Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tips for Taking Fabulous Vacation Photos

1. Fill the frame. Take a step or two closer to fill your frame with the subject. A picture of your kids skiing shouldn’t include another skier wiping out in the background. Also, position the subject of the picture a little off center. “Putting the frame right in the middle automatically gives you a boring composition,” says Richard L’Anson, a photographer and the author of Travel Photography: A Guide to Taking Better Pictures. Placing the subject away from the center creates a more dynamic picture.

2. Watch the light. For the most flattering light, take pictures in the first or last few hours of sunlight, says L’Anson.

3. Trade cameras. How many times have you returned from vacation only to realize your photos include everyone else? If you’re traveling with others, consider trading cameras for half the trip. That way, both you and the other person will get plenty of candid shots of yourselves.

4. Bookmark locations. Ever scroll through your vacation photos and come across a building you can no longer identify? Take a picture of the signage of a monument, museum, or historical setting before you take the shot. Then, when you scroll through your photos months later, you’ll have a record of what that important-looking building actually is.

5. Create Your Personalized Postcard to send to friends and family back home!! Receive 3 FREE postcards when you book your vacation home with Sandy Vacations, LLC. Call 866.726.3948 [866.Sandy4U] or visit our website at .

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tsunami Update Guests Assured

Our guests in Waikoloa Beach were evacuated one night and returned safely to their vacation homes the next morning.

Tsunami causes limited damage in Hawaii,

By Jerry Limone

A tsunami had "no major impact" on the Hawaiian Islands, reported the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau on Friday, but there was some damage.

According to reports, waves as high as seven feet crashed onto Hawaiian shores early Friday morning.

Surges caused extensive damage to piers and boats at Keehi Small Boat Harbor in Honolulu, reported the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The newspaper also said the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel on the Big Island got a foot of water in the lobby, and that flooding was reported in Kahului on Maui.

Mufi Hanneman, president of the Hawaii Hotels and Lodging association, told the Star-Advertiser that at least three Hawaii hotels suffered damage during the tsunami and he expected more reports in coming days. In addition to the King Kamehameha Beach, the Big Island’s Mauna Lani Resort and the Maui Beach in Wailuku incurred damage as a result of high water.

“Water damage was only evident on the Big Island’s Kona Coast and the Kohala Coast and in Wailuku Maui,” he told the Star-Advertiser. “No one is reporting structural damages or loss of life. As far as we can tell, the damage was minor.”

At 8 am on Friday, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle issued an all-clear for Oahu residents after a mass evacuation of coastal areas.

By late morning, the beaches and sidewalks of Waikiki were again filled with visitors and residents.

"It is rapidly becoming business as usual throughout the state," the HVCB said Friday.

During a Friday afternoon press conference with Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie, Vice Director of State Civil Defense Ed Texiera told reporters that at least $3 million worth of damage to state facilities and land occurred during the tsunami and one home near the Big Island’s Kealakekua Bay, where waves reportedly reached 11 to 12 feet, was “dragged out to sea.”

At approximately 8:05 a.m. local time, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reduced the tsunami warning to a tsunami advisory for the Hawaiian Islands.

There was a tsunami warning throughout the Pacific following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami that struck northeastern Japan.

Travel Weekly Contributing Editor Shane Nelson contributed to this report from Honolulu.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kilauea Volcano eruption activity.

This is a very exciting time for Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park due to the current eruption conditions at Kīlauea volcano.

Please note that the public cannot currently view the fissure eruption happening between Pu'u Ō'ō and Nāpau craters despite what the media is reporting - this is a remote area of HVNP that is not open to the public for safety reasons.

HVNP has temporarily closed Chain of Craters Road, all east rift and coastal trails, and Kulanaokuaiki Campground for public safety. Park rangers are sharing the latest real-time videos, photos and information at Kīlauea Visitors Center and Jaggar Museum, much to the delight of visitors.

Right now, the best way to see magnificent views of the volcano is by air. Flight-seeing tours are able to fly over the eruption but must maintain a 1,500 foot elevation and stay 1 ½ miles away from the site.

