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At sunrise his Sunday, July 31, scores of world-class athletes will be stretching and pacing about on a Molokai beach, checking their paddleboard gear and keeping an eye on the weather.

There will be a pre-race pule (prayer) at 7 a.m. Thirty minutes later, the 15th annual Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship (M2O) is expected to get under way. More than 250 athletes on both prone and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) — competing in solo and team races — will attempt the 32-mile, open-ocean crossing of the famously unpredictable Kaiwi Channel, also known as the Molokai Channel.

Facing potentially treacherous currents, powerful swells and a depth of nearly one kilometer, paddlers can ride swells for hundreds of yards in this race. Some of the fastest athletes will complete the crossing in just under five hours.

Competitors will be racing as a solo paddler or as part of a team in either the unlimited class (no size-limit for the board with a movable rudder system) or stock class (12 feet or under for paddleboard, 14 feet or under in SUP with fixed rudder).

The race record for the crossing, from Molokai’s Kaluakoi Beach (north shore) to Oahu’s Maunalua Bay Beach Park (south shore, near Hawaii Kai), is held by Jamie Mitchell, 34, of Australia. In 2004, he completed the crossing in 4 hours and 45 minutes.

On Sunday, Mitchell (pictured, above - on green-yellow board) will be racing for a record 10th consecutive Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship title in the men’s solo prone division. If successful, he will be the first athlete to join surfing legend Kelly Slater as a Quiksilver 10-time world champion.

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In a press release issued by the event’s organizers, Mitchell said: “The Molokai Channel is my Everest. I've given it 10 years of my life. I've done the preparation, and I'm looking forward to putting it all to work. The Molokai is one of those races where you can't afford to slack off on anything — hydration, nutrition, the course, your fitness, your equipment. You've got to piece it all together and they need to be right on key on the day.”

A member of the Quiksilver Waterman Collection team, Mitchell is a multi-discipline ocean athlete who is also involved in the arenas of big-wave riding, stand-up paddling and surfing, and water safety and  life-guarding.

Among the women competing, Kauai resident an eight-time Molokai-2-Oahu champion, Kanesa Duncan, made her entry to the race’s hall of fame in 2004 by setting the current women’s record time on a stock paddleboard, 5 hours and 53 minutes.

Live race updates will be broadcast on Facebook and Twitter. A race day expo will be held near the finish line, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, at Maunalua Bay Beach Park. For additional information about the event, click here.

Photos: Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship

 

Hawaii_Oahu_HonoluluAt the Made in Hawaii Festival, set for Aug. 19-21 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Arena and Exhibition Hall in Honolulu, the goods are Island-made — no made-elsewhere stickers allowed.

Everything, from trendy tropical clothing, fine art photography and food to crafts, jewelry and home furnishings must meet state law criteria for the “Made in Hawaii” label. If you’re on Oahu during the festival weekend, this is the place to go to pick up real-deal Hawaii gifts and souvenirs for family, friends and — why not? — yourself.  

Organizers of the festival, now in its 17th year, maintain that even the most intrepid shoppers need a break from cruising more than 430 vendor booths. So, they’ve assembled a lineup of Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning musicians, who will perform on an entertainment stage. On another stage, notable chefs from some of Hawaii’s favorite, award-winning restaurants cook up their personal specialties while also sharing recipes, tips and techniques for preparing each dish.

This year’s festival will feature 64 new exhibitors. Among the new items: (Big Island) hand-screened silk scarves with Hawaiian floral motifs; (Maui) totes and backpacks made from recycled aloha-print fabrics; and (Oahu) travel blankets — complete with matching neck pillows — that fold into bags; and jewelry made from “sunrise” shells” found only on the island’s North Shore.

