The Waikiki Beachboys and the Aloha Spirit

As I gaze over Waikiki from my Oahu Vacation Rental and see the surf instructors below I think back to the early days of Waikiki when the tradition of the Waikiki Beachboys began.

From the 1920s to the 1950s, a group of water sports instructors working on the beaches fronting the Moana and Royal Hawaiian Hotels came to be known as the Waikiki Beachboys. One of the most famous of the Beachboys was the legendary Hawaiian waterman and Olympic champion Duke Kahanamoku. In 1911, Duke and other local watermen founded Hui Nalu (Club of the Waves), and many of the club’s members eventually became Waikiki Beachboys.

The Hawaiian Lei – A Celebration of Island Flowers

Recently when I was visiting Oahu and staying in an absolutely wonderful Kailua Vacation Rental and still immersed in the wonderful fragrance of the plumeria lei I had been given at the airport, I decide I wanted to learn more about the Hawaiian lei, such a wonderful tradition that made me feel so welcome upon my arrival.

It turns out that in ancient Hawaii, respect and honor was bestowed upon someone by placing a Hawaiian lei upon their head and shoulders, which are considered sacred parts of the body.

Ancient Hawaiians utilized various materials for lei. These lei materials included ferns, flowers, seeds, vines, feathers, nuts,shells and even teeth. Lei were often made to pay tribute to the gods, and also to show reverence and give thanks.

Many introduced species began to be utilized for making lei after Western contact. The missionaries brought roses, and the Chinese brought pikake (Arabian jasmine) as well as pakalana (Chinese violet).

Movies on Kauai—John Wayne, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra

Of all the movies that have been filmed on Kauai, some of the most memorable were those starring John Wayne, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. I think of this as I sit in my Kauai Condo and gaze out over the beauty of the Garden Island.

John Wayne was Hollywood’s most popular star when he arrived on Kauai in 1962 to film Donovan’s Reef. In the movie, John Wayne plays “Guns” Donovan, a former United States Marine who opens a tropical bar in the South Pacific. The main filming set for Donovan’s Reef was Hanamaulu Beach and nearby Ahukini Pier on Kauai’s eastern coastline. Various other Kauai sites were also utilized for filming, including Waimea Canyon, the Wailua River, and the Allerton Estate at Lāwai.