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Grilling is a popular way to cook food. I love to grill food. I am not the greatest chef nor grill master, but I sure do try! Grilling food is a great way to cook food. Think about it… there is a recipe to follow but it is not quite as technical as baking. Baking is an edible science experiment. Grilling is much more forgiving. Once someone gains enough experience in grilling, that person is worth his or her weight in gold. Let me tell you the grill food on Kauai is worth its weight in gold! So divine.
Now, grill food is a comfort food to most people. There are classics that are cooked on the grill like burgers, fish, vegetables, and more. Comfort food does not necessarily mean hearty and overly-filling, either. Kabobs are one of my favorites to grill. It makes for such a nice medley of meat meets vegetables. What beautiful colors, too.
Another way to mix it up is by having some grilled surf and turf. This is a way of mixing and matching meat combos to cover the whole flavor spectrum to meet your fancy. By having complimentary flavors, you will be making a marvelous spread for you and your guests to enjoy. Just like “sweet” pairs with “salty” nicely, so does surf match well with turf. Grilling is a great way to enhance flavors, so you can get the most juicy flavors out of your fish and meat… and don’t forget your veggies!
Grill food is something you cannot mimic. The different types of food you can put on a grill are seemingly endless. Any kind of meat on a grill turns out as fabulous as ever once you can perfect your technique. Vegetables roast on the grill nicely as well. Grilling food is a great cooking method for traditional foods, but can also make surprisingly well cooked food out of others you might first think are good choices.
Fruits heat up well on the grill too, believe it or not. They top desserts nicely and your friends and family will be coming back for more! Ever tried grilled pineapple? Here is a recipe for Grilled Pineapple Dessert that I love. While the coals are still hot, go ahead and heat up your pineapple rings for this recipe. I like to think of it as getting the most out of my hot coals.
Perhaps you are a grill master yourself? While staying on Kauai, the north shore has some perfect vacation rental homes where you can grill out! This is a genius way to save money and still eat your delicious grill food. Invite friends, invite family. I just love coming together at meal time…
What a lovely weekend it has been. I hope your Valentine’s Day was as pleasant as it could be. The weekend was full of activities for me, as you can see from following my blog
On Sundays I usually look at my calendar for the week ahead, and make some plans here and there to keep myself busy with fun things to do. Again, this is the planner in me! One activity I like to do often is visit one of the Sunshine Markets on Kauai. This is also known by others as a Farmers Market. If you are looking for the freshest produce, this is the place to go! I really like the atmosphere there as well; good food and good people!
I suggest Tuesday’s market at Hanalei at Waipa. It starts at 2 o’clock pm and goes until about 4pm. It is held at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center on Papalina Road just after the fire station. This is the place to go if you are looking for organic produce, fresh tropical fruits, exotic tropical flowers, and herbs. I have seen the majority of the foods there to be organic. There are also some non-food vendors there selling things like jewelry or other cute little crafts and souvenirs.
If you are in the area, staying in Princeville, Hanalei, or Haena I suggest adding this to your to do list for Tuesday. If you are arriving to your vacation rental on the north shore, stop by this market to fill up your kitchen with healthy, local, delicious food for your stay. And it is every Tuesday–not just this upcoming one. I do not get around to going every week… it is more like every other week for me I suppose. My tips if you are planning to go are: wear comfortable walking shoes, bring reusable bags for your purchases, and if you can, use small bills for your purchases.
It is that time of year again! The Waimea Town Celebration is back this year. 37 years and it is still going strong! This is Kauaiʻs oldest and largest annual festival on the west side of the island. If you are in the area or perhaps staying on the north shore, come make the day trip down to experience some great entertainment.
This is a weeklong event starting Saturday, February 15th and going through to the following Saturday. This leaves you ample time to come and see what all the hype is about! There are activities for everyone–young and old–to participate in or to simply come, watch, and be entertained.
Perhaps you are interested in the line-up for the week. Events and activities start daily around 9am and end around 5pm each day. It is a family friendly festival and does not go on into the late night hours. At the Historic Waimea Theater there is a film festival going on too. Prices vary per person, per age. Let me share with you what else will be happening at this great town celebration.
There will be a long distance canoe race, a roundup rodeo, softball and basketball tournaments, fun runs of varying distances, an ice cream eating contest, and a ukulele contest. There are some other events going on to fill the week right up with entertainment and activities.
Live entertainment is the name of the game the way I see it–there will be continuous vocal and instrumental artist performing throughout the time of the festival. Let me just say that this is reason enough to come and spend some time out in the community. I love live entertainment and the sense of community all over the island. Oh! And did I mention the live entertainment is free?
Now that you know what is going on, you are sure to know that there will be tasty local food there as well. How could there be such a large gathering, a festival, without it? There will be vendors with food as well as a beer garden for those of legal drinking age.
Since there is so much going on with water and sporting events to film festivals viewing and live entertainment, locations vary per event. It is all held in Waimea. I’ve looked up the contact info for the Waimea Town Festival and you can see it here. Add to your adventure by adding this community event to your vacation calendar. I know I am going to make some of these events! I have in years past and I keep coming back for more.
