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Waterfalls are simply breath-taking (in a good sense of the phrase) and gorgeous. I can get lost in a waterfall oh so easily. And by lost, I mean one of those awe-striking moments where you are completely absorbed by it. If awesome means “awe inspiring” then Opaekaa is awesome to its core!
Opaekaa Falls is one of the major waterfalls on Kauai that is most easily accessible for viewing. It is literally a drive, park, view kind of access. There is even parking and restrooms for visitors of the falls.
If you are on Kauai’s east side, up Kuamoo Road, you will see signs indicating the Falls are coming up. It is technically in Wailua. If you are looking for it, you will find it. If you are not looking for it, but are paying attention to the roadways, signs, and natural beauty surrounding you, you will find it. Here is what Trip Advisor has to say about the falls…
For those history buffs who are wondering the meaning of or origin of the name Opaekaa, it means “rolling shrimp.” At one point in time, the stream that flows from the falls had a lot of shrimp in it.
From the lookout you will get a grand view of these falls. If you choose to, you can walk uphill a ways and on the other side of the road you will get a nice view of the Wailua River and the valley that it rest in.
Charge your camera battery! You will not want to miss out on capturing this kind of beauty. As a rule of thumb, I suggest charging your camera and cell phone battery each night so that the next day you have plenty of life in your devices to snap some great photos.
It’s that time of year again… for the USA’s annual Miss America Pageant! I want to give a shout-out to the beautiful and brainy Miss Stephanie Steuri who is this year’s Miss Hawaii! See her video clip and I encourage you to vote for her.
Click here to see her introduction and Vote for Miss Hawaii 2014 Stephanie Steuri.
The contestants from each state have already been selected, what the voting at the link above is for, is for voting come the final round! The rules for voting are as follows “There is a limit of one (1) vote per person per contestant, regardless of method of voting. Voting closes at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, September 11, 2014.” (Miss America Organization, 2014).
The national broadcast will be live on ABC network, Sunday, September 14th, 2014 at 3pm HAST. I will probably be working at that time, and I will not be blogging then, so I thought it best to say something about it now.
I’m rooting for my home-team, right? Let’s go Stephanie Steuri, Miss Hawaii 2014! #MissAmerica #MissAmericaCompetition2014
EEK!! Ok, I may be a little late to the game, but I absolutely without a doubt had to share this video with you all. (Better late than never, right?)
Check your volume, turn it up, and get ready to make your viewing screen full screen for whatever device you are viewing this on!
This is a popular song, but I am just now seeing the music video! Without a doubt this is Kauai! There are some great shots and views of Kauai in this music video. Check it out, and sing a long if you know the song. Yep, I knew I always liked this tune!
Happy Aloha Friday, everyone! Fridays are nice, they are the end of the work week for most people. That is what makes them so pleasant and welcoming. Fridays are like the gateway to the weekend, full of fun and exciting or laid-back and easy going days. These are the days off from work that are so desirable.
Most Fridays on Kauai are days when the “aloha shirt” is welcomed. Actually, aloha shirts are commonplace most any day of the week, but Fridays I think I can count just a few more than usual. An aloha shirt is a lightweight shirt with a bright Hawaiian print on it. There are some vintage ones that are more toned-down colors, but they still have great Hawaiian prints on them. Flowers are common, others may have surf boards, turtles, or palm trees for example. For a better visual, I Google-image searched “aloha shirt” and here are the results.
Here’s a fun fact for you on this Aloha Friday… the aloha shirt became trademarked in 1937. Everywhere you go on the Islands of Hawaii you will see these fun shirts, aloha shirts. If you do not have an aloha shirt (yet), you can be sure to find one when you visit Kauai.
Here is a darling place I wanted to blog about and share with the world, the Banana Patch Studio at Kong Lung Center in Kilauea. This is the place to go if you are looking for something homemade or hand painted. You will find a souvenir (or two or three or four) for someone or perhaps for yourself. They have home décor as well and the style is all things Hawaiian.
