Travel Spotlight | Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau Bahamas : Travel Spotlight

Bahammas 3

bahammas 6

 

The first time I was fortunate enough to visit the Bahamas was when I orchestrated a spring break girls trip while at the University of Michigan (Go Blue). We were fortunate to pay only $492 for round trip airfare (Vista Count) was the airline, and I am not even sure it still exists. However we were fearless and had the most amazing week staying at the half moon hotel but going to the other major hotels and beaches to chill, hang out, find beaches and party. Fast forward with several cruises, family stays, and marketing jobs, Nassau has become a staple in our Caribbean.

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Located on New Providence Island, Nassau has an attractive harbor a colorful blend of old world and colonial architecture, and a busy port. The tropical climate and natural beauty of the Bahamas have made Nassau a popular tourist destination.

Nassau developed directly behind the port area. New Providence provides 200 km² of relatively flat and low-lying land intersected by low ridges (none of which restricted settlement). In the center of the island there are several shallow lakes that are tidally connected.

The city’s proximity to the United States (290 km east-southeast of Miami, Florida) has contributed to its popularity as a holiday resort, especially after the United States imposed a ban on travel to Cuba in 1963. The Atlantis resort on nearby Paradise Island accounts for more tourist arrivals to the city than any other hotel property. The mega-resort employs over 6,000 Bahamians, and is the largest employer outside government.

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When in the Bahamas you must try the local staple, Conch.Here is a variation of a conch salad recipe.

bahamas Conch-Salad-Recipe bahamas conch shell

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Happy Birthday Denise!!!

Travel Spotlight | The Amazing Cayman Islands

The Amazing Cayman Islands

Cayman Island Tourism Colin and I  had a blast experiencing the culture and beauty of the Cayman Islands while working for a marketing company. We truly enjoyed the friendly locals, pristine waters, gorgeous sand and overall atmosphere. We highly considered placing our roots here before we moved to Hawaii.

The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman,Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands are considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles.

The Cayman Islands remained largely uninhabited until the 17th century. While there is no archaeological evidence for an indigenous people on the islands, a variety of settlers from various backgrounds made their home on the islands, including pirates, refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, shipwrecked sailors, and deserters from Oliver Cromwell’s army in Jamaica.

Cayman-Islands-Feature

To get more in depth knowledge of traditions and local culture make sure to click this link below for more!!!

Cayman Islands Information

Cayman Cruise Ship loftandlearn

Cayman discover-culture loftandlearn

Below is an awesome site for Caymanian Recipes if you would like to cook with a little Cayman Island Flare from Recipes social online network!!

Caymanian Recipes

 

Cayman Islands. Dive loftandlearn

Cayman map loftandearn

Cayman Port loftandlearn

Cayman spirits loftandlearn

Cayman Turtle Farm

Cayman west bay heritage loftandlearn  Grand Cayman map

 

 

Travel Spotlight | London, England

London our Travel Spotlight

Uncle Ryan, Colin’s Brother, moved to London from Chicago a couple of years ago and was kind enough to send us a few pics of cool places worth note. He has already emailed Ace about his favorite football (soccer team) and has truly taken advantage of a relaxed work European work schedule by jumping over to many different countries! He plans on running a marathon in Dublin Ireland soon so we wish him the best of luck!!!
London is an exciting place for children and teenagers. Traveling in London as a family may seem overwhelming but is rather manageable. There are many museums that are free so you can try out many different places without feeling obliged to spend a certain amount of time to get your money’s worth. Also, family discounts on public transportation are very good.

London, England’s capital, set on the River Thames, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At the center of the city stands the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.

London Big Ben

 

15 interesting facts about London and England that you’ve never heard

toothbrushWe all know that England is an interesting country with an impressive history and I’m sure you’ve heard many interesting facts about it. However, did you know that approximately 2,500 people have to be rushed to hospital every year for injuries caused by toothbrushes?!!

