Hawaii No Ka Oi

  1. The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the Big Island of Hawaii.
  2. Hawaii is the most isolated population center on the face of the earth. Hawaii is 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.
  3. The Hawaiian Islands are the projecting tops of the biggest mountain range in the world.
  4. The island houses the world’s biggest telescope and more scientific observatories in one place than anywhere else in the world.
  5. Hawaii boasts 11 of the 13 climate zones in the world, each with unique ecosystems and weather characteristics. Factors such as elevation, pressure variations, rainfall, wind and topography combine to create distinctive locations throughout the islands. Climates you may encounter in the Hawaiian Islands include the humid tropical zones, from sea level to 450 feet (137 m), the arid and semi-arid zones, the warmest parts of the islands, the temperate zones, at certain locations above 1,300 to 1,650 feet (400 to 500 m) and the Alpine zones, chilly areas above 10,500 feet (3,200 m).
  6. There are no racial or ethnic majorities in Hawaii. Everyone is a minority. Caucasians (Haoles) constitute about 34%; Japanese-American about 32%; Filipino-American about 16% and Chinese-American about 5%. It is very difficult to determine racial identification as most of the population has some mixture of ethnicities. 

They say, “Maui No Ka Oi” (is the best), but I don’t think so. I think “Hawaii No Ka Oi”. The Big Island of Hawaii has an amazing variety of just about everything. Home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the largest telescopes, amazing hiking, luminous coral reefs, all where the weather is about as perfect as it can get. It is that kind of temperature where you can’t tell where you end and the rest of the world begins. The one thing the Big Island has the most of though is a real, Old Hawaii Aloha Spirit.

Kona Town

I never really had an interest in going to Hawaii until my mom got us all tickets for Christmas one year. I was imagining a loathsome pit of tourist torment, a condo hell…I was pleasantly surprised.  Then I was enchanted, enamored, and seduced.

Hawaii is my other vacation this year. This December, when it’s rainy and bone-chilling cold, when the world looks like Santa’s Elves barfed up last years Christmas decorations all over town and you have to listen to the Nutcracker in every store or restaurant you go to until you are ready to crack someone’s nut yourself….I will be here:

Miyo’s Place. This is, by far the best, most authentic Japanese food anywhere on the Island. Perhaps any where in the United States. It is tucked away in a strange little decrepit resort-turned-condo complex in Hilo. Look up the words “Old School”  in the thesaurus. I’m sure Miyo’s is a synonym.

Upper: Salmon and Tempura. Lower: Japanese Vegetable Curry

Hilo is like the Olympia of the Pacific, a rainy, ecologically endowed, back-water capitol college town. I’ll make some time while I’m there to go down to the fish market where you can get slices of freshly caught Sashimi straight off the fish. The Hilo Farmer’s Market will be a stop on our list as well, where they have “all kine stuff fo sale”. Pineapples, passion fruit, guava, papaya, sushi, and Aloha shirts.

I will, of course take picture of every bit of food I get there. I plan to stock up  at the farmer’s market and do a little cooking as well. It sounds like a relaxing way to end a hard day of surfing, don’t you think? I invited my friend to come with and sent her a lovely email with all sorts of information and links. Her response, “You had me at Mai Tai…” So, we will plan out some great new recipes to share with you. In the mean time, kick back and have a drink on me…

The Perfect Mai Tai (from All recipes)

  • 2 cups light rum
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup 151 proof rum
  • 1 cup orange curacao (orange flavored liqueur)
  • 1 cup almond flavored syrup
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • 10 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 gallon fresh orange juice
In a large jar or drink cooler, combine the light rum, dark rum, 151 rum, orange liqueur, almond syrup, simple syrup, and lime juice. Stir and top off with orange juice. Do not use grenadine if you want the true Mai Tai! Serve in 8 to 12 ounce glasses with ice.

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