2013 Best B&B Award Winner!

Once again the  readers of the Hawaii Tribune Herald have voted The Palms Cliff House Inn the Best B&B. 2013 BestThe Palms Cliff House won the honor of being named the Best Bed & Breakfast – East Hawaii by readers of the Hawaiian Tribune-Herald Newspaper for 2013. The Inn also won in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2005. John and Michele Gamble share the honor with their hard working staff.

“We are able to be so successful because we have such wonderful and dedicated staff that share our dream for this very special place” said owner Michele Gamble. Celebrating thirteen years in operation the Gambles feel this is the perfect pat on the back for a job well done by their neighbors and peers. “We all work so hard to provide a quality experience while still providing value for the guest” commented John Gamble, “The economy is really tight for everyone, and yet, we are still providing value for every dollar a guest spends with us.”

“We are so thankful to the people of the Big Island for giving us this honor again this year. There are so many Bed and Breakfasts out there who are working hard and providing a quality experience, so we understand what a tremendous honor it is to be given this award by the people who live here” Michele said in conclusion.

Best B&B Staff

Shop The Palms Cliff House Inn on SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Support your favorite small business. This November 24th is Small Business Saturday®, a day to celebrate and support the local small businesses that boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country. The Palms Cliff House Inn is proud to take part in Small Business Saturday, and we’re encouraging everyone to Shop Small® here on November 24th.

Small Business Saturday is the perfect day to Book a future stay or to purchase gift certificates for future stays. Come in, call us, or visit our website to purchase stays and gift certificates.

Most importantly, get out there, Shop Small, and let’s make this November 24th the biggest day of the year for small business. To learn more, visit ShopSmall.com.

Thanking Veterans'

We are honored to thank Veterans' for their selfless service to our country with a free stay at The Palms Cliff House Inn. Mahalo Nui Loa. This is the fourth year that The Palms Cliff House Inn has given free rooms to Veterans' as a way to say thank you. We have two sons serving in the military, one in the Navy and one in the Marines, so it has always been a priority to us to show our appreciation.

If you missed staying with us this year, but are planning a future stay, please remember to ask for the military discount, and if you or a family member are a veteran, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for you service to us, and our country.

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Nona Beamer: A Legacy of Aloha

"Nona Beamer: A Legacy of Aloha" is a portrait in film painted with the words of some of the people profoundly affected by this remarkable Hawaiian woman. She was a musician, hula dancer, composer and teacher, at a time when Hawaiian culture was still being suppressed in. She was a major force behind the Cultural Renaissance of the 1970s that helped restore dignity and pride to Hawaiian children. Join filmmaker Linda Kane for a special screening of this remarkable film.

Nona Beamer has a special place in my heart, she was my teacher, my adviser, my confidant, and my friend. I am honored to have participated in the making of this film and urge everyone, if you knew Auntie Nona or not, to go see this film. You will leave the theater feeling as if you did know her and filled with a deeper understanding of Hawaii's past and a true sense of Aloha. Something she very much would have liked.

 

BIG ISLAND 'UKULELE GUILD'S 8th ANNUAL 'UKULELE EXHIBITION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 5-25 (weekdays) Will be held in conjunction with the annual Wailoa Center Invitational Woodworkers Show. Opening "Meet Your Makers!" reception on October 5th, from 5-7pm with pupus and live entertainment. October 6 and 20th from noon till 4pm, join in a kanikapila and 'ukulele lessons with Andy Andrews of the Puna 'Ukulele Kanikapila Association (free to the public).

Wailoa Art & Cultural Center is a Division of State Parks, Department of Land and Natural Resources. It is free and open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., & Wednesday from noon to 4:30 pm., but will open especially for the PUKA kanikapila on Oct. 6 & 20th. For more info about the Uke Guild show, contact Bob Gleason at 966-6323 or email pegasusguitars@hawaiiantel.net. Wailoa Center info at 933-0416 or email wailoa@yahoo.com.

Award of Excellence for The Palms Cliff House Inn

Dear Palms Cliff House Inn,

We At TripAdvisor recognize the power of traveler feedback - and today, we're proud to recognize The Palms Cliff House Inn for your exceptional traveler ratings over the past year.

The Award of Excellence recognizes businesses that consistently earn top ratings from TripAdvisor travelers. With a rating of 4.0, The Palms Cliff House Inn has earned a place among the very best.

Thank you for being a part of TripAdvisor's global business community.