One of my favorite items they have are the “Hawaiian Style” little placards that say something like, “Mahalo for removing your shoes” and then you place that in the entry way of your home so visitors can see it. It is a very kind way to let them know that you would like them to enter your home with no shoes. I have seen these in people’s homes, and I like the different styles I have seen, with the hand painted images on them. Check out the Banana Patch Studio website and you can see what I am talking about.
Did I mention? This company is a Kauai Made member, meaning that all that they sell is made here on Kauai. I love homemade. If you are coming to Kauai and looking for something authentic from Kauai, go to a shop like this and you will not be disappointed.
Banana Patch Studio has two locations. One is a studio and gallery in Hanapepe, and the other is on Kauai’s north shore at 2474 Kaneke Street, Kilauea, Kauai. HI 96754. I looked up their store hours, too: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and then Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Guess what I just read online? Kauai has been named by the internationally acclaimed Travel + Leisure Magazine as the 3rd Best Overall Island… in the world! This is big news I think, to get this kind of recognition. Then again, when I see that sunset on the north shore, why am I not surprised? As I understand it, this is an award based on all aspects of the islands from the city life, country life, eateries on the island, etc.
I am so lucky and blessed to be able to live here. I am thankful that my life has lead up to this very moment. Living on Kauai is the greatest and I am happy to see tourists come and soak up some of Kauai. If you are reading this and have not yet come to Kauai, I encourage you to get it on your to do list… or your bucket list.
What is your favorite movie? Do you know where it was filmed? You might just be surprised at how many movies have been filmed on the strikingly gorgeous landscape of Kauai.
Here are some of my favorite movies that have been filmed here:
• Avatar (2011)
• Soul Surfer (2011)
• Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Ties (2011)
• Dragonfly (2002)
• Jurassic Park (1993); The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997); Jurassic Park III (2001)
• Mighty Joe Young (1998)
• Lord of the Flies (1990)
For the complete list, click on this link: http://filmkauai.com/movies-made-on-kauai/. It encompasses all films from 1934 up to 2011.
I have been on the lookout for the next film to make this list! Just as I carry on with my day, watching the news, and going to the beach I sometimes think to myself if anyone is filming. Sometimes I see things that make me suspicious, as if folks were filming, and then I wait to hear about it later on. It’s not something I seek out, but I am mindful of it and it is sort of a little game I play by myself and keep an eye out for. While you stay on Kauai you might just see some paparazzi action for yourself. It wouldn’t be the first time that has happened here.
Kauai has been named by USA Today readers and 10Best as one of the top best U.S. Islands of 2014! I am a bit shocked that none of the other Hawaiian Islands were named on this list. It doesn’t surprise me that Kauai made the top ten though! Way to go, Garden Island!
I read the article by USA Today, and for 2014 Kauai came in 8th place. When you stop and think about how many islands there actually are in the United States, it makes eighth place sound great! According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 18,617 named islands that are a part of the U.S. and its territories. The excerpt the article explains on Kauai, explains that Kauai has some of the most dramatic natural scenery in the country, from cliffs and deep gorges to waterfalls and the coastline. The beaches are seemingly on another realm of their own greatness and glory. The underwater world surrounding the island is colorful and attractive to divers from all corners of our planet.
I am so proud that Kauai made this list! I am not surprised, but I am mostly humbled at this honor. It was a reader’s choice vote that lead to this conclusion. Kauai is a gorgeous place to visit, travel, explore, and to live. I am so thankful to call this place home. I try and make a point to cherish each day here. For those who have not yet visited this famous island, I highly suggest flying out. You may fall in love with it and wish to never leave, you may make it a point to have an annual family and friends trip to Kauai, or maybe, you will keep Kauai in the back of your mind for a vacation wedding spot. No matter the reason, I hope for your sake that you can come and experience Kauai in all of its glory.
