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AHHHHHH! Christmas is sneaking up on me quickly this year! In fact, a lot of fun Christmas celebrations here on Kauai will be starting tomorrow on the 30th! So while I have a minute, let me list a few of them for you.
Tree Lighting – If you enjoy tree lighting events, you will really love the Waimea Tree Lighting Event. It will take place in the town of Waimea at 6pm and the celebration will continue until 1am the following morning. This event is FREE.
Christmas Parade – This year is the 20th anniversary of the Kauai Christmas Parade in Lihue. The parade will begin at 4:30pm at the Kukui Grove Shopping Center and will run for an hour. It’s a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas, and it’s FREE.
Holiday Fine Arts Festival – From 10am-4pm in the town of Hanapepe, there will be a holiday art festival featuring the work of women artists from all over the island. Art will include paintings, photography, pottery, sculpture, and more. (At least that’s what their website told me.) For more information, you can visit their website. This event will take place at the Hanapepe United Church of Christ Fellowship Hall and is FREE.
Christmas Craft Fair – There will be a Christmas-themed craft fair at the Wilcox Elementary School in Lihue from 8:30am-1pm. This event is FREE.
Willie K for Christmas – There will be an awesome concert Saturday night from 6:30-8:30pm at KCC Performing Arts Center (in Lihue). If you don’t know much about Willie K, I suggest you check out his website: HERE. But I can tell you that he’s incredibly talented and only visits our fair island once or twice a year. So don’t miss this chance. Admission will be $35 and premium tickets will be $45.
SPAM – Okay, this technically isn’t a Christmas themed event, but it will still be great. The Church of the Pacific in Kilauea will be hosting a night of Art and Music called “SPAM.” This concert will raise money to replace a worn and broken play structure at Kilauea School, a local public elementary school. Plus, extra money raised will go to the music, arts, and physical education aspects of the school. So please come and support our local children. There will be bands performing, belly dancing, fire dancing, hula, singing, and a silent auction. This event costs $30 at the door.
And there you have it. I’m sorry to put them all together like this without giving you any additional information, but I wanted to make sure that you had options this Saturday. ☺ I hope you have fun this weekend! Let’s get ready for Christmas!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just wanted to wish you all a wonderful holiday spent with your family and friends. And I hope that you will take this opportunity and tell the important people in your life just how much they mean to you. After all, while you might be thankful for them everyday, you might not always communicate that effectively. Today gives you a chance to really let them know how awesome they truly are.
Babe, if you’re reading this (which you typically don’t, but one never knows…), I am SO thankful for you. I love the man you are, the way you take care of me and still allow me my independence, and for the way you swept me off my feet. I’m so thankful that we get to spend Thanksgiving together this year and the next and the next and the next, until the end of time. Love you!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
If you want to spend some time in Lihue during your vacation, then I can’t really blame you. While Princeville is definitely the most beautiful area of the island, Lihue is the largest town. The airport is there, along with the Veterans Center. So there will be a few craft fairs and other activities in Lihue, just like the ones I mentioned in my last two posts. And if you want to attend an activity in Lihue, then I suggest you spend a day or two on the South side of the island. What’s the best vacation rental on that side? Oh, it’s most definitely Hale Huna.
Now, I know I’ve mentioned Hale Huna before, but it’s just so nice I want to mention it again. What makes it so nice? Well, let me tell you:
Did you know that Hale Huna is on a private cul-de-sac? It’s true! This amazing 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house is at the end of a cul-de-sac, right near the ocean.
Did you know that it can sleep 8+ people? Yep, with 4 bedroms, this house can sleep 8 adults comfortably. Plus, there is plenty of space to include extra people by blowing up an air mattress of having someone sleep on the couch. It’s a large property with lots of room to stretch out.
Did you know that there are tennis courts? Since this property is located on the greenbelt walkway of Poipu Kai Resort, you get access to all of their amenities. So you can play tennis on their courts, go swimming in their pool, enjoy their spa, and eat at the resort restaurant if you want to! All without losing your privacy or having to pay the exorbitant fees associated with staying in a tiny room at the resort.
Did you know that the kitchen is fully-equipped? Set-up in a Kauai style with shades of browns and whites, this kitchen has everything you’ll need. There are dishes, utensils, cookware, appliances, and even a center island so you can do your prep work without wasting counter space. There is even a large dining table complete with place-settings for 8.