Sincerely,

President, TripAdvisor

A Look Back At "The Lovelist Fleet of Islands That Lie Anchored in Any Ocean"

The Title quote for this post is credited to Mark Twain, a great admirer of our lovely string of Islands. So enamored with our Islands, he actually went "missing" for a period of time. Going Native we call it; but you can not dismiss the powerful effect the mere mention of the words, The Hawaiian Islands, has upon people.

When you mention visiting Hawaii many  visualize Hawaii in the 1940's. It was a fun and glamorous time to visit Hawaii. It took 9 hours by plane back then, or four days on one of Matson's cruise liners: the SS Matsonia, The SS Lurline, or the SS Maraposa. Recently I had the good fortune to acquire a photo album that depicts a visit to the Islands of Hawaii in 1947. What a joy to see the islands of that time through the eyes of someone obviously enamored with all they were experiencing.

The Album begins with a wonderful inscription describing their arrival in Honolulu aboard the SS Matsonia:

"Will never forget our arrival! Small boats came out bringing lei; musicians singing and playing Hawaiian songs, and Hula dancers; [and] native boys diving for coins. When we docked, the Royal Hawaiian Band was playing, and everyone was there with more leis!"

How exciting it must have been to pull into the harbor next to the Aloha Tower and watch the small colorful boats arrive carrying locals greeting you with sweet Hawaiian songs and beautifully colored leis made from all kinds of exotic flowers. As if that were not enough, as soon as you disembarked from the ship you were greeted by the Royal Hawaiian Band, gloriously bedecked in White, red and gold. More exotic flower leis were given to so that each passenger had lei up to their ears! How fun! How adventurous it must have felt.

Well, gone are the days of diving for coins, and greeting passengers with armloads of lei. Luckily, however, all the airports still have lei stands and you will still see locals greeting their friends and family with lei, so not all is lost. But I confess, I do daydream about those lucky individuals who visited the islands during Hawaii's Boat Days.

Ho'olina Art Exhibit at 'Imiloa Planetarium Hallway

Cost: The exhibit is open to the public.

Hale Nauā III, Society of Maoli Arts celebrates its 36th anniversary with the exhibition "Ho‘oilina" featuring the art of Natalie Mahina Jensen and Frank Tarallo Jensen from Sep. 28 – Oct. 28, 2012 in ‘Imiloa’s planetarium hallway. Ho‘oilina honors the perpetuation of maoli contemporary fine art depicted through a traditional legacy, from award winning artist and father, Rocky Ka‘iouliokahihikolo‘ehu Jensen, to his lifelong students and children, renown artists in their own right, Natalie and Frank Jensen.

For more information: http://www.imiloahawaii.org/calendar/day_view/day:October+2,+2012#event_937

The Manaʻo Behind the Poster for this yearʻs 2012 Wayfinding & Navigation Festival

Below youʻll find this yearʻs 2012 Wayfinding & Navigation Poster beautifully done by our Student Assistant, Jared Haʻo. This poster holds a lot of kaona, or hidden meaning that only a few may be able to recognize, so for those who may not, I would like to share the meaning behind the various elements and why they were specifically chosen to represent our festival:

 

Faafaite, the Polynesian voyaging canoe from Tahiti This photograph taken by Danee Hazama, is a magnificent shot of the Faafaite, Polynesian voyaging canoe from Tahiti, departing from a point on Kaho‘olawe named Kealaikahiki, the pathway to Tahiti. This is the first time a canoe has departed for Tahiti this way in more than 750 years. Did you know that ʻImiloa has a direct connection to this monumental event? Our very own Associate Director & Navigator-In-Residence, Chad Kālepa Baybayan, was the Master Navigator of this historic voyage that reopened a voyaging path and connection that had not been sailed for centuries!

Kanaloa Kanaloa, known as the god of the sea, ocean, wayfinding & navigation, as well as many other things, is also the ancient name for Kahoʻolawe. Incorporated into our poster are a few of the many kinolau, or forms of Kanaloa. One representation is the ocean, two is the island of Kahoʻolawe, three is the waʻa and the action of navigating it, four is the maiʻa or banana leaf, his plant form, and five is the whale. For many cultures, even those outside of the Pacific, the whale is a universal representation of the ocean that reminds us that no mater where we are in the world, we are all connected to one another.

Mai Ka Piko Mai A Hoʻi, Return to Kanaloa This yearʻs theme has so many layers and levels of depth to it. Whether you interpret it as a return to the island of Kanaloa, (Kahoʻolawe) or the return to the ways and practices that connect us with the sea, or even a realization that it is our kuleana, responsibility, to care for the ocean that surrounds us, then yes, you are correct. In essence, it doesn't matter how you interpret it, what really matters is that you answer the call.