Going on a vacation to Kauai is wonderful thing. A great time is had by all, really. I heard about a way to make it even *that* much better, and now I just the article to prove it. I knew it was a trending thing to do, but I wasn’t sure how it was really going.
So what am I talking about? Well, the Kauai Humane Society allows people to borrow a shelter dog during their stay on the island. How neat is that?! That’s right, you can borrow a shelter dog from the local animal rescue group. If things work out well, really well, vacationers and their furry friends might just be on the same flight back home!
I think it is just so neat that this borrowing program is going on, and then pets can more likely than not, find their forever home. A simple little field trip can turn into a lifelong friendship. The program is called “Shelter Dogs on Field Trips.” Please follow the link here: http://kauaihumane.org/volunteer/dogfieldtrips to find out more about it.
There are more a more stories coming out of visitors falling in love with these animals (especially the dogs). Just like how I was mentioning the win-win situation with the sea turtles, this is a win-win situation for the animals and for the vacationers. At the very minimum, this program allows for dogs to get some life experience and lets them live a little on the island. Just how you, the vacationer, may be living a little too.
And here we are. Summer! Yes, yes, yes maybe you thought it already was summer, but now you can officially say it is summer. June 21st rolls around and well, there you have it. Summer Solstice! Happy longest day of the year everyone (in daylight hours that is). From here on out the daylight hours will be getting minutely less and less.
With summer on my mind, all I can think about is the beach! When you are an island as beautiful as Kauai, I find myself day dreaming of the beach often. When I am not on the beach, I am thinking of it pretty often. Just being honest!
With the summer months drawing people to vacation here on the lovely Garden Island, I thought it a good idea to share something that I care a lot about. Wildlife. There are turtles that call Kauai their home. It is in the best interest of beach-goers, and for that of the turtles, that they be viewed from a distance. Do not harm or go near these creatures. I was just reading in an article about how sea turtles are legally protected by both the state of Hawaii and by the federal government.
If you see a sea turtle in the water, get out of the water and view from a distance until you are certain the turtle has left. When you see a turtle on-land, do not touch them. Turtles come onto shore to bask in the sun and/or to lay eggs. Be mindful of turtle nests and do not touch or harm them. These are basic pointers on how to deal with a sea turtle upon seeing them. If anything, stand back, watch, and take some great pictures! That is what I would do.
Most beach goers know about wildlife (particularly sea turtles) and know to respect these magnificent creatures. For those who have not seen a turtle onshore like this, be mindful of their whereabouts and help young children to learn what to do. It really can be a great win-win time when a turtles comes up on shore and both the animals and the people are respectful of the others.
If you do not know what this coming Saturday is, please keep reading. It is that time of year when state-wide we celebrate Kamehameha! King Kamehameha, or Kamehameha the Great, was the one who conquered the Hawaiian Islands and established the Kingdom of Hawaii back in 1810. I do not consider myself a history buff, but I do know the basics!
Anyway, this weekend is the time we honor, reflect, and celebrate those who have pioneered the way before us. There will be a floral parade procession down streets in Lihue, near the airport. In the parade, the Kamehameha Court arrives typically on horse. This is pretty neat to see people on horseback, all decorated with traditional satin garments, and also the horses flaunting handmade flower leis.
This event begins at 9 am and usually it is an all-day event, as I recall from years past. There will be live entertainment, crafts to do, food to eat, drinks to drink, and demonstrations to see. For those visiting Kauai, I encourage you to strike up a conversation with someone about Kamehameha day and see what their plans are. There are events going on all over the Hawaiian Islands this weekend in honor of Kamehameha Day.
One thing I love is a good book. Kauai has a handful of public libraries across the island, but the one I regularly visit is the one in Princeville. It’s located at 4343 Emmalani Drive, Princeville, HI 96722. The Princeville Public Library always has something going on it seems! And I love it!
