Archive for January, 2012

For those of you who don’t know, E Kanikapila Kakou is the “Legacy of Hawaiian Music,” and 12-week program in Hawaiian music taught by some of the best composers and musicians to ever grace our island. If you are planning a vacation on Kauai during the time of this amazing program, you simply have to plan on stopping by to see these musicians play.

Starting on January 29th, there will be concerts and classes taking place at the Jasmine Ballroom (located inside the Kauai Beach Resort). The first day, Dennis Kamakahi and Stephen Inglis will be in concert at the Ballroom. Tickets will cost $20 in advance or $30 at the door, but the music will likely be unforgettable.

After this opening concert, many more “Donation at the Door” concerts will take place over the next few days and weeks, culminating in another $20-$30 concert given by Nathan Aweau and Jeff Peterson on March 31st at 7pm. Each concert, other than the first and last, will take place on a Monday night from 6-9pm, and an assortment of artists will be performing. But if you aren’t quite sure what to expect, it’s better I tell you now.

This music program has been an ongoing event for over 30 years. And those of us who call Kauai our home get pretty excited about the music and the opportunities to play along. (That’s right; I said play along.) So when you come, if you see most of the audience singing and playing along (or dancing in the aisles as we are known to do), please don’t be alarmed. This is perfectly normal. You can simple sit and enjoy the show or you can get up and join us. Your choice.

When people vacation on Kauai, they love to play in the ocean and explore the waves with snorkeling gear or surf boards. But at the end of a long and sandy, salty day, going back to the beach might not hold the same sway. But what if you still want to swim? How about staying at the Marvin Pool Home and enjoying a private pool and hot tub?

The Marvin Pool home is a lovely place in Princeville, the picture of simple and elegant taste. Located in a family-friendly neighborhood, this is the perfect place to rent for a vacation on Kauai with the kids. Why? Well, first of all, there is a nice pool.

For some parents out there, the idea of undertow and unknown sea life is unsettling, especially when your children could suffer a mishap. So why not give your children a fun pool of your very own to play in?! While parents can lounge in the nearby hot tub, enjoying the relaxing nature of our tropical island, children can swim all they like in the spacious pool located in the backyard.

This home also is very kid friendly with enough space for everyone without being overly large. With three bedrooms and two bathrooms, there is enough space to sleep six people comfortably. Plus, there is a fully equipped kitchen and dinning room for making and eating family dinners, TV with cable and a DVD player for movie nights at home, high speed internet for keeping up to date with the world, and comfortable places scattered all throughout the house for individuals or groups to setting down and play.

Want to leave the house? Well, luckily this home is located in Princeville, so you are close to everything from a movie rental store to a grocery store, from a children’s park to the Hanalei Bay, and from the professional golf course to spa services. There is something to do here for the whole family!

The Marvin Pool Home is one of my favorite vacation rental on all of Kauai and I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

Have you heard of Duffy Bishop? Well, if you are a fan of the Blues, then you should have. She is in the Blues Hall of Fame, after all, and will be here on Kauai on Friday, January 27th, for a show!

Starting at 8pm, Duffy Bishop will be playing at the Tahiti Nui Luau room in Hanalei!! While many artists, local and otherwise, often come through Kauai on a tour or just to visit, I think I am the most excited about hearing her. After all, she is a woman with such amazing talent that she has been nominated for a Grammy. Plus, she’s just plain fun to watch.

Her music is a combination of Blues, R&B, and Rock, and everything she does has this dynamic quality that is so rare amongst artists today. So if you’re staying on the North side of the island on the 27th, come to Hanalei for an awesome concert. Seats are only $20 a person and, believe me, the price is SO worth it.

January 20, 2012 by, Emily

Maybe it’s something about living on an island that brings my mind and spirit so much closer to the lives around me. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I have grown up watching the wonders of nature. But whatever it is, I have a special place in my heart for watching the majestic whales travel along their watery paths to unknown quests.

Each year, starting in December, the Humpback whales of the region flow past my island home on their way to bringing their young into the world. They travel from Alaska so many miles away into the warm waters surrounding Hawaii, intent on creating new life. And watching their enjoyment of the water, their larger-than-life frolicking, and their congregation into family groups gives me a sense of peace, like the world is larger and more wonderful than I had ever imagined and the plans of men cannot stop the rhythms of nature.

And I know it’s not just me. Every year, hundreds of tourists come to our island to watch the whales make their journeys home. There are whale watching locations scattered all over our highest ocean cliffs and restaurants near the water that seat guests outside during the height of the whale watching season. And, as always, there are multiple rental and tour companies, offering whale watching expeditions to those who desire to see a few of these marvelous creatures up close. (Well, as up close as we can get without disturbing them.) During the months of December-April, our island becomes one of the best places on the planet to enjoy a whale migration.

