10 ways to spice up your summer
By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer
|One of the world's most popular destinations is right here on our shores. Go on play tourist in Waikiki for a change of pace.
Advertiser library photo
So turn up the AC and get ready for the heat.
Play with water: Remember when summertime was all about Super Soakers and Slip 'N Slide? Bring back those hanabata memories by scheduling water play one lazy afternoon.
Head down to the nearest toy store and stock up on inflatable pools, water balloons and water guns. The latest in Super Soakers can cost anywhere from $12.99 to about $45 for the colossal Monster version at K B Toys in Ala Moana Center (941-5800). Slip 'N Slide is still in stock at $17.99.
Toys-R-Us (487-5811) has an arsenal of water-play equipment from Slip 'N Slide Surf Rider (about $40) to the Octozone Waterslide (about $30). You can also order water-play sets and soakers online at www.toysrus.com
Mild it down: Fill up the tub with cool water and decide to just do nothing but soak. Grab an easy-reader, such as Sophie Kinsella's "Confessions of a Shopaholic" or "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant. Log on to Amazon.com for more summer reading suggestions.
Wake up your taste buds: Some like it hot. But others like it even hotter. Take your taste buds out on a date with something spicy. Here are some of the hottest (literally) items on restaurant menus around town:
The spicy jerk chicken burrito ($5.75) at Cha-Cha-Cha Salsaria in the Hawai'i Kai Town Centre. Add some of their famous habaöero salsa for an extra kick. 395-7797.
An entree of tandoori chicken ($4.50) from Zaffron restaurant at 69 N. King St. For an added heat rush, order the mint chutney ($1). 533-6635.
Evil Jungle Prince ($10.95 with chicken), the signature curry dish from Keo's in Waikiki at 2028 Kuhio Ave., promises to heat up your night. 951-9355
Heat it up: Instead of trying just one dish at one restaurant, head to the Taste of Honolulu, June 22-24 on the grounds of the civic center next to Honolulu Hale, to sample a variety of hot-and-spicy. Among the restaurants scheduled to participate are Chai's Island Bistro, Blue Tropix, Kevin's Two Boots, Dixie Grill and Musashi. 536-1015.
Go to Waikiki: Discover why Hawai'i tops destination lists by playing the role of tourist for the weekend. Dig out that gaudy aloha shirt, pick up a few strands of cheap shells and get that camera out of storage.
Kama'aina rates for standard, double occupancy rooms in Waikiki range from $64 a night at the Queen Kapi'olani Hotel (922-1941) to $260 with ocean view at The Royal Hawaiian hotel (923-7311). Mid-range hotels charge anywhere from $75 for city view ($85 for mountain view, $95 for ocean view, July 8-Sept. 30) a night at the Ala Moana Hotel (922-0417) to $100 ($145 for ocean view) at the Sheraton Princess Ka'iulani (922-1941).
While in Waikiki, check out the nightclubs you would never pay parking to hang out at, finally see a movie at the renovated Waikiki theaters or figure out the hype over Duke's first-hand.
Mild it down: Saving money? Take a stroll along the beautified Kuhio Beach or the lively Kalakaua Avenue. It's never a dull moment.
Grow your own heat: Thanks to our winterless environs, starting a garden can be an unscheduled event. And with so much time on your hands this summer, why not start your own herb garden?
Most herbs require the same growing conditions: a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day, good soil drainage and moderately rich soil. Basil and rosemary, staples in any herb garden, thrive in full sunlight. Flat- and curly-leaf parsley can tolerate some shade. Thyme (lemon is a favorite) and oregano flourish in well-drained soil. And chives grow anywhere. Pick up seeds or seedlings at any nursery, such as Star Gardens in Mo'ili'ili (973-1688), The Garden Mart in Kalihi (841-6410) or Ko'olau Farmers in Kane'ohe (247-3911).
And don't give up: Growing herbs is a process of trial and error. If the plant isn't doing well in one location, dig it up and start over again somewhere else.
For apartment-dwellers, consider growing your herbs in containers. But remember to use potting mix instead of regular garden bed soil, which may be too dense to allow enough air and proper drainage.
For tips and ideas, check the National Gardening Association's web site at www.garden.org
Heat it up: In between the rows of herbs, plant some peppers to spice up your garden. Perfect for Hawai'i gardeners, peppers like warm temperatures and warm soil. Some hot picks: habaöero, cayenne, jalapeno and Hawaiian chili.
Go wheel-less: Ditch the wheels and head to Hale'iwa on the No. 55. For $1 (for adults), the Circle Island bus takes passengers from Ala Moana Center, up Pali Highway, on to Kamehameha Highway toward the Hilton Turtle Bay Golf & Tennis Resort. After a brief stop, the bus goes to the North Shore, where you can stop for a bite at the original Kua Aina Sandwich Shop before heading back to town via Mililani.
For more information, call TheBus at 848-5555. For attractions and general information for visitors, call 296-1818, ext. 8287.
Mild it down: Can't afford to spend a whole day circling the island? Hop on the Kaimuki-Kapahulu-Waikiki trolley. The Neighborhood Trolley will offer unlimited free rides 6 a.m.-10 p.m. June 16. The 11 stops include Market City Shopping Center. 566-7466.