This summer has kicked off with their summer reading program for all ages, from toddler to adult. I signed up and have begun my reading log.
For those who are staying on Kauai’s north shore, stop by the library most Friday’s from 10:30am-11am for Toddler Story Time. This is perfect (and free) for those who are looking for ways to stay active with a toddler while staying on the island. I have been in the library during a story time and they sing songs, do finger-play type of games, and books are read. I think it is a great way to promote early literacy and social skills.
Mark your calendars for the library’s encore performance of “Peter Rabbit and the Garden.” Saturday, June 14th at 10:30am there will be a special encore presentation. I need to check with my family, but I want to take my niece to it.
Since I was a kid I always loved the library, from the books to the special events that were held there. Good times and good memories! While you are visiting Princeville this summer, why not check out the public library? I highly suggest it, no matter what age you are.
So I was skimming through my facebook news feed and I came across this article, entitled, “Kauai Is Called The Garden Island — Here’s Why (PHOTOS).” I will be the first to admit that I am not the world’s greatest photographer, and so I would like to share these photos with you all!
Check out this article to get a good glimpse of these gardens here. The panoramic, bird’s eye view pictures are fantastic! They are all by Cameron Brooks Photography. They specialize in aerial view photographs. You will want to maximize your window on your computer so you can really see these images as big as possible.
Kauai is one of Hawaii’s less populated islands as compared to Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii, and Oahu. It is not ALL country, but there sure is a lot of great greenery here! I find that all the more attractive to live here, for I am a bit more on the introverted side. I like to socialize but I also like my peace and quiet–my alone time. There are approximately 66,000 residents on Kauai this article reports. That sounds about right to me.
The other night I was posting on Lumahai Beach, and I wanted to share about outdoorsy favorite of mine. Wailua Falls. I do not make it over to Lihue too often, but if you are traveling to Kauai and coming through the airport in Lihue, make this stop on your way to or from the airport. You will not be disappointed…
Wailua Falls is located at Maalo Rd, off Hwy 580, Lihue, Kauai, HI. It is not far “off the beaten path” it is very doable really. There is a small parking lot just next to the base viewing point of the falls. It is right there! You can lookup photos online of the falls, but until you are there and experiencing the falls and hearing them with your own ears for yourself, then you have not truly experienced it in my opinion.
There is something I just love about nature and being outdoors. It encompasses all five senses and unites them into one big experience full of life! The sights are extraordinary. Not something most people are used to seeing every day. I think pictures hardly do it justice. Then again, I think this about most sights on Kauai and across the globe. Then talk about the fresh smell! Oh the plants all around and the water in the air… that’s one of my favorite things to smell. Then the sensory experience of touch: the dew in the air and on your skin is very awakening. The sound is soothing. I have found that almost any type of water sound is calming for me though, from waves, to falls, to rivers rushing, etc. And what about taste? Well you could stick out your tongue and taste the dew there, or you could buy some bread from the lady nearby (can you say yummy?).
Whenever I am in Lihue, I take a small detour out of my route to stop by the falls. I was there this past week and I thought I should blog about it.
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.
Did everyone see the “blood moon” the other night? It was a special night to see the blood moon, or the total lunar eclipse. Here is my favorite image of it. My camera phone did not do it justice, but I like this one of the blood moon. I saw it this morning on my facebook news feed.
So it came up last night just before 7pm Hawaiian Standard Time. Then close to 8pm is when it began to get it reddish, orange-ish hue. It sure was neat to see. I also like the fact that I did not have to wake up from my slumber at oh say 3am to see it. It was conveniently timed here on Kauai!
This total lunar eclipse is what everyone was and is talking about. I think it was neat to see, and I liked brushing up on my science knowledge to understand how this exactly happened. It is not the first time this has happened and it will not be the last. To my understanding , this is the first of four eclipses between now and September of next year. Pretty neat they are all clustered together like this. Next up on the calendar is April 28th’s annular eclipse. This is when the moon will partially block the sun and the sun will look like only a ring of fire. I’m looking forward to this next one!
