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I know, I know spring has just arrived. March 21st. First day of Spring. Summer is on my mind though! With Kauai’s island temperatures, I might as well just say summer is here. Am I allowed to do that? Can I unofficially say it is summer?
Whether you agree with me or not, summertime is coming, unless you are me and think it is pretty much already here. Maybe summertime to you and your family more so means the time off from school for the kids. When they are out for the summer, it can be easier to think of the summer in that fashion. Ok, so when the kids are from class, you are wanting to take a summer vacation, am I right or am I right? A family vacation to Kauai is just what you and your family needs to ease on into summer, to relax, and have some time away from the norms of home.
Kauai is just what you need to get your Hawaii fix! The Garden Island as it is called, has the right mix of rural meets city meets island time. Have you heard of the tree tunnel? It is considered the gateway to Poipu. It is one of the nicest rides in my opinion. People love riding this way, and it is quite a picturesque view as well. I encourage you to Google it.
When you are on Kauai, everything seems to be just right. The roadways, the ease of time, the people and community here, the food, oh and I could go on and on and on…
If you are considering coming to Kauai, check out the Kauai Visitors Bureau. Here is the link to their webpage http://www.gohawaii.com/en/kauai/#/kauai/landing.
Have you heard? National Geographic Wild will air its new series, Aloha Vet. Want to know more? Veterinarian Scott Sims is the Aloha Vet who travels to meet the animals where they are at, to help those in need. Nicknamed the “ barefoot vet ” Dr. Sims, he even flies his own plane, or animal ambulance, to reach some of the animal patients he attends to. How cool is that?!
Watch the sneak peak preview here, at this link: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/videos/meet-the-barefoot-vet/
He tends to animals both domestic and wild. He seems to really have a heart and a passion to help all animals in need. I will definitely check out this new show and see how it goes! Share your thoughts in the comments below. I am curious what others think about Dr. Sims, the Aloha Vet.
Aloha Vet has its premiere on Saturday, March 21st in the evening. Will you be tuning in?
Yes, happy 40th Birthday to the Hokule’a, the famous canoe of Hawaii! Not too sure what I am talking about? Check out this article that showed up in my newsfeed today; it’s from National Geographic.
Hokule’a is a canoe that has become famous for its voyage across the Pacific Ocean, reviving the Hawaiian culture, language, way of life, etc. Just stop for a minute and think about a canoe across an ocean. Yes, an ocean! Mau Piaiulg declared himself likely the last person on Earth able to accomplish such a voyage. March 8th, 1975 was the start of Hokule’a’s voyage on O’ahu, then traveling on 6 major trips over the next 25 years. It traveled all across what is known as the Polynesian triangle. This marvelous vessel currently rests in New Zealand where she is getting some TLC on the dry dock.
Oh, and if you were wondering, Hokule’a means, “Star of Gladness” in Hawaiian. Over the years this vessel has united communities, and brought both a hobby and a joy to many. It has been fun for me to follow through the years I have been alive! Back as far as I can remember I have heard of Hokule’a and her travels. I love living pieces of art and history like this one.
With this being the 40 year anniversary, the PVS, Polynesian Voyaging Society, has festivities going all year long in 2015. Look them up and see if they will be doing anything in your area, or while you are visiting on Kauai. I will keep you posted too, if I hear of anything.
So you all know how I like to root for the home team. Yes, I root for all thing Hawaii! I came across another USA TODAY 10Best online voting things, and Kauai is on the list. I immediately knew I need to blog on this and share the news….
Let me back step just a bit… If you have ever been to Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai, you must know that you have got to vote for this spot as the Best U.S. National Wildlife Refuge systems. Yes, that is the name of this Readers’ Choice vote for the month of March: Vote for your Favorite National Wildlife Refuge here, at this link: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-national-wildlife-refuge/
Just to be fair, I will say that there is the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge that are both Hawaii options to vote for. I’m excited that both Hawaiian Wildlife Refuge systems made the list! It is an honor that USA TODAY’s wildlife expert panel nominated these two Hawaiian locations to be nominees to then be voted on. In other words, they made the first cut when it comes to totally awesome wildlife refuge systems.
My other thoughts on the matter are simple: I am thankful that there are National Wildlife Refuge systems across the United States. I am glad that so many animals have a safe place where they can just be, and keep on doing what they are doing. So many species of animals are able to live in peace across over 150 million acres of water and land habitats. I was smiling to learn that each state has at least one to call their own. This makes my heart happy.
Ooo this looks like a good one!
Do you know what kapa is? I’m sure you’ve seen it before but you may not know what it is. Perhaps I have sparked your curiosity though, eh?
