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Hawaii Holiday Shopping: Ala Moana at a Glance

Second Part’ Harmony of the Holiday Issue

We are looking at the Hawaiian-grown local products featured in the Nov/Dec shopping catalog ,which is available all over the island as well as online. So those of you on the mainland can easily check out the featured products at the mall. But I took a trip over to the Ala Moana Center to get a hands-on look at some fav items.

Martin & MacArthur –“Gracious Hawaiian Living,” has amazingly beautiful items made from natural woods native to Hawaii. I was drawn to their watch collection because they are different and elegant. The men’s version has many styles to choose from, with variation in color and shape. They were out of the women’s, which disappointed me, but I’m sure they would be as flexible comfortable as the men’s. They are very light weight and hypoallergenic. It is reported to become prettier as it ages and is worn, something you can’t say about a lot of watches out there. For less than $200, it’s a piece of art that would give back every day. I also took a look at the skin care line they sell and purchased a bar of cream soap in the men’s line. It’s made in Maui of natural oils and has a very deep, rich fragrance which the saleswoman told me is her personal favorite which she uses, rather than her husband. Good enough for me.

World-class service and great views of the yacht harbor, the Hawaii Prince Hotel is near Ala Moana Center. Call 1-800-843-8771 to talk with travel agents based in Hawaii.

I’ve mentioned Elise Tran bags before, and since I needed a new small, over the shoulder bag for just credit cards, cash, and my phone (which I keep next to my body wherever I go, with or without an additional larger bag), I decided to put my money where my mouth was. The line has a perfect, multipocketed fold over bag with a shoulder strap that can be converted to go around your belt line. I liked that feature, but what sold it to me was the fact that my iPhone fits perfectly into one of the outer pockets. That was a must for me – I wanted small but perfect and I got it. The item that is showcased in the magazine is a nylon organizer, that comes in great bright colors. This is a very multifunctional piece, with lots of pockets and sleeves and closable pouches, plus a detachable (by very h3 Velcro) laptop sleeve. I could see an iPad, or Kindle or art portfolio also going into this zippered area. Great engineering in this $96 bag.

Lastly, if you are lucky enough to spend time during the holidays at Ala Moana Center, make sure you take advantage of the local entertainment offered throughout the month at center stage. Then once you fall in love with the sound, head down to Sam Goody to pick up some “Holiday Harmonies” by purchasing a CD by one of the many, exceedingly talented Hawaiian artists. The Magazine recommends “Maluhia” by well known slack key artist, Kealii Reichel. But look around and take some musical aloha home with you.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Nov 23, 2010