Posts Tagged ‘Hawaiian Airlines’

Aloha Brisbane! – Part III: Koala Day! (#AlohaBNE)

February 1, 2013
Part I | Part II | Part III 

 

As with all good things, our time in Brisbane had come to an end. With bags packed, we, however, had one final expedition left in us before saying goodbye to the Queensland city by the river.

We started our morning by hopping into the van of the family-owned and operated Mr. Day Tours for their half day tour package. Val, the owner and tour guide for the day navigated and narrated our course for the day.

Mr Day Tours brochure
Mr Day Tours brochure

Our first stop was the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world’s first & largest koala sanctuary.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary sign
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary sign

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary map
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary map

Me and da koala statue
Me and da koala statue

Directions at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Directions at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Our first koala sighting couldn’t have been any cuter. It was of this adorable little munchkin getting fed supplements. I just HAD to shoot a video of it!

 


Koala being fed supplements

 

As we continued, we saw many more, though mostly sleeping in awkward positions.

Sleeping koala
Sleeping koala

Another sleeping koala
Another sleeping koala

Hey! One's awake!
Hey! One’s awake!

We saw a bunch of other animals/creatures along the way like wombats, dingoes, reptiles and birds, but let’s be honest… they were all overshadowed by “the moment” that most of us were looking forward to the entire trip… It was time to hold some koalas baby!


“The moment”! Koala holding time!

And here are the video clips of our various experiences:

 


Me and the koala

 

 


Catherine Toth with her koala

 

 


Melissa Chang with her koala

 

 


Hawaiian Airlines’ Jeremy Althof (frightened) with his koala

 

 


Hawaiian Airlines’ Jesse Starmer with his koala

 

Eventually, with feed in hand (purchased at the gift shop), we made our way over to the kangaroo section of the sanctuary, which was equally as exhilarating.

This kangaroo smells the feed in my hand. Whatchu t'ink?
This kangaroo smells the feed in my hand. Whatchu t’ink?

Cute baby kangaroo just lounges around next to me
Cute baby kangaroo just lounges around next to me

This one let me get close and pet away
This one let me get close and pet away

Melissa feeds a baby kangaroo
Melissa feeds a baby kangaroo

This was quite an interesting scene. It appeared to be a baby kangaroo resting in his mommy's pouch
This was quite an interesting scene. It appeared to be a baby kangaroo resting in his mommy’s pouch

And here’s a video of it.

 


Baby kangaroo rests in his mommy’s pouch

 

Group of kangaroos just kickin' it. Kickin' it... get it? :P
Group of kangaroos just kickin’ it. Kickin’ it… get it? πŸ˜›

Val then drove us up to the Brisbane Lookout at Mount Coot-tha, which offered a panoramic view of Moreton Bay.

Panoramic view atop Mount Coot-tha (click to enlarge)
Panoramic view atop Mount Coot-tha

Brisbane Lookout's deck
Brisbane Lookout’s deck

Our group snapping away. Damn tourists!
Our group snapping away. Damn tourists!

Kaleo Lancaster (@islandtrails), me (@worldwideed), Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) and Catherine Toth (@thedailydish) at the Brisbane Lookout at Mount Coot-tha
Kaleo Lancaster (@islandtrails), me (@worldwideed), Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) and Catherine Toth (@thedailydish) at the Brisbane Lookout at Mount Coot-tha

We boarded up the van again and headed up to Kangaroo Point Lookout near the Cliffs Boardwalk.

The Cliff Boardwalk sign
The Cliff Boardwalk sign

The view from inside one of the lookout points
The view from inside one of the lookout points

A nice look at the Brisbane River
A nice look at the Brisbane River

With the grains of sand slowly vanishing from the top of the hourglass that was our tip, we had just enough time for one more stop: Lunch! The gastropub of choice? A place called The Shelter Bar, one of three restaurants at the Story Bridge Hotel, aptly named for its physical location, sheltered under the popular Story Bridge.

Outside the Shelter Bar
Outside the Shelter Bar

Melissa's Prime Rib Fillet Burger with bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, ranch dressing and beer battered fries ($18)
Melissa’s Prime Rib Fillet Burger with bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, ranch dressing and beer battered fries ($18)

Cat's Braised Short Rib Parpadelle with baby peas, rich Napoli sauce and shaved parmesan ($22)
Cat’s Braised Short Rib Parpadelle with baby peas, rich Napoli sauce and shaved parmesan ($22)

And my personal favorite (if I do say so myself! πŸ˜› )…


My “Aussie Pizza” with double smoked ham, bacon, free range eggs and bbq sauce ($17.50)

With our tummies full, it was time to head to the airport for our 8-ish hour flight home. The Brisbane Airport is very clean and well kept, and Hawaiian Airlines‘ entrance into the market looks to have played a key part in all of it. Here are some sights from the airport.

Hawaiian Airlines flight number 444 (HA444) to Hawaii, although just two days old at the time, was already bustling!
Hawaiian Airlines flight number 444 (HA444) to Hawaii, although just two days old at the time, was already bustling!

The fancy entrance to the departure area downstairs
The fancy entrance to the departure area downstairs

Hawaiian Airlines signage at Brisbane Airport
Hawaiian Airlines signage at Brisbane Airport

Directions at Brisbane Airport
Directions at Brisbane Airport

Lounge areas (with FREE public WiFi! - which is hard to come by in Brisbane) outside the gates.
Lounge areas (with FREE public WiFi! – which is hard to come by in Brisbane) outside the gates.

Neat sand sculpture with our Hawaiian Airlines plane in the background
Neat sand sculpture with our Hawaiian Airlines plane in the background

Although it was a whirlwind 3 day, 2 night visit, we were able to get a lot squeezed into our tight timelines. If the adventures from any part in this series of articles interested you (part I, part II, & this part III), be sure to Fly Hawaiian when booking your flight: http://www.hawaiianairlines.com/Brisbane .

A HUGE Mahalo to Hawaiian Airlines (President and CEO Mark Dunkerley, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Ann Botticelli, Director of Advertising and Promotions Kevin Yim, Ross Saito from Product Development, and the social media team: Asiana Ponciano, Jeremy Althof, and Jesse Starmer, etc.) for the unbelievable opportunity to cover such an event. Mahalos also to my fellow social medialites Kaleo Lancaster, Catherine Toth and Melissa Chang, who made the trip super rad! Yeah, I just said rad. πŸ˜‰

And with that, we say Aloha and goodbye to Brisbane. Until we meet again!

To view all of my photos from Brisbane Australia, click here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/114302480978989244855/AlohaBrisbaneAlohaBNE

Melissa Chang’s #AlohaBNE blogs:
http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/?s=brisbane&searchsubmit=Go

Catherine Toth’s #AlohaBNE blogs:
http://www.thecatdish.com/?s=brisbane

Kaleo Lancaster’s #AlohaBNE blog:
http://kaleolancaster.blogspot.com/2012/12/brisbane-australia-hawaiian-airlines.html

My #AlohaBNE blogs/posts:
http://www.world-wide-ed.com/?s=brisbane

Instagram search results for #AlohaBNE:
http://web.stagram.com/tag/alohabne/

Twitter search results for #AlohaBNE:
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23AlohaBNE&src=typd

 

Part I | Part II | Part III 

 

 

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Where In (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – January 16, 2013

January 16, 2013

Halfway through January folks. How’s da new year treating you? Good I hope! For me, it’s been shmall kine hectic, but always fun to interact with you guys here. Well, whoever is left these days at least. LOL! Much mahalos for continuing to read after all these years and being so supportive of everything! Here’s this week’s pics!

