Author Archives: Anna

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Student Spotlight: Two football players from Bates College take the off-season to study in Hawaiʻi

Category : Student Spotlight

Get to know Brian Carilli, a politics major and Josh Freedland, a psychology major, who traded the snow and cold of the infamous winter of 2014 for the sun and adventure of the tropics.

Cliff Jumping

Cliff Jumping


Favorite UH Class
Brian: “Political Design and Futuristics”. This class is very thought provoking.
Josh: “Culture, Gender, and Appearance”. The professor is really good. She was a psych major and at one time worked for Gucci.


Favorite Form of Social Media
Brian: I’d say face-to-face interaction. I’m not into technological communication.
Josh: Yeah, I like hanging out with real people.


One Word (or a few) That Your Friends Use to Describe You
Brian: Brazen or insane
Josh: Mellow, relaxed.


One Word That You Use To Describe Yourself
Brian: Outgoing
Josh: Laid back


Greatest Adventure
Brian: My greatest adventure is coming up. After graduation my friends and I will hike the Long Trail, a 272-mile trek through the Green Mountains, from the Massachusetts – Vermont border to Canada. It’s the oldest hiking trail in the US.
Josh: My coolest adventure was a two-week trip to Israel with a group of high school peers. My greatest adventure here in Hawai‘i was a 40-foot jump off Kapena Falls. I’m terrified of heights and stood at the top for 20 minutes before taking the plunge into the water.


Something Few People Know about Me
Brian: I played trombone in middle school band.
Josh: I was an extra in Grownups 2 and met Adam Sandler.


Person You’d Most Like to Meet
Brian: Ronald Reagan
Josh: My future self


Greatest Vice
Brian: I get a little too engaged. I wear my emotions on my sleeve.
Josh: I’m not laid back enough, especially here in Hawai‘i.


Best Talent
Brian: My persuasive powers.
Josh: Not getting stressed out. Oh, and I’m learning ukulele. That might be a best talent soon.


Dream Job
Brian: Maybe an adventurer or adventure guide — something to do outdoors. Anything but sitting behind a desk!
Josh: Something to do in sports. I had an internship at an agency that represents football players, and that type of profession interests me.


Favorite Movie
Brian: Synecdoche, New York. It’s a deep movie.
Josh: Lion King


Favorite TV Show
Brian: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Josh: Seinfeld


Reality Show I’d Go On
Brian: Jersey Shore, but just for a month or so.
Josh: America’s Got Talent. I’ve been practicing my ukulele.


If A Movie Were Made About Me, I’d Want this Actor to Play Me
Brian: DeNiro
Josh: James Franco


Favorite Thing to Do at Home
Brian: Probably paintball for the adrenalin rush or hiking.
Josh: Going to sporting events. I like to go to Fenway Park in the summer for baseball.


Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i
Brian: Hiking
Josh: Hiking or tanning


Brian on the trails

Brian on the trails

Favorite Hawai‘i Place (so far)
Brian: Kapena Falls or Maunawili Falls. I love cliff jumping!
Josh: The same for me, or maybe Waikiki.


Favorite Local Food
Brian: Shave Ice
Josh: Shave Ice or Malasadas


Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition
Brian: Hawai‘i Time! Things are slower paced and more relaxed here, compared to Boston.
Josh: Yeah, I like the laid back atmosphere. I also like the tradition of handing out ti leaves at UH basketball games. Fans wave them to distract the opposing players.


Favorite Spot on Campus
Brian: The weight room
Josh: The dining room

Josh, a friend, and Brian enjoying the night life

Josh, a friend, and Brian enjoying the night life

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Student Spotlight: On the Run with Cara Bennet

Category : Student Spotlight

Vassar student Cara Bennet brings a love of running to her study away in Hawai‘i.

Cara beach running.small

Home School: Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY

Home Town: Bethesda, Maryland

Major: History, with a minor in Native American Studies

Favorite UHM Class: Hawaiian Studies. I’m learning new things in this class, things I’ve haven’t heard before, and yet there are also similarities to my Native American studies.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Probably the phone. I’ve had one since 4th grade. My parents are telecommunications lawyers, so it’s in our blood! After 9-11, my mom wanted me to have a phone at school to stay in communication in case something happened.

