Saturday, August 29, 2009

An All Too Brief Stay at Honu Kai

Recently we got a surprise call from my husband’s little sister. She was getting married on Kauai and had a chance to come stay for a night on the Big Island! As a reservation agent for Hawaii Holiday Vacation Rentals, I’m encouraged stay at the properties from time to time (talk about perks!!), so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to really get to know Honu Kai by experiencing it from a guest’s point of view.

We met up with newlyweds Melissa and Tracey and headed out to one of my very favorite Big Island places, Hawaii Volcan
oes National Park. After spending most of the day showing them the sights, the four of us headed back to Kapoho. We were all instantly impressed with Honu Kai! The house is spacious and newly remodeled – owners Mike and Don did a FABULOUS job with the place – sweet tile flooring, beautiful lighting, a huge kitchen fully stocked with everything we could possibly need and large enough for a church buffet! We spent much of the evening on the extremely private back lanai, enjoying catching up over cocktails while the hot tub was getting warm. What a hot tub! The four of us had plenty of room to spare, and the multicolored oscillating lights added to the ambiance!

Honu Kai is perfectly set up for 2 couples that want their privacy; the master bedroom with en suite bath is at the front of the house, and there’s a bedroom and second bath at the opposite end (and the bathrooms are huge!). A third bedroom provides plenty of space for a third couple or a large family. Even with a full house of 6 guests, there would be plenty of room for everyone with out feeling the least bit crowded. The home is set up in such an ingenious way; there are reading nooks, a desk with high speed internet connection, TV area, 2 large lanais… plenty of space for everyone to do their own thing or gather together to talk story.

We found many extra touches that really made a difference: the Ipod docking station (gotta have music!), big screen TV with DVD collection, nice washer and dryer, tons of beach & snorkel gear, a great binder with lots information both practical and historical, even super cute Honu Kai T-shirts available for purchase. And last but certainly not least the primo location just across the street from the Kapoho Tidepools makes Honu Kai an absolutely fantastic place from which to enjoy the Big Island. Check out the Honu Kai listing on Hawaii Holiday’s website!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Of course we had thousands of responses to our test question....ok, we didn't even have one. So either everyone has been waiting on pins and needles to find out the answer or no one is reading our blog! No matter! We continue undetered...! The real reason we put this up there is because if you want to know if we really do pick pineapples and eat them fresh....we do! Talk about fresh and organic.....we have had three fantastic pineapples lately; eaten the same day we picked them. Two from Hale Kakahi and a very sweet delicious one from Angel House.
Both of these vacation rentals are on the Big Island and also grow bananas, lemons, papaya, all ONOLICIOUS!!!! Just so you all know, the pineapple fruit is the flower of the pineapple plant. And it takes over a year for one pineapple plant to ripen! Remember that the next time you taste this wonderful tropical treat! OH! and did you know you can take the top part of the pineapple, plant it in the ground and a year or so later, enjoy it again! Ah.....mother nature. szk

Monday, August 17, 2009

This is a Test

Quick question......what is the ONLY edible bromeliad? We know the Wayward Hawaiian will get this one right in 2 seconds......but what about the rest of you?

When Harrison and Sharene moved to Hawaii from the Bay Area 8 years ago, they were asked this question at their going away party....and got it wrong! We have lots and lots of bromeliads here in Hawaii.....but here's a photo of a potted bromeliad as a hint.....

Answer is tomorrow.....let's see if the Wayward Hawaiian gets it....he has his own blog, check it out...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Become a Follower of the Hawaii Holiday Blog


If you enjoy what you see here on the Hawaii Holiday Blog, we hope you will become our most visible kind of fan — a Follower! We’ve made it easy to do. Look on the right side of the blog and find the Followers Widget, which shows all of those good-looking, talented and perceptive people who have already become Followers. Click on the Follow button and a window will pop up, Follow Hawaii Holiday Blog.

