Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bishop Museum Hosts Lunar Eclipse Viewing

An exciting evening of moon gazing is coming up.  You can view it with your own telescope or head over to Bishop Museum and enjoy it others.  Should be great!

For the first time in three years, there will be a total eclipse of the moon on Monday, December 20, 2010 from 9:42 p.m. to 10:52 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time.   The moon will be within the Earth’s inner shadow, which will block most of the sun’s light from hitting it.  The moon will be noticeably darker the normal, and will turn a reddish copper color. 

The J. Watumull Planetarium at Bishop Museum, in partnership with the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, will host a free eclipse viewing party on the great lawn of the museum from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on December 20th.  Volunteers from the Hawaiian Astronomical Society will be on hand with their large telescopes to help people observe the moon in its large, reddish detail.

The viewing event is FREE but interested participants should RSVP at 848-4176.

Other highlights of the evening include:

  • The large telescope in the Museum’s observatory will be open for moon watching.
  • Planetarium programs on eclipses.  Show times 8:15 p.m., 9:15 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
  • NOAA’s Science on a Sphere, the glowing six-foot globe in the planetarium lobby, will be used to project images of the moon, sun and planets.

“This is the most striking astronomy event over Hawai‘i since the 2007 lunar eclipse,” said Mike Shanahan, the Museum’s Director of Education, Exhibits and Planetarium.  “The planetarium turns 50 next year and over the decades it has been a go-to site for astronomy in these islands.  Thanks to the support of the Museum and of the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, we’ll keep this tradition alive with this viewing party.”
More information about this eclipse is available at the Bishop Museum planetarium homepage:

Please note only the observatory and planetarium will be open that evening.  All Museum galleries will be closed.  For information about Bishop Museum, please visit or call 847-3511.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Protea ... growing in Kula

This is what a protea plant looks like.  I had never seen one before I visited Paradise Flower Farms in Kula, Maui.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Visual tour of Paradise Flower Farms in Kula, Maui

The very best way to take a tour of a working flower farm is to walk throughout the farm with the owner / grower but, when that's not possible, another good way to do it is by looking at a photo gallery.

I had the chance to do the walking tour this weekend with Teena Rasmussen, half of the Paradise Flower Farms team and am sharing the photos I took during the tour.

Her farm is located in Kula, on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala on the island of Maui.  This for me was a huge plus because the air is much cooler in Kula than is it at sea level so taking the walking tour was a delight.  The photo here shows the beautiful view that one sees from the farm.  The high elevation allows for sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and town below.

The family-owned business was established in 1980, just about 30 years ago. Owners and Maui residents Craig and Teena operate the farm 6 days a week and employ about 22 people, including their two daughters. 

Here are two of the ladies sewing the fresh flower lei that are destined for Maui shops and stores.

Paradise Flower Farms specialize in fresh cut flowers and ready-made flower lei.   

The 50-acre farm is the largest flower lei farm in the State of Hawaii, producing approx 7 million carnations, tuber rose, plumeria and other lei flowers each year. 

In talking with Tina, she mentioned that there are always inquiries about a tour of their farm and recently, she and Craig have been talking about putting together a ‘growers’ tour for residents and visitors.  However, that may not happen for some months to come so until the details are finalized, please visit the photo gallery for the pictorial tour of Paradise Flower Farms that follows.

 Bunches of cut flowers to be used for bouquets and arrangements

 Protea start to bloom

 Rows of roses

Beds of protea plants 

 Carnations growing under shade

 Closer look at the carnation beds

 One of Paradise Flower Farms trucks ready to deliver flowers and lei

Paradise Flower Farms specializes in fresh cut flowers and ready-made lei for residents of Maui and Hawaii, but, they also ship fresh flower lei, lei making supplies and flower gift boxes throughout the US and Canada.

For more information, visit www/  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Diamond Bakery to launch “Kimo’s On The Go” Ocean Care Program with mascots “Kimo” the Dolphin and “Olina” the Octopus

Hawaii's Diamond Bakery ( announced the October 1, 2010 launch of “Kimo’s On The Go” – Diamond Bakery’s Ocean Care Program for school children of all ages. 

Diamond Bakery is partnering with Waikiki Aquarium on a program that educates students about the beautiful, yet fragile nature of Hawaii’s ocean.  "Kimo’s On The Go” – Ocean Care Program is open to all schools and grade levels and teachers are encouraged to plan a trip to the Waikiki Aquarium with their students this fall.”