Today, March 26th, is a special day and a state-wide holiday for Hawaii. Today is Prince Jonah Kuhio Ka-lani-ana-`ole’s birthday! For short, he has been nicknamed “Prince Kuhio.” He was born in 1871 on Kauai, and in his adult life he played a major role in Hawaiian politics. He was born a royal, and was also elected as a delegate to the US Congress. For a more thorough bio on Prince Kuhio, read more here.
What I really want to share about it all of the events going on today in honor of Prince Kuhio Celebration Kauai 2014! If you are on Kauai, you already know that some events have started and the festivities usually span a week or two around his birthday.
There has been a Prince Kuhio Rodeo with barrel racing, goat tying, bull riding, breakaway roping–the whole deal.
At the National Tropical Botanical Garden there was a special guest, Kupuna Mele Brewer, who shared about the art of hula, how to make a lei, and she also shared Hawaiian proverbs.
Other festivities in honor of Prince Kuhio include good food… the Plantation Gardens Restaurant held a royal dinner there earlier last week.
On Saturday there was the annual Prince Kuhio Commemorative Ceremonies with the royal order of Kamehameha at Prince Kuhio Park.
The Garden Island Canoe Racing Association help a long distance race too, in the Prince’s honor. Afterall, he was one to help promote and make a way for Hawaiian canoeing to have its place.
And today, on his actual birthday, at the Kauai Museum they are having a special celebration there.
If you are still interested in joining in on the festivities, at Anahola Beach Park this coming Saturday the 29th there will be a *free* celebration, open to the public. It will be a good time for everyone, I am certain of it! Happy Birthday Celebration Prince Kuhio!
Traveling with children and other special needs people require more resources and equipment for everyday activities. I can understand that when it comes time to travel, you cannot bring everything with you. There is only so much you can pack and fly with. You may want to bring every little thing and every big thing including the kitchen sink, but really you do not need to. I want to share with you Ready Rentals. The lovely people at this company offer rentals of items to people anywhere on Kauai.
For example, say you are staying at a vacation rental and you checked with the property management to see if there is a crib or not. Or maybe you have an elderly person who occasionally needs a wheelchair. This company, Ready Rentals, are the ones to call upon when you find yourself needing an item or two to rent during your stay. They rent out cribs, strollers, rollaway beds, wheelchairs, and beach accessories at weekly and also daily rates. I think it is all very affordable… especially considering the alternatives of going without of buying new.
They offer solid wood cribs for rent with mattress and bottom fitted sheet. Bumpers are an additional charge if you choose to rent that as well. They also have portable cribs, also known as pack-n-plays with the bottom fitted sheet provided. These folks pay attention to the details so that the customer is not left high and dry.
Now for strollers they have quite the variety. Single and double jogging strollers work best on the sand. There is also a lite rider stroller and a tandem double stroller. Prices for strollers and all other items can be rented per day or at per week prices. They are really, very accommodating.
On the topic of children, Ready Rentals offer more infant and toddler equipment items for rent. They have high chairs, booster chairs, baby swings, baby gates, exersaucers, bed rails, and baby frame backpacks. You can just imagine how useful and handy it would be to have these items during you stay on Kauai. If I had a child, I know I would be eyeing that backpack for some hiking outings!
There is a twin sized rollaway bed that can be rented. Full linens can be rented at an additional price too. This is great for vacation rentals that you are going to be staying at and you are just in need of another spot for the last person to sleep. There are two different types of wheel chairs for rent as well. Now for beach accessories, there is quite a variety of goodies there.
Check out Ready Rentals to make your Kauai stay just perfect for those additional resources you will be needing. Renting as opposed to buying is a good way to save on costs while not depriving yourself or your group from enjoying their time. Ready Rentals delivers and picks up. Follow the link I added and click on “Order Form” to place your order, or you can give them a call at 1-800-599-8008.
