Waikiki Honolulu Mango Throw Down

We met with Beachhouse Chef Rodney Uyehara at the Hawaii in Real Life tweetup in the Monoa Surfrider. Overlooking the blue Pacific of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii Melissa Chang and Russ interviewed Chef Rodney Uyehara and sampled his entry for the “Tree to Table – Mango Throw Down” tonight at the Surfrider: Lollipop Lamb Chop with Curried Mango Couscous. This special event is part of the “Mangoes at the Moana” celebration of the mango season.

Melissa Chang tastes Chef Rodney Uyehara's entry for the Mango Throw Down

Melissa Chang tastes Chef Rodney Uyehara's entry for the Mango Throw Down Aug. 27, 2010

Tonight 17 of the best Hawaiian chefs will compete to see who can create the best wine and edible tastings using mangoes as the main ingredient. A panel of celebrity judges will be on hand to pick winners in these categories: Best Use of Mango, People’s Choice, Dessert, and Overall Best Dish.

The public is welcome to this event. Tickets are $85 and available at the door. Proceeds benefit University of Hawaii’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific. The event is tonight from 6 – 9:30 p.m.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Hawaii Destination Wedding

Does your dream destination wedding include Hawaii? Friends recently asked me to recommend Hawaiian tours, resorts, destinations and wedding event planners for their upcoming Hawaiian wedding. We frequently visit the islands and have ideas we can suggest. For our trips, we design our own itinerary then reservations accordingly.

Since we are not familiar with wedding planning, Hawaiian tour planning, resorts and destination weddings, we offered to ask for recommendations.

The couple has a flexible schedule and is looking to tie the knot this fall or winter. The wedding could be in Hawaii or Hawaii may be their honeymoon destination. They would like to have an outdoor wedding. The couple is Catholic though a non-denominational ceremony is acceptable.

The group would like to visit one or two islands during their stay. Several friends and family members will accompany them on their trip. Four star hotels would be appropriate. During their stay, they are interested in activities though like to enjoy relaxing down time too. ATV rides or helicopters sound like fun. An all day hike into Haleakala is more active than they like. Pools and beaches are not a big draw.

They would like someone to arrange the wedding: license, photographer, official, meal, etc.

If you were married in Hawaii: What locations do you recommend? Any words of wisdom to share? I have a photographer lined up for their wedding for Shine Pics, but I’m a little lost on the rest of their requests.

If you are a Hawaii business: What services can you offer or recommend? Resorts, hotels, photographers with large portfolios of stock photos, activities, etc?

Sunrise over Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Sunrise over Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii Tours and Hawaii Activities

David Morgan, 6th generation owner, invited us to visit the 4,000 acre Kualoa Ranch cattle ranch and recreation destination.

David is a descendant of Gerrit Judd, who was one of King Kamehameha III cabinet members. Judd purchased the initial land and offshore fishing rights from the king in 1850.

While still an active cattle ranch, the family has diversified operations including vegetable and fruit farming, flower nurseries and producing fish and prawns for local markets. There are a variety of non invasive visitor activities they were happy to show us including hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, concerts, sporting events, education sessions and TV and film production.

After our breakfast orientation meeting, we were off to a tour of the Moli’i fish ponds and gardens. These preserved fish ponds were built 800 years ago using lava rock walls and a series of wooden sluice gates where small fish could enter. Growing as they fed on the alga in the pond, the fish became too large to exit the gates. Photo credit Kualoa Ranch.

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii fishpond tour on 800-year old ancient pond

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii fishpond tour on 800-year old ancient pond

Our next stop was the garden where taro, breadfruit, papaya, jack fruit, banana, pineapple, bamboo, sugar cane, coffee and a rainbow of flowers grew. We stopped near the macadamia nut trees seeking out a few overlooked nuts. The effort to required to crack these shells was impressive. By smashing the nut between two stones we were able to taste a few raw nut meat treats.

