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Thanksgiving. Is. Coming.
It is the middle to end of November. It’s all downhill from here…
Where will you be this Thanksgiving? Let me share with you one option that might fit your fancy on Kauai. At the Bhakti Yoga Shack at 5:30pm is a vegan Thanksgiving celebration. Not everyone eats meat, and so this is very accommodating for those who would like to partake in a Thanksgiving meal without any animal products (and is therefore vegan).
Contact Radha at 808-551-6610 for more information. Let me tell you more about what I know though… This is a potluck-style Thanksgiving. In other words, bring a vegan dish to share with others as they will bring a dish to share with you as well. The evening starts with a meditation circle with live music, then the Thanksgiving dinner will be shared among friends. This is a family-friendly event, and everyone is welcome. What better way to spend Thanksgiving than with a group of people who are welcoming and friendly? That is something I love about Thanksgiving.
No matter where or when or how or with whom you are partaking in Thanksgiving with this season, I wish you a very happy and thankful Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 9th from 9am to noon is a volunteer opportunity too good to pass up. I think so at least. It is the first of 4 volunteer days to help set up an educational farm and sustainable agriculture research center that will be made available to the community. It is a part of the Kauai School Garden Network that teaches hands-on, kinesthetic learning to school-aged children.
There are three locations to volunteer at:
~ Kilauea at Malama Kauai Community Farm
~ Wai Koa Plantation
~ Kalihiwai Ridge
The more the merrier! It is a free event, child-friendly too. Come one come all to get your hands dirty, make a difference, and more than likely make a new friend in the process. Residents and visitors alike are welcome to come. If you have a green-thumb, great! Come! If you do not, that is okay too. You are not responsible for keeping a plant alive, but rather just to prepare the way for plants to grow. The work and time put into this project will lead to children getting some hands-on gardening activity and education in due time. That concept alone is a glorious thing… to teach the upcoming generations about sustainable agriculture and farm education. Very cool!
These volunteer days are being organized by the community-based nonprofit organization, Malama Kauai. Find out what they are all about here: http://www.malamakauai.org/mk/
For questions pertaining to this volunteer opportunity, call 808-828-0685 and ask to speak with Megan.
So my niece the other day told me to “try new things.” That is what they were telling her at school, to eat a healthier diet I think. I agreed with her and said “yes, it can be good to try new things.” This lead to me to thinking about visitors coming to Kauai and now here I am blogging about it.
I saw the article in the newspaper and I did not have to think twice about it. Try new things, and the topic of breadfruit came up. Breadfruit? Yes, ulu. Ulu is the Hawaiian word for breadfruit, and really, yes that is the name of the fruit!
Anyway, the article I read was about a plant nursery here on Kauai and they highlighted the talk about breadfruit. See the article here if you wish: http://thegardenisland.com/lifestyles/opinion/the-ins-and-outs-of-breadfruit/article_536b27f0-51dd-11e4-a516-af10bb863938.html
Visitors to Kauai more than likely have not heard of this food. Well, it is a fruit that is very diverse and forgiving. By forgiving, I mean that it can be eaten tastefully at any stage of its development. Yes, the flavor differs, but hey, not everyone like to eat the same food varieties. In the article, there are tips on what to look for when purchasing a breadfruit, how to store it, and how to prepare it in the kitchen.
Breadfruit is notorious as well. It is energy rich with protein, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and carbohydrates. The fruit grows on trees, and the tree itself can produce hundreds of pounds of fruit each year. This fruit is a classic Hawaiian food item, and I encourage visitors to come and try it while they enjoy their stay on the island.
Ok, so the other day I shared about a family friendly fall festival on Kauai, and that started a domino or a snowball effect in my mind! I wanted to share about more Halloween happenings on Kauai. Here are my tips:
If you are staying on Kauai, as a visitor, I suggest trick-or-treating in your neighborhood. If you are staying at a resort or a hotel or something of that nature, you will be in like-company. What I am trying to say, is that trick-or-treating there will be unfruitful. Your kids will likely be disappointed. What I suggest is staying at a vacation rental and trick-or-treating in that more traditional neighborhood. That will ensure your kids are happy; on Halloween night that is part of the whole goal!
