Thursday Nights at the Pahoa Museum

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Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce Starts Blogging

Hat tip to RJ Mendoza over at O/S Hawaii for finding out that the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce has started blogging and the key word here is “Hot Topics – The HICC Blog“.

Hawai'i Island Chamber of Commerce

I was stoked to find out that they personally pinpointed Tiffany’s blog as well as my blog out in only their 2nd post.  Honestly folks, this is a site that I have not set up and did nothing to prompt the following in the post “Business People – to Blog or Not to Blog“:

…spend some time checking Tiffany Edwards’ Big Island Chronicle and Damon Tucker’s Blog. Whether you agree or not with the posts, it will keep you looped into the information cycle…”

Now if the Waikoloa posts that I’ve been making are making people think I’m “On the take” or something… I’m sure this one will really rattle a few feathers.

Honestly folks… I wish I was getting money for blogging the posts that I get. Quite simply I don’t get money for the posts that I post. But if someone wants to advertise on one of my little columns or up top… you certainly are welcome to.

I will be following the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce blog and see if it’s something I want to link to in the future. I hope they keep it active.

Kale Gumapac to Hold Press Conference at Monterey Bay Aquarium

I noted back in August that I heard Kale Gumapac talking about Fish farming at a forum.  Looks like he’s stepping it up a notch and taking this issue national.

He submitted this letter back in June ’08 on behalf of the Kanaka Council Moku O Keawe:

The Kanaka Council Moku O Keawe filed an application for contested case against Kona Ocean Blue Farms and received word from DLNR 2 weeks ago that Kona Blue Ocean Farms withdrew their application for expansion. The Kanaka Council successfully stopped Kona Blue Ocean Farms.

However, we believe that Kona Blue withdrew their application to wait on the outcome of the appeal filed by State of Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett to the U.S Supreme Court regarding the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling on January 31, 2008. The State of Hawaii is seeking to overturn the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling on ceded lands claiming that the State of Hawaii has the sovereign right to disburse ceded land.

The contested case file against Kona Blue Ocean Fish Farms set forth the argument that the State of Hawaii does not have the right to lease ceded lands. The January 31, 2008 ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court we believe supports that argument. The State of Hawaii is obviously pulling out the stops as Bennett was able to get 29 other states to file an amicus brief to support overturning of the ruling….

Here is an article in today’s “The Californian”.

Hawaiians Seek Removal of Kona Yellowtail from Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Card

A fish listed as a “good alternative” by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch card should be removed from that list, native Hawaiian leaders say.

U.S. farmed yellowtail is exclusively produced by Kona Blue Water Farms near the Big Island in Hawaii and marketed as “Kona Kampachi”. Native Hawaiians say the farm has caused negative cultural impacts.

At 12:30 p.m. Saturday in front of the Aquarium at 800 Cannery Row, Monterey, Kanaka Council Moku O Keawe Leader Kale Gumapac and Food & Water Watch Staff Attorney Zach Corrigan will hold a press conference. They’ll deliver a Kanaka Council letter to Monterey Bay Aquarium urging the removal of U.S. farmed yellowtail from the card…

More Here

Video From the 3rd Annual Ruff Ryders Bike & Bully Bash

The Halls of the Waikoloa

One of the nice things about the Hilton Waikoloa Village is that it has a Tram and a boat that will take you to your rooms.  While you get a great view from the boats and the trams are pretty fast, I think a great way to get around the Waikoloa is on foot traveling the halls of the Waikoloa.

Waikoloa Hall 1

All of the halls are filled with art from around the world

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The above picture are various types of drums.  This picture below is spirit boards.

Hall 3

Everywhere you turn there is gorgeous art

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Such as this collection of ancient plates and vases

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I can’t believe most of this stuff is just sitting out in the open for people to touch and interact with.

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Don’t ask me what the above is… I know it’s not an ancient coat rack.  I’m not sure of the total distance of walking I did, but with all the art that I was checking out… it didn’t seem like much of a walk at all.