And there’s more. This house is a short walk from 3 different beaches. It comes equipped with ceiling fans to keep the humidity of our tropical island at bay. It features 3 separate televisions with DVD players, so you don’t have to go out to find entertainment. It also has DSL and WIFI for those who need to stay in contact with home/work/Facebook/my blog while here. Plus, there is a large outdoor patio and lawn area with tables and chairs and a BBQ. What can be better?
So, if plantation style woods, intricate chandeliers, comfortable furniture, and prime placement are things you enjoy, please consider staying at Hale Huna . This house has plenty of room, allowing you to live your life and invite 6 or 7 of your closest friends. And it’s worth it.
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!
With Thanksgiving approaching and Christmas just around the corner, there is a lot to celebrate. And one of the best ways we can celebrate (in my opinion) is to have a craft fair!
Yes, I like craft fairs. I love looking at all of the interesting crafts, finding just the right Christmas present for a friend or finding just the right accent item for my living room, and chatting with all of the venders and artists. It’s my idea of fun, and you can join me if it’s yours too.
This Saturday (November 23) from 9am-1pm, there will be a holiday craft fair at King Kaumualii Elementary School. (Warning: This craft fair is in Lihue, so it might be a bit of a drive.) And, the best part, it’s free! So you can come down, browse through the crafting booths, and have a lovely time shopping without having to spend money! … unless you find something super cute that you absolutely need to have. Then you will need to buy it. That’s how craft fairs work. ☺
Of course, all items in this craft fair will be quality products, hand-crafted right here on Kauai. From jewelry to clothing, from art to accent pieces, from Christmas ornaments to harvest-themed centerpieces, you will find it all at this craft fair. There will also be booths set up so kids can make their own crafts, so it should be fun for the whole family!
And if you are a resident, you can come to support the local businesses that will be present. It’s important to shop local if you can, to save on importing fees and to show our local farms and families that we love them. So please come out and support the local crafters, artisans, and farmers of our dear island.
This Sunday (November 17th) is the 21st Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival. The festival starts at noon and continues until 6pm with music performed in the traditional slack key style. What’s more, the festival is free to attendees! So, if you want something interesting to do on Sunday, please come!
The performance will be at Kauai Beach Resort and Spa in Kapaa, which is an over-priced hotel with a nice concert stage. And the theme this year is “Kauai Style.” So you can look forward to the sounds of Kauai and the overwhelming feeling of Aloha while you listen.
Now, the concert is indeed free. However, if you do want to donate to the Ki-Hoalu Foundation, you can. There will be a $10 suggested donation for this all day concert that will be accepted at the door, if my information is correct.
Don’t know what the Ki-Hoalu Foundation is? Well, it’s a non-profit organization established back in 2004 to help promote Hawaiian style guitar, specifically slack key. Slack key is a style of guitar playing that originated in Hawaii and is found no where else in the world, outside of those who came here to learn it. It is a part of our traditions and our culture, and it is beautiful. So if you are Hawaiian, then you know how important it is to support this non-profit and their efforts. And if you’re not Hawaiian, then you can take my word for it. It’s worth it. ☺
Now for the list of performers. Doug and Sandy McMaster will be there, of course. I’ve mentioned them on this blog several times before, as they are probably the best masters of the slack key style on Kauai. Plus, they perform often, so they are the most heard. But there will be other artists there as well, including:
and Mike Young
So if you want a day of music and fun, please come to Kapaa (outside Lihue) for the Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival. It will be an inspiration and joy.
When you’re on vacation, you don’t just want to stay in a hotel room with no space to stretch out and nothing to do. You want to stay somewhere with lots of space, some great amenities, and something to do while you’re there. And that’s why I’m posting today about one of the most beautiful homes for rent on Kauai: Taro Plantation.
This 4 bedroom, 3 bath house is massive. Each room has comfortable furniture that perfectly fits the space, owing to an excellent interior decorator. And each space in the house continues the elegant theme of natural woods, soft tones, and upscale grandeur that are so apparent when you first walk in.
Included in that grandeur are antiques from China and Indonesia, moving pieces that provide a sense of awe and cultural depth to the house. Plus, there are stained glass windows that diffuse the light and inspire with shades of joy.