Photo #1
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - January 16, 2013
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – January 16, 2013

Photo 1) Wea Dis Stay? ________________________

Photo #2
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - January 16, 2013
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – January 16, 2013

Photo 2) Wea Dis Stay? ________________________

Photo #3
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - January 16, 2013
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – January 16, 2013

Photo 3) Wea Dis Stay From? ________________________


VH07V SPOTTED!

This week’s “Spotted” shot for VH07V is a random one of Bruddah Travis. Not quite sure what he’s doing, but all that matters is that he’s wearing his VH07V tee right? πŸ˜›

Travis Okimoto sporting his Black/Blue VH07V colorway
Travis Okimoto sporting his Black/Blue VH07V colorway

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* HUGE re-fill order has been placed (the holidays wiped me out)! Hopefully it doesn’t take too long to get re-stocked.

* All order processing and fulfillment for online orders is now going completely through a professional fulfillment house. Thankful to get that load off my chest because I was getting a little burnt out from staying at storage til the wee hours of the night pulling orders. LOL!

* Also working on new styles like a wicker type polo, new styles for women, and new designs. I have at least two ready to go to print and a bunch of concepts in the works (see below).

* Here’s concept #1 of 9. What do y’all think?

VH07V design concept 1 of 9
VH07V design concept 1 of 9

* Get all of the latest VH07V gear at:

SHOP.VH07V.COM

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)


NEW AROUNDHAWAII ARTICLE

Forgot to mention that part 2 of my series on Brisbane Australia is live on AroundHawaii.com. Please check it out when you have some time:

Aloha Brisbane! - Part II: Exploring the City (#AlohaBNE)
Aloha Brisbane! – Part II: Exploring the City (#AlohaBNE)


MISSING CAT!

Our friends’ cat Hachi is still missing! 😦 PLEASE HELP! He has been missing for 20 days now and I need your help finding him. Please Share this blog with all of your Mililani friends so that we can bring him safely home to his owners. Here’s a personal note from them:

Our cat Hachi, has been missing since December 27th. We recently moved back to the Mililani Uka area and we think that he might have gotten disoriented. He is 4 years old, black and white with a pink nose, and is medium/large (14 lbs) in size. His back is more black than white. If he is seen, please text or call 808-542-9385 or 808-469-6960.

Please help find Hachi in the Mililani area!
Please help find Hachi in Mililani!

Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

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Hawaii Self Storage Auction at Kapolei West

The folks at Hawaii Self Storage are back with another exciting storage auction, this time at their Kapolei West location (2009 Lauwiliwili Street). The action starts at 10am on Tuesday, January 22 with registration at 9am. For more information, please call 808-682-0333!

Hawaii Self Storage Auction at Kapolei West location
Hawaii Self Storage Auction at Kapolei West location

Aloha Brisbane! – Part II: Exploring the City (#AlohaBNE)

January 1, 2013

 

Part I |  Part II  | Part III

 

After a 10 hour flight and a long night of heavy and indulgent eating and drinking, a serious siesta in the plush, cloud-like hotel bed was just what the doctor ordered. With the exception of that psychopath Catherine Toth (who decided to wake up early to work out!), the rest of us bloggers headed up to the 30th floor at a reasonable hour the next morning for the Special Club breakfast (served from 6:30am-10am) at Club Sofitel, Australia's largest executive club lounge.

My (2nd helping) breakfast plate with Melissa Chang & Kaleo Lancaster doing their thang
My (2nd helping) breakfast plate with Melissa Chang & Kaleo Lancaster doing their thang

On my plate, you'll notice a little container of Vegemite, a popular spread in Australia made from yeast extract (yes, I got brave). On paper, as a beer lover, I was supposed to enjoy it, but it was definitely something one needed to get used to. Here's Melissa and Cat's take on the Australian specialty:

 


Melissa Chang and Catherine Toth try Vegemite (via thedailydish's YouTube channel)

 

Refueled and ready, us four blogsketeers embarked on our journey to see Brisbane on the best mode of transportation on earth: foot. The stroll afforded us the opportunity to take in the scenery that Brisbane had to offer.

Going southwest through Queen Street Mall
Going southwest through Queen Street Mall

Treasury Casino & Hotel
Treasury Casino & Hotel

Art on Queen Street
Art on Queen Street

Brisbane Square Library
Brisbane Square Library

Chanukah display at Brisbane Square
Chanukah display at Brisbane Square

Crossing Victoria Bridge
Crossing Victoria Bridge

Outside the Queensland Art Gallery
Outside the Queensland Art Gallery

Queensland Museum & ScienceCentre
Queensland Museum & ScienceCentre

Cat navigating while Melissa and I document
Cat navigating while Melissa and I document

We made it to the Queen Elizabeth II Park/Parklands area on the banks of the Brisbane River
We made it to the Queen Elizabeth II Park/Parklands area on the banks of the Brisbane River

Nice look back at the metropolitan city we just walked from
Nice look back at the metropolitan city we just walked from

Cat, me and Melissa posing along the Brisbane River
Cat, me and Melissa posing along the Brisbane River

As we made our way along the river on Clem Jones Promenade, we noticed that there were a fair amount of joggers and bicyclists getting their exercise on. Here's a site you don't often see in America (at least one that's not destroyed or vandalized): a Community Bike Station, complete with tools, a place to mount your bike for repairs, and even a tire pump!

Community Bike Repair Station along the Clem Jones Promenade
Community Bike Repair Station along the Clem Jones Promenade

Along Clem Jones Promenade
Along Clem Jones Promenade

Panoramic shot of the Brisbane River
Panoramic shot of the Brisbane River (click to enlarge)

And then we got to the South Bank Parklands area where we found nice picnic areas, pools, and even a manmade beach called Streets Beach.

Pool at the South Bank Parkland
Pool at the South Bank Parkland

Manmade beach called Streets Beach
Manmade beach called Streets Beach

The sights were good enough to get Kaleo, Melissa and Cat a snappin'
The sights were good enough to get Kaleo, Melissa and Cat a snappin'

On the way back, we headed to the Queen Street Mall main stage to attend the Hawaiian Airlines Consumer Event. The locals got a total kick out of our folks from Hawaii spreading their Aloha with song and dance.

 


Hawaiian Airlines Consumer Event at the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane Australia

 

Shortly after returning to our hotel, some of Hawaiian Airlines' execs invited us to join them for an informal lunch in Fortitude Valley's Chinatown district, which was a short 15 minute stroll from our hotel. Twelve hungry Americans pounding "Hawaiian style"? Ouuuuraaaaiiii!

The sights along the way to Chinatown
The sights along the way to Chinatown

The first signs of Chinatown
The first signs of Chinatown

We landed at King of Kings (Chinese) Seafood Restaurant, which was a hit with a few of them on a previous visit.

King of Kings Seafood Restaurant in Brisbane Australia
King of Kings Seafood Restaurant in Brisbane Australia

It wasn't long before we found out why.

