Archive for December, 2009

The Great Aloha Run! February 15, 2010!

Great Aloha Run 2010The anticipation is greater than Heinz ketchup!  This is yet another event that I wait for every year.  Perhaps the greatest community event in Honolulu!  Okay, so I’m biased.

Yes, I know the Honolulu Marathon really is “all that,” in many ways, but the Great Aloha Run seems to be more about community involvement and sharing the aloha that we all hold so dear.

Come to think of it, there seems to be a lot more visitors for the Honolulu Marathon than there are for the Great Aloha Run.  Does the Great Aloha Run have visitors from elsewhere?  Oh yeah!  Last year we had participants join us from various places around the continental U.S. and even some from Canada.

Every year there are 20,000+ participants in this event and they are walking, running, and just plain having a good time with their families and friends.

POG (Passion Orange Guava)Meadow Gold’s Lani Moo

Even the events that kick off the event are full of fun.  Meadow Gold saw to that this year.  On Fort Street in downtown Honolulu both Lani Moo and POG (Passion Orange Guava) were there to add a little to the festivities.

Kaiser tent for kick off of Great Aloha Run events.

There are a lot of sponsors but this year, the Title Sponsor is Kaiser Permanente.  I suppose that’s a bit more fitting than Hawaiian Telcom, being that the Great Aloha Run does give a heck of a strong push for health and fitness.

If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t worry, there’s still time!  You can get the registration form, fill it out and mail it in.  You can even wait for the Sports, Health & Fitness Expo (February 12, 13 & 14), the three days before the event, and register then!

Special Blog Carnival: Revisiting Our Visitors

Deeply-Hued Hibiscus taken my the Hawai'i Maritime CenterWhile acknowledging that I have been just a bit out of the loop on a lot of things recently, I decided that my poor, neglected, little blog was in need of something festive!

So, I’m publishing a special Carnival of Aloha with the assistance of some of our previous Hawai’i visitors!

Some I begged and some I just “forced” to join us.  I didn’t really think they would mind. Besides, there isn’t a blogger or a writer that I know who doesn’t appreciate a little link love from time to time!

By invitation, or my begging, please join me and our Hawai’i visitors for a special carnival and help me bring everybody back into the loop for the next Carnival scheduled to go live on January 4th!  Come with me and let’s go visit them all!

Now, those who are familiar with our usual Carnival journey know we always have to have at least one contributor who feeds us.  Most people know how much we all love our food!  This time, we’re in very good shape!  In fact, we’ve got us a real live chef!

Chef Mark Tafoya over at the Culinary Media Network (I love that name) always makes sure his readers have sustenance!  Chef Mark said I could take my pick.  I tried but I couldn’t!  So, you have to choose your favorite!  There were a couple that stood out for me.  I love the products from Alii Kula Lavender so that one struck a chord.  The other one was about a place that, while thinking about it for a long time, I have been a little apprehensive to cover.  The Honolulu Fish Auction!  Thank you, Mark, for covering that while you were here!

Shira, one of the editor/contributors at Jaunted, was kind enough to also share her stories with us.  Of course I had to be partial to anything that says Honolulu Me Please!

I wanted to share this one too!  Shira also shares a video about how they went Dipping Into the Queen’s Bath on Kauai.

Still thinking about our visitors, I knew where I wanted to go!

I went to Sheila over at Go Visit Hawaii and asked for something to include.  I couldn’t forget mine and the Carnival of Aloha’s own Hawai’i-loving, travel darling!  Now that my brain seems back on track, I have to pay attention when Sheila says, Don’t Miss the Nuuanu Pali Lookout on Oahu.

Everything Sheila says is true and, depending on the weather, the wind up there can be very, very strong!

Jim Turner, who doesn’t know I’m doing this, needs to get some extra credit for his blog.   In case you’re still hungry, Jim shares his visit to Macadamia Nut Heave at the Mauna Loa Factory.

I’ve never seen this before and thought it was so cute!  Obviously their commercial is working because I started singing their jingle, “Maunaloa macadamias…”

I owe a huge apology to two bloggers who just missed the time cutoff for the last Carnival published here.  It’s amazing to me how these two posts remain timely even six months later!