So you are going to be staying in Princeville, at a lovely vacation rental home (say the Plantation at Princeville)? You are on your way to saving money while going on a Hawaiian vacation. I can understand the excitement! You may be wondering what other ways you can save money to cut down the total cost of your vacation. Since you are staying at a vacation home, you are off to a great start. Another way to keep costs low is by buying your own food and then cooking it back at the house! Let me tell you about a grocery store in the Princeville area, in the same neighborhood nearest the Plantation at Princeville.
Foodland in Princeville. It is in the (appropriately named) Princeville Shopping Center. They are open at 6am for you early risers, and close at 11pm each day. What I like about Foodland stores is that they offer DVD and video rental services. This is great to have nearby if you are staying at a vacation rental, especially with little kids. The store is a fully functioning grocery store with a bakery, deli, and meat department. There is a Western Union and a pharmacy in this location as well. For directions from the Plantation at Princeville to this Foodland grocery store, click here for driving directions.
If you are looking for something a bit more specialty, take a car trip east into Kilauea to the Kilauea Town Market & Deli. They are open 8am-8pm daily. This place has a large variety of wines, beers, and other alcoholic beverages. They offer free-range meats, specialty cheeses, and other scrumptious foodie finds! To get there from Princeville, get on the Kuhio Highway headed east. Turn left at the Menehune Mart/Shell Gas Station on Kolo Road. Take a left onto Kilauea Road. Look for the Historic Kong Lung Market Center less than a half of a mile. It will be on the right.
It always makes me feel better when I can know the area that I will be staying in. Then I can plan and have places in mind to go. Knowing “what is what” also helps me. I am such a planner!
So, you are staying or going to stay on Kauai in the Hanalei Bay area, huh? That is a great choice! Let me tell you about one of the fav, dive bars in the area. If you do not drink that is fine. Go there for the pizza at least. The restaurant and cocktail lounge is called Tahiti Nui. If you are on Kauai right this moment here is the street address so you can plug it into your smart phone or GPS system and get there without any problems: 5-5134 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei. Click here to follow turn by turn directions if that is easier for you.
The Mai Tai is popular and so is the pizza. That is what I would say it is best known for. What my favorite part of this restaurant is not just the food, but also the live music. Yes, I said it and I meant it. The live music at dinnertime is simply fantastic and genuine. I like anything really that is genuine and authentic. This is the real deal! Hawaiian music in Hanalei. Perfection.
Something else I should let you know about Tahiti Nui: patio seating. It is not all indoor seating. If you’re willing, I suggest dining outside. Why outside? Here is my take on the topic…
Dining outdoors I am convinced makes my food taste even better! Being outside in the elements with the fresh air filling my lungs makes it so that my experience is more real–more awakening. It is difficult to put words to exactly. Dining on the patio enables me to look around at the scenery and to enjoy the landscape as I savor my food. It may seem silly to some, but I am convinced the setting has a lot to do with the overall experience. Now add the live performers and their music. Again, perfection! This combination with food, setting, and live entertainment makes for a great combination.
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are days I suggest to go. Yes, there will be more people there simply because it is the weekend, but from my perspective that is more attractive for as a restaurant-goer it makes for better people watching, meeting new people, and also experiencing the live music as a group. There becomes a sense of community when you are at a restaurant like this. It is a fun, fun thing!
Well here it is: a new year, a fresh beginning. To start off the year right it was my pleasure to start this lovely Friday morning with a steaming hot cup of Hawaiian brewed coffee. Ever since I hit adulthood, coffee has been my go-to. On this special day of the new year I decided I had better make it to Hanalei Coffee Roasters to get a cup of the good stuff.
What I love about this place is that they use locally grown coffee beans, roast them, and serve that coffee to customers in their shop. If you thought I loved coffee–which I most certainly do–you must also know something about me: I love locally grown food. And by food I mean food and drinks. After all, coffee beans are a non-liquid substance turned into a liquid drink. Never mind. The point is that I like coffee and I love Hanalei Coffee Roasters and what they are all about.
This café is a coffee, tea, breakfast, brunch restaurant. It is not large scale though and most days you will find a line out the door. But hey–that is how you know you have found something good! I knew I was in for it today since it’s a Friday and all but I just had to. If Max is there he will be sure to entertain you as well. Good folks there.
This is not a sit-down and be waited on kind of place, it is a bit more casual like other coffee shops. They just so happen to serve yummy food too! When you go, go all out. Yes get coffee (or tea). Stay and eat too. If you order something like a waffle or a pancake, ask for coconut syrup. If you like coconut to begin with, then go for it. Trust me.
I ordered a chocolate raspberry volcano muffin. Oh my goodness it took everything in me not to order another! That and a hot vanilla latte did me in. What a lovely morning it was. I am in good spirits for the first weekend of the new year! There is something wonderful about coffee and to pair that with such an amazing place–that is something beautiful. There is outdoor seating, and that is where I prefer to sit. Something about a cup of coffee in hand and to be able to feel the elements–or be right next to them–makes me feel alive and awake. I love Kauai and here at this coffee shop in Hanalei is where I like to get my coffee from.
All this talk and now you want to go there? HCR are in Hanalei. If you are already staying in Hanalei, simply take the Kuhio Highway to Hanalei Family Center (5-5183C Kuhio Hwy).
