Friday, April 9, 2010

Merrie Monarch Festival Underway on Hawaii Island

The 46th Annual Merrie Monarch festival -- four days of music, dance, exhibits an parades all dedicated to the memory of King David Kalakaua -- is on now through Sunday, April 11 in Hilo. A feast for all the senses -- beautiful and fragrant tropical lei and other florals, ancient and modern hula, kane (men) and wahine halaus are all featured, with groups from all of the Hawaiian Islands, the mainland and as far away as Japan competing in the dance competitions. King Kalakaua, known affectionately as the "Merrie Monarch", reigned over the Kingdom of hawaii from 1874 until his death in 1891. A patron of the arts, Kalakaua was responsible for restoring many of the nearly lost cultural traditions of the Hawaiian people, including Hula which had been forbidden by missionaries for more than 70 years. All hail King Kalakaua for preserving this gift of dance for future generations!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ready for Some Retail Therapy, Island Style?

Be the first to wear it on your home club courts that of the coolest (literally and figuratively) new labels to appear in what feels like decades! Athletic DNA is available exclusively at the Four Seasons Hualalai Tennis Club on Hawaii Island's "gold coast". Super soft, silky and light weight fabric with a logo I'm betting will be as familiar as the "Just Do It" slash soon. Simple, clean and inmastakable. Athletic DNA tag: Designed to Compete. Worn to Win. It's in Your Bood.
Moving from courts to beach, pool and beyond check out the oh so chic, os so easy to wear resort lifestyle collenction at Seaside Boutique, also located on Hualalai Resort property, just a ball toss away from the courts. The lady & The Sailor is one of the latest lines of clothing to make it to the boutiques racks...yummy sorbets and neutrals dominate for spring/summer 2010 with fabrics that float like a warm summer breeze as you move through your day and onto sunset cocktails.
While you're there, slip into one of the hottest basic tees to turn fashionistas heads everywerhe you go (available only at Seaside Boutique) is part of the "standard" James Perse collection designed exclusively for Seaside Boutique at Hualalai. One of the dreamiest cottons ever...grab one in every color -- they''ll take you through summer and fall in style and comfort!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Exceptional Exotic Florals

Flowers for Mama in upcountry Holualoa has been creating floral masterpieces for nearly 25 years in a centruy-old home workshop in this tiny, historic village situated just 4 miles above Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
Specialty leis...including wrist and head leis...and gemlike small arrangments to oversized, dramatic, highly-styled floral art are Flowers for Mama hallmarks. While much of the goods are sourced directly from their lush hillside gardens, owners Gene (Bucky) and Richard (both Hawaii Island natives) have culivated relatiotionships with the island's top growers over the years. Many of them producing highly prized, highly allocated rare blooms only available to those who understand and respect the botanical jewels. From perfectly formed, delicately-hued King Proteas to hearty, brilliant scarlet Torch Ginger and every fabulous flower, fern and greenery in between, this duo takes natural beauty to supernatural heights! Studio visits by appointment; custom floral workshops on request; event styling and florals for every celebration! All florals available for pick up or delivered to you with much aloha! 808/324-0109.

Hidden Gems -- Small Cafes, Big Flavors

Some of Hawaii Island's most interesting, most flavorful, ultra fresh foods are tucked away in the least expected places - these are the favored hideways for locals in the know who are craving "ono grindz"!
Seek them out on your next visit, you won't be disappointed! Ceviche Dave's is located in Kona's new light industrial area...step inside, take in the cool, laid back vibe and you'll swear the sand and sea are right outside the door! Dave and wife April spent decades following the sun, surfing all the best breaks worldwide. While they were at it they collected numbers of ceviche recipes from tropical climes around the globe...tweaking them to develop their own unique bold flavors & culinary stlye. The result: the best citrus-cooked fish dishes in Hawaii...uber fresh, delicious and protein packed. If you're lucky, Dave (on guitar) will be jamming with friends while you're there. And whichever ceviche creation you decide on, do not leave without a handful of April's sinfully addictive chewy, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with crunchy sea salt!
Further south...about 12 miles south of Kona en route to pristine Kealakekua Bay, you'll find the roadside Nasturtium Cafe. A tiny jewel with "backdyard" tranquil gardens, the Cafe serves up sustainably grown, mostly organic salads, soups, sandwiches and wraps that nourish both body and soul with each delicous bite! Desserts make this place a mecca for locals and frequent visitors alike...forget the diet and indulge!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beautiful Holualoa...from Holualoa Inn

The sun is shining, trades blowing...another beautiful day at Holualoa Inn! Can't get any better.