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I think I got from one end of the hotel to the other in about an hours time and I was stopping to take a lot of pictures.

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I’m sure I could have spent much more time stopping and reading about each piece of art I was walking by, but then that would have take me days to explore just the hallways of the hotel in itself.

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But then again, I probably could have walked the halls even faster, had I not been taking all these pictures of this interesting art.

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So the next time your at the Waikoloa remember that you can take the boat for the outdoor views.

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Or you can walk the halls of the Waikoloa for some really close up views of some interesting art.

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Passing the FBI Background Check… How the “FBI Blogs” Came About

James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights

James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights

The other night at dinner with the So Much More Hawaii bloggers from the mainland they all talked about different things that were going on in their lives and what they had seen so far here in Hawaii.

They didn’t really talk much about their own blogs that much, as we all pretty much know what each other does.

Christine Lu, the coordinator of this trip asked me how I select blogs to be chosen for the FBI Blogs site and how it came about.

The Big Islands Best Blogs - New Button designed by Macario

The Big Islands Best Blogs - New Button designed by Macario

I told her that I started the site was a way to showcase other bloggers and I really didn’t think that the Big Island residents were getting news in a very timely or effective manner, basically blasting our local papers The Hawaii Tribune Herald and The West Hawaii Today.

On March 12th I sent out the following message to about 20 bloggers on this island:

Aloha Big Island Bloggers

Would anyone be interested in starting our own little “FBI” Blogger “Buttons for the Blogs” for blogs just from the Big Island.

For those of you not familiar with the Button term… what I mean is we could create or own little site that the button links all of the Big Island Bloggers to one another…. like a blogroll but it would only be a button that links many Big Island Bloggers?

And we mandate that ANY BLOGGER CAN JOIN…. JUST AS LONG AS THEY ARE FROM THE BIG ISLAND.  (as long as it’s not some hate blog… you know what I mean… but I think content should not be critiqued so much as WHERE we are from)

There would be no fees or anything like that… just more exposure for all of us on the Big Island.

Of course… you might be mandated to come and party once a year or something…. lol.

Let me know if you might be interested, and if there is interest in at least 5 of you folks… I’ll work with someone on setting this up.

I can only think of one good phrase that we would have to use… The FBI Bloggers (as long as we had the From Big Island on there)

Was also thinking of an outline of the island as the tag with the FBI in the middle or something…. Always open to ideas.

And if you know of other Big Island Bloggers that might be interested… please forward this to them. Mahalo Damon

I was stoked that so many of them were immediately interested in something like this and I got to thinking what I wanted the site to be like. I wasn’t sure what type of template I was going to use and I was having troubles figuring out how I could showcase these blogs to the world.

I quickly grabbed an outline of the Big Island and typed in “FBI Bloggers” and then filled in the rest with some filler to come up with this button:

First Draft still is seen on blogs around the Big Island today

First Draft still is seen on blogs around the Big Island today

Well slowly but surely things started coming together to the point where it is now. I know it has a lot to grow and I wish I could figure out how to do a few things on it in particular. I have a programmer working on a possible solution for it, but he’s on Oahu this week.

Christine also asked how do I choose what blogs to feature on the site.

I let her know that I was VERY lucky here on the Big Island because I think that almost ALL of the Blogs that we have here on this island are great. We have an interesting island and lots to blog about and all of us have different ways of seeing things.

I often get leads to blogs by bloggers on this site, readers of this site and by the bloggers themselves. I will typically look at their blog to see if they are a fairly active blogger and that they aren’t some person that is going to cloud the world with hate or other strange stuff.

I’ll follow their blogs for a while checking out different analytical programs and if I like them enough, I’ll shoot them an email asking if they’d like to join the site.

Now the question that was the stumper… How do I feature the blogs on the top of the FBI Site?

I try and feature as many blogs as I can as they are updated. The people that post pictures get priority.

All blogs are rotated at least once in a day if they have blogged on a day… but rarely more then twice in a day unless there is a big need for it.