When in Chinatown...
When in Chinatown…

King of Kings Roast Duck
King of Kings Roast Duck

Just getting started...
Just getting started…

Custard Tarts off the Yum Cha menu
Custard Tarts off the Yum Cha menu

One of the highlights of the afternoon was watching Kaleo Lancaster go from blogger to "Dragon Slayer" as he took down the legendary "Dragon Drink", a series of three, increasingly potent drinks that King of Kings is known for. Here's a video I took of the momentous, yet painful looking event.

 

Kaleo Lancaster takes on the Dragon Drink from King of Kings Seafood Restaurant in Brisbane Australia

 

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to unwind before getting ready for another walk through South Bank and meal in Fortitude Valley. Part of the unwinding process naturally included Happy Hour at another visit to Club Sofitel.

Pre-gaming at Club Sofitel with some bubbly
Pre-gaming at Club Sofitel with some bubbly

And then, it was off – on foot again! – to South Bank, this time guided by Hawaiian Airlines staffers Jeremy Althof and Jesse Starmer. The sights and sounds of Brisbane at night give a totally different perspective to the scenic city. Highly recommended!

Remember the Treasury Casino & Hotel earlier today? Here's what it looked like at night.
Remember the Treasury Casino & Hotel earlier today? Here's what it looked like at night.

Walking through Brisbane Square, we saw some filming going on, which appeared to be a TV news segment.
Walking through Brisbane Square, we saw some filming going on, which appeared to be a TV news segment.

Getting reminiscent of Hawaii: here's a gecko sighting. I wonder if it has an Australian accent too? 8)
Getting reminiscent of Hawaii: here's a gecko sighting. I wonder if it has an Australian accent too? 8)

Here's a close-up of the famous Wheel of Brisbane.
Here's a close-up of the famous Wheel of Brisbane.

And here's us in front of it (l to r: Kaleo Lancaster, Melissa Chang, me, Catherine Toth)
And here's us in front of it (l to r: Kaleo Lancaster, Melissa Chang, me, Catherine Toth)

Moonlit Brisbane skyline from South Bank
Moonlit Brisbane skyline from South Bank

With our restaurant reservation coming up, we jetted off via taxi to our dinner destination: Alfred & Constance, an eclectic collection of random, mini restaurants (sorta), serving food, drinks and desserts. Here's a description of each of them:

  • The Vanguard Beer Garden & Restaurant: Booze, Beer and sharable feasts
  • White Lightning Tiki Bar: Tropical drinks and a party that never stops
  • Alfred's Café: Workday bites, salads, coffee and sweets
  • Late-Night Dessert Café: Featuring alcoholic juice & boozy smoothy stations

Since Jeremy and Jesse knew the owner there, we had a table waiting for us at the Vanguard Beer Garden. Perfs!

Here's one of two Cocktail Jugs we ordered: Watermelon & Ginger Swizzle, which consisted of Gin & watermelon liqueur shaken with homemade rhubarb syrup & topped with soda. The other one we got was the Pimms & Lemonade jug: Pimms No. 1 & Fresh house made lemon syrup, swizzled down with fresh mint & topped with soda.

Watermelon & Ginger Swizzle (Gin & watermelon liqueur shaken with homemade rhubarb syrup & topped with soda).
Watermelon & Ginger Swizzle (Gin & watermelon liqueur shaken with homemade rhubarb syrup & topped with soda).

Salt & Pepper Squid with Lemon & Sweet Paprika Mayo ($14.90)
Salt & Pepper Squid with Lemon & Sweet Paprika Mayo ($14.90)

Here, they are known for their free-range meats which are cooked whole in wood and charcoal ovens. We went with their popular roast pork with crackling.

250g of Roast Pork carved from the whole pig w/crackling ($29)
250g of Roast Pork carved from the whole pig w/crackling ($29)

Oysters Kirkpatrick (6 for $24). Raw oysters, barbeque sauce and bacon. 'Nuff said.
Oysters Kirkpatrick (6 for $24). Raw oysters, barbeque sauce and bacon. 'Nuff said.

Cat and Melissa opted for dessert from Alfred's Café. Melissa got the Baklava Muffin, while Cat got the Classic Crème Brulee.

Cat's Crème Brulee ($12)
Cat's Crème Brulee ($12)

And there's day 2 in the books. We've got just half a day left in Brisbane, but lots to see & do. Come back next month to witness koala and kangaroo petting, majestic views of Mount Coot-tha and grindz at The Shelter Bar.

To view more photos from the trip and get a sneak preview of what's to come:
https://picasaweb.google.com/114302480978989244855/AlohaBrisbaneAlohaBNE

Melissa Chang's #AlohaBNE blogs:
http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/?s=brisbane&searchsubmit=Go

Catherine Toth's #AlohaBNE blogs:
http://www.thecatdish.com/?s=brisbane

Kaleo Lancaster's #AlohaBNE blog:
http://kaleolancaster.blogspot.com/2012/12/brisbane-australia-hawaiian-airlines.html

My #AlohaBNE blogs/posts:
http://www.world-wide-ed.com/?s=brisbane

Instagram search results for #AlohaBNE:
http://web.stagram.com/tag/alohabne/

Twitter search results for #AlohaBNE:
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23AlohaBNE&src=typd

 

Part I |  Part II  | Part III

 

 

VH07V
VH07V Gear
The latest in Hawaii lifestyle apparel. Check it out!

 

Where In (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012

Ho! I’ve been slackin’! It’s been almost a month since our last Where In Hawaii post! Gomen ah?

Since the posts have been getting shmall kine lengthy/wordy though, I think I’m gonna start cleaning them up and making them more concise (easier fo read). Start early for da new year. Whachu tink? Let’s give um one try:

Photo #1
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 19, 2012
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 19, 2012

* Wea Dis Stay? ________________________ (location for Photo #1)

Photo #2
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 19, 2012
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 19, 2012

* Wea Dis Stay? ________________________ (location for Photo #2)

Photo #3
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 19, 2012
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 19, 2012

* Wea Dis From? ________________________ (location for Photo #3)


VH07V SPOTTED!

This week’s “Spotted” shot for VH07V features a video Melissa Chang took on Hawaiian Airlinesinaugural flight to Brisbane Australia. She and Catherine Toth decided to interrupt my beauty rest (Lord knows I need all the help I can get) and take this funny, spontaneous footage. Much love for the VH07V shout out ladies! 8)


The Flight to Brisbane (#AlohaBNE)

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* Orders for the Christmas rush has been going absolutely bonkers! Mahalo to all of y’all for your support!
* Online store is OPEN! Check it out at shop.vh07v.com!

VH07V's online shopping cart - Now Open!
VH07V’s online shopping cart – Now Open!

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

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The Kukui Children’s Foundation “Celebration of Partnerships”

Representatives from a number of organizations under the umbrella of the Kukui Center gathered to share in a celebration of partnerships to show their appreciation to all those who help their organizations continue to support the people of Hawaii.