I am going to admit to something right off the bat: I’m not going to this event. ☺ My husband and I have plans on Saturday with our family, and I typically don’t drive all the way to Waimea for a party, even a Christmas party. However, for those of you who are here visiting and want to see the canyon and the West Shore anyway (or for those of you who live on the West side of our island), this event is for you.
Each year in Waimea, there is a Christmas parade. No seriously, each and every year since 1996. In fact, I’ve heard that this tradition of big Christmas celebrations dates back to 1786! And if they’ve been doing it that long, I’m guessing that it is awesome!
This year, the parade will start at 6:15pm on Saturday, December 21st. Why so late? Well, this is a LIGHTED Christmas Parade. This means that each float will be lit up with lights and wonder, adding to the overall affect of the parade. The parade caravan will start at Waimea Canyon Park and will travel down the highway to Ala Wai Raod, at which point it will turn to Waimea Road and head back west to end at Hofgaard Park (town center). You can stand anywhere along the route, but I would recommend finding a place near the Kekaha side of town.
Now, a few additional bonuses for this Waimea Christmas celebration… The entire town will be decorated like a winter wonderland in the heart of a tropical climate. It will be overflowing with lights and Christmas cheer, and will put you in the holiday spirit immediately upon arrival. Plus, many vendors will be offering free beverages and baked treats to those who come by. So be sure to come early, walk around this historic town, and enjoy the hospitality of the residents there.
Oh and one more thing! Be sure to go early in order to get a place along the parade route. Traffic will be VERY slow getting in and out of town, and the entire route will be closed down early so it’s clear for those in the parade. My recommendation would be to get there by 4pm at the latest. My additional recommendation would be to get there in the morning and spend the day visiting the historical sites, seeing the amazing Waimea Canyon, and eating at the local restaurants. This really is a wonderful place to visit and you’ll be glad of the chance to see it in all of its glory.
Enjoy the parade!
I will admit it. Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. Of course, I don’t always eat it at breakfast time, but I love it none-the-less. While coffee can keep me going for a few hours, a good breakfast can keep me going for half a day! And maybe that’s why I love breakfast events. Not only do I get to attend a fun event, but I get to eat a delicious breakfast.
This Saturday morning (December 14), there will be a couple of great opportunities for you to attend a fun event and eat a delicious breakfast. Want to know more? GOOD! Let me tell you about some upcoming awesomeness.
Koloa Elementary – This wonderful school is having a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning from 7:30-noon. Each breakfast plate costs $7, and the proceeds go directly to the school. (So it’s for the kids and a great cause.) PLUS, there will be a craft fair and silent auction as well. So after you eat a big plate of pancakes, you can browse around. Check out the holiday crafts, bid on some silent auction items, and maybe even win a gift certificate or two. Yea for presents and breakfast!
Storybook Theater – Of course, if you want a bit more of a balanced breakfast, you can come to Storybook Theater in Hanapepe between 9am and 11am for a breakfast with Santa. Now, on Kauai, we have “Aloha Santa.” And for this breakfast, “Aloha Santa” will be attending (played by Phil Worwa) and giving a Talk Story while we consume a nutritious and delicious breakfast made by Master Chef Auntie Helen Lacono. (A bit better than pancakes, right? But the cost is higher as well. $25/couple) There will also be Christmas singing, coloring, story telling, etc.
Now, Koloa Elementary’s pancake breakfast is open to all, so you can just show up with your family and $7/person. However, Storybook Theater requires you to make a reservation for your spot. So please call Phil Worwa (619-417-0050) or go to their website to reserve your spot before Saturday morning.
I hope you have a wonderful Saturday morning breakfast!
One of my favorite places on Kauai is the Kilauea Lighthouse. I used to go there every week and sit with a pen and paper. I would write for hours. I learned to play my guitar there. I have just always loved it. It is a part of me as a person.
Of course, the lighthouse isn’t the only reason to visit Kilauea. And TODAY there is a great reason to visit: the Kilauea Christmas Tree Lighting Feast!!
I’m sorry I didn’t write about this sooner in the week so you had some warning. But if you’re seeing this and you don’t have plans tonight, I encourage you to go. It should be fun. Tonight (December 7th) from 4-8pm this Feast will take place at Kilauea Dispensary Park. And it will be FREE!
What does this event entail? Well, I’m not quite sure myself. I only just found out there were doing it this morning. BUT I know that there will be a big Christmas Tree that will be lit up with amazing lights. I know that Santa will be there to meet the kids and check out our Christmas spirit. I know that there will be a massive GIVEAWAY! (6 kids bikes will be given away during the course of the evening!) And I know that there will be plenty to do. There always is with any Kauai event.
Because of the kid-oriented nature of the tree lighting, there will be activities for kids to do. But if you don’t have kids (or like kids), this is probably not the event for you. Though, there will be live music, hula, FREE FOOD, and more. So if you can be there, it will be totally worth it no matter your age!
Have I mentioned everything at this event is FREE??? Anyway, my husband and I are planning to be there, and I hope you can join us. And again, I’m sorry this is last minute. Merry Christmas!
Have you ever heard of Kalo? Honestly, not a lot of people have. But have you heard of Taro? This term is a bit more common, but both refer to the same plant!