Grilling is a popular way to cook food. I love to grill food. I am not the greatest chef nor grill master, but I sure do try! Grilling food is a great way to cook food. Think about it… there is a recipe to follow but it is not quite as technical as baking. Baking is an edible science experiment. Grilling is much more forgiving. Once someone gains enough experience in grilling, that person is worth his or her weight in gold. Let me tell you the grill food on Kauai is worth its weight in gold! So divine.
Now, grill food is a comfort food to most people. There are classics that are cooked on the grill like burgers, fish, vegetables, and more. Comfort food does not necessarily mean hearty and overly-filling, either. Kabobs are one of my favorites to grill. It makes for such a nice medley of meat meets vegetables. What beautiful colors, too.
Another way to mix it up is by having some grilled surf and turf. This is a way of mixing and matching meat combos to cover the whole flavor spectrum to meet your fancy. By having complimentary flavors, you will be making a marvelous spread for you and your guests to enjoy. Just like “sweet” pairs with “salty” nicely, so does surf match well with turf. Grilling is a great way to enhance flavors, so you can get the most juicy flavors out of your fish and meat… and don’t forget your veggies!
Grill food is something you cannot mimic. The different types of food you can put on a grill are seemingly endless. Any kind of meat on a grill turns out as fabulous as ever once you can perfect your technique. Vegetables roast on the grill nicely as well. Grilling food is a great cooking method for traditional foods, but can also make surprisingly well cooked food out of others you might first think are good choices.
Fruits heat up well on the grill too, believe it or not. They top desserts nicely and your friends and family will be coming back for more! Ever tried grilled pineapple? Here is a recipe for Grilled Pineapple Dessert that I love. While the coals are still hot, go ahead and heat up your pineapple rings for this recipe. I like to think of it as getting the most out of my hot coals.
Perhaps you are a grill master yourself? While staying on Kauai, the north shore has some perfect vacation rental homes where you can grill out! This is a genius way to save money and still eat your delicious grill food. Invite friends, invite family. I just love coming together at meal time…
Before I came to live on Kauai, I visited it. I had many questions about it and I wanted to be prepared for my stay. I would assume that many of you lovely folks who have not yet visited Kauai have some questions about your upcoming trip. Please let me help you along, and answer some of those burning questions that you may have. Consider this a FAQ.
You may be wondering, “When is a good time to visit Kauai?” Anytime is a good time! The weather is good and it makes for a fantastic vacation spot all year round.
Allow me to answer the question, “When and where can I see whales?” Good news–we are in prime time whale watching season right now. Humpback whales begin arriving just off of Kauai’s shores in December and can still be seen through until April. Also, you can see whales from aboard boats or from the beach.
On a more practical note, you may be wondering, “What clothes to pack/wear for my trip?” Great question! Pack comfortable summer clothes. Casual attire. For ladies, dresses, skirts, shorts and capris are all suitable with casual tops. Tee-shirts are fine, and swimwear is a must to pack! For gentlemen, leave the suits and ties at home unless you are on a business trip or something. Collared shirts or Aloha shirts are acceptable for just about every outing. Slippers/Flip-flops/Sandals are accepted at most every establishment with the exception of some clubs. I suggest packing hiking shoes if you plan to hike any of Kauai’s trails. If you forget something, do not fret, Kauai has stores and malls to provide what you need.
“Is there easy banking access on Kauai?” Yes. ATM’s are frequent and there are full service banks as well.
You may also be thinking about renting a car. “Do you need a car to move about on Kauai?” No, you do not need a car but it would be nice for your convenience to have one. You can also get around by shuttle, taxi, or tour bus. My suggestion lies more with what you plan to do when you get here, and how much of the island you would like to see.
I hope you find this information helpful. Please comment below if you have questions that you would like me to respond to. I will do more of these FAQ posts to help you plan and prepare for your upcoming Kauai vacation.