So do you love watching the whales like I do? If you do, you should come and visit. The Humpbacks are starting to increase in number, and sightings are must more common now than they were last month. It’s a great time to see some of the world’s largest and most loving creatures up close and personal.

Want to be a record holder? Well, to do so would normally involve a lot of hard work and patience…

OR you could simply join us at 9am on Saturday (January 21st) for Zumba!

Never heard of Zumba? Well, it’s one of the best ways to work out. (And this is coming from a girl who typically hates to work out.) Zumba is just like dancing, though some aerobic elements are thrown into the mix as well. Invented by a dancer, this Latin dance/fitness program is so much fun, if you like to dance. Combining moves from the merengue, the mambo, the salsa, the samba, and much more, you can dance away the pounds.

I know; I’m starting to sound like an infomercial, right?

But the point is that it’s a healthy and fun way to get fit. AND we are planning to break some world records in the process, just to make it more fun.

Zumba Fitness Fest will be held at the Vidinha Soccer Stadium in Lihue and will start at 9:00. Anna Velasco will lead the first session, from 9-9:50am, and Troy and the Rockstars will lead from 10-10:50am. Then a lunch, that you would have to purchase, is available starting at 11am. So where does the record breaking come in? Let me tell you.

At 9:30 sharp, a count will be taken of the participants. While a general head count will probably be taken as well, mostly they will go off of ticket sales. (Tickets are $10 a person by the way and all proceeds will go toward supporting the Halau and getting them to the Merrie Monarch Hula Competition in April and the Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition in July.)

The current world record for a Zumba class is 1,223 people (or 1,401 unrecorded people). The goal for this event is to hit 1,500 people! So come and join us. We’ll need all the help we can get!

January 16, 2012 by, Emily

On January 15, 1929, a great man was born. This man was a man with a dream, a dream that included a completely color-blind world where those of every skin tone could live together in equality. This man was a preacher, a great orator, and one of the best activists for the civil rights movement that the world has ever known.

And then this man was assassinated.

It’s hard to believe sometimes that we ever lived in a world where people of all colors couldn’t work together, eat together, get married, live their lives together, and otherwise live in a state of equality together. Here on Kauai, I am a friend to many different people, people with different nationalities and different speech patterns and (among other things) different skin tones. In my mind, their racial differences do not change who they are to me or who they are to the world. And that is the world that I know.

But that was not always the case. Once there was a world completely different from my own, a world in which people got jobs, married, went to church, and even used certain bathrooms based upon their skin color. And Dr. King knew that this was wrong. Through his efforts, and those of others like him, my world was created. Sure, this world isn’t perfect. Here in America, there are still racial inequalities and barriers to break down. But the fact that I am a light-skinned woman marrying a very tall dark-skinned man has only been made possible because Dr. King gave his life for it.

So today, as you are perhaps off work or hearing people talk of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, keep in mind what is being celebrated: the life of a great man who changed the world.

January 14, 2012 by, Emily

I can’t remember if I’ve ever written about the Waipa Foundation before, which is reason enough to write about it now. After all, this is an important part of living on Kauai and truly understanding our island and our traditions.

The Waipa Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to restore Waipa. They have been working toward that goal for over 20 years. So what is Waipa? Well, it is a 1,600 acre watershed area that foundation members and volunteers have been restoring.

Why are they restoring it? That is a good question. (Yes, I’m answering myself, but I’m guessing you all were thinking it.) You see, many years ago in the times of Hawaiian kings, the people of each island had a tie to the land and its resources. They lived off the land and trusted it for their livelihood. They worked hard, sharing with others, developing the cultural ways we see even today, and flourishing in the balance of their lives.

Of course, with trade, ships, flights, the internet, and a world-wide economy, many of those early traditions have been left in the past and forgotten by the newer generations. The Waipa Foundation wants to bring part of Kauai’s history back into relevance, creating an area where community can be developed, traditions can be kept, and culturally relevant teaching can be received.

How are they doing this? To begin with, the Foundation built a community center and learning center, designed to bring people together and teach them about the times when we were tied directly to the land and its resources. And of course they work hard to make sure there are activities, curriculums, and programs for all age groups, maintaining their learning sites for the community around them and the island as a whole.

If you are planning a visit to Kauai or if you are a resident who has never looked into the Waipa Foundation, I encourage you to visit one of their learning centers. You will probably learn a lot, just as I have.

Do you love your dog? Do you enjoy taking your pooch on long walks? Would you like to help the Kauai Humane Society and Malama Pono Health Services save lives? Are you and your dog going to be on Kauai Saturday the 21st?

Then I have an event for you.