What’s on your iPod? Mostly Jack Johnson. I’ve always been a fan since high school. My family has a connection to Hawai‘i since my mom travels here a lot on business, and Jack Johnson’s music also keeps me connected. I’m going to one of his concerts in Columbia, MD in June. This past fall as I was warming up for a cross country race in Saratoga Springs, he was doing a sound check for a concert later that day. I had one of the best races of the year after that!

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Tenacious.

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Responsible. My nickname as captain of my cross country team was “Responsible Cara”.

Describe one of your top accomplishments: My senior year in high school I was voted captain of the cross country team, and even though it was predicted throughout the year that another team would come out on top, we won the county, regional, and state championships.

Fun Fact: Hmmm… well… I ran my first half marathon by accident. My parents were running a half marathon in Virginia Beach, and I needed to do a 7-mile long run for training, so I was just going to run along with my dad for ½ of the race. But we got to the 7-mile mark, and I just kept going! It felt great! Another fun fact is that I eat A LOT of peanut butter. My roommate has to limit me. Peanut butter at only one meal!

Craziest Ambition: To run an ultra marathon one day.

Greatest Vice: (1 minute later) I’m pretty indecisive. I guess that’s why I’m having a hard time answering this question. Here’s one example: on our cross country team runs it takes about 20 minutes to decide on a route. We have a place called the “Corner of Indecision” at the beginning of our runs.

Dream Job: Possibly working with Disney. My friends and I are a huge Disney fans. Instead of going to beach weekend after senior year, like the rest of the class, we went to Disney World. It was loads of fun!

What’s next? I’ll finish up senior year and my last season on the cross country team. I’ll also figure out my senior thesis for history, which will possibly involve Native American or Hawaiian studies.

Favorite Book: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Favorite Movie: The Lion King. I’ve seen the Broadway show in NYC and London.

Favorite TV Show: Veronica Mars. Even though the show is no longer airing, a movie is coming out, funded by Kickstarter, which was instigated by the fans of the show.

The Reality Show I’d Go On: Maybe The Amazing Race

Person I’d most like to meet: Jack Johnson or Apollo Ohno.

Favorite athlete: Marathoners Kara Goucher or Joan Benoit Samuelson

If I’m cooking we’re having: Lots of vegetables. I can’t imagine a meal without them.

Cara north shore.small

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i: Running and hiking. Incidentally I’m running the Hapalua Half Marathon in Waikiki this April.

Favorite Local Food: Fresh fruit. And poke — I love seafood.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: The general friendliness of people. Here in Hawai‘i people strike up conversations so easily, unlike in the DC area.

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: The North Shore or Waimea Canyon on Kauai.

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Waiting for Spring Semester 2014

Category : Student Spotlight

January in Hawaii can’t come sooner for this semester’s ASH students! They are flying in from some of the coldest places in the US, having endured this past week’s polar vortex! Students  hail from Bates, Ithaca, and Vassar Colleges in the North East, DePauw and U. of Wisconsin in the Mid-West, and Virginia Tech and U. of Arkansas in the South. We even have a student attending from the U. of Copenhagen in Denmark. Warmer weather, sunshine, and exciting new adventures await all of them!

It’s actually winter time here in Honolulu as well, as temperatures dropped down to 75 degrees. Snow actually covered the mountains on the Big Island earlier this winter. For some striking pictures of snow atop Mauna Kea, click here.

Now I’ll jump on the “Throwback Thursday” bandwagon and post a picture from the ASH photo library. Enjoy and come visit soon!





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Fall Semester 2013 Media Contest

Category : Student Spotlight

The results of the Fall Semester 2013 Media Contest are in! This time we left the contest open-ended, meaning video, stories, pictures, text, and anything else that falls in the category of web-worthy would be accepted. Hence the name “Media” Contest. We didn’t get any videos of big wave surfing on the North Shore, fabulous hula, or green flashes during sunsets, but we did get some wonderful photos submitted by two students, Emily Appleton and Sarah Hackshaw.