Up Country on Hawaii Island

From Paniolo (cowboy) country and the Kona Coffee Belt (on the Island's west side from roughly Kaloko through Holualoa and Honanau) up to the heights of often snow capped Mauna Kea at more than 13,000 feet, Hawaii Island's mauka lands combine the beauty of its natural history with adventure hikes and chances to viewr are floral and bird species. Take time to travel from sunny beaches and quaint bayfront towns to explore these fascinating regions. Visit for more details. Contact me to arrange a custom-designed private tour.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Winning Makeovers: Hawaii Island

Four Seasons Hualalai Resort didn't miss a beat in its commitment to re-inventing its beloved Beach Tree Restaurant. The location was razed and re-built to further enhance it's absolutely beach/oceanfront location at one of Hawaii Islands most beautiful spots. Casual beach chic at it's very best. Speaking of best, Chef Nick Mastrascusa has finally brought a menu and passion for perfectly prepared food to match this paradise locale. Soft spoken, with the confidence and grace of a finely tuned athlete, Mastrascusa -- aside from being a masterful chef -- is just that. Growing up in Uruquay he embraced that country's two favorite pastimes: soccer and cooking. Recruited to the Uruquay's National Soccer Team at just 17, Mastrascusa suffered a career ending injury in his first year of play. Soccer's loss, is food lovers' gain! The entire menu is a winner, but don't miss his signature Paella or Charo's Gnochi (his mother's secret recipe)! Book in time to catch the sunset. 808/325-8000.
The legendary -- and beloved -- Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on Hawaii Island's spectacular Kohala Coast, re-opened last year following a 2-year renovation and enhancement project after the 6.8 earthquake in 2006. Expanded rooms, oceanfront bathrooms with floor to celing views and exciting new restaurants (Number 3, Manta and Monettes) are among the highlights. Check them out on

Hawaii Island's Best Boutique Inns

Opened late last year at the northern tip of the Big Island is Hawaii Island Retreat. From elegant lodge suites to luxury Yurts this luxe eco retreat is a hidden gem on healing lands. Infinity pool, hiking trails and endless Pacific views make this the perfect place to hideaway, chill and rejuvenate. Conceived, built and operated by Jeanne Sunderland who developed and directed the Spa Withou Walls at the Fairmont Orchid, check out this eco-minded, luxury retreat on line:
Holualoa Inn sets the benchmark for blissful, luxury bed & breakfast inns in Hawaii. Perched on the slopes of Mt. Hualalai on Hawaii Island, the 30-acre property is a tropical garden of eden. The casually-elegan 6-room inn, designed in gracious "Old Hawaii" style, features indoor/outdoor living at its best with interiors inspired by owner Cassandra Hazens "treasure hunting" travels throughout Indonesia, Thailand, India and her many years as a part-time Hawaii Island resident. Checkout the outstanding website (the video is exceptional) and shoulder season special pricing on the blissful, beautifully appointed Queen Rooms (25% off rack rates now through June 11).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life & Times on Hawaii Island

Lucky Live Hawaii is a popular pidgin phrase resonating here with natives and transplants alike. Today, with ten years on Hawaii Island -- a transplanted California girl -- each day brings new appreciation, new discoveries and new friends. On this blog, you will find insider tips and recommendations to make your time here magic! From the hottest new chefs and restaurants, not-to-be-missed hikes, bikes and beaches to luxury resorts, boutique inns, retail therapy and'll find it here! Looking for a custom designed insider's itinerary to the island's hidden treasures? Look no further. Need an extra special venue for your event, retreat or celebration? We can secure some of the Island's most exclusive locations and manage every detail of the event for you -- musicians, lightinig& sound, floral stylists, catering, photographers and more. Follow me for all of the latest Hawaii Island news, happenings, celebrity sightings and "Best of" reviews.