If you already have an account with Google, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), Yahoo!, Netlog, or OpenID, just click on the button to use that account. If you don’t have one of those accounts, please click on the link to Create a new Google Account. Creating a Google Account is completely safe, doesn’t cost anything, and they won’t send you spam. You very well may find other reasons in the future to have a Google account so it won’t hurt to set one up now. Once you have your login and password to whatever account you will use to become a Follower, just follow the directions from there and you will be added to the list of Hawaii Holiday Blog Followers!

Becoming a Follower gives you other benefits depending on the service you use. Signing up with Google, for example, will give you a Blogger Dashboard where you will automatically see all updates to our blog and any others you decide to follow.

But the biggest benefit of becoming a Hawaii Holiday Blog Follower is simply letting us know you enjoy our little updates from Paradise.

A hui hou!

Monday, August 10, 2009

2009 Paddling State Championships at Hilo Bay!

On Saturday 8/1, nearly 3,000 paddlers and thousands more onlookers converged on a calm and humid Hilo Bay for the 2009 State Championship regatta. Fifty-seven canoe clubs from across the state competed in 39 sprint events in six-person koa wood outrigger canoes. This was the first time in 7 years that the Championships enjoyed Hilo!

Hawaiian Canoe Club of Maui tallied 355 points to claim its eighth state title in nine years. The local club Puna won two races on the day, and contributed to the Big Island's total of 15 wins.

The races start around 8am and go throughout the day. The bayfront park is transformed with several tents offering ono grinds, commemorative T-shirts and other trinkets.

Several of the paddlers and their supporters stayed in our Big Island vacation rentals conveniently located in and around Hilo town.

The next Big Island paddling event is over the Labor Day weekend in West Hawaii along the beautiful Kona Coast and the historic bays of Kailua, Keauhou, Kealakekua, and Honaunau. If you'll be in town to enjoy this race, contact us to stay at our beautiful vacation rental home Alaua Hale!!

A Dove Story

The most interesting thing just happened. I was out for a walk to check out the high surf and saw a dead baby bird on the sidewalk; the ants starting to descend on it. Ugh. I picked it up by the tail to put in in the bushes when I saw a larger bird, a spotted dove, just sitting on the lawn about 4 feet away. It seemed comatose; I walked up to it and it didn't look at me, didn't move, just sat there and blinked a few times.

I went on my walk and on the way back I thought I'd check on the bigger bird. I thought it was gone at first, but then I looked over and it was sitting on the sidewalk on the exact spot where the baby bird died.

I don't know how the baby bird died, but clearly this was a mama bird in mourning. Interestingly, I had always heard this bird was called a mourning bird, but when I just did a search, turns out it's a spotted dove. But this one was a mourning spotted dove.....

Felicia fizzled so we're back to fun in the sun!

She's headed west of the islands and the Civil Defense even canceled the tropical storm warning so we dodged the bullet and we can get back to the business of having fun in Hawaii! The sky is blue, the ocean even more blue, and the temperature is in the 80's.

But we were prepared, just in case! Because you just never know. We have a great emergency notification here in the islands and we are very grateful to our Civil Defense who kept us posted hourly on the radio.

As summer is winding down there has NEVER been a better time to get accommodations for so low in Hawaii......gorgeous oceanfront condos on Maui for 50% off ($125 a night!) and incredible lagoon-front homes in Kapoho on the Big Island for $150 a night. Good deals, great weather. Just give us a call! 808.965.6400

A hui hou!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

FELICIA'S been downgraded

Just a quick update, as of Saturday night, looks like Felicia may drop some rain on us Monday and Tuesday, but as of right now, she's barely a tropical storm headed our way. Looking out my window right now at a lot of blue sky with the sun hitting the few clouds above as it sets. So for all the people coming to stay in our vacation rentals in Hilo, Pahoa and Kapoho on the Big Island, you may need an umbrella, but not much more. But stay tuned.....we'll keep an eye out for you and let you know of any changes! Right now, the air is warm and the tropical breezes are gentle. This photo was taken at dusk in front of Hale Kakahi.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hurricane? What hurricane?