Here on Kauai, Kalo is a very important crop. It was first brought to the Hawaiian islands in 300 different varieties, each of which was different and relatively unique. Today, there are only 100 varieties grown amongst the islands, with quite a few varieties growing right here on Kauai. (After all, we’re the garden isle, right? We have the perfect weather for the Kalo crop!)
The type of Kalo we grow tends to grow best in tropical environments where it can get plenty of water. Here on Kauai, lush vegetation is easy to grow because the mountains bring the mist and the light rains throughout the year. So growing Karo is easier for us than it is for most. Plus, we also have lo’I, which are kalo patches sustained by constant flows of water. (If you want to see such a place and how the irrigation systems work, take a tour of one of our Taro/Kalo plantations. You will be amazed at the engineering involved!)
Now, if you’ve ever eaten Kalo/Taro, then you might have an idea of how it is grown and cooked. But for those of you who don’t know, these plants are long-stemmed with big rounded leaves. They are planted invidiually in the ground, not found as a bush or a tree. And they are poisonous.
Yep. Poisonous. ☺
Of course, we don’t eat them in that state! You see, the leaves need to be plucked off and the root must be WELL cooked in order to remove the calcium oxianate contained in each one. (If you try to eat Kalo raw, you will be in for an unpleasant surprise when your mouth feels like razors are slicing it to pieces and starts to burn. Not good.) In fact, those who harvest Kalo must be very careful as well. They use gloves so the roots don’t irritate their hands.
I’ve often wondered who it was that first looked on such an unpleasant little plant and said, “I bet it wouldn’t be so bad if I cooked it.” Yep. Brave human being, that was. But now we eat Taro/Kalo all the time. It has become a part of our histories and our traditions.
AND, in order to celebrate the amazing plant we call Karo, we are having a FESTIVAL!
This Saturday (December 7th) we will be having our 4th Annual Waipa Kalo Festival! The Festival will run from 10am-5pm and is only $5 for adults and $1 for children. (Entrance fees will go to support the Waipa Foundation. Look them up online for more information.) The fun will take place around the Halulu Fishpond in Waipa (near Hanalei Bay) and will include things to do for every member of your family.
For those who are educationally minded, there will be displays and histories of the Kalo plant and its uses, including demonstrations of harvesting and cooking. There will also be hands-on activities for kids, artist booths for cultural crafts, and great food made of this fabulous plant! (So if you’ve never tasted Kalo/Taro before, now is your chance!) And, of course, there will be live music played ALL DAY LONG! (What’s a Kauai festival without a little music, right?)
It really is going to be a wonderful day. So if you are in Hanalei this weekend, please come by the festival. This Saturday! Halulu Fishpond! 10-5! See you there!
If you really want a day of fun, let me outline a plan for you. In my last post, I talked about the Festival of Lights, which begins this Friday (December 6th). However, you don’t have to be there the very first night. The festival continues on Saturday and Sunday and comes back again the next weekend. So, if you want something to do on Friday that goes beyond the Festival of Lights, I have a few thoughts for you.
First of all, you can head to the Kauai Museum for a Christmas Craft Fair! This craft fair starts at 9am and continues into the evening. Plus, it’s free to anyone who wants to walk in and peruse the wares. Each year the venders make it special by being Christmas themed. So not only is it a fun craft fair, it is a great place to get into the Christmas spirit!
The Kauai Museum is off of Rice Street, a street filled with Christmas cheer and amazing lights. So getting there will be a pleasure. Then, once you’re inside, feel free to browse through the vender stalls as local artists, crafters, and food venders vie for your attention. But keep in mind that it will also be packed, as it is hugely popular.
And once you’re done looking around, your best bet would be to step out onto the street for the parade! Yep, there will be a Christmas parade down Rice Street that is scheduled to last from 6-9pm. The parade will begin once the grounds light up at the Historic County Building (ie The Festival of Lights) at 6pm. However, the County Building will be the ending destination, not the start. To be one of the first people on the parade route, you will need to head to Vidinha Stadium.
Lihue really will be a fun place to hang out this Friday, so I hope to see you all there!
Okay, so if you were reading my previous post about the craft fair happening at King Kaumualii Elementary School this Saturday, then you don’t want to miss this. There will be a secondary craft fair of sorts at Kauai Veterans Center in Lihue on Sunday. So if you like craft fairs and the Holiday Craft Fair was tempting for you, you will LOVE this!
Unless you’re a man. Sorry guys.
On Sunday (November 24) from 9am-3pm, the Kauai Veterans Center will host the First Annual YWCA Kauai Women’s Expo. This expo will feature booths of all shapes and sizes, as women from all over Kauai get together to show their art, crafts, exhibits, products, and more. It is the first ever expo for women that features all woman-made products! And it’s happening this Sunday!
They are already calling this Sunday “Pink Sunday.”
Now, arts and crafts will be featured. However, there are many other types of booths as well. For instance, there will be health and wellness exhibits, teaching woman how to stay healthy and offering products for that purpose. There will be cooking products and demonstrations, as well as beauty products and demonstrations. Home and garden exhibits are also welcome and food booths will keep us well sustained for the day. All in all, there will be tons of opportunity and everyone should find something they are interested in.
Of course, if you need to bring your kids, that’s okay. There will be bounce houses for the kids, hula lessons for all ages, dancing, music, and more. Plus, there will be a mother-daughter fashion show featuring the designs of Kauai most talented female apparel makers. It will be fun for women of all ages.
