Thursday, April 3, 2014

Introducing A Big Island Life



Introducing A Big Island Life



I've been so busy lately with my new website, it is called A Big Island Life, a site dedicated to everything about the Big Island of Hawaii and living aloha.

It covers every facet of Big Island living including: lifestyle and culture, green living and gardening, design, events, music and art, recreation and sports and special interest to living or just visiting the island.

Please come and visit the website and if you would love to see more, subscribe to my updates and newsletters via email so you will get all the latest updates for free.





Aloha and enjoy A Big Island Life!

Monday, February 10, 2014

HIlo Chinese New Years Highlights

 
 
What a fun celebration participating in the 12th annual Hilo Chinese New Year's festival on Hawaii Island. It was a beautiful and sunny day filled with fun activities, displays, music programs and a lot of entertainment focused on the year of the Horse.


 

 





A very popular Fu dob makes it's appearance with taiko drummers entertaining the crowds with rolls and tricks, they just love taking your red envelops and dollars as a good luck gesture for the new year.





Calligraphy artists were on hand offering free written prosperity and Health and Happiness in red cards for you to take home for personal good luck and affirmations.









Of course the traditional lion dances with plenty of loud firecrackers were the official start and performance to the Hilo festivities, it is always a colorful dance and a lot of fun to witness or just to photograph.




Let's make some loud drumming and banging, it's Chinese New Years and the dragons are ready to dance.






Red envelops are a sign of good luck for the New Years and is given at any age.






Fluffy chickens with aloha leis were available for children to hold and feed...and they all flock to pet and cuddle these cuties all day long.










It was another successful Chinese New Years celebration in Hilo, what a wonderful way way to enjoy the day and appreciate Chinese culture, traditions and food - Kung Hei Fat Choi.




Friday, January 10, 2014

A Taste of the Island at the Waimea Ocean Film Festival



 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 A Taste of the Island

Oh it's so Ono (delicious), I was asking about the various ingredients to this amazing sushi roll made with Unagi, Fuji apple with a Szechuan sweet sauce - a burst of flavor oozing with sweet and savory sensation. The roll was one of three different tastes offered from Sushi Rock at the Taste of the Island celebration at the luau grounds at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.














There were some wonderful tasting samples expertly prepared by the Mauna Kea Resort, Gill's Lanai, Palani French Bakers, Red Water Café and All About Chocolate. Needless to say, I came early so I could enjoy the sample bites while trying some of the sample brews offered by the Big Island Brewhaus.

Here are some of the highlights of the Taste of the Island event:

Palani French Bakers offered two different types of bruschetta with celery , asparagus, cucumber and olive oil along with a savory tomato and olive oil version. Both were piquant, light and refreshing bites - perfect for an evening gathering.













Gill's Lanai offered gooey and crispy quesadillas with a mango salsa and spicy chimchi, another excellent combination of a sweet and sour with crunchy texture.







Mauna Kea Resort gave us some 5 spice chicken sliders with sriracha aioli - quite savory with a nice kick after you bite right into the sandwich.








Red Water Café presented a soothing coconut ginger and basil Thai curry over rice...so good that you almost want to get seconds and the flavors were quite sublime.






All about Chocolate offered so many different types of chocolate bites...it was almost sinful offering so many samples and I did try many of my favorites: truffles, macaroons and of course, chocolate, chocolate cake - all yummy!












Wonderful Hawaiian music accompanied the evenings festival along with an amazing sunset and view!








While the sun was starting to set , beautiful music and special guests were presented throughout the evening along with acknowledgements and stories shared about the the Waimea Ocean Film Festival. It was a very successful film festival and the dining celebration capped an amazing week of awe inspiring and beautifully crafted films with film makers from around the world. I really enjoyed watching these movies and the Taste of the Island was a fun tasting event at the Mauna Kea resort, I'm looking forward to next year's plans already!


 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Waimea Ocean Film Festival

 

Waimea Ocean Film Festival



This is my first time attending the Waimea Ocean Film Festival on Hawaii Island starting January 2nd to the 10th.  I am excited to be attending this well anticipated movie festival and seeing some first rate films that celebrate exception stories featuring the ocean environment, surfing and Hawaiian culture in general, it will be an amazing week long movie fest. I'm looking forward to seeing many films filled with inspirational topics especially films on the changes in the environment, the ocean and also Hawaiian culture all important facets of living in Hawaii.
 
This year there will be various presentations for the public to enjoy and also participate in including: breakfast talks, panel discussions, special event speakers and exhibits at various locations. There will also be a wonderful talk story experience connecting with the film makers that I want to participate in and learn more about their particular films and the production process.