Enjoy the pictures and think about joining us soon for a study away in Hawai‘i.

Sara on the Sailboat

Sara on the Sailboat

Winning Photo by Emily Appleton

“Sailing on the Makani charter. Sara found herself a job working on the boat. Not getting paid but the hours she works will go towards her captain’s license if she chooses to pursue it at some point!  Took the picture at sunset on friday, they do about a 3 hour sail that finishes off with the friday night fireworks on Waikiki beach.”

Hiking Kahana Bay

Hiking Kahana Bay

Runner Up Photo taken by Sara Freshley, submitted by Emily Appleton

“Photo credit to Sara Freshley from our Kahana Bay hike. Wouldnt recommend the hike to novice hikers! we were unprepared to say the least and found ourselves in some sticky situations. good teamwork saw us safely to the ground.”

Here are the other entries.

Shaka on the beach

photo 1


Handstand on the beach

On the Manoa Falls Hike

photo 2

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Student Spotlight: Sarah Hackshaw

Category : Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Sarah Hackshaw


Honolulu is just one more stop for ASH student Sarah Hackshaw as she dances across the US!


Sarah announcing her home state on the beach

Sarah announcing her home state on the beach

Home School: Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Home Town: Columbus, Ohio

Major: I’m a double major in Dance and Psychology

Favorite UHM Class: Hula class. We learn a bit of culture and language as we learn the dance style.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Twitter and Instagram. I like to travel and post pictures of where I’ve been. And I have lots of funny friends who post entertaining things.

What’s on your iPod? A lot of mainstream artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, Drake, some reggae, and what I call “beachy music,” like Jason Mraz.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Lively.

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Spontaneous!

Sarah and fellow ASH student Margo

Sarah and fellow ASH student Margo

What is your top accomplishment? Getting on So You Think You Can Dance. This summer I travelled to Memphis by myself to audition for the show. It was a long and difficult process! I got through 4 auditions before I was cut just before the televised audition in Vegas.

What was your greatest adventure? I travelled to Fiji with the VESA organization (Volunteer Eco Students Association). We volunteered at a local school, sanding, painting and refurbishing the buildings and teaching English. We lived with host families, enjoying their cooking and hospitality. The second part of the program was a trip across the country. We visited 7 different islands. It was a wonderfully humbling experience. I definitely grew as a person.

Dream Job: My dream job is to be a cruise ship dancer so I can get paid to perform and travel across the world.

What’s next? Next semester I’ll go back to Ohio State, but next year I’d like to do either a Semester at Sea or the Disney College Program.

Fun Fact: Each summer I do a dance intensive program. I’ve been to Colorado, Los Angeles, and last summer I did a program with the New York City Rockettes.

Greatest Vice: Spending too much time on Social Media! I just did a speech for class about the ill effects of this. My brain is probably turning to mush!

Favorite Movie: The Lion King

Favorite TV Show: All those 90s shows like, That’s So Raven, Powder Puff Girls, and 3’s Company.

The Reality Show I’d Go On: The Amazing Race

The Most Famous Person I’ve Met: Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman. When I was at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, we were invited to a party at Ms. Allen’s house. There were lots of actors there.

If a movie were made about me, I’d want this actress to play me: Gabrielle Union.

Person I’d most like to meet: Malcolm X – he was so controversial!

My favorite dancer: Josephine Baker, who was very famous in Paris in the 1920s.

If I’m cooking we’re having: Grilled cheese sandwiches because I can’t cook!

Favorite Spot on Campus: The Aloha Courtyard near the dorms. We play volleyball there and hang out with friends. It’s so nice there in the evenings.

Favorite Local Food: I haven’t eaten too much local food, but I do like Spam Musubi. My friend from Waianae invited me to his house for Thanksgiving, and I’m really excited to have a Hawaiian style Thanksgiving meal!

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: The Shaka! I like what it stands for.