Perennial favorites include: Kula Kala O Kauai, where a master lauhala weaver designs Island patterns for silver and gold bracelets and Maui Pacifica’s Christmas ornaments made from sea shells. Oh, and follow your nose to Kanemitsu Bakery’s booth, for loaves of taro and guava breads — from a kiawe-fired oven. (Short of trip to the legendary little bakery in Kaunakaki, Molokai, the fest is the only place you can find Kanemitsu treats.)   Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu

Here’s the festival’s musical entertainment lineup for the stage in the Blaisdell Center’s Pikake Room:

Fri., Aug. 19 — 11 a.m., Jerry Santos; 1 p.m., Melveen Leed; 3 p.m., Jay Larrin; 5 p.m., Ben and Maila; and 7 p.m., Maunalua (pictured, left).

Sat., Aug. 20 — 11 a.m., Napua Makua; 1 p.m., KumZ, 3 p.m., Hot Club of Hulaville; and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Kani Ka Pila Talent Search. Five finalists, selected from a preliminary round, will perform in front of the festival’s live audience and a panel of judges. The winning performer or group will receive a one-month paid contract to perform on Thursdays during September at the Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach.

Sun., Aug. 21 — 11 a.m., Makena; 1 p.m. Eddie Kamae; and 3 p.m. Danny Couch.

And here’s the festival’s culinary lineup.


Fri., Aug. 19 — 2 p.m.,  Jason Takemura, Hukilau Honolulu, Pagoda Floating Restaurant; 4 p.m.  Colin Hazama, Kai Market; and 6 p.m., Johan Svensson, BLT Steak .

Sat., Aug. 20 — 12 p.m., Ronnie Nasuti, Tiki’s Grill & Bar; 2 p.m.,  Elmer Guzman, Poke Stop; 4 p.m.,  John Memering, Cactus; and 6 p.m., Pepe Vega, Just Tacos

Sun., Aug. 21 — 12 p.m., Marc McDowell, Makena Beach & Golf Resort; 2 p.m., Michael Moorhouse, Kahala Hotel & Resort

Made in Hawaii Festival hours: Fri. and Sat., Aug. 19 and 20, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For ticket information and additional festival details, click here.

Photos: Made in Hawaii Festival

 

Hawaii_Oahu_Ford Island_Amelia EarhartThe first commercial flight from the mainland to Hawaii was on April 16, 1935 — a Pan American Airways seaplane flew from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor in 17 hours and 14 minutes. That's about three times the length of today’s typical flight from the West Coast. (Note to self: Never grumble about possible flight delays.)

Before that first flight, your only transportation option would have been a much, much longer boat ride.

Even Amelia Earhart traveled for five days by boat — from Los Angeles to Honolulu — arriving at Aloha Tower on Dec. 27, 1934. During her stay here, Earhart vacationed in Waikiki, flew over the Hawaiian Islands, and prepared for her solo flight across the Pacific from Honolulu to Oakland. She went on to become the first person to fly solo, trans-Pacific, from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif.

The Pacific Aviation Museum on Oahu’s Ford Island — where Earhart once ground-looped her plane — is honoring the aviation pioneer with its new Amelia Earhart in Hawaii Photo Exhibit, with exclusive Earhart photos courtesy of Matson Navigation Company. The photos, which are now permanent exhibit at the museum, are a gifted collection from Matson Archives documenting Earhart’s time in Hawaii from December 27, 1934 to January 11, 1935 and March 17 through March 20, 1937. Among the photos are a few shots with Hawaii's legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoke (pictured, above).Hawaii_Oahu_Ford Island_Amelia Earhart

On March 20, 1937, Earhart crashed her Lockheed Electra at Ford Island and thereby ended her first attempt to fly around the world. According to Hangar Talk, a Pacific Aviation Museum blog site for pilots, during Earhart’s ground loop on a slick runway, her plane spun left. 

Then, “all of the aircraft’s weight was put on the right landing gear as the left wing lifted the left landing gear off the runway. The combined weight of the heavily packed Electra and its three crew members was too much. The right landing gear collapsed. The Electra spun on the ground in the shower of sparks,” according to Hangar Talk.