The Kukui Children's Foundation 'Celebration of Partnerships'
The Kukui Children’s Foundation “Celebration of Partnerships”

Aloha Brisbane! – Part I: Hawaiian Airlines Launches Their Newest Route to Australia (#AlohaBNE)

December 5, 2012

 

 Part I  | Part II | Part III

 

Traveling to Australia has always been a dream of mine. I mean, let's face it, they've got so many interesting and unique things going for them…

  • Their seasons are completely opposite from ours.
  • They've got koalas and kangaroos to ogle over.
  • They have cute sayings like "G'day Mate!", "Barbie" (BBQ), and "Oi (Oi Oi)!" (LOL!)
  • Their toilet seats (supposedly) flush in the opposite direction.
  • Regional Beers like Hahn, Tooheys and XXXX.
  • And, uh, Vegemite… I guess.

So when the opportunity arose for me to join Hawaiian Airlines' inaugural flight to Brisbane, I could not say "Yer, mate" fast enough!

On Tuesday, November 27th, of 2012, Hawaiian Airlines launched its newest direct route to Australia's third most populous city: Brisbane. Like some of Hawaiian's previous inaugural flights (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Seoul, New York City and Sapporo), they invited members of the (new) media to help document the journey, every step of the way. The recruits this time around were Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) of NonstopHonolulu.com, Catherine Toth (@thedailydish) of TheCatDish.com, Kaleo Lancaster (@islandtrails) of Island Trails, and myself (@worldwideed) of World-Wide-Ed.com.

 


Hawaiian Airlines Flies to Brisbane, Australia! (via HawaiianAirlines' YouTube channel)

 

It was a whirlwind 3 day, 2-night tour, but we definitely got to experience Brisbane the only way Hawaiian Airlines knows how: with Aloha. Here are some of the sights and sounds that we were fortunate enough to experience.

Hula dancers giving us a nice sendoff
Hula dancers giving us a nice sendoff

HA443 departs Honolulu at 10:20am every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrives in Brisbane (BNE) at 4pm the following day.

Blessing by Kahu Richard Kamanu
Blessing by Kahu Richard Kamanu

The awesome Hawaiian Airlines crew for our HA443 flight to Brisbane
The awesome Hawaiian Airlines crew for our HA443 flight to Brisbane

 


On the flight to Brisbane (via AlohaMelissa808's YouTube channel)

 


On the flight to Brisbane (via thedailydish's YouTube channel)

 

After about 10 hours in the air, we finally get to the beautiful city of Brisbane
After about 10 hours in the air, we finally get to the beautiful city of Brisbane

These two (Melissa Chang and Catherine Toth) are happy to be on the ground
These two (Melissa Chang and Catherine Toth) are happy to be on the ground

Our hale for the next few days was the French based luxury hotel chain called Sofitel Brisbane Central Hotel. Conveniently located in the middle of the city, it was in walking distance to quite a few key points during our trip, including ANZAC Square, which was literally across the street. Here's the view from my hotel room window!

Looking down at ANZAC Square from the Sofitel Brisbane Central Hotel
Looking down at ANZAC Square from the Sofitel Brisbane Central Hotel

It wasn't long before we had to get dolled up (I wore a tie!) and head down to the Ballroom Le Grand for the official Welcome Gala.

Hawaiian Airlines Welcome Gala
Hawaiian Airlines Welcome Gala

It was a packed house filled with members of the local (Brisbane) media, tour industry professionals, airline executives, and local entertainers Sean Na`auao and Lehua Kalima (formerly of Na Leo), among others.

 


Lehua Kalima Sings "Waikiki" at the Hawaiian Airlines Welcome Gala

Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Mark Dunkerley addresses the crowd
Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Mark Dunkerley addresses the crowd

And of course, we can't forget about the food p0rn shots! πŸ˜‰

Bomboocha wok of fried rice!
Bomboocha wok of fried rice!

My serving of fried rice
My serving of fried rice

Poke samplers
Poke samplers

Chef Chai's popular Fried Kataifi Prawns
Chef Chai's popular Fried Kataifi Prawns

Following the gala, we decided to take a stroll around our neighborhood.

The Shrine of Remembrance at ANZAC Square
The Shrine of Remembrance at ANZAC Square

Possibly the best named street in all the land: Edward Street. 8)
Possibly the best named street in all the land: Edward Street. 8)

Brisbane's cool CityCycle bike hire program
Brisbane's cool CityCycle bike hire program

We decided to check out a popular local pub called the Pig 'N' Whistle on Queen Street.

Partial beer selection on tap
Partial beer selection on tap

Since we weren't that hungry, we just got a side of "chips" (fries in the U.S.) to share.

Chunky Chips with Garlic Aioli ($8.90)
Chunky Chips with Garlic Aioli ($8.90)

After all that eating and drinking, combined with our jetlag, it was time to call it a night. From the expressions on the ladies' faces, I think they agreed.

Cat and Melissa are either extremely drunk or jetlagged. You decide.
Cat and Melissa are either extremely drunk or jetlagged. You decide.

And that's it for our first night in Brisbane. I'll be back again soon to post more about our adventures including South Bank, King of Kings Seafood Yum Cha Restaurant in Chinatown, Alfred & Constance, koala and kangaroo sightings at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, The Shelter Bar, and our departure.

To view more photos from the trip and get a sneak preview of what's to come:
https://picasaweb.google.com/114302480978989244855/AlohaBrisbaneAlohaBNE

Melissa Chang's #AlohaBNE blogs:
http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/?s=brisbane&searchsubmit=Go

Catherine Toth's #AlohaBNE blogs:
http://www.thecatdish.com/?s=brisbane

Kaleo Lancaster's #AlohaBNE blog:
http://kaleolancaster.blogspot.com/2012/12/brisbane-australia-hawaiian-airlines.html

My #AlohaBNE blogs/posts:
http://www.world-wide-ed.com/?s=brisbane

Instagram search results for #AlohaBNE:
http://web.stagram.com/tag/alohabne/

Twitter search results for #AlohaBNE:
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23AlohaBNE&src=typd

 

 Part I  | Part II | Part III

 

VH07V
VH07V Gear
The latest in Hawaii lifestyle apparel. Check it out!

Congratulations Chad Owens!

November 26, 2012

Please help me send a HUUUUUGE congratulations and Aloha to Bruddah Chad Owens for his AMAZING 2012 CFL season with the Toronto Argonauts! First, with individual honors, breaking the all-time, single season all-purpose yards record (previously held by “Pinball” Clemons), becoming the first player in professional football to record back to back to BACK seasons with 3,000+ combined all-purpose yards, and then, winning the league’s Most Outstanding Player award! Then, he scored the opening touchdown en route to his team’s 35-22 home win over the Calgary Stampeders in the 100th Grey Cup championship game… All with a broken thumb!!! Bruddah is UNREAL and deserves all the best! Here’s his post-game interview.

Chad contacted me (VH07V) through Instagram complimenting the brand. We chatted a bit through email and I eventually asked for his address so that I could send him some apparel as a Mahalo! He was nothing but nice with CHOKE aloha so it makes me soooooo happy that all this success is coming to him. I wish I could take credit for his success this season (like the “power of VH07V” gave him good luck or something… LOL!), but it was all him! Hard work pays off!

Here he is supporting VH07V during a press conference earlier this season.

MOP and World Champion Chad Owens sporting his Red/White VH07V colorway
MOP and World Champion Chad Owens sporting his Red/White VH07V colorway

P.S. Will probably be soft launching our online store today, Cyber Monday! Check it: http://VH07V.com/ .


