Give Lahaina Grill’s Facebook page your best shot 

And win a trip to Maui

Patti Pietschmann

Confession: I already entered the photo contest by first liking Lahaina Grill on Instagram (however I must say I’ve enjoyed dining at the restaurant for years, see photos below of the last time we were there).

Check out the contest:

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Bidding a fond adieu to quirky Virgin America Airlines

Bye Bye Virgin America Airlines hello Alaska

Alaska absorbs the little airline that was
Patti Pietschmann reporting

An Elevate member and avid fan of Virgin America I was disheartened to learn that it soon will be eaten up by its newish owners Alaska Airlines. This was really surprising especially after Alaska awarded Elevate members generous extra miles to convert from Virgin to it (which I did). (Also check out Delta vs Virgin America).
Below is onde of the First Class meals I enjoyed on Virgin America

That’s me using the free WiFi in the Loft, VA’s lofty LAX lounge, before the flight hope Alaska keeps its.

Alaska made it official yesterday sending out press releases that read, “Alaska Airlines and Virgin America today shared their vision for the future of the combined carrier, as the company solidifies its status as the West Coast’s premier airline”

“After careful consideration, the combined company will adopt Alaska’s name and logo, retiring the Virgin America name likely sometime in 2019. However, the combined airline will adopt many of the brand elements that Virgin America enthusiasts love about their favorite airline, including enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire to make flying a different experience for guests. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe.”
“Our goal from the very beginning of this merger was to become the go-to airline for people on the West Coast, with low fares, convenient flights, a premium product and genuine, caring service,” said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group. “Three months in, we’ve dramatically grown our presence in California and are united behind a new purpose: Creating an airline people love.”
Alaska has been actively growing the airlines’ newly combined networks since closing the merger in December. Earlier this month, the airline announced 21 new markets with 25 new daily departures out of San FranciscoSan DiegoLos Angeles and San Jose, California – marking the largest addition of routes in the company’s history.
“We spent the last 10 months conducting extensive research and listening carefully to what fliers on the West Coast want most,” said Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “While the Virgin America name is beloved to many, we concluded that to be successful on the West Coast we had to do so under one name – for consistency and efficiency, and to allow us to continue to deliver low fares.”
Alaska said it  will spend the next few years making major enhancements and incorporating favorite elements of the Virgin America experience.
Enhancements include:
  • Modern, warm and welcoming vibe – Music from fresh new artists will be featured on planes, in airport lobbies and at gates. In 2018, Alaska will debut an entirely redesigned cabin with new seats and amenities, and has already started to retrofit select Boeing aircraft with expressive blue mood lighting. Modern, stylish uniforms by fashion designer Luly Yang will roll out in mid-2019 for flight attendants, customer service agents, pilots, mechanics and ground crew.
  • Satellite connectivity – Alaska’s entire fleet of Boeing 737 passenger aircraft will be equipped with high-speed satellite Wi-Fi beginning in fall 2018, with the remainder of the Airbus fleet to follow. Both fleets are expected to be fully satellite-equipped by the end of 2019.
  • More premium seats –Premium seating will be expanded across the Airbus fleet beginning in the fourth quarter of 2018. The number of First Class seats will increase by 50 percent (going from eight seats in the Airbus First Class cabin to 12) and are customized for enhanced comfort, featuring 41 inches of pitch, improved seatback storage pockets, cup holders, footrests and personal power outlets throughout the cabin. The redesigned Airbus cabins will also feature 18 new Premium Class seats with 35 inches of pitch and complimentary beer, wine and cocktails.
  • The country’s top-ranked frequent flier program – In 2018, Alaska Mileage Plan will become the sole loyalty program for both airlines, offering guests more rewards, an expansive global partner network and the only major airline loyalty program that still rewards a mile flown with a mile earned on Alaska and Virgin America flights. Members of Alaska Mileage Plan enjoy some of the most generous benefits in the industry including complimentary upgrades, award travel starting at 5,000 miles one-way (plus taxes and fees) and a faster path to elite status compared to other airlines. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, members can earn and redeem miles to more than 900 destinations worldwide.
  • Complimentary upgrades – With 50 percent more premium seats being introduced to the Airbus fleet, elite loyalty members will enjoy the most generous complimentary upgrades in the industry. Mileage Plan MVP Golds and above are upgraded to First Class or Premium Class 75 percent of the time (based on average historic system wide rates of upgrade) on Alaska Airlines flights. Complimentary upgrades on Airbus aircraft will debut for the first time ever in late 2018.
  • Free movies – In January, Alaska launched a temporary promotion offering its entire catalog of more than 200 movies and TV shows for free. Starting now, free entertainment on guests’ own devices will be a permanent feature on its Boeing fleet and the same free library of movies and TV shows will expand to Airbus aircraft via Red entertainment system in August 2017. Guests on Airbus aircraft will continue to enjoy access to early release movies for purchase.
  • Free Chat™ – In January 2017Alaska became the first and only U.S. airline to offer Free Chat onboard and will expand Free Chat to Airbus-operated flights in August 2017. Guests can stay connected to friends and family on the ground via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage.
  • West Coast-inspired food and beverage – Alaska and Virgin America continue to enhance their fresh, healthy, West Coast-inspired onboard food and beverage menus. Both airlines will sell y craft brews, premium wines and imroved food options. By June 2017, Alaska First Class passengers will be able to pre-select meals before they fly, and by early 2018, Alaska’s Main Cabin passengers will be able to pre-pay for their meals before they fly. Food pre-ordering will be extended to Airbus flights sometime in the future.
  • Lounge expansion – By early 2019, there will be expanded airport lounges in SeattlePortland and Los Angeles, as well as new lounges in San Francisco and at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The expansion plans will double the square footage of Alaska’s airport lounges. Members also currently enjoy access to more than 60 partner lounges throughout the United States and around the world.
Fans of Virgin America still have time to enjoy the ride.