Mahalo hou to Danee for the photo and to Jared for an awesome job. Please feel free to share this flyer with your family and friends and if youʻre with your with them and you see this flyer around town, please feel free to share this manaʻo and to invite them to this yearʻs ʻImiloa Wayfinding & Navigation Festival!

For information on the Wayfinding Festival at 'Imiloa, please visit their website at:  http://www.imiloahawaii.org/calendar/month_view/month:October+2012

Tsukimi-Moon Viewing

Enjoy the Moon this weekend by celebrating with 'Imiloa at the Tsukimi-Moon Viewing event tonight, Friday night Sept 28. The night will include a 6 p.m. Moons of our Solar System live sky presentation in the planetarium, followed by a presentation of Moon stories in other cultural paradigms, meteorite and lunar science exhibits, and moon viewing in the lawn (weather permitting.) A traditional snack of mochi will be available for the participants. Join us in celebrating the beauty of the Moon!

For more information:

http://blog.imiloahawaii.org/general-information/tsukimi-moon-viewing/

Palms Cliff House Wins Best Bed & Breakfast Again for 2012!

The Palms Cliff House won the honor of being named the Best Bed & Breakfast – East Hawaii by readers of the Hawaiian Tribune-Herald Newspaper for 2012. The Inn also won in 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2005. John and Michele Gamble share the honor with their hard working staff, some of whom are shown below..

“We are able to be so successful because we have such wonderful and dedicated staff that share our dream for this very special place” said owner Michele Gamble.

Celebrating twelve years in operation the Gambles feel this is the perfect pat on the back for a job well done by their neighbors and peers. “We all work so hard to provide a quality experience while still providing value for the guest” commented John Gamble, “The economy is really tight for everyone, and yet, we are still providing value for every dollar a guest spends with us.”

“We are so thankful to the people of the Big Island for giving us this honor again this year. There are so many Bed and Breakfasts out there who are working hard and providing a quality experience, so we understand what a tremendous honor it is to be given this award by the people who live here” Michele said in conclusion.

Saving a Piece of Hawaii's Past

Last weekend John and I happened to stop at a local garage sale and while rummaging through their "Trash" pile I noticed a large hunk of wood sticking out towards the back. Thinking I was looking at a large piece of mid-century monkey pod wood I freed the piece of wood from the pile. As soon as I grab a hold of it I knew I was about to reveal something special because my fingers were not feeling the smooth underside of a monkey pod wood item, but the 'chip carving' texture synonymous with the Kulani Prison Farm wood shop.

Sure enough when I turned the piece over the distinctive back of the item gave away it's origin. Sadly, the item itself was in really bad condition. The top surface of the shell shaped platter had been painted a brick red and then covered in a thick varnish.

On top of that some tar like substance had spilled on the piece and pooled in it's bottom.

There edges were chipped and broken. The back of the platter was in much the same condition. So when I asked about purchasing the platter it was no wonder I got an odd response. The piece was in such bad shape that the kind folks let me have it for $7.00. Happily I handed them some money and took my damaged treasure home.

I carefully examined the platter to determine as many of it's issues as possible before mapping out my place to salvage it. Nicks, chips, a large break on one end and the goo that was pooled in the center of the piece would be a challenge to overcome.

Undaunted I began stripping away the goo and various layers of paint and varnish. One day and a full can of stripper later I had revealed the natural beauty of the Koa wood that the Kulani Prison Farm was famous for using.

I then decided to hand sand out the chips and nicks so as not to remove too much wood and interfere with the back's 'chip carving.' The large break was a bit more difficult to tackle, but luckily the wood was thick in that area and I was able to re-shape the bowl to remove the broken area, again, without interfering with the 'chip carving' on the back side.

I put a sparing amount of oil onto the piece over the next few days and watched in amazement as the oil was soaked up as if on a dry sponge. After several days of oiling though, the shell platter looks spectacular. I am really happy with how the restoration turned out and really proud that I was able to save a piece of Hawaii's past for my guests to enjoy.

Kūlani Prison Farm was opened in 1946 near Kūlani  Hill above Hilo. Inmates at the Prison Farm participated in logging, ranching, woodworking, and other activities. The Farm was constructed among “beautiful stands of Koa trees.” Today, the area surrounding the former prison farm contains dense populations of native birds and plants and is part of a protected conservation area. An important part of the program at the Kūlani facility was its’ wood workshop and sales venture. For years, inmates collected native hardwoods from lands around the facility, and turned it into art and utilitarian items for sale. A part of the income went to the benefit of the inmates themselves, and provides them with a trade skill. This Shell shaped platter exhibits the distinctive ‘Kūlani Prison Farm’ style of texturing the underside (Chip Carving) of the platter making it as beautiful as the top of the platter. ‘Kūlani Prison Farm’ items are difficult to find today, so bringing this platter back to life was well worth the effort.