How do you make money off this? (Not asked by any of the bloggers)

Huh? That’s pretty funny. I don’t know any bloggers personally that make as much as they put in.

I don’t make a penny off the FBI Site as I would feel that is unfair to the other bloggers as we all contribute to it. I just simply maintain the site when I have time.

I’m still making twists with the site and trying different things with it. I’d like to try and keep it as bare boned as possible. This past week I’ve been running the Twitter feeds from the So Much More Hawaii tour on the site.

A few days before March 16th I rolled out the first trial of the site and just played with it for a while.

Then on March 15th I posted the following introduction to the FBI Blogs:

Here you will find a compilation of some of the best blogs on the Big Island.

From Kona to Kohala, Waimea to Hamakua, and Hilo to Puna… You will also be able to link to Big Island Video News as well as see Big Island headline news fed to the site provided by Hawaii 24/7

Take off your shoes and stay for awhile. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you take home a plate with you.

Who needs the local papers anyways?

March 16th was the official date that I launched it and coincidentally,

March 16 is Freedom of Information Day, to celebrate the birthday of James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights.

So Much More Hawaii Checks in at the Hilton Waikoloa

Earlier, I mentioned that the bloggers from the mainland on the So Much More Hawaii tour had dinner at the Seafood bar in Kawaihae.

After dinner, they then proceded to check into one of the nicest hotels in all of Hawaii, the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

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Sheila, Leah and Mark checking in

The nice thing about the hotel, is that you have several choices on how to get to your room.

You can walk down one of the many hallways that’s filled with art.

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Hawaiian Hut

Christine and Aric

Christine and Aric check in

Mark checks in

Mark checks in

Some of the bloggers chose to walk to their rooms while others decided to take the tram.

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The Tram at the Hilton

I chose to walk to my room at the time, but my preferred mode of transportation while I was staying there was definitely the boats and the friendly workers.waikoloa 123

The nice thing about taking the boats was I got to see parts of the hotel that I wouldn’t have been able to see other wise.

All Aboard at the Lagoon Tower

All Aboard at the Lagoon Tower

View From Boat Ride

View From Boat Ride

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The property itself was great, but I was also very impressed with the room that I got.

Standard Room

Standard Room

You know the place is nice when you have a bathroom like this…

Bathroom

Bathroom

And a closet like this:

Closet comes complete with mini fridge, Iron and ironing board

Closet comes complete with mini fridge, Iron and ironing board

Even the Shampoos/Conditioners/Lotions and shower cap were top of the line… Now you see them:

Shampoo/Conditioner/Lotion and shower cap

Shampoo/Conditioner/Lotion and shower cap

Now you don’t…

Poof... I think a menehune came into my room when I was out enjoying the property

Poof... I think a menehune came into my room when I was out enjoying the property

We checked in pretty late and it was already dark and the bloggers were pretty tired from the day’s activities, so blogger Aric and I stayed up a bit and talked story and drank a few beers together.

Aric supporting our local breweries

Aric supporting our local breweries

We had a lot of fun sharing stories and learning about each other.  He’s got a great project coming up that I’ll be blogging about a bit later.

Here is his take on the Hilton Waikoloa Hotel (I didn’t have a tape recorder so I just used my camera as if it was one):

June’s Sizzlin’ New From Hawai’i’s Big Island

Media Release

Big Island Visitors Bureau

Come to the Big Island and explore Hawaii’s Island of Adventure

Hawaii’s Big Island (June 2009) —Hawai‘i’s Big Island heats up this summer with a new direct flight on the horizon, yet keeps your wallet cool with a bevy of  “do more, spend less” deals and adventures.

ADVENTURES, ACTIVITIES & EVENTS

Uplifting News for Travelers. Following the successful launch of its direct Seattle to Kona flight last year, Alaska Airlines announces a new direct service between Oakland and Kona International Airport three times a week starting Nov. 10, and will expand neighbor island service, too.  www.alaskaairlines.com.