There are other community events going on. Depending on your preferences–and likely you children’s ages–there are events going on all over Kauai. From haunted houses to harvest festivals, there is something for everyone. You just have to be on the lookout for an event near you. If you want to have a night in, easy! Just pick up some candy from the store, leave your porch or front light on, and plan for trick-or-treaters to stop on by.
Happy Halloween from me to you and yours!
Fall is in the air, and I just heard of a local fall festival going on this Friday and Saturday. It’s the 14th Annual Kauai Christian Academy’s Fall Festival hosted at their campus at 4000 Lighthouse Road, Kilaueua. If you thought it, you guessed right–the school is located on the side, on the way to the Kilauea Lighthouse. If you have not been there, I encourage you to check it out and in the daylight
For little ones, this will be something special. I have family who have gone to this in years past and they have enjoyed it. There are plenty of activities:
…and Kettle Corn and Shave Ice, of course! There will also be a silent auction to benefit the school.
Halloween is just around the corner at this point, and it can be fun to extend the holiday out to the surrounding weekends. Why not, after all? This event I know is a family friendly, carnival themed atmosphere for families to dress up, come out and have a good time. On both days, the 24th and the 25th activities start at 4pm and go til 9pm.
It’s coming, so I’m blogging about it now! Coming up October 4th and 5th is the 18th Annual Coconut Festival. This festival is about all things coconut. From games to entertainment, to games and cooking demonstrations, this is the place to be that weekend! Events and activities start at 9am on Saturday, and then 10am on Sunday. It is at Kapaa Beach Park, which is next to the library.
This is an affordable family friendly event (in my opinion). Kids ages 12 and under are free, and all others it’s just $5. It is an outdoor event, so plan accordingly with sunscreen and things as you wish.
I have been to this annual event in the past, and I remember nonstop live music, hula dancers, and other live entertainment that is all family friendly. There was also a petting zoo for kids and inflatable bounce houses/obstacle course bouncers. Oh, and it’s called the coconut festival, right? There are all things coconut everywhere, too! Have you tried coconut ice cream? I highly recommend it. What about coconut pie? There’s a pie eating contest for that
There really is something there for everyone. From food to fun to history, I’m confident you will walk away from this festival knowing something that you didn’t know before. It’s part of being a lifelong learner. And I like that.
For more info on this event, check out the KBA, which is the Kapaa Business Association who is sponsoring this event. Here’s their website: http://www.kbakauai.org/Pages/coconut-festival.html
Speaking of restaurants (can you tell food is on my mind?) I thought I would share about one of my favorite and inexpensive restaurants on Kauai. I am all about good food, but I also keep to my personal budget. I can imagine for travelers that sticking to a budget might be part of the vacation plan. So let me present to you one of my favorites that is good for the wallet and good for the belly
Bubba’s can be found all over Kauai, but I frequent the ones on Kauai’s North Shore. This is not your ordinary burger place… they offer fresh, grass-fed Kauai beef burgers on their menu! See Bubba’s menu here for the serious inquirer. Let your eyes find their way to the milkshakes on the menu as well, and you will not be disappointed with their real ice cream.
This is a great place, really. Location, price, quality of the food… yes, yes and yes again! They have been in business since 1936 and are good at what they do. Bubba’s saying is “Always juicy, never greasy.” I sure like it that way. They are very a very family friendly place, and the atmosphere is just right in my opinion. Check them out in Hanalei
I’d like to give a shout-out to the restaurants on Kauai’s north shore who have gone Styrofoam (polystyrene foam) free:
Kilauea Fish Market
Build A Burger
Aloha Juice Bar
Shave Ice Paradise
Na Pali Art Gallery and Coffee
…and the list keeps growing! Feel free to comment on this post to share with everyone the other restaurants that have gone polystyrene foam free. It is a step in the renewable or reusable resources direction.
Staying on Kauai’s north shore is luxurious and beautiful. I also like it so much because of the community events and things to do. This Saturday is the Kilauea Art Night! It came up in my news feed on facebook, and I have linked that page to the phrase above.
