Add comment May 30th, 2010
Add comment May 30th, 2010
Very often when people think of Hawaii for a honeymoon or anniversary they rule it out because they think it’s too expensive. While it’s true that Hawaii is not the cheapest destination it’s certainly can be affordable especially this year. We have and continue to see tremendous deals on all islands with emphasis on romance.
Here are some ideas that can help you get started:
A popular resort on Oahu for romance lovers is the Turtle Bay Resort. They’re running a special romance package which includes buffet breakfast, sparkling wine and fresh strawberries on arrival. It also includes a convertible car throughout the stay which start at about $350 per night. If you want to take it a step further, the resort has breathtaking waterfront locations where you can either renew or exchange vows.
Another popular resort, located right on the shores of Waikiki Beach, is the newly renovated Outrigger Reef on the Beach. This property just completed a $110 million renovation complete with an outrigger museum. Every Tuesday and Friday they offer a complementary vow renewal ceremony conducted by a Hawaiian kahu or priest. The ceremony even includes hula and Hawaiian music and is available to guests who are staying at the Outrigger on the beach, a sister property nearby. The Reef also has excellent discounted rates which include daily breakfast.
On Maui, romance seekers can get the "You complete me Romance amenity" at the Sheraton Maui which can be added to any package or rate. The offer includes one category room upgrade, a king size bed guarantee, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, a tropical floral arrangement and bath amenities which include his and hers Yukata robes. Couples also get a choice of either an intimate dinner under the stars, a room service breakfast or the use of a beach cabana for the day. The entire package is $800 and is all inclusive.
Over on Kauai Marriott has put together a complete package for those wishing to use the facility to get married. The package lets you choose any location on the property includes the minister, private gazebo, champagne, a deluxe bridal bouquet and boutonniere for the groom. The deal also includes wedding photography and a Hawaiian guitarist and all of the services of the Kauai Marriott wedding coordinator. The cost of the package is 3599 and rooms start at 199 per night.
The Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island has a great wedding package located in this majestic setting. Called the "Ilima wedding package" it includes a personal wedding consultant, arranged appointment for a marriage license, clergy for the ceremony, tiki torches, a water station, white floral lei for the bride and a maile kei for the groom, a wedding cake and fresh flowers. The package also comes with professional musicians, time with a wedding photographer, a romantic dinner for two, a one hour lomi lomi couples massage, spa treatment and a deluxe oceanfront room on the wedding night. The total price for this package is $6800.
There are many more romance and Hawaii honeymoon deals that you can take advantage of if you’re planning a romantic Hawaiian experience. Almost all the major resorts can accommodate your needs however, it’s best to check with one of our agents to see what’s available. All of our agents are experts at planning packages so just give us a call at 1-800-843-8771 and any agent can help.
4 comments May 27th, 2010
It’s a sight repeated on beaches across Hawaii: a couple stands, back to the ocean, with one arm outstretched holding a camera to capture the view. Frequently a fellow tourist or friendly local approaches to offer photographic assistance.
Add comment May 25th, 2010
You can meet a giraffe in Hawaii. They’re not native to the islands but the Honolulu Zoo provides an intimate introduction to it and other animals.
The zoo is at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki Beach — walking distance from most Honolulu hotels and easily accessible by bus or trolley. It is open from 9:00 – 4:30 daily. While food is available, coolers and picnics are allowed. The admission is $12 for adults over the age of 13 ($6 for locals with Hawaii ID), children from 3-12 are $3 and younger than three are free. My daughter and her child visited the zoo recently. The adult price was more than she pays on the mainland but the admission was less for a child. This makes the zoo a great bargain for families with several children and a very reasonable diversion for others.
1 comment May 23rd, 2010
Add comment May 19th, 2010
A large tree welcomes visitors to the University of Hawaii campus, providing cool shade and the smell of – skunk. Yep, that’s its name: the Skunk Tree, or Java Olive.
I have smelled actual skunks and the tree isn’t quite as pungent, but it’s strong and unpleasant enough that I hold my breath when passing. Before I came to Hawaii, I thought the only trees that had a smell were pines. I love the faint pine scent that seems to linger all over Colorado. But regular trees in the yard didn’t really have a particular smell. Here, so many trees have flowers that I’ve come to associate pleasant smells with trees – at least with most trees.
