Hawaii Featured In T-Shirt Magazine #48

Kristine McGlinchey, contributing writer over at T-Shirt Magazine, features Hawaii in her National Scene column in the most recent issue of T-Shirt Magazine. And guess who made the post – yours truly! That’s right, Kristine posted a quick blurb about me and my Hawaii based tee blog. As a side note, I also began writing interviews for T-Shirt Magazine as well so be on the look out for my contributing articles. In this issue I interviewed designer Nick Guenzler. 

In the article, Kristine also mentions a couple of Hawaii based tee brands, two of which I had no idea existed! Super Good For You actually got me pretty excited as I dig their style and so I’ll be sure to check them out sometime soon (they sell their goods in a boutique here on the island). Do The Hula was another featured Hawaii brand – not so excited about these guys, they look like they cater more towards the tourist crowd. 

Super Good For You

The last Hawaii brand mentioned was Local Motion, which is pretty huge here in the islands. They sell Local Motion branded T-Shirts as well as surf and beach accessories. Local Motion is actually one of the three big surf shops in Hawaii, the other two being Town & Country Surf Designs, better known as T&C, and Hawaiian Island Creations, known by the locals as HIC. You’ll find most of the kids here sporting one of these three brands whenever you head to the beaches down here. 

Local Motion

Linty Fresh Sticker Sneak Peak

Our buddy Eric Terry of Linty Fresh hinted at some upcoming new products for his Linty Fresh line and previewed some crispy new stickers! I can’t wait to see what Linty Fresh has in store for 2009 – should be good!

“Not sure if you’ll be able to figure it out from that, but anyhow… I’m excited. The cool thing was that I actually had an old friend of mine produce this. We grew up together in Hawaii, and recently got to talking about some of the cool technology he’s invested in, and about the possibilities of him doing some work for me. He sent samples and they were incredible, so I’m stoked about these coming out.” -Eric Terry

Linty Fresh

Plastics Bags: Should They Be Banned?

So there’s been some talk in Hawaii about the possible ban of plastic bags in Maui, followed most likely by the rest of the Hawaiian Islands. Do I think plastic bags should be banned? Yes, I definitely think that plastic bags should be banned. Plastic bags are carcinogens to Mother Earth. They clog waterways and pose a threat to marine life. Plastic bags are no good. 

Some retailers argue that a plastic bag ban would be impractical and would cause retailers to use paper bags, which costs more to produce, thereby leading the added cost to be passed on to the consumer. This, however, does not need to be the case. If the plastic bag ban did take place then retailers should suggest that consumers purchase reusable bags (these are already available at many markets for a buck or less), a practical solution that consumers can use for infinite trips to the supermarket. If, for some reason, a consumer chooses not to use a reusable bag then they should be given the option to purchase a paper bag. Forcing consumers to purchase paper bags will increase the likelihood that they will use a reusable bag in the future and in doing so they will be doing their part in helping out Mother Earth. 

This paper bag ban is really a non-issue. Make it happen, Hawaii. Be an example. Kokua. 

PS: For the doggie lovers wondering what they’ll use for poop bags, many pet stores offer biodegradable alternatives. Or if you want to be 100% green, leave the poop. It might not be good for your shoe but it does make for a natural fertilizer. I’m kidding, we all need to be responsible pet owners so get those biodegradable poop bags or teach your dog to use the toilet. 

Tasty Crust

We didn’t plan on going to the Tasty Crust but because of some changes in the itinerary we found ourselves on Mill St. in Wailuku at this little old diner of yesteryear. And what a pleasant surprise this unexpected visit was. The first thing you think of when seeing the Tasty Crust is old school diner. And old school it is. From the tattered building to the worn out interior this place screams vintage.

 

I had a short stack of banana pancakes to supplement a traditional breakfast (2 large eggs and 5 pieces of linguesa) and a side order of hash. You get to choose form six different meat items (linguesa, bacon pork sausage, Spam, luncheon meat, Vienna sausage, or corned beef) when ordering the traditional breakfast. Having no idea what linguesa was, I decided to go for that as my meat. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked the waitress what linguesa was and she said that it is just Portuguese sausage. I didn’t feel too bad once she sad that most people ask what about the mysterious linguesa dish. The over-easy eggs were cooked to perfection, the hash was ono’ and according to Ryan was “buttery but so good!”

Mark had the veggie omelet stuffed with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and potatoes. He also had a side order of corned beef hash and a short stack of banana pancakes. Mark, being the pancake connoisseur of the group, proclaimed the banana pancakes at the Tasty Crust as the “best banana pancakes” he ever had. I’d have to agree with Mark, the pancakes were out of this world good. These aren’t just the basic pancakes topped with bananas, instead, they incorporate the bananas into the batter at the Tasty Crust leaving your with an ordinary looking pancake that packs a banana punch with each bite. 