Brisbane Australia, Here we come!

As mentioned last week, I have been invited (as a “social media influencer”) on board Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight to Brisbane Australia departing this week. Like some of Hawaiian’s previous inaugural flights (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Seoul, New York City and Sapporo), there will be a fair amount of hoopla surrounding this flight and I’m pretty excited.

Catherine Toth, Melissa Chang and Edward Sugimoto (Photo Courtesy: Brandon Suyeoka) I’ll likely miss posting this Wednesday’s “Where in Hawaii” blog, but there will still be posts galore being made during the two night trip to Queensland. If you’re interested, you can follow along with all the Brisbane merriment through the following links. Rumor has it that Melissa Chang and Catherine Toth will be going on this trip as well! Awesomeness!

* World-Wide-Ed.com
* Hawaiian Airlines on Facebook
* VH07V on Facebook
* Melissa808 on Instagram
* catherinetoth on Instagram
* VH07V on Instagram
* #AlohaBNE on Instagram
* @hawaiianair
* @Melissa808
* @thedailydish
* @worldwideed
* @VH07V
* #AlohaBNE

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Where In (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – November 21, 2012

November 21, 2012

The first photo this week is actually not in Hawaii, but it has something to do with us here in Hawaii. If you read my blog last week, I had a big announcement under the “BIG NEWS!” heading. Check it out for a hint for Photo #1.

Photo #1
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - November 21, 2012 (Photo courtesy: Hawaiian Airlines)
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – November 21, 2012

(Photo courtesy: Hawaiian Airlines)

Points for Photo #1…
* Significance: 5 points
* Country!: 2 points
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Year photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point

Photo #2
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - November 21, 2012
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – November 21, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #3
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - November 21, 2012
Where in (the) Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – November 21, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Wat dis?: 2 points
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Last Week’s Results (11/14)
Points for Photo #1
* Best Caption: 3 points (SO FAR: “Hurry up and take the picture already, so we can go eat!!” – DIO, “Make sure Ed uses disposable chopsticks, as you won’t want them back after he’s done.” – DIO)
* Name each person: 2 points each (Melissa, Cat, Ed, Shay, Brandon, Ryan, Meagan – carokun)
* Twitter name for each person: 3 points each! (@catherinetoth @melissa808 @starletshay – carokun)
* Location: 2 points (Kiwami Ramen – carokun)
* General area: 1 point (Waikiki – carokun)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Kalakaua Ave, Seaside Ave – carokun)
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point (November – carokun)
* Day of the month photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point (13 – carokun)
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point (Tuesday – carokun)

Points for Photo #2
* Best Caption: 3 points (SO FAR: “The sound of running water always makes me pee.” – carokun)
* Location: 2 points (Benihana of Tokyo – carokun)
* General area: 1 point (Waikiki – carokun)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Kalia Road, Kalakaua Ave – carokun)

Points for Photo #3
* Best Caption: 3 points (“I was rockin’ to da music on da radio while holding my coffee cup in my right hand, while trying to take the pic with my phone in my left hand, plus I had to take the pic quickly so the cop in the next lane wouldn’t see what I was doing.” – DIO)
* Location: 2 points (Neal Blaisdell Arena – carokun)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Ward Ave. – carokun)

Totals This Week

  • 6 points (DIO)
  • 33 points (carokun)
Round 8 Leadahz

  • 33 points (carokun)
  • 6 points (DIO)
[Da Leadahboard]

BIG NEWS!

As mentioned last week, I have been invited (as a “social media influencer”) on board Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight to Brisbane Australia departing next week. Like some of Hawaiian’s previous inaugural flights (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Seoul, New York City and Sapporo), there will be a fair amount of hoopla surrounding this flight and I’m pretty excited.

Catherine Toth, Melissa Chang and Edward Sugimoto (Photo Courtesy: Brandon Suyeoka) I’ll likely miss posting next Wednesday’s “Where in Hawaii” blog, but there will still be posts galore being made during the two night trip to Queensland. If you’re interested, you can follow along with all the Brisbane merriment through the following links. Rumor has it that Melissa Chang and Catherine Toth are gonna be on this flight too! Awesomeness!

* World-Wide-Ed.com
* Hawaiian Airlines on Facebook
* VH07V on Facebook
* Melissa808 on Instagram
* catherinetoth on Instagram
* VH07V on Instagram
* #AlohaBNE on Instagram
* @hawaiianair
* @Melissa808
* @thedailydish
* @worldwideed
* @VH07V
* #AlohaBNE

The following photo is not exactly in Brisbane, but it’s at the nearby Tangalooma Resort. I figgah it’s 1) close enough and 2) a good excuse for another eye candy shot. πŸ˜›

SUP at Tangalooma Resort (Photo Courtesy: Tourism Queensland)
SUP at Tangalooma Resort (Photo Courtesy: Tourism Queensland)


VH07V SPOTTED!

This week’s “Spotted” shot for VH07V features a nicely edited video from the fellas at 130 Plus 0. They documented what it took for all of us to come together at this year’s Rice Fest to break the Guinness World Record for the “The World’s Largest Spam Musubi“! You’ll see VH07V sprinkled throughout since we were the official clothing sponsor of the event.


Guinness World Record for “World’s Largest SPAM Musubi”

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* Yay! We finally broke 1,000 Likes for VH07V on Facebook! Not bad for just 6 months of being in business (if I do say so myself! πŸ˜› )… As such, we drew the name for our $100 Shopping Spree contest and and randomly selected San Diego personal trainer Palani Mak! Congrats Bruddah Palani.

$100 Shopping Spree winner Palani Mak
$100 Shopping Spree winner Palani Mak

* Almost pau putting the finishing touches on the online shopping cart. Coming out pretty solid. Just need to test um and den we ready! πŸ™‚

VH07V's online shopping cart - Coming Soon!
VH07V’s online shopping cart – Coming Soon!

* Still waiting on my refill order (in preparation for the Christmas rush) and the two new styles below (in time for winter). Stay tuned!

Navy/Teal hoodie and a White/Electric Blue long sleeve shirt
New Styles: Navy/Teal hoodie and a White/Electric Blue long sleeve shirt

Where/When you can find VH07V in the coming weeks:

  • 09/15/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. Lamar. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/22/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 4:30pm game vs. Nevada. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/29/12: 3rd Annual Rice Fest – As a sponsor of the event, VH07V will also have a booth at this year’s Rice Fest where we will sell all of our VH07V shirts in addition to the custom event shirt! Come on down to the Ward Warehouse complex to visit our booth any time from 11am-7pm.
  • 10/07/12: 7th Annual Hawaii Fishing & Seafood FestivalVH07V will have a booth at this festival on Pier 38 from 9am-4pm.
  • 10/13/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. New Mexico. Stop by and say hi.
  • 10/19/12-10/21/12: 48th Annual Food & New Products Show – Get your Christmas shopping done at the Blaisdell all weekend! Come visit us at our booth for a free gift!
  • 10/28/12: Craft Fair at Koko Head Elementary School – VH07V got invited to participate in this small craft fair taking place from 3pm-6pm at Koko Head Elementary School’s cafeteria. Stop by to pick up some VH07V merch if you’re in the area.
  • 11/10/12: University of Hawaii Football game – May be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 2pm game vs. Boise State.
  • 11/24/12: University of Hawaii Football game – May be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. UNLV. (Taking wifey out for an anniversary dinner)
  • 12/01/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. South Alabama. Have to go to a party now…
  • Ongoing: Visit us at the “Shop” in Mililani – We can always coordinate schedules to meet at the “shop” after hours or on the weekends if you’d like to come up to Mililani to browse through my stock. Just message me through Facebook

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

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Hawaii Self Storage gives $1.8 Million back to our Community!

