Mosquito ‘Fever’ in Hawaii

I'm not surprised, but it was inevitable that public fear of the Zika virus has caused heightened fear of dengue fever in Hawaii. I saw a poster (below) at Lihue airport in Kauai yesterday that gave pointers on how to eliminate mosquitoes to protect against dengue, transmitted in Hawaii by the two mosquito species that transmit Zika. Like Zika, dengue has been around for a very... Continue Reading →

Botanical Ordnance: Cannonball Tree

A more fascinating tree I've never come across. It's more commonly known as the cannonball tree because its russet-colored fruits are shaped like and almost as heavy as cannonballs and give off an explosive sound when they fall and hit the ground. The fruit pulp inside is bluish-gray and attracts wild animals which eat the seeds that get propagated through droppings.... Continue Reading →

Honolulu Aquarium’s Giant Clams

As aquariums go, Honolulu's in Waikiki may be small, but it is no less interesting than others twice its size. It has several captivating specimens, all of which inhabit the Pacific Ocean. The collection includes several species of giant clams (Tridacna gigas). When I first saw one there, I couldn't tell it was a clam. I was looking for colossal... Continue Reading →

Tropical Fruit Bowl

At the KCC Saturday Farmers Market in Honolulu, we wanted to buy fresh fruit. Even an apple banana or papaya would have sufficed. But we hit the jackpot at a stand that was selling tropical fruits. There were lots of nicely arranged fruit. What struck my eye were plastic tubs of mixed, cut-up fruit, none of which I had ever eaten... Continue Reading →

Is Matsumoto’s Faltering? (Hale’iwa, HI)

A group of us drove to the North Shore to enjoy its special pleasures: gazing at the beautiful beaches and pounding surf, and making our way through the trifecta of required eating—a shrimp truck, Ted's Bakery and Matsumoto's. A stop at Fumi's Kahuku Shrimp is always an event to look forward to. We always love it there, this trip... Continue Reading →

Chain of Craters Road, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (Big Island, HI)

Its history convulsed by vulcanism, the Big Island is basically a giant lava rock. It reveals its ancient past and continuing growth everywhere you look. At one-third of a million acres, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is home to two volcanoes which can both claim Guinness Book statistics. Mauna Loa is Earth's most massive; Kilauea is the youngest... Continue Reading →

Yoohoo Uhu

It's easy to see why this fish is called a parrotfish (uhu, in Hawaiian). It's also good eating on the islands. We saw these specimens at the Maunakea Marketplace in Honolulu's Chinatown.

The Conservatory at Foster Botanical Garden

Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu is known for its outstanding collection of tropical trees, including an impressive set of palms. There is also an orchid garden, but we didn’t see many flowers in bloom. Inside the conservatory was another matter. Although not the largest orchid collection I've ever come across, there were some beautiful specimens interspersed... Continue Reading →

Mo’ Betta No Can Get: Side Street Inn on Da’ Strip (Honolulu, HI)

It wasn’t until Anthony Bourdain in 2009 featured Side Street Inn on “No Reservations” that this local hangout became nationally famous. It’s the answer to the oft-asked question, Where do famous chefs go to eat after work? Some of Honolulu’s top chefs, including Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, had been coming all along just to “hang... Continue Reading →

Enjoying Young Coconut

One of my favorite dessert flavorings is coconut. Coconut muffins, coconut ice cream, coconut cookies, Ted’s chocolate-haupia cream pie, the list goes on. No bettah place to have than Hawaii, yeah? At the KCC Farmers Market, one particular vendor has been selling young coconut for at least the last three of our visits. Chilled in... Continue Reading →

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