nostalgia…somewhere over the rainbow

Visited blogger rfljenksy–Practicing Simplicity at , who had “liked” one of my posts. Was pleasantly surprised to see the following YouTube video which reminded me of my beloved Hawaiian islands.

Local boy and singer/musician IZZE brought his own style to the iconic song Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” 

There’s no mistaking the two. Both beautiful in their own right. However where the original is hopeful and inspirational…the island rendition is…achingly haunting.

Having recently visited my island home and extended family…I returned once more…to where memories are made that always warm my heart.

IZZE has since passed…but he lives on…somewhere over the rainbow…


“shaka, bra…”

Sunset from Ka'annapali, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

That’s Hawaiian speak for “it’s easy,” “no worries,” “right on.” At least that’s what I’ve thought it to mean when I lived and played in the islands, decades ago. I’m sure over time it’s come to mean more things to more people. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find the following email from kamaainas (non-locals who become locals by virtue of moving to Hawaii or owning property there). I don’t know them personally, but feel I do through their intermittent communication. Hope you enjoy this mini “pigeon-english” lesson. Never know, it might come in handy on a future visit to my native island paradise.

The “shaka” sign has meant many things over the years and is a definite part of Hawaiian culture and the aloha spirit that is always present in Hawai’i. Today, it can mean many things, including “Howzit?” (How’s it going?), “No worries!”, “Thanks!” and much more. It is by far the most well-known and used gesture by Hawai’i locals and islanders, men, women, and keiki (children) alike. It’s used as a gesture of friendship, to greet, and to say goodbye. It’s how local people wave at others. Interpreted to mean “hang loose” or “right on,” the “shaka” sign is a constant reminder that in Hawaii, it is not the norm to worry or rush. “Shaka” represents the embodiment of “island style.” It signals that everything is all right.

Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

The “shaka” sign is more than just nonverbal communication. When you use it, you acknowledge the true concept of aloha and participate in the synergistic heartbeat of Hawai’i. A guest expressed it this way: “We remember when we got our first “shaka” in Hawai’i. We were enjoying the drive on the road to Hana. We looked in the rearview mirror and noticed a pickup truck following behind us. We assumed the folks in the truck were local residents and weren’t on a sightseeing mission as we were, so at our first opportunity, we pulled over to let the truck pass by us. As the truck passed, the passenger gave us a ‘shaka’.” (By the way, local residents will always appreciate your pulling over to allow them to pass if you are driving slowly.)

Edited photo of

Image via Wikipedia

To make a “shaka,” extend your thumb and pinkie while curling in the index and middle fingers. You can rotate your wrist too.

The “shaka” is a simple, yet powerful, way to remind locals and visitors of the way people look out for each other on the Islands, and strive to spread aloha day in, and day out, in keeping with the Hawaiian principle of “malama i kekahi i kekahi,”…”take care of one, take care of all.”

If you’re new to the islands, don’t be shy about throwing up “shakas.” Just make sure you’ve got the hand gesture down first!

road to hana

A hui hou…
Anne & Wes




“brave the surf,” maui’s ho’okipa beach park

Get an email from owners of a condo in Maui, every so often. They’re always looking for renters. Did consider their property a few years ago, but didn’t book. Thought some of you might be interested in their pitch. Sounds great and the photos are gorgeous.

I have fond memories of Ho’okipa Beach, as mentioned in my post of 9/8/10, “maui, ho’okipa beach park.” You might want to make some memories of your own there.


These are pictures taken at Ho’okipa Beach Park, one of the supreme sites for experienced windsurfers in the world. The conditions here are for pros only because the surf is often very rough. It’s fascinating to go and watch in awe as young and old head out and then, miraculously, return safely. The site is gorgeous, the wind is always howling, and the sound
is amazing. It’s a beautiful spot just to sit and watch or walk down to the water to congratulate the windsurfers as they come in. The youngest we saw was in shot 8. He looked to be around ten and had probably been riding his whole life. In several shots, you can tell by the angle of the sails that the waves were always going in different directions. 

We will take a picnic lunch and always park right down by the action. Shot 1 is taken from the parking lot they have put in up above. You can get a good view of the site before you drive on down to the far end on the beach. This is not a place to go swimming; it’s intimidating even to stand close enough to get your feet wet!

Ask for the Maui Hints if we haven’t already sent them to you. They will tell you exactly how to get there, if you haven’t already been, and will also give you some more background about Ho’okipa and the nearby surfers’ towns of Pa’ia and Haiku.

Head for Ho’okipa on your next trip to Maui!

Anne & Wes

Anne and Wes Burmark
“HO’ONANEA — To pass the time in ease, peace, and pleasure; to relax.”

  11 Attached Images


definitely not for the “faint of heart,” nor the inexperienced swimmer…like moi…hugmamma.

if you go, tell them “hugmamma sent you!”