Truth from Dare: Refocusing on fun

Jul. 17, 2014 | 0 Comments


BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Live in Hawaii long enough and it’s inevitable you’ll hear the phrase, “Lucky you live Hawaii.”

Personally, I think it’s a little overused as most places have pluses and minuses about them. I love the beaches, weather, and genuine spirit of aloha you find here. I could do without the ridiculous cost of living and the smell of urine that permeates the downtown area.

COURTESY DERIN DEREGOThe author and friends at Kualoa Ranch.


The author and friends at Kualoa Ranch.

There are occasions I definitely feel blessed to live in such an amazing place, but I don’t often take advantage of opportunities to actually enjoy it. I get so caught up in my usual routine, I take some of the awe-inspiring options that exist off the beaten path for granted.

Not too long ago I had some friends in town and when they asked about going to Kualoa Ranch, I cringed. I hadn’t been there since a stint at summer camp that made me wonder what I had done wrong. After getting over the memories of mosquitos and an hour-long bus ride, I decided to succumb as my guests were not only from another town, but another country!

Thank goodness I gave in. The scenery at Kualoa Ranch was amazing and the activities provided some of the most enjoyable moments I’ve had in a while with the sun still shining. We took an expedition through the mountains on a Swiss army vehicle, rode a canoe across an ancient fishpond to a secret beach and ended our day with a catamaran ride across Kaneohe Bay.

After all that I was exhausted, but also so thrilled I didn’t miss out on all the fun with my friends.

In keeping with doing things that I don’t get to do very often, this Friday I’ll be at the annual Joy of Sake, which returns to the Hawaii Convention Center this year.

Of course, sake is the star of the evening with over 350 to choose from for sampling, but the edible creations being offered this year are not to be ignored. Dishes from some of Honolulu’s most popular and exclusive restaurants will keep the crowd fed; confirmed participants include Vintage Cave, Chef Chai, The Pig and The Lady and BLT Steak.

Another out-of the box offering this weekend is a preview of the new “CabaRAE” production at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Saturday. Former “Cirque du Soleil” director Alan Goldberg will direct the variety show that features performers, musicians, comedians and more from all over the world.

The show’s producers have invested over $5,000,000 into creating a showroom in the Hilton’s Tapa Tower. Needless to say, I’m very excited.

Finally, I’m a little surprised there isn’t more of a buzz about the Grouplove show going down on Monday at the Republik. It could be they don’t realize they’re the band behind the smash hit “Tongue Tied” or they just haven’t heard about the show.

Regardless of the reason, I recommend not sleeping on this band’s Hawaii debut. There’s nothing quite like seeing artists on the way up the ladder of success.
When he’s not out and about at the hottest parties and other events in Honolulu, Derin “Dare” Derego works as an account executive at a local radio station group. Reach him via email at or follow him on Twitter.

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