Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
1. Most of us will only travel if we have to
That’s the assessment of Juline Mills, who teaches at the University of New Haven’s department of hospitality management. “The upcoming travel season will see people traveling primarily to visit friends and relatives, and not so much for leisure vacations,” she says. That is a significant departure from previous holidays, in which Americans used Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s to get away. For those of us who do decide to go somewhere, Mills predicts more people will cruise, because it’s “the best deal in travel,” adding, “meals, lodging, and most activities are included.”
Survival strategy: If you don’t stay home, steer clear of a cruise vacation. You’ll avoid the crowds.
2. Last-minute is in
The time between booking and departure is growing ever shorter, to the point where the “last-minute” vacation is becoming the norm. The 2009 holiday travel season will see more 11th-hour getaways than ever, says Helen Fullem, president or The Crown Collection, a Paramus, N.J.-based marketing group for luxury hotels. “Every year in the past that I can remember — going 30 years back — the best hotels in the Caribbean were virtually sold out by the middle of the year,” she said. “Travelers would pay any price in order to secure reservations for the entire family at some of the chicest and most expensive resorts and be grateful that they even secured the space, at whatever cost,” she added. This year, those same travelers have more options than ever. And many of them aren’t deciding on a holiday destination until days before their departure. She’s seen customers booking their European vacations “two to three days in advance.”
Survival strategy: For the best flight and hotel options, book at least a week in advance, if not more.
3. Try not to miss your flight
If you do, you might be unable to catch another plane until 2010. That’s particularly true if you’re flying over the Christmas holiday. Airlines have cut their schedules to the point where every last seat is spoken for — especially during the busy holiday season. Observers say we haven’t seen such tight capacity in many years, if ever. “Fewer flights mean fewer ways for airlines to reaccommodate passengers, both those who volunteer to give up seats, as well as those who miss their flights,” says Seth Kaplan, a managing partner for Airline Weekly, a trade publication. “Showing up on time is more important than ever, because the next flight to a destination will, on average, be further in the future than it would have been last year.”
Survival strategy: Call your airline to double-check your departure, and give yourself plenty of time to check in at the airport.
4. You’ll probably pay a luggage fee
It’s safe to say more travelers than ever will pay extra to transport their luggage and presents during the 2009 holidays than at any other time. Airlines have discovered their money tree, and its name is baggage fees.
“I see this finally making an impact, not so much on the first checked bag but on the second bag,” says Susan Foster, author of “Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler.” She predicts air travelers will try to consolidate their bags to avoid additional fees, and more “bin rage” as passengers fight for increasingly scarce overhead space for their property. Her advice? Weigh your bag pre-flight, get familiar with your airline’s luggage policies and ship any gifts ahead so that you don’t have to haggle with your carrier over fees.
Survival strategy: Bring only a carry-on bag.
5. It’s a Wi-Fi world up there
A recent survey concluded that 62 percent of leisure travelers will carry a smartphone this year, compared with just 19 percent a year ago. And nowhere will that change be more apparent than on a plane, according to Mike Benjamin, the chief executive of FlightView, a developer of phone applications for travelers.
Chances are better than ever that you’ll be able to access a hotspot on your plane during this holiday travel season, empowering you “with more information than ever,” he said. “ With no major changes in how air traffic works, coupled with unpredictable weather, travelers headed to the airport this holiday season will be armed with actionable flight information that they know how to access and use.”
Survival strategy: Pack your phone in your carry-on bag. You may need it.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
TV Writer Offers an Insider's View - Mad Men Producer Maria Jacquemetton is doing a 2-day seminar with UH-Manoa's Pacific New Media, focusing on how to craft a script and break into television writing.
Wyland's Earth Day Wins San Diego Film Festival - The winning film document's the artist's attempt to paint a 3-acre image of Planet Earth in 24 hours atop the Long Beach Convention Center.
Oahu Needs Change (We Can Believe In), or Congestion is Here to Stay - The never ending problem on the Island - traffic.
Hawaii Islands, Resorts Get Honors, Again - Conde Nast Traveller just announced their 2009 Reader's Choice Awards, and as usual, Hawaii gets a nod with the top 2 Islands for travel in the Pacific.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Historic Waikiki - How It Became Hawaii's Most Valuable Real Estate
Will Hawaii Become the next California? Sunny climates and beautiful beaches aside, Hawaii is starting to experience some of California's growing problems
Honolulu Most Romantic City - Worst for Theater
10 Best iPhone Apps for Hawaii Vacations - I don't have one but wish I did
Trouble in Paradise - Some humor to start off the week
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Is anyone else feeling like this? Is it the change in weather? Or is it just my attitude? Time will tell!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The number of Hawaii residents who were born in Hawaii dropped from 2007 to 2008, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.
64% of residents in 2008 were born in Hawaii, down from 66 percent in 2007.