Read on for more crazy facts about London and England:

  1. sandwichNowhere in the UK is more than 70 miles (113km) from the sea! A place called Coton in the Elms is the furthest place from the sea.
  2. It is considered an act of treason to put a postage stamp with the queen’s head upside down on an envelope!
  3. The British eat over 11.5 billion (1,500,000,000) sandwiches every year!!
  4. England’s first telephone directory was published in 1880 and had only 248 names and addresses (there were no telephone numbers as you had to call the operator and ask for someone’s name to get connected).bigben1
  5. Our wonderful city London has not always had this name. In the past it has been called Londonium, Ludenwic, and Ludenburg!
  6. In 1945, a flock of birds landed on the minute hand of Big Ben and put the time back by 5 minutes.
  7. Big Ben is not actually the name of the clock, it is the name of the bell which is inside the clock.
  8. taxiThere are more chickens than people in England.
  9. Black cab (taxi) drivers in London have to memorise every street and important building in London within six miles from Charing Cross and they need to take a test called ‘The Knowledge’ before they can drive a cab.
  10. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
  11. In 1647, Christmas was abolished by the English Parliament. No-one was allowed to celebrate!
  12. On average, 488 people are injured by zips and 3,078 people are injured by slippers every year in the UK.
  13. The picture of the Queen on £1 coins show her age at the time they were made.ukflag
  14. Windsor Castle is the oldest royal residence in the world that is still being used by the royal family.
  15. England was part of the shortest war in history. They fought Zanzibar in 1896 and Zanzibar surrendered after just 38 minutes!

 

London Bridge loftandlearn

London Buckingham Palace loftandlearn

London English countryside

London Eye inside loftandlearn

London Kensington Palace loftandlearn

London London eye

London Piccadilly Circus loftandlearn

London Undergound loftandlearn

undergound loftandlearn

Travel Spotlight***Beautiful & Magical Ireland. (Mayo, County) | Loft & Learn, Ireland

 

Travel Spotlight***Beautiful & Magical Ireland

After Graduating from Michigan State University, Colin took an amazing trip to Europe and although he loved all of the countries he was able to visit, to this day he raves about his awesome experience in Ireland. He was able to visit Mayo County where his relatives are from. He speaks so highly of this beautiful country, from the country side in all shades of green, to the magical folklore and the friendly and truly joyful people.

Now Colin’s mother Wendy is heading for the “Green Isle”. In April she will take an amazing trip flying first to Shannon, Ireland. Their package for Western Ireland includes a car allowing them to travel around the ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Mohr, and Dingle Bay. After staying at the Killarney Royal she then heads to Ennis staying at the Temple Gate Hotel. After this she will jump over to London to see Colin’s brother Ryan who has moved overseas for work and loves it! This trip sounds so exciting, I can’t wait to see the pictures!!! (of course I will share…)

Irealnd Castle -Feature loftandlearn

 

The island of Ireland historically consists of 32 counties, of which six, collectively known as Northern Ireland, have remained as part of the United Kingdom since the rest of Ireland gained self government in 1922. The name “Ireland” applies to the island as a whole, but in English is also the official name of the independent state (ie the 26 counties which are not part of the United Kingdom), since 1921.

Celtic tribes settled on the island in the 4th century BC. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian Boru defeated the Danes in 1014. Norman invasions began in the early 12th century and set in place Ireland’s uneasy position within England’s sphere of influence. The Act of Union of 1800 – in which Catholics, 90% of the Irish population, were excluded from Parliament – saw Ireland joining the United Kingdom. In the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century the subject of Irish home rule was a major debate within the British parliament.

After several failed attempts, a Home Rule bill finally passed through parliament in 1914 though the start of the first world war saw its indefinite postponement due to heavily armed unionist opposition. A failed rebellion on Easter Monday in 1916, (after which 15 of the surrendered leaders were shot by firing squad and 1 hanged) showed a hint of things to come with years of war to follow, beginning with the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) and continuing with the Irish Civil War (1922-1923).

Ireland Cliffs

Ireland Map 1
Eventually a somewhat stable situation emerged with the self government of 26 of Ireland’s counties known as the Irish Free State; the remaining six, located in the north of the country comprising two-thirds of the ancient province of Ulster, remained part of the United Kingdom — a status that has continued to the present day. In 1949 the Irish Free State became “Ireland” (a.k.a. the Republic of Ireland) and withdrew from the British Commonwealth of Nations. English is spoken everywhere but Irish (Gaeilge) is the first official language. It is part of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic family of languages.

