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The Polynesian and a Kukui Nut Tree

The Polynesian and a Kukui Nut Tree

Kukui nuts are rad – you typically see them worn as leis by the Disney Polynesian staff but also anyone who is living aloha. They are also worn throughout the islands as everyday adornment and for special occasions.

These nuts do more than make us look good, they have a VARIETY of uses. For starters, Kukui nuts contain about fifty percent unsaturated oil which enables them to ignite and burn like candles – they were burned in torches and stone lamps. Kukui literally translates to mean “lamp” or “light”.

Inamona

Other nut uses include:

  • Applying the kukui nut oil to wooden howls to make a glossy, waterproof finish
  • The soot (pau) of burned nuts provided a black dye for tattooing and stain for painting designs on canoes and on tapa cloth
  • Shelled nuts are roasted and pounded into a paste in order to make inamona poke

 

There is more to the tree than just the nuts. Hawaiians used the trunks of kukui trees for:

  • Construction of canoes
  • The sticky gums and resins were used medicinally and as glue to strengthen tapa
  • The inner bark provided a red-brown dye for tapa cloth and `olona cordage

The Kukui nut tree was named the Hawaiian State tree in 1959 however it is not a native plant. Its blossom is now the official flower of the island of Molokai.  So now you see how big a deal this tree is and can appreciate how amazing it is that the Polynesian Resort in Florida actually has one!  The tree is located behind the Great Ceremonial House and can be distinguished from the other foliage by its light-green silvery leaves.  Its rumored to be the only Kukui Nut tree on the mainland of North America.


In addition to the above, this special tree has both internal and external medical applications and is considered to be a powerful la’au (plant/tree) by traditional healers to this day.  Separate from this is its spiritual meaning in the leaves as the embodiment of the pig god, Kamapua’a.

Sources:

  1. Kukui Nut Jewels of Hawaii, Armstrong, Wayne- Ornament; Summer2005, Vol. 28
  2. Indigenous Hawaiian Nonmedical and Medical Use of the Kukui Tree, RYAN A.K. YOUNG,1,* LUIS G. CRUZ,1,* and AMY C. BROWN, Ph.D., R.D.2 – THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE, Volume 11, Number 3, 2005

 

Disney’12 Trip Report – Magic Kingdom

Disney’12 Trip Report – Magic Kingdom

This year we split the trip between Bay Lake and Beach Club and so the first two days were spent entirely at the Magic Kingdom – I’ve never visited ONLY Magic Kingdom for a single day let alone two!  Here is the breakdown.

Day 1

First, Bay Lake is AWESOME.   Its got modern rooms with great art work, an incredible view, and the Top of the World Lounge is an awesome hang out.  My favorite part of the lounge of course being the John Hench concept art work on display behind the bar and in a side lounge.  After having a delicious breakfast with fresh vegetables at The Wave we WALKED to the Magic Kingdom!

  • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – I couldn’t help myself.  I think this is so neat.  I like the idea of the technology and completely buy into the magic of an ordinary space magically turning into a portal!  Only downside is waiting in line for it and if you are the only one in your group playing the others might not want to follow you where the game takes you which are random spots on the map.
  • Buzz Lightyear
Yours truly on the best ride ever!

SNACK TIME!  Between the four of us we had 2 Citrus swirls, 1 Dole Whip Float with pineapple soft serve, 1 Dole Whip with vanilla, 1 Dole Whip with orange, and 1 pineapple juice.   I don’t think I will ever be that refreshed unless I end up at tropical island before my next visit – although the Dole Cocktail Contest at Ohana might be close.

We ended the night at the Polynesian’s Tambu Lounge for some drinks and apps before heading back to the Lounge to watch the Wishes Fireworks.

Day 2

We took the monorail over to the Polynesian’s Kona Cafe to start out the morning with Tonga Toast.   Then another monorail ride and back at Magic Kingdom!

  • Peter Pan
  • A visit with the Wicket Step Mother and Step Sisters
  • A visit with Princess Tianna
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Enchanted Tiki Room – while I miss the fountain, I can’t complain about this version!
  • Railroad

    Shirt by Richard @DesignerLand

After it got hot and the crowds started in we headed out of the park for lunch at Sanaa over at Kindani Village in Animal Kingdom.  For dessert, we went back to the Polynesian for more Dole Whips at Captain Cooks.

