When finals finished in December, I was more than ready for a break. So, when I got home to Hawaii, I was excited to be home and relax.
Since Hawaii is a tropical environment that is warm year round, it does not have all the traditional festive entertainment normally associated with Christmastime, but they do offer a lot to do/
Since Hawaii is a tropical environment that is warm year round, it does not have all the traditional festive entertainment normally associated with Christmastime. They do, however, still offer a lot of its own unique festivities throughout December and into January. While I was in Hawaii, I went to see the Shaka Santa in Honolulu, and the Festival of Lights that accompanied it. My favorite thing that I saw though was Santa paddling in to Waikiki Beach. Santa was accompanied by two elves, and they paddled in a canoe up to the beach outside of the Halekulani Hotel and greeted the kids waiting and handed out candy.
The winter months in Hawaii are really popular tourist months. One of the reasons is because it is the whale watching season. A very popular hike, Makupu'u Lighthouse hike is a great place to see them. I went with my entire family, and we ended up seeing about five whales as they surfaced.
New Year's Eve Fireworks
As they do everywhere, Hawaii has fireworks on New Years Eve. A popular thing to do near where I live is to launch them from the rooftops of apartment buildings. People buy fireworks weeks, or even months, in advance and practice shooting them off in the days beforehand. On New Years, once the clock strikes 12, fireworks shoot off across the skyline and continue to do so until 4:00am.
Change of Command
One of the best parts of my winter break was being able to attend my dad's Change of Command, which is a naval ceremony celebrating the achievements of a service member and represents the transfer of a job from one officer to another. My dad, Captain Richard Seif, was relieved of duty and is now in the process of starting his next assignment. I was originally unsure if I would be able to attend, but due to the long winter break at University of Maryland, I was able to. It was a beautiful ceremony. It is traditional in Hawaii to give the service member and their family members leis, so we ended up with a lot.