The skunk tree is on the list of Exceptional Trees maintained by the City and County of Honolulu. Each county has its own list of exceptional trees as a result of the Exceptional Tree Act, passed in 1975. The law was passed out of concern that rapid development had led to the destruction of many of the state’s exceptional trees. According to the state website, “The Act recognizes that trees are valuable for their beauty and they perform crucial ecological functions.” The act mandates that each county set up its own program for protecting exceptional trees.
To be recognized as an exceptional tree, the tree or grove must have a historic or cultural value, be unique as to location, size, esthetic quality, age or endemic status. Once the tree receives the designation, an approval permit is needed to prune them or do other tree work.
The skunk tree is one of several exceptional trees on the Manoa campus. It is from the Cocoa Family (Sterculia Foetida). The UH plants brochure says it produces red and yellow flowers and calls the smell “an unpleasant odor reminiscent of stale tobacco.” The tree smell is much stronger when it is flowering. The brochure says the seeds in its scarlet fruit are used in making seed lei and can be eaten raw or roasted “but have a purgative effect if eaten in quantity.” Oh, my. Yet another reason to admire this particular tree from afar.
1 comment May 18th, 2010
Festivals are a big thing in Hawaii and because there is such an abundance of them throughout the year, you may get to experience one while on a Hawaii vacation. Many of these festivals create a cultural bridge between East and West and celebrate their rich histories. The Pan Pacific Festival, now in its 31st year is one such event.
As a result of travelers from Japan to Hawaii increasing in the late 70s, a group was formed with its goal to increase education between the two cultures that would be educational and enjoyable. In 1980 the idea of the Matsuri (festival) was born; the concept was to bring artists together with Hawaii residents and tourists who travel here from all over the world. They wanted something that people could participate in which would expose them to traditional Japanese culture.
The event has grown over the years to include three Days of activities. As in previous years, the festival begins Friday night with a huge block party on Kalakaua Avenue which becomes one of the largest outdoor multi-cultural exhibits of its kind. You’ll find lots of delicious food booths representing diverse ethnic cuisines. On Saturday there a cultural performances including the 10th annual Pan – Pacific Hula Festival at Kuhio beach in Waikiki and performing arts recitals at the Ala Moana Shopping Center stage. The festival continues through Sunday and climaxes with the Pan PAcifc Parade down Kalakaua beginning at Fort DeRussy and ending at Kapiolani Park.
Many people plan their entire Hawaii vacations around these festivals so make sure the check to see which ones might be happening when you travel to the islands. All of our agents are aware of these festivals are planning process just give us a call at 1-800-843-8771.
Name: The 31st Pan-Pacific Fetival
Date: June 11 – 13
Where: Waikiki, Ala Moana Center
Contact: 808-926-8177; www.pan-pacific-festival.com
For a complete schedule of events click here
Posted by Bruce Fisher follow me on twitter @alohabruce
Add comment May 17th, 2010
It may seem odd to visit an aquarium in Hawaii — after all, the ocean and its creatures are RIGHT THERE! However the Waikiki Aquarium gives you a better view and far more information than you’d get on your own. It’s easy to get to from Waikiki Beach, inexpensive, and a great option for rainy days, when you need to stay out of the sun, or while waiting for your return flight. If you’re traveling with children, it is especially good entertainment. They’ll recognize the real fish from animated movies and learn about marine biology, all for six dollars or less. (That’s the admission price — the trip through the gift shop will add more.)
The aquarium first opened in 1904 and is the third oldest aquarium in the United States. At first, it was a commercial venture but in 1912 the property was returned to the Territory of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii took over operations of the aquarium and its marine biology laboratory. A major renovation of the facility and its programs began in 1975 with a focus not just on display but also public education. One of its newest projects is the jellyfish gallery – my granddaughter’s favorite on her recent visit. My daughter liked deep sea creatures and the many kinds of coral.
The Waikiki Aquarium is located along the beach in Kapi‘olani Park. From Waikiki Beach, face Diamond Head and start walking. It’s within walking distance from most hotels, or you can take the bus (Route 2) or the Trolley (Green Line). The aquarium is open 9 – 4:30 pm daily (it closes early sometimes for concerts). The general admission price is nine dollars. For children, there are three rates: ages 13-17 are $6, 5-12 are $2 and 4 and under are free if accompanied by an adult. My daughter and grand daughter really enjoyed the free audio tour that comes with each admission.