Most people have some understanding of Irish but it is used as a first language by approximately 170,000 people, most of whom live in rural areas known as the Gaeltachts. About 55% (c. 2,500,000) of people in the Republic claim to understand and speak the language. As the Gaeltachts are generally scenic areas it is likely that visitors will go there. Tourists are not expected to speak Irish, but attempts at speaking Irish with the locals are greatly appreciated. The language will also be noticeable on road signs, etc. For instance, a law was recently passed that changes the name of Dingle, County Kerry to An Daingean, the Irish version. This should not confuse visitors, as almost all recent maps carry placenames in both languages in Gaeltacht districts.

In order to enter most Irish Universities, it is necessary for Irish citizens to have taken Irish to Leaving Certificate (Examinations taken on leaving secondary or high school) level, and passed. Indeed it is a compulsory language at school in the Republic, although its method of teaching has come under criticism. Nevertheless, although it has come under threat, and some resent being forced to learn the language, others see use of the language as an expression of national pride.

Mayo County Ireland Pre History

Ire Mayo county

Ireland Mayo County Flag
County Mayo has a rich archaeological heritage dating from prehistoric times to the present. (Achaeology is the interpretation of our past from the study of buildings and objects made by human beings. We are dependent on archaeology alone in any attempt to study the prehistoric period and thereafter to complement what is recorded in written sources). According to the present state of archaeological knowledge, the first people arrived in Ireland sometime before 7000 BC during what is called the Mesolithic period. They were nomadic tribes of hunters and fishing people who built no permanent structures such as houses or tombs. The first colonisation of Mayo probably took place during that period.
In the fourth millennium BC, during the Neolithic period, another group of settlers arrived in Ireland, our first farmers, who introduced agriculture and animal husbandry to the country as well as the skills of pottery-making and weaving. They started a custom of burying their dead collectively (usually cremated) in large stone-built chambered tombs known as megalithic tombs, the earliest surviving architectural structures in the country. There are over 1,500 such tombs identified in Ireland with approximately 160 in County Mayo. This fact indicates the importance of the Mayo region during the Neolithic period and into the Bronze Age (c. 2000- 400 BC) when this phase of tomb-building came to an end.

Early Christian Period
The early history of the county is obscure and frequently confusing with various tribes seeking control. Christianity came to Ireland at the start of the fifth century, if not earlier, and brought about many changes, including the introduction of writing and reading. St. Patrick, Ireland’s national apostle, whose floruit was the fifth century, is chiefly credited with the conversion of the pagan Gaels. Recent research indicates that St. Patrick spent considerable time in County Mayo, where according to tradition and some written sources he spent forty days and nights on the summit of Croagh Patrick fasting and praying for the people of Ireland; and had associations with places like Aghagower near Westport, Ballintubber (well-known nowadays for its medieval abbey which has remained in continuous use through all vicissitudes from its foundation in 1216); and Foghill near Killala, which has been identified by some writers with the Silva Vocluti , ‘the wood of Fochluth beside the western sea’ mentioned by Patrick himself in his Confessio.
From the middle of the sixth century onwards, hundreds of small monastic settlements were established around the country, many of which became very important. Some examples of well-known early monastic sites in Mayo include Mayo itself near Balla, Aughagower, Inishmaine, Ballintubber, Errew, Kilmore Erris, Balla, Cong, Killala, Turlough, Moyne near Cross, and island settlements off the Mullet peninsula like Inishkea North, Inishkea South and Duvillaun More.
‘Mayo of the Saxons’
One of the most interesting monastic sites in Co. Mayo was that from which the county derives its name – Maigh Eo. Colmán of Lindisfarne, having been defeated by the ‘Romanist’ party at the synod of Whitby (in Northumbria, in the north-east of England) in 663, withdrew with his followers, via Iona, to Inishbofin off the west coast of Galway. As a result of disagreement between the Irish and the English monks in the little community, the latter moved to the ‘plain of yews’, about sixteen kilometres south-east of the present town of Castlebar. The monastery they established there, known as Mag nÉo na Sachsan (‘of the Saxons’), became renowned as a centre of learning, and continued to attract monks of English birth for a century and more after its foundation.

