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Oh, baby! Meet Sea Life Park Hawaii's newborn dolphin.


Sea_Life_Park_Hawaii_baby_dolphin_girl

It's a girl!

After finding the photo above  in our email this morning, we couldn’t resist introducing the newest member of the Sea Life Park Hawaii ocean ohana, Waiohakaupo. The healthy bundle of watery joy was born earlier this month to Hiiaka, one of the park’s Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

The park introduced Waiohakaupo to the public this week with a Hawaiian blessing ceremony. But the photo pretty much shows how Waiohakaupo has been spending much of her time since her birth on July 6—swimming alongside her mom.

The rest of the newborn’s day is mostly spent nursing, said park staff. Waiohakaupo is already a healthy 40 to 45 pounds, and measures a compact 45 inches in length. She’ll grow fast, though. Dolphins can gain as much as seven times their birth weight in the first year of life.

So your best bet to see Waiohakaupo in all her pint-sized cuteness is to stop by the park now. Sea Life Park staffers are offering guided tours of baby and mom. For more info, check out the park’s Web site here.

Waiohakaupo means “joyous life and breath of the waters of Kaupo” in Hawaiian. Kaupo is the name of the beach neighboring Sea Life Park on Makapuu Bay on Oahu’s southeast shore.

Photo: Sea Life Park Hawaii
  
Hawaiian_Airlines_free_tripsHawaiian Airlines has been toasting its 80th birthday all year.

But the Hawaii-based air carrier’s latest celebration of the milestone anniversary is one that could gift you with some actual time in the Islands. Hawaiian Airlines is giving away eight roundtrip coach ticket packages for two between Hawaii and any West Coast city the carrier serves.
 
The tickets are the grand prize in Hawaiian Airlines' “Travel Through Time” contest. Just answer eight questions—matching vintage Hawaiian Airlines flight crew uniforms to the year they were introduced on flights—and you’ll be eligible for the ticket drawing. If your Hawaiian Airlines fashion savvy isn’t up to snuff, don’t worry: A pop culture clue is included to help.

Not that being an expert here matters. Just complete all of the questions and you’ll be eligible for the final drawing—no matter how many answers you get correct.

There is one caveat to the contest: You must be a member of the carrier’s HawaiianMiles membership program to enter. The free program rewards members with travel awards and exclusive deals. Click here for more information.

One winner per week will be announced from now through the contest’s end on Sept. 23, 2009. Click here to enter, or to see if you’ve won. Winners will also be announced on Honolulu radio station KSSK on Friday mornings through contest's end.

Good luck!

 
tropical_fresh_cocktails_recipe_Royal_Hawaiian_fourThe cocktail menu for your next summer evening cookout is finally complete!

Here’s the final recipe in our HawaiiMagazine.com-exclusive collection modern tropical cocktails with a fresh-made twist.

You’ll find eight more original cocktail recipes in our Contemporary Tropicals: A Guide to the Best in Island Libations feature, in the July/August 2009 issue of HAWAII Magazine—on newsstands nationwide now. But here on the Web site, we’re sharing four recipes you won’t find in the magazine.

All of our tropical cocktails were created by Royal Hawaiian Hotel master mixologist Joey Gottesman, who was crafting cocktails using fresh, natural ingredients rather than packaged or bottled mixes in Hawaii long before the modern-day cocktail trend took hold around the world.

On your next Waikiki vacation, stop by the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's beachfront Mai Tai Bar (that's the view of Diamond Head from the bar, below) and let Joey know you enjoyed his recipes. Perhaps he'll even craft your favorite for you.

We’ve already shown you how to mix Joey’s Naturally Spiced Margarita, Shanghai Diva and Paradisio. For our last cocktail in our online recipe series, we’re presenting a fresh tropical fruit-infused vodka cocktail refreshing enough for that summer cookout with friends or an evening in front of the TV with Pat and Vanna.