Perhaps you do not have a facebook account. No big deal. Let me tell you more…
This event in Kilauea on Kauai is an art night with vendors, live music, tasty treats to eat and delicious drinks to drink. Have you ever had coconut ice cream? Mango? I simply cannot resist…
Anyway, it is Saturday, August 30th from 4 to 8pm. It is located at 4270 Kilauea Rd Stone Building, Kilauea, Hawaii. Some people call it art night, others refer to it as an art walk. Basically, there are monthly art walk nights on some Saturdays in the summer. This Saturday is one of them! It is a great reason to get out on the town, enjoy the weather, the community, and some great art originals. The times I have been, I always see people I know. It is a great atmosphere for both kids and adults alike.
Ok, I know I just shared the other day about the acai bowl, and it lead me to thinking about other favorites I have on Hawaii. Have you ever had the pleasure of drinking POG? It is a n acronym for Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava. It is a delicious mixture of juice and fruit puree into a tasty drink. I looked up POG and educated myself a little bit more about the product. (Click on POG nutritional facts for more detailed product information.) It is a Meadow Gold product and it can be found for sale on the Hawaiian Islands. I believe you could find it for sale online, but it may be tricky to find. I recommend buying some POG while you are staying in Kauai. Go to your local grocery, and look for it and try it! I’ve heard the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” And I am going to borrow that wording and apply it to Hawaii. When in Hawaii, do as the Hawaiians do. On that note, try POG!
I know it may seem silly to blog about POG, but really, it is one thing in my life that has good memories attached to it. I grew up with the drink, love it to this day, and cannot imagine some breakfast meals without it. It is like a family tradition, if you will, to have it in the house. If you are wanting the full experience of Hawaii, come on out, stay awhile at a vacation home on Kauai, and stock up on groceries for your stay. When you do go shopping, be sure to pick up a jug or a can of POG. It will be one of those nice little details that makes your trip a beautiful immersion experience.
On this beautiful Sunday morning, I’d like to share a little bit about breakfast. I have always liked breakfast foods since I was little. I really like it when we have breakfast for dinner. Have you ever done that? Well, I thought it would be fun to tell you about one of my favorite breakfast meals: acai bowls.
What is an acai bowl, you may ask? It is a tasty all in one kind of meal that is craveable at any time of the day, really. I have an acai bowl for dinner some nights. The acai bowl uses acai berries which are mashed up and purred into the consistency of a thick smoothie. You can add milk and other thinners if you’d like. Then on top goes, well, whatever you’d like! I have topped my acai bowl with granola, berries, nuts, coconut, and other fruits I have in the house. Fruit and granola seem to be the most popular on acai bowls at restaurants I have noticed.
I have learned how to make an acai bowl over the years. For newbies, I suggest going to a juice or smoothie bar and having them serve one up for you. Try it! If you like it, begin to make one at home for yourself. The technique and process will take time to get a hang of, but I know that in time you will improve (I did)!
If you are looking to try an acai bowl on Kauai, look up a nearby Jamba Juice–they have ‘em. If you nearby Kapaa, checkout the all organic “The Coconut Cup Juice Bar & Café” for one. Then, if you have tried one, like it, or are willing to give another try at home, look up some recipes online. Here is a beginner acai recipe that I have used and altered to my liking over the years. I feel like an artist when I put together an acai bowl for myself. There is an art to acai I have found.
Usually I am on my game and can share about some fun and interesting things to do on Kauai, but this one is last minute! I have just the thing for folks to do on Kauai’s north shore for tomorrow night, Saturday, June 21st. At Tahiti Nui, a great eatery, there will be a live performance by Guadi! They are calling it a Summer Solstice Show. After all, it is the first day of summer tomorrow.
Tahiti Nui is in Hanalei, located at 5-5134 Kuhio Highway. This public concert begins in the evening (9pm), and I suggest getting there sooner rather than later. Get something tasty to eat at Tahiti Nui like their baby back ribs, or their Garden Isle salad. They are also a cocktail lounge, so if that is something you would like to purchase, for those age 21 and up go right on ahead. Also on the menu are beer and wine.
