Archive for October, 2013

Congratulations to our Summer Fun Sweepstakes 2013 Winner!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

en17Congratulations to Kelly Fabus Owda of Pittsburgh, PA, who won our Summer Fun Sweepstakes.  She wins a free one week stay, valued at $1260, in our Beachcomber at Hideaway Cove Poipu Beach.  We don’t know yet whether she’s coming with a friend or will be upgrading to a larger accommodation and using her $1260 credit.  Either way, we’ll be happy to welcome the eighth winner of a free one week stay with us.

For those of you that didn’t win, don’t despair.  Our ninth Sweepstakes, Sun and Surf, begins right now.  So throw your name in the hat and you could be our next winner!

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The Most Visited Attraction on Kauai

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Visiting Kilauea Lighthouse is one of the most popular activities for travelers to Kauai. It was recently renamed the Daniel Inouye Lighthouse in honor of the late senator, so you may hear it referred to by either name.  Visitors have been coming to Kilauea Point, where the lighthouse has been situated since 1913, in order to enjoy its stunning surrounding beauty and explore the light that served as an important navigational aid for ships that sailed the Orient run.

The lighthouse is part of the 203-acre Kilauea Point National Refuge which includes expansive views of the breathtaking, rugged coastline, a seabird sanctuary and a National Marine Life Sanctuary.

This is where you’ll find the biggest colony of seabirds across all of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. Just some of the brilliant and unique birds you might see include:

  • Red-footed boobies
  • Great frigate birds
  • Laysan albatrosses
  • Wedge-tailed shearwaters

By visiting Kilauea Lighthouse you’ll have access to an incredible vantage point to view the incredible marine mammals in the area including humpback whales from December to April. The dazzling surrounding waters are also home to Hawaiian monk seals and green turtles year round, while spinner dolphins can sometimes be glimpsed as well.

Explore the visitor center

The Visitor Center sits high atop the bluff above the surging swells of the Pacific at the site of the refuge. Here, travelers can learn about native ecosystems, wildlife and the history of the refuge as well as Hawaii through a number of exhibits.

At the Contact Station, you’ll find more exhibits on the history of Kilauea and Light Station and find the opportunity to view daily videos about the area.

Pick up a “Watchable Wildlife” brochure at the entrance and embark on a self-guided tour along a short ¼ mile walkway enhanced by interpretive panels on the birds as well as marine mammals, native plants and geology.

Borrow a pair of binoculars at the Visitor Center to get a better view all that the area has to offer. Visiting Kilauea Lighthouse is sure to be one of the highlights of your time on Kauai.

What you should know

  • There is an entry fee of $5 per person for those 16 years of age and older.
  • Pets, food and beverages other than water are prohibited.
  • The Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except on major federal holidays.
  • To get there, turn off of the Kuhio Highway at the entrance to the town of Kilauea and follow the signs to the lighthouse.
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The History of the Hula in Hawaii

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Hula dancing is a traditional art of movement with smooth body gestures as well as vocals. The movements are extremely fluid and are said to tell a story with its chants preserving epic tales, myths, history and philosophy. Movements often represent nature, such as fish swimming through the ocean or trees blowing in the wind.

Before westerners arrived, hula was danced to tell stories as well as for social enjoyment.  The dancers’ rigorous training was taken quite seriously and was paid for and supported by the ruling class. It has been a part of Hawaiian culture since ancient times, with some believing it began even before there were people living in the islands who are now called Hawaiian – the multiplicity of traditions of its origins may confirm this.

The Hawaiian Goddess Lake is prominently associated with hula and symbolized in hula school, or halau, as a block of lama wood placed on an altar and swathed in yellow kappa. She separated her dancers into two groups, including the Olapa, or Agile ones, representing the younger generation of dancers with more energy, and Ho’o-paa, or Steadfast ones, representing the elders who sang and played musical instruments.

The beginnings of hula

There are many tales that tell the mythic beginnings of hula, with one of the most common featuring Pele and her sister, Hi`iaka. In this story, the dance is born when Pele begs her sisters to dance and sing for her with only Hi`iaka stepping up to perform, dancing using movements that she had practiced with her friend Hopoe. Of course, this is just one of many tales representing the ancient people’s attempts to answer where hula came from with efforts to decide which is correct considered a waste of effort – to some degree all may be the right answer.

Hula dances originate from a series of just six traditional moves with a wide range of interpretations and different ways of using those basic movements to create unique and beautiful performances.

After Captain Cook’s arrival in 1778, several of his crew wrote about the hula performances they had seen. The expedition artist drew a male dancer wearing possibly a kupe’e made from dogs’ teeth that used a single uli uli. The english translation of kupe’e and uli uli needs to be added in parenthesis after each word.) The accounts are said to be the first and only records of hula that were made by outsiders during their first contact with Hawaiians.