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii Stepping in the Footprints from Godzilla’s movie

Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii Stepping in the Footprints from Godzilla’s movie

After our stop for the lunch buffet in the main lodge we were off on our next tour. We chose the movie tour which took us out in a scenic part of the ranch valley. Cowboy, our tour guide took us through the former military bunker which has been used to film Lost and now houses movie relics and posters. As we rounded the bend the valley opened up in front of us. Here is were many movies and television shows are shot including Jurassic Park, George of the Jungle, Fifty First Dates. “@nctrlbst @alohayaling @alohabruce and @noelwilliamsinside one of Godzilla’s footprints. Photo credit April M. Williams”

The sites are marked by signs and our guide Cowboy had a story to tell of each one. Photo credit Kualoa Ranch.

Kualoa Ranch is about an hour drive from Honolulu. The ranch offers shuttle service from Waikiki and The Bus route 55 stops at the entrance to the ranch.

Follow Kualoa Ranch on Twitter.

For more information or to make reservations for a day at the ranch call (808) 237-7321 or email activityinfo@kualoa.com.

Watch video of our trip to the fish ponds, gardens and movie location sites.

Oahu Revealed

Oahu Revealed

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Waikiki Beach Reef and Ocean Expo

This week we visited Duke’s Waikiki sponsored Reef and Ocean Expo. Ross Anderson, Regional General Manager was inspired to host this event by local fisherman Mac Poepoe who created a sustainable fishing plan for Moloka’i bay. By working with local residents, the retired firefighter created a plan allowing locals to fish and the Bay to replenish.

When we met with Ross on the beach he talked about Mac Poepoe, his passion for the ocean, sea life and his kids. His son Dakota and his schoolmates spent the day helping out and greeting attendees.

Educational displays were set up beach side with a variety of information on ocean life and conservation. We learned about non-native seaweed that raises havoc with our native plants. Volunteer divers put this vegetation from the waters and have disposed of truckloads of these invasive plants.

Ryan, a Waikiki lifeguard was on hand showing jellyfish caught off Waikiki Beach. These ocean critters are abundant in the waters about 10 days after a new moon. According to Ryan, the jellyfish tendrils are covered with thousands of pockets of venom. When swimmers are stung these pockets are transferred to our skin and the pocket opens. Some swimmers feel a faint twinge while others experience a more severe stinging and swelling. Each Waikiki lifeguard station is stocked with vinegar they can spray on victims to prevent the venom pockets from breaking, releasing their toxins. Occasionally, the stings produce an allergic reaction that may become deadly if untreated.

Two artists practiced fish painting called gyotaku. They brushed paint on an octopus then transferred the design onto t-shirts and posters.

If you are in Waikiki, take a break at Duke’s and check out the memorabilia of legendary Duke Kahanamoku. You never know who you might run into while you are there! Follow them on Twitter.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Gyotaku Fish Painting Waikiki Beach Reef and Ocean Expo

Gyotaku Fish Painting Waikiki Beach Reef and Ocean Expo

Ryan shows us jellyfish Waikiki Beach Reef and Ocean Expo

Ryan shows jellyfish found in Waikiki Beach

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

World War Two Pearl Harbor Survivor Herbert Weatherwax

We are enjoying our visit to Honolulu on the always beautiful island of Oahu in Hawaii. Yesterday we visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial and met a 92 year old Pearl Harbor survivor of the day which has lived in infamy, Dec. 7, 1941. Herb Weatherwax was born in Oahu and was at Pearl Harbor during the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Herb later served in the Battle of the Bulge before fighting in Germany.

Raised in Hawaii, Herb found the Midwest winters too cold and returned to the Hawaiian Islands after World War II. Herb can be found volunteering at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center three days a week. He enjoys meeting with and signing autographs for the thousands of visitors he meets each year.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?” Turn up your speakers and listen as Herbert Weatherwax introduces himself to you. Enjoy this history moment of history.

I am very grateful to have met several Pearl Harbor survivors on my travels to Hawaii. Many of these soldiers toured the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center last year for the final Pearl Harbor Survivors reunion. As they reach their 90’s it is harder for them to travel, especially long distances. Here are the stories of other Pearl Harbor survivors.

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