Last month, Turtle Bay hosted its eighth annual Seafood and Wine Festival. The two-day event boasted a lineup of the North Shore’s top seafood chefs as well as killer entertainment from the likes of Anuhea, Paula Fuga, and HAPA.
With the first big waves of the winter rolling in, the Turtle Bay lawn was the perfect place for a party. When I arrived Saturday night, the outdoor venue was abuzz with energy from the crowd and the pounding waves that were just out of sight . As Paula Fuga crooned on stage, accompanied by the nearby surf, I got into line at the first tent. The line was long but moved quickly and the ono swordfish I was handed was completely worth the wait. By the time I got to the second tent I was already thinking about how I’d surely be coming back next year.
Unfortunately, pretty quickly after I got there a few of the chefs ran out of food. I started to hear grumblings from a few unhappy event goers that they had paid a good deal for their ticket and were expecting to be able to test everything out. Luckily, most people seemed to be calmed down by the wine bar, which was fully stocked; the wine and champagne were flowing freely long after the food was gone.
After enjoying as many offerings at the still open tents that I could, including some delectable desserts, I finally made my way over to the main stage, where HAPA was now playing to the happily full crowd. Shortly after I sat down, HAPA brought up a special guest, and my life changed forever.
That’s right; that little man in front stole the show, and my heart. His name is Aidan James and he’s an eleven year old ukulele playing YouTube sensation. If I had had another glass or two of wine, you may just have been able to convince me that the guy in the vest and specs belting out “Grenade” was Bruno Mars himself. He may be small, but his vocal chords and stage presence make up for it. By the end of his set, I felt like a little girl myself, wishing he would just keep playing away through the night. Although, I guess his bed time might be a little earlier than mine.
I’ll most likely be attending next year’s Seafood & Wine Festival, but I will for sure be going to one of Aidan’s monthly shows at the Hard Rock Cafe. According to his twitter account, this month’s show is on November 18th at noon, and it’s free!