The bedrooms are suites really. The master suite has a king-sized poster bed, beautiful furniture, and the most impressive bathroom I’ve ever seen, with large tiles leading into a walk-in bathing area. The other bedrooms have queen-sized beds, so no one will have to sleep in a tiny space. Owing to this, the house itself can sleep 8 adults comfortably, and one more if your guest doesn’t mind sleeping on the couch.
But the rooms aren’t the best part. The living space is substantial and comfortable. The living room has cable tv and a DVD player for quiet nights at home. Plus, the house is equipped with high speed internet, so you can bring your laptops and read my blog as you sit in your beautiful vacation home in comfort. And, best of all, there is a large gourmet kitchen that includes all of the best appliances, cookware, dishes, and utensils you will need to feed everyone you bring with you. Off the kitchen is a large dining room that seats 8 and you will find everything you need to lay out a beautiful dinner in the kitchen shelves.
And that doesn’t even begin to take the outside into account. This house is built in a secluded spot in Hanalei Valley, right past Swan Lake. To get there, you will drive through beautiful taro fields and waterways, leading to a house right in the midst of nature. Each morning, you can step out onto the spacious lanai (patio) and enjoy a cup of Kauai Coffee while you watch the waterfowl play in the water. And, if you’d like to take a dip in a refreshing pool, there is a large pool on the property where you can swim contentedly. There is even a poolside dining area, a beautifully laid out section of tile where you can BBQ (it’s a gas grill) and eat while having a pool party.
Now, this all sounds very secluded and far away from civilization, right? But fortunately, while it’s tucked away far enough to be private, this home is only a short walk away from town. Hanalei Town has just about everything you’ll need while you stay with us, from restaurants to grocery stores, from gift shops to equipment rentals. So no matter what you’d like to do while here, you’ll be close to the action. Plus, if you walk (or drive) just a bit further, you will reach Hanalei Bay, the most beautiful beach on earth.
Honestly, this house is the best of the best. However, the price is much lower than one would expect to pay for an elegant mansion home in the heart of Kauai. For only $4000 a week, you can stay in this amazing home. And sometimes they run specials, meaning you can get an even better deal on the house! It’s worth a look, right?
So if you want to come to Kauai and stay in style, please consider Taro Plantation. You will be so pampered here, you won’t want to leave!
Today, we celebrate those in our lives who have fought for our freedom and who still fight today. Today we encourage those who have given their time, their will, and their free time to patrolling our boarders, to putting their lives in danger, and to putting off time with their families in order to ensure the safety of ours. Today, we thank our veterans for their service and their honor.
Since I’ve been a little girl listening to my grandfather’s stories, I have always wanted to be a solder. He told me stories of valor, of honor, and of justice. I learned that, when the cause is just, the world can be made right. It felt good to have that knowledge. I felt safe and secure.
What I didn’t hear as a child were the stories of the war, of the fights on the bloodiest beaches, of the seriousness of the world, of how things have never been the same since. I didn’t know what it took to keep our country free, to give me the freedoms that I have to vote, to dream, to live my life, and to listen to words spoken without hindrance or limitation. It was impossible to understand then that freedom is rarely free. But I’m not a child anymore.
When I grew up, I understood the cost of dedication, the price of honor, and the sacrifice of the soldiers who lived their lives to protect mine. It was humbling. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure I could do it. While I dreamed of serving as a child, I knew as an adult that only the most dedicated could truly serve and only the most heroic could continually wear the uniform day after day, despite what those days might bring. And so I write these words as a civilian, not a brave warrior. And I pray that one day I can truly express to the soldiers in my life how much I appreciate their service, their lives put on the line for mine.
So please join me in celebrating our veterans, today and everyday throughout the year. They are the reason that we can protest wars, complain about our liberties, vote for the government we want, and achieve economic success. They are the reason we can live in freedom. They are our heroes.
When I was a kid, I would take 1 liter soda bottles, strip them of their stickers and wrappings, and fill them with multi-colored sand and shells. There is sand of all colors on Kauai, and I would also dye white sand into bright colors with food dye, which was fun. I would make layers and swirls and add shells at just the right moments. And then I would give those bottles away as Christmas presents. It’s just the right gift to give as a child with no money.
