Tuesday, July 30, 2013


In Hawaii, a popular evening activity is a Luau.  A Luau is a Hawaiian feast and celebration.  At a Luau, their is usually hula dancers, Hawaiian singers, fire and knives dancers.  The tradition at Luaus is to eat on taro tree mats and eat with the hands instead of using utensils.  But we didn't do that and just followed the modern etiquette of eating with forks and knives.  Right before the show, there were activities for the children, such as face painting and bracelet making.  I learned how to make a bracelet out of taro leaves. 

At the beginning of the show, there was a princess that hula danced for us.  Her skirt was made out of taro leaves. She shook there hips really fast, and I can see her skirt going in a fast circle. The next thing the dancers performed for us was the fire dance. They spun the fire in circle really fast, and later added knives to the dance. It was exciting to watch them dance with such dangerous props and not get burnt or cut. 

Michael's face paint

Learning how to hula dance

With the performers after the show

Photo with a fire dancer

Photo with the sunset

Have you ever gone to a Luau?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Birds of Maui

Hannah wrote:

In Maui I saw a lot of birds. The first bird I saw was a bird that had a red face. Red is my favorite color. My brother and me took a picture of it. It was very hard to take one. My brother Michael did it instead. There was another bird that was all red. We also saw a lot of baby chickens. The next bird I saw was a Chukar.We saw it at the Volcano. It was orange, gray, brown, black, and red. It had black stripes.


Northern Cardinal male
Hannah had contributed a bit to the post because she and her brother Michael had taken many of the photos below.  One of my favorite bird we saw was Northern Cardinal.  The Northern Cardinal differentiates colors.  The females are yellowish brown, but the males are bright red.  We only saw the males because they stood out among the green trees.

Red-crested Cardinal

Another bird that is similar to the Northern Cardinal is called the Red-crested Cardinal imported from Brazil. The Red Crested Cardinal is the same color regardless of gender unlike the Northern Cardinal.

Common Myna
  This island also has many Common Mynas everywhere This bird likes to hangout near hotels and airports.  These Mynas were introduced from India to supposedly control insect pests.  But surprisingly enough, these birds are not found in either Europe or North America but have been on the Hawaiian islands since the mid 1800s.  I like that this bird has a large white spot on its wing which is visible when it flies.

Spotted Dove
Similar to the Mynas, we also saw many Spotted Doves near the beach. We would often see them running across the sand.  They have been on the islands for many generations.

 One of the most majestic birds that we saw was a large white bird called an Egret.  These birds evolved on the African plains where they followed grazing animals.  Cattle Egrets were introduced to Hawaii in 1950's to control cattle pests.  We see the many Egrets while my mom and I go running in the morning. 

Red Junglefowl Cock

Red Junglefowl Cock is another surprising bird to see on an island. These roosters are most common on Kaui because there are no mongoose to eat them on that island, but we still found them begging for food in places were people hung out. 


 The Chukar is another bird on Maui.  These birds lives in dry, rocky areas in the Middle East and have also adapted in similar places like Hawaii.  They are mostly found at Haleakala volcano in Maui which is exactly where we took this photo.

All of these birds were beautiful and I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

What interesting birds have you see?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Boat Trip to Molokini

Our next journey in Maui was a boat tour to three different snorkeling spots.  The three places we visited were Molokini island, Turtle Town, and La Perouse Bay (south tip of the island)  to watch the dolphins. 

Our first stop was Molokini island, a crescent shaped lush reefed island with over 250 species of fish and other sea animals. Because we were further out in the ocean, we put on wetsuits to keep warm. The cool thing about this cruise ship was that it had a terrific water slide.  There were always fish swimming around the slide so when you reach the bottom of the slide, you would splash in right next the fish.  The reef in this area was incredible with trumpet fish, parrot fish, beautiful coral, and other fish species.  I even saw a "snake" (eel) as we called it.  Fish were swimming all around us and it was the best snorkel spot we went to in the entire trip. But that wasn't the highlight of the cruise for me.