If you are in the area, I think this would be a great thing to go to, for you night owls. If you are not in the area, it is worth your time to come on up and check out Guadi, Tahiti Nui, and the rest of Kauai’s north shore. Here in Hanalei with the bay and everything, it is not a place you should pass on through. Come on over, stay awhile!
Hanalei Bay is a gorgeous place to come and stay… and to play and learn too! Why not learn about Kauai’s history and indulge yourself into some knowledge? The Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill and Taro Farm has a tour that is just what you were asking for when you asked for an informative, historical indulgence into Kauai’s past.
The tours are by appointment only, so follow the link to get connected and set your tour date with the good people at the Haraguchi Rice Mill (www.haraguchiricemill.org). Or you can call them at (808) 651-3399. While I’m at it and looking up their exact information, here is their address too: 5-5070 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714.
So this facility is part rice mill, part taro farm. There used to be acreage that supported rice, but that has since turned into an active taro farm. What is taro you may ask? Taro (or kalo) is a plant that produces what is called “poi.” Poi is a common staple food on Hawaii. From what I know about it, it is very nutritious, hypo-allergenic, and gentle on sensitive tummies. I know some who have used it as a milk substitute even. Ok, perhaps you know a bit more about taro now.
I do not want to give away all of the neat and interesting facts about this family owned farm, but I will tell you that you will not regret going! For the tour, dress accordingly and be prepared to get your shoes wet or maybe even muddy. This is a hands-on, interactive, and very informative tour. I was able to appreciate the Haraguchi’s dedication and work ethic to this historical place as they continue to farm this precious land.
Well, I sit here now having a quiet evening at home. It was a busy day for me on this Mother’s Day. I got to be with my mom most of the day and spend some quality family time with her. It was a relaxing day in that there were no demands on me, nor were there on her. It was a day of rejuvenation and time invested into our relationship. Now that I am an adult (and have been for some time now,) we have become good friends, my mom and me. It is neat to look back and see that shift in our relationship from parent to child, from friend to friend. Do not get me wrong, I will always be her baby girl she tells me, but it is different now that I am an adult and I am pioneering my own path in life.
First we started the day off with sleeping in. Yes, a lazy start. It was rather nice. I literally had nothing on my calendar but the number 11 on the page and the tiny printed words “Mother’s Day” that came on the calendar when I bought it. My mom and I met up for lunch at The Hanalei Gourmet. It was just the right mix of formal meets affordable for me. Yes, I bought her meal! Then we went to Relish (also in Hanalei) to get a mani-pedi. I am glad I booked us an appointment when I did. After that we headed for the beach. We went for a stroll along the beach and joined up with my dad and some other family friends. It was so natural, so easy today. I like it when I have nothing on the calendar and still things seem to go just as planned. That is what made me want to blog about today. It was just so carefree, simple, and yet so perfect. I wish now I had more vacation time so I could have more days like today. Days with family and friends. I cherish days like this.
Happy Mother’s Day!
I know I have been on a foodie fix lately, as far as posts go. What can I say? We all need to eat, and so the conversation continues on. Dining out is fun. It is necessary a bit, too. There are times though, that it might be preferable to eat at home or to pack a lunch.
There is nothing wrong with eating out, it is just that homemade food can sound more appealing at times. I wanted to blog about this, for those who are staying on Kauai and visiting here as well. When you just want to have a night in, to eat at home, to prepare a meal from ingredients you purchased at a grocery store, then this is the blog to read.
Here is my tip on grocery shopping while on Kauai, for those who want to save money on their food budget. Here it is: shop at Costco. I know, I know it may not sound all that glamorous, but I have been here long enough to know where to grocery shop for bulk items.
Don’t have a membership? Perhaps now is the time to get one. There is one store on Kauai, and it’s in Lihue. For those who have been here before, they may want to stop on by the day they arrive at the airport, and then make it to their vacation rental. This way, you are prepared and can enjoy more of your time instead of doing errands and things.