On January 21st at 11am, there will be a Doggie Walk to Save Lives. Each doggie/human pair will be charged $25 to raise money for the above listed services. What do you get in return? Well, how about a great 1-2 mile walk with your best animal friend? There will also be free hot dogs and refreshments for lunch, prizes, and the beautiful Kauai sunshine to enjoy.

It’s going to be a great event.

Now, I’ll admit that I don’t have a dog. BUT my fiancée does, so a dog is in my near future. And I’m excited about it. I haven’t had a dog since I was a little girl, and taking a long walk with this little guy sounds like a wonderful day.

So come and join us for a day of doggies! You can have some fun, raise some money, and enjoy the company of other dog owners like yourself.

If you love music like I do, then this Sunday on Kauai is the place to be. There will be two wonderful musical opportunities to visitors and residents alike: “From These Roots” and Brunch at the Garden Café.

“From These Roots” is going to be, according to their posters, “an evening of Spiritual Jazz and R&B featuring Gabrielle Goodman with special guest Matthew Truss.” Sound interesting? Well then be at the KCC Performing Arts Center in Puhi at 3pm for the show. Tickets are $15/person and you can find out more information at the Kauai Concert Association.

But what will you do with your day before 3pm? How about more music! From 9am until 2pm, come to The Garden Café in Kilauea for brunch with a live performance from Domonic James. The Garden Café has a wonderful assortment of organic foods that are downright scrumptious to the palette. PLUS, you’ll get to listen to some of Domonic’s best music. (If you want to listen to a bit of his music before making the effort to visit Kilauea, click here.)

What better way to spend a Sunday than listening to some amazingly talented musicians here on Kauai. So if you will be visit this weekend, please check out one of these venues. I think you’ll be glad that you did.

Need a place to stay in 2012 when you come to Kauai? Great! I have a ton of vacation rentals to tell you about so you don’t have to stay in an overpriced hotel during your visit. (After all, we do want you to come back and visit again… and that would be hard to do if you spend your entire savings on lodging, right?) First of all, let’s talk about Hale Waileia in Princeville.

Forget staying in a tiny hotel room. This house (yes, I said house) in Princeville has all of the room you will need to truly relax and enjoy your stay. You know how they say that clutter will clutter the mind? Well, you will not have that problem with this house. Every room is highlighted with multiple windows (some floor to ceiling), so you can always see the beautiful tropical island that surrounds you. Plus you get your own private courtyard with a view of a beautiful Kauai garden.

And this house is big. We are talking about 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a spacious living room and dining room, and a fully equipped kitchen for only $1,050 a week! The master suit is large, with a king-sized bed, private bathroom, and immaculate furnishings. And the entire house has hardwood floors and updated cabinets to give it a modern yet comfy feel.

Wanna know the best part? Well, okay, the price is really the best part. But you will also be a short walk away from a world class golf course, shopping centers, restaurants, beaches, equipment rental shops, and everything else that Princeville has to offer! And, if you want something fun to do, simply use the high speed internet here at Hale Waileia and look up my blog. I’ll provide you with all of the island highlights!

Looking for an indoor event to attend this Saturday with your family? Well, I know of a great way to spend the day. Not only will you have fun, dance, eat, and see great costumes, but you will also learn a lot about Filipino Culture. That’s right – It’s Ohana Day!

The Kauai Museum in Lihue is hosting this fun family event on Saturday, January 7th, from 10am until 1pm. If you come, you can shop inside the museum gift shop as well as several booths that will be set up. You can also eat at one of the food booths, do crafts or purchase crafts at one of the crafting booths, and walk around the museum.

And of course no day is complete without some music and dancing! There will be live entertainment and dancing for all, plus a few cultural displays for those interested. Residents of the island get into this event free, so you can bet I’ll make an appearance. Visitors to our island will be charged a small fee, though that price has also been severely discounted.

So come and join us for a day of learning about Filipino culture. It should be fun and educational. And join us each month at the museum for similar cultural events, celebrating our multicultural heritage.

2012 – How I’ve looked forward to your arrival!

This year, there is a lot planned here on Kauai. For one thing, I’m getting married. So forgive me if some of my blogs are posted in advance so I can take my honeymoon. Also, there are festivals, parties, concerts, holidays, art shows, beach adventures, things to learn, things to do, and places to go! This is going to be a good year.

To start it all off, how about a concert? St. Michael’s Church in Lihue is hosting an evening of Harold Arlen’s music on Wednesday, January 4th, and 7pm. There will be several different performers taking these beloved songs and singing them for your hearing pleasure. And all proceeds go to fighting Parkinson’s Disease! Talk about a worthy cause, right?

Ah yes, 2012 is on a roll already. I can’t wait to see what else this year has in store for us!