Paradise Helicopters has a brand-new aah-dventure: the Secluded Valley Massage. After an exhilarating flight above the Kohala coastline, the helicopter touches down in a private, lush valley where a babbling brook provides background during a relaxing massage. Memorable for couples or groups. Visit www.paradisecopters.com or call (866) 876-7422 or (808) 969-7392.

“Wheel adventurers” will love Ride The Rim’s new Waipi‘o Valley Adventure on an ATV or buggy. Experienced guides lead you to the unparalleled vistas and waterfalls at the back of Hawai‘i’s “Valley of the Kings.” Tours operate twice a day, seven days a week from Kukuihaele and are about three hours long. Visit www.ridetherim.com or call (877) 775-1450 or (808) 775-1450.

Kohala Kayak takes $20 off! In commemoration of Hawai‘i entering statehood in 1959, the three-hour kayak and snorkel tour is just $59 for all of 2009. Stand-up paddling also available. Visit www.kohalakayak.com or call (808) 882-4678.

Pedal Power. Raise money for multiple sclerosis research just like an Ironman cyclist on the Bike MS: Go BIG or Go Home cycling adventure, Aug. 8 (65 miles) & 9 (50 miles). Pedal on pavement alongside volcanic rock landscapes, breathtaking ocean views, paniolo ranches, and historic towns. Sponsor Hilton Waikoloa Village provides discount group rates to participants. Register at www.mshawaii.org or call (808) 532-0808.

Kona Honu Divers, Inc. has a great deal for divers, which includes five to seven nights at one of Kona’s prime condominium properties and five to six days of two-tank morning boat dives aboard Kona Honu Divers’ custom dive boat. Upgrades and additional nights available upon request. Valid through November. $1,029  to $2143.25 plus taxes and fees. Call (808) 324-4668 or (888) 333-4668 or visit www.konahonudivers.com.

Want more? Click http://bigisland.org/calendar for detailed information about Hawai’i Island events and be sure to mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Hawaii Film Hoike, featuring Hawaiian filmmakers at Hilo’s Palace Theatre. Sept. 19-20. Visit www.hilopalace.com.

ACCOMODATIONS

Mango Magnificence! The first annual Mango Festival is Aug. 1 on Hawai‘i’s Big Island, and Keauhou Beach Resort is celebrating with a special festival package. Priced at $149/single or $199/double, the package includes one-night accommodations, a buffet breakfast the following morning and entry to the Mango Festival’s Kona Mango Experience and the Mango-Inspired Dinner. For reservations, call  (866) 326-6803 (808) 324-2515.

Mauna Lani Point, located on the stunning Kohala Coast, provides guests with a free pass to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, 4th night free and a $200 gift card now through Dec. 19. Mauna Lani Point is an ultimate oceanfront location with golf resort amenities and one-and two-bedroom luxury villas. Townhomes and estates also available. Call (866) 966-5985 or visit www.visitmaunalani.com.

In July, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, located on a beautiful white sand beach in Kailua-Kona, plans to re-open one tower of 230 rooms after an extensive, Hawaiian-inspired renovation.  The newly designed guestrooms feature themes of lava, native flora, and the intricate detail of the Hawaiian tattoo.  Visit www.konabeachhotel.com to see photos of the new rooms, and for special packages and offers.

Kona Village adds value to every stay with airfare and activity credits through Dec. 19. Book any published room rate in select categories and receive $800 airfare credit and bungalow upgrade. Or, book any published rate and receive four spa treatments and four rounds of golf at Hualālai; values worth more than $1,540. Call (800) 367-5290 or visit www.KonaVillage.com. Restrictions apply.

Every Third Night Free at the Outrigger Fairway Villas! Enjoy a relaxing getaway in your own private Waikoloa Beach Resort condominium. Rates for a three-night stay starting at $163/night. Offer valid through Dec. 21. Free parking and free local and toll-free calls. Call (800) 688-7444 or visit www.outrigger.com.