Vikings

The Vikings or Norsemen first attacked Ireland in 795 and Mayo around the start of the ninth century. On arrival, they started to plunder and loot places of wealth especially monasteries. It was partly in response to those attacks that round towers were later erected in monastic enclosures (most were erected in the 12 century). There are about 65 of these fine structures surviving in Ireland, with five located in County Mayo: Aughagower, Balla, Killala, Turlough and Meelock. The Viking invasion led to the establishment of settlements in a number of locations like Dublin, Cork, Wexford and Waterford which later developed into towns and cities.

The Great Famine

Early in the nineteenth century, there were a number of famines in Ireland, culminating in the Great Famine of 1845 – ’49, when about a million people died and a further million went into exile. The population increased from an estimated figure of four and a half million in 1800 to over eight million by 1841. The pressure of this vast increase exacerbated the fragile subsistence economy of the period, as land became subdivided into smaller and smaller plots. Destitution was already a fact of life for many and evictions became regular occurrences in the Irish countryside. Most of the impoverished population depended on the potato as their staple food product. Disaster struck in August 1845, when a killer fungus (later diagnosed as Phytophthora infestans ) started to destroy the potato crop.

The green stalks of potato ridges became blighted and within a short time the rotting crop was producing a terrible stench. About a third of the national potato crop was destroyed that year, and an almost complete failure the following year led to a catastrophe for the remainder of the decade. By ‘black forty-seven’, people were dying in their thousands from starvation-related diseases. The workhouses, built in the early 1840s to relieve appalling poverty, were unable to cope with the numbers seeking admission. Various parsimonious relief measures were inadequate to deal with the scale of the crisis.

The number of evictions increased. This process of ‘clearance’ (as it was called) was aided by the ‘quarter-acre clause’ (the infamous Gregory clause, called after its proposer, Sir William Gregory MP of Coole Park, Co. Galway) in the Poor Law Extension Act 1847 which excluded from relief anyone who had more than a quarter acre of land. Any such unfortunate person who was starving had to abandon his holding and go to the workhouse if he and his family wanted a chance to survive. Conditions became worse in 1848 and 1849, with various reports at the time recording dead bodies everywhere.

The catastrophe was particularly bad in County Mayo, where nearly ninety per cent of the population were dependent on the potato. By 1848, Mayo was a county of total misery and despair, with any attempts at alleviating measures in complete disarray. People were dying and emigrating in their thousands. We will never know how many died in the county during those terrible years. The ‘official’ statistics for the county show that the population dropped from 388,887 in 1841 to 274,499 in 1851, but it is accepted that the actual figure in 1841 was far higher than the official census return. It can safely be said that over 100,000 died in Mayo from the famine epidemic and emigration began on a big scale (there was some emigration before the Great Famine). Most emigrants from the county went to the USA, Canada, England and Scotland, to become part of the big Irish diaspora scattered throughout the world.

Ire Mayo county People

Irealand Matt Malloys  Irish Wishes--Happy St. Patricks Day

Irish stew and a pint of Guinness

Irish Stew and Guiness
Irish cuisine can charitably be described as hearty: virtually all traditional meals involve meat (especially lamb and pork), potatoes, and cabbage. Long cooking times are the norm and spices are limited to salt and pepper.

Classic Irish dishes include:

• Boxty, potato pancakes
• Champ, mashed potatoes with spring onions
• Coddle, a stew of potatoes, pork sausages and bacon; a speciality of Dublin
• Colcannon, mashed potatoes and cabbage
• Irish breakfast, a famously filling spread of bacon, eggs, sausages and white and/or black pudding, a type of pork sausage made with blood (black) or without (white). Irish Breakfast is often just refered to as a “fry”, and is usually available well past normal breakfast times in restaurants.
• Mixed Grill. Similar to the Irish Breakfast, but with added lamb chop, chips, and peas.
• Irish stew, a stew of potatoes and lamb (not beef!), with carrots, celery and onions in a watery broth full of flavour
• Bacon and Cabbage, popular and traditional meal in rural Ireland, found on many menus
• Seafood Pie, a traditional dish of chunky fish pieces topped with mashed potato and melted cheese

 

Travel Spotlight | The Beautiful Florida Keys!