Molokini Island
The next stop was Turtle Town and I enjoyed this stop the most.  This snorkeling spot is called turtle town because it is where all of the turtles come to get their "cleaning" as the crew calls it.  The turtles come by and fish clean the moss growing on them.  The first turtle we saw was when the boat stopped and everyone was getting on their snorkeling gear.  The turtle was right next to our boat sticking its head out.  But I saw 2 more turtles while in the water.  As soon as I went down the water slide, I had to swim to the reef, and once I was their, I saw a huge turtle.  This turtle seemed to like all of the attention it was getting from all of the other snorkelers because it stayed in its place and swam next to us.  But later the turtle got tired and started swimming away.  Hannah and I followed the turtle until it went underneath a reef and was out of sight.

We saw a saw a huge sea turtle by our boat


Gorgeous view of Molokini Island.    

The last stop was La Perouse Bay where the spinner dolphins like to hang out.  These dolphins are extremely active and like to follow the boat.  They followed our boat and even did a few tricks.  My mom made a video of these dolphins below.

Have you ever gone on a boat trip? 
Where did you go?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Road to Hana

View from the road
Early in the morning, at around 6 am, my family set off on the road to Hana, on Maui.  Hana is on the other side of the island taking about 2 and a half hours to drive if you were to go straight through. However, it is an all day trip if one makes stops along the way. On the way, my mom played a CD that guided and explained about the different trees, waterfalls, flowers, beaches, bays, and hiking trails that we saw along the way. This road was very curvy and green with just a few towns along the way. We drove through this rainforest and at a few of the stops, we got caught in a downpour of rain. Maui has a spot that is the second wettest spot on earth coming after Kauai which is another island on Hawaii that my family visited last year. The CD guide told us that we would be crossing over 57 bridges along the way. 

Twin Falls
Our first stop along the road was a gorgeous waterfall called the Twin Falls.  It is called the Twin Falls because there are two mini waterfalls combining into one. This was a gorgeous hike through a jungle with exotic flowers and fruit trees.  We saw many banana trees, coconut trees, and papaya trees.  It was still cold as it was 7 am so we didn’t swim in this pool but we did in the next one.  The next waterfall we hiked down to was a pretty big one with a deep pool.  I was the bravest of all of us to jump into the frigid water first.  After I jumped in, my mom said that the last one in was a rotten egg and shortly after that, we were all in the water shivering.  But as we were coming out of the pool, rain started pouring like cats and dogs. It was something I have never seen.  But the rain paused and we soon started driving on the cliffs of the mountains.  It was a gorgeous site seeing the turquoise water splash against the white sand beach with green rainforest cliffs above.  

View from the road

Wading into a cold pool formed by a waterfall

Our next stop along the way was lava cave.  It was pitch black inside and very rocky making us take flash lights along.  This lava tube was formed approximately 960 years ago when lava sprewed up from under ground and flowed to the ocean. Lava flowed to the bottom and the top cooled forming a hard crust.  The lava continued to flow for about 2 years making it the 18th largest cave in the world.  This cave had pointy icicle looking things that were called stalactites and only grew one inch every thousand years.  When lava flowing through the cave touches the ceiling and then drops again, the lava makes the pointy shape. When it hardens, it forms stalactites. After the cave there was a maze made out of trees with red gigantic leaves.  It was a difficult maze because almost at every corner you would reach a dead end.   


Just made it out of the maze

After the lava cave, we drove to Hana a little town with gorgeous red sand and black sand beaches. At the beaches, we saw many mongooses that were skittering around.  When the early settlers arrived, there were many rats that were pests, and the Mongooses were brought to the island to eat the rats. The problem is that rats are nocturnal and mongoose are diurnal and the two never seemed to meet each other.  Soon the mongooses were eating birds and eggs and are now even bigger problem for the endangered animals. This is just the beginning of these once in a life time beaches and sites of Hana and the rest of them will be posted on my sister's blog, Come Somersault With Sarah. 

 Where do you enjoy going for a drive?