Saturday
Aug292009

Ka'ena Point

Ka'ena point is the western most point on the island of Oahu..and I used to always go with friends during fourth of July because everyone on Oahu was usually heading in the other direction to Town...and it was nice to be at a beach that wasn't TOO crowded.  I now take my son there every winter...to play in the shelter of the tide pools...it is a pretty off the beaten path place...you literally take the highway all the way out till it becomes a road then the road becomes a dirt path...then the dirt path ends...and voila you are at the end of the island.

 

Old time legends say that there is at the very western point a cliff with a tree that grows off it and when you look directly down there is two opposing tides that create a whirlpool..or kamuliwai...an under current that take souls to the underworld... thay believed that this is where all Hawaiian souls go to leap of the tree and into the afterlife...so needless to say as beautiful as the beach and area is during DAYLIGHT hours...no Hawaiian in their right mind will be caught there after sundown...that and the fact that it is a state protected area and they lock the gate. So if you REALLY want an "off the beaten path" expeirence..try Ka'ena point..but bring snacks and drinks...cause this isn't a beach with amenities...just you the sky and the azure sea...AHHHH.

Wednesday
Aug262009

Waimalu Shopping Center

Long before the islands were flooded with strip malls Waimalu Shopping Center stood...quietly, regally offering up every different culinary delight an islander could concieve of on one stretch of space. I first started going to Waimalu as a little girl, after school we would drop my mother off to go get her hair done upstairs at "Aunty Jo-anne's" This woman did my grandmothers hair forever, as well as my aunt and my mom...and all of our hair growing up till I got into modeling and had it cut by whoever my agent told me too...my dad and I would sample everything from the crackseed store to the Shiro's famous noodle haven...all the food was good AND affordable..but my absolute favorite was a simple brown bag of boiled peanuts from the crack seed shop. 

If you have never had chinese boiled peanuts you need to..it is so heavenly it defies explaination really...I think the secret is the allspice they boil it with, but when I have tried to make it myself..it never comes out the same...if you want to try an off the beaten place on your next trip to Hawaii try Waimalu Shopping Center...Kabuki Japanese still has one of the best Miso Butterfish I have ever had...and of course Shiro's is FAMOUS for their Saimin....but don't forget to grab a bag of boiled peanuts at the crack seed store as well!

Waimalu Shopping Center is located at: 98-020 Kamehameha Highway in Aiea

Monday
Aug242009

I heart Manuheali'i Designs too!

I have said before I am a BIG supporter of island designers..and another designer I wear a LOT is MANUHEALI'I by Danene and Pono Lunn. Danene and her husband are a dynamic duo of left and right brain...Danene comes up with the inspiration for the various prints and color schemes, and Pono translates it to an actual graphic design that can then be transferred to printed material. I envy their ability to be able to be so in love after being high school sweethearts work together in a thirving business and NOT be sick of each other!

The rayon blend of fabric they use is fantastic for the humid and often tropical heatwaves that come through paradise..but no matter what I put on, wether a dress of a blouse, I can feel comfortable but well put together.

She also does amazing co-ordinated attire for wedding parties that are so chic yet distictly Hawaii...even if you CAN'T come back to HAWAII and have your wedding, having your wedding party decked out in Mauheali'i will instantly make anywhere you get married look like Kailua!

They recently got into the world of accessories as well...look for their fabulous  canvas bags that are really a great whimsical splash of Hawaii on your arm! If you can't get over to their stores in Kailua or on Punahou street...look them up on their website....http://manuhealii-store.stores.yahoo.net/

Ahhh I can feel the Kailua trades already....

Wednesday
Aug192009

I Heart Nake'u Awai

I love made in Hawaii Fashions...and I do mean truly MADE IN HAWAII...not mass made aloha print shirts you find at Walmart and such...not that there is anything wrong with that. But I have ALWAYS been a HUGE supporter of Island Designers...growing up in Hawaii, I did a lot of their fashion shows before I became Miss Universe. And one of the earliest designers to put me in his various shows was Nake'u Awai. 

Nake'u's designs are always so innovatinve and whimsical. They have become a staple of the island clothing theme, and people in Hawaii can instantly spot a Nake'u print. He hand designs the print's in inspirations ranging from hula dancers to the various leis and flowers of Hawaii..he makes them into printed material and then sews them into great Aloha shirts, Mu'u Mu'u's ( long dresses) as well as jump suits, and other whimsical patterns. I even carry one of his bags in my show on the Travel Channel..just as a nod and wink to Hawaii.

I have vintage Nake'u from as far back as 20 years ago and it still holds up today. If you ever get a chance to stop by his unique little shop nestled at the bottom of Kapalama Heights..tell him Miss Universe sends her aloha..go get yourself some authentic Hawaii couture...you will wear it for decades to come!

 

Nake'u Awai designs can be found at his shop: 613 Houghtailing St Ste 5 Honolulu, HI  96817 or at Ward Warehouse in NA MEA HAWAII/Native Books

Monday
Aug172009

The Heart of the Dance

I was just inspired to write this after seeing some youtube footage of  Patrick Makuakane's Hula Halau and their GENIUS idea of "hit and run hula" meaning they travel all around their home town of San Fran, and spontaneously burst into a hula. And I guess the reason I am moved to write is because it is no surprise that the nation in general is in a slump these days and every one is feeling the financial pinch. No more so then Hawaii where tourism is still our top industry.  We all need to do what we can, to encourage people to visit the islands, and help tourism.

 I am pretty sure that isn't what Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu were doing..but it indirectly may just inspire a passerby to look into going to Hawaii and for that I am grateful. Please keep a look out for hit and run hula's and I hope other halau's ( hula schools)  all over the WORLD..are inspired to spread the spirit of Aloha one kaholo ( dance step) at a time.

For more information about the hit and run hula in San Francisco go to www.hitandrunhula.com