How the program works – 5 easy steps:
All classrooms registering with Waikiki Aquarium for a school visit between October 1 and November 30, 2010 will be automatically qualified for “Kimo’s On The Go” – Diamond Bakery’s Ocean Care program. To enter your classrooms into a pool for $100 prize drawing, teachers must finish the following steps:

·     Log on to, and complete the KIMO''S ON THE GO REQUEST form online. You will be asked to provide school and teacher’s name, class information and time & date of your proposed school visit to the Waikiki Aquarium. Upon completion, an email confirmation will be sent to you.  Each electronic request should be submitted only once per clssroom. 

·     Program mascots Kimo (right) and/or Olina* (left) will make an appearance during each school visit, greet the class, hand out snacks and take photos with the students. 

·     When the school tour has successfully been completed, the class must share with Diamond Bakery, photos and a one-page (or longer) summary of their aquarium visit to be eligible for the $100 prize drawing (up to a maximum of 20 classrooms).

·     The collection of writings, illustrations and photos will be assembled and printed as part of Diamond Bakery’s Kimo’s On The Go Initiatives’ collection. Diamond Bakery will provide 20 FREE printed books to the students to take home or to use as a fundraising opportunity. Kimo and/or Olina will drop off the books for a book signing party to reward and congratulate the class for finishing their Ocean Care program.

·     All visits to the Waikiki Aquarium must be completed by November 30, 2010.

* Kimo the dolphin and Olina the Octopus are two shapes that Diamond Bakery uses to make its Hawaiian Animal Cookies. They are the inspiration for Diamond Bakery’s commitment to save Hawaii’s Reef. And now the company thinks the world is ready to meet them in real life --- newly revealed mascots Kimo and Olina, for its Ocean Care campaign.

Dianond Bakery is providing cash and printed books as an incentive to Hawaii classes for participating in the program, our goal is to advance students’ understanding and aloha for Hawaii's ocean.

Diamond Bakery is donating the profits from sales of Hawaiian Sea Animal cookies to fund this worthwhile program. A check for $3,000 will be presented to Waikiki Aquarium for their school educational programs.

“Kimo’s On The Go” is the next chapter in Diamond Bakery’s Ocean Care Program that kicked off in 2008.  The program is part of the company’s mission to “share heartwarming aloha” with the world.

For more information, visit or call 847-3551.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sarento's Top of the "I"

On the heels of the Hawaii Five-0 premiere, I had an opportunity to dine at Sarento's Top of the "I" restaurant ... located, where else, but at the top of the Ilikai Hotel & Suites ... of the original Hawaii Five-0 fame.

The restaurant has its own elevator and the ride up gives you a wonderful view of the yacht harbor, Waikiki and west Oahu.
We had a breath-taking view from our table that was very similar to this.

Here's what the website says about the restaurant:  With breathtaking views of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach and Honolulu's famous skyline, Sarento's brings a bit of Italy to Hawaii with style.  Old country warmth, hospitality and live piano music are part of the atmosphere that makes this fine dining establishment one of Hawaii's most celebrated.  The casual elegance yet superior service coupled with the outstanding culinary offerings has earned Sarento's numerous accolades from the community.  Beautiful private dining rooms are available for groups up to 36. 

The appetizers we had were delicious and included:

1) Bocconcini - Mouthfuls of Bufala Mozzarella wrapped in speck and grilled.  Served with grilled Kamuela Roma tomatoes. Finished with a baby arugula salad tossed in a lemon-truffle vinaigrette.

2) Sarento's Smoked Salmon - Bermuda onion creme fraiche wrapped with smoked salmon and layered with crispy russett potato chips, Avruga caviar, and Maui onion shavings.

3) Carpaccio del Giorno - Blackened Ahi sashimi served over a basil citronette.  Accompanied by an avocado/Maryland blue lump crab tower.

For dinner, we shared the Sweet Tiger Shrimp Entree.  Grilled Tiger Shrimp served scampi style with a sautee of white wine, lemon, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, sun-dried & fresh tomatoes.

As you can see, I almost forgot to take a photo of this fabulous meal.

And, for dessert, Sarento's General Manager Adam Miller prepared Strawberries Panzini - local strawberries flambeed with Grand Marnier, Blue Curacao and 151. Drizzled in caramel and chocolate and served with the accompaniment of Devonshire cream, dark chocolate, and Maui brown sugar.

Adam did it at the table and this single photo does not do it justice because the picture I took of the flambe did not turn out.

Valet Service is available at the front entrance Porte Cochere of the Ilikai Hotel.  Self-parking is also available in the hotel parking lot and in the Marina Parking on Hobron Lane.  With Validation, the cost is:  Valet: $2.00 per hour, Self Parking: $2.00 per hour

Dinner:     Nightly 5:15 pm to 10pm
Lounge:     Nightly 5pm to 12am
Happy Hour:     Nightly 5pm to 7pm ... Half off well drinks and special priced appetizers.