Airing tonight on PBS Hawaii is Hawaiian Masterpieces: Ka Hana Kapa. Airing at 9pm HST. The preview is the link above in this post, and I wonder if you can view the whole thing online, perhaps once it has already aired. I think that is how it works. Watch the couple minute preview to get a dose of kapa education, and if you’d like, tune in later to see the full episode.
In other news, have a happy Thursday. Here a gorgeous plant I took a picture of the other day. I’d say Happy Aloha Friday, but it’s a wee bit premature!
I stumbled upon this website I am about to share with you. It is all about Kauai’s roads, drive times, distances to and from major cities, and more. I read through it and found it to be truthful, and well, helpful! That is why I am gladly sharing it with you, the readers of my blog.
New to Kauai? Planning your first trip, or your annual trip? You may be wondering about what it is like being on an island. Yes, there are cars, roadways, and everything else you would expect when it comes to roadways. You can rent a car while you are here, you can use a taxi service, or the Kauai bus as a mode of transportation. Even bike riding is an efficient way to get around in a local community if you are not planning on going far.
Ok, so for the site, follow this link here and see some estimated drive times to and from places. They also have a highway cheat sheet of highway numbers corresponding o the nicknames they have been given. If you are not familiar with Hawaiian, the numbers may suit you just fine, and folks will know the highways you are talking about as well.
Remember Kauai has some wonderfully rugged parts as well, so you cannot take a fully circular coastal tour. The Na Pali coast makes this not possible. The North Shore is where I suggest going for a mix of everything including the views, scenery and beaches.
Hawaii is a state that enforces the use of hands free devices while driving. Also noteworthy, is that children under the age of eight years old or eighty pounds must be in a car seat or booster seat. These are pretty much standard national laws as far as I know.
You might be surprised how many times I get asked questions about Kauai. This is what leads me to blog today. Here come some Kauai FAQ’s round number 2…
Q: Where is a good place to eat?
Depending on where I am when I get asked this question, I immediately stop and look around and point to the nearest eatery that I have eaten at before. Everywhere I have eaten is good eats. You might think I’m joking, but really, it’s hard to go wrong here. I usually ask the person what type of cuisine they like, or what type of dining experience they are looking for (formal, casual, quick). My advice: no worries in asking, but just try an eatery and see for yourself!
Q: Is it safe to go in the ocean?
The ocean is safe to go in and swim in, yes, but there are times when it would be an unwise choice. Always obey lifeguards, postings regarding tides and sea life, as well as warning flags. Sometimes it is not a good time to go into the water. Most other times it is completely fine. Be smart, use common sense, and be respectful to others and the environment around you. That’s the advice I like to give.
Q: Do people on Kauai speak English?
I get this question more so over the internet and my blog than I do live and in person. The answer is yes, I’d say most people on Kauai speak English. Furthermore, there are also those on Kauai who speak Hawaiian, Japanese and Mandarin. Just like anywhere else a world traveler would go these days though, you are bound to come across someone knowing a foreign language.
And there you have it, some more FAQ that I get, answered for you! You’re welcome
For those of you regulars who follow my blog, I’d like to take a moment to update you on something near and dear to my heart: the Kauai Humane Society. They have hit it big (news-wise) by landing in a post by the Huffington Post. See the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/19/app-to-take-a-shelter-dog-for-a-walk_n_6712652.html
For those of you who are relatively new to my blog, let me fill you in real quick. Awhile ago I wrote about an article, inspired by the Kauai Humane Society (KHS) that offers a way for visitors, residents, anyone really to be able to stop by the shelter and take a dog for a walk. They can talk the dog for a walk, take the dog with them out for a few hours, or they can opt to take the dog on a mini-vacation for a few days or so. How neat is that? Well, these dogs are of course up for adoption as well. They are shelter dogs, and they are lovable!
So this one story, of a KHS adoption of a dog, named Big Z, hit social media like wildfire! His story was mentioned in the Huffington Post article. What the big ground breaking news now, is that his owners have created an app for that! An app for what? An app that lists shelter dogs nearest you that are available to take a walk. The app is called “Walkzee” which is a cute little combination of walk and Z, as in their dog Big Z. Cute tribute name I think!
Ok, now before you go to look and download the app, let me tell you that this app will not hit your app store until June of this year. It is coming though, and maybe just in time for your summer vacation to Kauai.
Kauai has a lot to brag about. Let me do some of the bragging!