Hawaii Self Storage “Community Pride” initiatives have established various programs focused on enhancing literacy, education, teamwork, support to local charities and families in need. They have funded 83 public high school students to go to college, provided 7,700 reading books in local elementary schools, cared for and provided a transition home for 544 abused keiki (Ho’omalu o na Kamali’i), sponsored keiki athletic teams, and invested 1,000s of dollars supporting local, non-profit organizations.


Hawaii Self Storage gives $1.8 Million back to our Community!

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – November 14, 2012

November 14, 2012

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - November 14, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – November 14, 2012

Had a fun time hanging out with some old & new friends last night. You may even reconotice _____ Chang and _____ Toth above from the ol’ blogging days on the Honolulu Advertiser. Awwww, the memories…

Fellow Ramen fanatic _____Suyeoka (middle) rounded up a bunch of us foodie types to experience ______ Ramen one more time before it closes. Can you guess where it is?

Points for Photo #1…
* Best Caption: 3 points
* Name each person: 2 points each
* Twitter name for each person: 3 points each!
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point
* Year photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - November 14, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – November 14, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Best Caption: 3 points
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

And… get your glasses ready for…

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - November 14, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – November 14, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Best Caption: 3 points
* Why so blurry?: 2 points
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Last Week’s Results (11/07)
Points for Photo #1
* Best Caption (what is she thinking in her head?): 3 points (“I wish these nerds would stop tweeting pics of me working!” – Paco)
* What is she making?: 2 points (Shrimp Linguini with white sauce and Garlic bread – Ynaku)
* Fictional name for her: 2 points (SO FAR: Esmeralda – Ynaku)
* Location: 2 points (Tsukiji’s – carokun)
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point (May – DIO)
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point (22 – DIO)
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point (Tuesday – DIO)
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point (2007 – DIO)

Points for Photo #2
* Best Caption: 3 points (“weren’t you an extra on Finding Nemo?” – Coconut Willy)
* What is the fish with the open mouth saying?: 2 points (TIE: “Eh, Joe you went fut?” – Paco, “Something smells fishy in here…” – DIO)
* Location: 2 points (Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival – Otto)
* General area: 1 point (United Fishing Agency – Pier 38 – Otto)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Nimitz Highway – Otto)
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point (October – Otto)
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point (10 – DIO)
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point (Sunday – Otto)
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point (2010 – DIO)

Points for Photo #3
* Location: 2 points (Ala Moana Shopping Center – carokun)
* General area: 1 point (Ala Moana – carokun)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Ala Moana Blvd., Kona St., Atkinson Drvie, Kapiolani Blvd. – carokun)
* Month photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point (February – DIO)
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point (14 – DIO)
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point (Thursday – DIO)
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point (2010 – DIO)

Totals This Week

  • 5 points (Paco)
  • 4 points (Ynaku)
  • 9 points (carokun)
  • 12 points (DIO)
  • 3 points (Coconut Willy)
  • 8 points (Otto)
Round 7 Leadahz

  • 106.5 – carokun
  • 82.0 – Paco
  • 51.0 – tweetpeep22
  • 41.0 – Coconut Willy
  • 34.0 – rayboyjr
  • 29.0 – DIO
  • 20.0 – Otto
  • 14.0 – Ynaku
  • 10.0 – Kage
  • 09.0 – pink lady
  • 08.0 – che
  • 06.0 – soogs, Takeshi
  • 05.0 – WahiawaWahine
  • 04.0 – J-Dog
  • 03.0 – Stickit
  • 02.0 – snow, pink lady
[Da Leadahboard]

BIG NEWS!

As part of the “local media”, I have been invited on board Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight to Brisbane Australia departing in a couple of weeks on the 27th. It will be the only nonstop flight there from Hawaii and the second to Australia (Sydney being the other city) through Hawaiian. My social media friends and counterparts got to enjoy some of the previous inaugural flights Hawaiian took (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Seoul, New York City and Sapporo), and I could only live vicariously through them, so getting the opportunity myself is pretty dang exciting and quite humbling. Look for some Australian pics & posts from me along the way mate. And if you have any suggestions on what to do or eat, let a brutha know!


My AroundHawaii Article for November

In the past, I’ve done ramen, poke, pho, shave ice, acai and more, but I’ve been asked to do this one on numerous occasions so I thought I’d finally put it together… Saimin Adventures – The Search for Hawaii’s Best Saimin – Part I. Check it out when you have some time and let me know if you have any suggestions for additional saimin joints to hit up!

Saimin Adventures - The Search for Hawaii's Best Saimin - Part I
Saimin Adventures – The Search for Hawaii’s Best Saimin – Part I


VH07V SPOTTED!

This week’s “Spotted” shot for VH07V features a super talented, local photographer and friend Marc Orbito. Marc, who is the man behind Hungry eYe Photo, took this shot of himself with the Blue/Green colorway because he kinda blended in with the Apple Store Geniuses. Funny with the timing as we just wrapped up a family photo sesh with Marc, and if the one photo he sent over is any indication (he also did my VH07V photo shoots at Kaka`ako Kool & Rainbow Drive In), I know the rest of the photos are gonna be off the hook… as expected! Contact Marc/Hungry eYe Photo for your photographic needs k?

Marc Orbito blends in as an Apple Store Genius with his Blue/Green colorway
Marc Orbito blends in as an Apple Store Genius with his Blue/Green colorway

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* Facebook Likes for VH07V is now at 967! Just 33 more to go until we hit 1K and then pick a winner for our $100 Shopping Spree! Wheeeee!

* Making some progress on the online shopping cart and should hopefully have something ready by Thanksgiving!

* Submitted my work order for a couple new styles for winter. A Navy/Teal hoodie and a White/Electric Blue long sleeve shirt. Let me know if you’re interested in picking up either one when they come out…

Navy/Teal hoodie and a White/Electric Blue long sleeve shirt
New Styles: Navy/Teal hoodie and a White/Electric Blue long sleeve shirt

Where/When you can find VH07V in the coming weeks:

  • 09/15/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. Lamar. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/22/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 4:30pm game vs. Nevada. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/29/12: 3rd Annual Rice Fest – As a sponsor of the event, VH07V will also have a booth at this year’s Rice Fest where we will sell all of our VH07V shirts in addition to the custom event shirt! Come on down to the Ward Warehouse complex to visit our booth any time from 11am-7pm.
  • 10/07/12: 7th Annual Hawaii Fishing & Seafood FestivalVH07V will have a booth at this festival on Pier 38 from 9am-4pm.
  • 10/13/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. New Mexico. Stop by and say hi.
  • 10/19/12-10/21/12: 48th Annual Food & New Products Show – Get your Christmas shopping done at the Blaisdell all weekend! Come visit us at our booth for a free gift!
  • 10/28/12: Craft Fair at Koko Head Elementary School – VH07V got invited to participate in this small craft fair taking place from 3pm-6pm at Koko Head Elementary School’s cafeteria. Stop by to pick up some VH07V merch if you’re in the area.
  • 11/10/12: University of Hawaii Football game – May be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 2pm game vs. Boise State.
  • 11/24/12: University of Hawaii Football game – May be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. UNLV.
  • 12/01/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. South Alabama. Have to go to a party now…
  • Ongoing: Visit us at the “Shop” in Mililani – We can always coordinate schedules to meet at the “shop” after hours or on the weekends if you’d like to come up to Mililani to browse through my stock. Just message me through Facebook

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

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Scholarship Opportunities from Hawaii Self Storage!