For more information about Sarento's Top of the "I", visit

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Attn. Seattle ... fabulous island-style concert happening on 9/27

As part of Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau's Perfect Moments campaign, they are sharing the aloha spirit with Seattlelites with month-long consumer events showcasing the music, dance, flavors, and culture of Hawaii. 

HVCB is hosting several concerts by renowned Hawaiian musicians at The Triple Door in downtown Seattle.  On Monday, Sept. 27, Brother Noland will be performing.  HVCB is offering a $5 off special on Twitter to the first 100 people who use the promo code “perfect moments” to purchase a ticket by phone or at The Triple Door box office.  Non-Twitter users are welcome to use the code as well.  More detailed information about the concert and promotion are in the emails below.

Link to purchase tickets is -
Mountain Apple Company has also created a special widget where people can download free Brother Noland music.  This is to also promote his show on the 27th.  Feel free to share this one as you see fit too.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kauai Mokihana Festival, September 19 - 25

A week-long Hawaiian cultural festival ... come on down.

Photos by Joe Olivas.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Paesano Ristorante Italiano - photo gallery

Had a chance to check out Paesano at Waimalu Plaza for the second time recently and this time ... I had my camera.

The menu is (I’m told by the waiter) identical to Assagio’s.  Someone else told me that a while back, the owners of Assagio split up and one partner opened Paesano and the other opened Verbgano, so the food was good here.

For starters, we tried the Paesano Salad … almost large enough to be considered a meal

And Sweet Broccoli Sauté (oops ... one broccoli missing)

Entrees were Linguine with Garlic Clam Sauce

Chicken Alle Saltimbocco

And Rigatoni Arabiata

Paesano has lots of seats and semi-private areas that are great for small groups.

For the complete dinner menu, click on this link: 

The restaurant is located in Waimalu Plaza … and open for lunch and dinner.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hawaii Five-0 reboot

The re-boot of Hawaii Five-0 is calling me! How thrilled must the Hawaii Film Office be that not only is the location identified as Hawaii but in case you missed it, it’s in the title?

The trickledown effect must be sending waves of “chicken skin” down the spine of the local economy including the hospitality and airline industries not to mention the locals. Another reason to proclaim, Hawaii No Ka Oi!

How well I remember the Five-0 of old, the golden years 1968 through 1980.  In 1968 the state’s first McDonald’s opened in Aina Haina (I know I was there) and Hawaii Five-0 began a 12 year stint that September.  How crazy was it when McGarrett would radio that he was traveling on Kalakaua when clearly he was out by Sandy Beach! We locals always had a great chuckle over things like that.

Jack Lord was my homeboy; we lived in the same hood.  In 1968 Kahala Mall was still called Waialae Shopping Center later changing to the trendier Kahala Mall in 1969. Lord and his wife Marie could always be found at the mall and the surrounding area. They were always nice and very approachable. Jack Lord says he was frequently asked ‘Do you like Hawaii?’ and his response was always, ‘No, I love Hawaii.’ Such was Lord’s love of the islands that he continued to live in Hawaii long after the series went off the air. 

He died in 1998 at his home in Kahala and his wife Marie followed in 2005. The estate of Jack and Marie Lord was divided among twelve Hawaiian nonprofit educational, cultural and medical institutions. 

A remembrance of Lord, a bronzed bust, now sits outside the mall where he interacted with local kids like me all those years ago.

Hawaii Five-0 debuts on CBS Monday night, September 20. If you are lucky enough to be in Hawaii on September 13, there will be special screening of the pilot on Waikiki Beach when the sun sets. Cast members will be in attendance so you should get there early to stake out a spot.

So good luck to the new cast and crew of Hawaii Five-0, you have pretty big shoes to fill but the buzz and excitement of your return is palpable.  Imua!, and you know I have to say this…Book ‘em, Danno!

Kahala Mall

Jack Lord bio on Wikipedia

CBS HF-0 site includes videos

Steve McGarrett’s bio

Hawaii Film Office

This was a guest post by friend and fellow blogger Bonnie.

Bonnie Silva is a kamaaina now residing in the Golden State. Like the sirens of the deep, she still hears Hawaii’s call and, from time to time, dispatches posts from across the Pacific.  You might want to checkout one of her blogs at

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Photo recap of the Ewa Mission Fair, 8-21-2010

The Ewa Mission Fair took place on Saturday, August 21.  The event was a fundraiser for the church to help with repair of the stained glass windows which seem to have been vandalized but could be due to age.