Free Spin

Gottesman created this cocktail for the Wheel of Fortune golf tournament on the Big Island, while the popular game show was filming a month of shows there last year. It’s also an improvement on the classic chi chi—hold the sweet coconut cream, add fresh mango and pineapple instead. The result is less heavy, and twice as refreshing. If you wish, you can still add coconut cream. We wouldn’t, though.

tropical_fresh_cocktails_recipe_Royal_Hawaiian_fourPlace these ingredients in a blender:

1½ oz. vodka
2 oz. fresh pineapple
1 oz. mango puree
2 oz. pineapple juice
1 tsp. Secret Spice mixture (see recipe below)


Add ice and blend until smooth. Pour contents into a hurricane glass. Garnish with a skewered pineapple wedge and cherry.

Secret Spice mixture:

1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon


Mix ingredients in a bowl until blended evenly.

Photos by David Croxford
  
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Ilikai_Hawaii_Five-O_specialAfter shutting down for a couple of weeks this month, Waikiki’s Ilikai hotel reopened last Friday with new management and discounted room rates. The celebratory spirit continues this week with a just-announced $50 rate for the first night at the landmark hotel, now managed by Hawaii-based Aqua Hotels & Resorts.

The 203-room Ilikai's new "Hawaii Double Five-O" special shouldn't be confused with the hotel's $97-a-night rates, previously reported here. Guests choosing the "Five-O" deal pay $50 at check-in for the first night of their stay, and receive 50 percent off the hotel’s daily parking rate (typically $18 a day). A minimum stay of three nights is required.

The deal honors a couple of famous "50s" in Hawaii: the Ilikai’s ties with the long-running TV hit Hawaii Five-Othe hotel was notably featured in the show’s intro—and the upcoming 50th anniversary of Hawaii statehood in August.

Reservations must be booked by September 30, for stays from now through December 31, 2009. The deal is based on availability, of course, and cannot be combined with other offers.

For more info on the deal, or to reserve a room, click here, or call (866) 406-2782

 
American_Airlines_Hawaii_airfare_deals_fallThe fall airfare deals keep coming!

American Airlines is offering low one-way airfares to Honolulu for fall travel from several cities across the U.S. Flight deals from Midwest and East Coast cities served by AA, in particular, were priced the lowest we’ve seen from a national carrier in some time.

The fall is shaping up to be a great time for Mainland U.S.-Hawaii travel, with regard to airfare deals. As posted here in the last week, Delta Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are offering deals similar to AA's on fall flights to Hawaii for travelers able to book right away.
 
The American Airlines deals below—which do not currently carry an end date to book—are priced one-way:

• $186: San Francisco, CA-Honolulu, HI
• $293: Las Vegas, NV-Honolulu, HI
• $298: San Diego, CA-Honolulu, HI
• $307: Phoenix, AZ-Honolulu, HI
• $318: Philadelphia, PA-Honolulu, HI
• $320: San Antonio, TX-Honolulu, HI
• $332: Nashville, TN-Honolulu, HI
• $336: Miami, FL-Honolulu, HI
• $337: St. Louis, MO-Honolulu, HI

Fares are good for travel from Aug. 22 through Dec. 16, 2009. Taxes, fees and restrictions, of course, apply.

Click here for more info, or to book a reservation.

Photo: American Airlines
 
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Hawaii_Travelocity_Roaming_Gnome_visit_placesDo ceramic gnomes prefer poi to sticky rice? The summit of Haleakala to the white sands of Wailea? Surfing to hula?

These will likely be among the many questions answered today when online travel agency Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome arrives in Hawaii for a tour of the Islands.

Fans of Hawaii had been voting in an online poll since July 22 to make our state the latest stop on the Travelocity mascot's “Summer of Possibilities” publicity tour. After a week-long match-up pitting Hawaii against Cancun and Jamaica, Hawaii was announced the winning Roaming Gnome vacation spot yesterday with 46 percent of the vote—56,470 votes total. Cancun was a close second with 52,057 votes. Jamaica, we’re told, was never really in the race.

The benefit for Hawaii from the little dude’s visit? Whatever national attention is generated by a semi-iconic traveling corporate gnome posing next to well-known Hawaii landmarks.