A play full of follies opens at Falcon Theatre

‘Parallel Lives’brings provocative performances with wit, musings an morals

A review  by Patti Pietschmann

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Parallel Lives opened last night (Aug.26)at the Falcon Theatre to  a sell  out crowd. Considering it is one of the best ‘way off Broadway’ shows I ever saw, that’s understandable. What comes to mind is’something different this way comes,’ as this most unusual and cleverly-written production  comes to life through two very talented actresses who captivate the audience with sketches that everyone can related to. The show opens with the two women bearing large golden wings P1and discussing, sort of, the beginning of  life. The archangel-like figures ponder pregnancy and how to accomplish it.  Should  the man or the woman carry a  child and where  and how would it be delivered? You have to see the show to  find  the answer. Although you  probably  know by  now.

Authors Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy’s script takes us on a mind trip through  a pair of capricious supreme beings (Crista and Alice)who create an energetic, mirthful montage that makes fun of modern life while celebrating it.  The two woman cast (Crista Flanagan and Alice Hunter) proved perfect for the capricious odyssey portraying  numerous men and women struggling though the common rituals of life. Each skit evokes laughter with Crista’s malapropos (“smile and the whole world sleeps with you”),  the duo’s politically incorrect jokes and  serious moments of death lightened by humor. “Make sure grams gets a window seat,” Crista says to her sister who will be transporting the elder’s ashes to the burial grounds.”
The script also hits home  for some, with a well-acted bar scene between an over-worked woman and a besotted cowboy (played by Alice) p3that’s hilarious. There’s sibling rivalry with a twist, family matters everyone’s has faced, a very clever West Side Story parody, and much more.

Mo Gaffney by the way  wrote and starred in the Kathy and Mo Show off-Broadway, received an Obie Award for his acting. Kathy Najimy also won an Obie award for her performance in The Kathy And Mo Show OffBroadway.

The cast

Crista Flannigan, who plays Crista to the hilt was a delight  to behold and the perfect  companion for co-star Alice Hunter who well plays Alice.  Crista was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, Illinois and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Evansville and a MFA from the University of California, Irvine.

Alice Hunter is an impossibly multi-faceted talent who almost steals the stage, but Crista’s performance is so sterling that’s it’s about a  draw. Alice, who is currently appearing in Comedy Central’s Another Period  moved to the US from Australia where she appeared in the TV series H20: Just Add Water.  Since arriving in America she made many appearances on Showtime’s House of Lies with Emmy-Award winning actor Don Cheadle.

Parallel Lives runs through Sept. 18, 2016. Tickets cost $37 and $40 on weekdays and $42to $45 on weekends (from Friday). Students can get in for $30.

The Falcon Theatre was co-founded in1997 by the late, great Garry Marshall and his daughter Kathleen. The beloved Marshall, known as one of the nicest men in Hollywood,  past away recently and will be honored by a memorial on his birthday Nov.13.  The comfy facility has great stage vision and  130-seats.

The Falcon Theatre is located at 4252 W Riverside Dr.,  Burbank, CA, 818-955-8101.

Life’s really a beach on these sandy shores of Fairmont Hotels

If your mantra is “Life’s a beach”  then check out this list of some of the best sandy, sun denched shores in the world,each located outside a Fairmont Hotel:fairmont

Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Located along the stunning Kohala Coast, the 32-acre luxury oceanfront Fairmont Orchid resort is at the heart of Hawaii’s beauty. Beachgoers can enjoy a sugar-white sandy lagoon and aquamarine waters, along with an array of beachside activities such as Floating Yoga and outrigger canoeing. Guests can also rejuvenate at the resort’s luxurious Spa Without Walls, featuring oceanfront massage cabanas, and dine at the AAA Four Diamond award-winning Brown’s Beach House located just steps from the shore.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

Nestled on the beachfront in Southern California, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows is a stone’s throw away from the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Travelers can enjoy the pier’s signature attractions or relax at the Miramar Beach Club, available exclusively to hotel guests. Lounge chairs and parasols are available for guests to unwind, while an array of complimentary activities are offered to guests of all ages. Additionally, dedicated beach butlers are on hand to serve up delicious beverages, snacks and a full beach menu. Hotel guests are also escorted to and from the beach in a topless Jeep Wrangler or they can rent a complimentary BMW beach cruiser to explore the pacific coastline.

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, A Fairmont Managed Hotel

The newly opened beach club at Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, A Fairmont Managed Hotel is the latest hotspot in Bermuda. Located a short drive from the resort—accessible via hotel shuttle—and exclusive to hotel guests, the private beach club offers a serene getaway from the bustle of Hamilton and provides relaxation with land or water hammocks and a dose of fun with activities including snorkeling. Guests can also enjoy the new beach club restaurant and bar with a menu designed by renowned celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali

Located along 200m of golden beach in the Sanur district in Southeast Bali, the all-suite-and-villa Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali is an ideal world-class luxury resort to retreat to for a touch of sun & fun. Comfortable reclining chairs and umbrellas dot the resort’s beach and guests can stroll along the uninterrupted 5km long footpath that hugs the coastline. Also, the Nyala Beach Club & Grill offers a taste of beachside dining with private beach fronted cabanas available for romantic dinners.

Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya

Situated within 240 acres of tropical rainforest intersected by crystal clear waterways and surrounded by pristine Caribbean shoreline, Fairmont Mayakoba offers a stunning white sand beach for guests to unwind on. Guests can choose to stay in one of several beachfront casita suites, ideally situated just steps away from the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Exclusive butler service enhances the experience, as does the private infinity pool that accompanies each casita.

Fairmont Ajman, United Arab Emirates

The newly opened Fairmont Ajman is located in the emirate of perennial sunshine, situated along a 200m stretch of shoreline called the Corniche. Here, guests can sunbathe on the glowing beachfront with soft white sand and enjoy a refreshing swim in opal hued and clear waters. The resort’s beach also provides ample sun loungers and cabanas, and water activities. Guests can also stroll along the Corniche and visit an array of sidewalk cafes and traditional restaurants, and swim in a sheltered tidal pool.

Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Situated on Maui’s southern shores at Wailea, Fairmont Kea Lani is Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa luxury oceanfront resort. The resort sits on the pristine white sands of Polo Beach, surrounded by 22 acres of lush tropical landscape. Guests have plenty of beach activities at their disposal, from stand-up paddle boarding to kayaking and can even discover the area’s marine life including tropical fish and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. As adults settle under Polo Beach umbrellas, kids can enjoy activities provided by the Keiki Lani Kids Club which include hula lessons, coconut painting and more.

Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados

Set along Barbados’ Platinum Coast, Fairmont Royal Pavilion stretches in front of a pristine beach, regarded as the most beautiful and exclusive in Barbados. In addition to sunbathing and enjoying an array of water activities such as windsurfing, guests can partake in traditional Afternoon Tea at the resort’s al fresco Taboras Restaurant, overlooking the beach, as they embrace the island’s English heritage and this centuries-old tradition.

Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda

The luxurious Fairmont Southampton is perched on Bermuda’s stunning south shore, providing guests with access to miles of pink sand beaches dotted with towering coconut palms. The resort’s private beach club, available exclusively to hotel guests, sits in a secluded cove and offers amenities such as plush beach cabanas. Guests can curl up in one of the beach club’s chaise lounges and enjoy cocktails and bites from the Cabana Bar & Grill. Guests can also stroll along the world-famous Horseshoe Bay Beach, a curved stretch of pink sand that connects to South Shore beach, located steps away from the beach club.

Hawaii happenings from fall 2017 to summer of 2017

There’s  a whole lot of action happening in the Hawaiian Islands this month that visitors might like to know about, or not, if you care here’s a few items of interest:

  • An  $18 million dollar renovation of the beachfront Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Oahu.  currently underway, which will be finished in October 2015, includes a dynamic redesign of the resort’s porte cochere, main lobby and front desk area. In addition, the grand Kona Moku Ballroom’s new design concept will include new wall covering, lighting, carpeting, doors, wood paneling, painting and new signage. MarriottHawaii.com/Waikiki-Beach-Marriott-Resort
  • Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on Oahu recently got a$21 million face-lift of thje 17-story Diamond Head Tower.  The rooms in the Diamond Head Tower now incorporate Hawaii-inspired décor, and new amenities include a lanai (balcony) and bar area. HiltonHawaiianVillage.com
  • The Hilton Waikiki Beach on Oahu recently unveiled improvements and other new enhancements to the hotel. Newly constructed restrooms and shower facilities on the 10th floor pool deck vastly improve the functionality, comfort and aesthetics of the entire guest experience. In addition, the beautifully hand-tiled pool includes a retiled deck and the installation of ADA-approved access. The main lobby, the lobby bar LBLE and HHonors lounge also received new furniture. HiltonWaikikiBeach.com
  • Travaasa Hana in east Maui has launched a $12 million room restoration project. Leading the redesign of the guest rooms is Hunton Conrad, a Maui-based interior designer known for his landscape artistry. Upon completion, guests can expect the 70 bungalows and suites at the resort to offer a new and enhanced vacation experience. Though changes will be made during the restoration project, all rooms will continue to remain free of radios, clocks and televisions, allowing guests to soak in the natural beauty of Hana. Travaasa.com/Hana
  • Lanais have been added to  all 602 guestrooms at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa which also upgraded its workout facility, enhanced amenities at the Anara Spa, and renewed dining spaces at Stevenson’s Library, Ilima Terrace, Poipu Bay Clubhouse, The Dock and Hale Nalu. GrandHyattKauai.com
  • , G & Z Upcountry B&B is Maui’s newest and ideal for  a relaxing weekend getaway or romantic retreat without missing the comforts of home. G & Z Upcountry offers a full-sized kitchen, bedroom, living room and bath complete with a private entrance. At an elevation of 3,000 feet, guests can welcome each day with a breathtaking sunrise over Haleakala and watch the sunset fade behind Mauna Kahalawai at dusk. GandZMaui.com
  • Aqua Hospitality and Aston Hotels & Resorts have announced the group will now operate under the Aqua-Aston Hospitality banner. The group’s five brands include Aston Hotels & Resorts, Aqua Hotels and Resorts, Lite Hotels, Instinct Hotel Collection, and Maui Condo & Home. Aqua-Aston.com
  • Aqua-Aston Hospitality has added Ohia Waikiki hotel into its management. The 17-story, 251-room property, formerly known as the Outrigger Surf East, is currently undergoing a $2 million renovation to include a 24-hour restaurant, a lobby seating area with a flat-screen TV, swimming pool, sundeck and bike and surfboard racks. Aqua-Aston.com
  • To island chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman is opening Merriman’s, his eponymous fine-dining restaurant in Honolulu in June 2017  (what a treat, his food is amazing). Merriman’s will serve lunch and dinner showcasing purveyors of island-farmed beef, lamb, sustainably caught seafood, fresh-picked produce and more. MerrimansHawaii.com
  • After 39 years, Destination Resorts Hawaii has changed its name to  Destination Residences Hawaii. Based in Wailea, Destination Residences Hawaii manages vacation rental private homes on resort properties such as Wailea Beach Villas, Polo Beach Club and Makena Surf. All of Destination Residences Hawaii’s vacation rentals offer the comforts and conveniences of a home, with full-service resort amenities, such as housekeeping, concierge, front desk check-in and a manager on duty 24 hours. DRHMaui.com
  • Widely known for its pineapple wine, Tedeschi Vineyards, located at Ulupalakua Ranch in Upcountry Maui, has rebranded as MauiWine after 41 years of business. As part of the transition, the vineyard has also revamped its logo and packaging, and launched a new website. Though there have been many changes, MauiWine will continue to grow its own grapes at its 23-acre vineyard and source local Maui Gold pineapples from Haliimaile Pineapple Company. MauiWine.com
  • Utah-based Kapolei Hotel Partners LLC, which includes Western States Lodging and Thackeray Garn Company, recently completed its acquisition of 2.8 acres next to Kapolei Regional Park. Slated to open in 2017 in the Leihano area, a seven-story Embassy Suites with 180 rooms will be Kapolei’s first hotel. WSLM.biz

ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES

  • Farm to Fork Fridays by the Ocean Pool Bar & Grill at The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas on Maui is a new weekly series celebrating sustainability. The series spotlights locally infused dishes, which utilize ingredients produced on-island. Guests can savor a two-course chef-inspired main entrée from the Duo menu for $32. WestinKaanapali.com
  • Mele at the Moana, a new concert series at the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki on Oahu, offers Hawaiian music fans free monthly concerts, featuring some of the Aloha State’s top talent. Scheduled on the last Friday of each month, the events reconnect the present with the hotel’s rich musical past and the extraordinarily popular live radio program, “Hawaii Calls,” which was broadcasted worldwide from the hotel’s famous Banyan Courtyard for 40 years. Moana-Surfrider.com
  • The GolfBoard, a new and fun mode of transportation, recently debuted at the award-winning Mauna Kea Golf Course and Hapuna Golf Course. In addition to being the first to offer GolfBoard on Hawaii Island, Mauna Kea Resort’s fleet of 24 is the largest of any course in the state. The innovative platform allows golfers to navigate the courses with ease, similar to how a surfer smoothly rides a wave. PrinceResortsHawaii.com
  • The Limahuli Garden and Preserve on Kauai’s north shore is now offering the Sustainability Tour. Offered twice a month, on Saturdays or by appointment, on the grounds of the beautiful 17-acre native botanical garden, the Sustainability Tour explores the garden’s treasured plants through the lens of modern challenges. Pairing ancient Hawaiian knowledge with modern science offers visitors insight into ways to better care for our global gardens. NTBG.org
  • Visitors to Hawaii Island can visit the new Epic Origami exhibit at the Imiloa Astronomy Center, showcasing impressive pieces in the art of paper folding. After receiving a book by renowned origami artist John Montroll at the age of 15, artist Bonnie Cherni practiced folding with newspapers. Years later, she continues to fold, but now uses interesting materials such as canvas, copper mesh and paper on aluminum Each piece in the exhibit took 100 folding steps, with some as tall as three feet. ImiloaHawaii.org
  • Burn’n Love, a tribute to Elvis Presley and one of the most popular visitor shows on Maui, recently opened a second show location at the Magic of Polynesia Theatre in the Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber on Oahu. Be transported through time, learn a few facts about the King’s visit to Hawaii and enjoy an evening featuring some of his greatest hits. WaikikiBeachcomberResort.com
  • Award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi recently introduced his newest restaurant, Eating House 1849, on the island of Kauai. Located at The Shops at Kukuiula, Eating House 1849 promises regional cuisine with a historic flair that pays homage to Hawaii’s vibrant culinary heritage. Inspired by Portuguese, Filipino, Japanese, Hawaiian, Korean and other Hawaii cultures, Eating House 1849 strives to blend the ambiance and simple flavors from the Islands’ plantation era with the dynamic modernism of haute cuisine. At the Kauai Culinary Market, enjoy chef demos on Wednesdays and live entertainment on Fridays. EatingHouse1849.com
  • Since 2010, Street Grindz has connected chefs and artisans with customers through monthly events and pop-ups such as Eat the Street, Honolulu Night Market and Taste Table. Street Grindz recently introduced Makers & Tasters, a market located along the Kewalo harbor waterfront. Makers & Tasters will be the company’s first daily marketplace. Its vision is to create a food park where all businesses (makers), from budding newbies to seasoned experts, can perfect their dishes, share goods, and build a strong network of customers (tasters). With a mix of vendors and cooking styles, Makers & Tasters promises there will always be something for everyone to enjoy. MakersAndTasters.com
  • Valid for a full calendar year, the Hawaii Tri-Park Annual Pass allows cardholders unlimited noncommercial entry to Haleakala National Park on Maui, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park on Hawaii Island. Created by local Hilo artist John Dawson, the pass artwork depicts naupaka kahakai, a coastal plant, specially selected because it borders the coastline of all three national parks. NPS.gov
  • Kohala Sail & Sea is Hawaii Island’s newest sailing adventure and the first company to offer boat tours from the Kawaihae South Small Boat Harbor, the state’s newest harbor. Kohala Sail & Sea offers a wide range of ocean adventures including snorkeling, sailing, sunset cruises, dolphin watching, and seasonal whale watching. Guests enjoy complimentary light refreshments and smooth sailing aboard the Riva, a sturdy and comfortable 34-foot sailboat with lots of room for six people. KohalaSailAndSea.com
  • Tasting Kauai recently announced a partnership with the St. Regis Princeville Resort, making the hotel one of six stops on the tour company’s North Shore Food Tour. Breathtaking views of Hanalei Bay and Mount Makana, and a variety of delectable private tastings made with locally grown seasonal products, are just a few perks guests can indulge in while on the tour. Participating restaurants and chefs include KG Beachside Tapas with chef Noelani Planas, the St. Regis Bar with Executive Pastry Chef Heather Campbell, Kauai Grill with Executive Sous Chef Maxime Michaud, and Nalu Kai with chef Planas. TastingKauai.com
  • The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani welcomes back Te Moana Nui, as the Polynesian evening show rejoins the hotel’s entertainment lineup. Te Moana Nui, meaning “vast ocean,” takes guests on a journey through the history and culture of the Pacific. Guests can experience the vibrant Polynesian stage show every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday in the Ainahau Showroom. Before Te Moana Nui begins, guests may dine al fresco in the hotel’s Pikake Terrace, which offers a wide variety of selections by chef Chris Kirksey, including prime rib, crab legs and other island-inspired cuisine. Princess-Kaiulani.com
  • Founded by Lanai residents, Lost on Lanai makes it easy to find new adventures by using timely information and sharing Lanai experiences. Fueled by the passion and desire to support local businesses and the island economy, Lost on Lanai is a locally based booking agency ready to assist both day and overnight guests. Visitors to its website will find everything to satisfy their adventure needs, from ferry tickets and jeep rentals to golf, guided tours, bike excursions, voluntourism activities and hotel reservations. LostOnLanai.com