Need $MONEY for College? Hawaii Self Storage annually awards ten, 4-year $1,000 scholarships to high school students in the community! If you are a senior at Moanalua, Radford, Farrington, Pearl City, Aiea, Waipahu, Campbell, Mililani, Leilehua, Kapolei, McKinley, Kalani or Kaimuki high school, ask your counselor for an application or go to their web site at www.hawaiiselfstorage.com to download today!

Scholarship Opportunities from Hawaii Self Storage!
Scholarship Opportunities from Hawaii Self Storage!

The King of Online Travel

June 10, 2008

It’s official. I am the King of Online Travel.

OK, so it’s a meaningless title cause it’s self proclaimed and nobody really cares, but I just got the sickest deal for a weekend trip to San Jose – that I booked for a good friend’s wedding (Congrats Tom!) – and I just want to gloat a bit. *grin*

Usually, I’m not too concerned about saving a few dollahz here and there if it means getting a trip that perfectly fits the ol’ schedule, but, unfortunately, due to my limited amount of resources and vacation days for 08 (on account of the big dance and honeymoon of my own), I’m in a bit of a squeeze… So saving money and preserving vacation days is the number one priority at this point.

For the last week or so, I’ve been scouring dem online travel sites for the cheapest, fastest, dirtiest flights I could find. OK, not dirty, but you know what I mean yo. Making things a little more complicated/challenging was the coordination around the other friends’ varying schedules (most of them are going up in advance and making a vacation out of it… LUCKY!), in addition to around the wedding schedule. My friend Glenn and I have been in constant contact with one another on the almost stock-market-like volatility of the ever-changing airfare prices.

$1,000s… Merrcy!
$900s… Blah!
$600s… Interesting.
$500s… Woah, should I book?

No ways! I wanna hold out for another day!

Finally, today, $444.93 son! I am da man!

Instead of ending this blog here and making you feel like you’ve wasted 5 minutes of your life that you can never get back, I’ll turn this into a helpful and productive post that you will look back upon and not hate, but appreciate. πŸ™‚

Ed’s helpful tips to becoming your own King or Queen of Travel:

  • So, I always start off at the multiple listing service/consolidator sites to get a feel at what’s out there. You know the Expedias and the Travelocitys of the world.
  • Then, I look at the cheapest carrier and go directly to their web site to see if they have similar, cheaper or special rates. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, depending on the deal they cut with the sites above.
  • Most times, booking online is cheaper than calling their customer service lines, so plan on that (buying online).
  • If you haven’t already, sign up for their frequent flier or preferred member clubs. Most times it’s free and you’ll earn miles and sometimes you’ll even get a break on airfare.
  • SHOP AROUND! The same exact flight you see on one site will be a totally different price on another site.
  • Timing! Sometimes prices change daily or even multiple times a day, even on the same web site. If you’re into gambling, wait a bit and see if you can time it to get a cheaper price. If you like to really gamble (which I don’t recommend), wait ’til the very last minute as airlines and vendors will offer “Last Minute Deals” for the inventory that hasn’t been sold. You can often get big discounts.
  • If you’re planning a vacation way in advance, you might want to consider signing up for the individual airlines or travel partners’ web site newsletters. I hate junk mail, so I don’t, but they will send you e-specials as they come out. You can even set some to notify you based on your travel preferences.

I think that’s about it. There are tons of sites out there, but here’s a short list of the ones I use.

Partner/Consolidator Sites:

Airlines (direct):

Other:

Hope this helped! Post some of your tricks to booking cheap travel below!

We Do It Big Island Style

October 1, 2007
 Part I  | Part II

When you think “island style,” you think Hawaii and our innate, laid back way of life. After two recent trips to the Big Island of Hawaii, I quickly discovered that we ain’t got nuthin’ on ’em. This here is true, island style living and I’m about to show how you too, can roll John Cruz style… brah.

Thanks to a friend at go! Airlines, we were able to get an awesome deal on airfare, which also gave us the unique experience of boarding an airplane from the tarmac. Silly Jetway. Who needs ’em? True island stylers get it going from the ground yo.

Boarding go! Airlines to Kona, Hawaii
Boarding go! Airlines to Kona, Hawaii

Island Style Tip (IST) #1: Know someone who works for the airlines or shop around for the best price.

go! Airlines’ fares are regularly at $39, which forces the other carriers to offer competitive prices, which is good for us consumers. Another trait of island style living is finding good deals. Your options are as follows:

Living island style is also who you know. Luckily for us, we also have a friend in the hotel industry, so we were able to get great accommodations at a great hotel for a great price.

(IST #2): Know someone who works at Hilton or stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village to take advantage of an entire day of frolicking in the sun for free/cheap.

Hilton Waikoloa Village sign
Hilton Waikoloa Village sign

Just a short, 20 minute drive from Kona International Airport at Keahole, this huge, 62 acre oceanfront property has much to do and much to see. First thing’s first, let’s drop our bags off at our room.

After checking in, you’re led towards (neat thing #1) an air-conditioned tram which takes you to your hotel.

Air-Conditioned Tram
Air-Conditioned Tram

Once we drop off our bags, we’ll get on board (neat thing #2) the mahogany canal boats to tour the rest of the property.

Mahogany Canal Boats
Mahogany Canal Boats

Our first stop was the Grand Staircase (you may start to recognize elements of this property as the place where Dog the Bounty Hunter got married).

Grand Staircase
Grand Staircase

From here, you can look at the beautiful view across the Lagoon or catch a glimpse of a turtle or two in the Lagoon itself.

Turtle in the Lagoon
Turtle in the Lagoon

From there, we worked our way around the Lagoon, through/behind the mini, manmade waterfall, and towards the Dolphin Learning Center.

Walking through/behind the waterfall
Walking through/behind the waterfall

Dolphin Learning Center
Dolphin Learning Center

Since our stay was brief, we decided to pass on the Dolphin Learning Center (for more information on Dolphin Quest, click here) and have our fun in the Lagoon.

Editor’s note: the real reason we passed on DolphinQuest was because of a cheap/grumpy tour guide πŸ˜› but this leads us to IST#3:

(IST#3): Hang out right next to the Dolphin Learning Center long enough and you’ll see the cute dolphins swim right by you, get fed and play with the tourists who weren’t on a budget. If you’re lucky enough, the trainers will come by and chat with you.

The Dolphins swim right near you
The Dolphins swim right near you

The Lagoon is a four-acre, ocean fed sanctuary where we humans (hotel guests of course) can rent kayaks, water bikes, paddleboats, etc. for some on the water fun, or wade and come face to face with tropical fish or one of the few rare green sea turtles we saw earlier.