Earhart reportedly left Hawaii that afternoon on the Steamship Malolo to return to California and plan her next attempt. Later that year, while attempting again to fly around the world, her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.

The Amelia Earhart in Hawaii Photo Exhibit opened on Sun., July 24 — Earhart’s 114th birthday. For additional details about the exhibit and Pacific Aviation Museum ticket information and hours of operation, click here.

Photos: Pacific Aviation Museum/Matson Navigation Company
 
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Hawaii_Big Island_Kilauea_volcanoScientists on the Big Island are tracking lava flow in and around a perched lava lake in Puu Oo crater on Kilauea volcano’s east rift zone.

Earlier this week, lava flow from sources outside the perched lake partially filled two smaller craters (Puka Nui pit and MLK pit) on the west side of Puu Oo, according to a report issued by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Also, lava rising in an area just southwest of the lowest of the side craters overtopped and spilled onto the southwest flank of Puu Oo.

A photo of Pu Oo taken on July 21 (pictured, right) compared with another snapped on June 23 (pictured, below) illustrates the recent filling the Puka Nui and MLK pit floors on the west end of Puu Oo. The shoe-print-shaped object surrounded by lava is the perched lake.

Lava drained from Puu Oo on March 5, when the crater’s floor deflated and collapsed during the Kamoamoa fissure eruption. On March 26, shortly after the eruption paused, lava abruptly returned to the crater’s floor. As scientists tracked the refilling, they noted the development of the perched lava lake, which has resembled an above-ground swimming pool. In early June, the perched lake’s levee climbed to a height of about 33 feet above the crater floor. At that time, the floor was about 170 feet below the crater rim. Subsequent lava lake overflows have pushed the full crater floor closer to the rim.Hawaii_Big Island_Kilauea_volcano

Last week, the observatory released a time-lapse video illustrating the uplift of the lava lake and crater floor in Puu Oo, spanning July 9 to July 18. During the filming, frequent small spattering of lava flowed over the rim. Also, a small collapse of the steep levee wall resulted in a short-lived breach of lava out of the lake on July 15, according to an observatory report. Scientists maintain that the uplift of the perched lava lake is is probably due to a shallow injection of magma beneath the crater floor.

Daily updates on Kilauea volcano activity are available at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website.

HawaiiMagazine.com has reported regularly on lava activity at Kilauea volcano and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Click here to catch up with all of our Volcano News posts. You can also follow our updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

VIDEO: A thermal camera positioned the Puu Oo crater’s captured the recent uplift of the lava lake and crater floor. The time-lapse video, July 9 to July 18, is looped several times. The lava lake is about 660 feet long and 330 feet wide. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius. (Click on frame to watch.)

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Photos: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
 

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_surfingScores of surfing fans, ranging from avid athletes to enthusiasts who prefer to watch the waves from the beach, will be cruising this weekend’s Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction for a glimpse at the stuff of waterman history.

One hundred years worth of surf collectibles, with an estimated total value of $1 million, will be picked up by the highest bidders at the sixth biennial auction, which gets under way today with a preview event at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

Surf promoter Randy Rarick (pictured, right), who has organized the auctions, noted in a press release that the first five auctions collectively tallied more than $2.6 million worth of privately owned pieces sold.

An auction preview begins at noon today at the Galleria at the Blaisdell Center. Seventy items will be featured in the main auction, slated for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sat., July 23, and 40 items will be part of silent auction set for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. (There will be free viewings, but only registered bidders and their guests will be permitted to take part in the main auction.)
 

During today’s preview, free appraisals — in the manner of Antique Road Show — will be available until 4 p.m. So, surf fans, that means you can stop by with your surf goods and find out what they are worth. There will also be meet-and-greet opportunities with 10 authors, who will be signing books and offering autographs. Viewing is free for all items, and autographed copies of the various surf books will be available.  Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_surfing

Among the rare auction items expect to draw big bids are these items:

• Pat Curren/Yater model surfboard, the most exclusive ever made. The 11- foot surfboard is the second of 11 made, from 1963. Six are known to exist. Curren was a pioneer big-wave rider and surfboard manufacturer from California. Auction organizers call this item the “Holy Grail” of  “big wave elephant guns.” Auction estimate: $20,000-30,000.