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: The Koko Head hike – the views of two sides of the island are astounding at the top – or Makaha Beach  – it’s so pretty and not crowded. The waves were just rough enough to make it fun to swim. My friends and I stayed all day!

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Student Spotlight: Emily Appleton and Sara Freshley

Category : Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Surfing from Maine to Hawai‘i

 The ASH “Student Spotlight” series profiles two students from Fall Semester 2013 who bring east coast-style surfing skills from Maine all the way to Hawai‘i.

Emily Appleton and Sara Freshley are marine science majors from the University of Maine who enjoy the water, adventures of all kinds, and cruising on skateboards around campus. They fit comfortably into the scene at the University of Hawai‘i at . Emily began surfing off the coast of Maine when she was about 8 years old, learning from her dad, and Sara began to surf about 2 or 3 years ago. They are both picking up all the ins and outs of surfing on the Pacific coast with its different shore breaks and reefs. “We’re still figuring it out,” says Emily. But hey, it’s only been a few weeks since their arrival!

Emily and Sara at China Walls

Emily and Sara at China Walls

Favorite UH Class
Emily: Conservation Biology. It’s a small class with about 20 -30 students including a mix of grad and undergrads. We discuss both Hawai‘i and global issues dealing with conservation.
Sara: My class Beverage Crops is fun. We actually make juices and taste test. The professor is kick.


Favorite Form of Social Media
Emily: Instagram.
Sara: Facebook or Instagram.


One Word (or four) That Best Describes You
Both: Easy going, chillin‘, fun loving, adventurous


Greatest Adventure
Both: This semester in Hawai‘i!
Emily: Everyone at home thought we were crazy when we talked about our plans.
Sara: It sounds unoriginal, but everyday really is an adventure here. We find something new to do all the time.
We’ve done a sunset surf at Diamond Head, visited Sunset Beach on the North Shore, gone body surfing at Sandy’s, jumped at China Walls, and this weekend we’re flying to Maui to visit a friend of mine who is also a surfer.


A Famous Person You’ve Met
Last year at the University of Maine we were driving to campus to watch a showing of “Come Hell or High Water”, a documentary about body surfing. Walking along the road was Mark Cunningham, one of the most famous body surfers ever, who happens to be from Hawai‘i and one of the subjects of the movie. We stopped to pick him up and brought him to the showing. At that time we were still considering whether or not to come to Hawai‘i, but seeing him and talking to him must have been fate. We decided to go to Hawai‘i after that chance meeting!

First Job
Sara: Junior Camp Counselor at a local nature conservancy, doing trail work and other things.
Emily: When I was 12, the ice cream man at the beach (in Maine) would hire me to walk up and down the beach with a tiki torch and Sponge Bob pinata, ringing a bell. Lots of people followed me back to the ice cream.


Fun Fact
Emily: I like to rock climb and hope to do some here.
Sara: I spent a gap year between high school and college travelling to Mexico, California, Costa Rica, and Florida, participating in NOLS and Outward Bound wilderness trips. The experience helped me decide what to study at school.


What’s Next?
Both: We hope to do a summer program through the University of Maine where we study 2 weeks at the Darling Marine Center, a research facility on the ocean, and then 2 weeks in the Arctic, working with research scientists, snorkeling with beluga whales and studying polar bears.


Favorite Hawai‘i Place
Both: China Walls! We went on a beautiful; well, actually everyday is beautiful here.


Favorite Local Food
Sara: The fruit, like guava and papaya, things we don’t have in Maine.


Greatest Vice
Both: We have way too many activities!!


Proudest Accomplishment
Sara: I think we’re still looking for that.
Emily: We’re on our way there.

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Makapu‘u Lighthouse and Tide pools

Category : Student Spotlight

Our incoming ASH students for Fall Semester 2013 will be arriving soon, ready to begin classes and explore the island. Here’s a posting for them and for anyone else who might be considering coming to UHM through the ASH program.