Travelocity will be sending its gnome—fresh from a few days roaming the tour’s last winning locale, Philadelphia, PA—around the Islands for photo ops at scenic Hawaii spots, perhaps having him participate in a few time-honored Hawaii activities.

Hawaii_Travelocity_Roaming_Gnome_visit_placesUpdates on the Roaming Gnome’s Hawaii travels will be posted on his much-followed official homepage, Facebook and Twitter pages. (Yes, the gnome's a social networking addict.) A visit to a traditional hula show is already scheduled for the gnome and his—no kidding—personal assistant. But fans can still leave suggestions for Hawaii photo stops at any of the gnome's above Web pages.

Because HAWAII Magazine would never pass up an opportunity to help a first-time Hawaii traveler in need of some guidance, we figured we’d offer the dwarfish sojourner some travel suggestions, too. So here’s a Top 5 list of Hawaii places and activities we’d recommend to a ceramic gnome hoofing it across the state with a photographer in tow.

E komo mai!

1. A hike to the top of Diamond Head Crater, Oahu. One guesses the little guy would look remarkably larger of stature standing at the crater’s pinnacle with a backdrop of Waikiki and urban Honolulu (photo, middle) behind him. Suddenly big gnome in the foreground. Suddenly small buildings in the distance.

2. A bowl of saimin with grilled teri-beef sticks at Hamura Saimin, Lihue, Kauai. A gnome’s gotta eat … we think. So when he’s done with a long day taking in Kauai's scenic beauty, we'd recommend he consider posing next to a large bowl of Hamura's famed noodles in broth and the state's best teri-beef sticks. It's always better to eat where the locals eat.

3. Kilauea Volcano, Big Island of Hawaii. We’re thinking photos at the Halemaumau Crater overlook and a few snaps right on the Puna coastline where molten lava still enters the ocean. We hear gnomes dig forces of nature.

Hawaii_Travelocity_Roaming_Gnome_visit_places4. Iao Needle, Iao Valley State Park, Maui. Juxtaposing the gnome’s red pointy hat with the lush, towering natural rock pinnacle? Genius.

5. Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Oahu.  We're seeing a pic of the gnome enjoying one of the best white sand beaches on Oahu, while contemplating a view of the just offshore Mokulua Islands. Look at the gnome-less Lanikai Beach pic above and just imagine the possibilities.
 
Photos: Travelocity (top), Commons/Wikipedia (middle), Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (bottom)
 
hawaiian_airlines_oahu_maui_deals_airfareConsidering a last minute escape to the islands this fall? These fares will convince you to do it. But you’ll have to book now.

Hawaiian Airlines is offering reduced fares as low as $370 for roundtrip flights from 12 western U.S. cities it flies to: 

• $585: Las Vegas, NV – Honolulu, HI
• $458: Los Angeles, CA – Honolulu, HI
• $454: Oakland, CA – Honolulu, HI
• $374: Phoenix, AZ – Honolulu, HI
• $370: Portland, OR – Honolulu, HI
• $498: Sacramento, CA – Honolulu, HI
• $530: San Diego, CA – Honolulu, HI
• $454: San Francisco, CA – Honolulu, HI
• $434: San Jose, CA – Honolulu, HI
• $398: Seattle, WA – Honolulu, HI
• $448: Portland, OR – Maui, HI
• $418: Seattle, WA – Maui, HI $418

The fares are valid for travel between August 22 and December 11, 2009. Just don’t take too long deliberating your Hawaiian getaway.

Your last chance to book flights at the prices above is July 31. That’s right, you only have three days left!

Click here for more info and reservations.
  
hawaii_five_o_ilikai_hotelThe Ilikai has been generating its own drama of late: foreclosures, closings, reopenings. But it became an icon in 1968 when a brand new TV cop drama named Hawaii Five-O used it as part of its title sequence.

Jack Lord was still an obscure TV actor when, as Det. Steve McGarrett, he stood on Ilikai’s 30th floor balcony—an aerial camera zooming in on him (or, if you look closely, it’s probably a double in a dark suit). The real Lord then turned to pose tousle-haired with Diamond Head outlined over his shoulder. All set to Morton Stevens’ pulsing theme song. (If you haven’t seen it in a long time, watch the video below.)