Two for One. Make a new booking at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii and receive a second room absolutely free! This offer includes guaranteed connecting rooms in the same category booked for garden view, partial ocean view, and ocean view categories-perfect for friends and families looking for a getaway. No minimum stay required. Valid through Dec. 20.  May not be combined with any other promotion.  Call (800) 845-9905 or visit www.fairmont.com/orchid.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa celebrates 50 years with the “Hawaii Statehood Package.” Guests will receive the fourth night free when they book three nights, VIP turndown service, daily breakfast for two, a one-time $50 resort credit, and a newly minted Hawai‘i State Quarter (while supplies last and good for one per package). Based on availability, restrictions may apply. Visit www.Marriott.com and use promotional code PRO or call (800) 721-6996.

A Deal That Will Make You See Stars! Guests at Arnott’s Lodge in Hilo enjoy Mauna Kea Sunset and Stargazing for just $85 – the best deal on the mountain! Visit www.arnottslodge.com or call (808) 969-7097.

Unlimited Golf Package at Hilton Waikoloa Village & Waikoloa Beach Resort. Golf at Waikoloa Beach or Kings’ Course and play a second round, same day, same course on availability. Includes golf shuttle, storage of bags, and practice facilities. Starting at $314 plus tax/night for one golfer. Some restrictions, black-out dates apply; reservations based on availability. Offer valid through Dec. 20.  Not valid with other offers. Request rate plan P6. Call (800) HILTONS or book online, http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/reservations/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=KOAHWHH&spec_plan=P6&spec_plan_desc=Unlimited+Golf

The Polynesian-styled Sea Mountain Resort is located next to the mesmerizing black sands of  Punalu‘u Beach Park, and only a 30-minute drive from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, home of Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.  Rates from $99/night, valid through Dec. 20. Call (800) 525-5894 or visit https://mycrs.innpoints.com/book/book/guest/stay?hotelCode=1794&promotionCode=HAWAII

GROUP GATHERINGS

Meet for Less at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. The Premier Meetings Package includes meeting room rental and set up; podium, microphone and projector screen; water station throughout the day; mini continental breakfast and afternoon refreshments at just $25/person, tax and tip inclusive. Valid until Dec. 31. Minimum of 25 people. Call (800) 367-5004 or email groups@castleresorts.com.

Aston Kona by the Sea Unveils “The Beach Club,” a new oceanfront function space, which can be transformed for intimate sunset wedding receptions or themed bridal showers. The space features two separate rooms that can be configured differently to seat up to 52 people. Room rates start at $169/night through Dec. 21; blackout dates and restrictions may apply. Visit www.AstonHotels.com or call (866) 774-2924.

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa Executive Chef Eric Lelinski has developed a “Sustainable Menu” for banquets that brings the freshest, tastiest, best quality food available to the resort’s tables. From organic eggs and potatoes to a seasonally adapted Big Island fruit platter and salads of locally grown greens and vegetables, Sheraton Keauhou, home to the Kona coast’s largest meeting facility, introduces the Big Island’s best to discerning palates. www.SheratonKeauhou.com

The Pools of the Hilton Waikoloa Village

The coolest pools I have ever seen can be found right here on the Big Island at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Walkway

There are actually three pretty cool pools to choose from in this huge hotel.

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The above pool is the largest pool where they have many activities that you can participate in from learning how to Scuba Dive to Water Aerobics.

Pool 2

They also have lots of hot tubs that can be found in little secluded spots around the main pool.

Hot tub 1

The one below actually has a cold water waterfall falling into it which makes for a very unique experience.

Hot tub 2

There is a complete underground cave system which the pool extends to as well.

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You can actually just kick back in the cave if the sun gets to hot for your liking.

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The water slides at the hotel are great

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They have ones for adults

Water Slide

And ones for kids

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And if you want to just relax and float around you can do that as well

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The other direction

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Of course you can also swim in the salt water lagoon that has lots of turtles and fish to check out.