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

  • From Nov. 12-14, the annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival on Hawaii Island will feature hula halau (hula schools) from around the world showcasing their interpretation of hula. Hosted by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, the festival aims to enrich and educate the practice and development of hula and its associated arts, in order to build, strengthen and inspire the continuation and advancement of cultural traditions in Hawaii. Workshops, arts and crafts exhibits, concerts and much more, allow attendees to experience a unique culture and way of life. MOKIF.com
  • Committed to preserving the Hawaiian culture, the Kaanapali Beach Hotel proudly hosts the 25th annual Hula O Na Keiki, Maui’s only children’s hula competition. From Nov. 13-15, students from around the world will compete and demonstrate how they perpetuate and preserve Hawaii’s traditions. Dancers will be critiqued on their interview skills, chanting styles, dance performances and cultural appropriateness of costumes and adornments. The well-respected hula and cultural advisors evaluating their skills include Hokulani Holt, Kaponoai Molitau and Maka Herrod. HawaiiCulture.com
  • What started as a humble project headquartered at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s East-West Center —an educational and research institution created by U.S. Congress — has transformed into an event drawing more than 70,000 worldwide attendees annually. The Hawaii International Film Festival on Oahu is the largest East-meets-West festival in the United States, winning the praise of governments, filmmakers, scholars, educators, programmers and film industry leaders around the world. From Nov. 12-22, Hawaii’s premier film festival will present feature films, documentaries and short subjects, as well as seminars, workshops, special award presentations and receptions. HIFF.org
  • The 22nd annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival returns to the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort & Spa on Nov. 15. The celebration of music brings together musicians from communities throughout the Islands for a day of continuous Hawaiian slack key guitar performances on Kauai. Tickets sales will benefit the Ki-Ho Alu Foundation. SlackKeyFestival.com
  • Originally organized by renowned professional surfer Fred Hemmings in 1983, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is an annual tournament on Oahu’s North Shore honoring the best male and female surfers. Watch the pros catch some of Hawaiiʻs biggest swells during the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa’s Alii Beach from Nov. 12-23, the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach from Nov. 24-Dec. 6, and the Billabong Pipe Masters at Banzai Pipeline from Dec. 8-20. Earning any of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition’s prestigious titles is a true milestone for professional surfers. TripleCrownOfSurfing.com
  • Honoring a legendary Hawaii surfer and waterman, the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau on Oahu is a competition testing the courage and skill of big wave surfers from around the world. Surfers are handpicked to compete and the contest only begins when wave conditions at the North Shore’s famed Waimea Bay surf break reach heights of 20 feet or more during a holding period from Dec. 1-Feb. 28. Invitees and alternates will paddle out and gather in a traditional surfers’ circle at the holding period’s opening ceremony to commemorate Aikau’s legacy, and make a connection of camaraderie with fellow competitors. Quiksilver.com
  • The island of Kauai gets into the holiday spirit at the Lights on Rice Parade. The annual Festival of Lights tradition brightens roadways with Christmas decorations, stretching from Vidinha Stadium and Rice Street to Lihue’s historic county building. Caroling, live entertainment, a craft fair, a parade of floats, food vendors and more make this a special holiday event the whole family can enjoy. LightsOnRice.org
  • Soak in the last Saturday of 2015 surrounded by a community of artisans, music, food and fun in Kilauea town on Kauai. On Dec. 25, discover locally made products, including pottery, woodwork, original fine art, jewelry, organic skincare, handmade soaps, wish trees, apparel, chocolates and more at the Kilauea Art Night. Satisfy every craving with a wide variety of Kauai food vendors, including The Right Slice, Kickshaws, Porky’s Hot Dog Cart, Hanalei Pasta and Akamai Juice. Don’t miss the Keiki Fire & Light performance and live entertainment. Facebook.com/KilaueaArtNight
  • The annual Waimea Ocean Film Festival brings a combination of film, breakfast talks, filmmaker discussion panels, art exhibits and activities to Hawaii Island just after New Year’s celebrations are over. Attendees can view films, presentations and speakers at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the Fairmont Orchid from Jan. 1-4. Early risers can enjoy yoga on the beach, as well as breakfast talk sessions with filmmakers and special guests. The nonstop schedule of award-winning films and dynamic talks then move to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai from Jan. 4-8. WaimeaOceanFilm.org
  • The Waimea Town Celebration is Kauai’s largest and oldest annual festival on the west side of the island. From keiki (children) to kupuna (elderly) and kamaaina (locals) to malihini (visitors), everyone is welcomed to join in on the fun and excitement. From Feb. 13-20, the tight-knit community of Kauai’s west side proudly celebrates its history and culture with eight full days of activities and entertainment. WaimeaTownCelebration.com
  • The Honolulu Festival on Oahu is Hawaii’s premier cultural event, promoting understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region. Through educational programs and activities sponsored by the Honolulu Festival Foundation, the festival continues to share the rich and vibrant blend of Asia, Pacific and Hawaiian cultures with the rest of the world. From March 11-13, attendees can expect dance performances, and traditional art demonstrations and displays by artisans from Japan, Australia, Tahiti, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Hawaii and the rest of the United States. Free admission is offered for all events and activities — which are held at various locations in the city — to ensure that everyone can take part in the festivities. HonoluluFestival.com
  • Made possible by The Bill Healy Foundation, a non-profit organization working on behalf of children and the environment, the Kona Brewers Festival is produced in the spirit of pualu (working together) and malama pono (respecting the land). The festival promotes craft beer brewing in Hawaii, and encourages professional brewers and chefs to work together while having a positive economic, educational and environmental impact on the Hawaii Island community. From March 9-12, attendees can participate in a Brewer’s Paina and art auction, a Home Brewers Competition, a golf tournament, and enjoy incredible craft beer, island style cuisine, great music and much more. KonaBrewersFestival.com