Hawaii ranks 28th for its percentage of people who still live in the state in which they were born, down from 24th in 2007.
To give you some context, 72.5% of California (CA) residents were born in California, a number that hasn't changed much from 2007.
Louisiana (LA) has the highest percentage of Louisiana-born residents at 82%. Nevada (NV) has the lowest, with only 29% of residents being native-born.
The data from the American Community Survey contains a broad range of information about working, living and spending patterns and can be found online here.
Have you ever thought about moving to the Islands? Here's some inspiration for you to get started (be sure to have your speakers on)!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Hawaii is one of the best places for those who enjoy fitness - with the ocean as your backyard, there are so many options for exercise to help you stay fit and healthy. In fact, Hawaii is often one of the top ranked states in regards to health and well being, with high life expectancy, low obesity levels and an impressive quality of life. Hawaii is also one of the happiest US states, as I have written about previously.
If you lived in Hawaii, what kinds of activities would you do to stay healthy? For me, swimming is number 1, and if I keep up with my current exercise routine, hopefully running will be my number 2. The toughest part for me - staying motivated. If only there was a cure for that....
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Forever 21 plans to open a 42,580-square-foot, three-level department store at the Waikiki shopping center next summer!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Do you have a favorite Hawaiian food? Please share it so I can drool some more!
The Honolulu City Council is considering a bill that would impose up to a $500 fine and/or up to six months in jail for public transit passengers convicted of being too smelly.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
As I mentioned, I would consider myself a ‘regular’ at Alan Wong's when I visit the Islands. So, I have tried almost everything on the menu, as it doesn’t tend to change dramatically, with exception of the specials. I actually ordered ala carte and my mom had the 5-course tasting menu,– hence to say there are a lot of pictures! I plan to do a separate post about the 5 course menu shortly.
Third course was the Ginger Crusted Onaga, (Long-Tail Red Snapper), with miso sesame vinaigrette and organically grown Hamakua mushroom and corn. This fish is always amazing, so when I tried to cut into it and it was like rubber (it was a little overcooked), I was shocked! I told our waiter Shawn about it and the look of alarm on his face was terrible! Kerry, the Restaurant Manager came over to apologize and within minutes the entire kitchen staff (its an open kitchen) was analyzing my piece of fish with horror and dismay. I don’t think things are sent back to the kitchen very often, hence the fuss. So, I got a new piece of fish, and would you believe, the middle was raw. I didn’t want someone to be fired or chefs to start crying so I asked Shawn not to tell anyone, as I didn’t want to create a scene. Minutes later, he showed up with some more wine for us as an apologetic gesture. So, I didn’t get to eat all my fish, but the restaurant staff (including the kitchen) were amazing and I really appreciate that they took the time to try and fix the problem. So, despite my little fish mishap I would go back in a flash, as both the food and the service are always outstanding.
To make reservations, visit their website or call (808) 949-2526.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I will be in Hawaii in just over 24 hours and I can't wait to see my mom, and head to the Barefoot Bar and see Rex. Ahhh, the good things in life!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
$350 - Return flights from SEA to HNL
$450 - Accommodation
$100 - Rental Car
Plus taxes, gratuity, meals, etc etc.....
I guess this is a good price for Thanksgiving, but when you compare to other travel deals currently available (right now I think of Las Vegas and Mexico) - this seems a little steep. Too bad, as I was almost ready to book!
I do think that better deals to Hawaii are around the corner, so keep looking for specials. One option we thought about was using our Hawaiian air miles for the flights and just paying for the hotel and car, which can help with costs. Other options include staying at hotels that offer special rates and deals e.g. Free breakfast included, stay 4 nights get one free etc. There are many ways to make your vacation a reality, you just need to do your research and be prepared for the occasional compromise! And for me, that means not taking a third trip to Hawaii this year. Oh well...
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Shoe Shopping at Nine West in Waikiki
Waikiki Shopping in general (I like to shop)...
Dinner at Alan Wong's on King St (This is the only thing that can't be taken off the list - its a necessity!)
Dinner at Roy's in Waikiki (we could make this a lunch?)
A meal of some sort at the Moana Surfrider and the Cheesecake Factory
Beach/swimming/tanning/cocktail drinking/at least one novel read (this will likely take up most of my time)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
1. My mum is now called 'MOM'
2. I no longer wear jumpers; I wear sweaters
3. I don't go on holidays any more; I take vacations
4. I would never hang my laundry on the clothesline out the back of my house: 1. Because we don't have a clothesline and 2. that's what a dryer is for
5. I now about 20 pounds heavier (not kilograms) thanks to all the awful fast food on every corner, no matter which direction you look
6. I think President Obama is awesome
7. I say the word 'like' more than I care to admit
8. I have a strange Aussie/American accent; similar to Nicole Kidman in 'Bewitched'
9. Dallas Cowboys are my favorite football team (Canterbury Bulldogs? Who?)
10. 'Bold and the Beautiful' is the new 'Home and Away'
Despite all these changes, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my new American way of life and all the opportunities it has brought my way. Here's to more strange words, hamburgers and living the American dream!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Reservations are needed, so if you are interested please call the Hilton Hawaiian Village luau desk at 808-941-LUAU (808-941-5828), or you can book on their website. Prices start at $US95 for adults and $US47.50 for kids.