In Kilauea there is a soap and candle shop that makes their products here on Kauai with solar power. How neat is that? They are the Island Soap & Candle Works Company who make high quality soaps, candles and other goodies. Yes I love that they produce and use solar powered energy, and I also love that these good folks are part of the Kauai Made organization that supports and promotes merchants that manufacture, produce, and sell Kauai-made products. That’s what led me to toot their own horn for them…
Here is their website (http://www.islandsoap.com/) that you can order from, if you will not be able to come and visit the shop live and in person in Kilauea, Kauai. They use natural palm oil in most of their products. To go into more detail, I suggest checking out their website. Keep in mind that they offer handmade soaps, skin care products, massage oils, bath products, lip balms, candles, and they have gift basket collections and items paired together as well.
If you are looking for a unique gift, go ahead and try their products out! I have always been a fan of all natural, so they have me sold on this. I have heard nothing but great reviews of this place as well, so that was part of my inspiration to blog about ‘em.
When you come to Kauai, the beach is most likely one of the places you’d like to visit. And maybe not just one beach or any beach, but multiple beaches. If I were in a visitor’s shoes and not living on Kauai, I would want to visit more than one, well more than two beaches during my stay. Kauai’s beaches are gorgeous! Some are great for swimming, others snorkeling or surfing. Some are ideal for a walk along the shore. There is quite a variety of beaches to meet the fancy of what you are looking for.
With that in mind, I’d like to take a moment to talk about reefs… coral reefs to be exact. Coral reefs are living things. They are alive! If you go to a beach with the intent to snorkel, please respect the reef. Kicking, touching, stepping on it can cause damage to the corals.
Another reminder, is that fish do not need feeding. I know this can be a common misconception that it is fun to feed the fish, but really the ocean provides what the fish need. Feeding them people food can cause disruptive behavior in fishes and is all around undesirable. Marine life whether fish or coral underwater (or other living creatures for that matter) as well as marine life along the shore like turtles and monk seals should be respected and left alone. Do not approach these animals and always respect their habitat.
Oh the month of February. Romance is in the air! Yes, the month of St. Valentine’s Day is upon us, and we cannot help but get into the loving spirit this month. Any romantic plans on the books already? Maybe a walk along the beach, dinner out, a movie night or something else? I think I will be ordering in a pizza and have a nice evening in.
I thought I would share with you all something I found in my social media outlets. I came across USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice to vote for the “Best Romantic Port of Call” for this year. You better believe Kauai mad the list! There are about 20 different ports to choose from, but oh trust me Kauai is on this list and we are in it to win it! As a side note, there are no type-in votes available. To me that means that this list is pretty well rounded out by the experts, who must have given this list a few good look-overs before finalizing the top 20.
Here is the link to follow to cast your vote: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-romantic-port-of-call/
Voting closes Monday, February 16th so you can vote after you visit Kauai for your Valentine’s getaway if need be
I’ve been blogging a lot about a budget lately, so I was excited to share this FREE upcoming event! It is called Project Learning Tree (PLT). You may have heard about it. It is an educator workshop that will be held at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens Headquarters, at 3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, Kauai. It is next Saturday, January 31st from 9am to 3:30pm.
I did say it is free, but the event notice I saw had an asterisk, noting that there is a hold fee upon registration. Upon arrival for the workshop, that hold fee will then be returned to you. This is just to ensure attendance and hold your spot in a way. If you are on the fence about if you can make it or not, I would be sure to either clear your schedule and make it happen, or otherwise leave the registration open for another person and skip this event altogether.
So, this is an adult workshop, thus the tag line “Educator Workshop.” You will receive snacks and coffee, as well as a PLT curriculum guide for school grades K-8. There is additional information in the packet including posters and grant opportunities! This is such a great resource for educators…
Participants will be able to access the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. They will get to immerse themselves in this environment. The ability to interact and share ideas talking about PLT is one of a kind. To do it on Kauai, Hawaii is all the more fun and enjoyable. What an experience to be able to remember, treasure, and learn from.
If you are interested to register, or want to know more information (more than what I have shared) here is the link to follow: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dofaw/education/plt/.
The Hawaiian Islands have a lot to offer. Sometimes it can be difficult to choose which island or islands you’d like to visit. Well I am a problem solver! Let me introduce you to Island Air. Here is the link: https://www.islandair.com/
This is a Hawaiian-Island-only airline that hops between islands. It travels to and from: –Lihue, Kauai –Lanai City, Lanai –Kahului, Maui –Honolulu, Oahu
Like with any other flight, they are a full-service airline. Baggage, special assistance, infants on board, travel with pets, unaccompanied minors, the whole deal… they do it all.
I can understand that if you are traveling to Hawaii that you may want to see more than just one island. Kauai MUST be on that list by the way! It comes highly recommended by yours truly. So once you have made it this far to Hawaii, I can understand wanting to travel to one or two or all of the islands. The four listed above are the major, most populated ones.
