Image: Hawaii Faves by Dan Zen
Happy Earth Day!
Last week's poll asked if you've been to my favourite place on Earth: Hawai'i. More specifically, I asked which Hawaiian Islands you've visited. Sadly, most of you have never even been to one!
My 4 months living as a local in the fine town of Hilo on the Big Island, getting to know the people and the places, were among the most idyllic and enriching in my life. I highly recommend it as a vacation spot, especially if you get out of the "tourist-y" spots and make the time to visit the historical monuments and heritage sites. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Now, we all have our preconceived ideas of The Islands. Before I moved there, my views were limited to hula dancers, beaches, and luaus. But there's so much more!
Here are my list of the top 6 things that surprised me about Hawai'i... maybe they'll surprise you too...
1: Aloha Fridays
Fridays are a special day where the Aloha Spirit is celebrated. Men don their best Aloha shirts, and women dress to the nines in their sundresses and muu-muus. Whatever you wear, it must have a tropical Aloha pattern. And everywhere you go, you hear the It's Aloha Friday song on PA systems and speakers.
My husband has continued this tradition of wearing his Aloha shirt on Fridays here in Winnipeg.
These dudes are EVERYWHERE! They're big, and they fly! When I moved there, Roomie had already duct taped every opening he could find to keep them out, but once in a while, one STILL found a way in. You could find them on your toothbrush in the morning, in your bedside glass of water, and in empty pop cans. Yuck...
3: Largest Cattle Ranch
Bread is expensive in Hawai'i because many ingredients have to be imported. A loaf could cost $4CDN. But a quality lean 2 inch steak could also cost just $4CDN because beef doesn't have to be shipped in. Why? The largest contiguous ranch in the US is in Hawaii. The Parker Ranch has about 480,000 acres of land.
4: Oh, the aromas!
The Hawaiian Islands are ripe with the scent of flowers, beach, coconut and ocean. But don't breath too deeply! My husband occasionally complained that, during his bike-ride to work, tempted by a whiff of something sweet and beautiful, he would inhale deeply only to catch a smell of animal manure, rotting vegetation, or animal carcass, when the wind would shift. Lovely.
And I'm not talking about the email kind! Hawaiians love this canned pork product. All Hawai'i McDonald's have added it to its breakfast menu; Hawaiians developed a Spam sushi (which you can get at 7-Elevens); and there's even an annual festival in Waikiki called Spam Jam. Many call Spam the "Hawaiian Soul Food".
6: Most Observatories
Hawai'i contains the world's largest collection of telescopes and scientific observatories in the world. They are all on the summit of dormant volcanoes. My husband worked at one on Mauna Kea. He took me on a tour. It was cool. :)
Okay, it's Earth Day. Get out there, and enjoy your little corner of the world!
22 April 2008
Image: Hawaii Faves by Dan Zen
TAGS: girl talk