The Ilikai, Hawaii’s first luxury high-rise hotel, was at the time the newest, most striking building in Waikiki, designed by architect John Graham, who created the futuristic Space Needle for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.
hawaii_five_o_ilikai_hotel
The force behind the Ilikai was another Hawaii legend—Chinn Ho. Ho, who died in 1987, began by working in his father’s Waikiki rice fields and ended a real estate tycoon. He’s credited with breaking down many barriers to Asians in Hawaii business.

Ho persuaded 20 of his classmates from the McKinley High School class of 1924 to invest a certain amount of money with him each month. That money built the luxury 1,050-room condo and hotel complex.

Hawaii Five-O gave a nod to the real Chinn Ho: The character played by actor Kam Fong was named Chin Ho Kelly.  Of course, the show was full of Hawaii in-jokes. The arch-villain of the series was Wo Fat, named after a prominent Chinatown restaurant.

There were some scenes later filmed at the Ilikai pool, but in general, it was those few seconds of film that made the Ilikai a worldwide recognizable location.
  
Delta_Airlines_Hawaii_airfare_dealsThe great airfare deals to Hawaii keep coming.

Delta Airlines, and its Northwest Airlines subsidiary, are offering one-way fares to Honolulu, Oahu, from select Mainland U.S. cities for as low as $163, for travel between August 22 and December 16, 2009.

Make your reservations at least 14 days prior to your departure, but no later than August 5, 2009, and you’ll be able to take advantage of these each-way airfare deals:

•  $163: Seattle, WA-Honolulu, HI

•  $218: Portland, OR-Honolulu, HI

•  $231: Los Angeles, CA-Honolulu, HI

•  $273: Salt Lake City, UT-Honolulu, HI

•  $316: Kansas City, MO-Honolulu, HI

•  $325: Atlanta, GA-Honolulu, HI

•  $326: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN-Honolulu, HI

•  $335: Detroit-Wayne County, MI-Honolulu, HI

Click here for more info and reservations.
 
Photo: Dawn Sakamoto
 
big_game_fishing_tournament_videoIt’s the 50th anniversary of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, which draws fishermen from across the planet to Kona on the Big Island Hawaii.

HAWAII Magazine was there this week on the water. We spent 11 hours Thursday, and another 8 hours today, on the 38-foot Night Runner. There was lots of action, and lots of 3-to-5-hour long fights to land fish, as we zipped from one of the 41 contestant boats to the next, trying to catch all the action.

The busiest day for most contestants was Thursday, which dawned voggy and overcast on the Kona side, but when we got 3 to 5 miles out started to clear to blue skies. Most of the fish were caught in the afternoon, just as the tide shifted.

By evening, the surf churned up, and conditions got rough. Boats were supposed to land in Kailua-Kona town, where the weigh-in usually happens. But Night Runner and other boats that did not have a catch to weigh in were diverted to the dock at the Sheraton Keauhou Hotel, further south.

Anglers have to catch and release all fish less than 400 pounds; only the biggest swordfish and marlin make it back to the weigh-in.  

The largest fish of the tournament so far (and it looks unlikely that there will be any surprises on this last day) was a 566.5 pound marlin landed by 74-year-old Sam Spinello of the Malibu Marlin Club. Big, yes. But that was still under the 973-pound Pacific blue marlin that was the biggest last year, the second largest in tournament history.

Big as it was, Malibu Marlin Club's catch also wasn't enough to win it the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament crown. That honor went to Kona Game Fishing Club-Bellhope from Japan, which lead the final point count for largest week-long total catch. North Carolina's Old South Marlin Club #4 took second place. California's Malibu Marlin Club took third place.

You can see video we shot of Sam Spinello's weigh-in with the monster marlin below.

Look for a feature on this granddaddy of all big-game fishing tournaments in an upcoming issue of HAWAII Magazine.


Photo and video by David Croxford
 
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