TRANSPORTATION

  • Hawaiian Airlines debuted a new onboard safety video highlighting more than 30 crew and family members and their favorite locations throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Debuting on all of Hawaiian Airlines’ in-flight entertainment systems, the video offers breathtaking footage of world-famous destinations such as Yokohama Beach and Kualoa Ranch on Oahu; Haleakala National Park and Poolenalena Beach on Maui; Waimea Canyon and Waikoko Farm on Kauai; and Saddle Road Lava Fields and Umauma Falls on Hawaii Island. HawaiianAirlines.com
  • Hawaiian Airlines recently launched a newly designed international business lounge in the Honolulu International Airport. The Plumeria Lounge is located on the third floor and features fresh food and self-serve snacks, including pastries from La Tour Café, beer crafted by Maui Brewing Company and wines carefully selected by master sommelier Chuck Furuya. HawaiianAirlines.com
  • Travelers looking for non-stop flights between Kauai and Los Angeles can fly year-round on Hawaiian Airlines. Previously, this route was seasonal to accommodate the holiday rush. Starting in January 2016, this permanent route will offer travelers the choice of three flight options throughout the week. HawaiianAirlines.com
  • Mokulele Airlines recently announced an increase of service routes to begin in September. Two daily routes will fly from Molokai and Kona directly. Changes also include retiming Kapalua flights to increase efficiency and convenience for customers. Mokulele Airlines will also extend special keiki discounts throughout the year due to popular demand. MokuleleAirlines.com
  • In early 2016, Virgin America aircrafts bound for Hawaii will be outfitted with ViaSat’s hybrid Ku/Ka-band antenna. The new technology will bring significantly faster Wi-Fi connectivity to the airline’s 10 new A320 aircrafts and delivers Internet speeds eight to 10 times faster than other in-flight Wi-Fi systems. Passengers will be able to stream high quality, lag-free videos from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and others providers while in-flight. Virgin America will be the first commercial airline to offer an in-flight Wi-Fi service that can operate in both Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks on the same aircraft. VirginAmerica.com

Maui’s Morimoto at Andazpatti at morimotoDSCN0526DSCN0523saf lava meets the seaIMG_3825entrance to Mavros

Big bargains abound in Jacksonville Florida this summer

Now is the time to catch big bargains in Florida where hotels slash

Courtyard Jacksonville Mayo Clinic Beaches

Courtyard Jacksonville Mayo Clinic Beaches

rates like there’s no tomorrow. Up the coast from Miami at  the Courtyard Jacksonville Mayo Clinic/Beaches is offering a special Summer Fun Beach Package that’s available Friday through Sunday nights. For $129 a night (and up) through Sept. 30, 2015, the limited-time offer includes a  welcome beach bag and complimentary breakfast for two adults and two children. You can also ride the shuttle from the hotel to Jacksonville Beach for free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Now if you can book a flight this instant and head over for the Fourth of July, you  can celebrate America’s birthday by the sea, enjoy a day at The Shipyards on Bay Street,  participate in a variety of family-friendly activities ranging from three-legged races to face painting and live entertainment. Then at night, hit the Jacksonville Pier to watch the pyrotechnical display of brilliant fireworks. Can’t go that soon, if you’re there on July 12, you can take in the City of Jacksonville Beaches Summer Jazz Concert featuring live music by Band of Destiny, Urban Jazz Coalition and Eric Darius, this free summer event will have spectators swaying in the breeze while making sweet memories.

Anglers of all levels can fuel the fun at the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, July 13-18, 2015. In addition to being the largest kingfish tournament in the Southeast, this event will also feature a food festival and live entertainment. The hotel’s roomy accommodations offer modern décor with free Wi-Fi thrown in.  The free breakfast on the package plan is at t The Bistro – Eat. Drink. Connect.®  The kids will love it and so will adults who enjoy thick-cut French toast, mouthwatering scramblers and specialty Starbucks beverages, the hotel’s on-site eatery is the perfect spot to fuel up for a fun day in the sun.

To book the Summer Fun Beach Package, make reservations online or by calling 1-800-228-9290 and using promotional code TRS. Be sure to watch the video on Jacksonville.
Courtyard Jacksonville Mayo Clinic/Beaches  is located at 14390 Mayo Blvd. in Jacksonville, FL,  near Jacksonville, Neptune and Ponte Vedra beaches as well as St. Johns Town Center and the University of North Florida. The three-story hotel  has 134 rooms and 12 suites, a fitness center, outdoor heated pool, whirlpool and bistro.

A couple discovers bliss at the Larchmont Sanctuary Spa

DSCN0014DSCN0027An little orange bungalow filled with serenity where Patti had one of the best facials ever and Richard blissed out royall with a massage. Larchmont Sanctuary Spa at 331 Larchmont Bvld., Los Angeles, 323-466-1028, try it you will thank me for it. No joke. Read moere at http://www.examiner.com/article/for-the-best-massage-ever-book-nicole-at-larchmont-sanctuary-spaDSCN0016DSCN0007

The Dorchester London celebrates National Souffle Day

The Grill at The Dorchester - Soufflee, Chocolate Sao Tome 75% from Alain Ducasse Manufacture, in ParisThe Grill at The Dorchester - night time panels detail HIGH RESThe Grill at The Dorchester November 2014 HIGH RESIn celebration of National Soufflé Day this Saturday February 28, The Dorchester in London’s new restaurant, The Grill is sharing the recipe for Alain Ducasse’s protégé Christophe Marliex Chocolate Sao Tome 75% from Alain Ducasse Manufacture in Paris for the home chef to create in their own kitchen. Others who will be in the London area can head to The Grill and experience the comprehensive dessert menu featuring an entire soufflé collection using unique ingredients from around the world. You can see the full recipe on page 7 here: http://view.pagetiger.com/TheNewChapter/Winter-2014

Make my Montage Beverly Hills for the holidays

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When you hop out of your car at the port-cochere, and give your car to the valet, at the Montage Beverly Hills it feels like you’ve left the country or just the real world behind, especially during the holidays. The deluxe European-style hotel diffuses a sensibility of style and chic comfort. Check-in is seamless, your reservation is found fast and you are escorted to your suite where, if you’re a regular, or VIP a lovely amenity awaits (a bottle of fine red wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, and miniature fruit).