Looking for something to do on the weekend? Try the hike up to the Makapu‘u Lighthouse. The walk is not too long and goes along paved road, and the views at the top are stunning! Watch the waves tumble on Makapu‘u Beach below, gaze out to Rabbit Island and the pristine shoreline of Waimanalo Beach, and follow the paragliders as they soar through the sky with colorful wings.MakapuuLH.small

From Makapuu

Along the trail is an informational sign on whales from the Alaskan waters that come to Hawaii every March. At this sign is the steep, rocky trail down to a set of tide pools. Be careful here because the footing can be tricky! The tide pools are wonderful for swimming, and the waves crashing on the surrounding rocks are hypnotic.Makapuu Tidepools

Tidepools at Makapuu

Go with friends and enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean, breath in the fresh, salty air, and soak up the rays of the sun. It’s worth every step!



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Spring Semester 2013 Photo Contest

Category : Student Spotlight

Here are the results of our Spring Semester 2013 Photo Contest. Congratulations to Brittany who sent in the winning photo. Included with each photo are the judge’s comments.

Consider coming to UHM next year and discover Hawaii with your own camera!

First Place, by Brittany

1. Crash - I've selected this as the winner due to the movement captured through her lens. It is as if you can hear the waves breaking on the shore line, and the water crawling through the crevices of the rocks, and the white wash slowly retreating back for another gasp along the shoreline. Lovely approach.

1. Crash – I’ve selected this as the winner due to the movement captured through her lens. It is as if you can hear the waves breaking on the shore line, and the water crawling through the crevices of the rocks, and the white wash slowly retreating back for another gasp along the shoreline. Lovely approach.


Second Place, by Alexis

Hauanama Bay - Great panoramic shot of Hauanama Bay. It's rather unfortunate that the trees were absent of  their leaves, but that gradient of blue in the ocean and the sky are working in unison to show what a nearly perfect day looks like.

Hauanama Bay – Great panoramic shot of Hauanama Bay. It’s rather unfortunate that the trees were absent of
their leaves, but that gradient of blue in the ocean and the sky are working in unison to show what a nearly perfect day looks like.


Third Place, by Brittany

Sunset - Love the color palette presented by this photo, the yellow and the orange compliment the shade of blue well. In addition, the water acts as a blanket covering the sand, and with the comfort of the night sky, one could almost get lost in it.

Sunset – Love the color palette presented by this photo, the yellow and the orange compliment the shade of blue well. In addition, the water acts as a blanket covering the sand, and with the comfort of the night sky, one could almost get lost in it.


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Student Spotlight: Alexis Ouellette — Making it Happen!

Category : Student Spotlight

Alexis at the beach.

Alexis at the beach.

Meet Alexis Ouellette, a sophomore from Cheshire, Connecticut, spending spring semester in Hawai‘i.

Major: Communication Disorders (Speech Therapy)

Home School: Southern Connecticut State University

Favorite UHM Class: My favorite class, hands down, is Hawaiian Studies. I use what I learn in class to appreciate my surroundings while living here in Hawai‘i.

Favorite Form of Social Media: My current obsession is Instagram. I can share all my Hawai‘i photos with friends and family back home.

What’s on your iPod? Oh, everything and anything. I’ve got a lot of 80s hair bands that my dad would listen to (Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Black Sabbath, and more), rap for working out, and my favorite group, the Dave Matthews Band.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? I think the one word would be “grounded” or “focused”.

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Same thing!

Top Accomplishment? I have two things. First, when I was a senior in high school I wanted to get into the University of Connecticut. My grades were good, but I knew I had to do more to get accepted. So to make it happen, I studied hard, got straight As, and took the SAT 3 times. Second, I also wanted somehow to go to the University of Hawai‘i. When I went to the Study Abroad office at UCONN I heard about National Student Exchange, but that program didn’t work out for me. I kept searching and eventually found the ASH program, and now I’m here – just where I want to be!

Dream Job: My dream job when I was younger was to be a dolphin trainer! Now I look forward to becoming a speech therapist and helping people.

Fun Fact: I used to do motocross, but I sold my dirt bike to buy a car.

Greatest Vice: I have the biggest sweet tooth!