Ryan over at Uncommon Cents asks his readers, “Fourteen Percent — Could You Cut Your Budget That Much?” as he shares the story of our State’s furloughs.  It remains timely as we still struggle with it and the battle continues between the Governor and the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

No wonder that our finances are in a mess!  Can any of us handle it?  Well, we can tell by other parts of the economy as we can see with our next blogger.

Pua over at Best Hawaii Vacation with Hawaii Vacation Blog asks, Will Hawaii foreclosures help your dream of living in Hawaii?  I’m not sure how many are willing to brave our economy right now but this is certainly indicative of how well a lot of us are doing.

It’s interesting to note that even with the financial crunch that so many of us are feeling right now, many individuals and companies, while nipping their holiday spending, have opted to give their funds to the Hawaii Food Bank, the Lokahi Giving Project, and other charities like these.  The joy of giving is still there and, finances be damned, we’re still sharing the Aloha!

Mahalo to all of the bloggers/writers in this special edition!  Heartfelt gratitude goes out to those who waited forever and to those who answered my plea to let me bring them back to the islands, virtually.  Please share with your fellow travelers and blogger buddies!  If you’re on Facebook, please come back here to leave comments so the other participants can see your reactions!

Merry Christmas everyone!  ALL bloggers, please be sure to join us for the first Carnival of Aloha of 2010 — it is scheduled to go live on January 4th!  The deadline for submissions is this coming Wednesday, December 30th.  Hope to see you all there!

“If Getting a Tattoo Doesn’t Make You Feel Alive……

neontattoosign0000.jpg…you’re probably dead!”  That statement is not necessarily my point of view but I will share it here nonetheless.

This slogan appears on the up and coming website of one of Kapolei’s new businesses — Momentum Tattoo.  Saturday, December 12, 2009 was their grand opening and I’m happy to be one of the first to welcome them to O’ahu’s second city.

This was good timing to follow the Toys for Tots motorcycle run!  Well, sort of.  It was even better timing for this grand opening that took place on the same day that Kapolei Shopping Center was having a sidewalk sale.  Momentum Tattoo is a full-service location, that offers a full spectrum of tattoos including tribals, sleeves, and whatever else you may ask for, in either color or black and white.

Being the usual cootie-phobic, personal-hygiene fuss budget that I am, I looked at their darling girl behind the counter and one of the first questions out of my mouth was, “Are you clean?”  Blunt.  While that may not be the nicest question to ask a new shop, I’m pretty sure that, considering their line of business, they expect to eventually have that one thrown at them — more than once!

The answer was yes, they are.  In fact, they just got their “stamp of approval” from the Board of Health!  Beyond that, the shop is fresh, clean, and off to a very good start.  As I was informed with a smile, this is the only one of its kind in Kapolei.

tattoovisitors0000.jpg

Only open for a few hours at this point, curiosity had already peaked the interest of shoppers in the Kapolei Shopping Center, self included.  Such pretty colors!  I did have to close my eyes to some of the designs but such is the nature of this kind of body art.

tempdoorsign0000.jpg

This may be just a temporary sign but it provided all of the necessary information!  Kudos and thank you, Sunny, for fielding my pointed questions and for keeping such a positive attitude.  That added personal comfort and the warm greetings that met us at the door will take this business a long way for sure!

If you’re skin is screaming for decoration, go check ’em out!  “No shame” ask about their equipment and sanitation practices either — they will answer you.

Momentum Tattoo (Custom Tattoos)
Kapolei Shopping Center (a little ways West from Blockbuster)
808-674-9851

Toys 4 Tots: an Event Like No Other!

There is no event quite like this one to light a fire under me to start “talking” again.  I miss writing, I miss talking, and I so miss sharing!  We’ll talk about the New Year and early resolutions in a bit.  Right now, let’s talk about Christmas and one of the landmark events that signal that it is upon us.

US Marines truck with Street Bikers United banner.

Street Bikers United Hawaii joined forces with the United States Marine Corps Reserve, just as they do every year.  The fun part is that there are always new surprises and fun things to see.

A big bear attached to the front of a big truck.

Every year I wait for this event, just because.

Phenomenons like this one happen across the country.  Hawai’i is not the only State to see this happen.  Yes, I call it a phenomenon because our bikers just show up with little provocation.  I’m obviously not the only one who looks forward to this!

There is just something so delightful about a bunch of toy-carting bikers that is enough to make people’s hearts all warm and fuzzy.  Of course that’s after they’re done scratching their heads.

It’s an awesome sight; let me show you!

Since I need to get rid of my wheels (since I have four instead of only 2) before I venture out with my camera, I find a safe spot to get rid of them and go the rest of the way on foot to Magic Island where the event begins.

Santa's a biker too!

Many bikers get close to Magic Island but some stop for breakfast before continuing — including Santa and some of his elves.

Bikes and participants begin to arrive.

When I first got there the parking lot was already starting to fill up.

Park continues to fill up.

It was amazing to watch the lot fill up and get more and more crowded.  Who would have thought that there were even that many bikes on Oahu?

Still getting more and more bikes.

The lot was filling with more bikes, more Santas, more toys, and more enthusiasm.  When all was said and done, there were over 6,500 bikes!

Still getting fuller.

As they continued to file in, I kept thinking about just how perfect the weather was for a day like this.  It wasn’t too hot but the sun was out and being its usual bright self.   🙂

Directing the incoming flow of bikers.

It was a good thing that it wasn’t too hot because the volunteers directing the influx of bikers were being kept very busy!  The bikers dressed in Santa suits must have been baking up pretty nicely as well.

Bikes lined up waiting for the start of the parade through Waikiki. /></p> <p>Of course there were more bodies than bikes.  A lot of bikers had their ladies with them.</p> <p><img mce_tsrc=

There were more people than bikes because a lot of the bikers had their ladies with them.

Ralph and Wanda join the event!

Here is Ralph and Wanda — these two go everywhere together!  I was looking for them because I really don’t know anybody else personally.  I found them!  These two are inseparable and theirs is a heartwarming relationship to watch.

Biker tot with toys.

Here’s a dad with his little lady.  This cutie got a lot of attention from those of us with cameras — you can tell by the shadows off to the right.  You can also tell that she was a little embarrassed by all of the attention.

Biker with human-size bear passenger.

There were a variety of other kinds of passengers too!

Stuffed toys make great biker passengers. A penguin for a passenger.

All of these characters riding with these ferocious bikers. Terrible, terrible! 🙂

GEICO staff at the start of the run visit with bikers and pass out bandannas.

Here is a favorite group of characters!  GEICO was there walking around and handing out bandannas.  In a feeble attempt to score a gecko scarf I said, “I don’t have a bike but my car is GEICO-insured!”

“It’s all good!” was the response.  Hmmm, that was not so feeble after all.  I ended up with a couple of crisply-folded bandannas tucked in at my waist — I was a walking advertisement!  Trust me, they didn’t mind.

The run/parade was supposed to start at 10:00 am but at 10:30 bikers were still filing into the park.

Marines loading boxes with toys from bikers.

At the ultimate destination, Kapiolani Community College, the Marines collected the cargo from the bikers and still the smiles of participants and spectators continued to appear on faces old and young.

Santa's sleigh with the Grinch with his hands tied.

Here, Santa had the Grinch all tied up!

Biker taking toy to drop location. The Grinch.

This Grinch was on the loose.

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!

The crowd gathered at Kapiolani Community College.

At the end of the line the bikes are more spread out so you can see all of the polishing that went on before this event.

Reindeer motorcycle.

You can also see a few more oddities that we missed at the beginning of all this.  I’m guessing those are moose antlers but they do quite nicely as reindeer antlers.  It’s Christmas time and these “reindeer” can fly!  As always, they should fly safely.

Sea of bikes at Kapiolani Community College.

Now that I’ve shared all of that, I have to say how happy I am to be sharing this fun event with everyone and I’m sorry that I have not been writing and sharing more recently.  The fire has been lit — thanks to Street Bikers United and our Marines!  I’m starting early with my resolutions.  I hereby resolve to post more often and try not to let a down time like this happen again!

I’ve got two weeks to whip this baby into shape!