Geez, I hope that's not what the people who went through Katrina said! It's just hard to believe that Hurricane Felicia is even on the radar for the Big Island. We have clear skies, gentle tradewinds, we don't even have high surf! But just in case, we have our emergency back packs ready, we went shopping yesterday at Hilo's version of Costco (a big warehouse full of stuff but it isn't even a Costco wannabe) and we stocked up on lots of canned goods. If we make it through hurricane season we'll donate it to the food bank. That's what I'm thinking anyway. We'll also go around to all of our vacation rentals and put notes on the doors with emergency procedures. All in a day's work! We'll never forget when Iniki by passed Kauai in 1992, then made a u-turn came back and devastated we take these things pretty seriously.

Anyway, right now, it's gorgeous day in Hawaii nei. So we'll enjoy it but stay on our toes!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

From our "Only in Hawaii" file

Wow! For you Hawaiians, or Hawaiians-at-heart, this will blow you away. Pele, our goddess of the volcano here on the Big Island is a big presence in our lives. Pele has been working her magic on Kilauea for over 20 years of continuous flow and eruption. How many of you have a friend who could create this incredible wire sculpture that truly captures the fire, smoke, passion, culture and ever evolving movements of our landscape shaped by Pele.
Our very dear and talented friend is an amazing artist and was inspired by Pele to create this. It's a very large piece and really makes a statement. The artist is Karen Mortensen, one of the most passionate and talented women we have ever known. You can see some of her other amazing pieces at
Or come see us and we'll introduce you personally and take you to see the flowing lava!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Champagne Cove house in Sunny Kapoho!

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to stay a few nights at the Champagne Cove house in "Sunny Kapoho". This special area located about 30 miles south of Hilo has earned this deserving nickname as it generally experiences drier and sunnier conditions than Hilo! What a great property and a wonderful area!

I had 7 teenage girls in tow and the 6 bedrooms provided plenty of space for us all.
Being lulled to sleep by the ocean was also a bonus (once the girls finally settled down)!

The kids enjoyed the pool, even at night! I preferred the short walk to the lagoon known as Champagne Pond in Kapoho Bay where the water was about 90 degrees, being geothermally heated -- what a treat!

The fully equipped kitchens in both the upstairs unit (Main House) and the lower Ohana unit are fabulous and the open living design is great for entertaining. The barbeque and outdoor dining area near the pool was perfect for my crowd! There's even cable TV and high-speed internet access, although the laptops were left at home.

The ocean view from the Main House interior lanai was amazing. Experiencing the sunrise from here was incredible!

Book a stay-cation at this wonderful vacation rental property and enjoy the beauty of East Hawaii! Visit for more info!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Have you met Puffy yet?

If you haven't been lucky enough to meet Puffy in person, you at least need to check her out on youtube on the Lagoon House website. Puffy is THE most popular and fun fish on the entire island of Hawaii, and she happens to reside at THE most popular vacation rental in sunny Kapoho, (if not the entire island), Lagoon House. (This place books up far in advance so check the calendar if you're interested-great place for kids!) Anyway, Puffy has it all; charm, personality, friendliness, and she's as cute as can be! OK, so maybe she's not tall, blonde and leggy, but hey, you'll fall head over flippers in love with her!

Cute, cute, cute. Puffy isn't the only fish in the pond, there are hundreds of reef fish for your snorkeling's really a zillion gallon private natural lagoon. It's like snorkeling in your own personal aquarium. One more reason we're 'lucky to live Hawaii!'

Turn your sound on; the music was written by our own Steve Marcotte, known fondly to us as SUMA!

BTW, Lagoon House is for sale so if you ever dreamed of having a place in Hawaii on a lagoon (not many of THOSE out there!) here's your chance!