … please, please don’t eat the ti leaves. You wouldn’t eat aluminum foil, right? Many local people sprinkle little bit “peppah watah” on.
‘Uala (Hawaiian purple sweet potato) You’ll find this tasty tuber at lu’aus, and most places where they serve “Hawaiian plate.“ This is an ancient food item, and it is believed that it was brought to central Polynesia circa 700 AD, possibly by Polynesians who had traveled to South America and back (or vice versa), and spread across Polynesia to Hawaii.
Limu (seaweed) This is such a big category it would take several posts just to touch on the highlights. Suffice it to say that native Hawaiians … as well as most of the prominent local cultures of Hawaii … have enjoyed limu as part of their basic diet for literally thousands of years. It’s eaten in raw, cooked and dried form, and is very nutritious.
Fish …….Whew! this is getting kinda long. I’ll finish up with my usual, then return midweek with another post on the “ono” foods of Hawaii. Some recipes, too.
News Flash: Running out of ideas for that November ’09 vacation? To get inspired Check this out.
Fun Facts About Hawaii: As such, in the State of Hawaii there are no governments below the county level. So, don’t look for the City Hall in Hilo.
Any questions? Please leave a comment.
Aloha a hui hou
…At the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach.
This beautiful, nostalgic hotel known as the "Pink Palace of the Pacific" will reopen its doors on January 20th, 2009. The Royal Hawaiian closed in June for an estimated $110 million renovation.
The gala opening event on January 20th will be the Official Aloha Inaugural Ball hosted by the Hawaii Democratic Party. To further celebrate ,the hotel is offering a Presidential Package. The package includes four nights in a garden-view guest room, a bottle of pink Champagne and two tickets to the ball. All this for a low, low starting price of $1800 per couple … Ok, for somebody, somewhere that’s a bargain.
Now, if you want to attend the Aloha Inaugural ball but can’t stand the $1800 tab please read on.
In case your’re not familiar with the historical Royal Hawaiian Hotel, this little history note will bring you up to speed. It’s located on Kalakaua Avenue in the Waikiki district of Honolulu. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel was one of the first hotels established in Waikiki, opening it’s doors February 1, 1927, and is considered one of the flagship hotels in Hawaii tourism.
Another "make ya gulp" fact about this iconic hotel is the the original building cost: 4 million US dollars! And that’s in 1927 dollars!
OK, here’s the people to talk to if you just want to attend the ball and find less expensive lodging somewhere else.
News Flash: You’ve probably read that airfares to Hawaii are becoming more reasonable. Go over to Orbitz and search for some of the 35% discounts.
Fun Facts About Hawaii: The State bird is an indigenous flightless goose called the Nene (neh neh). Actually it can fly short distances, but why leave Hawaii, right? The Nene somewhat resembles a small Canadian Goose, with a dark colored head and grayish feathers on the body. Once on the brink of extinction, there are now probably some 700-800 birds.
Aloha a hui hou
According to a Honolulu Star-Bulletin report on an Associated Press release, President-Elect Barack Obama’s family, along with families of several friends, will go Kailua side of Oahu for a Chistmas visit.
Exact dates are not available, but the accomodations are said to be three makai (beachside) multimillion-dollar homes. Lagoon-style pool, palm trees, white sand, and surfers, included.
Way to go President-Elect Obama! What you’ve been through in the last two years, and what lies ahead after you take office,you deserve a beautiful place to catch your breath.
Some folks might take exception to Obama’s visits to the paradise islands of Hawaii (this will be #3 this year), but for him it’s like returning home, just like Clinton would be returning to Arkansas or Bush to Texas. And, of course, sadly, one of his visits was to see his dying grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, for the last time.
For the uninformed, President-Elect Obama was born at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu, and was a 1979 Punahou School graduate. I’d say he feels right at home in Hawaii. Ain’t it great!
OK, because It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted, you might have forgotten about my two little features that I try to include in each post: "News Flash" and "Fun Facts About Hawaii". So, dang it, here they are.
News Flash: Orbitz has some deals for travel to Hawaii ending 12/31/2008. Hey! It’s not too late!
Fun Facts About Hawaii: South Point of the Big Island of Hawaii is the most southern point in the United States (sorry Florida). Think about it.
Aloha A Hui Hou
If this post seems to be propelled by caffiene controlled text … you’re right! Holy Gopher, it’s all about September, and September is already here!
OK, let’s get to it.
Big Bash! HAWAII FOOD & WINE PARADISE
No, that’s not a misprint. "Paradise" is the operative word here. I’ll have to admit I’m not attending due to the lack of a certain vital ingredient … MONEY!
Anyway, the event is from September 11th through the 13th, in and around the Kapolei area (all the way out H1 to the north).
I’m giving away the farm here, but I want to get the news out, so unleash your wallet and read this. And if you need a roof over your head, here’s some possibilities. A couple of the lower priced properties are sort of doggie, but I’m not going to say which ones, ’cause they know where I live!
Let’s hustle along here.