Want even more reason to go? Well, the proceeds of this expo will benefit programs designed to help women and their families. So by attending and even purchasing something from the vendors, you will be supporting women all over the world.
So please join us for a Women’s Expo this Sunday from 9am-3pm at the Kauai Veterans Center. Admission is FREE! Hope to see you there!
A short time ago, author Marta Lane finished writing her book. It’s a guidebook called “Tasting Kauai: Restaurants – From Food Trucks to Fine Dining.” And while I haven’t read it yet, any book that tells us all about where to find good food on the island is a WONDERFUL book, am I right? So if you are a soon-to-be visitor to Kauai and want to know where to eat, this might just be the best thing you’ve ever read. You can visit Tasting Kauai’s website to find out exactly where to get a copy of Marta’s book.
In addition to this, those who will be on Kauai November 12th (a Tuesday) will have the rare opportunity to get a signed copy of this book. How? Well, in celebration of food and fabulous Kauai restaurants, there will be a 5-course dinner held at The Feral Pig from 6:30-9:30pm. (For those of you who have never eaten at The Feral Pig, you will be in for a treat.) This meal will include the 5-course meal, a signed copy of Marta Lane’s book, beverages, and a chance for one lucky guest to win a print from Daniel Lane, all for only $95.
Now, let’s talk about the food. The diner will be hosted by The Feral Pig, which means you will be tasting the amazing efforts of Kauai’s favorite chef: Chef Barb Ka’auwai. And while Chef Barb does some innovative things with food, Dave Power will be pairing each course with a handcrafted cocktail, wine, or locally-made beer. (Dave is pretty well known here on Kauai. He’s a co-owner of TFP and also a very talented bartender.)
In addition to having some amazing people preparing the food, the food itself will be freshly picked and locally grown. According to what I’m hearing, most of the food will come directly from One Song Farm, Govinda Farm, and Kaneshiro Farm. The rest will be purchased from the North Shore farmers markets, which are the best on the island if I do say so myself. So, with the freshest ingredients, the diner menu will be set and served. It will be tantalizing.
Of course, I mentioned that Daniel Lane will be giving away one of this prints as well. This will be a 15×30 metal print entitled “Reflection of Solitude.” Daniel did all of the art for Marta’s book, so you can get a taste of his work that way too. And, if you don’t win the print, I’m told that he will have a few other metal works on hand to sell to diner guests.
So what do you need to do to get in on this action? Well, you need to call 808-246-1100 and ask for a reservation. Seating will be limited and The Feral Pig will be closed to non-registered guests for the evening, to hold this exclusive party. So to get a seat, call that number and talk to Dave, Shannon, or Jessica. And then, show up on November 12th and be prepared for a wonderful dinner, an excellent book, and a great party.
My in-laws don’t live here on Kauai. My husband moved here when he was younger and fell in love with the island. But his parents only come out to visit every great once in a while. They came out for the wedding, and we haven’t seen them since. But that’s not entirely surprising. They live on the mainland in Chicago, and flying here multiple times a year would add up fast.
However, when they do come to visit, their favorite place is the Napali coast, and I can’t blame them. Resting on the Northwestern side of Kauai, the Napali coast is a beautiful place for becoming one with nature. And yet, because of its location, not many tourists have flooded its shores. So when you see it, it’s like stepping back in time to a world of fresh wonders.
Maybe that’s why it’s been used in so many movies.
Well, whatever the reason, Napali is a lovely area of Kauai. And the best way to see it is to take a tour. In fact, his parents always take the same tour: Captain Andy’s Charters.
Capt. Andy’s has a lot to love. For one thing, the tour isn’t one of those dinky little 2-3 hour tours. (After all, we’ve seen Gilligan’s Island. We know how those 3 hour tours often turn out.) No, they have a 4-5 hour tour that give you an excellent view of the most beautiful places on Kauai, while giving you a taste of the open ocean. Their catamarans are large and lovely affairs, with room for several people to have fun, sail, eat lunch, and enjoy themselves. Plus, the lunch I mentioned is a part of the tour, so you don’t have to worry about taking your own food aboard.
Most catamaran tours also bring snorkeling gear for everyone, so you can enjoy the coastline as well as meet some new under-the-sea friends. The last time I went snorkeling off the Napali coast, I met a friendly little turtle. I named him Henry (because I’m a little crazy at heart) and followed him around for a while. He was a great tour guide. I’ve also seen dolphins, several different types of fish, and a lot of beautiful plants while out snorkeling. And my husband’s mom claims that she got up close and personal with a whale! So it’s worth the trip, don’t you think?
So if you love beautiful places or if you simply want to have some fun snorkeling in a new place, I suggest you head to Napali coast. It will be a day you won’t soon forget.
Wanna do something fun while you’re here? Do you enjoy trying new things? Do you like the water? Then you’re going to love this activity.
If you want to have a lot of fun and learn a little something about Kauai at the same time, I would recommend going tubing. The tubing course starts up the mountain and travels down the old irrigation system for the former Lihue Plantation. So your trip will take you through the jungle, past breathtaking views, into dark and spooky tunnels, and out into the Kauai sunshine. It’s one of the best trips you can take while on our island. And it’s seriously fun.
