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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. ☺
It’s that time again! The town of Koloa is having their Plantation Days celebration, and you are invited! That’s right – You can head over to Poipu and enjoy several days of fun, games, live entertainment, competitions, exhibits, story talks, tours, and more! Plus, admission is typically free. Sounds good, right?
Now, the theme this year is “Stories of Our Heritage,” which tells me that there will be a lot of fun stories, histories, cultural exhibits, and traditional events and games mixed into this event. That means that I will likely be dragging my wonderful husband to at least a few days of this festival, though he isn’t the biggest fan of cultural histories himself. That’s okay though. For those of you who think history is boring, there will still be a LOT to do.
(Note: Most of this information has been taken directly from the Koloa Plantation Days website. This is not to plagiarize, but to provide you with the best information possible: directly from the source.)
Friday (19) – There will be events from 11am-8:30pm. These events will include a rodeo at CJM Stables, featuring preliminary roping (11am-3pm) and barrel racing (4-8:30pm). Also during this time, there will be a Paniolo BBQ with live country music, activities for kids, pony rides, a petting zoo, and much more.
Saturday (20) – There will be events from 8am-8:30pm. These events include a tennis competition (8am-4pm), a Historic Hapa Trail Walk starting at St. Raphael’s Church (9am), more rodeo roping at CJM Stables (11am-5pm), Keiki Fishing at Waita (1-4pm), and Polynesian Revue and a Fire Dancer at the Poipu Shopping Village (7:30-8:30pm). If you want to enter the tennis competition, I’m afraid you cannot. I just heard that the entry deadline was the 12th. Sorry everyone! But you can still come and watch. It should be some great tennis.
Sunday (21) – There will be events from 9am-9pm. The tennis semi-finals will take place from 8am-2pm. And there will be a miniature golf tournament at the Lawai Beach Resort at 10am! (Only those 13 years old and under can play.) Plus (and maybe most importantly) the 14th Annual Plantation Days Rodeo at CJM Stables will take place from 11am-3pm. The cost for the rodeo will be $3/person ($1/child), and this rodeo is great fun every year!
Okay, I’m running out of time to blog, but this should give you a great idea of the fun Plantation Days activities that will take place this weekend. Before Sunday evening, I’ll try to blog again and include the schedule for the rest of the week. Enjoy!
If you haven’t heard of Healing Horses, then I want to take a few minutes to write a little something about their program. Their mission statement says it all: “To improve the physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being of Kauai’s youth and disabled community by using equine-assisted activities and therapies.” However, since this is a blog, I’m going to go into more detail. ☺
I first heard of Healing Horses some time ago (2010 I think?) when a friend decided to take her autistic child to this program. Her little girl was fairly high functioning, but just couldn’t handle people very well. It was heartbreaking for her mother to know that her little girl was stuck behind this internal wall that she might never break through. And so, after a recommendation from an acquaintance, they decided to try the program.
After a few weeks, the changes were evident. From taking care of a horse, riding, and learning to trust herself with a large, brown-eyed darling of a mare, my friend’s daughter started to thrive. No, she didn’t instantly love people. But for the first time, her mother saw her smile while being touched, even if the touch was the nuzzle of a sweet and gentle horse. And while she couldn’t look at her parents, tell them she loved them, and say how much she enjoyed the horses, that smile was like a blazing bulletin board of success. Her parents could finally take a small peak into their daughter’s world and see her enjoying herself. It meant the world to them… and to their daughter.
Since then, I have met several other families who have had dealings with this program. Some of these families send their children, some with disabilities and some without, to learn about riding, horsemanship, success, failure, and self-confidence. And their time at Healing Horses has changed so much in their everyday lives. I have also met adults with physical disabilities who have gone to this place to receive therapy. Their recommendations could not be high enough.
My point behind this blog is two-fold. First of all, I wanted to recommend this program to anyone and everyone who has children, social disabilities, physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, or who needs some good, old fashioned horse love in their lives. At Healing Horses Kauai, you can have access to some wonderful people and horses, who have an aptitude for creating beauty and peace from the world around them. Plus, their facility gives access to all, with ADA accessible bathrooms, mounting ramps, para transit drop off/pick up, and more.
