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

Urasenke Foundation Japanese Tea Ceremony Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii

We experienced an authentic Japanese tea ceremony at the Urasenke Foundation in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Urasenke Foundation is nestled away on a side street in Waikiki across from the post office. The foundation teaches the art of tea service at locations around the world. We stopped by for a demonstration of the Japanese thin tea ceremony.

We asked and the foundation requested we not shoot video during our visit.

We were greeted at the door and asked to make a small donation to the foundation before entering into the next room. Here we watched a 25 minute video describing a typical thick tea ceremony. The thick tea ceremony lasts several hours and gave us an understanding of the thin tea demonstration we would participate in.

Next we were guided to a tea room and instructed to remove our shoes before entering. This protects the mats covering the floor.

Our host entered with two other Japanese women all wearing colorful kimonos. Our guide described the tea ceremony and instructed us on how to respond. The host did not speak during our visit. The mood was formal and proper.

The room had a cauldron of boiling water set into a hole in the floor. The host began by serving us delicate cookies with a gingko flower design. The elaborate tea preparation began with powdered tea and a small whisk for each single serving. Our guide instructed us on the proper way to show gratitude when accepting the drink. The cup is turned clockwise twice before drinking. Admiration of the design is important.

After each guest was served, the tea spoon and tea container were passed in turn to each guest to admire.

We asked our guide about the history of the foundation. She told us she was a founding member of this branch over 50 years ago. When I asked how long it took to learn the art of Japanese tea ceremony, she said a lifetime, you never stop learning.

My husband is studying to speak Japanese and the women enjoyed conversing with him in their native tongue.

Urasenke Foundation Japanese Tea Ceremony Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii

Urasenke Foundation Japanese Tea Ceremony Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii

Read more about our visit at 808Talk Insiders Guide to Hawaii.

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.”

Earth Month Waikiki Aquarium Honolulu

The Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, Hawaii hosted Earth month celebrations on April 10, 2010. Free admission to drew a long line at the 9AM opening. Special interactive educational displays were popular with the keiki. Scientists, educators and volunteers were on hand to talk about sea life, invasive species, conservation and habitats. The messages were conveyed with coloring books, ring toss games and learning puzzles. A seahorse release was a highlight for many attendees.

The Waikiki Aquarium partners with Duke’s Waikiki for educational events.

In addition to the Earth month special events, we visited the ongoing exhibits including Hawaiian monk seal, puffer fish, anemones, and jellyfish. Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

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.”

Aloha Shirt Paradise in Honolulu Hawaii

In this episode of “Where Are You Today” we visit David Bailey of Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts.

A few years ago while in Honolulu, Hawaii, we walked down Kapahulu Street and spotted a unique store. Located just outside Waikiki is Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts. Although it started as an antique store, Bailey’s primary business is the barter and sale of Aloha shirts. The store is packed with over 15,000 Aloha shirts priced from under $10 to thousands of dollars. Most shirts are vintage new while others are new.

Shirts are the focal point in this store. You will find other Hawaiian related items like books, drinking glasses and jewelry at the store. The selection changes daily. If you find something you like, take it home because it may not be there on your next visit.

Bailey’s will help you if you have a special request for a specific shirt. They will keep an eye out for your desired color, pattern and style then send you photos of shirts that come into the store.

We talked with David Bailey’s about the origin of Aloha shirts and his unique store. Did you know these shirts were created by a kimono maker?

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

Hawaii Five-0 Television Series Returns to Hawaii

The Hawaii Five-0 television series ran from 1968 to 1980. Filmed in Hawaii, the show featured the fictional Hawaii State Police whose offices were in the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. The show drew an increase in tourists to Hawaii despite the violent crime in each show.

We have been watching the shows newly released on DVD. From the pilot show through season 7 we watched the cast and landscape of Hawaii change. Waikiki, Diamond Head and Honolulu look very different now though the Kahala Inn looks much the same.  The most fun is to see the places we visit when we are on island.

Over the years a series revival has been discussed. So far, no solid announcements have been made.

What stories do you have about the Hawaii Five-0 show, cast, crew or location? Log in a share your tales. Book ’em, Danno!