In Captain Cook’s journal he wrote, “Their dances are prefaced with a slow, solemn song, in which all the party join, moving their legs, and gently striking their breasts in a manner and with attitudes that are perfectly easy and graceful.”

Missionaries attempt to eradicate hula

Unfortunately, not all foreigners appreciated the dance like Cook. When Protestant missionaries and English settlers arrived in 1820, they believed it dangerously promoted old heathen beliefs and celebrated physical enjoyment.

Hiram Bingham, the leader of the first group of missionaries to introduce Christianity to the islands wrote, “The whole arrangement and process of their old hulas were designed to promote lasciviousness, and of course the practice of them could not flourish in modest communities. They had been interwoven too with their superstitions, and made subservient to the honor of their gods, and their rulers, either living or departed or deified.

The missionaries did the best they could to eradicate hula and were even supported by some of the most powerful rulers who had converted to their religion. Traditionally, men and women wore knee level skirts made of palm leaves as well as flower leis around their arms, lower legs and heads. Prior to 1820, women wore skirts that were much shorter and men simply wore loin cloth. .  With the arrival of the missionaries, they were forced to wear a less revealing wardrobe.

Ka`ahumanu, who was the wife of Kamehameha I and regent after he died, was accepted to the church; in 1830, she forbade public hula performances. After her death in 1832, some chiefs ignored the ban but the hula continued to be hidden for many years to come. Public hula performances became regulated in 1851 with a licensing system that required a steep fee for each performance.

Evolution of hula

Through the 19th and 20th centuries under Western influence, hula evolved quite dramatically. In the early 20th century it began to be featured as a tourist spectacle such as in the Kodak Hula Show as well as being seen in Hollywood films. A more traditional hula was still maintained in small circles.

A revived interest in the dance took place in the 1970s, with two main types of Hula performed today, the hula kahiko, or ancient hula, and the hula auana, or modern hula. It still remains an incredibly beautiful dance to watch and perform, with its ancient roots seen in the movements symbolizing nature and all of its contrasts.

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Ziplining on Kauai: Top Outfitters on the Island for this Thrilling Activity

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Ziplining is an exhilarating experience that provides the rider with a bird’s eye-view of the Garden Isle and the sensation of flying at speeds of up to 35 miles an hour across the canopy of lush rainforest, streams and valleys.  This is a must-do activity for adventure seekers on Kauai with the opportunity to speed down some of the world’s most magnificent courses while taking in the breathtaking scenery.

The island offers a wide range of ziplining opportunities with each outfitter offering a unique aerial perspective of the diverse terrain.

Outfitters Kauai

Outfitters Kauai is located in Koloa and offers several different zipline tours including the Nui Nui Loa – “Nui Loa” means big, long, and a lot, while “Nui ” (second Nui deleted) means to enlarge; this latest zipline adventure is aptly named.

The tour allows guests to soaring through jungle valleys, waterfalls and rivers found at famous Kipu Ranch featured in the film, “The Descendants.”  Take the “WaterZip” and sail across a mountain stream-fed natural pool where you can let go and jump into the clear, deep waters.

The Safari tour starts with a two-mile kayak journey across the Hule’ia River while listening to tales about ancient Hawaii as well as numerous tropical birds. A hike from the riverbank to swimming holes and waterfalls culminates with a swing into a freshwater pool.  Then enjoy a 90+ second zipline tour soaring a quarter of a mile above the wild forest canopy plus two additional zips.

Just Live!

Just Live! is just a few minutes from the airport in Lihue. Now in their tenth year, this company offers a variety of zipline tours like the Wikiwiki tour launching from atop sugar cane fields and zipping past eucalyptus and bamboo, landing in a beautiful Norfolk pine forest.

The Treetop tour was the very first tour of its kind on Kauai, allowing rides to zip from aerial platform to aerial platform like “Tarzan and Jane” and cross canopy bridges in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” style. The ultimate tour is an especially adrenaline-packed adventure combining three ziplines, two sky bridges, a 60-foot rock climbing wall, 60-foot monster swing and 100-foot rappelling tower.

Princeville Ranch

Princeville Ranch in Hanalei offers the popular Zip N’ Dip tour in which you’ll fly across the interior valleys nine times, crossing a suspension bridge that spans a waterfall with the final line, “King Kong” considered one of the island’s most exciting dual lines. It concludes with the opportunity to take a dip in a deep hidden swimming hole that’s fed by a small waterfall as well as the chance to float across the water on inner tubes.

Zipline tours here can also be combined with horseback riding as well as kayaking and hiking through the serene rainforest valley.

Kauai Backcountry Adventures

Kauai Backcountry Adventures in Hanama’ulu has exclusive access to more than 17,000 acres of former plantation lands and features seven ziplines descending a mountainside allowing the rider to glide over the lush tropical forests and deep valleys.

To get there, a guide brings guests via a four-wheel drive adventure vehicle, sharing information on the island’s history and culture as well as flora and fauna. Following the zipline tour, you’ll have the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in a natural swimming pool.

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