Celebrating Girl's Day At The Palms Cliff House Inn

Girl’s Day is Saturday, March 3, 2012.

On Display Will Be A Collection Of Japanese Kokeshi Dolls & Antique Traditional Girl's Day Hina Matsuri Display, With Accompanying Accessories, Dougu,  Consisting Of More Than 100 Pieces.

Girl’s Day, which takes place on the 3rd of March each year, is celebrated with special food and with elaborate displays of dolls representing the Emperor and Empress and in the most elaborate displays, their full court of attendants and household goods on a graduated dais covered in red.

This event originally began in the Edo era; traditionally, this event was only celebrated by the young daughters of the Imperial Family and the Japanese upper class, but gradually this festival became integrated into the celebrations of the common people.

In a time when marriage was a woman’s only option, such displays were thought to encourage the daughter to aspire to a prosperous match and to ward off evil and promote the health of the young girl. On Boys’ Day, celebrated in early May, helmets, armor and warrior dolls were displayed to encourage young boys to see the glories of military service as a man’s duty.

In carrying on with the tradition, Hina dolls are lovingly viewed and special sweets that can only be eaten on this day are consumed. This is the day families still pray for the happiness and prosperity of their girls and to help ensure that they grow up healthy and beautiful. The celebration takes place both inside the home and at the seashore. Both parts are meant to ward off evil spirits from girls.

A girl's first "Girls' Day" is called her hatzu-zekku. On a girl's hatzu-zekku it is very popular for the girl's grandparents to buy her a display. This display can have up to seven tiers with dolls, A Palace, and small furniture. At the top is always the dolls of the emperor and empress with a miniature gilded screen placed behind them, very much like how it is in the imperial court. Most families take out this display of dolls around mid-February and put it away immediately after Hina Matsuri is over. There is a superstition that says that families slow to put away the dolls will have trouble marrying off their daughters!

This is one of the best Meiji-era images of the Japanese Doll Festival decorations I have seen during.  I love the detail of the display as photographed by Meiji-era photographer T. ENAMI.

I have been collecting my Hina Dolls for 15 years. Gathering a piece here and a piece there. Discovering treasures both here in Hawaii as well as purchasing items in Japan. The most fun for me at the household items. The attention to detail is incredible.

As my display grows, so does the space required to house it when not on display.  Three shelves in my office as well as a full closet are devoted to my ever growing collection. I hope you have enjoyed looking at my collection of Hina dolls, if you are in the area on Girl’s Day, please stop by to see it in person. I’d be more than happy to show and share it to you!

Guest Lounge Upgrades!

In mid-2011 we re-opened the guest lounge after an extensive renovation. The walls were painted a comforting moss green trimmed in gloss white and we installed chestnut wood floors, gorgeous! But we were not finished, it took quite a while for the new bamboo and rattan tables and new mocha colored chairs to be shipped in from the east coast ( see, there are some drawbacks to living in paradise! ) but we are so happy that they have arrived with the New Year! Now our guest lounge is a comfortable and functional location for guests to eat, relax, meet each other, and stay connected through the Inn's wifi network. The guest lounge also has a small refrigerator filled with beverages, cheese, and selected meats and humus. The snack area offers light meal and snack options; and yes, that includes microwave popcorn!

Celebrating Herb Kawainui Kane~

Since the death of the renowned historical artist Herb Kane in March 2011, Bernard Noguès has been working closely with Herb's widow, Deon Kane, to organize works remaining from his studio. The results of that effort are remarkable.

Now, proudly, the Isaacs Art Center has assembled a fine collection of Mr. Kane's drawings - never before seen studies for his major works - as well as a number of finished oil paintings and watercolors.

The Isaacs Art Center is located in Waimea (Kamuela) in the South Kohala district of the Big Island of Hawai'i, next to the HPA Village Campus. The Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Physical address: 65-1268 Kawaihae Road, Kamuela Hi 96743 Phone (808) 885-5884 http://isaacsartcenter.hpa.edu

Aloha, E Komo Mai!

While all the Hawaiian islands are beautiful, the Big Island holds a special place in our lives. Not just because we live here, but because this is the place that calls to our hearts when we travel abroad, this is the place that feels like home – even before it was our home, this is the place that fills my night time dreams and waking moments with thoughts and visions so beautiful and astonishing that words can sometimes fail me. This blog serves two purposes. One, to share our Inn with you. The Palms Cliff House Inn has been a living dream for more than ten years now, and honestly, we still love being innkeepers! So this blog is a place to share our Innformation and InnNews with you.