I also wanted to throw in a quick word about an upcoming charity dinner that will take place this Monday (July 15) at the Hukilau Lanai in Kapaa. This Summer Gala will be a fundraising opportunity for the program, costing $50 per adult (15+ years old) and $25 per child (4+ years old). Children under 4 years old are free. What will the dinner include? How about pupu, dinner, dessert, a no host bar, and live music? Sounds good, right?
From the price of the dinner itself, Healing Horses will receive the finances necessary to raise awareness about equine-assisted activities and therapies. There will also be a tax-deductible silent auction and ample opportunities to donate time, materials, money, and more. So if you’re free this Monday evening from 6-9:30pm, please come to the dinner and help support this amazing program. The cost might be high, but the benefits are well worth it.
Remember in my last post when I said that you could look for local artists at cultural festivals? Well, there is going to be a Japanese cultural festival on Saturday, June 22nd, from 9am-4pm! So here is your chance to see some amazing local artists. Plus, experience everything this festival has to offer.
The Cultural Arts and History of New Japan – 2nd Happiness Planting Festival will occur in Lihue, which is on the South side of the island. The Happiness Planting Center is located next to KEO behind Isenberg Park, according to their flier. (Though I admit that I haven’t been there before.) And admission is FREE! So, if you are looking for something fun to do on the 22nd, why not pay them a visit.
According to my sources, this is going to be a lot of fun. There will be performances, live music, crafting booths, dancing, games, and more. Plus, there will be experiences here that you can’t get anywhere else. For instance, you will be able to hear the ancient Japanese language come alive, watch anime, eat Japanese fare, take part in a fresh green tea ceremony, and learn about enlightenment and spiritual growth. Not only is this a cultural festival, it is a spiritual one. And it’s family friendly, so you can bring the kids and introduce them to a new culture. Fun right?
Now, I’m attaching the festival’s schedule HERE so you can read over it and decide when you’d like to go. But if you haven’t been to a cultural festival before, I highly recommend stopping by. After all, it’s a free visit and a great look into what makes Japanese culture tick. Plus, you can make some new friends. So come and join in the fun.
If you’re not busy this afternoon and you want something to do, I know of something fun you can do with the whole family. So, do you like jazz music? And if you do, are you willing to drive to Kalaheo?
There is a café at the Kukuiolono Gold Course called Birdie’s Café. And every other Sunday afternoon this summer, they are hosting an afternoon Jazz Jam Session! The first jam session was actually back in May, but I was busy trying to fit into a certain white dress back then. So you get to hear about it now. ☺
Every other Sunday, this café will feature Kauai’s top jazz musicians, giving you the rare opportunity to listen to some fabulous music for free! Plus, you will be at a tasty café, allowing you to eat and drink some delightful menu items while you listen. And the best part? This jazz concert isn’t at a big concert hall or at a local bar where there is a cover charge and admittance is only allowed for an older crowd. This jazz concert happens at a café where all ages are welcome and there is never a cover charge.
So are you free today from 3-6pm? How about June 23rd, July 14th, July 28th, August 11th or August 25th? Cause if you are, you can head on over to the Kukuiolono Golf Course and enjoy an afternoon of amazing jazz and great company.
Well, I’ve been dieting for a month now, and I’ve been REALLY good. While I’ve written about the great food here on Kauai, I’ve not gone out to eat too much and I’ve been sticking to the fresh fruits and vegetables found at the local farmers markets.
The results?? … I’ve lost 10 pounds!!!!!! I can buy the dress I want in the size I want! Yea for smaller wedding dresses!!!!
Thank you to everyone who sent me words of encouragement. I truly appreciate your support. And you know what? I think writing about the food really helped me to work through my cravings; especially that day I wanted tacos. Seriously, I almost broke down and drove to Pats several times during lunch that day. But writing got me through it.
Life is like that, you know? Each person struggles with things, things they can share publicly and things they can’t. And if we live our lives thinking about others, then our burdens seem smaller. For instance, telling you guys about the amazing food here on Kauai made me feel better about my dieting. And, in turn, I’m hoping that my blog helped you to find a great place to eat while you’re on the island. So it’s a win-win!
So what’s next on my list of things to do? Well, first I’m going to go and pig out at one of Kauai’s fantastic restaurants! (I can afford to gain back a pound or two.) ☺
And then, we move on to more exciting information about Kauai festivals, cultural days, events, concerts, plays, beach parties, sporting events, places to go, people to see, things to do, and Aloha to experience. It’s going to be a fun summer. So stay tuned!
Okay, I’ve been getting some comments from friends about the fact that I constantly talk about meat when I write about food. (Clearly, they missed my post about farmers markets and the wonderful fruits and veggies on Kauai.) So, I decided to write a post about good vegan options on Kauai. After all, there are many individuals who have wonderful reasons for not eating meat, and my addiction to bacon (mostly because my diet says I can’t have it) should not cause them undue stress when eating out.
So, for my vegan and vegetarian readers out there, this one is for you.
There are a few good options if you want to eat vegan and still enjoy a meal in a nice restaurant here on Kauai. And my favorite place (yes, I am typically a vegetarian who eats a little fish here and there) is the Garden Café at Common Ground. This place is located on a farm! So I guess there’s no doubt that the veggies and fruit were grown locally and picked fresh. The atmosphere is great, as it’s an open-air café, allowing you to see all the beauty of Kauai around you. And the food is delicious. I don’t know how they make their salads so full of flavor, but they manage it. And if you leave without trying the taro fries, you will be extremely sorry you did later. They are out of this world.
Another great place is Postcards Café. I think I’ve written about this place before, so I’ll make this brief. (Well, relatively. I do LOVE to talk about food.) Postcards is right in Hanalei and they serve only fish and vegetarian fare. (Vegan too, if you were wondering.) No beef or chicken will grace their menu, as they are dedicated to providing meat-free (other than fish) food for the vegans and vegetarians of Kauai. They also don’t use any refined sugars, so diabetics might find a gold mine in this place as well. The food is SO good that you hardly notice you’re eating healthy.
The last place I will mention is the Caffe Coco. This place can only be described as quaint. It’s a small vegetarian and seafood restaurant in Kapaa that a lot of people miss (here is a link to their website), but they have one of the best vegan/vegetarian menus on Kauai. Four words: Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup. OH SO GOOD! Seriously, you need to try this place. Not all of the food is “to die for,” but this will give you the most options for your money and your dietary lifestyle. Plus… Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup! Am I right?
So there you have it – 3 places you can eat if you don’t eat meat. And if you do eat meat, they are still really good. Postcards and Caffe Coco have good seafood menus, and the atmosphere at each place is just perfect.
Do you like deep-fried breaded bacon?
I know, I know… Who doesn’t, right?? And if you like bacon (and just about any other breakfast or brunch food), you need to visit The Tavern on your journeys through Kauai.
The Tavern is located off Kuhio Hwy in Princeville and is a great place to stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner while you’re in town. Why? Well, they serve breaded bacon for starters! And to be honest, they are one of the best places to grab breakfast while you’re in town.
Many places on Kauai are open for lunch and dinner, but The Tavern is open for breakfast as well. So you don’t have to eat at the hotel restaurant (where you will be overcharged) or in your rental home (though fresh fruit in the mornings is a great choice). You can choose to go out to a nice breakfast, eat a perfectly proportioned meal, and leave satisfied to start a big day of sunbathing, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, horseback riding, touring, tasting, etc.
Of course, if you’re expecting a 5-star formal restaurant, you will be sorely mistaken. As with my last post (about a food truck), this place isn’t exactly the type of place to put out nice tablecloths and call you sir when you order. This is a tavern. The tables will be sturdy, the food will be good, the drinks will be perfectly mixed, but there will be no fluff and no finery. These people mean business, and the business of the day is a good time.
So, what should you order? Well, that’s a good question. The last time I was there (aka. before the diet), I was there for dinner, and I ordered the fried chicken. It was SO good. Home-style cooking with all of these gloriously fluffy mashed potatoes served on the side. Mmmmmmm… just thinking about it is starting to make me hungry. Oh and I splurged and had the “pie.” Now, I’m not going to give much about the “pie” away, except to tell you that it’s wonderful, it’s not really a pie, and you will LOVE it.
Of course, that isn’t the only good thing on the menu. I’ve had the calamari, the greens, the burger, and the ribs before, and I’ve loved them all. So I recommend going for just about any meal and ordering whatever fits your fancy. I’m sure you will find something on the menu that sounds fantastic, and that it will be every bit as good as you imagined.
Today, I’m craving tacos. Seriously. It’s bad. It’s a big craving. Tacos. Mmmmmmm.
The problem, as some of you may know, is that I’m dieting. I’m supposed to eat only healthy, organic, locally grown vegetables and a bit of lean meat. And so I’m sitting here, at my computer, longing for tacos while eating carrots and pouting.
My solution? Tell you all about my favorite place in Hanalei to get tacos! Then, you all can go out and eat tacos for me and I can live vicariously through you. Okay? Good. It’s settled then. Let me introduce you to Pat’s Taqueria.
Okay, first off, I know that Taquerias typically sound much more authentic without the name Pat attached. I get that. But if you think that detracts from the amazing flavors of a Pat’s taco, then you are gravely mistaken. The tacos here are a local craving, and just about all tourists who try them end up falling in love. They are that good.
Now, this place is a lunch truck located near Black Pot Beach Park. (Yes, I’m sending you to a food truck. But it’s cool. Trust me.) Ask any resident of Kauai and they will tell you exactly where to go. Because they all know what I know – these tacos are good. But here are some things you might need to know to eat here:
1. Because this is a big favorite, get here early for lunch. They serve one meal a day (except Sundays) and they start at noon. The line forms before then. So if you want to eat sometime around noon, get there about 15 minutes early or so.
2. You will probably meet more people here than anywhere else you go. Seriously, a lot of residents eat here on their lunch breaks, and tourists learn that this place is fabulous pretty quickly. So if you want to make some new friends, this is the place to go.
3. Tacos will cost you $4-$5 apiece. This will seem a bit pricey… until you see them. The portions are good. The first tacos, for instance, have big pieces of fresh ono, grilled to perfection and served in a warm tortilla. You won’t be hungry later. You will be happy. These are good tacos.
Pat’s Taqueria is definitely one of my favorite places to grab lunch. And my favorite things to order are the pork tacos. Seriously, Kalua Pig in a heaven-sent tortilla is a wonderful treat. I could eat 10 of them, which is why I’m staying safely in my house and talking about them instead of driving over to eat there. (Carrots are good too. Keep eating carrots, self.)
So if you are on Kauai and want tacos, please don’t go to some expensive restaurant or try to find a Taco Bell. Come to Hanalei and eat real food. And when you leave our shores, you will leave happy.
Have you ever been on Kauai, lounging on a white sandy beach and enjoying the beautiful mountain views and friendly people, and thought, “I wonder what living here was like a couple hundred years ago?” Well, now you can come close to finding out AND you can eat fantastic food at the same time! That’s right Kauai visitors – the month of May munchies continues with A Taste of Old Kauai.
The Taste of Old Kauai is a combination tour and meal that will take place on Friday, May 17, from 9am-2pm. The tour is of the Waipa ahupuaa, a watershed settled by the first Polynesians. It is a beautiful place for tourists to visit, explore, and learn about Polynesian culture and how it affects Kauai today. While Kauai is a place of modern conveniences and fast-paced technology, we are also a community that remembers our roots and the culture that brought us to where we are today. And understanding that culture is one of the first steps to understanding Aloha.
Of course, an agricultural and ecological tour isn’t the best part of this event. In fact, my favorite part of this tour is when they bring out the food. Now, as you may know, kalo (taro) is an important commodity is Hawaii. It has been grown here for many many years and has fed celebrities and Kings, as well as typical Kauai residents. And while part of the tour allows you to walk through a taro garden fed by mountain streams, you will get to sample cooked taro, poi, and kulolo (which is DELICIOUS by the way). This is how your taste of Kauai begins.
At the end of your tour, you will sit down to a lovely lunch, which is prepared by one of Waipa’s the best chefs. Now I can’t tell you what you’ll be eating, as the meals change by season and the chef’s preferences that day. However, I can tell you that everything you eat will be Kauai grown, organic, locally caught, and expertly made. When I took the tour, the salad was simply amazing, with freshly picked ingredients and grilled vegetables. And everything I was served was something that would have been eaten by residents of Kauai 100 years ago.