This Week’s Travel Spotlight***The Beautiful Florida Keys!

Florida Keys BeachThese wonderful and not well-known Islands south of Miami are a huge favorite for Colin and Myself. Colin proposed to me by surprising me with a week-long vacation starting in Key Largo then ending in Key West with a beautiful dinner at Pier House Resort & Spa and amazing proposal that I will never forget.

Florida Keys Snorkeling loftandlearn


The Beauty and calmness of The Florida Keys make you forget that you are on Mainland USA. The people are extremely laid back and friendly and the brightness of the sun warms your soul. The Long Bridge that connects the keys gives you the most breathtaking and fulfilling views. Creating suspense and the promise of paradise this drive on down through the keys does not disappoint. It is easy to see why Ernest Hemingway fell in love and called the Key West home. It lends itself to relaxation, introspection and creativity.
Vibrant shops and bars sprinkle this charming town with life and character and offer an alternative to relaxing on the beach sipping pina colada’s.

Florida Keys Beaches loftandlearn Bridge to the Keys 1 loftandlearn Fishing Key West  Florida Keys Beach loftandlearn Florida Keys Beaches loftandlearn


The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the state’s southern tip, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. They’re known for their laid-back vibe and as a destination for fishing, boating and scuba diving. Key West is famous for Duval Street’s many bars, Mallory Square’s nightly Sunset Celebration and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Early history Of The Florida Keys

 

The Reach Resort, Waldorf Astoria--A Hilton Worldwide Property
The Reach Resort, Waldorf Astoria–A Hilton Worldwide Property

The Reach The Reach Resort, Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Hotel

Hilton Key Largo
Hilton Key Largo

Grande Suite

 

Florida Keys Early History

The Keys were originally inhabited by Calusa and Tequesta Native Americans. They were later found and charted by Juan Ponce de León in 1513. De León named the islands Los Martires (‘The Martyrs’) as they looked like suffering men from a distance. “Key” is derived from the Spanish Cayo, meaning small island. For many years, Key West was the largest town in Florida, and it grew prosperous on wrecking. The isolated outpost was well located for trade with Cuba, the Bahamas, and was on the main trade route from New Orleans. Improved navigation led to fewer shipwrecks, and Key West went into a decline in the late nineteenth century

Florida Keys Fast Facts

Florida Keys Fun Facts loftandlearn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Information on how to participate in Uncorked..The Islamorada & Key Largo Food and Wine Festival

Click on link http://floridakeysuncorked.com/

Food and wine Festival keys

 

 

 

 

Travel Spotlight***Maui, Hawaii. The Island Vacation That Everyone Will Love! | Loft & Learn Travel Spotlight

Travel Spotlight

Maui, Hawaii

maui map loftandlearn

Well what’s not to love about beautiful Maui, Hawaii? Absolutely nothing! Before settling down on the Big Island Colin, Ace & I had the most amazing year on this stunning Island. With so many activities for the young and old, adventurers and spa seekers, Maui is easily Hawaii’s Island that pleases most people looking for the traditional Hawaiian Ideal.

From Award winning golf courses, to White sandy beaches and colorful flowers, lush hiking trails and waterfalls abound it is truly a sight to behold! Colin’s Aunt & Uncle Marita and Randy and cousin Gillian have lived in Maui for over 25 years now and were so kind to welcome us along with all of the Hawaiians, introducing us to the Hawaiian culture.

