Came to Kona for a day of crazy shopping. Thought I’d start with a half pint and pizza slice!
Archive for the ‘A Day in the Life’ Category
Last weekend Mauna Kea Resort hosted Hawaii Island’s 2012 Jazz and Blues Festival. Though I could not attend the Saturday night oceanfront bash at the hotel’s luau grounds, I did make the Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Manta Pavilion overlooking Kauna’oa Beach (aka Mauna Kea Beach). Skip Martin sang one of his new songs accompanied by flugelhorn and keyboard.
The video was hard to capture as the Manta Pavilion restaurant is built almost entirely of wrap around picture windows. Despite video underexposure, the audio is very good. Thank you Skip Martin for your kind tolerance of my video camera!
I recently sold a home to a retired couple ready to move to our pretty little Waimea town after just a couple visits. Another family who asked me to help them buy a vacation home in Kona a couple of years ago is also getting ready to make the move to live in Hawaii full time. Both families just asked the same question: what tips can I share to help them settle into the community? I immediately began asking lifestyle questions. What activities do you currently enjoy? What volunteer work do you do? What have you always wanted to do? Right now, how do you spend your day?
Hula practitioners say the Merrie Monarch Festival is the most prestigious hula competition in the world. The three day festival is held each spring in Hilo town on Hawaii Island. Hundreds of dancers from all over the world compete for titles in two dance styles: kahiko (ancient) and auana (free or modern). Hula, indigenous dance and storytelling, has been reborn twice. First by King David Kalakaua in the late 1800s and again when tourism spiked in the mid-1900s.
Lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance where dancers perform inside an elaborate lion costume. The dance dates back about a thousand years. The first recorded lion dance occurred during the Ch’in and Han Dynasties, around the third century A.D.
The lions express joy and happiness. The dance is a featured attraction of Chinese New Year’s festivities and other celebrations, including the consecration of temples, business openings, spring planting, harvest, official and religious celebrations.
Shishi or guardian lions, traditionally stood in front of palaces, government offices, temples, and wealthy homes in premodern China. The lions are believed to offer powerful protection. Pairs of these stone lions still decorate opposite sides of building entrances today, especially in China towns. Typically, the male lion rests his paws on the world, and the female is accompanied by a cub. These lions can have different face and decoration details, depending on whether they are representing the Qing or earlier Ming era.
While on a recent visit to Honolulu, I was happy to come across the Waikiki dragon canoe! The canoe is used during Chinese New Year celebrations. Chinese New Year is a major holiday for Chinese families. It’s all about bringing good luck. Big family gatherings, festive decorations, gift giving, and sharing symbolic foods ensure good luck in the new year. The start of Chinese New Year is dictated by the lunar calendar. It is a different day each year, usually falling between late January and February. In 2012 the new year began January 23rd. In Hawaii, Chinese New Year events run through most of January and February.
Before heading up to the Keck Observatory telescopes, visitors are required to spend an hour at the 9,000 foot level. This helps identify folks who are going to have trouble at almost 14,000 feet, and it allows the rest of us time to acclimatize to less oxygen. After arriving at the Keck staff facility a few miles above the Big Island’s saddle road, we drank liquids, wandered around, visited with each other, and then we settled in for the telescope open house introduction and safety talk.
Today I visited the summit of Mauna Kea courtesy of the Keck Observatory. It was the 2011 Keck Open House and I was fortunate enough to be invited by friend and Keck astronomer Julien Woillez. Julien is an interferometer scientist working on a project coordinating both Keck I and Keck II telescopes to create a virtual 85 millimeter telescope. Wow!
Lots of people have been asking about how the Mauna Kea beach area weathered this month’s tsunami. Somehow we dodged the bullet. The ocean behaved strangely, but there was no loss of property, and everyone was smoothly evacuated.
Of course the tsunami didn’t treat Kona town so well. I hear the popular oceanfront lunch and sunset cocktail spot Huggo’s On the Rocks had to toss a few big rocks back into the water, and rescue some fish, but they were open by 1:30 PM the same day. Just north of the airport Kona Village took a fatal blow. 20 of the 24 thatch roof hut suites were destroyed, and the water and sewer system was wrecked. The latest word is the resort may be closed indefinitely. This could be one of the island’s biggest losses.