Each tour will take approximately 3 hours, so look forward to a good half-a-day of adventure. And if you don’t bring your family along, I would recommend bringing some friends. Tunnel travel is always more fun with friends.
Want to bring your children? Great! Children 5 years old or above are welcome, as long as they are at least 43 inches tall. This is to ensure that the child is big enough to not slip too drastically through the tube as they are going down river. Older adults are also welcome. In fact, my best friend recently went with her grandparents who were visiting from Virginia. They all LOVED it, which is why I can recommend it so highly to you, even though I haven’t been myself in a few years.
My friend did have one small problem that I want to bring to your attention. You see, unlike me, she is supermodel skinny. Truly, she always looks like she has just stepped out of a magazine. And while the tubes can be chosen large enough to fit a 300lb person, her skinny little frame slipped quite easily through the center of even the smallest tube. Now, because she is a grown adult, she simply held herself up with her arms and knees and she still have a wonderful time. But she did say that a couple times, she forgot to lift up her butt and dragged the bottom of the stream once or twice. ☺
Okay, so now you have my only warning about going. Let’s get to the important stuff.
What to Bring:
Shoes – Tennis shoes aren’t really a good idea. You’ll need a good pair of water shoes with excellent soles. You will be using these shoes to bounce off tunnel walls.
Protectors – You will need sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from sun damage. You will also need bug repellant for when you go through the tunnels.
Clothing – You will need two sets of clothes. The first set is a bathing suit or water clothes that can get wet without weighing you down. The second set is a set of dry clothes for when you are finished with your adventure. (Having a towel on hand is also a good idea.)
Money – This trip will cost you around $100 a person, though each touring group will charge a slightly different amount. If you choose to go with Kauai Back Country, you’ll need $102 per person plus tax.
What to Leave Behind:
Lunch – A picnic lunch will be provided by your tour group. They have good ways of keeping your lunch dry and your water cold and fresh. So don’t worry about food. They’ll have you covered.
Gear – When you go out on the water, you will need more than just a swimsuit and water shoes. You’ll need gloves, a headlamp for tunnels, and a tube. And all of these extras will be provided for you when you get there. They have multiple sizes for everything, so don’t worry. They will find just the right thing for you.
So there you have it. If you want to have an interesting adventure and a lot of family fun while you’re on Kauai, look into joining a good tubing tour group. You will be SO glad that you did.
So, when my husband and I first started dating, we went everywhere together. I am the type of person who loves to relax with a cup of coffee and a good book. However, I’m also that manic type who loves to see as many sights and attend as many events as possible. I’m constantly on the move (after a few cups of coffee in the morning), and my husband (then boyfriend) was more than willing to accompany me in my overly-excited craziness.
However, when I mentioned to him that it was time for the annual Coconut Festival, he very sweetly… backed out. Yep. He said no. Of course, it was in a very nice way, but still, I was thrown. He has always joined me on my outings. Did he hate the festival? Did he not think it was worth attending? I needed to know. After all, not only was this important to find out for our marriage, it was important to find out for you. What if I’ve been recommending the Coconut Festival and going myself only to realize now that it hasn’t been fun and I’m just weird?!
It was a quandary.
Luckily, I discovered from him that the festival is indeed as enjoyable as I thought. It was just that he was allergic to coconut.
Ummm… wait. What??
Yep, he’s allergic to coconut. And now that I think about it, I have really never seen him eating it. I put it in cookies and on cakes sometimes, but he typically eats very healthy. So when he turns down sweets, I’m never surprised. And I suppose I didn’t really cook for him a lot before we got married (we went out a lot), which is good because I’m rather famous for my delicious coconut chicken. But still! How did I not realize this?
Anyway, aside from my personal drama over the festival, I can still say that it’s a good place to visit. And this year it is October 5-6 at Kapaa Beach Park. So if you are planning to be on Kauai this weekend, please join me in attending the 17th Annual Coconut Festival. (I’m going to need someone to enjoy all of the coconut goodness with me if my husband can’t come.)
This festival, as the name implies, is all about COCONUT! Seriously, all of the food has coconut. The crafts are coconut themed. The art is made of coconuts. And the contests involve coconut! Everything is coconut themed! Isn’t that awesome!!!
This year, there will be cooking demos, cultural displays, live entertainment, music, taiko drummers, artists, games, contests, hula, and a kid zone filled with inflatables, petting zoo animals, a stage, and activities. It’s going to be some serious fun for the whole family, and you can come! Simply drive to Kapaa Beach Park on Saturday between 9am and 5pm or on Sunday from 10am to 4pm. And then have fun wandering with your family. Admission is only $3/adult and kids 12 and under are free. So if you want something fun, inexpensive, and exciting you can do on Kauai, come to Kapaa and share in the coconut goodness.
I’ll see you there!
Okay, now if most of you were raised as I was, you think museums are fascinating. However, I realize that the chances of that being true are rather small. In fact, a large majority of you probably avoid stuffy museums at all costs, especially when you’re on a tropical island. Why stay inside and look at exhibits when you can be surfing?
Then again, you probably haven’t seen our museum.
This week, there are two new events at the museum. The first is on Wednesday (October 2nd) from 5-7pm and it is a reception for the Women Artists of Kauai. You see, this whole month there will be a special showing of some amazing and new art from right here on Kauai. This is only the second time that local female artists on Kauai were given this opportunity. And, if the art is as good this year as last year, it’s sure to be a great time for any art lover.
