Photography by Retrofile / Getty Images
Grab your grass skirts, leis and umbrella drinks, and get in the Aloha spirit for Hawaii’s 55th birthday! On Aug. 21, 1959, Hawaii officially became the 50th US state. And each year, on the third Friday of August, the Aloha State observes its Statehood Day.
Pictured above, a group of hula dancers perform during a luau in Honolulu — the capital of Hawaii — in the 1960s. An ancient Hawaiian tradition, hula dancing was used as a way to pass down history and myths from generation to generation. And today, luaus have become a popular way for tourists to experience Hawaiian culture and the tradition of hula.
Hang loose and travel to Hawaii’s island paradise! Book a stay at one of Hawaii’s top resorts, attend a luau on Oahu (or any island, really) and catch some waves on Waikiki Beach.
And don’t forget to check back next week for our Vintage Summer Throwback Thursday!
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Photo Courtesy of E+ / Getty Images
It’s less than a week until Father’s Day. Just in case you’ve put off finding that special gift or getaway, we have a few travel ideas on how you can spend some quality time with Dad.
Author Jermel-Lynn Quillopo wearing plumeria and purple orchid leis.
Flowers play such an essential part of the Hawaiian culture and having them strung together into a lei symbolizes a form of Aloha. Aloha translates into phrases such as “hello”, “goodbye”, “I love you” and “thank you.” The gesture of the Aloha spirit also comes in the form of presenting beautifully fragrant leis during occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations.
The phrase “May Day is Lei Day”, dates back to 1928 when local newspaper writer Don Blanding wrote an article suggesting there be a day dedicated to the tradition of lei giving. If you’re ever on the islands on May Day (May 1st ), you’ll see many draped in colorful and beautifully fragrant leis made from an assortment of flowers such as cigar flowers, orchids and tea leaf.
The original lei stands started during Hawaii’s Boat Days era, when worldwide visitors arrived in big cruise ships into the Aloha Tower Harbor. These visitors would be welcomed with grass skirt wearing hula dancers, beautiful ukulele medleys and greeted with a lei to wear; making the lei Hawaiiʻs international symbol of Aloha.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans (Photo: Getty Images)
The final countdown has begun to “Fat Tuesday” around the world. But only in New Orleans can you celebrate with the true flair of a party-ragin’ Cajun. There’s plenty to do during one of the biggest annual celebrations in America. And in a multilingual city with a rich French colonial history, there are myriad options for Carnival fun. It’s no coincidence that The Big Easy is sometimes referred to as the “most unique in the United States,” and this annual bead-begging bash shows exactly why.
A direct flight from New York to New Orleans is about 3 hours. From Los Angeles it’s just 1 hour more. And from Washington, DC, it’s only a 2 1/2 -hour jaunt, all of which makes it easy to jump right into the Mardi Gras mix. Once you arrive in New Orleans you’ll want a comfy place to rest up and energize from the day’s travels. Here are a few suggestions for enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans that will fit almost any budget. READ MORE
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up some romance-inspiring travel ideas. Get your heart pumping on an adrenaline-filled adventure or gaze into your valentine’s eyes at a fireside table for 2 this weekend.
“Chocolate Trio” at The Spiced Pear; Photo by OpenTable
Haven’t made a reservation yet for Valentine’s Day dinner? Better get on that — it’s only a week away! Need ideas of where to go? OpenTable released their 2014 Most Romantic Restaurants in America, as voted by OpenTable diners.
Whether you’re looking to rekindle the flames with a fireside meal or prefer to woo your S.O. over sake and sushi, these restaurants are sure to inspire a little romance. This year’s list of winning restaurants with swoon-worthy dishes and come-hither ambiance spans more than 32 states and is based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews. It must be the dreamy coastal views, because California, Florida and Hawaii boast the most romantic restaurants. And the cuisine that’s this year’s favorite for flirting over? Fondue.
Photography by George Powers
Update: February 2, 2014, 8AM
It was a cold, soggy morning in Punxsutawney, PA, for Groundhog Day. The world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his hole on Gobbler’s Knob and, to the chagrin of the crowd of over 20,000, saw his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter.
Despite the rain and unfortunate prediction, the atmosphere in Punxsutawney is simply electric. If you ever have the chance, a visit to see Punxsutawney Phil is sure to excite.
Tired of winter? There may be some relief in store this weekend in the form of a furry, little groundhog.
That’s right, it’s once again time for Groundhog Day! The one day a year when everyone focuses their attention on the tiny Pennsylvania borough of Punxsutawney to see whether the world’s most famous rodent sees his shadow. Tradition has it, that if Punxsutawney Phil, as he’s affectionately known, sees his shadow, we are in store for 6 more weeks of winter. However, if Phil doesn’t see his shadow, we can all look forward to an early spring.
Without a doubt, Groundhog Day is truly one of America’s more odd traditions, but it’s a big deal all throughout the country.
How far did Martin Luther King Jr. travel in his life?
Over the course of the civil rights leader’s 39 years, MLK marched with tens of thousands of civil rights activists from Selma to Montgomery; spoke before tens of thousands more on DC’s National Mall; and in an eerie premonition, told an audience at Mason Temple church in Memphis that “we as a people will get to the Promised Land.” MLK was shot the very next evening, on a balcony, at Memphis’s Lorraine Motel.
While MLK’s domestic trips are well-documented, especially through the South, Dr. King was also a world traveler. In the last 11 years of his life, Dr. King traveled some 6 million miles. READ MORE
“Travel more.” It’s certainly at the top of our resolutions for the new year (and every year, for that matter). Here are 7 more resolutions to make the most out of your travels in 2014.
Slow down your travel.
Savor the fleeting moments when you’re not at your desk buried under work or stuck in rush-hour traffic. Revel in the experience, whether that means lingering at a 4-hour meal or a tossing out the museum list for a long walk with no target destination. It’s easy to pack your schedule on a trip, afraid that you’ll miss something, but you won’t be able to fully appreciate a different culture unless you take the time to experience its nuisances.
Don’t let a “dangerous” label deter you.
Of course, we aren’t advising traipsing around a war-torn country without taking any precautions, but rather suggesting that there are places that are inherently dangerous— whether they’re crime-ridden or full of wild and hungry animals – that shouldn’t be avoided because of fear alone. Be safe, but don’t cross off visiting some of the world’s best places — like Brazil, Nicaragua, and Colombia — altogether just because their reputation is a little dicey.
Santa’s on his way (Photo: Getty Images)
Once again a time-honored Christmas Eve tradition is underway, as Santa Claus makes his way around the globe delivering gifts to good little boys and girls everywhere. If NORAD’s current calculations hold steady, Father Christmas’s reindeer route is unfolding as planned, with one of the latest Santa sightings made in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Barring navigational forces, Santa’s journey, which usually starts in the South Pacific and hits New Zealand and Australia before moving on to Japan and Asia, will take Kris to Africa and Europe, followed by North America and South America, as he delivers the goods — at last count, nearly 2 billion — to kids everywhere by Christmas Day.