• A 1930 sweatshirt with a hand-drawn scene of Waikiki and 30 signatures from all of the Kahanamoku Brothers, including Duke, and famous beachboys of the time. Auction estimate: $15,000-$20,000.


• California “Speed Special” Pat Curren model surfboard from actor Steve McQueen's personal Santa Paula aircraft hanger. It was found among his motorcycles and movie props. The 9-foot 8-inch surfboard is in “like-new condition.” Auction estimate: $15,000-25,000.


If you’re unable to get to the event at Blaisdell Center but you’re in Hawaii, you can watch the auction live, starting  with a pre-auction show at 3 p.m. Saturday on Oceanic Time Warner Cable SURF Channel 250 & 1250 HD. The auction will also be steamed online at www.hawaiiansurfauction.com, with online bidding offered in real time.

A portion of all auction sales from the auction will go to the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation Scholarship Fund, and to the Surfing Heritage Foundation. For additional information about the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, click here.

Photo: Randy Rarick with a selection of vintage boards on offer this year, Chris McDonough.
 
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Hawaii_Kauai_KoloaThe 26th annual Koloa Plantation Days, a nine-day festival that celebrates Kauai’s sugar-plantation past with more than two dozen events, will get under way Fri., July 22 with barrel racing and a preliminary round of roping for the annual Plantation Days Rodeo, followed by a paniolo (cowboy) cookout.

Founded in 1835, Koloa Plantation, near Kauai's south shore, was Hawaii's first sugar plantation where immigrant workers from Philippines, Europe, the Azores, Japan, Korea, China, and elsewhere lived in the same area and shared homeland traditions ranging fro music and dances to food.

In addition to rodeo-related events, the celebration’s lineup is packed plantation era walks, talks and exhibits, a craft fair and a culinary market, and several sports-related offerings, ranging from outrigger canoe and paddleboard races to fun runs and a tennis tournament.  Among the highlights are the annual historic Plantation Days Parade and the Koloa Town Park Celebration, both set for Sat. July 30. Headlining the park celebration’s musical performances is Hawaii’s Grammy-nominated Henry Kapono. For a complete park celebration entertainment schedule, click here. For a list of Koloa Plantation Days daily events, click here. Most events are outdoors and free of charge.

Among this weekend’s events are a guided walk along Historic Hapa Trail and the 12th annual Plantation Days Rodeo.Hawaii_Kauai_Koloa

On Sat., July 23, the Koloa Community Association is offering a free morning walk along Historic Hapa Trail, starting at 9 a.m., followed by lunch at Poipu Beach. Guides will explain how, during plantation days, the trail was once a major route connecting Koloa and the Poipu area. Today, Hapa Trail is designated by the County of Kauai as a pedestrian and bike way.

Archeological surveys of the area have uncovered ingenious auwai system Hawaiians built to irrigate the area known as the Koloa Field System. The Koloa Field System occupied most of the southern portions of Koloa and Weliweli.

This year’s walk will also include samples of kalo, ko (sugar), uala (sweet potato) and pa akai (sea salt) manufactured in the area. Lunch and tour are offered free of charge. Shuttles will take walkers back to the walk’s starting point, St. Raphael’s Church, near Old Koloa Town shops.

The 12th annual Plantation Days Rodeo is set for 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sun., July 24 at CJM Stables, east of Poipu (near the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort). Bring hats, umbrellas and sunblock to the arena. Tickets: $2 for adults, and no charge for kids. Featured events include: team roping, double mugging, steer riding, and barrel racing. There will also be a Paniolo Challenge, through which this year’s riders try to beat last year’s times for additional prizes.