This exhibit in the museum will feature one piece of art from each female artist on the island who wished to participate. So you will get an eclectic combination of sculpture, painting types, and more. Each artist will have pieces that are slightly different, with alternating brush strokes, use of color, and separate mediums. And each is sure to be something special. So if you get the opportunity to attend the reception and meet some of the artists, please do so! And, as another plus, the reception is free. This means that you get into the museum without paying the normal entry fees.
Of course, if you won’t be on Kauai tonight, you will still have several opportunities to see the art. As I said before, the art will be on display for the entire month of October. And there will be two tours discussing the art, taking place on October 12-13 and 19-20. However, these tours will not be free. There is a small fee per person to enter the museum. While the cost isn’t large, it is something to keep in mind if you plan to go during the week.
Now, for the second event at the museum, you will need to come on Friday (October 4) from 11:30am-1pm. This event is Friday Pa’ina, and the required cost is $20. However, before you start thinking that I’m dragging you to a boring museum exhibit for $20/person, please read on.
Paina is a word for feast, and therefore you can assume that there will be a lot of great food at this event. In fact, the advertisements here refer to “traditional local cuisine,” which I can guarantee is good. (Of course, I was raised here, so I might be a bit biased.) And along with good food, there will also be live Hawaiian music! Food and a show! How great is that?
Now the purpose of this event is to introduce you to the hidden wonder of Kauai culture. I don’t know how to explain effectively the feeling of closeness, family, friendship, genuine warmth and joy, and the fun that accompanies the spirit of Aloha. And it is that spirit that has prompted the best Hawaiian parties (luaus) throughout the ages. It is also that spirit of Aloha that this event will try to convey.
Now, having not attended this event before, I have no idea how this will be accomplished. But when I asked about it, I was told that Aloha was the goal. So no matter what, I believe this will be a wonderful event that makes you feel welcomed, calm, and at peace. Such is the results of Aloha.
So if you can go, please call the Kauai Museum (808-245-6931) and make a reservation. (Seating will be rather limited in the courtyard, and you’ll want to make sure that you have a place to enjoy the day.) And if you go to the event, please comment here and let me know! I’d love to hear more about your experience.
And now that I’m thinking about it, Saturday (October 5) is Ohana Day! This happens the first Saturday of each month and kids are typically free. (You’ll need to contact the museum to check on costs.) The best part is that this Saturday there will be fun games for the whole family. The theme this month is “Makahiki Sports and Games,” and the Hokulea Crew will be hosting the fun and games. So if there is any day that is great to bring your kids to a museum, this is the one. There will also be a hula demonstration, as is tradition. So please bring your family and visit the museum for Ohana Day! You’ll be so glad that you did.
Shopping. Wine. Food. Have I touched on anything yet that did not get your attention? Oh, if that did not do it, let me say: Kauai, Hawaii. There. That should have done it. Now that I have your full and undivided attention please let me introduce you to a little known hot spot in Koloa, Kauai: The Wine Shop.
If you are planning to visit Kauai and you want to have a bottle of wine while here, this is the place to go. This is the place I go! And I would go as far to say that this place has something for everyone on every budget, from wine bottles under twenty bucks to imported specialty wine for over three hundred dollars a bottle! (Now that’s some good wine!)
Want something to go with your wine? Well, don’t assume this place has only wine bottles to purchase, though there are plenty of them. There are gourmet food items as well, items that are well paired to go with any wine you choose. There are Hawaiian made hot sauces, chocolates, candies, pesto sauces, and dips. There are non-alcoholic beverages and non-food items like glasses and dinnerware. It is truly a one stop shop if you are needing a little something extra to add to your night — or to make your night!
Kauai, Hawaii, is full of tourist attractions, relaxation spots, sports activities, and more. Let’s just say that we really love to extend the red carpet to visitors. With that in mind, many places on the island sell souvenirs: things, trinkets, and keepsake items to remind you of your time on our beautiful island. And if you are looking for something intricate, something personal to keep or to give as a gift, The Wine Shop is the place to go to get something original. What can I say? They have it all.
Now, I have mentioned it before: what I love the most about Kauai is the people. The people here are so welcoming and family orientated, and that includes the people in the Wine Shop. They never make me feel like I’m out of place, even when I’m not sure about a certain wine or what to serve it with. They simply smile, educate, and never pressure me to make a purchase. I LOVE that!
So, if you are interested in a little wine, please visit this heavenly spot. OH! And if you are planning to be on Kauai on Friday, September 27th, then come and be a part of the Kobrand Wine Dinner at La Spezia Restaurant and Wine Bar off Koloa Road. The Wine Shop is hosting, so you know it will all be excellent. Believe me – You do not want to miss this three course meal with dessert. It is sure to be a scrumptious night, and will start promptly at 6pm. So come and join us and, most importantly, enjoy your stay on Kauai!
It’s that time again – the Fair has come to Kauai. ☺
This week (from Thursday through Sunday) is your opportunity to experience one of the biggest events on Kauai. Each year, the fair comes and fills several days up with fun, food, festivities, farming, and more. It’s always worth going and only costs $5/adult and $2/child. Plus, it’s just plain awesome!
