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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Luana Shares! (Part 1)

I am thrilled to have my friend, Luana, share about her experiences growing up in Hawaii. As you read her answers you will see how excited she is about her life in the islands and all the cultural and culinary experiences she treasures.

Maile Onakea’s mom is named Luana. Maile is Leilani’s best friend in my books. How cool is it that I chose that name for my character before I even met the real Luana! Since her name is part of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club, I’ll give you a little overview.

Luana is pronounced loo-AHN-ah
Meaning: Enjoyment
Gender: Female

Luana grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, the same as my niece, Nicole, whom I interviewed on September 13, 16, and 20 of 2010. Thank you so much for sharing with my blog readers, Luana.

When you were a kid, what was your favorite thing to do?

As a kid, my favorite thing/s to do was to play in mountain streams, catching little fish and tad polls, and swinging from natural vines like Tarzan and jumping into the water. I also loved to ride my bike down to the beach just to sit in the sun and relax while watching the surfers. I loved running through our pasture land along the cow trails, climbing into guava trees and finding that "perfect" guava to snack on! Whenever we had a GREAT BIG rainstorm, my sisters and I would run outside and play in the rain for as long as we could, running and sliding in the grass and splashing through big puddles . . . We always found fun things to do outside!

What was your favorite food?

Growing up in Hawaii I had many favorite foods, but something I really, really loved was lau lau served with poi. Yummmm! It's so hard to truly pick a "favorite" food because I loved so many foods in Hawaii! Such as Mochi, a yummy dessert/snack food made out of rice flower. Till this day, EVERY time I go home to Hawaii the first thing I do is head to the grocery store to purchase some fresh mochi! Mmmmmm good! My favorite fruits were mango, passion fruit, and lychee.

Favorite Hawaiian food?

My favorite Hawaiian food was lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaf then steamed) served with rice and poi. I also loved ANYTHING with coconut! Pickled mango, pickled lemon, and "crack-seed" were some of my favorite snacks. :)

Favorite Shave-Ice flavor?

My favorite Shave-ice flavor was coconut and guava, HANDS DOWN!!!! Ohhhhhhh yeah!!!!

Did you learn the hula or go surfing, and at what age?

Well, I did take hula lessons at a very young age, for a very short time. But, as time went on, and after watching lots and lots of hula over the years I learned very well how to mimic them. I loved to dance hula on my own. 

When I was in middle school my sisters and I found an old surfboard at a garage sale. We tried and tried to learn to surf on it, but the board was small and shorter, being better suited for an experienced surfer rather than young learners. But boy could we girls cut up the water on a boogie board!!!! LOOK OUT!!!!

Such fun times growing up in Hawaii, Luana!

Please join us again on Monday for Part 2 of my interview with Luana. She has a lot more fun and interesting things to share.

Mahalo for visiting!



  1. These characters seem like so much fun, Cheryl. Growing up island style looks wonderful. Do you surf?

  2. It's nice to hear of Luana's memories growing up in Hawaii. Her mom and my mom were very good friends and us "girls" had some good times.

    It would be nice to see a picture of the real-kine slippa, what we called Zories, instead of the Bass brand sandle slippers depicted above.

    Looking forward to more. So glad Luana forwarded a copy of your site. The books sound exciting and fun!

  3. Thanks, Jessica! I surfed when I was in Hawaii and actually made it to a standing position. It was such fun, but I've never done it again--sniff!

    I wish I could have grown up in the islands, but since I didn't it's fun for me to live the adventure through friends like Luana!

  4. Thanks for visiting, anonymous! Yes, I enjoyed living Luana's adventures through her stories. Wish I could have lived them with you guys!

    I have sooooo many flip-flops, and I use pictures of my personal ones. Some are very casual, some are fun, and these pictured today are my newest pair that I bought to wear with skirts when I wanted to be more formal--a flip-flop for every event and adventure!!! If you keep reading or look at past posts, you'll see all kinds of flip-flops!

    Thanks again for the visit, and I hope you'll come back again!

  5. I love those old Hawaiian kid time stories so much good memories. We as Hawaiians are losing so much of our culture and land, but they can't take away our stories and memories

  6. Jamie, thanks for visiting and commenting!

    I don't have memories of Hawaii as a kid, but as a nineteen-year-old I have a bundle of them!

    I'm hoping my books will give a little flavor of the islands to kids who read them, from those who live and experience Hawaii to those who have never visited.

    Hope to have you visit again next week for parts 2 and 3 with Luana!

  7. Cheryl,

    Your books seem like a lot of fun.

    My husband and I went to Kauai for our honeymoon almost 5 years ago. It was amazing!

    And my favorite shave ice flavor was rainbow over macadamia nut ice cream. Best. Thing. Ever.

    Happy Friday!

  8. How fun, Lindsay! I would have loved having my honeymoon in Kauai. Maybe a second honeymoon???

    What a great treat--rainbow shave ice over macadamia nut ice cream! Yum!

    Thanks for the visit, Lindsay!

  9. What a great childhood! I love the whole climbing in the trees to get a snack. Great interview, ladies!

  10. Thanks, Jessica! Did you climb orange trees as a kid??? :-)

  11. With a harsh Indiana winter just around the corner, your blog is like a mini tropical vacation. Seriously! I can nearly taste the pineapple.

    Really, it's one of my fond dreams to visit the islands one day.

    Smiling and waving, not in flip-flops,


  12. Funny, Rhonda!

    One of my on-line crit partners is in Indiana. We don't have the harsh winters that you may experience, but the Pacific NW is still colder, rainier, and drearier than I'd like. I'm definitely a warm weather, tropical person!

    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Rhonda!

  13. Thank you for visiting my blog! I love meeting other writers and bloggers. I see you know many of my friends too. I enjoyed reading about her Hawaiian life--we visited there once a few years ago and LOVED it!

  14. Thank you, Terri! Your visit and comment means a lot to me. Glad you've been able to visit the islands. I really want to get back there soon. I can do a lot of research too!


I love hearing from my readers! Mahalo for visiting and commenting. Aloha! --Cheryl