The glow from the eruption, audible rock falls into Halema'uma'u Crater and other exciting and ever-changing conditions make a visit to HVNP - a World Heritage Site - well worth the trip and, as always, a "must-do" when visiting Hawai'i.

Contact Sandy Vacations, LLC to book your vacation rental or flight-seeing tours for your visit to the Big Island Volcano at 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] or visit our website .

Thursday, December 30, 2010


— Ongoing in evenings in January, a series of free programs, starting at 7:00 p.m., will feature information about geology, Hawaiian culture, history and more at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. For more information, call Sandy Vacations, LLC at 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] to book your vacation plans now!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lava Pours into the Sea

After you book your Hawaii Vacation Rental with Sandy Vacations, LLC consider this excursion! 

Lava Pours into the Sea. At press time, molten lava continues to cascade into the ocean in Coastal Puna. Lava Ocean Adventures invites guests to see, hear and feel the heat from its custom catamaran, the 34-foot Lava Kai, with a sizzlin' hot special. The Lava Lovers Dream: two people can book one voyage to the lava for one price $350, or a solo passenger can book a two-trip adventure with sunrise and sunset departures for $350 total. Private fishing tours to the lava also available. Visit or call (808) 966-4200 for info.

Visit to secure your vacation plans immediately or call (866) 726.3948 for personal assistance.

We look forward to "Making Meaningful Memories" for your family!

Monday, November 1, 2010

9 of 20 Places to Eat Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $8.95-$15.95

Tee up for an inexpensive breakfast or lunch overlooking the 18th hole of the Kings' Course at Waikoloa. The Scottish-themed Kings' Grille offers a great view of the landscaped course, with volcanic mountains rising in the distance. The menu isn't terribly varied, but breakfast and lunch staples are available: omelets, sandwiches and salads. We tried a ham, spinach and mushroom omelet ($11.25) and a loco moco, an island favorite that has white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg and brown gravy ($10.95). The prices were a far cry from the $30 brunches at nearby Waikoloa resort hotels.

We loved: watching golfers struggle to make par.
We didn't love: some of the overly salty dishes.

Kings' Grille, 800 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa; (808)886-7600.

Book your Big Island Hawaii Vacation Home with Sandy Vacations, LLC
Call 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] or online at

8 of 20 Places to Eat Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $10.95-$28.95

Peter Merriman, one of the best-known restaurateurs on the Big Island, opened Merriman's in Waimea a couple of decades ago, and it's been winning awards ever since — including being honored 12 years in a row by Honolulu Magazine as the best Big Island restaurant. It's out of our price range, but who needs it, when we can do the next best thing and eat at Merriman's Market Cafe, a casual sister restaurant in the Kings' Shops at Waikoloa. It specializes in Mediterranean dishes. Dine on tapas (we liked the garlic-truffle fries for $5.95), salads (our favorite is strawberry, tomatoes and smoked bacon for $11.95), pastas, pizzas and meat dishes. The restaurant also has a busy bar and a nice indoor-outdoor ambiance.

They loved: the convenient location.
They didn't love: the mai tais, which were so strong we had to send them back, believe it or not.

Merriman's Market Cafe, Kings' Shops, Waikoloa; (808) 886-1760.

Book your Big Island Hawaii Vacation Home with Sandy Vacations, LLC at 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] or online at

Thursday, August 12, 2010

7 of 20 Places to Eat Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $1.75-$15.95

Heading for the airport? Get one last fix of teriyaki chicken or kalbi (marinated) short ribs at the Pine Tree Café, a Hawaiian-style fast-food joint near Kona International Airport. The 3-year-old, plain-Jane restaurant is devoid of character, but portions are hearty, ingredients fresh and tasty, and it offers dozens of reasonably priced choices. It's in a strip mall with a walk-up order counter, and service is fast. You can pick up souvenirs on the run at the Kona Mountain Coffee shop in the mall.

We loved: fresh, sizable portions.

