Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dancin' In Da Streets!!

For the past 16 years, several blocks lining the Hilo Bayfront highway become party central one night in September. This year's annual Ho'olaule'a (pronounced ho' - o - lau' - lay - ah, which means "gathering") was held last night. Thousands of us living on the Big Island show up, rain or shine for this free event, and last night was no different!

The island-style party included live music, great food and a variety of arts & crafts beginning at 5pm and didn't stop until after 10:30pm! Over 20 bands jammed and had folks of all ages movin'-and-a-groovin!

Local radio station KWXX is the mastermind behind this popular event. This year the lineup included Grammy award winner John Cruz Jr, local favorites Ho'okoa, Bruddah Waltah, Mixjah, Rebel Souljahs, Island Harmony, and Natural Vibrations. This year, we were also graced with the Air Force Band of the Pacific!

There was a lot of great local-style food available too! Chili bowl, shave ice, bruddah pops, poi balls, kalua, musubi, and loco moco to name a few!! I had already eaten dinner before heading down, but couldn't resist enjoying a spam musubi as a snack! We'll write about this local yummy favorite soon!!

Even though there was a brief rain shower - well actually it was quite a downpour! - a good time was definitely had by all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Visit at Kihei Surfside

Just returned from a “working vacation” on Maui and wanted to post a little bit about our trip. Since both Su and I reside on the Big Island, Sharene likes us to visit Maui now and again to get to better know the units and the complexes they are in, to get a good feel for the area and generally experience things from a guest’s perspective to allow us to better help our guests. Yeah, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it! (and I’m sure glad I’m one of the “someones”!)

I had the opportunity to stay at gorgeous Kihei Surfside in Steve & Linda’s lovely Kihei Surfside 513. The unit was immaculate and that sweet ocean view across the bright green grass knocked our (proverbial) socks off the moment we entered the condo. 513 is very comfortably furnished and had everything we could have needed or wanted for our stay. We cooked in on 2 nights and found everything we could have needed for meal preparation in the well-appointed kitchen. Gregg made good use of Surfside’s oceanfront BBQs while I prepared the veggies & extras. Couldn’t have been easier in my own kitchen - and certainly wouldn’t have been cleaner! Cindy sure does a great job keeping the place sparkling.

While we were there, I had the opportunity to meet Cynthia and Larry, 2 of the newest owners to come onboard with Hawaii Holiday, and get a personal tour of their Kihei Surfside 405. They were sweet as can be and the enthusiasm they have for Maui, Surfside and their unit are contagious! I really enjoyed having the chance to meet them and look forward to working with them in the future! Also had the chance to meet and chat with Rebecca who was working just down the hall on her Kihei Surfside 510! It’s always such a pleasure to meet the owners of the units we represent, and finally get to put faces together with names.

We had a bunch of big plans for our off days this trip, but the weather was SO gorgeous and beautiful Keawakapu Beach - right next to Surfside – was so fantastically inviting that we ended up spending much of our free time just “beaching it!” The surf was fairly high the first couple of days (which meant swells of up to 2 whole feet at Keawakapu!) and we were quite pleased to find a boogie board at the condo, so we had a lot of fun playing in the waves. I didn’t even wipe out once (new record for me!). The sunsets on Keawakapu were stunning - mother nature gave us a beautiful and different show every night!

We also spent a day at Makena Beach (aka Big Beach and Little Beach), which we just love. I may be the queen of making and then tossing out detailed vacation itineraries, there was one activity that did not get vetoed in favor of a beach day: a snorkel/snuba cruise to Molokini!! I’ll be posting about that just as soon as we get our underwater pictures back!

Up next time: Restaurant Reviews (unless I get my underwater photos back first!)

Aloha nui,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Cutest Critter!

Here in Hawaii there is a little critter that we welcome in our homes! Many believe this little guy is good luck. They are small and can get into almost any space -- its always interesting where they can be found, and sometimes offer one a good startle! They actually will not bother humans at all and do help as a natural pest control. There are actually 7 varieties here (out of an estimated 2,000 different species!) and all have been introduced to the islands. This critter is sooo cute, it has even been adopted as a company mascot/marketing icon. Can you guess what it is?

Geckos are unique among lizards in their vocalizations, making chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos. While the exotic, brightly attractive reptiles are slowly expanding their territory on the islands, it is all too easy to forget about the importance of the original, little lively lizards. They are modest representatives of the great magical lizard, the powerful mo'o. They are guardians, not just against bugs. The mo'o is an ancient mythological being which appears in legends throughout Polynesia. For the Polynesians, geckos were perfect mirror images of this dragon-like monster. It was believed that the great mo'o could simply use the body of the gecko for one of its many manifestations. Naturally the gentle, little geckos were deeply respected. They were sacred. The vigilant geckos, with their ability to change colors and to drop wiggling tails when threatened, resembled the mo'o and filled a crucial role in Hawaiian religion.

The mo'o was part of an intricate communication system with the gods. The Hawaiians, like many cultures, depended on sorcery as a means of mediation between divine and human worlds. They needed symbols which showed the effectiveness of their prayers and their rituals. They needed images to which they could adhere magical powers.

Magical powers or not, these guys sure are cute!! Here's some of their antics that can be seen daily while visiting the Big Island or Maui!! We even show our ALOHA to these little guys and are happy to share our homes and condos with them!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How sweet (literally!) is this?

Wow, we get lots of nice reviews on our vacation rentals and our service, and sometimes guests remember to send us an email after their stay to say Mahalo! But we rarely get gifts from guests!
Su and Tara received a package today from a guest named Michele from Massachusetts who recently stayed at Sunrise House in Kapoho on the Big Island. It's a very popular rental right on the ocean with a private pond; she must have had a great time because she sent them a couple of bottles of real maple syrup from the East Coast! Wow, what a sweet treat and thoughtful gesture.

Here are Su and Tara......dreaming of macadamia nut pancakes with maple syrup!

Mahalo nui Michele!