Hawaiian Quilts for Visiting Quilters
If you’re going to be on Oahu between September 13 and 21, and are a quilter, or quilting fan, be sure to Visit Kahala Mall for a major quilting event. Kahala Mall is at 4211 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Hawaii’s Master Quilter, Carol Kamaile (Kah my leh) will be displaying her designs as an important part of Kahala Mall’s "Shop with Aloha" event.
This is a big event in honor of Aloha Festivals, and features live entertainment and demonstrations that celebrate the arts, music and culture of Hawaii, past and present. If you’re new to Hawaii, this is a great way to get plenny Hawaiiana all in one place.
Oh, and did I mention it’s open to the public and free of charge.
QUILTING DEMONSTRATIONS AT KAHALA MALL Saturday, 9/13 10am-2pm, Sunday, 9/14 10pm-2pm, Wednesday, 9/17 5pm-9pm, Friday, 9/19 10am-2pm, Saturday, 9/20 10am-2pm; and final day, Sunday, 9/21 1pm-5pm
AND THAT’S NOT ALL. During this awesome event, you’ll be treated to a prestige fashion event where you’d normally pay big bucks for admission.
Here it is.
Hawaiian Monarchy Collection … Fashions from Hawaii’s Golden Age.
Imagine. The royal clothing of Queen Kaahumanu (Kah ah hoo mah new) , who presided, for all purposes, as the Queen Regent of Hawaii from 1820 until 1832; Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who envisioned the Kamehameha Schools; and many, many more.
This elegant fashion show is limited to September 13 only at Center Court of Kahala Mall at 2pm.
OK, here’s a link to the Honolulu Advertiser article that tells all about this very special "Shop with Aloha" event.
Aloha a hui hou
You’re getting 2 for 1 on this post. The reason I entered "maybe" in the heading is because both of the events have a little something I’m not exactly in tune with, but, see that’s just me. BUT they are both MAJOR events on Maui, so I want you to know about them.
Maui Chefs Present… The 2008 Culinary Olympics
This event takes place Friday, September 5, 2008 (Ok, OK, so I’m little late with the news.) It’s all about gourmet prepared food and spirits. And, although the event is widely touted by the Lahaina Town Action Committee, it’s actually located in Kapalua, Maui at the Ritz Carlton Pavilion
This is not "pupus and go" beer bust. No indeed. Featured are 24 gourmet dishes from the leading chefs on Maui. The entire event is very high class, and is geared towards perpetuating and enhancing the culinary arts on Maui. This is the 16th year for this gastronomic get-together, so they must be doing something right. I’ve attended twice and was much impressed.
Oh, and did I mention there’s live music and an opening ceremony featuring Raiatea Helm? Holy Gopher, I’d go just to hear her sing (I’m going to do an entire post on her soon, but in the meantime check out this Hawaiian Blossom right here).
OK, this is what makes me wince slightly about this event. The price. $150 each. But, a percentage of the proceeds does benefit Maui Community College Culinary Arts Scholarship Program.
For more details, go to this site.
Halloween in Lahaina
Unless they’ve upgraded since I talked to them on 8/22/08, disregard most of the info on the Lahaina Town Action Committee website concerning Halloween in Lahaina, 10/31/08. There will be a children’s costume parade, but no food booths or live bands on the streets. And the streets will be open to traffic for much of the event.
All I can say is a big "BOO" on all that. Dang, most of that stuff is what made this event so great. To quote from a post I made about this last year, "It’s the most outrageous party you can imagine."
Rant over, I think there will still be boatloads of people and great costumes.
OK, let’s say you trashed my rant and booked a flight to Maui for Halloween, Now, imagine it’s actually Halloween, and you’re ready to take in the big event. You and your party jump in the red convertible you’ve rented, and, top down, you buzz off to Lahaina. You arrive at the outskirts and, after driving up and down Lahaina’s narrow streets for about 20 minutes, you realize, HOLY CRUD! there’s no place to park!
First, forget the red convertible and, a couple of days in advance if possible, or right now, call the hotel or resort you’re staying at, and ask them about free or paid transportation to Halloween in Lahaina.
Let me sum up by saying, I’ve attended this event many times, and have never felt threatened in any way. OK, OK, it does get a little noisy towards closing time, but for the most part it’s a family affair …
AND HERE’S SOME OF THE FAMILY!
Aloha a hui hou
The Hawaii State Flower is yellow … not red. Gotcha!
It’s true. The native yellow hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei A. Gray), also known as the Pua Aloalo or Ma`o-hau-hele, was established and designated as the official flower of the State of Hawaii in 1988.
Up to that time, just about any old hibiscus could be considered as the State Flower. Red was usually a popular choice.
So, just to show you my heart’s in the right place, and because I’ve been gone so long (another contest of wills between this blog platform and myself), I brang you a flower.
When you’re in Hawaii you’ll see many beautiful yellow hibiscus blossoms, but most won’t be the real deal. To paraphrase the University of Hawaii botanical guys: It is native to dry forests and shrub lands at elevations from 400 to 2,600 feet, and is found on all the main Hawaiian islands except Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe. But it is not common in any location.
And This is a Modern Situation
The official blossom was once prevalent in the locations mentioned above, but started to decline after the arrival of western cultures in the Hawaiian Islands. As often happens, new arrivals bring alien, exotic plants with them. Those plants bring diseases endemic and indigenous species are not immune to.
