Travel - The Islands of Hawaii
Tia Carrere - You might recognize this actress as the female singer in Wayne's World. Born in Honolulu on Jan. 2, 1967, she was discovered shopping in a grocery store and moved to LA when she was 17.
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku - Besides inventing the "Hawaiian Crawl" (his unique way of swimming) and introducing surfing to Australia and the rest of the world. He won silver and gold metals at the 1912 Olympics, two gold metals at the 1920 Olympics, and even more Olympic metals in 1924, 1928, and 1932. He starred in movies next to John Wayne and later became sheriff of Waikiki.
Brief History of Hawaii
The first people to discover Hawaii were probably Polynesian fisherman or defeated warriors in canoes during the first millennium, AD. The credit, however, went to Captain James Cook who came across the eight islands in 1778. He renamed them the Sandwich Islands after the Earl of Sandwich (the dude who invented sandwiches).
In 1818, King Kamehameha protested that each island should have its own name and the name was changed to Islands of the Kingdom of Hawaii. After a brief takeover from Great Britain, the islands were officially granted their independence in 1843. They remained a sovereign kingdom until 1893, when the monarchy was overthrown by a bunch of American businessmen. Hawaii's last queen Queen Liliuokalani stepped down to avoid bloodshed. Hawaii officially became the 50th US state on August 21, 1959.
Hawaii - Did U Know?
- The Hawaiian language has the shortest alphabet in the world. It is only 12 letters long - A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, W.
- Hawaii has no snakes, seagulls, rabies or daylight savings time!
- Hawaii consumes the most Spam in the United States. Last checked, it was over 10,000 cans of Spam consumed every day in Hawaii.
- The tallest mountain in the world is located in Hawaii. The non-erupting volcano Mauna Kea measures over 30,000 feet tall when measured from the ocean floor, making it several hundred feet higher than Mt. Everest.
Giant Humpback Whales - They visit in the winter and entertain the people of Maui.
Kauai Cave Wolf Spider - This small hunting spider lives in lava tubes. Unlike other spiders this one chases and grabs its prey instead of building a web.
Manta Ray-These rays are completely harmless. The adult rays can grow eight to ten feet wide. The newborn rays can grow to three feet (1 meter) in width. The adult rays have been seen to grow to 23 feet (7 meters) in width.
Humuhumunukunukuapua`a - This is the state fish. This name means "the fish that grunts like a pig" but it would only grunt if it was cornered or caught.
Cool Things to See and Do in Hawaii
Smith's Tropical Paradise - The island of Kauai has a 23-acre site with gardens, lagoons and exotic birds. A unique narrated train chugs through a rain forest, a Polynesian village, a Japanese island, a Filipino village and other cool areas.
Aloha Tower - Originally built as a beacon to guide ships safely into Honolulu harbor. Besides harboring cruise ships, it is now the site of the Aloha Tower Marketplace on Oahu Island.
Diamond Head - This famous Waikiki landmark is recognized around the world. Located on Oahu and called Mt. Leahi in Hawaiian, it was nicknamed Diamond Head when early explorers found olivine crystals there and mistook them for diamonds.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - One of the top scenic attractions in the Aloha State, has tons of unique volcanic formations, forests of giant tree ferns, steaming craters and a volcanological museum (which includes a free movie daily). All this can only be seen on Big Island.