Favorite TV Show: Sons of Anarchy, Nashville and Modern Family.

The Reality Show I’d Go On: Survivor! I almost sent in a video to try out for the show. Maybe when I get back from Hawai‘i I’ll do it!

If a movie were made about me, I’d want this actress to play me: Kate Hudson because she’s quirky and down to earth.

Favorite thing to do in Hawai‘i: I’m a beach bum, but my favorite thing to do here is hiking.

Near the Halona Blow Hole.

Near the Halona Blow Hole.

Favorite Local Food: Mochi Ice Cream from Bubbies. My friend and I go there every Friday to try some. Red velvet and chocolate peanut butter are my favorite flavors.

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: I think my favorite spot in Honolulu is Hanauma Bay. It’s so serene and different. But I’m taking a trip to the Big Island, so my favorite Hawai‘i place may change soon!

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Student Spotlight: Maria Tan

Category : Student Spotlight

Maria at Waikiki Beach

Maria at Waikiki Beach

From Indonesia to Ohio to Hawai‘i to Shanghai, Maria Tan finds habitation around the world as she pursues her education and looks for adventure!

Home School: Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
Home Town: Pemalang, Indonesia
Major: Communications

Favorite UHM Class: My Hawaiian Studies class with professor Kane is my favorite course. I’m also taking 2 history classes and a tourism management class.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Facebook. I can keep up with my Ohio State friends through Facebook while I’m here in Hawai‘i.
What’s on your iPod? Anything on the Top 40 list! I grew up listening to American pop music while I was in Indonesia.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Hmm – just one word? I would say, positive thinking.
What one word would your friends use to describe you? Cheerful.

What is your greatest adventure? Coming to Hawai‘i! I can’t believe I’m here. My friends from Ohio come to Hawai‘i for a vacation, but I’m LIVING here for entire semester!

Dream Job: My dream job is Fashion Public Relations in New York City.
What’s next? This summer I will go to Shanghai for an internship in Public Relations. I plan to study Mandarin when I get there. The company I’ll be working for is multi-national, so a lot of communication will be done in English.

Fun Fact: My favorite sport is wall climbing, which I learned to do in Ohio. I haven’t been climbing yet in Hawai‘i. I’ve been too busy visiting the beach parks. Today after class I’m going to the Pali Lookout and then to Waimanalo Bay to enjoy the beach.
Best Talent: Probably oil painting. When I go home to Indonesia I paint a lot. Supplies are much cheaper there than in the US! (Editor’s note: See samples of Maria’s painting below.)

"What Ladies Learn Growing Up"

“What Ladies Learn Growing Up”

"J'ai pour la beaute et la beaute pour la beaute."

“J’ai pour la beaute et la beaute pour la beaute.”

Greatest Vice: I have so many! Let’s see…too many nights I stay up until 5 am when I have a 9 am class the next day.
Favorite Movie: The Great Gatsby
Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby!
Favorite TV Show: Gossip Girl. I’m so sad it has ended.
The Reality Show I’d Go On: I don’t watch reality tv!
The Most Famous Person I’ve Met: Katarzyna Dolinska, a finalist from America’s Next Top Model. She’s quite intelligent.
Favorite Band or Singer: Taylor Swift

Favorite Spot on Campus: The Sustainability Courtyard is one of my favorite spots. Govinda’s is there! (Editor’s Note: Govinda’s is a vegetarian restaurant.)
If I’m cooking we’re having: Rendang, an Indonesian dish similar to beef curry.
Favorite Local Food: Kalua Pork and Spam Musubi.
Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: I’m not sure if this is a Hawai‘i tradition, but I really was amazed with the Punahou Carnival. It is such a spectacular event, put on by a high school! I heard so much about the prestige of the school, so I was curious about the carnival they produce every year and decided to go. It was a lot of fun!
Favorite Hawai‘i Place: Do I have to choose just one? I will say the Kaneohe Sandbar and Aulani, the new Disney beach front resort.

At Aulani Disney Resort

At Aulani Disney Resort