So does this sound like something you might want to do? I can guarantee that you will have a good time and a good meal. And the cost is only $115 with reservations required 3 days in advance. That’s not bad for a 9am-2pm tour including a good meal, right? Seriously, if you have the time and the interest, I highly recommend this Taste of Old Kauai, conveniently located at 5-5785A Kuhio Highway.
With Mother’s Day almost here, I though it would be a good idea to give a shout out to my own mother. Mom – You taught me so much about how to be a woman and how to live my dreams and love my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!
And now, for the rest of you reading this, let’s talk brunch.
If you don’t know, brunch is the magical meal between breakfast and lunch, the perfect time to take your mom out for a bite to eat. And this year, I recommend Tortilla Republic for your meal needs. Here’s why.
1. Tortilla Republic is yummy. Seriously, their food is really good. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten something there that I didn’t like. They are a “modern Mexican grill,” which means that their Mexican food is grilled to perfection and has a signature flavor that I simply love. In fact, I’m craving it right now just typing about it.
2. They have drinks! Their margaritas are just about famous in both Hawaii and Hollywood. Plus, they have a plethora of other options for you, including their Mother’s Day “Mom-osas”. These are sure to be a big hit.
3. For Mother’s Day, they are featuring a “Mom-osa and Bellini cart.” And they are serving brunch from 9am-3pm. So you can bring your mom down for food and drinks, enjoying your time together with the assistance of a little alcohol. (Which is sadly a necessity for some of you and your moms.)
Now, here is my question: will you be on Kauai for Mother’s Day? Cause if you are, this is a great choice for a brunch, lunch, or dinner date with Mom. And if you are on Kauai but your mom isn’t here, why not go anyway? You can take pictures of your great time and send them to your mom as a Mother’s Day present. ☺ Or you can take me and I can watch you eat all of the amazing food while I try to stick to my diet. *sigh*
So, every few posts or so on this blog, I throw in some information about local vacation homes for rent. This way, if you are reading along and my words are convincing you to come visit, you will know about all of the good places to stay! It’s my service to you. ☺ And that’s why I’m going to tell you about Hale Ylang Ylang in Hanalei.
Now, this month is all about food for me. (Yes, mostly food I can’t have now that I’m on a diet, but still…) And so I wanted to showcase a gorgeous house that also had a fully set-up kitchen and was a short walk away from some nice restaurants. Hale Ylang Ylang is that vacation home.
Actually, it’s a town house, located right near Hanalei Bay. The view is beautiful, which is probably why the house has so many large windows. In fact, the dining room has a long table situated between two extremely large, wide windows. The result is the feeling that you are eating outside in a tropical garden.
And the house itself is exquisite. I know that’s an odd word to use for a house, but this house has such appeal for me. It has hardwood floors, wood paneling that offsets the lighter shades of furniture, a quaint little stairway, a cozy window seat (really more of a window bed) with a bookshelf, and intricate little details that make it all at once cute, spacious, light, respectable, and perfect for any family.
There are two master bedrooms downstairs with King-sized beds, private bathrooms, and all of the privacy you could want. So you could bring your best friends and easily have enough space. Plus, there is an outdoor shower for after swimming in the ocean, cable tv, a DVD player, high speed internet, a washer/dryer unit, and, most importantly, a kitchen to drool over.
The kitchen has granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, a small island for prepping dinner, and all of the equipment you’ll need to make a great meal. All it’s missing is some food, which local markets can easily provide. And speaking of local markets, now we’re getting into the heart of this post: walking distance.
This town house is walking distance from town. That means you’ll be walking distance from a great beach, yes. But it also means that you will be walking distance from several stores, a farmer’s market, and a bunch of wonderful restaurants that serve great food all year round! In other words, you will not only have a great kitchen for cooking your own gourmet meals, but you can also go out to eat at a number of gourmet restaurants without having to rent a car!
So, if you like food the way that I do (or if you just like being incredibly close to a beach and a great shopping center), then choose Hale Ylang Ylang for your next vacation rental here on Kauai. You will absolutely love it!