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But the coolest pool, had to be the Dolphin Pool.

Dolphin Pool

This place is so cool, that even the Flamingo’s have their own pool!

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You can click on the pictures below for a better view of some more of the pools available at the Waikoloa.

Big Island Offering Great Deals for Locals

Media Release

Kama‘āina Specials Launch Sunday on www.bigisland.org/getaway

bivb

The Big Island Visitors Bureau and its island activity, lodging and dining partners have pooled resources to splash out unbeatable savings for kama‘āina travelers.

“We have paradise right here on Hawai‘i’s Big Island, and it’s just a short drive or short and affordable flight away,” said George Applegate, Executive Director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau.

The weather is fabulous, Kīlauea volcano is putting on quite a show, and getaways, reunions and vacations are top of mind for local people – both Hawai‘i Island and neighbor island residents. Applegate said that when BIVB asked local businesses what kinds of deals they could offer kama‘āina, the organization was met with irresistible offers from all corners of Hawai‘i’s diverse Big Island.

Want to unwind on one of the world’s best beaches on the sun-soaked Kohala Coast? Take advantage of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s Golden Anniversary of Statehood kama‘āina special: book two nights at $199 per night, get the third night at $50.

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

Never been to Ka Lae, where sea-faring Polynesians landed their sailing canoes to discover Hawai‘i long ago?  Discover this tranquil, beautiful region and stay at Kalaekilohana, a Hawaiian-owned luxury B&B offering a “Guilt-Free Getaway” for groups for as little as $49/night per person, if your party stays three nights or more.

Kalaekilohana Bed & Breakfast

Kalaekilohana Bed & Breakfast

Want to see the sun sink beneath the clouds, then the stars light up the night sky atop Maunakea? Or take a guided trek to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – Hawai‘i’s only World Heritage Site – to witness the recent activity at Kīlauea, both at the summit and at sea level? Compare deals by Arnott’s Lodge & Hiking Adventures, KapohoKine Adventures, and Hawaii Forest & Trail.

How about dining oceanfront at Huggo’s in Kailua-Kona? You’ll save 20 percent off entrees after 8:30 p.m. Take an underwater journey aboard Atlantis Submarines in Kailua-Kona, and keiki ride for free with a paying adult. Or, snorkel and dive at night with gentle, giant manta rays and the expert crew of Kona Honu Divers, for 15 percent off.

Atlantis Submarine

Atlantis Submarine

“There are so many remarkable experiences on Hawai‘i’s Big Island, and our island is so vast and so diverse, even Big Island residents can enjoy a real getaway by driving to a different zip code,” Applegate said.

Nearly 50 Big Island offers await residents of the 50th state on its new kama‘āina special website, www.bigisland.org/getaway . The specials will be promoted on local radio, TV and in print media, too.

Why go anywhere else? Save money and splurge on unforgettable memories right here at home, on Hawai‘i’s youngest and biggest island, where the scenery is different around every corner and the savings are spectacular.

Japanese Wood Dolls Displayed at Home and Away

Japanese Wood Dolls are an important part of many families here in Hawaii.

Japanese Wood Dolls

Japanese Wood Dolls at the Hilton Waikoloa

My wife and her two sisters are half Japanese so as each child came into the house, they each got a doll.

The three girls representing my wife and her two sisters

The three girls representing my wife and her two sisters

When I was walking around the Hilton Waikoloa Village, I was taking pictures of all the things that caught my eyes.

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But one thing really captured my attention as I was taking some of the pictures I was taking was these Japanese dolls that were on display:

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The Hilton Waikoloa has quite an impressive display of art that I will be featuring on my blog in the next few days.

Japanese Dolls at the Waikoloa

Japanese Dolls at the Waikoloa

I sure wish I had a better camera that could take better pictures!

Japanese Dolls

Japanese Dolls

You can check out all of this cool stuff at the Waikoloa and you don’t even have to pay the price to go to an expensive museum.  This is just the beginning of many pictures I’m going to share as time allows.