Second, This blog is a great place for us to share our Big Island with you. Yes, I could have started a separate blog for that, but frankly, I’m an innkeeper first and time is precious, fleeting, and not in abundance. My desire to share our experiences living and playing here on the Big Island is a priority so, my blog will serve double duty.

I hope you will find information about our Inn and our Big Island that will be both useful and surprising. My goal is to enhance your experience during your visit by sharing with you what our Inn and our Big Island have to offer. Let your adventure begin!

-InnGirl

Lake Wai'au

Lake Waiau is a high-elevation lake located at 13,020 feet (3970 m) above sea level on Mauna Kea, on the island of Hawai'i. It is the seventh highest lake in the USA, and one of very few lakes at all in the state of Hawai'i. It is relatively small, only about 100 m across, and varies in size as the water level rises and falls. This photo was taken when the water was very low, you can nee the water line on the opposite shore.  The name means "swirling water" in Hawaiian, though it is usually rather placid. Legend has it that a mo'o lives in the lake and occasionally you can see it swim across the surface. I myself have seen something move across the lake, but as there are no fish in the lake, I guess it was the mo'o.

According to Hawaiian mythology, Lake Wai'au is bottomless and is the portal for spirits to travel to and from the spirit world. In ancient time, a chief would throw the umbilical cord of their first son, as soon as it fell off the infant, into the lake. It was to reserve the place for the child's afterlife as a chief. Rituals are still performed occasionally in present days.

My elders have told me that when they were growing up their fathers would go up to lake Wai'au and fill a water gourd with water from the lake. When someone in the home became sick they would drink some of the water and get better. They also said the water was always very cold, even on the hottest days, if you drank from the gourd it was always cold.

Lake Waiau is a sacred site. Visitors should not disturb, enter or drink the water of the lake.

 

Getting Away From It All – Camping Near South Point

We just got back from a mini-vacation to our favorite camping spot near South Point. We love it because, as you can see, there is never anyone there! Just us and the ocean and the wild goats and pigs…and the fishing is fine!

It’s a combination of dusty two rut roads and treacherous tire eating lava fields that comprise most of the two plus hours of bumping, bouncing, terrain (but if you love 4-wheeling, this is it!) to get there, but boy is worth the effort.

This trip we saw two of the Big Island’s FAD’s pretty close to shore. We guess they came off their chains after the tsunami, but thus far these two are not listed as “missing” so someone in Honolulu must know they have come off their chains and where they are. We’ll keep an eye on that.

As you can see the coastline is simply sublime. It is a combination of sandy coves, rocky lava flows reaching in to the ocean and thick coastal vegetation. Of course we are undo no illusions that no one else goes here. Plenty do, the evidence of other fishermen are literally and unfortunately everywhere. We we leave we usually have one or two bags of trash we have picked up during our visit. But we have been lucky enough to usually see no one but each other when we go.

I love cooking over an open campfire. We actually fight over who gets to do it…I usually win, yea for me!

Meals this trip were courtesy of Halau O Na Pua Kukui. We dined on the left overs from their week long stay with us at the inn…Onolishous! Fried rice with ham and Shou Chicken.

Our camping area offers lots of diversions. There is great opportunity to find fishing floats. This one we found on this trip and was as large as John’s mid-section. We also scored with the ever elusive glass floats and found 2! One was a small green on and one was yellow! I have never seen a yellow one before this one. Fantastic hunting.

  

The hiking is terrific along the coast with plenty of blow holes to see and deep pukas like this one to scramble into during low tide. Of course you should never turn your back to the ocean, even for a picture…shame on us.  In the eleven years that we have been camping here the fishing has always been fantastic. The one shown here is a Noho, or false scorpion fish. Boy was it good eating too. All dense white meat and tasted like lobster. Love this fish!

The other thing I do when camping near south point is collect salt. It is where all our salt comes from and I ewven gift some of it away.

As I said the hiking is terrific. Nearby there are large petroglyph fields and really crazy lava flows like the one above, all drippy and you would swear that they were still dripping they look so alive. If you go, enjoy the beauty of this area and carry out some of the fishing trash left behind by others.  No, I’m not going to say exactly where it is. That’s our little secret!

Whales Entertain on Valentines Day 2010

Whale watching on Valentines Day, 3 hours of jumps, flops, piloting, and tail flipping by a new baby as mom and another adult hovered nearby.