Going to the Miss Hawaii Pageant each year is a tradition. Since my first year running in 2004 (Olena Rubin Heu won that year – I was 4th runner up) I have not missed one! It’s a time to reconnect with the my Miss Hawaii sorority sisters, pictured above, and to welcome our outgoing and incoming reigning Miss Hawaii’s into our ohana. This year has been a whirlwind for our Miss Hawaii ohana… we lost Thom “McGuava” McGarvey. Thom was a father-figure to me and my fellow Miss Hawaii pageant sisters. He was stern, funny, involved, caring, opinionated, uplifting, generous, kind and so sooooo loving. This year’s pageant was dedicated to him and the years he devoted to the Miss America Organization. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
We started the day early and headed “up country” to Kula for some brunch at “La Provence” – the eggs benedict there are to die for! Lucky us, Jackson fell asleep on the ride up and slept through breakfast so we were able to eat in peace
It was a gorgeous day on Maui – a perfect start to a wonderful day!
We were thrilled to have our niece Maiah staying with us for a few days. It was the first time Jackson was able to connect a face with a name and he absolutely adored his cousin “Ma-ah,” holding her hand and climbing all over her every chance he got.
This photo is somewhat misleading… he sat calmly like this only for a few minutes at a time. We all got trampled on as Jackson proceeded to travel back and forth from the window to the aisle on our laps. I recommend Robeez Soft Soles Braedon Pre-Walker (Infant/Toddler shoes for these situations – never travel without them! (except in this case I couldn’t find them so Jackson was wearing his chucks and it was rough! LOL… literally.)
We checked in at the Aqua Skyline and took a quick walk through Waikiki to grab food and shop. I love getting dressed up for events! I actually bought my dress for this year’s Miss Hawaii pageant, last year right after the pageant. It’s an Aidan Mattox floral dress I got at Neiman Marcus. Love, love, love! Maiah chose to wear my blue maxi dress by Tiare Hawaii. I was so flattered that a 16 year old would want to wear something of mine – made me feel like I was still “in” lol!
The pre-show was amazing with a beautiful tribute to Thom McGarvey and performances by our 10 (Olena Rubin), 25 (Ligaya Stice) and 50 (Leina’ala Ann Teruya) year anniversaries. I was honored to meet Leina’ala and stand beside her for the yearly group photo of our sisters on stage.
Watching the pre-show was definitely a “chicken skin” moment for me… the ladies did a fabulous job and I could feel Thom’s spirit surrounding us. Once the show starts it feels like time speeds up. 24/7 dance force, under the instruction of Marcelo Pacleb, did an amazing job with the dancing (as usual). The girls did a fantastic job with talent and some really tough (some would argue ridiculous) on-stage questions. I was impressed. Jackson, on the other hand, was antsy and I have to give MAJOR props to my husband for babysitting all night… in a suit.
In the end, only one can be Miss Hawaii… this year, it’s Stephanie Steuri – a young lady from Kauai whose mother , Charlene, was Miss Maui in the 70′s. Ray Abregano and Thom McGarvey worked with her… what an amazing moment for Ray to see this come full circle with the crowning of her daughter. (See my previous blog post: Stephanie Steuri crowned Miss Hawaii 2014, for an interview with the newly crowned Miss and insight into the program)
For me, one of the most amazing parts of the night was getting to see my buddy Keegan as this year’s Children’s Miracle Network “Champion” … I’ve know him for a decade now. I was his first volunteer at the HUGS house – we went looking for geckos and bugs which a 5-year-old Keegan insisted I hold in my hands. lol! Later, he wrote a song and told his mother he didn’t want anyone to sing it if it wasn’t Malika. *happy tears*… this kid is one in a million and he deserves this honor and privilege more than anyone I know. I’m so proud of him! If you want to check out his song go to this link > Malika sings “Angels Hovering Above Me” – it’s not my best performance (since I was singing through tears – but it’s the most important performance I’ve done to date. I could go on and on about Keegan but we’ll save that for another blog post
A cool moment from that night was seeing Kim Taylor Reece … and he was wearing a Surfer Girl Jewelry polynesian roped hook necklace that I made! Soooo awesome. I was pretty stoked that he likes it enough to wear it all the time! Awesomeness.
At the end of the night I ended up taking home more than those cherished memories… Keegan got me roses and gave me a honu pin that he designed (wore it all night!)… and Jackson stole an inflatable flower from uncle Lancey-poo. lol
The one down side to dressing up? Heels!! Ahhhhh, how I HATE them. They look amazing but they hurt like H#$L. I actually ended up with marks on my feet! It took a while to recover from that. ha ha!
But all is well that ends well. And all is well that ends with a sleeping baby… although, I’d venture to say he’s not looking so much like a baby anymore. My big boy was out cold and so were his parents a few short minutes after this photo was taken. Life’s swell…