We didn't love: the lack of ambiance.

Pine Tree Café, 73-4354 Mamalahoa Highway, Kailua-Kona; (808) 327-1234

Ready to plan a vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii? 
Call us toll free at 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] or visit us on the web at

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

6 of 20 Places to Eat for Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $8.95-$12.95

Big Island native Windy Moore left home for culinary school in San Francisco. Now she's back from the Big City with a plan to offer the best burger on the Big Island. Her upscale fast-food restaurant, Ultimate Burger, may have it. To Moore, "best" means healthful and eco-friendly, so she serves grass-fed beef and locally produced ingredients whenever possible. She also offers lots of choices with her burgers: caramelized onions, Cheddar and Gorgonzola cheese, apple-smoked bacon, jalapeños and avocado. The result is the tasty three-quarter-pound Ultimate Burger ($5.95) that fits her restaurant's motto: "Juicy fun on a bun."

We loved: being able to personalize our burgers.

We didn't love: slow preparation time.

Ultimate Burger, 74-5450 Makala Blvd., Suite E112, Kailua-Kona; (808) 329-2326

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

5 of 20 Places to Eat Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $8-$15

We love this place. If it were easier to find, we'd be ecstatic. When you step into the outdoor patio at Kona Brewing Co., you feel as though you've stepped into a tropical park. Surprise: The restaurant is actually in an industrial park. The management has done a good job camouflaging it, however, and it has a fun atmosphere and good vibe — also, as befits any brewing company, some great beer. But back to food: We tried the daily special, a slice of pizza and a salad ($8) and were suitably impressed with the veggie slice and the strawberry spinach salad, which offered great flavors and hearty portions. Another fave at our table: imu pork sandwich ($10).

We loved: good beer, sizable portions and fun ambiance.

We didn't love: driving in circles trying to find it. Call first and ask for directions.

Kona Brewing Co., 75-5629 Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona; (808) 334-2739,

Monday, August 9, 2010

4 of 20 Places to Eat under $20 on the Big Island!


Prices: $8.75-$23.95

Under the spreading banyan tree sits Quinn's Almost by the Sea. A local favorite, Quinn's bar and fish house has a nondescript façade, a '70s-era bar and a garden patio shaded by a lush banyan with a 40-foot circumference. Quinn's is a family business; three siblings on staff make sure things run right. The crispy fried fish-and-chips plate ($11.75) draws regulars; it's so popular that the restaurant goes through about 1,000 pounds of fish a week, purchased fresh from local fishermen's boats. Many of the dinner entrees are too pricey for this list ($18.95-$24.25), but sandwiches and salads are good buys, if fish isn't your dish. Night owls note: Quinn's is open until 11 p.m.; you can order a full meal from the restaurant until 10:30 p.m.

We loved: tropical landscaping on the outdoor lanai.

We didn't love: the ambiance inside; the restaurant needs a coat of paint and updating.

Quinn's Almost by the Sea, 75-5655A Palani Road, Kailua-Kona; (808) 329-3822.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

3 of 20 Places to Eat under $20 on the Big Island! As posted by LA Times


Prices: $8.95-$28.95

A postcard-perfect sunset, waves crashing against the rocks, live music and drinks with parasols and lots of rum. That's the vibe at Huggo's on the Rocks, an easygoing café and bar in the main tourist area of Kailua-Kona. The name tells it all: The place balances on the black volcanic rocks that jut out over Kailua Bay. On the Rocks is the little sister of Huggo's, the kind of pricey beachfront restaurant that pummels our budget. But you need not dine at the flagship restaurant when you can wiggle your toes in the sand at On the Rocks and pay half as much. The menu includes tasty pupus — the Hawaiian version of appetizers — salads, pizzas, sandwiches and desserts. Our favorites were the chopped salad ($12.95) and seafood tacos ($11.95).

We loved: the $3 well drinks, wines and domestic beers during happy hour.

We didn't love: the disinterested server we had to chase down for our check.