Noel Williams & Jack Lord

Noel Williams & Jack Lord

So You Think You Know Hawaiian History?

We travel to Hawaii often and likely know more about Hawaiian history than the casual tourist to the islands. Our visits include stops at cultural and history sights important to making Hawaii the diverse location that it is. Then we met Richard Wong, tour guide for Ohana Tours. When our friends at Ohana Tours heard about our love of history and Honolulu they invited us to check out the weekend walking tour of the downtown area. We took our ohana (family) to meet Richard on a recent Sunday morning.

Our adventure began in downtown Honolulu in front of the golden Kamehameha Statue in the heart of the city. You can see this statue on the Hawaii state quarters released as part of the state series. For the next two hours Richard shared history of Hawaiian culture, religion, politics and people. As history buffs ourselves, we were overwhelmed by the detailed stories our guide shared with us. Richard is a gifted story teller. His vivid words and smooth delivery made the tales come alive for us. Drawing on a long career as a Honolulu police officer, he personalized his tales with accounts from his time on the force.

We found another link between us and our guide. To bring the islands to us when we are in the Midwest, we started watching the Hawaii 5-0 television series starting at the pilot. I get chills every time I hear the Hawaii Five-0 theme song playing. The show ran for 12 years from 1968 to 1080 and was filmed in Hawaii. The second floor of the Iolani Palace was the fictional state police headquarters. Many scenes were filmed at the iconic Ilikai Hotel in Waikiki overlooking Duke Kahanamoku’s Lagoon and the Honolulu Marina. Richard worked security during many of these shoots and shared stories of the cast and crew. He even had a few on screen parts.

You can read more about our tour on the www.808talk.com article. Listen to how Richard started out our tour below. If you are  staying in Honolulu over a weekend, check out Ohana Tours for information or reservations.

Elephant at the Honolulu Hawaii Zoo

Looking for a great way to spend an afternoon in Honolulu? Stop by the Honolulu Zoo just a block away from world famous Waikiki Beach. This jewel in the Waikiki neighborhood is just the right size for a  few hours of leisurely strolling.

Elephant at Honolulu Zoo Hawaii

Elephant at Honolulu Zoo Hawaii

When you walk into the park, the first exhibit you’ll see is the scarlet flamingos. Did you know they are pink because of the seafood they eat?

This is one of the few places you’ll be sure to see the native Nene birds. Other favorite exhibits I make sure not to miss include the Galapagos tortoise, monkeys, orangutan and African elephants.

Tikis Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii Tweet Up

Tiki’s Grill and Bar has one of the best locations in Waikiki. With a vast view of Waikiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean, this a favorite spot for locals to meet for cocktails and dinner while catching a beautiful sunset.

Tiki's Waikiki Tweep up Alexis Williams, Kyle E. Williams, Vernon Brown, Aloha Bruce, Carson P. Williams

Tiki’s Waikiki Tweep up Alexis Williams, Kyle E. Williams, Vernon Brown, Aloha Bruce, Carson P. Williams

Just a few weeks ago we were hanging out with friends at Tiki‘s in Waikiki. There was a Twitter organized meet up with Chris Pirillo tech writer for CNN, the night after we got into town. For us, it was a great way to visit with many of our new and old friends at one time. We ended up leaving the party early as we were still on Chicago time. I barely stayed awake till 8:30 there which is 5 hours later on Chicago time. I’m not often awake at 1:30AM.

You can watch video and read more on this Tiki’s event and other interesting friends.

I ran across one of the photos today of a few of our favorite tweeple. Check out these dudes having a fun time!

Tiki's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon
Tiki's Grill & Bar on Foodio54

Tikis Waikiki Hawaii Tweet with Chris Pirillo

This week, I was invited to meet up with Chris Pirillo tech writer for CNN.com, Traci Toguchi, Ryan Ozawa, Vern Brown and other Hawaii friends.

I write for Vern’s Insider’s Guide to Hawaii travel website 808Talk.com.

We met at Tiki’s Grill overlooking Waikiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Chris Pirillo set up a Ustream live feed and you can watch some of the video below. Many other Hawaii social networking friends were there and it was fun to see them in real life.

%d bloggers like this: