Archive for March, 2008

Smooth Sailing on the Star of Honolulu

Star of Honolulu LogoParadise Cruise, Ltd. has a lovely little cruise ship that changes its mission during the year and at different times of the day.

I couldn’t resist getting this “picture of a picture” since it was a nice capture of the whole boat. This photo looks like it was taken some time back but I’m really not sure. The picture looks old, but the boat itself actually looks a lot brighter than the picture portrays it to be.

Star of Honolulu from Brochure

We happened to be passing this boat the other day while we were at Aloha Tower looking for something good to eat. My mother was very attracted to the hula dancing that was going on as people were either getting on or off of the boat. I’m not sure which. Mom decided that she really wanted to go on this boat.

I checked in with their little business office and saw that they were in the middle of a season of whale watching cruises. Hmmm… that sounded like something I could get into! So, we signed up and a few weeks later, off we went to see whales! Of course I had to make them tell me all about how careful they are to avoid striking any of these giant mammals. I was satisfied with the description of their procedures that they shared.

Dining Level, 2nd Floor

The boat was comfortably full of people and the seating on the level where lunch was provided was actually very comfortable. I will say that the food, while alright, wasn’t the delicious spread I was hoping for based on the price we paid for this cruise. Even the kama’aina rates were still kind of steep, I thought.

Close to Shore and Downtown Honolulu

This was kind of neat — being able to see Honolulu from a different angle. It was nice to see it from a vantage point that doesn’t happen very often.

Bar Tender

Of course it’s always important to have drinks, alcoholic and otherwise, available to passengers. You had to pay extra for them though. A soda was $3 and a margarita was $6. The bar tender was young, cute and very professional. I asked her if she went to bar-tending school and she said that, yes, she had. I smiled and teasingly asked if she went to the one on Beretania Street. Uh, she said, “Yes, that’s the one.” I was kidding! But, sure enough. 🙂

Farther Away from Shore

Here’s a clue as to just how insular I am — at one point when we were far enough out and the view looked similar to the one above, I suddenly had a very strong feeling of melancholy. I had an unexpected pang of anxiety and longing for them to “take me home.” It didn’t last long but it was a little weird for that fleeting moment. As if Honolulu wouldn’t survive without me being on shore. Tsk!

That stupidity being said, the water out there was so blue and so inviting! I swear if I didn’t have to worry about my camera and my cell phone… and my mother’s nerves… I really wanted to be swimming in that water! I don’t think the staff of the Star of Honolulu would have appreciated it if I had decided to take a swim on their time.

Matson Ship and Containers

I just had to get the above shot! Remember this story about my attitude problem with the guards near the Department of Homeland Security? The one where they wouldn’t let me get a picture of the Matson containers? I got a picture from the other side of that scene. So, I got my way, eventually.

Impromptu Entertainment

At the end of the cruise, while passengers were waiting to disembark, the guitar player who has been serenading people had two of the servers start dancing hula. They were very good! Maybe not dressed appropriately for hula, but good nonetheless. It did explain why some of their name tags had the word “Performer” written on them. Nice touch guys!

All in all, the cruise was quite nice. The water was soft and it felt almost like a large hammock. An interesting thing to point out was that while out and away from the shore, it was actually very cool. It was almost cold enough to wear a sweater. One of the girls said it would feel very hot once we reached shore. She was right. Once we got off the boat, the weather was sticky and humid.

Many of the cruises offered on this ship are seasonal. The one we were on, the whale watching cruise, was just that. You might be wondering why there are no pictures of whales. Well, we didn’t see any. The agreement that the Star of Honolulu made with the passengers of this cruise was that the passengers would all go again for free if they didn’t see any whales.

All Aboard the Star of Honolulu

We’ll take the journey once more before whale season is over. This time, we’ll eat before we board. It will be nice to ride the boat one more time and enjoy the sleepy sway of the ocean beneath. Maybe then I’ll have pictures of whales to share!

Star of Honolulu
Honolulu Harbor, Pier 8
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 983-7827

Do You Have the Time?

Do you need help keeping track of time? The Clock Collection has many different methods of keeping track of the hours in a day.

Gift Clocks

There’s a multitude of clocks for your table, bedside or desktop.

Wall ClocksNo room on your table tops? How about hanging one on the wall?

We all know that a person can never have too many clocks!

If the wall’s no good for your decor either, how about a classic grandfather clock?

There’s nothing like the Big Ben sound to sing you to sleep or to chime you out the door in the morning!

The Clock Collection

Mei Whei Wu has been specializing in these time-keeping antiques, and their repair, since 1981.

Clocks Sensitivity 101

Here Mei is seen explaining the difference between the time-keeping functions of the grandfather clock and the cuckoo clock. Their weights and timing are not as alike as you might think. They function somewhat differently but their inner workings are equally delicate.

Cabinet Repairs

The Clock Collection not only repairs the internal workings of the clocks but the cabinetry as well.

Clockwork Repairs

As you can see, several people rely on the handi-work of The Clock Collection to repair their darling time pieces.

Our cuckoo clock safely back home

So, do you have the time? I do!

Here’s our darling cuckoo back at home — safe and sound and running happily and efficiently again. It hangs on the wall happily tick-tocking after just a little bit of TLC from Mei and her staff.

Thanks, Mei!

The Clock Collection
762 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 596-8127

Carnival of Aloha Announcement!

Lauhala Basket of Orchids

We’re quickly approaching the deadline for submissions to Chapter 8 of the Carnival of Aloha! If you’re new to us, take a look at the guidelines and then come join in the fun! If you’re a regular, don’t forget to submit your post.

Skeet over at Skeet’s Stuff will be guest hosting for us for this upcoming issue. The Carnival should enjoy a very interesting personality twist. After all, I’m already a little twisted and Skeet just gets to twist it in a new way!  🙂

Hot dogs and malasadas sound really good right about now!

Bloggers Bridging the Distance!

Go Visit Hawaii and Homespun Honolulu were able to connect for a brief greeting at Honolulu International Airport! Bloggers do a lot of bonding online and always hope to someday meet in real life. It’s always exciting to meet a fellow blogger for the first time and this was no exception. Sheila and her husband, Andy, flew in on Friday afternoon from North Carolina

Okay, this may not be the greatest picture in the world but we got it! We were outside the main terminal area so the lighting was poor and the young man who helped us had trouble holding still enough to keep the picture in focus.

Sheila and Me

It had been a long day for me so getting away from work a little early to see these two was the highlight of the afternoon! I’m glad the darling lei stands were in very fresh form with some beautiful leis to choose from!

Sheila kept trying to tell me how she was not feeling right, but, for two people who had just been flying for twelve hours, they looked pretty good to me!

Sheila at Honolulu Airport

Andy at Honolulu Airport

While waiting to board their flight to Kona, Sheila and Andy were kind enough to take turns watching each others bags at the gate so that I could say hello to both of them, in spite of the fact that they had to stand in line to go back through security again. Sorry guys! Thank you! I had to take pictures of them one at a time but we just make adjustments for pictures not taken together!

Pecan and Praline Mix

They made it here and that’s the most important thing! It’s also very important that they have fun while they’re here! Check out GoVisitHawaii and see what Sheila’s been up to since Friday.

Sheila took the time to thank me for the leis but, in reality, I was the fortunate one — fortunate to give leis to people who didn’t expect them and were so happy to receive them! Besides, I had fun being a temporary lei greeter!

Sheila brought this Pecan Praline snack mix that you certainly won’t find anywhere around here! It’s from the Carolinas! Andy brought me a copy of his newly-published book — autographed and everything! I’ll show everyone and talk about it soon, I promise! An author needs a post all to themselves. 🙂

Vog over Middle Street

After leaving the airport I got stuck in traffic but it was good to have a chance to think about our little meeting, melancholy as it was, and contemplate the vog over Middle Street and wonder just what it was like for them to follow the vog back to its origin. Maybe we’ll be able to rope them into Oahu for a few days next time!

Memory Eternal, Metropolitan Laurus!

Orthodox Cross with ilima and tuberose leisHis Grace, Metropolitan Laurus, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), fell asleep in the Lord this morning. The Russian Orthodox parishes across the country are feeling this loss very deeply. Orthodox blogger, Felix Culpa, shares a nice post with more detailed information than I have been privy to and for that I am sincerely grateful! Thank you, Mr. Culpa.

After Liturgy today, the Russian Orthodox Community of Hawaii, the Holy Theotokos of Iveron Russian Orthodox Church, served a pannikhida (memorial service) for the Metropolitan. From Honolulu, Hawaii to Jordanville, New York, the Orthodox share in this loss. For the monks in Jordanville, my heartfelt prayers go out to you for your continued strength and fortitude during this confusing time.

There is some peace to be found in knowing that Metropolitan Laurus was able to see the lines of communication opened between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate. He was able both to witness and to participate in the healing of that division.

Give rest, oh Lord, to the soul of Thy departed servant! May his memory be eternal!

Kamehameha Schools Song Contest, 2008

Blue LeiI know people are looking for this. I talked about it last year but didn’t think to get on it quickly enough this year. Here is the link to the Kamehameha Schools 2008 Song Contest live broadcast where you can pick your software version for viewing. This is their 88th Annual Song Contest and KGMB is going to show it live this evening!

It’s already on — there’s a pre-show information running right now that gives some of the background of the school and the ongoing preservation of the Hawaiian language! It makes me proud to hear them and makes me want to cry. There is a short interview segment with Keali’i Reichel and that put my tears over the edge.  (Don’t ask… I don’t understand it either.)  🙂

Mahalo to Kamehameha Schools for the preservation of this tradition and the continued protection of our island culture. Mahalo to KGMB Channel 9 for bringing it to us live!

The best part is that, even if you miss it, you can order a copy of it this year! I don’t think they made it available last year. If they did, I certainly didn’t know about it!

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Let’s Talk About the Letter… “E!”

E for Excellent BadgeE is for Excellent! I certainly never expected anything like this! But, I guess we discover that we are read and that we may actually have an impact on others from time to time.

Sandy Renshaw included me in an article she posted at Around Demoines. Many people are more familiar with Sandy as the Purple Wren. You’ve got to love a purple bird! Sandy is a talented lady and that just makes her recognition of my little corner of the world quite an accolade for me. Thank you, Sandy!

The fun part of these things is that you then get to bestow them on others. So, at the risk of continuing to sound like Sesame Street, I’m taking the letter “E” and passing it on! I’m passing it on to people who, for whatever reason, have had an impact on me and may or may not even know I exist. That makes this cyber gift even more of a surprise and that’s the fun part!

These are in no particular order. If any of you have gotten one of these already… well, what does that tell you?!? Aside from saying that I have good taste I mean. 🙂
Larry Geller over at Disappeared News always seems to know just what I want to hear and learn about. He finds these news tidbits that always strike me as something I really want to know. Not many people can say the same, trust me. I’m referring you all to this particular story for a variety of reasons. I’m headed in an all-too-similar blogging direction shortly — I’ll share it all later. Thanks, Larry!

David B. Dale actually writes Very Short Novels… very, very short! They are all of 299 Words — “Anything more is waste.” How does he do it? I have no idea! He is an extremely gifted story teller who has always been able to elicit emotional responses from me every time I read his blog. It’s just good literature! Honestly! He says, “Character, conflict, emotional impact. And sentences! Everything you want in a novel, without one extra syllable.” Yep. I included this link mostly to let him know I’ve done this to him and because it is eerily where my mind is right now… sort of. I guess that means he’s done it again!

Skeet has a great following at Skeet’s Stuff. She is consistent and consistently fun to read. I fail to post often enough sometimes but I aspire to have the same kind of diligence about it that she does! In addition, she’s a good friend who is always willing to help and offer suggestions. I always have things to think about after reading her blog or talking to her. I guess that makes her inspirational too!

Jason Boom at is a new discovery for me, thanks to, and I’ve been quite interested in watching him come up with some neat ideas. Jason has a nice, friendly style and a… a different way of looking at things that I kind of like.

Sheila over at warms my heart because she loves my home as much as I do! In addition, Sheila is always supportive and likes to join in with us whenever she can! She keeps up on the other islands so I can just read her blog to stay informed! I think I just gave her added pressure. Oh well, she’ll forgive me!

Auntie Lynn, aka Auntie Pupule, at is always interesting. If she’s not being fun, she’s being serious about things that matter. They matter to me because we live only four or five miles away from each other. She has taken steps to try and fix the things around her and she takes us along! Written with a pidgin flavor, her blog doesn’t waste time or space trying to let us know she’s not arrogant or presumptuous — she just tells it like it is.

Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward is another Entrecard discovery. It’s enough to make any English major drool! Okay, so I like to be reminded of things I have forgotten about. Give me a break! Thanks, Melissa, I think you’re great.

Bobbie over at The Right Blue is a great writer and writes about one of my favorite topics — the ocean! Bobbie and Skeet are both divers. I never learned to dive. Darn it! So, I just have to live through their stories. Bobbie’s pictures are wonderful and make you stop for a while to admire them.

Carole at The San Diego Beat The San Diego Traveler has been my sister blogger for a long time. Okay, a little over a year is a long time in blog terms. We were part of the same blog network and I still think of her this way but she has been “adopted” by b5media. This is not a bad thing (at least I hope not), it just is. Carole has always been consistent and I’m hoping that her new home will bring her even more success! Hey you Honolulu/Oahu darlings, follow the link above and look what San Diego just started! I think I’ll lean on Carole to keep us informed on the good, the bad and the ugly of their new rail. Yes, rail — they just started theirs. I wonder how long it took to get theirs off the ground and running. I wonder how much it cost them! Hmmm…

Daily Blog Tips is something that I ran into but I can’t quite tell you how. I just know it’s worth subscribing to and reading. Another consistent place — both in content and in quality.

Quite an eclectic conglomeration of really good reading. There are so many places that I enjoy visiting and benefit from reading but, we would be here all day if I included everyone! I’ll just save the others for a later time! If any of the links don’t work, somebody slap me!

KHON Catches the Mizutani Boomerang!

The Honolulu Advertiser shares this story. Back in August I talked about the local media personnel moving all over the place and we talked about how we thought Ron Mizutani would eventually miss the news too much and find his way home. I don’t remember how many months it was that Joe Moore gave Ron to return to the news scene but, ultimately, Joe was right!

I have had such a problem with motivation this past week and, for whatever reason, this news has given me a little boost. Don’t ask. I guess KHON2, as a whole, just has the effect on me — they’re, for whatever reason, inspirational. I know some would disagree with my choice of media outlet, but there it is. I do love all the news channels at various times, but the morning is when I have my quiet time to share with the morning news gang.

KHON2 News Van

The Advertiser also noted that Mizutani’s airtime has not yet been determined. My comment to that is, “who cares?!?” He’s come home, that’s what matters. Nice catch, Channel 2! How about playing Frisbee with KGMB and catch the Dicus disk? Just a suggestion. By the way, I do love that van. Obviously.

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Chapter 7: Everything from Insects to Politics


Carnival heartWelcome to Chapter 7 of the Carnival of Aloha!

I couldn’t help but get a kick out of the post that is our lead-in to the Carnival this month.

j blu presents Trouble in Paradise: Kill Da Cockroaches! posted at Local Kine Hawaii. There’s nothing much more I can say to that. They do make for some great stories that we can laugh at… after it’s over… certainly not during a roach experience!

These scavengers always enjoy a luau… probably more than a carnival! They do like to invite themselves. Having them arrive uninvited is certainly not a very good way to impress visitors!

Leslie Carbone was fortunate enough to enjoy a Royal Luau while visiting the islands. She posted the story at her Leslie Carbone blog with a short note saying simply, “Mahalo!” Whew! It sounds like Leslie got away without having to share her experience with any party-crashing vermin.

A royal luau sounds like something we have for weddings — these are just one of the romantic things that happen in Hawaii on a fairly regular basis. But, there’s so much more!

Sheila tells us all about it as she presents the Top 7 Reasons Why Hawaii is Romantic posted at Hawaii Vacation Blog – Sheila explains that, “In this post, I list my top reasons why people come to Hawaii to celebrate their love. I love Hawaii and this post is my way of sending a Valentine’s card to Hawaii. :-)”

I’m a sap for romance so I’m all in on sharing the love! While Sheila wants Hawaii to be her valentine, Neenz shares a different kind of love with us.

L.P. NEENZ FALEAFINE shares the love of Auntie Genoa Keawe posted at From the Mind of NEENZ. We are given “a remembrance of one of Auntie Genoa Keawe’s last public performances.” Neenz says, “I will cherish my brief conversation with her that evening, but most importantly I am proud to have had the opportunity to introduce her to my children.”

Emotions run deep in Hawaii and our bloggers are never at a loss for words when it’s time to share things that elicit these emotions. Now that we’ve got you all mushy and you’ve decided that you’ve absolutely got to come and visit, how about a little more travel advice?

Jeff over at the Beat of Hawaii asks, “Should I Buy Travel Insurance to Protect My Hawaii Vacation?” He posts a possible answer to that question and he has helpful information on what to consider. Jeff also has “an on-line tutorial to show how easy it is to buy trip insurance on your own.”

Before we close, we’ll pull in the opposite end of the spectrum for this Carnival and check on the political impact of daring to ask Hawaii for its opinion…

Evelyn here at Homespun Honolulu, your Carnival host, couldn’t help but include a post about the Hawaii Democratic caucus. Here we get to see just what happens when Hawaii’s Votes Actually Matter! That was quite a night!

yellow hibiscusWe’re done for now but we’re looking forward to what everybody sends us next! Submit your blog article to the next chapter of the Carnival of Aloha by using our carnival submission form.

Be sure to read the Guidelines for the Carnival and then tell us your stories! Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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