Monday, July 27, 2009
However I am committed to getting through a few novels this summer season and here is my recommended reading list - all of these books are available from Amazon.com. If anyone has read any of these let me know, in case I have a book on the list that doesn't make the cut!
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
Gossip of the Starlings by Nina de Gramont
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham
A Better View of Paradise by Randy Sue Coburn
The Husband Habit by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Only 53.5% of Hawaii’s total population was registered to vote last year - making Hawaii the lowest state with registered voters, despite having Hawaii born and raised (and now President!) Barack Obama representing the Democratic Party.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I really need to get my Hawaii Hello Kitty list ready as I prepare for my upcoming trip. And to help me along is my friend Tommy, who just sent me a link to Hello Kitty Baby Perfume, available for sale in Hong Kong! Hello Kitty's brand new fragrance targeted to little girls and babies alike, will be on offer for HK$275 (50ml). I need to find out if its available for sale in the US - and if so - where I can get some! Ok yes, it is for babies, but how can you not smile at the thought of Hello Kitty perfume for babies - just what will marketers think of next?
So far, I have the following HK items on my Hawaii shopping list - does anyone else have any suggestions?
Hello Kitty/Tokidoki Notebook
Hello Kitty Cell Phone Charm: Bunny - Pink
Hello Kitty Ice Pop Molds
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Planned activities at the Fair include:
Huge Plant Sale
Cooking Demonstrations and Exhibits
Corn Husking and Watermelon Eating Contest
Kiddie Rides and Live Entertainment
The Hawaii State Farm Fair for Hawaii residents costs $5 for adults, $3 for children, and $15.95 for adults, $12.95 for children if you are a visitor to the Islands. For more info head to the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation website. Have a great weekend!
Friday, July 17, 2009
The Next Generation Dinner is a regular happening at the restaurant featuring a menu from an up-and-coming cook, with guidance from both Chef Alan Wong and Chef de Cuisine Wade Ueoka. The lucky chef has the opportunity to create their own dishes and puts together a menu that showcases their personal taste. An important piece of the menu creation is the ability to use local products and demonstrate ethnic influences found in Hawaii today, which is classic Alan Wong style.
Before working at Alan Wong’s, Chef de Cuisine Derek Watanabe worked in various hotels in Southeast Asia. During his travels throughout Thailand, Indonesia, and China, Derek learned to work with a variety of different Asian ingredients. The menu that he has created for his Next Generation Dinner features the flavors from Southeast Asia using local products on which to create contemporary twists.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Rounding out the top five states in millionaires per population are:
New Jersey (6.2%)
There are three things about these figures about Hawaii that amaze me:
1. Hawaii is so small in population size, so how come there are so many millionaires?
2. People in Hawaii typically get paid less than on the mainland, so how can they have more money?
3. It is more expensive to live in Hawaii than most places on the mainland - so why are people wealthier?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The 70-unit Hawaiiana Hotel and 77-unit Whitesands Hotel will be managed by Hawaiian Student Suites, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Island Homes.
The rooms are 300 square feet studios with a kitchen and bathroom and open to registered students with leases available by semester, on an annual bases and during the summer. The leases will start the week before the University of Hawaii' s fall semester starts on Aug. 22. The Beachwalk Dorm at the Hawaiiana Hotel, has priced a bed in a double room at $595 per month and $925 per month for a studio, single occupancy.
Rates at the Whitesands are $925 per month for a studio, single occupancy, $395 to $595 per month based on double occupancy, and $425 to $495 per month based on triple occupancy. As is the usual standard, a security deposit, application fee and criminal background check are required.
What you may not know is that Hawaiian Student Suites currently operate dorms at Kalo Terrace, Waikiki West, Tradewinds Mauka, and Ala Moana Towers, offering more than 700 dorm beds for student rentals. So great news for students with the announcement of these new apartments, soon to be available. I used to live in Waikiki and I LOVED it! If I was a student at UH, I think I would have loved it even more! Visit Hawaiian Island Homes for more information and to sign up for one of these great apartments.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
It's no surprise that the Halekulani hotel has been named the number one resort in Hawaii by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. The hotel, located in Waikiki, O'ahu also ranks No. 41 on the list of World’s Best Hotels Overall. When you plan your next trip to the Islands, be sure to take a look at this hotel - you may not be able to afford to stay there but you could always have brunch at Orchids Restaurant, or for a little indulgence - dinner at La Mer Restaurant.
