This Travel Channel project is extra rewarding for me because I actually had a say in producing, field producing, location scouting and even scheduling everything! The original list was a little too “touristy” for me… I feel really grateful that the host, Shane Reynolds, allowed me to get involved and share my ideas.
One such idea was to make lei. Growing up in Papaikou on the Big Island, it’s one of my most vivid memories from childhood. My mom never wanted to buy lei so we would go around the neighborhood and ask our neighbors if we could pick their ti leaf. Sometimes my sister and I would go down to Kalanianaole and climb the plumeria trees to pick plumeria flowers too. Shhh… don’t tell I’m pretty sure we weren’t supposed to do that! ha ha! These were such wonderful memories.
I thought this would be a really great way to not just cover the usual suspects – sun, surf, sea, grinds – let’s get a little more authentic and real! I hope you agree! I prepped three or four leis ahead of time. Softened the leaves, started the wili (twist) and even finished a few leis. When we shot the segment, Shane just pretended but that’s okay – I’m just happy that this part didn’t end up on the cutting room floor.
One really cool side effect of this segment for our Travel Channel shoot? I saved the leis and presented them to the cast of Hawaii Five-0 when I worked the red carpet for the premiere of Season 5! I hope they appreciated my handmade leis I did put a lot of love and time into them so I’m happy I got to actually offer them to someone special on a special occasion. It would have been a shame to just throw them away!
As I started to prep for the shoot, I recorded a tutorial of how to make ti leaf lei. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! To know more about the significance of the lei in Hawaii and proper lei protocol click HERE. For a written tutorial along with the other two videos on how to make a ti leaf rose and double strand ti leaf lei click HERE.
The Top 10 List Blogs: Tandem Surfing, Sandy’s Shorebreak & Surfing the North Shore, Seeing Oahu From The Air, Dirt Biking, Swimming With Sharks, Live Like Eddie, Making Ti Leaf Lei, Supsquatch & Outrigger Canoe, Hiking Kapena Falls, Eating Local – Kahuku Local Grinds