If you have a membership to your local zoo or aquarium, you may be able to pay half price in Hawaii – check the list of reciprocal institutions on the Waikiki Aquarium website. Even without a discount, it’s a great addition to your Hawaii vacation.
Add comment May 13th, 2010
Hawaii is a great place to propose marriage. It has all of the things you need for a romantic setting which can create a memory you can hang onto for a lifetime. Because of Hawaii’s natural beauty, just about any location you pick here can be turned into a perfect moment. Sunrise and sunset here are as special as you could imagine, but in the end, it’s what you do with the backdrop that will matter the most.
Now here’s my story. I’ve shared what you’re about to read with many friends over the years but never on this blog. Hopefully it will spark some ideas if you’re planning to pop the question while you’re in Hawaii.
My wife and I had been having a long-distance relationship for only a few months before I proposed. She lived in California and we were taking periodic trips between Hawaii and San Jose. I was in love with her and anxious to take the relationship to the next level. I was hopeful that with the proposal, she would see my level of commitment in spite of our short courtship.
The big event happened on a day that I planned for us to go to the beach. Yaling my wife, was still learning about the beauty of Hawaii and we were doing a lot of sightseeing. The days plan didn’t seem anything out of the ordinary. My plan was to do it at Eternity Beach on the southeast side of Oahu, which has appeared in many movies including of "From Here to Eternity" and "50 First Dates".
I escorted her down the cliffs to the beach and laid down a large beach towel. Using "sleight of hand" (from a magic trick my Dad tought me as a child), I buried the engagement ring in the sand which I was concealing in my pocket without her seeing it. After a few minutes on the beach I asked her to see what was in the sand as it looked unusual. She began to dig only to discover it was a box with th engagement ring inside. I looked at her and asked her to walk with me to the Cliffside. She sat down on a rock and I proceeded to ask her to marry me. It was an awkward but very sweet moment and she was completely shocked. She paused for a few moments looked at me, and says "I’m going to have to think about it". While It wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear, I totally understood, it felt right anyway. While my ego took a little blow, I had no regrets about what had happened.
The rest is history, it all eventually worked out and I am very happy to say that we been married for 10 years and it’s been the best 10 years of my life.
Posted by Bruce Fisher follow me on twitter @alohabruce
8 comments May 11th, 2010
It is possible to spend a lot of money on food on any vacation, and Hawaii is no exception, but it’s really not necessary. Even families can cut corners like locals.
The problem is there are so many wonderful places to eat in Hawaii that it is really tempting to try one after another. If you have the money and the inclination, Hawaii is a foodie paradise. But let’s pretend you’d like to limit how much you spend on food and you have children. Here are several solutions.
(1) You probably don’t take your family out to dinner in a restaurant every evening at home. On vacation, you can limit the damage to your budget by deciding which restaurant or cuisine you really want to try and building it into the itinerary. If you know you have a great dinner scheduled, it’s easier to have a light breakfast and lunch.
(2) Many Hawaii hotels offer a free breakfast or at least coffee and pastries or fruit. If yours does not, purchase breakfast food and keep it in your hotel room. If you go to the coffee shop, it’s just too easy to add a few items for the kids at a premium price. When my daughter and granddaughter visited recently, I bought the small, individual boxes of cereal for their morning munchies.
(3) Portions in Hawaii are fairly large. At lunch, split an entree with your little ones. Most places don’t mind sharing, or if they have a plate charge it’s less than another meal. Another possibility is to see if you can order off the children’s menu. Big City Diner lets adults order from the child’s menu for an extra dollar. The children’s meal sizes are about right for me.
(4) Make a trip to a grocery store one of your first stops. Although there are convenience stores near, or inside, every hotel, you pay for the convenience. (You wouldn’t spend a week’s food budget at 7-11 back home.) We took the shopping trolley to Ala Moana and stocked up at the Foodland grocery store there, getting food bars, crackers, sandwich supplies, etc. Many grocery items are more expensive in Hawaii than on the mainland so we looked for local products and sales.
Our goal was to spend money on eating out when it was a special experience, but not to over-pay for routine meals. I had my daughter keep track of expenses and she spent no more on food while in Hawaii than she would have at home.
2 comments May 10th, 2010
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