Huggo's On the Rocks, 75-5828 Kahakai Road, Kailua-Kona; (808) 329-1493,

Consider our Buzz Free Zone Personal Spray if you plan to eat here!

Monday, April 19, 2010

2 of 20 Places to Eat under $20 on the Big Island! As posted LA Times


Prices: $6.95-$21.95

Location, location, location — combine that with a good vibe and you have a sure winner. Perched across the street from Kailua Bay, Island Lava Java offers water views, inexpensive healthful food and lots of interesting menu choices. The restaurant began as an espresso shop, then added lunch. Now, owners Jeff and Leslie Fischer open for dinner too, with table service and entrees such as macadamia nut-crusted fresh catch ($21.95). We tried the café for lunch, when it's a casual, order-at-the-counter coffee shop; big sellers are veggie wraps ($11.50) and fish tacos ($13.90).

We loved: the ahi fish tacos, wrapped in delicate, homemade shells.
We didn't love: the noise from the street traffic.

Island Lava Java, 75-5799 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona; (808) 327-2161,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

1 of 20 Places to Eat under $20 on the Big Island! As posted LA Times


Prices: $5.50-$14.50

Walk into the dining room at the Manago Hotel and you'll swear you've stumbled into a pre-Pearl Harbor time warp. This quaint, third-generation hotel on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano has been entertaining guests since 1917. Little seems to have changed: The dining room menu is on a pegboard sign, entrees include such diner classics as pork chops and liver and onions, and most dinners cost less than $10. Manago is a dozen miles south of the high-profile Kailua-Kona resort area and decades removed from the hype.

We loved: stepping into Old Hawaii.
We didn't love: the canned veggies.
Hotel Manago, 826151 Highway 11, Captain Cook; (808) 323-2642,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Don't let a cold spoil your upcoming travel plans.

Stay Healthy for your trip with this
Powerful Antioxidant Superfood

Ever have to cancel a much needed vacation because someone got sick? Berry Radical is the perfect antioxidant superfood for the whole family! Berry Radical has a yummy chocolate berry flavor your kids will love and it's sugar free too!

That's why we're offering this 10% discount on Berry Radical, so that you can experience the pure, feel good, health building properties of this potent, energizing drink. Simply enter Promotion Code [berry10] during checkout.

  • Dissolve Berry Radical in hot water,
  • sweeten to taste,
  • add your own non-dairy milk of choice,
  • and sip as a tea,
  • or add to your favourite smoothie recipe!
  • (No pills to swallow!)

Berry Radical is a revolutionary, certified organic, superfood designed to assist the body in attaining vibrant health, longevity and wellbeing. A potent combination of 9 of the world's most effective antioxidant superfoods, Berry Radical contains certified organic antioxidant-rich raw cacao (chocolate), olive juice extract, coffee fruit extract, fruits and berries to support healthy immune function and protect cells. Berry Radical also helps reduce the damaging impact of free radicals in the body, and may slow processes associated with aging.
Our bottom line is to keep you
and your family healthy
so you can enjoy
"Making Meaningful Memories" together!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Volcano Awareness Month

It's Volcano Awareness Month! Hawaii Big Island has a monthlong schedule of guided hikes, evening lectures, teacher workshops, movies and Hawaiian cultural activities. Our Lake View Luxury available for Jan 17 arrival!
Visit for schedule of events.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Packing Under $6

Spruce up the suitcase just in time for holiday travel with 60 Gifts for $6 & under. EARN CASHBACK too! Ends 12/13. Be sure to include the 'slippers' and collared golf polos.  At these prices pick up a few extra t-shirts too!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Village View Villa Last Minute Deal to Vegas Baby! $100/night

Getaway before the holiday rush in this beautiful villa or book it for the holiday at slightly higher rates! This property has amazing view of the Village Firework Show on New Year's Eve!  Enjoy special guest privileges at exclusive private club with championship golf course and tennis too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's #traveltuesday Stay healthy for winter vacations!