Your bed has a monogrammed pillow on top of the highest quality bed linens. The room is immaculate and fitted with every creature comfort and cyber junky dream (free WiFi, ports, desk).  There’s a min-bar, fridge, safe, big beautiful bathroom with separate tub and shower, over-sized fluffy towels, robes, slippers that make you feel like you’re walking on air, and top quality toiletries. Life is good.

Located steps from the world-class shops of Rodeo Drive, Beverly Drive and Wilshire Blvd., the hotel is the perfect place to spend  night or two while picking up gifts or stuff for yourself (they even have concierges to help get you off on the right retail therapy track).

For added enjoyment and pampering there’s a celestial spa staffed with the best in the business and offering steams, saunas, whirlpools and head to toe treatments.  Adjacent to the spa is a fully-equipped fitness center that’s kept spotless. There’s also the popular Parq Bar where you can drink or eat light lunches, dinners or snacks while listening to live music,   Scarpetta , a divine Italian restaurant offering heartier fare and the Rooftop Grill for breakfast (order the tofu salad or pancakes) and lunch.

We used our overnight for shopping and also meeting friends for drinks at the new Palm Steakhouse which is just a short stroll away on Canon Drive. Afterwards we had a lovely light dinner at Parq that included a quinoa salad, chicken Caesar salad, steak and two luscious desserts: deconstructed strawberry shortcake and a chocolate delight.

The spirit of the season was in the air with music and extravagant decorations that included one with solid metal shoes exemplifying the excess of Rodeo Drive I guess.

Whether you overnight at the hotel or just go for dinner, drinks or some self-indulgent sessions at  the spa for the day, it’s an investment you won’t regret that’s  perfect for holiday de-stressing, de-compressing and even to purchase gift certificates for friends who have everything. Let’s face it everybody loves to be pampered and Spa Montage knows how to get the job done.

Montage Hotel is located at 225 North Canon Drive, in Beverly Hills.

 

Daring adventures even a diva might enjoy think Madagascar

Delta Airlines, Adventure Science and Kensington Tours take you to mystical Madagascar

madagascar

National Geographic award-winning travel company Kensington Tours in tandem with Adventure Science and the support of Delta Air Lines has created the first ever expedition to the remote unexplored northern section of the Strict Nature Reserve of Madagascar’s Great Tsingy. From October 1st -16 2014, a highly skilled team of explorers and scientists will trek, climb and crawl through the UNESCO World Heritage Site to document the secrets of 100 miles of the region’s labyrinths of sharp rocks, towering cliffs, endangered creatures and deep caves.
This ground-breaking 21st century exploration named 100 Miles of Wild: Madagascar’s Limestone Labyrinth, will showcase one of Africa’s final frontiers. The expedition has multiple goals; to expand the knowledge of lemur distribution within the park to estimate population numbers; to identify diversity and potential new species; to locate Jurassic period dinosaur mega tracks that are believed to exist in the area; to conduct preliminary investigation into an unexplored system of caverns and caves; and to create a detailed map with accompanying photos and video in order to share their findings with the rest of the world.

The expedition will be led by Dr. Simon Donato, a Kensington Tours’ Explorer in Residence, star of the Esquire Network’s Boundless and founder of Adventure Science. In addition, two other Kensington Tours’ Explorers in Residence will join Donato in this challenging expedition, including George Kourounis, an elite global adventurer and host of The Discovery Network’s Angry Planet series and Travis Steffens a renowned primatologist who studies the biogeography of lemurs in Madagascar. Rounding up the 14 person the team are an engineer, climbing experts, a former US Army ranger, a communication specialist, Malagasy Park officials and a local Kensington Tours guide.

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to support Simon, George, Travis and these other modern day adventurers in their quest into the heart of Madagascar’s Great Tsingy” says Kensington Tours Founder Jeff Willner. “So little is known about this region, it is truly where the map ends. We look forward to following the expedition during its daily updates on social media, and hope it inspires budding explorers and travelers of every kind to take the plunge and discover the places that fascinate them.”

Kensington Tours offers custom and private guided tours to over 90 countries worldwide, providing its guests with the flexibility and luxury of a tailor-made journey handcrafted by a team of destination experts. Kensington’s unique Explorers in Residence Program celebrates the great tradition of global exploration by supporting expeditions and allowing the public to follow the stories of acclaimed modern day adventurers including Royal Geographic Society Fellows, Explorers Club Fellows, TV personalities and other extreme travelers. Adventure Science is a volunteer organization that pairs adventure athletes with scientists to explore remote regions and conduct scientific research as well as humanitarian projects. Delta Air Lines, as the official airline partner of this expedition, is supporting exploration, wildlife preservation, scientific discovery and global stewardship.

 About Kensington Tours: Kensington Tours offers custom and private guided tours to over 90 countries worldwide. The flexibility of Kensington’s offerings results in tailor-made journeys that are carefully handcrafted to deliver personalized adventures like no other company. Kensington Tours has won awards from National Geographic Traveler “50 Tours of a Lifetime”, Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Awards”, Travel + Leisure “Best Luxury Adventure Company”, National Geographic Adventure “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”

 

Hawaii hurricane update

Julio has hit the deck and skipped over the islands but did pour some torrential saf lava meets the searains on the Big Island, oh yeah there are some major power outages right now but the electric company is flying aces over from Maui and Oahu to help.

Iselle didn’t do much damage save for some drenched tourists and locals, oh yeah and some flo

Island, oh yeah there are some major power outages right now but the electric company is flying aces over from Maui and Oahu to help.