 

maui 6 road to hana

map 2 maui

 

One of my most fond memories of Maui is celebrating Thanksgiving on a beautiful beach overlooking the pacific. It was awesome giving thanks while taking in such earth shattering beauty of the beach and sunset. And what a place for my Parents to visit!! Yowza. It was such an honor to learn about this amazing culture and feel accepted and appreciated as well. From Local Legend and Folklore to Luaus’ and Hawaiian dance. There is such a rich history and tradition among Hawaiians that should be celebrated and embraced.

maui 4 trees

maui 5 loftandlearn

maui road to hana map
Keeping true to the Loft & Learn way here are some facts about Maui, the beautiful tropical paradise found on Wikipedia.com
Native Hawaiian tradition gives the origin of the island’s name in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa, the navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. According to that legend, Hawaiʻiloa named the island of Maui after his son, who in turn was named for the demigod Māui. The earlier name of Maui was ʻIhikapalaumaewa.


 

The Island of Maui is also called the “Valley Isle” for the large isthmus between its northwestern and southeastern volcanoes and the numerous large valleys carved into both mountains
Maui’s diverse landscapes are the result of a unique combination of geology, topography, and climate. Each volcanic cone in the chain of the Hawaiian Islands is built of dark, iron-rich/quartz-poor rocks, which poured out of thousands of vents as highly fluid lava, over a period of millions of years. Several of the volcanoes were close enough to each other that lava flows on their flanks overlapped one another, merging into a single island. Maui is such a “volcanic doublet,” formed from two shield volcanoes that overlapped one another to form an isthmus between them.


Polynesians, from Tahiti and the Marquesas, were the original people to populate Maui. The Tahitians introduced the kapu system, a strict social order that affected all aspects of life and became the core of Hawaiian culture. Modern Hawaiian history began in the mid-18th century. King Kamehameha I, king of Hawaii’s “Big Island,” invaded Maui in 1790 and fought the inconclusive Battle of Kepaniwai, but returned to Hawaii to battle a rival, finally subduing Maui a few years later.


On November 26, 1778, explorer Captain James Cook became the first European to see Maui. Cook never set foot on the island because he was unable to find a suitable landing. The first European to visit Maui was the French admiral Jean-François de La Pérouse, who landed on the shores of what is now known as La Perouse Bay on May 29, 1786. More Europeans followed: traders, whalers, loggers (e.g., of sandalwood) and missionaries. The latter began to arrive from New England in 1823, settling in Lahaina, which at that time was the capital. They clothed the natives, banned them from dancing hula, and greatly altered the culture. The missionaries taught reading and writing, created the 12-letter Hawaiian alphabet, started a printing press in Lahaina, and began writing the islands’ history, which until then was transmitted orally.[13] Ironically, the missionaries both altered and preserved the native culture. The religious work altered the culture while the literacy efforts preserved native history and language. Missionaries started the first school in Lahaina, which still exists today: Lahainaluna Mission School, which opened in 1831.


The two major industries on Maui are agriculture and tourism. Government research groups and high technology companies have discovered that Maui has a business environment favorable for growth in those sectors as well. Agriculture value-added enterprises are growing rapidly.
Coffee, macadamia nuts, papaya, tropical flowers, sugar and fresh pineapple are just some of Hawaii’s premium exports and are a prime example of its diversified agriculture. Maui Land & Pineapple Company[17]and Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company[18] (HC&S, a subsidiary of Alexander and Baldwin Company) dominate agricultural activity. HC&S produces sugarcane on about 37,000 acres (150 km2) of the Maui central valley, the largest sugarcane operation remaining in Hawaii.


A controversial feature of Maui sugarcane production has been the harvesting method of controlled cane field fires for nine months of the year. Burns reduce the crop to bare canes just before harvesting. The fires produce smoke that towers above the Maui central valley most early mornings, and ash (locally referred to as “Maui snow”) that is carried downwind (often towards north Kīhei). In November 2009 Maui Land & Pineapple Company announced it was ceasing pineapple growing operations on Maui effective January 1, 2010.


fireknife23

Here is a menu from the Luau at the Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Resort