So maybe you want to visit Hawaii but you do not know where to start. Where do you begin when it comes to a place that you have heard to many marvelous things about? It can even seem a bit overwhelming at first. For those of you who are planners, here is site, supposedly Kauai’s Official Travel Site at http://www.gohawaii.com/en/kauai/. I poked around on it and it was accurate enough and easy to navigate. The pictures… oh the pictures are what always get me. Love ‘em!
Anyway, if you are thinking about, entertaining the thought, or simply wishing to visit Hawaii one day sooner or later, take a gander at this website. They refer to Kauai as “Hawaii’s Island of Discovery” and I like that. I know it as “The Garden Island” but Hawaii’s Island of Discovery is suiting as well. I like it. On this site they provide links to other places, so you can find out about topics that interest you.
It is neat how this site approaches things… for example you can search by guidebooks, regions, experiences, or you can plan a trip. I went ahead and clicked on experiences because that peaked my curiosity the most. There was quite a list to choose from, and I thought it was so neat. Do you want a romantic experience? Perhaps a wedding or a honeymoon experience? There are ecotourism, adventures, and family experiences to choose from. Very neat stuff and I like the categories of how they break-down Kauai into experiences you can make into a reality. Again, my inner-planner found it nice to think of Kauai like this, where I could plan out the experience I desire. Hmmm I wonder if I should learn more about these links and have one of these “experiences” for myself! Ha! I’m entertaining the thought
I will just come on out and say it. I am an animal lover. I have loved animals since as far back as I can remember. There was never a time when I would not be excited to see or to care for an animal. Over the course of my life I like to help out when and where I can.
That being said, I absolutely must share this YouTube video that came across my path. I want to share this to help spread the word about what people can do to help pet populations. Here is the link the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzNOXKvaOTQ
If you are unable to view the short clip for whatever reason, allow me to explain in text. The Kauai Humane Society has a Pet Transfer Program linked with Alaska Airlines. The basic idea is that puppies, kittens, dogs and cats that are living on Kauai who are not adopted out are able to fly to shelters that have high adoption rates on the mainland. Very cool, right?!
So why it is important to spread the word, is that the Kauai Humane Society is looking for volunteers to escort the animal during the flight. When it is time to check-in for your flight, a volunteer will meet you with the dog or cat. Then on the other receiving side of your flight, a volunteer will meet you there to pick up the pet. Escorts are what they are looking for and needing! Oh, and for those flying Alaska Airlines this is pre-arranged and they have successfully completed these trips before.
There are high adoption rated shelters across the United States, but for purposes of the Pet Transfer Program on Kauai, they are seeking escorts who are flying into one of the following airports: Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington. If you are on a non-stop flight to the mainland, give the Kauai Humane Society a call and see if you can help! Here is their phone number for more info: 808-632-0610.
My mom always taught me that it never hurts to ask. I’d go ahead and ask on this one if you have a non-stop Alaska Airlines flight leaving Kauai going to your final destination.
New year. New beginnings. Fresh starts. I love the feeling of a new year. It make me feel like I just got a haircut, or just got the house cleaned or something. Is it just me or does a new year somehow feel refreshing?
I saw this post today in my news feed on Facebook, and it reminded me yet again of that new beginnings feeling. Check out the photo by Mike Williams. It was taken today at the Kilauea Point Natural History Association. The lighthouse in the back ground is Kilauea Point. It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Of course the whale in the photo is just minding his or her own business in the water, but regardless I like the whale and the lighthouse in the backdrop.
To learn more about Kilauea Point, visit their website at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/kilauea_point/. There is an easy to navigate section for visitors, seasonal wildlife, an about page and more. The whale photo–I know I keep going back to it–but it sure is a majestic image to behold. It is not every day you get to see a whale do that. Of course it is more common to see that off of Kauai’s north shore coast than other places I suppose!
Hope you and yours had a happy new year! And may this year be a happy year indeed.
Did you hear the one about “The Biggest Loser?” The episodes are airing now of the weight loss contestants competing and training on The Garden Island. They call it “Kauai, Biggest Loser Style.”
If you have not seen or heard of the popular television show, that is okay. It is a weight loss show where people’s lifestyles are turned upside-down and they are taught new healthy habits of both exercise and diet. The contestants train all week long, and then once a week they weigh-in to measure progress. What makes it a game is that the person who is not performing the best in term of percentage of body weight loss, they get eliminated each week. The last person at the end of it all who has lost the most total percentage of weight is deemed the biggest loser. They win cash prizes too I think, so that is the extra incentive to win, next to getting fit and healthy.