For additional details about Koloa Plantation Days, click here.

Photos: Koloa Plantation Days
 

Hawaii_Honolulu_Alaska AirlinesAlaska Airlines is expanding its service between San Diego and Hawaii with a daily nonstop flight to Honolulu. An airfare sale for the new service, which begins in mid-November, offers $149 for one-way flights slated from Nov. 17 through Dec. 15 on tickets purchased by July 25.

The daily flight from San Diego departs at 9:15 a.m. PST and arrives in Hawaii at 1:15 p.m. HST. The flight from Honolulu departs at 3:40 p.m. HST and arrives in San Diego at 11:15 p.m. PST.

The service, which begins Nov. 17, will complement the airline's existing daily nonstop flight between San Diego and Kahului, Maui, which started in October 2010.

In a press release issued by Alaska Airlines, Thella Bowens, president/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, said: “We're pleased to support Alaska's new route between Honolulu and San Diego.” She added, “The expanded service will further connect our two communities and will provide yet another option for San Diegans to visit one of the nation's premier vacation destinations."

Plus, if you happen to be in the San Diego area this week, you may want to sport Aloha wear and stay within earshot of a radio. Alaska Airlines is partnering with San Diego radio stations to give away a plane's worth of tickets to Honolulu at locations throughout the city.

“Nuts for Honolulu” events are inviting listeners and community members to wear Hawaiian clothing at locations to be revealed by the radio stations for a chance to win 160 tickets and other prizes. Details are available on Twitter via hashtag: #nuts4honolulu.

Here’s the lineup for radio station contest broadcasting:

• Tues., July 19 — KHTS 93.3 FM (Channel 933)

• Wed., July 20 — KIFM Smooth 98.1 FM

• Thurs., July 21 — KMYI Star 94.1 FM

 • Fri., July 22 — KFMB Jack 100.7 FM

For Alaska Airlines reservations information, ticket purchase, terms, conditions and blackout dates, click here or call (800) 252-7522.

Photo: View from Diamond Head summit, Wikipedia Commons.
 

Hawaii_Oahu_Pearl Harbor_USS ArizonaA Japanese tea ceremony — expected to include two Pearl Harbor survivors, along with the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Japanese consul general in Honolulu — is set for tomorrow morning inside the USS Arizona Memorial.

The ancient ritual aims to honor Americans — 2,345 military personnel and 57 civilians — who lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941 during the Japanese attack on the United States’ naval base at Pearl Harbor. As the 70th anniversary of the battle approaches, the ceremony’s organizers are calling it a reconciliatory gesture between the two countries, now longtime allies.

Dr. Genshitsu Sen, a grand tea master of the Urasenke School of Tea — the largest of the three schools of Japanese tea ceremony — will perform the ceremony, which involves meticulously mixing of hot water with green tea in a ceramic bowl, and offering the drink to the assembled guests. Sen, 88, served in the Japanese naval air force during World War II, is the 15th generation of his family to lead Urasenke, which dates to the 1600s, according to the Associated Press. The Urasenke School’s Hawaii chapter is marking its 60th anniversary this year.

In a press release issued by the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, the site's superintendent, Paul DePrey said: "The USS Arizona Memorial is a special place of healing which represents our nation’s Pacific War history, from engagement to peace.  It is particularly significant that Dr. Sen will perform a tea ceremony at this sacred site, and our hope is that this event will further strengthen the friendship between our two countries.”

Among the guests slated to attend the tea ceremony are U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Patrick Walsh and Yoshihiko Kamo, the Japanese consul general in Honolulu.