Not to be defeated, we went back into Magic Kingdom where I finished my Sorcerers game, got a veggie burger with all the fixins from Pecos Bill and a Walnut Chocolate Brownie from Main Street Bakery.   Again, we ended the night at the Lounge watching Wishes.

Disney Legend Birthday Alert on Google!

Disney Legend Birthday Alert on Google!

October 21, 2011 would have been the 100th birthday for Mary Blair. Google celebrated this Disney Legend’s birthday with a Google Doodle!


Mary used simple shapes and patterns along with creative color in her work that was used in a variety of scales. She is of course responsible for the style and concept of Its a Small World.

She also has a huge mural on display at the Contemporary Resort – a 90-foot, floor-to-ceiling ceramic mural celebrating the Grand Canyon and the Southwest.

In addition to her work in the park Mary is also responsible for the concept art and design for Disney films, for example this concept art was created for Peter Pan and features Peter’s mermaid friends sunning themselves.

Included in Mary’s work are some Polynesian designs used for the concept of Its a Small World.


These were some of my favorites but there are countless works by Mary worth exploring.   They don’t make them Disney Legends for nuthin’!

Planetarium – a hoihoi obsession!

Planetarium – a hoihoi obsession!

Hoihoi is a Hawaiian word that can mean interesting, entertaining, and cheerful.zeiss

These are exactly the words that come to mind when I think of the new Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science in Boston.

I finally got the chance to visit and its amazing.  They launched the few facilities AND a robust program for educators that is so impressive it makes me want to play hooky from work so I can go on a field trip with these kids.

Its clear that the new planetarium was created in collaboration with Carter Emmart from the AMNH.  Parts from his “The Known Universe” (below) can be seen in their new digital dome and does its job of showing how insignificant humans are.

I strongly suggest you check out The Sky Tonight show with Dani LeBlanc. For a preview of what the new facilities look like check out the MOS Facebook video.

Easter Candy

Easter Candy

When I think of “candy” I think chocolate.  I’ve never cared for fruity candies or anything without chocolate.  Even though I don’t eat it, I LOVE looking at PEEPS.  I also don’t go for pastel colors that often but seeing rows and rows of pretty pastel colors lining the shelves of a CVS makes me want to do a cartwheel in the fake green grass that lines easter baskets.   Things I wouldn’t ordinarily eat – I’m suddenly very interested in.  Take Rolo’s for example – shiny pink, green, blue, purple, and yellow – bring it on!   Here are some of my favorites.

Chocolate Eggs

These remind me of my grandma and Easter egg hunts.  I used to save the foil from the eggs and flatten them out. I think I thought I would do something crafty with them but I ended up throwing them out or probably leaving them under a couch cushion.

“Nobunny knows Easter better than him…”

When I was little I couldn’t get into the Cadbury Cream Egg filling but I always wanted them so that I could break them open.  Something about the bunny clucking, Mason Adam’s voice (I know he’s been in a million things but his role as Grandpa in Son in Law does not disappoint) and that star in the chocolate had me mesmerized.  Of course now I’ve gotten over the fear of the filling and love eating these – even though once I bit into one and it was filled with tiny ants.

Reese’s Eggsegg

Chocolate + Peanut butter = Reason for living.  The shape of the egg allows for massive peanut butter filling to chocolate ratios which is my favorite.

Over the years Reese’s has done a great job of adding to their egg services.  My two recent favorites are the small chocolate eggs and also the ENORMOUS EGG.

Hollow Chocolate Bunnies

My only requirement is that they be the FOIL bunnies.  If you get the other ones they are made with the candy eyes that make them look dead inside while looking into your soul AT THE SAME TIME.  I don’t trust them and I don’t eat them.

I like the sound you get when biting into a hollow piece of chocolate and the sound it makes when little pieces of chocolate fall into the pit.  Hollow chocolate chicks are best but not always as easy to find.

Speaking of Easter…

Chocolate Moai!  What could be better?!  Moai straight from the source of Rapa Nui.  I think my goal might be to spend an Easter on Easter Island and if that happens, I hope to eat one of these chocolates while I’m there.

Of course you can support Easter Island heritage without ordering chocolate from across the world.  The Easter Island Foundation has many publications and merchandise for sale from the mainland that supports the cause of preserving the Easter Island heritage.