The prices at the Tasty Crust were very reasonable, in other words, cheap! The traditional breakfast only cost $4.25 and the banana pancakes were $2.25 for a short stack. The omelets range from $5.35 to $6.75 and you can even make your own omelet starting from $4.85. If I ever go back I’m ordering a regular order of banana pancakes, no short stack for me!

The Tasty Crust is definitely a must visit if you’re searching for cheap eats in the Valley Isle. It makes for a great early morning stop if heading to Iao Needle (we were the first customers at 6:00 am). The food is cheap, the pancakes and linguesa are tasty and the service is very friendly. The Tasty Crust is definitely worth checking out!

Tasty Crust
1770 Mill St.
Wailuku, Maui
808-244-0845

Hawaii Superferry

And so the Maui journey begins by catching the Hawaii Superferry. We’re about 20 minutes into the 3 hour journey and so far no “Aloha Spills”, apparently Aloha Spill is Superferry talk for barf. OK scratch that, a kid a few feet ahead of me is being led to the barf zone with a barf bag. Might this be the Aloha Spill I have been waiting for!

Boarding the ferry was quick and simple. No line and all we needed were our boarding passes and ID’s. They should just skip having us print out the boarding pass and just cross check our ID’s with their computers. It would be much greener that way.

We chose not to bring our car which ment that we paid just 49 bucks each way. Not bad considering a flight would have cost about 20 dollars more.

One mistake we did make though was assuming that coolers were not allowed. They are allowed. And so now were are stuck with a warm 12 pack. Our bad.

The fascilities are clean and the staff is quite nice and friendly. And they have an abundance of flat screen tv’s throughout the cabins playing Sportscenter. Awesome!

Update:
OK, we are two hours into the Superferry ride. I fell asleep for about an hour. I’m gonna head to the outer deck to see what the view is like.

The outer deck on the Alakai is quite nice. The sides of the ships are a bit windy and the rear of the ship will you get you wet. If you do ride the Superferry I would suggest stepping outside once a while. First of all, it’s not as cold as the ferry interior and secondly it is a calming experience, at least for me it was. If you step out just after the ferry departs Honolulu you’ll get to see a nice view of Honolulu Harbor and Diamond Head.

The restrooms are small with just one toilet and one urinal. I could imagine lines during peak peeing periods like just after departure.

The concession stand was stocked with lots of goodies like sandwiches, musubi’s and saimin. You also get a good selection of pastries to choose from. Beware though, prices on the Superferry are at a premium. $2.50 for a musubi. Ouch!

For those who fear getting sea sick, the Superferry offers free Ginger pills and Dramamine for purchase. I didn’t have an issue with the too and fro motion but others did. If unsure as to whether or not you’ll get sick, take the pills.

All in all the journey aboard the Superferry was a pleasant one. The downside for me was the speed of the journey, or should I say the lack of. Other than that, I’d definitely recommend it as a means traveling to and from the islands.

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Manoa Falls

I’ve done the Manoa Falls trail twice now and it never disappoints. The trail leading up to the falls is relatively short, only about 1.5 miles, but as you make your way towards the falls you are greeted at each twist and turn with spectacular jungle like fauna. Imagine Jurassic Park like scenery but on a less grand but more manageable scale. You’ll make your way past bamboo trees as you pass through rainforest as well as some nasty mosquitos so be sure to bring bug repellant.

Like Kaneohe, Manoa is it an often wet location so remember to dress appropriately. Shoes will definitely help when walking through the well worn-out paths. As I made my way through the trail I crossed ways with two angry tourists, both of whom were complaining about the “slippy-ness” of the trail, and of course, they were wearing slippers (flip-flops for you mainland folks). The trail is easy enough for both young and old to do as it consists mainly of straight-a-ways with minimal difficulty and absolutely no areas that involve crawling or climbing.

At the end of the Manoa Falls trail you be treated to a stunning 60-foot high waterfall that flows year round. Although not suggested, many people (not me) tend to gather in the pool directly below the falls. It’s not deep but just enough to allow you to waddle in the water. The main issue with relaxing in the pool under the picturesque waterfall is the danger of Leptospirosis, so be forewarned.

To get to Manoa Falls, head towards Manoa onto West Manoa Road. You’ll drive through residential area and then reach the driveway of the old Paradise Park. The Manoa Falls parking is just below the Lyon Arboretum. The parking area is considered a high theft area even though it costs an expensive 5 dollars to park your car in the lot with an attendant present. It might be more feasible and safe to park in the residential areas and then walk up to the trailhead. 