The ceremony will not be open to the public. However, it will be documented with video and photos. During the ceremony — expected to get under way at 7:30 a.m. — the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center will remain open to the public, however regularly scheduled public tours to the USS Arizona Memorial will be suspended. Tours to the USS Arizona Memorial will resume at 9:45 a.m., with the last tour at 3:30 p.m.For additional information about the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, click here.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
 

Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_ukuleleIf you’re in the Waikiki area this Sunday, July 17, you may see scores of passersby toting ukuleles. We recommend following the musical crowd to the Kapiolani Park Bandstand, where the 41st annual Ukulele Festival Hawaii will be under way from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The upbeat, bouncy music just might perk up your morning more than a strong cup of joe. You may find yourself wanting to dance, sing like an old-school beachboy, or even feeling inspired to learn how to play a tune on four-stringed instrument.

The festival’s stage performance lineup includes internationally known ukulele virtuosos, local celebrities and an ukulele orchestra of more than 800 students, mostly children.

Among the U.S. performers: Hawaii’s Ohta-San, Jake Shimabukuro, Hookena, and Herb Ohta Jr.; California’s Kaala Carmack & San Francisco J Town Hui, Sunset Strummers; and Maryland’s Victoria Vox. Children, teens and adults of Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studios will also take the stage, performing popular tunes. And Danny Kaleikini, Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha,” will serve as emcee for the 40th straight year.Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_ukulele

The international roster includes: Tatae “Kolohe” Imamura (Japan); Singto Namchok (Thailand); Ukulele Picnic (Korea); Taiwan Ukulele (Taiwan); Luca “Jontom” Tomassini (Italy); SACS Ukulele Club (Guam); and Ukastle Ukestra (Australia).  

For a complete festival performance schedule, click here.

Away from the stage, the free festival will feature an ukulele booth where you can learn strum basics, ukulele displays and giveaways, food booths, activities for children, and various merchandise, such as collectible pins, T-shirts and recyclable tote bags.

Free parking and shuttle service will be available from Kapiolani Community College to Kapiolani Park Bandstand and back, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  For additional information about the nonprofit Ukulele Festival Hawaii, click here.

Photos: Ukulele Festival Hawaii
 

Hawaii_Oahu_Moanalua Gardens_hulaThe 34th annual Prince Lot Hula Festival — Hawaii's oldest and largest non-competitive hula celebration held each year to honor Prince Lot Kapuaiwa, who revived the once-banned hula in the Oahu area — is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., July 16.
 
The event will feature both hula kahiko (ancient) hula and chant, and auana (modern) hula performances. Dancers will perform on one of the few remaining pa hula (hula mounds) in Hawaii.

In a press release issued by the event’s organizers, Moanalua Gardens Foundation, Alika Jamile , the nonprofit’s executive director and president said: “Our theme, ‘Ho omalamalama, E Ala Mai…Enlighten, Rise!’ signifies the importance of Kamananui (Moanalua) Valley as a revered wahi pana (sacred place) where people gathered to learn and practice the oli (chants) of ancient times." He added, “Our opening ceremonies will include a special tribute to Prince Lot by the Royal Order of Kamehameha.”

The festival’s namesake, King Kamehameha V, Prince Lot — the last of the direct descendants of King Kamehameha the Great to rule the Kingdom of Hawaii —  had a summer cottage can be found on the grounds in the Honolulu area. The monarch’s rule began in 1863 and ended in 1872.

For a complete festival performance schedule, click here. There is no charge to attend the event, however a “button donation” to foundation is requested to raise funds to support the festival. Limited edition T-shirts will also be sold as a fundraising item. Local food and refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the day.
 
Festivalgoers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and mats and enjoy the fun, food and festivities under the monkeypod trees of Moanalua Gardens.

One of the monkeypods — a large tree, with an umbrella-shaped canopy —  is dubbed “Hitachi” tree because Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi, Ltd. has used the tree as a corporate symbol since 1973. It grows in the middle of the 24-acre gardens. The tree is registered as an “exceptional tree” by the City and County of Honolulu and cannot be removed or destroyed without city council approval

For more information about Moanalua Gardens, call (808) 839-5334 or click here.

Photo: Moanalua Gardens Foundation
 
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