Don’t believe the common myth about “haole” in Hawaii

Pale strangers stumble ashore from the great sailing ship that has just appeared along a Hawaiian coastline in the late 1700s. Polite Hawaiians attempt to greet them in the local style, but these newcomers reject the traditional practice of touching noses. The Hawaiians conclude that these strangers are “without breath,” or spirit — in other…

Read More

Hawaii welcomes Aloha Friday

More than two decades after Kimo Kahoano recorded it, Islanders still sing along to the cheerful tune that begins, “It’s Aloha Friday, no work till Monday,” and many celebrate the end of the work week with a pau hana drink or two with friends. The concept of Aloha Friday has spread even to the Mainland,…

Read More

West Maui’s “hui” roads tell a tale

If you’ve been around West Maui much, you’ve probably run into the “hui” roads, like Hui Road E and Hui Road F. Where did these strange street names come from? I found an answer in a series of essays published in 1932 by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. They were written by Leslie Watson, a civil engineer…

Read More

A Parisian Surprise in an Ancient Cathedral

Unexpected events can sometimes make or break a vacation. On my visit to Paris last summer, eager to visit the 12th-century Gothic church known as Basilique Saint-Denis, I set out on an hour-long Metro journey to the north of Paris. Knowing that many museums and other tourist sites are closed on Mondays, I had dutifully…

Read More