Hopefully after last week’s blog you have decided to come and visit us in Hawaii this year. If you have decided to come, pack your bags and I wish you a big “MAHALO” (thanks). We are looking forward to sharing “ALOHA “with you. Before you come there are a few things that I thought we should discuss. Life is a little different on the Hawaiian Islands. We all share one thing in common and it is the bond of “ALOHA”. To most mainland visitors “ALOHA” means “Hello” or “Goodbye”. For those of us who are blessed to live in paradise it means so much more. All you really need to understand is that we live by unspoken rules know as Aloha. We are committed to share our journey help each other, treat everyone with respect (including our land, water and animals) and most importantly understand patience. Be prepared before you get here to slow down (we run on island time). You are going to need to leave your slippahs (flip flops) at the door with your work cell phone, email, and unique sense of mainland entitlement.

To get your started, I thought I would share with you a quick guide to the four most popular islands. Hopefully this little recap can help you start planning where to visit. Over the next few weeks I will also share with you in detail more about the personalities of all our islands and what you should pack. Oh yeah, did I mention “birds of a feather vacation together”? Just like on the mainland, it’s funny to me how people from the same part of the country end up staying and sharing on a specific island or town on an island. Are you ready? Here we go.

• Oahu Island(Gathering Place) = Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, tons of luxury shopping, Waikiki and a visit to the north shore for eclectic shops and surfing. Super busy, tons of visitors from China, Japan and Korea as well as mainland tourists taking on what has become the most iconic place to meet up in Hawaii. Is it fun? Yes! Is it crowded? Yes! Is it exciting? Absolutely! Do you go and visit? Yes, however, limit your stay to a couple days and bring your AMEX.

• Maui Island(Valley Isle) = Beaches, small city living, foodie paradise and an amazing upcountry lifestyle too. It is also home to the only Krispy Kreme in HI (don’t; be surprised to see our locals carrying them on to the Inter-Island flights. Maui South Shore = trendy, foodie scene, progressive, where Los Angels, Bay Area, Seattle, Canadians and Palm Spring comes to play. West Side = generations of Maui visitors from WDC, NJ, NY, Philly and South Florida (essentially the entire east coast and middle of US). Lahaina was the place to be in the 90’s however; it seems to be catching up again with times. You should also know it is the HOTTEST place on the island and rarely rains. Lastly, just be prepared that traffic venturing to and from the West Side is a nightmare.

• Kauai Island(Garden Isle) = Oldest island, Jurassic Park, adventure, outdoor living, slower pace, secluded and without many of the mainland anticipated amenities (Sorry no Target, only 3 Starbucks (no drive-thrus), don’t know of a drive thru ATM anywhere but, this is the island that fulfills what you anticipated Hawaii to be. North Shore = Hana & Princeville. Formerly known as the wealthy playground and also land of yogi and surfer living. If it’s organic, you will find it there. Expect to find everyone from all aspects and demographics of the US. South Shore = Poipu or the true warm beach resort living. Known to for new growth, new money and massive new homes at Kukui’ula. Visitors from the Bay Area, Seattle and Canada dominate the mix. West Side = Hot and spectacular Waimea Canyon (The Grand Canyon of HI).

•Hawaii Island(Big Island) = Newest island, Kilauea volcanic craziness, hula reigns supreme, beautiful beaches and tons of outdoor experiences. Weather and climate ranges from sunshine at the beaches, damp rain in the mid section and sometimes snow up on Mauna Kea. Hilo= quaint eclectic town and home of Sig Zane (the most amazing and coveted Aloha shirts) and tons of local charm. Kona = Hot and dry resorts, reminds me of Arizona, amazing coffee and the destination for most tourists.

David Brown
Mulberry Seed Design