Costco prices are great, and they have organic options as well, which I like. If you have a large family, a large group, or kids with you while you are staying on Kauai, I highly recommend doing a large chunk of your shopping at Costco.
Now that you will have a stocked pantry and refrigerator, you will be able to leisurely wake up at your vacation rental, make breakfast for your family, and not be rushed to the start of your day. When I go on vacation, I know I like to take my time and be in my pajamas in the morning. I like to eat out, yes! But I also like to stay within my budget and walk up to a refrigerator and grab a bite to eat.
Ok, ok, so I know that I posted yesterday about breakfast. Now I am posting about lunch and dinner! What can I say? Food is on my mind these days! Let me tell you about Tikiiniki in Princeville. They are a Tiki hut kind of place, with cocktails and island fresh cuisine.
On their lunch menu, they have salads, burgers, and wraps. Prices of these range from 8 dollars to 14. Do not let 14 dollars frighten you though, that is for the Grilled Fish Burger and Fries. Did I say fresh? Ask what the daily catch is, and that is the kind of fish that will be your burger. I love love love fresh cuisine.
Now for dinner, there are many options on the menu. Don’t worry, it is no so many that the choices are overwhelming. They offer dinner salads, and entrees with different meats as the main course. There are also dietary friendly items to order, such as the Roasted Vegetables with Tofu. I, myself eat meat, but I can very well understand and respect those who do not eat meat. Again, I have seen this restaurant accommodate special dietary need customers. I have a friend who is gluten intolerant and she was able to order a tasty meal–she was satisfied!
They also have a late night menu for after 9:30pm. Speaking of late night, they have a pleasant dessert menu as well. Try the Coconut Haupia! It has a mango sorbet with a Macadamia nut shortbread cookie crust… yummy yummy.
Tikiiniki is a cocktail place, too. I know, I mentioned that a moment ago, I just did not share about their drinks yet. They have the classics, the Mai Tai, Pina Colada, and a very nice Daiquiri. New on the menu I saw was the “Zombie” and for a drink to share is the “Famous Flaming Zombie Bowl” which is to be shared between 2 or more people. I personally have not tried that… not yet at least. All in all, if you are looking to go out to eat on Kauai’s north shore in Princeville, and looking for something fresh and flavorful to eat, come to Tikiiniki. Follow the link I just added to go to their webpage for more information including their menus, map and directions on how to get there, as well as their phone number.
Looking for a place to grab a bite to eat? And a yummy one at that? I enjoy going to Hanalei Wake-up Cafe from time to time. I eat at home most of the time, but when I go out to eat, I like to make it worth my while.
Here are my basic rules to follow when I am indecisive and cannot decide what to order. In no particular order:
Am I craving anything right now? Then I’ll order that.
What do I like on the menu that I either do not know how to cook at home, or that I do not cook at home? Then I’ll order that.
Then, if it is coming down to just a few items and I still cannot decide, I will ask myself: What is the least expensive item of what I want? Then I’ll order that.
In a matter of minutes, I can then order something to please my taste buds and my tummy!
While at Hanalei Wake-up Cafe I have ordered their cinnamon roll. And yes, this is craveable at times for me. I have ordered their breakfast quesadilla–delish!
This breakfast and brunch eatery is located at 5-5144 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, Hawaii. Click here to see its location in google maps. Please note (before you go) that they are a cash only establishment. Other than that, I think you are well prepared to go and enjoy some good eats while at this place. They are on my restaurant list of places I like to eat!
Well I know Easter is coming, but this is also my birthday month! (Happy birthday to me tomorrow!) I found myself trying to be savvy online, and looking for places where I can get a free drink or a free something on my birthday. Who doesn’t like free, without compromising on quality… am I right? Anyway, since I looked up this stuff, I thought I would blog about it. Here are some freebies you can get on your birthday while on Kauai…
Starbucks. This might be common knowledge by now, but when you sign up as a gold card member (a registered Starbucks card holder) then you are in their system and are mailed a free drink car in the mail. Any hand crafted drink is yours, free! Add a shot of espresso, add another if you’d like, make it a venti, ad caramel and vanilla.. it is all up to you. There is even a story about this going too far! Read this for a laugh. I cringed first, actually.