LUAU MENU
Appetizers & Salads
Surf and Turf Poke
(Pipikaula, Shrimp, Maui Onions, Phole Fe
rns, Kim Chee Base & Wasabi Vinaigrette)
,
Lomi-Lomi Salmon, Fresh Poi,
Green Papaya Salad, Potato Mac Salad,
Maui Grown Lettuce Bar, Cucumber Namasu,
Maui Gold Pineapple and Kula Strawberries
Sweet Bread Rolls with Macadamia Nut Butter
Entrees
Maui Cattle Grilled Top Sirloin Steaks
Glazed with teriyaki sauce
Baked Molokai Sweet Potatoes
Guava syrup & mac nut butter
Fried Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi,
Light coconut & lime flavored sauce
Shoyu Chicken
Kalua Pig
Stir Fried Vegetables
Wok fried and seasoned with soy sauce ginger and garlic
Island Style Fried Rice Lup Chong and Vegetables
Enhanced with oyster sauce and sesame oil
Maui Chow Fun
Vegetables and pork char siu
Island Style Desserts
Chocolate Brownies topped with Macadamia Nuts
Coconut Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Traditional Hawaiian Haupia
Guava Mousse
Freshly Brewed Hawaiian Paradise Coffee,
Decaffienated Coffee, Assorted Teas
Bar
Hosted bar featuring Mai Tai & Pina Cola
da and Mixed Drinks, Beer, Wine and
Assorted Soft Drinks.
The Grand Wailea, Waldorf Astoria Hilton Resort. Breathtaking!
The Grand Wailea, Waldorf Astoria Hilton Resort. Breathtaking!

Here are some additional Fun Facts about Maui (click link below) from Maui Dream Vacations
http://www.maui-hawaii-dream-vacations.com/maui-facts.html

Here are just a few of the many wonderful memories we had while living on Maui.

IMG_20120303_121446 IMG_20120411_120044

IMG_20120204_140728 IMG_20120204_140639

IMG_20120204_140657 Ace Holiday Photos (1)

Ace Holiday Photos (28)  Ace Holiday Photos (29)

Ace Holiday Photos (6) Ace Holiday Photos (9)

Ace Holiday Photos (7) Ace Holiday Photos (10)

Halloween in Maui
Halloween in Maui

 

Aloha!

Malaika@loftandlearn.com

 

Hilton Resort Waikoloa Village, Hawaii. Your Family’s Next Extraordinary Vacation! | Travel

Hilton Waikoloa V. cover shot loftandlearn

Hilton Waikoloa Village is by far the most amazing resort I have ever seen! When visiting the Big Island you must schedule at least a couple of days to witness this unbelievable resort for yourself.

Map of Big Island, Hi loftandlearn

Hilton Waikoloa Village on Travel Spotlight loftandlearn.com

Set on 62 acres along the Kohala Coast, this sprawling tropical resort hotel features a tram system around the site. This massive property boasts many other unique and stunning features including stunning art and a dolphin swim experience not to be missed. Gorgeous museum pieces fill the walkways. You don’t really feel like you’re staying at a hotel, you just want to wander and look at the pieces that the developer has placed throughout the property, in theme with the towers. It’s Breathtaking.

While living in Waikoloa before moving to the Kona side of the island I was able to work on this amazing property for Hilton Grand Vacations and I met some life long friends Renee and Kamalani. Kamalani, a native of Kona, HI will also be a contributor to Loft & Learn giving us first hand insight to Hawaii Life and her amazing travels as well..Stay tuned for that!

www.loftandlearn.com kamalani


 

Here are some cool and little known facts about the Big Island of Hawaii. I picked up this info from a young student named Rustin whose mother published it on her blog. Great Job Rustin!!

http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2011/03/hawaiian-history/

The Big Island of Hawaii

“Big Island” is not the name of the island, but only a reference to it. “Hawaii” is the actual name, but people say “Big Island” as to not confuse the island’s name with the rest of the nation.