It's TravelTuesday!Boost your health and receive FREE Berry Radical with ALL reservations booked TODAY for travel through March 20, 2010!

TravelTuesday FREE Berry Radical for Winter Health Boost!

It's TravelTuesday!  Boost your health and receive FREE Berry Radical with ALL reservations booked TODAY for travel through March 20, 2010! 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hali'i Kai Likeke Kane Kai
Waikoloa Beach Resort, Hawaii

Hali'i Kai Likeke Kane Kai, Waikoloa Beach, HI Powered by Postlets

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Fall Travel to Waikoloa Beach Resort
Big Island Hawaii

Wow! Busy with implementing new booking engine and busy peak season at the beach all summer. Haven't had a chance to blog! Let's try this again now. I have some excellent properties now available in Hawaii for fall travel. Be sure to visit my website for more details.

Join our 'Friends and Family' to receive more specials just for you! This beautiful 3 bedroom ocean view property is our featured property this week!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fairway Villas Golf Villa
Spring Fling $89/night !!

Imagine yourself as a pro-golfer while enjoying the peaceful Hawaiian ambience from your ground-floor lanai situated on the 6th fairway of the Waikoloa Beach Golf Course.

The Master Bedroom enSuite features a deluxe King Size Bed with flat screen TV w/DVD player and Soaking Tub. Bedroom 2 has 2 Twin Beds or optional King Bed upon request. A Queen Sleeper Sofa is also included in the living room. Port-a-Cribs are available by request in your reservation comments for additional $50 fee.

A desk area with Secure FREE WIFI access is conveniently located in the living room. A fully equipped gourmet kitchen includes everything needed to prepare meals for the whole family with a blender and rice cooker too.

One reserved parking space is conveniently located as well as additional guest parking nearby. This Golf Villa features our secure keyless lock system which provides a new personal entry code for each guest with easy access for every member of your family and is truly a golfer's dream!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Warm Winter Rates

Cozy up with these warm winter rates in our 4 bedroom vacation rental overlooking the Reflection Bay Golf Course and Lake Las Vegas! Now just $100/night with a 5 night minimum stay in our Chateau de Lake Villa. This low low rate is valid for travel through February 6th!!
Go ahead, get away this weekend and relax! Book online or call now for personal assistance at 702.565.8866!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Poolside Piazza is NOW Pet-Friendly !

Poolside Piazza is now a PET FRIENDLY vacation rental featured by Sandy Vacations, LLC !! Come stay in luxury in this 2 bedroom / 2 bath villa which sleeps 4-6 at Lake Las Vegas Resort on the Reflection Bay Golf Course and bring your furry family friend too!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gift Certificates Now Available

Still looking for that perfect holiday gift? What could be more perfect than
Making Meaningful Memories for your family?!

Buy a Sandy Vacations Gift Certificate toward the perfect family vacation getaway. Gift Certificates may be applied toward your nightly vacation rental at any of our 3 vacation destinations, including Lake Las Vegas Resort, on the beach in sunny Southern California or on the Big Island of Hawaii in the Waikoloa Beach Resort!

Gift Certificates are available in many amounts up to $1,000.
Order online at

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Holiday Availability

Vacation rentals still available for the holidays include our 3 bedroom Penthouse Villa at Fairway Villas in the Waikoloa Beach Resort and also our 1 bedroom Pacific Paradise at North Coast Village in Oceanside is available! Hurry holiday inquiries are still coming in and these properties sell out every year. A 7 night minimum is required for all holiday reservations.

In the Lake Las Vegas Resort we still have our Poolside Piazza and our Chateau de Golf available and the Chateau de Lake is still available for the New Year!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Hello my dear friends and families!
I wanted to post a quick message to tell everyone Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading my blog. Although I'm new at blogging, I hope to make this your place to come and review the HOT deals being offered here at Sandy Vacations, LLC.
You may want to subscribe to receive RSS feeds which will update you when Special Offers are posted. These will be very HOT specials that may only last 24 hours!
So stay tuned, let's see how this develops...