Iselle didn’t do much damage save for some drenched tourists and locals, oh yeah and some flodding. Flights are slowly getting back to normal with some delays.

dding. Flights are slowly getting back to normal with some delays.

It’s back to the business of beaches, eating, shopping and sightseeing. That’s Kona below and the old Royal Princess in the background.

If you’re on Oahu or heading there Chef Mavro is open for business with his amazing cuisine and incredible setting.Royal Princess in Kona from Huggos

Obese 300-pound United Airlines pilot has fatal heart attack mid-flight

Courtesy Getty Images

Courtesy Getty Images

You really need to read this piece about an overweight pilot who had heart attack during flight. Do you think airlines should limit weight of pilots, this guy wa 300 pounds and over 60 years old.

Obese 300-pound United Airlines pilot has fatal heart attack mid-flight.

Big night on the red carpet with Ali Vincent at the Sofitel LA

aliparty056-AliVincent&RoshumbaYou really should have been there as Ali Vincent hosted a gala Red Carpet Affair at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on July 8th for the Third Season Premiere of The Biggest Loser launching onLive Well Network July 13. aliparty015-AliVincent,AdamCohen,&MariusBlin

The stars crowded the hotel’s Esterel Restaurant to celebrate with their fellow co-star Ali Vincent who’s about to appear on her third season premiere, “Live Big With Ali Vincent.” An explosion of flashing lights spread over the red carpet as the Live Well Network unveiled a sneak preview of the first episode.aliparty009-AliVincent&RebeccaCampbellAl

The newly-created  French Mediterranean inspired restaurant set the scene for the event that  flowed out to the inviting outdoor patio where 250 guests enjoyed De-Light menu options provided by Executive Chef Marius Blin. Low calorie cocktails were also hosted by VEEV, and champagne by Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut. In attendance along side Ali Vincent was her mother who also stars on the show Bette-Sue Burklund, Louis Van Amstel (Dancing with the Stars), Marco Reed (Celebrity Trainer), Roshumba Williams (Supermodel), Daphne Wayans (VH1’s Hollywood Ex’s), Bruno Amato (The Internship), Tenille Houston (Laurel Canyon), Romina Laino (ABC’s Switched at Birth), as well as, previous “Biggest Loser” cast members.

Here’s the menu (eat your heart out)

Below is the “De-Light Menu” offering for Monday
All tray passed items

· Shrimp ceviche, sugar kiss melon, “sweet” jalapeno 36 cal
· Seared scallops, carrot harissa puree 29 cal
· Eggplant caponatta, garlic brioche crouton 32 cal
· Elderflower strawberry salad 29cal
· Fennel pollen nectarine, roasted chicken 28 cal

Spa-ing in Shanghai

05de6a13f90456fb138acf7ebf83602aAttention globe-trotting spa-seekers, Asia’s leading spa operator, Banyan Tree Spa, just announced  the launch of the Banyan Tree Spa Shanghai On The Bund, located in Shanghai’s first all river view hotel. The three-story facility is located on Shanghai’s iconic Bund district close to both historic landmarks and the new cultural and commercial centers of the cosmopolitan city. It has 11 exquisitely appointed treatment rooms including two Imperial Rooms with a Rainmist facility or Thai Massage area along with a beauty salon, nail bar and Banyan Tree Gallery.

Embracing the local culture and traditional Chinese healing philosophy, Banyan Tree Spa Shanghai On the Bund’s colorful design concept is inspired by the Five Elements – Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. The Spa’s contemporary design showcases a combination of sleek lines with traditional materials to create a warm, inviting atmosphere. An elegant reception area features a clear glass panel embedded with grey textured patterns while a beige sofa and silk floral-motif throw cushions are just a few of the comforting touches.

Signature Spa Treatments

The destination-inspired Banyan Indulgences feature holistic signature treatments for total renewal. The 150-minute signature package, Banyan Hot Stones, is a harmonizing treatment where heated stones are soothingly massaged over the body along with the use of warm Clarity Oil to exert warmth and pressure on energy points for smoother flow of “qi” and the discharge of toxins. The treatment concludes with a Rose Body Scrub, Chrysanthemum Body Conditioner and Rose Bath to leave the skin nourished and soft.

Blissful experiences include a selection of popular therapies reflecting the Five Elements – Gold for Purifying, Wood for Renewal, Water for Relaxing, Fire for Revitalizer and Earth for Balance. Five Elements oils are created for each specific treatment. Guests may discover the healing powers of Chinese herbs and indigenous ingredients in body scrubs which harness the benefits of Pu’er tea leaves, Pearl, Chrysanthemum and Ginseng.

A day at the spa is the perfect panacea for aching feet after a day of roaming the sites of sizzling Shanghai. You can relax with a massage, body scrub, facial, hand and foot treatment, and just chill out.  The Spa is open to both hotel guests and visitors daily from 10am to 11pm. For more information or reservations, please contact +86 21 2509 1188, email spa-shanghaionthebund@banyantree.com or visit banyantreespa.com.

About Banyan Tree Spa

The leading Asian spa operator and pioneer of the tropical garden spa, Banyan Tree Spa first opened in 1994 in Phuket, Thailand. As the first luxury oriental spa in Asia, it re-introduced an exotic blend of time-honored Asian healing therapies and beauty remedies.

Like the tropical and sacred tree that inspired its name, Banyan Tree Spa offers guests a Sanctuary for the Senses – a haven for physical, mental and spiritual renewal. Its spa philosophy focuses on a non-clinical and holistic ‘high-touch, low-tech’ approach that celebrates the human touch and the use of natural herbs and spices. Sensing the moment, Angsana Spa complements Banyan Tree Spa with its contemporary chic and vivacious treatments. Inspiring guests to live life spontaneously and savor time, its refreshing blend of treatments emphasizes on the use of native flowers and fruits. Banyan Tree Spa owns and manages a total of approximately 70 Spas in close to 30 countries under the Banyan Tree Spa, Angsana Spa and Elements Spa By Banyan Tree brands.