Get merry: Weather never dictates holidays in Hawai'i. So instead of throwing the ever-typical pool party or potluck at the beach, dust off that artificial pine tree and celebrate Christmas in July. Invite friends and family with Christmas-themed invitations, and ask everyone to pitch in one grab bag wrapped in leftover holiday wrap. Decorate the party location (living room, office, rec center) with last year's garlands and flashing lights. Prepare the traditional spread of gingerbread cookies, egg nog and Mom's fruitcake. And with Christmas music wafting in the background, play the usual office-party games with the arrival of Santa as the party finale.
For tips and recipes, log on to www.christmas.com For recipes with user feedback for such tasty options as candy cane cocoa, check out www.christmasrecipe.com It also has recipes for non-edible ornaments, a possible party activity. And tune into KSSK (92.3 FM). The station plays Christmas tunes on Leon Day ("noel" backwards), possibly July 2, the halfway mark to Christmas.
Heat it up: Bring your own snow. Pacific Ocean Producers sells finely crushed ice for $8 per block (equals about 300 pounds). Call 537-2905 for more information.
Get extreme: Satisfy your inner daredevil with a walk on the wild side. No more daydreams of jumping out of airplanes. Just do it. Skydive Hawaii and Drop Zone Hawaii, both at Dillingham Airfield, offer the thrill seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to sundown. For about $150 to $175 (kama'aina rate), experience an adrenaline rush from 13,000 feet, strapped to an instructor. And get photo or video proof: Drop Zone Hawaii can document your jump for $80, even set to your favorite songs. Must be 200 pounds or less and at least 18 years old. Reservations required. Call Skydive Hawaii at 637-9700 or Drop Zone Hawaii at 637-7007.
Wanna go airborne but skydiving's too extreme? Try kiteboarding instead. Though the sport a combination of surfing, wakeboarding and parasailing has been met with some resistance on the Windward side, fanatics still take to the water and air in daredevil style. For more information, call Naish Hawaii at 262-6068, Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks at 262-2555 or Gravity Sports at 261-7873.
Mild it down: Not the adventurous type? Why not collect some friends, buy snacks of the high caloric kind, and sit outside the large picture windows of a local gym. All of the pleasure, none of the pain.
Take a hike: Take advantage of Hawai'i's year-round outdoor weather by hitting any of the island's scenic trails.
From the novice-friendly, three-mile Makapu'u Point trail to the treacherous four-mile Pu'u Manamana loop trail in Kahana Valley, O'ahu has a variety of hikes for every skill level. Just don't forget water, food, sunscreen, compass, first-aid supplies and a cell phone, just in case.
And during the steamy summer months, the trail with the reward at the end a waterfall or swimming hole can spice up the usual stroll in the park. Beginners can check out the five-mile Nu'uanu-Judd foothill trail that ends with the Jackass Ginger (Ilaniwai) pool. More experienced hikers can trek across the six-mile Ma'akua Gulch valley trail at Hau'ula Forest Reserve. The route winds through streams and groves of mountain apples. A waterfall and swimming hole greet the finishers.
For more hiking options, check out Stuart M. Ball Jr.'s "The Hikers Guide to O'ahu Revised Edition" (UH Press, $18.95).
Heat it up: Head to Hilo and hike the nine-mile round-trip trek to the flow from Pu'u O'o vent on the slopes of Kilauea. It's a hike you'll never forget. For more information, check out the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Web sites at www.nps.gov/havo and www.hawaii.volcanoes.national-park.com
Cool down with a hot flick: "Pearl Harbor" was only the beginning of a summer full of hot-hot-hot blockbusters. Highly anticipated "Tomb Raider," which opens June 15, brings the buxom video game hottie Lara Croft to life. Steven Spielberg's "A.I." hits theaters June 29. Martial artist stud Jet Li teams up with Bridget Fonda in July 6's "Kiss of the Dragon." The made-in-Hawai'i full-length animated feature "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" have already got fans giddy; its release date is July 11. "Jurassic Park III," also filmed partially in the Islands, opens July 18. And Tim Burton's version of the classic "Planet of the Apes" hits screens July 27.
And beat the heat by spending a few hours in the air-conditioned confines of your neighborhood movie theater. With popcorn and mochi crunch, what could be better?
Mild it down: Boycotting the summer's hottest flicks? How 'bout holding a marathon of the worst movies ever invented and giving them a second chance. Or rent slasher films, such as "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "Hellraiser," and spend a horrifying evening at home.
Search for treasure: Up for a challenge? Rev up your weekend with a treasure hunt around the island. Organize a group of adventure-seekers and plan a daylong search for items, such as a receipt from the McDonald's next to the Polynesian Cultural Center or a napkin from Duke's Waikiki. You could even get disposable Polaroid cameras and have a list of 10 spots each team has to find and take a photo of. The winners get free drinks.
Mild it down: Plan a shave ice excursion, hitting as many stands around O'ahu as possible, such as Matsumoto Shave Ice in Hale'iwa, Waiola Store in Mo'ili'ili, Tat's Shaved Ice in Kane'ohe and B&S Store in Nu'uanu. It's a great way to cool down on those hot summer days.