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Nica's Excellent Adventure

Our first guest blogger is our very own Nica, who has been dancing with us from the start! She took a trip to O`ahu and looking at her photos is almost (almost!) like being there. Read on!

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Here I am at Ko`olina Beach. I might be doing basics in the water...

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‘Iolani Palace, by far one of the highlights of my trip. Very educational. I recommend doing this at least once. I can’t describe the feeling I had while walking through that palace and listening to the Audio Tour... Sitting in the same room and looking out the window where Lili`uokalani was imprisoned.

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This is the very impressive Throne Room.

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Royal crowns, sceptre, sword.

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A vintage photograph of hula dancers who performed at the Palace.

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King David Kalakaua and I share the same birthday!

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I was lucky enough to join a hula practice with Kumu Kapua Dalire-Moe. This studio belonged to her mom, legendary Aloha Dalire - the very first Miss Aloha Hula.

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With Kumu Kapua of Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea and her husband, Ra’Atira Tino Moe of Tamatoa. Both are award winning groups! I was able to connect with Tino through Olin of Te Otui Fenua.

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GIOVANNI’S Shrimp Truck! I sold our LoveSolid gear out of the trunk of our rental car to the workers of Giovanni’s and other locals who worked around that area. When we were in line, the Giovanni girls started asking us about our brand and once we talked story, they wanted to know where they could buy LoveSolid, I told them I had suitcase full of our apparel and that’s when I started selling out of the trunk of our car. When the clothes started going around, a crowd of locals started to surround the car wanting to purchase items as well! We had to come back a 2nd time to provide more apparel because I didn’t pack everything we had this day. Who knew?!

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Tattoo Rich! LoveSolid had a booth the Pacific Savagez Polynesia Christmas party. I got to meet Rich of Tatau MC when he came by to support us. We gave him a hat and he loved it so much we took a picture! He is good friends with Bong of Humble Beginnings, San Jose.

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Pohaku of the Pacific Savagez and his wife, Kat, is the couple I stayed with while in Hawaii. Pohaku is also known as Kumu Sterling of To’erau Te Mata’I Polynesian Dance Company. And Kat used to dance with Academy of Hawaiian Arts but is now dancing with Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela.There would be nights where we would stay up talking story about dance, the Hawaiian culture and everything in between. Not only did they provide room and board but they also showed us where all the good eats were! They continue to teach and inspire me. Definitely a couple I look up to. I can’t thank them enough for their gracious hospitality.

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Bidding farewell. I took this picture through the window of OGG – HNL Airport. Bittersweet. Out of all the times I’ve been to Hawaii, this one was the best yet. This visit made me appreciate the Hawaiian culture even more than I already do. Being able to dance as an outsider with award winning groups was an amazing experience. It was nerve wracking but still quite amazing. Being able to witness these groups and their chemistry (as both musicians and dancers) was an experience I’ll never forget.

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