Halekulani’s top ranking on the list of Top 25 Resorts in Hawaii, up from fourth place in 2008, will be featured in T&L's August issue.
The annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards are based on the opinions of Travel + Leisure readers, who rated hotels, islands, airplanes, spas, rental-car agencies, cities, cruise lines, tour operators and safari outfitters around the world.
Other outstanding Hawaii resorts in Travel + Leisure’s Top 25 list include:
• Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Kaupulehu-Kona
• Hotel Hana-Maui & Honua Spa, Maui
• Four Seasons Resort, Maui at Wailea
• Four Seasons Resort, Lanai at Manele Bay
• Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Friday, July 10, 2009
Saturday, July 11: Pictures Plus - Maui Marketplace (Kahului, Maui), 11am - 1pm.
Sunday, July 12: Barefoot League - Safeway Center (Kapahulu, Oahu), 2pm - 4pm.
Autograph tickets are available ONLY at Pictures Plus.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
However, I anticipate a night of fireworks where I live and if you are in Honolulu, why not head to Ala Moana Center’s annual Fourth of July Celebration, where they have it ALL (ok, I don't think they have baseball)!
If you want more information head to the Ala Moana Center website. Have fun and most of all, be safe!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If you haven't been to Hawaii before, you may not know that in addition to the amazing ocean that surrounds the Islands, there are some unbelievable volcanic mountain formations to look at too. All of the Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanoes erupting from the sea floor from a magma source described in geological theory as a hotspot. The volcanic activity and subsequent erosion created impressive geological features, which can be seen in the following photos. All these photos were taken on the Island of O'ahu, and in person the view is just breathtaking. No matter where you look you are surrounded with natural beauty. Another reason why living in Hawaii rocks!
When I head back for my next trip in August, I plan to take some pictures while driving down the Pali Highway, made famous by Magnum P.I., one of my mom's favorite shows (and actors)! Now that will make for some serious kodak moments.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
1. Traffic congestion will be minimal with moms staying off the road in peak hour
2. We will see the sun more than we will see rain and clouds here in Seattle
3. My trip to Hawaii is about 8 weeks away and....
4. It's time to head out for summer break and experience some cool and fun things, like the Hawaiian Surf and Music Expo!
I found out about the Hawaiian Surf and Music Expo through Twitter. Its being held on July 31-August 2 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center on Ward Ave in Honolulu. The surf producer of this event is Hawaii's Surf Ambassador, Clyde Aikau, who is also well known around the world as a champion big wave surfer and as an ambassador of Aloha. Clyde has had surf success at some of the big wave surf meets such as the Duke Kahanamoku Surfing Championship at Waimea Bay and the Makaha International Championship.
The Hawaiian Surf and Music Expo plans to showcase Hawaii’s and the world’s top musical and ocean related products under one roof. From ocean gear, clothing wear, crafts and souvenirs, musical products, great displays, product demonstrations, the event looks to be a fun experience for all. Although the organizers are selling this as a Trade Show, from what I understand it is open to the public and there will be plenty to see and do for adults and kids alike.
For more information you can send the organizers an email or call (808) 256-2755. Is anyone planning on attending? If so let me know if the event is a success; sadly I can't be there but I look forward to hearing all about it.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Pam currently lives in Seattle and travels to Hawaii about every two years. She started blogging in 2007 and when asked why she chose Hawaii as a subject, in her words: “I'm enchanted. Really, it's like I'm under some kind of spell. When World Hum asked me what topic I wanted to cover, in Hawaii was at the top of my list.” Her main focus is Island culture.
Pam’s inspiration comes from the warmth and generosity of the Hawaiian people. She cares about the history of the native Hawaiians, ways to protect and share Hawaiian culture and nature, and is continually excited by Hawaii's diversity. She also has a thing for Hawaiian music (just look at her picture for proof!)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
According to a new study just out, the island of O'ahu will add nearly 33,000 people by 2025, with forecasts based on U.S. Census Bureau population data. I'm hoping that I am included in that number!
The projected growth rate of Honolulu and surrounding suburbs ranks 201 among 250 U.S. metropolitan areas studied by bizjournals.
Honolulu is expected to grow 3.6% from its 2005 population of 899,673 to a 2025 population of 932,587, an increase of 32,914 residents, according to the report.
What's also interesting - The Big Island is expected to grow even faster. The Hilo area ranked 37 out of 250 U.S. metro cities with a projected growth rate of 43% by 2025. The Big Island is expected to grow from 164,462 residents in 2005 to 235,367 in 2025.
To read more about this study and to see where your city ranks in population growth, visit the bizjournals website.