Along with the movies, a grand opening and ending party will also be open to the open to participate in. Opening night celebrations feature A Taste of Hawaii dining experience at the Mauna Kea luau grounds with many local restaurants participating and offering delicious samples of local and fine dining small bites.





While I'm going to the festival, I will be staying at the Hapuna Prince located at Hapuna beach on the scenic Kohala  coastline. It's one of my favorite places to enjoy the fantastic swimming pool and amenities including the gorgeous white sandy beach. Here's a few pictures of the hotel and beach facilities below, pretty nice don't you think?




 
 

This should be an exciting week packed with engaging films, speakers and special event, I hope I get to see most of the special presentations.  For the latest updates on films, speakers and activities, follow the festival on Facebook, www.facebook.com/waimeaoceanfilmfestival, visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org or email info@waimeaoceanfilm.org. 

 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in Hawaii

 


Christmas in Hawaii

It's always a wonderful surprise celebrating the holidays in Hawaii. There is so much of the traditional and spiritual and then mixed in with quirky and very local style celebrations.




Of course we have our typical Christmas parades with the horse continents, bands and civic groups and then there are the ukulele bands and Hare Krishna following as if it was an ordinary parade procession.






Christmas fairs are a very popular way of purchasing hand made crafts, artwork and gifts locally and supporting artisans and the entire community. Besides, its fun bumping into someone at any of these fairs which will always happen.




Pageants, Nutcracker and local Hawaiian performers typically visit all the towns and cities with their Christmas programs. It's a wonderful way to get into the spirit and enjoy some local entertainment. Above is a shot with our local men's chorus performing at one of the many outreach programs we sing and spread some holiday cheer.



What's a Christmas celebration without a local gathering done in a typical potluck affair, it's always a real mix of different cuisines representing the many nationalities that call the islands home. You may end up sampling some Kailua pork, with won ton pupus, chicken adobo and haupia which is usually popping up at each potluck gathering.

Of course each Christmas party has a kanikapila or jam session with someone's uncle playing ukulele or guitar, singing Hawaiian songs or dancing some hula like this party I danced below with my hula sisters.  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152091534868396&set=o.212348185484593&type=2&theater

These are typical Christmas festivities throughout the various islands, these are just a sampling of the activities that I participated in during the holidays. I hope you also had a wonderful holiday and a brilliant New Years ahead in 2014.

Thanks so much for visiting and supporting my Sari blog, aloha!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas parades in Hawaii



Christmas parades in Hawaii

It's already that time of year when every community or town throughout the Hawaiian Islands celebrate the Christmas holidays with a big old fashion Christmas parade. The wonderful thing about these local events is seeing all your friends and family participate in some form or another, a civic group, hobby or special interest -  everyone is wearing a Christmas banner where they feel a community spirit to be active and share their aloha.






One of the crazy and fun Christmas events that I regularly attend is the Pahoa holiday parade which is truly unique and zany at the same time. You'll never know what floats or unusual marchers will be walking down the parade route every year, it's always a very strange and wacky gathering at the same time, which is how we like it in Pahoa town, the largest town in the Puna district of East Hawaii.

















Even the Hawaii county band looked very festive in their Christmas white and red, it's nice to see that they are still active in the community and funded through the county to be present and available for various functions around the island.





















 







It's fun seeing the local ukulele marching performers doing their thing, and it looks like it's now spanning all different age groups that are getting into playing and also performing at public venues like the Pahoa holiday parade....alright keiki (kids) love the aloha wear!







I don't know why the sour face on this little guy, I asked some friends to caption this picture and the best one I got as a response that really fit well was "On the wagon for the Holidays"                       


 


 


I think this is the only holiday parade that I ever see a Hare Krishna contingent participate in, but that wouldn't be unusual for our local Pahoa parade. Diversity and being unique is actually celebrated at this Christmas parade.

 





 

 
Here are some more highlights of this years parade in Pahoa town




 

 

 




Gotta have the doggies dressed up in their crazy outfits that I'm sure they really hate, but the photo ops are always fun to do. Here are a few good ones with our furry friends below.
































And then there are the strange animals and other participants that attend this yearly event below.




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Of course Elvis is going to make a presence in his supped up Cadillac
 














What do you get with Samba dancers and tropical Christmas days....of course rainbow colors and crazy wigs to shimmy in...lets go girls - strut your stuff!








Kids and horses, that's always a treat at this parade.






 



Well this is a switch usually Santa comes through in a big yellow fire truck or occasionally a huge canoe. But this time, he is sporting is a matching mustang convertible with hot hostesses driving and waving....well that's a pretty cool switch Santa, love the new look!

 


 


Well this may be similar or odd to your own local Christmas parade.....in any case that's how we celebrate a local style Christmas parade in Hawaii, enjoy!
 
 
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