Burger King. This only applies for a child, but hey–you gotta save money when and where you can, am I right or am I right? So when you register your child with Burger King online, you will also be prompted to enter in his or her birthday. On their birthday they will receive a free kid’s meal!
McDonald’s. I am not 100% sure, but I know that McDonald’s also does a free happy meal for kid’s on their birthday. I am just not sure if they have to be registered.
What I also witnessed, is that most places you go to eat or drink at, if you make it known that it is your birthday or your child’s birthday, folks will usually do something special. This is not guaranteed, but most restaurants will give you something. Some may ask for ID for birthday proof, and some may not. What I do know, is that it is kind to include the price of the dessert (or the free meal or whatever birthday freebie you got) to include that price in your tipping amount. It is always kind when someone brings you something special on your big day. I know I like it!
As loyal readers to my blog know, I love fresh food. I love locally grown food. If it is organic then you know I am all in! I found out about this awesome dairy farm when I was at the Hanalei farmer’s market one Saturday awhile back. The Kauai Kunana Dairy Farm in Kilauea on Kauai’s north shore is my dream come true!
This goat dairy farm makes all kinds of products for the home, as well as food products …and they grow fresh produce. I just found out that they are starting a membership where once a week members (and seasonal members) can come pickup their box of fresh produce as well as the option to get a few other home goods such as milk, cheese, honey, eggs, baked goods, lotions and soaps made from goat’s milk, etc. The good folks at this dairy are kind and in business to sell what they have grown and created.
For those who are just passing through on Kauai, like staying at a rental on the north shore, this is a great place to go on your first day here. Stock up with fresh produce and things for your vacation home’s kitchen. They also have tours! So go get your food here and get a tour that is family friendly and interactive. It was nice to see some kids outside feeding the goats for fun. The samplings will ensure you buy their delicious goodies. They had me at hello!
The folks at Kauai Kunana Diary are very earth-friendly in their practices on the farm. They have won awards and are leading the way in green and sustainable practices. I love supporting them and all they do. Now that I have done the tour, I can appreciate their business even more. I look forward to seeing them at the farmer’s market and I plan to go to Kilauea to visit or to take friends on the tour.
They are located at 4552 Kapuna Road, Kilauea, HI 96754. They do not have regular business hours, but feel free to send them an email at email@example.com. That is what I have done. That or I call ahead for a special order: 808-651-5046 and ask for Ryan.
If you live on Kauai then you know exactly what I am talking about when I say “shave ice” …for those of you who are going to be coming to Kauai soon or are here visiting, let me tell you now: please treat yourself to some shave ice…
Shave ice is beautifully shaved ice that I like to describe as “fluffy, soft, smooth and fine.” This is not a snow cone or a slushy or anything like that. It is so significantly better that it really does not compare to those. Shave ice is delicious and it comes in a wide variety of flavors. Syrups are added to give the shave ice its flavor.
There is also the option to get ice cream with your shave ice. I recommend the ice cream. Why? Because I like ice cream. The ice cream is also your choice, so pick carefully and pair well with your syrups. When in doubt, ask the person serving you what they like and they will be sure to recommend a good combination.
Where can you get shave ice? On the north shore here, there is a place called Shave Ice Paradise. They set up shop at 5-5183 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714. Type that into your GPS or smart phone and they are open most afternoons on into the evening. I like–no wait, I love their shave ice with Macadamia nut ice cream and coconut syrup. Heaven in a cup. Look here for their other syrup flavors.
Another hot spot to go for shave ice is at Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalei. Here is their address 5-5066 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714. There are more flavors on the menu, but I say equally as good as Paradise. If one is not open, go to the other, really. When you need some shave ice in your life, you just need it. And then you’ll need seconds! That is what I always have to talk myself out of: seconds… each time I have shave ice.
There are other tasty shave ice locations on Kauai’s north shore, I just highlighted two today. I will name others in later blogs and other types of eateries as well. I just had to share about shave ice so you too can experience it–and the sooner the better.