The Cream Pot

The Crème Pot is a relatively new eatery that opened up its kitchen this past February. It’s clean, cute and frilly with lots of flowers, lace and pastel colored pattern thingies. Although the eats are heterosexual, the décor is definitively geared toward those with less testosterone and more estrogen.

Enough about the décor. The food at this cutesy little European styled restaurant at the Waikiki Monarch Hotel totally delivered. I indulged in a nice serving of Belgian waffles. The waffles came topped with a lovely butter topping, maple syrup and powdered sugar and fresh bananas. The waffles were out of this world good! The syrup and butter topping did not overpower the taste of the waffles. It’s not unusual for me to only eat half the plate when ordering pancakes or waffles but to my surprise I was able to gobble up the hearty serving of waffles in its entirety.

I’m usually an eggs and bacon kind of guy, so luckily, Michelle and I ordered some maple bacon and baked eggs with potatoes on the side. The eggs were incredibly good even though the side of bacon was disappointingly small. Michelle ordered a breakfast set that included an omelet served with rice and greens as well as a crepe with fresh bananas.

If you’re into breakfast then The Crème pot is a must visit. We ended up paying about $45 for a breakfast for two. The prices are on the high end, but as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. What you get is a great breakfast with quick, efficient and friendly service (not to mention lots of girly decor!). 

The Cream Pot
44 Niu St.
Hawaiian Monarch Hotel Waikiki
Honolulu, HI 96815 
(808) 429-0945

Koko Head Crater Trail

95% of the Koko Head Trail Hike is climbing and sometimes crawling along an abandoned military track that was previously used to transfer supplied from the bottom of the crater to the top. The last 5% of the trail more than makes up for the challenging hike up the 1,100 steps of beaten up train track. Once you   reach the last track on the trail, follow the dirt path and that will lead you to an abandoned Helipad as well as a beautiful view into Koko Head crater and the Pacific Ocean. You’ll also get great views of Makapu’u, Diamond Head, and the Honolulu skyline. It will take about 90 minutes to reach the end of the track and less than 5 minutes to get to the part of the hike with the beautiful scenic views. We ended up spending about 3 hours total on this trail with most of the time spent lounging at the top of the crater. Be forewarned that this hike is entirely an uphill climb, as you can probably tell by the pictures.

About midway though the trail you will encounter the track trestle that spans a ravine. This is the part of the trail that is a bit daunting, especially if you are afraid of heights. Carefully maneuver yourself across the worn out bridge and try not to think about the steep fall you’ll experience if you miss a step. Cross with caution!

To get to the Koko Head Trail take H1 toward Hawaii Kai and continue on to Kalanianaole Highway. Continue driving down Kalanianaole Highway towards Hanauma Bay. You will see the Hanauma Bay entrance on your right, once you have passed the Haunama Bay entrance take the first left. This road will take you to a parking lot and the start of the hike.

It’s probably best to do this hike during the morning hours since the trail provides no shade and the sun can be harsh during midday. Speaking of the sun, the day after I hiked Koko Head I was pretty sun burnt so be sure to lather yourself up in lots of sunscreen! Most importantly, bring water and maybe an energy bar or two. 

Mama’s Island Pizza

If you’re looking for quality pizza in Hawaii then skip all of the chains like Papa John’s, Dominos, Pizza Hut and even California Pizza Kitchen and instead opt for some great tasting, traditionally made pizza at Mama’s Island Pizza.

Mama’s Island Pizza has been serving the Kailua community since late 2005, and recently underwent management changes in early 2008. Even though there’s a new mama in town, the staff is still just as friendly and the pizza is the same cheesy and meaty goodness that customers have come to expect.

They offer seven types of Hawaii themed pizza’s, from the Kailua supreme with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, green peppers and sweet red onions to the Island Veggie Spectacular which is topped with a slew of top quality veggies. My favorite pizza has to be the Hey Brah Meat Delight, it is definitely the pizza for the meat lover in you. It comes with a colossal combination of Portuguese sausage, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, and meatballs. Another favorite of mine at Mama’s are the Midwestern style chicken wings.

One of the best things about Mama’s other than the great tasting and high quality pizza is that they accept competitor’s coupons. If you bring in a coupon from Pizza Hut, Papa John’s or any other pizza company then they give you a discount on your pizza order! The discount ranges depending on the size of pizza you are ordering, from three to five dollars.

Be sure to make the trip to Mama’s Island Pizza the next time you’re in Kailua town, you’ll be greeted not only by friendly people but by the best pizza on the island.

Mama’s Island Pizza
108 Heikii Street, Suite 107 (Foodland Plaza)
Kailua, HI 96734