Want to hear more? Yeah, I figured you would.
Place: The Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair will be held in the Vidinha Stadium Parking Lot in the town of Lihue. (For those unfamiliar with the island, Lihue is home to the main airport on the island and it’s located on the South side.)
Time: Each day of the fair, the time will be a bit different. This year, the fair will start on Thursday, August 22, and run that day from 5pm-midnight. That schedule will continue on Friday, August 23, but will change for the weekend. On Saturday, the fair will start at noon and continue until midnight, and on Sunday the fair will start at noon and end at 6pm.
Activities: Okay, this category is a large one. So I’m going to ask you to take a second and picture your own hometown fair. Okay, do you have a mental picture? Well, this fair is like those… but better. ☺
Each year, there are crafts, food, rides, games, food, farm animal competitions, commercial tents, artists, food, petting zoos, a bonsal display, orchid displays, food, fruit and vegetable shows, goodies, shopping opportunities, food, live entertainment, and (of course) food. Live music will be playing on and off throughout each day. Plus, the live entertainment will include announcers, cultural demonstrations, hula dancers, classes and workshops, and more. There will be an auction, several cultural displays, both indoor and outdoor booths, and more.
So, as you can see, there is a TON to do. Not to mention the fact that the 4H kids and other farmers from all over Kauai will be showing off their skills with produce and animals, winning awards and selling their stock. It’s bound to be a fun time.
And this leaves me with one final question for you: are you coming? If you are going to be on Kauai, I don’t recommend that you miss it. I’ll be there. You should come too!
Okay, in my last post about Koloa Plantation Days, I gave you a general schedule for the activities and events planned for the weekend opening of the Plantation Days celebration. And now that I have a bit more time, I will continue to add to that schedule by listing the activities and events taking place in the upcoming week.
(Again, please note that many of these things were taken directly from the Koloa Plantation Days website. This is not in an attempt to plagiarize. It is simply my way of trying to give you the best information possible.)
Monday (22) – There will be events from 8am-9pm. First off, the Grand Hyatt Kauai will be hosting a Makawehi Sand Dune Hike. Those interested need to meet at the Seaview Terrace at 8am sharp. Later in the day, the Plantation Days exhibit will open (6pm) at The Shops at Kukuiula. This exhibit will stay open until Friday, so make sure you stop by sometime during the week. Plus, there will be a Historic Film Night that night at The Shops starting at 7:30pm.
Tuesday (23) – There will be events from 9am-10pm. It is on this day that the Grand Hyatt Kauai will be hosting the Koloa Plantation Days Craft Fair from 9am-3pm. This should be lots of fun, as there will be many booths to purchase from and many craft venders to chat with. Also, there will be a Talk Story focused on Koloa Before Sugar at the Koloa Union Church at 3pm. I will probably be there, as I love the tradition of a good talk story, as well as the histories they bring to life. And to finish off the day, there will be live music in the Old Koloa Town Courtyard from 5-8pm.
Wednesday (24) – There will be events from 7am-9pm. Those who want to join the Coastal Hike by Malama Mahaulepu, please be at CJM Stables by 9:30pm. The hike will go until noon. Also, there will be traditional Hawaiian Games (SO FUN) at Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation from 10am-12pm. Then in the evening (4-6pm), there will be a Plantation Cooking event at Kauai Culinary Market (in The Shops at Kukuiula).
Thursday (25) – There will be events from 9am-9pm. From 9-11am, you can learn all about the sugar era at Old Koloa Mill. And in the afternoon, there will be a Plantation Days Putting Contest at Poipu Bay Resort (2-4pm).
Friday (26) – There will be events from 9am-9pm. Now, I heard there will be a Mahaulepu Pastel Class from 9am-noon. But I don’t know the price or where it is exactly. So if you have the information, please post a comment for those reading this blog! ☺ There will also be a Talk Story entitled “Sweet Memories of Old Koloa” at Koloa Missionary Church (4:30pm) and a Koloa Town Historical Walk leaving Koloa School at 5:30pm. (If you have never had a tour of Old Koloa, this would be a good chance for you to see the sights.)
Satuday (27) – There will be events from 9am-5pm. PARADE DAY! The Annual Parade and Park Celebration will take place at Koloa Town starting at 10am. This is one of the biggest events of the Plantation Days celebration and will include floats, marching units, riders, classic cars, and the Pacific Fleet Bank. The Park Celebration will commence shortly after the parade (10am-5pm) and will be filled with food, crafts, games for kids, live entertainment, and more. It will take place at Anne Knudsen Park (which is another name for Koloa Park) and will cost $3/person. (Kids will be free.)
Sunday (28) – There will be events from 7am-9pm. This is the last day of the Plantation Days event and will start bright and early (7-9am) with a Family Fun Run/Walk hosted by the Kukuiula Canoe Club. If you want to run, there will be race fees. Please check the website for price information. Then at 10am, there will be a children’s ukulele competition at Keoki’s Paradise. The competition is free to enter and includes a t-shirt for the child and lunch!
So there you have it: the schedule for the rest of the celebration. I hope you have a chance to visit Koloa sometime this week for some fun times and fantastic events. And if you don’t, maybe you can plan a trip to Kauai during the festival next year! 2014 is just 365 days away. ☺