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THINGS TO DO IN HAWAII: TRAVEL IDEAS

On foot in Oahu: The Lyon Arboretum, outdoor art, cool bands.

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Foster Botanical Garden orchid, Hawaii

All photos by Phillip Roberts.

There are so many things to do on foot in Hawaii. Aloha from the middle of the Pacific!

Foster Botanical Gardens

I continue to enjoy walks in public gardens. Foster Botanical Gardens is a pure delight! Located at the edge of downtown Honolulu, the 13.- acre site offers art amidst luxurious flora. You can see many rare and endangered varieties of orchids, plants and trees on an easy-going hike through the grounds. Guided tours are available daily at 1 p.m.

Sandwich Isle

Cannonball Tree

Opened in 1931 to the public, admission to Foster Botanical Gardens is very reasonable at $5.00 for adults and $1.00 for children.  Honolulu residents get a discount admission.  It is estimated 750,000 people visit the complex annually.

Flowers, Lyon Arboretum, Hawaii

Harry Owens and the Royal Hawai‘ian Band

"Soundie" recording from Warner Brothers Pictures circa 1940. I really dig the puppet monkey and some of the other paradise images.

Innov8 Magazine

If you happen to fly Go Airlines this month, you might catch a couple of my articles in Innov8—Go's in-flight magazine. One of my book reviews appears on page 54 and, on page 31, there is a piece I wrote about 1930s and 1940s movie stars who visited the islands. Here's a picture the magazine didn’t use for the article; Ruby Keeler and husband Al Jolson around 1945.

Ruby Keeler, Al Jolson, 1945

“Rumfire” Mai-tai

Some friends were in from out of town and we went to “Rumfire” in the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. Their mai-tai was so tasty I had to have two. What's in these paradisical drinks? How about Myers platinum rum, mixed with pineapple and orange juice, DeKuyper triple sec and amaretto, and a splash of sour. It’s balanced with a dash of grenadine and a float of Myers original dark rum. They were $11 each but well worth it. I’d definitely rate the drink in the Top 10 Mai-Tai’s in Waikiki. We also sampled the miso sake drunken butterfish and found it excellent. The garlic fries were quite ono too.

Rum Fire Mai Tai, Hawaii

Confucius Say: "Man who never try new drink has stopped living."

I suggest the…

  • 1 oz. rum
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Shake well with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add a Maraschino cherry if available, serve.

 Maui’s Magic Fishhook and Hina

Maui's Magic Fishhook

Installed in 2001 as part of the “Art in Public Places” project, this work by Mataumu Toelupe Alisa features polychromed ceramic tiles. Entitled “Mana‘ia Ka Lani O Maui,” the mural depicts the demi-god Maui casting his magic fishhook in an attempt to unite the islands together. The fishhook unravels from his fishing line, landing in Palolo Valley creating the Ka‘au crater. Among his many Hawai‘i exploits are snaring the sun and raising the islands from the Pacific.

Yet, “Maui-of-a-thousand-tricks” is a famous hero in the mythos of Polynesia.

A Tahitian myth has Maui killing Hina’s (The Earth Goddess) eel lover, “Tuna.” Maui then presents the severed head to Hina and tells her to take it home and plant it. The demi-god told her it held, “great treasures.” However, it was a hot day and Hina left the head by the side of the river while she went to bathe. When she remembered Maui’s instructions, she rushed to retrieve the head, but it was too late. The head had already sprouted into the world’s first coconut tree, free to be used by man since it was planted outside of Hina’s private retreat.

Another legend regarding Maui is from New Zealand and a part their version of the creation myth. “Ru-who-explored-the-earth” tried to raise “Atea” (the sky) from “Hina.” The strain was so great his intestines ruptured and became the clouds over the island of Bora Bora. The eight-headed Maui assists, placing wedges between heaven and earth. He also enlists the help of the strongest god Tane. The two dig into the earth and build more braces until the pressure is too great and “Atea” is finally freed from “Hina’s” grasp so light comes upon Aotearoa for the betterment of all mankind.

Greg Clurman Statue

Some August events in Hawai‘i I recommend.

July 30 - August 2Hawai‘i Family Festival at Ala Moana Beach Park. Food, rides and music are featured. Henry Kapono and the Dukes’s Trio Sunday at 9PM. FREE.

July 31 - August 22009 Hawaii Surf and Music Expo. $.

August 1 - 22009 Heiva I Kauai Ia Orana International Tahitian Dance competition. Kaui. $.

August 7Candlebox at Pipeline Café. Kevin Martin and the band arrive in Honolulu for what is sure to be an epic show from the Seattle rockers. $.

August 11 -12 — A reunited No Doubt strut their stuff at the Blaisdell Arena. $.

August 14 - 16Black Eyed Peas at Bayfest Hawai‘i. Filter also plays. Kaneohe Marine Corp Base. $.

August 15Ziggy Marley at the Waikiki Shell. $.

August 212009 Joy of Sake. Over 270 varities and pupu’s from Hawai‘i’s finest restaurants at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. $.

August 21 - 23Made in Hawai‘i festival. Products from the islands are spotlighted in this annual show. Music and cooking demonstrations are also featured. $.

August 24 -29Duke’s OceanFest. You like surfing and so do we. Many events will be held weeklong to benefit the “Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.” Free to watch, but $ to compete.

August 28The Fixx at Pipeline Café. I love it when a band stays cool. Cy Curnin and his band play "Stand or Fall," "Red Skies at Night," "Saved by Zero" and other of their hits. There’s new material too. The last time I saw The Fixx it was at a dive called “Gussie LaMours” (which has been long demolished) and they were awesome. The band plays at “Maui Theater” the night before and in Kailua-Kona the night after at “Rockstarz” nightclub. $.

August 29 -302009 Greek Festival. Always a fun and full of good food event. $.

August 29 — Big Island band, Pepper at the Pipeline Café. $.

Hawaii ocean sunset

Until next month, Aloha!

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