  • The Big Island is Hawaii’s largest at 4,038 square miles. It is twice the size of all other Hawaiian islands combined.
  • The largest contiguous ranch in the United States is in Hawaii. The Parker Ranch near Kamuela has about 480,000 acres of land.
  • At 800,000 years the Big Island is the youngest of the island chain. However, it was the first island discovered by voyaging Polynesians.
  • Kilauea Iki Volcano is the world’s most active and largest volcano.
  • Ka Lae is the southernmost point in the United States. It is located at 18:54:49 N, 155:41:00 W. There is a constant 27 knots per hour wind blowing East to West, 24 hours per day, and 365 days per year.
  • Two of the tallest mountains in the Pacific—Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa—dominate the center of the island. Most of the world’s macadamia nuts are grown on the island.
  • Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world (measured from its base at the ocean floor).
  • The island houses the world’s biggest telescope and more scientific observatories in one place than anywhere else in the world.
  • The island is the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts and orchids.

 

For Amazing Hawaiian Recipes that you can make at home please visit this website Cooking Hawaiian Style http://www.cookinghawaiianstyle.com/index.php/most-popular-recipes

sun-noodle-fried-saimin-s

http://www.cookinghawaiianstyle.com/index.php/hawaiian-recipes/recipes/detail/3177/sun-noodle-s-fried-saimin


 

Hilton Waikoloa Village Waterfall

Dolphin smooch hilton waikoloa   hilton waikoloa village art

Hilton Waikoloa Village Waterfall   Hilton Waikoloa Village

kohala pool hilton Waikoloa Hlton tram

 

hawaii waikoloa loftandlearn    hilton waikoloa Ace

hilton waikoloa village ace

hilton waikoloa ace--

Hawaii Waikoloa Mommy & Ace

 

Aloha!

malaika@loftandlearn.com

 

 

 

 

Costa Maya, Mexico | Travel

Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya, Mexico Spotlight Travel Destination
Costa Maya, Mexico
Spotlight Travel Destination

Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya is a small tourist region in the municipality of Othón P. Blanco in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, the only state bounded by the Caribbean Sea to its east. This municipality is close to Chetumal on the border with Belize.

Costa Maya’s principal language is Spanish, but English is also commonly spoken. The average temperature high in Costa Maya is approximately 84 F°; the average low is 67 F°. The Mexican Peso is the official currency of Costa Maya, but most places will accept U.S. dollars

costa maya map loftandlearn

Costa Maya Beach loftandlearn


 

Fun Facts

Colin & I almost ended up living here and opening a Del Sol store on the Costa Mayan Port. We have spent a lot of time between Cancun and Costa Maya and find the Yucatan Peninsula to be one of our favorite places on earth!

• Early Mayans were predominant in the area from 200 B.C. to 900 A.D. The ruins at Chacchoben, constructed by the Mayans in the 4th century, include magnificent stone structures and pyramids.

• In August of 2007, the port of Costa Maya and the cruise dock sustained heavy damage when Category 5 Hurricane Dean made landfall with sustained winds of 175 mph, with gusts up to 200 mph. The port reopened in the fall of 2008.

• On February 1, 2015, Costa Maya and the Mexican state of Quintana Roo officially adopted a new time zone that corresponds to Eastern Standard Time.


 

Costa Maya Coconut Bread (Pan de Coco)

pan de coo

Costa Maya Coconut Bread Recipe
(Pan de Coco)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 grated coconuts or 1 cup unsweetened grated coconut
2 cup water
3 Tablespoons yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons melted butter
3 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoon salt
3 pounds flour (approximately)
1/4 cup melted butter
Directions: grate the coconut and discard any brown skins. Add 2 cups water to the coconut and let sit for 30 minutes. If using dried grated coconut, add an additional 1/4 cup water to compensate for the lack of moisture. Dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup warm water. Add the sugar and 3 T of the flour and let rise until bubbles form. Add all remaining ingredients except flour. Add 3/4 of the flour. If you are using a bread mixer, add additional flour until mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Mix for 5 minutes or until elastic. If mixing by hand, knead for about 8 minutes continually adding additional flour or until smooth and elastic.
Cover and let sit until doubled. Punch down dough. Divide dough into 30 balls. Place on greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. The shape should resemble English muffins, only a little smaller. Each bread should be at least 1 inch apart. Brush with melted butter. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Place bread in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with additional butter. Serve warm or toasted.

I obtained this recipe from Mayan Beach Garden. I have included the link below where this recipe can be found http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/recipes_breads.html