View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog

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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog

Total Number of Entries - 571
  • Outrigger Celebrates 65 Years

    black and white photo of outrigger reef on the beach in waikikiI like history--perhaps for the same reason as I like reading books and watching movies. All three take me to new worlds of the imagination. This year, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts celebrates its 65th year of hospitality. Roy and Estelle Kelley started the company in the post-World War II era. We might call that time the glory days now, but I'm guessing Roy and Estelle would have called them the questionable days, like any early days of a new business. Waikiki was different then. It certainly wasn't the visitor destination it is today. Could a new hotel concept offering affordable rates to the middle class survive?

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  • Beat the Heat with Vanilla-Infused Arnold Palmer

    glass of vanilla arnold palmer drink

    It’s hot. After a couple relatively cool days and grey skies, thanks to a storm named Amelia that passed south of Hawaii, we’re back to typical summer weather: Sunny and hot. Now, that’s generally not a problem on these tropical islands conveniently situated along a stretch of ocean that enjoys nearly year-round breezes. Just drag a beach chair under a palm tree and let the trade winds make life pleasant. But apparently, Amelia’s sucked up all the wind, because it’s so still that not even the chickens are scratching the lawn for bugs. Hoppy and her latest batch of chicks have retreated under a bush. 

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  • Hiking Kalalau Trail along Kauai's Famous Napali Coast

    Destination: Kauai

    I went for a hike along Kalalau Trail with friends last week, and shortly past the half-mile mark--after stopping to pose for photos with the dramatic Kee Beach as our backdrop--I looked up and caught my first glimpse of the distant Napali coastline. The cliffs stacked up like dominoes in the glaring, late afternoon sun, one after the other fading into the light. My feet stopped moving while my finger rose to point. My mouth opened and one word came out. “Look,” I said.

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  • Whatever Happened to Kolohe the Monk Seal?

    Destination: Kauai

    monk seal wearing electronics on back

    A couple months ago, one rascally Hawaiian monk seal appeared on a Kauai beach with extra baggage. That is, a giant ulua hook. The fish hook had lodged deep in the monk seal's throat and veterinarians decided the wily buggah wouldn’t take kindly to them digging in his throat to remove it. So, they flew him to Oahu to perform the procedure in a controlled environment. He spent nearly two weeks there but was eventually flown back to Kauai and released on a south shore beach.

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  • June in Photos

    Laysan albatross chick with furry headJune was a slow travel month for me. At least, slow for travel in Hawaii. I did manage a trip to Oahu and a tour of Otsuji Farms. I did chase the Transit of Venus across Kauai. I did help flipper tag two Hawaiian monk seal pups. And, then, there was the tragedy with the Laysan albatross chicks.

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  • How Cleaning Hawaii's Beaches Saves Marine Life & Generates Electricity

    Destination: Kauai

    cutting nets at schnitzer steel as part of nets to energy programA whole container of ghost nets is now making its way to Oahu, thanks to the generosity of Matson Shipping. Schnitzer Steel will take delivery and a pair of giant scissors will be cut up the tangled nets into foot-long pieces. The bits and pieces of nets will, then, be trucked to the H-Power facility, where it will be converted into electricity for residents on Oahu. Bravo to Surfrider, Malama Na Apala and the many volunteers who have made this possible. Our endangered Hawaiian monk seals, humpback whales and sea turtles are a whole lot safer. And beaches are a whole lot cleaner.

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  • Why I Chased the Transit of Venus

    Destination: Kauai

    venus transit across sunJune 5, 2012, started clear and sunny, as summer days do in Hawaii. Perfect for a day at the beach. Perfect for a sunburn, if you weren’t careful. And perfect for observing the planet Venus as it made its transit between the Earth and the sun. For about six-and-a-half hours, a dark spot would blemish the sun, looking like a perfect circle, no more than a freckle, really. Peering through a telescope, you might have mistaken the transit of Venus as possibly a mole on the very pregnant belly of a woman.

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  • Does Writing Matter in a Travel Blog?

    A woman took her place behind the podium and said the most profound words of the entire TBEX conference, ones I hadn’t heard anyone say before or after the three-day event. At least, they were the most profound to me, because she was singing my personal travel writer’s song. The most important element to a great travel blog, she said, is a great travel story.

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  • Kauai and Keystone Are More Alike Than You Think

    I woke up this morning to the sun blazing through my windows, and for a minute, I thought I was wearing a wetsuit. Then, I realized I was in Hawaii, asleep in my own bed on Kauai; and not attending a travel bloggers conference in Keystone, Colorado, where the air is so dry that I drained Keystone Lake to sate my thirst and applied a five-gallon bucket of lotion to my dry skin. 

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  • Hawaiian Crow Population Tops 100

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    hawaiian crowI am in St. Louis attending my best friend’s daughter’s wedding, and while I am seeing family and old friends, I am also spotting wildlife that I am not used to seeing in Hawaii:  Squirrels swinging from trees; a bunny shyly hopping about the yard; a robin snagging a worm from the ground; a heron pacing the air over a stream; a red-tailed hawk hovering in the sky, its tail feathers fanned. And, in the city, crows. In their own way, they all remind me of Hawaii’s wildlife, from the mongoose to the shama thrush to the black-crowned night heron to the Hawaiian hawk and crow.

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