If you want to see what I am talking about, NBC airs the show and you can see the first Kauai episode at this link: http://www.nbc.com/the-biggest-loser/episode-guide/season-16/kauai-part-1/1613
Note it says it’s available for viewing until the end of February 2015.
So what I am excited about is that the show has come to Kauai to film and have their contestants train on the white sandy beaches and everything. The video footage is breathtaking. You’ll get to see the terrain of Kauai like you may have never seen it before. The views and the footage they got is pretty amazing. I’m just not used to seeing the island from the views the producers and videographers have captured!
Oh–and what the contestants do is all pretty amazing. They get to stay two weeks on Kauai, and I read that they are on the beach working out, kayaking, and facing some inner emotions rope swinging and rappelling down a waterfall. Very fun stuff and I will be tuning in to see how everything goes…
This lovely announcement popped up in my facebook news feed and I wanted to share it with you all! At the Healthy Hut Market & Cafe in Kilauea, HI they are having samples, giveaways and demos as a way of customer appreciation TODAY from 11am to 4pm. This is for today, Thursday December 18th only.
If this is the first time hear of the place, then trust me, this is the absolutely perfect time to come and try it all out. If you have been going here for forever, you know this too is the perfect time to come out and join in the fun. It is a juice bar meets a health market. Healthy Hut Market & Cafe has fresh, organic foods to indulge in. And trust me, oh I indulge!
It’s located at 4480 Ho’okui Road, Kilauea, HI. Here is the Healthy Hut Market & Cafe yelp page too, if you want to get some more feedback from others who have visited there. (Four out of five stars is pretty good!) They have been in business for over two years now, and I foresee them having many more to come. The kind people there are doing a great job, and they are providing me something I am a bit passionate about: health food.
By health food I do not mean diet foods or low cal this or that. I mean they have real, wholesome and fresh food that nourishes your body. They are a store that sells natural products and they promote local farmers markets. Do not even get me started on the GMO food topics either… these folks understand what foods are actually good for you. I need more Healthy Hut’s in my life.
I just came across this article by the Huffington Post. It is not super recent, but I found it entertaining, so I thought I could blog about it and entertain the rest of you with it. It is informational and educational after all!
It’s called: “27 Words To Learn Before You Visit Hawaii”
Feel free to follow the link above for the full article. As for now, I’d like to highlight some of my favorite words. They are my favorites off the list for a variety of reasons. Some I just like. Some are commonly misunderstood by travelers and I’d like to shed some light on them. Some words are just interesting, and some are important to know. Ok, enough of the jib-jab, let’s talk….
Mahalo. It means thank you. You will see this a lot of places, even on trash bins. It’s in context as in “thank you” for not littering.
Aloha. This is very common. It is a greeting of good intentions, feelings, and welcoming saying.
Ohana. Yes, as the Disney Lilo & Stich movie interprets it, “ohana” does mean family. Please know that ohana can mean more than family, like the relationship beyond blood, like close friends and loved ones.
Ono. Delicious, tasty, good food. When food is ono, it is very good. When you see this word near food terms, it is a good thing.
Da kine. Have you heard of a whatchamacallit? A widget? It’s like another word for thing or item.
Have a looksie at the other words on the list. Too bad the comments got closed on that article, I was going through it and enjoying the comments listed of words that were left out and other comments. Let me know in the comments below… I won’t close them.
I have some great news for Kauai residents and visitors alike. The North Shore Shuttle service has launched earlier this month, and this is such welcoming news.
For residents, this is a shuttle/van system that can conveniently take you places where you want to go. For visitors, this may be even better news! When I travel somewhere new, I don’t know the land, the roads, even a general sense of direction for me is completely gone. My family jokes about this with me, and I have come to laugh along too. So if it were me coming to Kauai, I would be so very thankful for someone else to shuttle me around!
The shuttle service runs on the North Shore, and moves about between Princeville, Hanalei, Wainiha, Haena, and Kee. Fares for visitors are just $2 each way, and residents are charged $1. This is very reasonable… I like it for it is paid transportation and navigation all in one! Experience Kauai is the name of the shuttle service. There are two shuttles and one runs from 6am to 6pm and the other, from 9am to 9pm.
To see the full tours and shuttles schedule, check out their main website at http://kauaishuttles.com/tours-and-shuttles/. You can better see where the shuttles go to and from, as well as see their airport shuttle service. They offer 14 seater vans for most of the commuting, not a bus. They so on-call shuttle service, as well as plan-ahead appointments. I personally vote for the latter, as I am such a planner. This will likely ensure reduced fees instead of doing a last minute call for a higher price if you know what I mean…