Playing on the water bikes at the Lagoon
Playing on the water bikes at the Lagoon

The Lagoon side view of the waterfall is definitely better.

The view from the other side of the waterfall
The view from the other side of the waterfall

After frolicking in the sun, we head east to cover more of this huge property. Along the way, we see sleeping flamingos,

Sleeping Flamingos

ugly Buddha statues,

Ugly Buddha Statues

the property’s beautiful and scenic wedding chapel and gazebo areas,

Wedding chapel and gazebo areas

and, in front of the Ocean Tower, another close encounter with the endangered sea turtle.

Endangered sea turtle

(Note: I was told that you should avoid contact with these animals not only because they are fragile and endangered, but also because you can catch salmonella).

As you head northwest past the Kohala River pools,

Kohala River pools

You’ll slowly approach one of the most breathtaking sights on the property, Buddha Point.

Buddha Point

Take your time to enjoy the view at Buddha Point. It might even be a good idea to bring lunch or sunbathe here…

I can go on and on about the many more sights and amenities you can find here (including shopping, entertainment and additional outdoor activities), but I’ve got so much more to cover in this article, and let’s face it, they’ve got enough face time. You’re welcome Mr. Hilton. I’ll be waiting for my lifetime comp coupons in the mail. πŸ˜‰

Another benefit to having a “native” at the locale you’re visiting is the possibility of a home cooked meal (don’t be a cheapskate and be sure to bring planny omiyage though!). Not only is eating a home cooked meal great food for the soul, it’s a time for quality bonding and will make you feel like you’re at home again.

(IST#4): Have a “native” where you’re visiting and have a home cooked meal

Half the fun is going shopping for the ingredients,

Shopping for dinner at Waikoloa Village Market

Shopping for dinner at Waikoloa Village Market

Shopping for dinner at Waikoloa Village Market

And the other half is preparing it,

Preparing Dinner

Preparing Dinner

Preparing Dinner

Preparing Dinner

Preparing Dinner

and eating it.

Eating Dinner

With the day winding down, our first day of traveling island style has ended. But fear not, slipper wearer. We’ve still got another full day of laid back living to go!

So our next stop is Big Island Grill, a place popular with the locals. The food was way too salty for me and the prices are semi reasonable, but this visit and subsequent mention in this article is much more than just trying to find a good deal on eats. Confused? Read on…

Answer me this question first. Where else can you meet a 7 foot, former Olympic and NBA World Champion and All Star player AND even get a photo with him, all without paying for an exorbitant card show entrance fee? (Oh, and by the way, he’s as nice and cordial as they come!) That’s right: at Big Island Grill (if you were with me on this day πŸ˜› ). Rumor has it, he has a place in Hualalai and frequents local favorites when in town.

This one’s a little hard to accomplish, but…

(IST#5): Be at the right place at the right time and you too, can have a photo like this! πŸ™‚

David Robinson
David Robinson

OK, so this next tip is rather touristy and not exactly island style-ish, but hear me out. There’s a pretty good tip at the end, especially for you romantic types.

(IST#6): Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (on a non lava day). Even better is if you visit on certain event days, admission is free (normally $10 per vehicle).

Volcano status report kiosk
Volcano status report kiosk

You may be wondering why you’d waste your time visiting the park when there’s no lava flowing into the ocean, but trust me there buddy ol’ pal. You’ll like this one.

OK so after you do the touristy visits to the Visitor Center and various stops around Crater Rim Drive, make the extra effort and drive down Chain of Craters Road until you hit the end of the road (download PDF map here). Most tourists end their tour on Crater Rim Drive and don’t make this little detour (especially on non-lava days), but believe you me, you won’t regret it as you’ll see more majestic, untouched Hawaii than you’ve ever seen before.

Majestic, untouched Hawaii
Majestic, untouched Hawaii

When you hit the end of the road and park your ride, make your way to the cliff’s edge for some nice, majestic shots.

Scenic shots

Scenic shots

Oh, but that’s not it my dear friends. You should see a long road that can only be traveled on by foot.

Chain of Craters Hike
Chain of Craters Hike

You want to take that until it ends.

End of Chain of Craters hike

End of Chain of Craters hike

Oh no, that’s not it either my friends. Keep on a truckin’! This is where the fun begins. Here you’ll see a large mass of hardened lava where few before you have witnessed.

Lava

You’ll see marked areas that you are not allowed to go beyond, so be sure to pay attention to these signs.

Don't go beyond marked areas!
Don’t go beyond marked areas!

Also watch your step and keep your eyes peeled for dangerous footholds and coned off areas.

Watch your step for dangerous footholds!
Watch your step for dangerous footholds!

Keep your eyes peeled for coned off areas
Keep your eyes peeled for coned off areas

So why all the rigmarole? Believe me, there’s a method to this madness. Eventually, when you make your way past all the obstacles and find a nice little area to rest, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean, you’ll thank me for Island Style Tip #6a:

(IST#6a): Propose to your girlfriend/boyfriend (ukulele optional)

With its isolated nature and picturesque backdrop, you’re sure to have alone time with you and your mate in the most perfect of settings. Don’t forget to invite me to your wedding! πŸ˜‰

Later this evening, we planned on having a family style BBQ back at our friend’s house, so on our way back to Waikoloa, we stopped by Tex Drive-In for their very famous specialty: malasadas.

Tex Drive-In
Tex Drive-In

Which leads us to our next two tips

(IST#7): Don’t come to a BBQ empty handed and

(IST#8): If it’s Tex Drive In malasadas you are bringing, be sure to eat one first, hot and fresh (and then rearrange the rest in the box and act like you didn’t πŸ˜› ).

Tex Drive-In famous malasadas
Tex Drive-In famous malasadas

Fortunately for us, our friend’s roommate is an executive chef on the island, so we were treated to some of the best tasting grinds around, including BBQ steaks,

BBQ steaks

garlic butter shrimp,

Garlic butter shrimp

lomi salmon,

Lomi salmon

and homemade mac salad.

Homemade mac salad

Which leads me to tip #9.

(IST#9): Have a hotel friend, who lives in the place you’re visiting, whose roommate is an executive chef, who decides to have a BBQ and invites you. πŸ˜‰

OK, so that one’s not very realistic, but, much like IST#4, having a local style BBQ is just as fun and just as relaxing, island style, that is.

Well, we’ve finally come to the end of our stay on the Big Island, but what’s a trip to the Big Island without a visit to KTA Super Stores? It’s like going to Kauai and not going to Big Save, walking through Waikiki and not stopping at an ABC Store, or going through a list of Island Style Tips and ending on #9. So without further ado,

(IST#10): Buy your last minute omiyage at KTA. They sell unique, specialty snacks that are perfect for fulfilling that gift list before heading home.

Omiyage from KTA
Omiyage from KTA

So whether you’re from Hawaii or have Hawaii in your heart, that’s my perspective on how we do it Island Style (on the Big Island). I think, however, Cruz sums it up best:

On the Island, we do it Island Style,
From the mountain to the ocean from the windward to the leeward side…

Enjoying the Kona sunset before heading home
Enjoying the Kona sunset before heading home…

 Part I  | Part II