I grew up in Ewa and attended this church for a number of years.  This is also where I got married and where we had our wedding reception (in the Parish Hall where the rummage sale was taking place).

Here are photos of the fair ... they had a plant sale, rummage sale, crafts sale, silent auction, games for kids, entertainment and food / refreshment booth.

 If you look closely, you can see a couple of dark spots where the stained glass has been damaged on the front windows.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo of the Day ... Hawaii's school kids

About 400 Manana Elementary School (Pearl City) students during an assembly promoting healthy heart awareness on August 18.  On hand were Diamond Bakery, American Heart Assn. of Hawaii, AED Institute of America and volunteers from the three organizations.  For more photos, information, visit

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Simple salad recipe, courtesy of Surfing Goat Dairy

Looking for a quick and easy to make salad to complement your delicious pasta dish?  Here’s a recipe from Surfing Goat Dairy that calls for Kula tomatoes and fresh goat cheese that fits the bill.

Maui Caprese    
Six vine ripe Kula tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves,
Two tablespoons balsamic vinegar
One tablespoon olive oil

This lovely combination of tomato, fresh cheese and basil is an Italian classic. Instead of mozzarella we are using fresh goat cheese which adds a top notch to this appetizer.
Wash the tomatoes (tip: never put tomatoes in the fridge!) and basil and dry them off. Slice the tomatoes horizontally (1/4 inch) and slice the fresh goat cheese biscuits to a similar thickness.

Sprinkle a big white serving plate with salt and fresh cracked/grounded black pepper (use a peppermill! The pepper flavor is so much better) and arrange the tomato slices and goat cheese slices in slightly overlapping circles on that plate. Tear the basil leaves in small pieces, sprinkle them over the tomatoes/cheese circles, drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over it and season with salt and black pepper.

This Caprese is best if served immediately. Bon appetite!

Surfing Goat Dairy | 3651 Omaopio | Kula | HI | 96790

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Photo of the day: Alii Kula Lavender

This is the lavender farm at Alii Kula Lavender, on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala on Maui.  Beautiful to see, great place to visit and enjoy lavender tea and scones and a gorgeous location for a wedding / reception. Be sure to check it out on your next visit to Maui.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Princeville Ranch Adventures adds new combination zipline and horseback ride adventure, called the “Ride N’ Glide.”

With the recent integration of Princeville Ranch Stables into Princeville Ranch Adventures, a unique adventure was created drawing on the popularity of ziplines and horseback riding.  The new ‘Ride N' Glide’ gives guests the best of both worlds.

The first of its kind in Hawaii, ‘Ride N' Glide’ includes:

  • 30 minutes on horseback across secluded valleys. Riders soak up stunning mountain and ocean vistas, as guides share ranch and paniolo history.

  • Guests then dismount and receive zipline instruction, preparing for the first of three fun, fast lines. Stepping off the valley’s edge, they first soar over tree tops to the other side on a 410-foot line.
  • The second ziplline is a thrilling 560 feet

  • The third zipline is called the "Big Kahuna," because at 700 feet long, it provides a big thrill

  • The unique adventure wraps up with another relaxing horseback ride back across the beautiful Princeville Ranch, allowing incredible memories and vistas time to sink in.

Princeville Ranch Adventures offers exclusive ziplining, horseback riding, kayaking and hiking tours on 2,500 acres of a working cattle ranch. These tours access pristine areas otherwise inaccessible to the public, including tropical rainforest, jungle streams and waterfalls. Groups are kept small for everyone’s enjoyment. Guides are entertaining and well educated on Kauai’s history, flora and fauna.

The zipline course features a suspension bridge and the most lines on Kauai (9), including “King Kong,” which spans 1,200 feet across a valley. The ziplines crisscross interior valleys, providing panoramic mountain and ocean views. The Zip N’ Dip Expedition includes a picnic at a fern-lined swimming hole, fed by a mountain stream and deep enough for jumping.

Horseback rides combined with hiking to Kalihiwai Falls are also available, as are Private Horseback Rides, allowing guests to personalize their riding adventure and enjoy a guide’s undivided attention.

The Jungle Valley Adventure offers a combination of hiking, kayaking, ziplining and swimming at a twin waterfall. Finally, the Kalihiwai Falls Hike explores all five tiers of these spectacular falls. Hikers also trek through tropical rainforest and enjoy a 360 degree view of the ocean and mountains from a special look-out point.

For additional information, visit Princeville Ranch Adventures …