Posts Tagged ‘#aloha09’

Shave ice from Aoki's on Oahu's North Shore is always a great way to cool off!

Shave ice from Aoki’s on Oahu’s North Shore is always a great way to cool off!

It’s been pretty hot and humid in Hawaii the past week. So much so that Mother Nature has forced us to use our portable AC  at night in our bedroom to get a good nights rest. As locals and visitors alike look for options to beat the Hawaii heat, it got me thinking about some of my favorite ways to cool down when the sun is out. And I’m not talking about beaches, swimming pools, or spa treatments. I’m talking about cool treats to bring the body temperature down while satisfying the sweet tooth and quenching that thirst.

Here’s my suggestions for island treats to beat the summer heat:

Shave Ice
This one is pretty much a no-brainer when it’s time to cool off after a long day at the beach, hiking, or working at the office. Institutions like Waiola Shave Ice, Aoki’s Shave Ice, Matsumoto Shave Ice, and countless other are the perfect cure. You really can’t go wrong with any flavor combination. But my personal favorite is to have shave ice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and li hing mui syrup all over. YUM!

Strawberry and pineapple mix ice cream from Tasaka Guri Guri at Maui Mall. A "must try" for anyone visiting Maui!

Strawberry and pineapple mix ice cream from Tasaka Guri Guri at Maui Mall. A “must try” for anyone visiting Maui!

Ice Cream
There’s a few local ice cream producers like Roselani Tropics Ice Cream (Maui), Lapperts (Kauai), and the famous Tasaka Guri Guri (Maui) that trumps the national brands any day in my opinion. Maybe it’s just the proud local in me, but I’m not sure there’s anything more satisfying than a bowl of Roselani’s Haupia (coconut) ice cream, or Lappert’s Kona Coffee ice cream, or Tasaka’s Strawberry and Pineapple Guri Guri. And don’t forget about mochi ice cream found at many Japanese restaurants, sushi bars, and stores like Shirokiya in Ala Moana Center. SO ONO!

Frozen Yogurt
In the past year, there’s been a resurgence in the popularity of frozen yogurt. We’ve seen places like Yogurtland, Menchie’s, Red Mango, and many more sprout up on Oahu like weeds. I’m sure there’s many other on the neighbor islands. I’m not going to waste my time explaining why. All you need to do is read my friend Melissa Chang’s review of “Yogurt mania in Hawaii” in Metromix to understand what the buzz is all about.
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Tropical Drinks
A tropical drink may not be considered a “cool treat” to everyone, but it certainly means exactly that to me. And to many visitors as well having as I’ve witnessed while attending many business meetings at Hawaii resorts and jealously see vacationers lounging poolside with Mai Tais and Pina Coladas (pictured above) in hand. Hawaii has some of the best cocktails found anywhere in the world. So do yourself a favor and get out of the sun for a minute, belly up to the bar, and enjoy a refreshing tropical drink. I always do when I’m enjoying a cocktail at my favorite beach bar. BTW, I hear the Mai Tai Degeneres at The Royal Hawaiian is incredible. Can you guess who it’s named after? I thought you could.

These are just a few of the ways I stay cool when things heat up in the Islands. I know there’s plenty of other local treats that will do the job. What are some of your favorite ways to cool off?

-NGK

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Living in Hawaii, it’s easy to take for granted just how precious our drinking water really is. Afterall, most of us (including myself) drink it straight from the tap without giving it much thought about where it comes from, how much there is, and so on. So it was a bit sobering to get a message on Facebook from my friend Jason Suapaia who is involved in an extraordinary effort called Tap Project Hawaii, an initiative to provide clean drinking water to children around the world.

As a relatively new parent to the most awesome 21-month old son, I’m glad to support Jason and World Water Day on March 22 for the following reasons noted on the Tap Project Hawaii website:

  • Nearly 900 million people worldwide lack access to clean water.
  • More than 4,200 children die every day of water-related diseases.
  • Waterborne illness is the second largest killer of children under five.
  • For every dollar raised, a child will have clean drinking water for 40 days.

Like many initiatives that are making this world a better place to live, the Tap Project was simple concept born in New York City in 2007. As the website states notes “restaurants would ask their patrons to donate $1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free, and all funds raised would support UNICEF’s efforts to bring clean and accessible water to millions of children around the world.”

Since then, the Tap Project as grown from 300 New York City restaurants in 2007 to more than 2,300 across the country in 2008. Through the good hearts of people like Jason, the cause has now found a home in Hawaii.

Curious about how you can help save millions of children’s lives? There’s four ways: dine out, shop, drink, and donate. It’s easy as that.

So come on Hawaii and show your support! We saw what happened when we came together for Hawaii Twestival and raised more than $7,000 for charity:water. Let’s show our Aloha for Tap Project Hawaii and make a difference in the lives of children that need help!

Mahalo!

-NGK

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Opihi is a Hawaii delicacy and one of the most dangerous to pick.

Opihi is a Hawaii delicacy and one of the most dangerous to pick.

GOT OPIHI? If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend you experience it at least once in your lifetime. It’s an acquired taste (like eating the ocean) and texture (kind of crunchy or rubbery), but rich, delicious goodness that’s perfect with beer if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it. The Maui Ocean Center does a good job explaining just what this little treasure is.

My buddy Brad surprised us the other night when he brought a bag of it over to our place for our potluck dinner. He’s found a secret spot on Oahu that’s ripe with these tasty limpets. In the following video, he describes how to eat it and the difference between the black and yellow types.

It also reminded me of one of my favorite songs by the Kaau Crater Boys titled “Opihi Man.” The lyrics give a playful hint about the dangers of going after this delicacy. It’s really a gamble with Mother Nature, but those who brave the waves and find these treasures, are usually the heros of any paina (party).

Sounds like thunder, gotta head for the high ground
White water coming, no foolin` around
Opihi man in the sun. Opihi man grab your bag and run
Opihi man another swell is coming your way
Opihi man another swell is coming your way

Gotta fill up your bag, with the yellow and black
Keep your eye on the wave, don`t ever turn your back
Opihi man in the sun. Opihi man grab your bag and run
Opihi man another swell is coming your way
Opihi man another swell is coming your way

Like the crab on the rock, you gotta run real fast
Keep your eye on the wave, don`t ever turn your back
Opihi man in the sun. Opihi man grab your bag and run
Opihi man another swell is coming your way
Opihi man another swell is coming your way

BON APPETIT!

-NGK

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My mom sent me some cool photos this morning of a Hawaiian monk seal that was found hanging out at her work place yesterday. I couldn’t help but share the pictures. It’s not everyday you encounter a monk seal and a friendly reminder that if you do, to keep your distance. They are an endangered species. Here’s the story:

While cleaning Papawai Beach yesterday morning, one of our grounds crew discovered this teenage monk seal lounging at the main campsite.  I heard it gave him quite a scare.   According to DLNR, this monk seal has been spotted at various beaches on the West Hawaii coast, most recently Honokohau Beach, and is becoming a problem.  “Jr.” was observed going back in the water late yesterday afternoon.

Please note that Papawai Beach is located on private Queen Liliuokalani Trust land in Kona.

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-NGK

[Photos courtesy of Lyle Gomes.]
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I’m still recovering from our New Year’s celebration in Kailua, but managed to put together this 9 minute video to recap the 12 hour get-together. “What no alcohol?” you ask. Oh no, there was plenty of that, but I figure I’d spare you the drunken parts of the night. ;-) Here goes nothing. Hope you enjoy it.

-NGK


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