Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! In just a few days we will be celebrating the lunar new year that the Chinese community throughout the world follow. This is the year of the dragon, the only mythological animal among the twelve animals that represent the zodiac signs of the Chinese lunar calendar. The dragon represents power, wealth and wisdom. The Chinese believe that being born in the year of the dragon is auspicious. Many marriages are held right before the year of the dragon because couples want dragon babies. Little did I know about this but I think I was lucky because 24 years ago I gave birth to my son, a dragon boy. He is still working on his wealth and power but he's pretty wise for his age. They say that you have to be pregnant by May 2012 in order to have a dragon baby.

Remember those little give aways that the Honolulu Festival will be giving out to those first in line to enter the Hawaii Convention Center on March 3rd and 4th. This year the Honolulu Festival is creating a dragon decal, something new! You will only be able to get one of those at the Honolulu Festival so make sure to come early. It will definitely be worth waiting in line for. Please come and enjoy all aspects of this wonderful cultural event. Aloha and Kung Hee Fat Choy.


Bonding Together, Hand in Hand

The 18th Honolulu Festival - Sub Theme is now set.

Bonding together, hand in hand

This is the Sub Theme for the 18th Honolulu Festival determined by the Honolulu Festival Foundation officer.

The Sub Theme uses the word "kizuna" or "bonding".  
It is most appropriate theme for the next Honolulu Festival as a number of Pacific Rim regions faced recent disasters and were able to overcome and support each other by bonding through cultural understanding.

The 18th Honolulu Festival is being planned with exciting events that will reflect this Sub Theme.


Nagaoka Fireworks

One of the greatest fireworks displays in the world is coming to Waikiki Beach March 4, 2012. Are you ready for it?
Are you ready for a fireworks display that will literally vibrate your very core?
Are you ready for something more from your fireworks than just a common celebration?
Well we've got you covered!
The Honolulu Festival is proud to be teaming up with the city of Nagaoka to bring this amazing treat all the way from Japan to Waikiki Beach, so hurry up and mark your calendar, Sunday March 4, 2012 you are BUSY.

This is going to make the Friday night fireworks look like sparklers.

These fireworks are not just visually stunning, they are emotionally loaded with the gunpowder of prayer and peace. Check out this interview from the 2011 Honolulu Festival to learn more about the message of peace these fireworks serve to bring to the lucky viewers.


Hiking Hanauma Bay

Good Morning Hanauma Bay~!

Our day started with the alarms announcement that dark-thirty had arrived.


Plan of attack ---- Haiku Stairs, Up and Over.

The Haiku Stairs, often referred to as Stairway to Heaven, are more of a spiritual journey than a hike. As you cling to a shaky wet metal ladder, clouds roll up the hillsides along side you, looking down the vertical drop below your feet toy cars on the H3 give you a proper scale to imagine the kind of fall that would happen if the wobbly step beneath were to come off its squeaking rusted bolt.

It's not just in your head, people not having respect for the physical demands of this hike have been seriously injured. That's why the trail is officially closed and guarded (thus the need for an O'Dark-Thirty wake up).

As we made our way to the hidden trail head the rain began.


It was still dark, but the sky was lit just enough to make out a stretch of grim gray clouds queuing up to take turns dumping buckets of rain on the exactstretch of ridge-line that was to be the day's great adventure.

And THAT'S why there are pictures of Hanauma Bay here instead!

I've been fortunate enough to spend the last three years of my life in Oahu (hubby has more than double that) and this has been the closest we've come toHanauma Bay. And I must say, not a bad hike at all! It's a short walk to the trail head from street parking and you are rewarded with gorgeous coastline most of the way. The path to the top is a little steep, but paved, ending at a power station type of barbed wire government thing. After that the trails are red clay andpahoehoe lava (smooth and easy to walk on).

We spent about 2 hours taking every tail around the Bay. Some were for people, some were not. We made an error in assessing a few that turned out to be pig trails (-_-). At one point we came to the ancestral home of 'Ihi'Ihilauakea (a little bit of research shows her to be the sister of a more well known Makapu'u). We snacked on Fiji apples and strawberry pop-tarts. And after a futile attempt to find a new trail (stupid pigs, making us back track, rablerablerable) called it a day and went home for a nap.

Occasionally we would glance at the darkness surrounding the originally intended hike, and were happy to have aborted it for the time being. Another day stairway, I will wait for you to be ready.


A Rainy Day's Drive to Yokohama Bay

A Rainy Day’s Drive to Yokohama Bay

Hawaii is best known for its sunny skies and warm balmy breezes, but today it’s raining. And you know what? It’s not so bad. The rain is warm. The breeze is still warm. And when you step in the sand, that’s warm too. Visitors from the mainland, where the snow is falling in areas that haven’t had it for years, are thrilled to be here. Those of us who live here have got to stop taking our paradise for granted.

Do you know that there are people who live on Oahu who have never been to the West side? Or taken a drive to see the treasures of Wahiawa in the center of the island, or even Hau`ula on the windward side? Unbelievable! Such a relatively small island begs us to discover every corner.

Yokohama Bay is at the end of the road, the farthest you can go on Oahu’s west coast. And it’s spectacular. I don’t know how long it is, but it looks like it stretches for miles. Hardly anyone is on the white sands today, possibly because of the weather, but we’ve been here on fair days and it’s the same. Unspoiled, vast, beautiful, unpopulated. The locals would rather keep it to themselves, but if the occasional visitor shows up, they’re willing to share.

For the adventurous among us, from Keawaula Beach (Yokohama Bay’s other name) is a great hiking trail to Kaena Point State Park, the island’s northwestern tip. Bring your hiking boots or at least running shoes—you don’t want to walk it in slippers. It’s pretty rocky. Bring water, too, and a sandwich, because you’ll want to stay awhile to see the monk seals that are protected here. Turtles, dolphins and sea birds also hang around, and in whale season, like today, you’re in for a treat. You can see for miles, and whales are bound to show up.

In the winter months this beach is no place for a novice. High, powerful surf pounds in, and the pros are the only ones allowed in the water by the lifeguards. In the summer, though, swimming, snorkeling and diving are dazzling in the clear, flat conditions. Don’t go out alone, as sometimes the swells can take you a little further out than you expect!

What’s its name mean? Known originally as Keawalua Beach (red harbor), large schools of squid used to gather near shore in mating season. Normally transparent, muhe’e change color to bright red during this time. The more common name of Yokohama refers to the home town of the Japanese workers who immigrated to Hawaii to work in the cane fields and often came here to fish.

Oahu has many sacred locations, and Kaena Point is one of them. In Hawaiian legend, the point is a "jumping off" point where souls join the spiritual world. Also nearby is Makua Cave, also known as Kaneana Cave, another sacred spot. Named after Kane, the Hawaiian god of creation, legend says that mankind emerged from here. The cave is 100 feet high and 450 feet deep, although most of us stay near the entrance since it’s kind of spooky. If you’re one of the brave ones, bring a flashlight and wear covered shoes.

Rain or shine, Yokohama Bay is a treasure you’ll want to discover. Take a drive! It’s less than a couple of hours no matter where you are on the island.