My first Honolulu Festival was in 2012. I missed the 2013 festivities, but I made it back for 20th annual Honolulu Festival. Since I was away on business travel earlier in the week, I could only attend the final day of scheduled events. The Hawaii Convention Center was once again home to various arts & crafts, performances, and even an anime cafe. There was a lot to see and learn at this year’s festival. Within a few minutes of entering the convention center hall, we were pulled into a table to draw fruit using traditional Japanese brushes and paints. My painting of a mango is miserable. The lady teaching me thought I did a good job, though. I think that she was just being nice.
Goofy Cafe & Dine is located just in front of Hilton’s Grand Waikikian Suites, in a two-story wooden structure, just off of Ala Moana Boulevard. The small cafe is located in the second-story space that the Fat Greek once occupied. Goofy Cafe & Dine is definitely an upgrade from the Fat Greek, in terms of food, ambiance, and atmosphere.
In this post, I wrote about how night viewing of Halemaumau Crater from the Jaggar Museum is a must see when visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This isn’t the only place to get a great view of the crater at night. We were fortunate to stay at the famous Volcano House. This unique lodge is the only one of its kind within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The lodge is located on the edge of Kilauea Volcano, and offers a stunning viewing area of Halemaumau Crater.
Eat The Street! It’s been a while since I’ve battled the crowds at Kakaako’s favorite food rally. However, the theme was chocolate, and well, I just had to be there. The usual suspects were there (Soul Patrol, Paul’s Poppers, and Ono Pops), along with some pleasant new surprises (Wow Wow Waffle, Pt. Suisse, Oko Guys, Pop Pop Donuts).
Exploration: Hawaii writer Marvin Chandra has been hitting the Hawaii festival scene very hard over the last couple of months. I decided to join him for the 2014 Vietnamese New Year’s Festival at Kapiolani Park. While Marvin decided to focus on the various performers at the festival, I paid a bit more attention to all of the delicious food for sale. I ended up tasting the avocado bubble drink from one of the food stands. It was so good that it was gone within a few minutes. Too bad the rain came, I would have stayed longer to taste more of the food.
Shooting the sunset on the first day of the new year has become somewhat of a tradition. The tradition has been around for almost as long as Exploration: Hawaii has been online. In 2012, Joel, Ryan, and I went to world famous Waimea Bay to watch the waves and the surfers riding them. In 2013, we drove out to Waianae. Heavy rains kept us away from Kaena Point, but, we did find an empty beach just on the side of Farrington Highway. This year, we decided to end the first day of the new year at Ko Olina’s Lagoon 1, located just next to the JW Marriot Ihilani Resort and Spa. The first sunset of 2014 was a wonderful sight. Here’s to hoping that everyone has a prosperous year filled with adventure and exploration.
She swept me away to Maui’s luxurious Grand Wailea. The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, is known for its winding paths, world-renown collection of art, and open-air architecture.
We arrived in Maui late in the evening, and by the time we reached the the Grand Wailea, it was already dark. The first thing that catches your eye is a large sweeping waterfall to the right of the main lobby. To the left, is a large statue of King Kamehameha by local legend, Herb Kane. Both of us were eager to jump out of our Dodge Charger to check out what the resort had to offer. I was especially excited to see what our room looked like.
I’m a long time fan of Herb Kane’s work. I can still remember visiting the Bishop Museum, where his artwork would bring life to the Hawaiian folklore that we would learn about in Hawaiiana class. If you grew up in Hawaii, then you can probably relate. Maybe not to seeing Herb Kane’s work at Bishop Museum, but surely you can remember sitting Indian-style in Hawaiiana class as your Kumu (Hawaiian teacher) taught you how to count in Hawaiian, play the ukulele, and told you stories about the ancient Hawaiians. Yes, going to elementary school in Hawaii is way better than going to elementary school anywhere else (if you can look beyond national standardized test score averages). Of course, I’m bias, but I digress. The point is, Herb Kane is not just a talented artist, but a living legend. Herb Kane is an author, historian, and cultural leader. So, I was very pleased when I stumbled upon his work during a recent stay at the Grand Wailea in Maui.