Where Can I find Them?
Check with local garden clubs, the Bishop Museum, and paid tropical gardens. The resort you’re staying at might also have some plantings.
Ok, Now for News Flash and "Fun Facts About Hawaii"
First, the ever popular News Flash: I gotta qualify this announcement, because it’s one of those "left field" notices from Hawaiian Airlines.
- Seattle-Maui: $436
- Portland-Maui: $572
- Phoenix-Honolulu: $642
- San Francisco-Honolulu: $644
It’s worth checking out through folks like Orbitz or Expedia. Don’t get nervous I’m not an affiliate … yet.
Fun Facts About Hawaii: At 4,063 square miles, the Big Island of Hawaii is the largest island in the United States. Think about it.
(Apprentice Blogmaster Note: I’m using a new font, Comic Sans MS. Do you like it, or no? Love to see your comments. Be Gentle.)
Aloha a hui hou
Later is good, after you arrive at your Hawaiian Island of choice, but maybe now would be smart, too. Look for a great tip on this later in the post.
[Apprentice Blogmaster Note: If you've been back to this blog, and the news seemed to be stale, that's because IT WAS. My blog platform and I have been in serious dispute as to who runs this outfit. Especially about pictures I want to display. Not the kind of pictures, but where they are displayed, and if they'll be displayed at all. Well, we'll just see about that.]
OK, on to the Jewelry Department. Hawaiian jewelry runs the gamut from beautiful natural necklaces to island style gold and silver. For this post I’d like to concentrate on natural jewelry.
Kukui Nut Lei (necklace)
The Kukui lei (layee) on the right is an elegant example of Hawaiiana. Kukui leis, in very old Hawaii, were worn only by the ali`l (ahlee`ee), or royalty. In modern times they symbolize good luck.
You’ll find these nut leis in a variety of treatments. All the way from ground and polished to completely natural. Here’s an example of a lei with several different styles of the nut. The shells are called Opihi (oh pee hee) and the little seeds are from the Koa tree
The Kukui nut comes from the Kukui tree (duh!), a native tree of Polynesia. The tree was actually brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the early voyages from the south. So jewelry made from the nut is very much steeped in Hawaiian history.
Natural jewelry, especially leis, is not a gender thing in Hawaii. The lei to the left is mine, and I used to wear it to work every day as a tour guide/bus driver.
Kamani, wiliwili, and goat’s eye are common materials for leis. Of these, the red seeds from the wiliwili (weelee weelee) are probably the most impressive. I don’t have a good picture of the finished lei … and didn’t feel right about … er … ahem … borrowing one. When your in Hawaii, and in a quality gift shop, ask about a wilwili lei. Also, standby for sticker shock.
Ni`ihau Shell Lei
Speaking of sticker shock, the Ni`ihau shell lei is another pricey item, but well worth the money. Why so expensive? Mostly due to shortage of the pinkish shells and the meticulous care taken to create the lei. That, and because they are only made one place in the world … the Island of Ni`ihau in the Hawaiian chain. The pictue on the right shows a choker and a 3 strand lei. There are fake knockoffs, so insist on proof of authenticity.
Newsflash: For some temporary killer deals on Hawaiian jewelry hop on over to
hawaiistore4u.com/Hawaii-Store/Jewelry-and-Watches This is the "now" part I was talking about earlier. OK, OK, it’s my site, but regardless, there’s some real bargains lurking there.
Fun Facts About Hawaii: The capitol of the State of Hawaii is Honolulu on the Island of O`ahu.
Honolulu= Hono looloo
O`ahu= Oh ah hoo
Aloha a hui hou
I certainly don’t want to discourage you from searching out cheap tickets to Hawaii, but times a wastin!
Some of the airlines have scheduled major increases and surcharges to the Islands of Hawaii.
Case in point. HURRY ON THIS ONE!
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES ANNOUNCES NEW SURCHARGES. Effective May 27, Hawaiian is raising one-way inter-island fares by $10, raising its lowest fare from $54 to $64, the airline said. Actually that’s just early morning and late night flights. Minimums on normal daytime flights will be either $74 or $84. And that’s just minimums. Remember, these are one-way prices.
Fuel surcharges to the Mainland, USA will increase $35, from $65 to $100; to Sydney, up $40 from $120 to $160; to Pago Pago, up $45 each way from $65 to $110; to Papeete, up $55 each way from $65 to $120; and to Manila up $35 from $115 to $150 for Honolulu to Manila only. Again, that’s EACH WAY.
Island Air … still good reliable service, and holding their present fares.
Go! … Cheap, but are looking at bankruptcy.
Pacific Wings … Fares remain steady.
American Airlines Puts Premium on Luggage.
American Airlines’ will now charge a $15 fee for the FIRST checked bag; that’s in addition to the $25 fee already charged for a second bag. $40 for two bags … each way! Skinny down to one piece of luggage stowed, and get creative with your carry on.
OK, that’s it for this post. will double up on News Flash and Fun Facts About Hawaii in the next post.
Now, get out there and hunt down those cheap airline tickets to Hawaii!