Being raised on the island of Maui, I can tell you from personal experience that there is no better place to learn about people. The history of Hawaii is deeply embedded in every day living, as well as the beauty that surrounds the islands. King Kamehameha I was responsible for uniting all of the Hawaiian Islands under one ruler by 1810. The Hawaiian Monarchy was overthrown in 1893, annexed in August 1898 and became a territory two years later. It wasn't until August 21, 1959 that Hawaii become the 50th state of the United States. What a visitor will notice almost immediately is the laid back style that Hawaii provides. One of the many things I love about Hawaii is it's people. Hawaii is one of the few places that you can smile, make eye contact with someone and strike up a conversation with such ease. We are reminded daily of the beauty that surrounds us - beaches, stunning ocean water, sunrises, sunsets, breath taking views, and of course the weather. Hawaii helps to remind everyone to appreciate the time we have and to truly take in the beauty that surrounds us, wherever we are. In Hawaii our families (ohana) extend beyond blood and those included in anyone's ohana are honored. Through all of the changes that Hawaii and its people have endured, they have kept the "Aloha Spirit" alive and well. "Aloha" means affection, peace, compassion and mercy, and is used when greeting someone or bidding someone farewell. We hope that our visitors will be able to experience the spirit of Aloha for themselves.