Of course, I’m not the only person who has ever turned trash into treasure. Recycling turns used products into new products, saving our natural resources. I have a friend who finds sea glass and turns it into mosaic artwork. And my husband reuses coffee grounds to grow a garden. (And I help by drinking as much wonderful coffee as possible.)
Trash is only worthless if we choose not to reuse it. And maybe that’s what Elizabeth Freeman discovered, because she is leading an upcoming workshop you might be interested in.
This Wednesday (November 13) from 6-7:30pm, there will be a free workshop offered at the Princeville Public Library. This workshop is called “Turning Trash into Treasure at Festival of Lights” and will be taught by Elizabeth Freeman. (Elizabeth is the Festival of Lights Founder and an Art Director.)
Now, if you don’t know much about the Festival of Lights here on Kauai, then you might not understand what this workshop will be all about. And I’ll be honest – I have no idea what exactly we will be doing at this workshop. But I do know that the Festival of Lights is a part of our tradition involving hand-made “up-cycled” ornaments for Christmas. And, from what I can tell, this workshop will go over the history of the Festival of Lights, the ornaments that are the most popular, and how to make your own “up-cycled” ornaments this Christmas season.
For me, coming from a background that was filled with reusable items and making presents from discarded bottles, I’m excited about this workshop. I think it will be a great opportunity for everyone to get into the Christmas spirit and learn how to make ornaments. I’m also thrilled with any workshop that is free. And this one is most definitely free.
So please join us for an evening of slides, demonstrations, and decorations. The Princeville Public Library is located at 4343 Emmalani Drive in Princeville.
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.
This weekend, there are a couple of free events for residents and tourists alike that I think my readers will really enjoy. So I’m going to put them all in one blog, this way you’ll have options right off the bat!
The first event is the Kukui Grove Center’s 5th Annual International Holiday Ice Sculpting Expo. Why is it “International” you ask? Well, there will be five artists showing off their sculpting skills, two of which are from Japan. So, if you want to head to Kukui Grove Center (in Lihue) on Friday, November 8th, at 6pm, there will be a fun event filled will ice shavings, freelance sculpting, and even some live entertainment with The Starlighters at 7pm. If you haven’t seen ice sculpting done before, this should be really fun for the whole family.
Then, on Saturday, there will be an Artisan Fair in Kapaa at Kapaa Beach Park. The fair will go from 9am until 3pm and will include over 40 of Kauai’s best artisans, demonstrating their talents and selling their artistry. All items sold will be handmade right here on Kauai, so it’s a good chance to purchase some early Christmas presents for friends and family. Plus, there will be Tahitian drumming! So even if you don’t buy anything, you’ll be sure to have fun wandering around and checking out all of the artist stalls.
And lastly, on Saturday evening (November 9th) there will be a Street Fair at the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School. This will be a fun event for families with children of all ages and will include food trucks, games, face painting, bingo, and crafts. The event starts at 5pm and ends at 8pm, so make sure you come on time and be prepared to have a good time with your kids.
Okay, that about covers the weekend. There are several more events throughout the weekend, including events on Sunday. However, those each cost an admission fee, so I did not include them here. However, don’t be shy. If you want something fun to do this weekend regardless of price, start asking around. The residents on Kauai will be happy to help you find some fun over the next few days.
Today in Lihue, there will be a great veterans parade to honor our Veterans before Veterans Day. The title of this parade is “Honoring our Hawaii National Guards” and will feature those right here on Kauai who serve to protect our national freedoms every day.
More specifically, this parade will take place at 10am in Kapaa Town and end at Kapaa Beach Park, which is outside of Lihue. The parade is scheduled to last 4 hours and will include vendors in the town center with local products for sale. Those walking in the parade are typically veterans, both currently serving and retired from the national forces. There are also sometimes floats, candy being handed out to the children, and lots of red, white, and blue.
At the end of the parade line, there will be a big celebration with food and more. I’m not sure exactly what they have in store, but in years past it has been a great party. And many veterans are honored in the proceedings.
Sure, all in all it’s a pretty typical parade. But with Veteran’s Day approaching, I think we should all take a moment to watch the parade of veterans, thanking those who walk past for their service, their sacrifice, and their selflessness. Plus, who can say no to a fun day with free candy, right?
Get it? Like “well that’s interesting” only I said whale. Because… it’s WHALE SEASON! ☺
(Yes, I realize that I can be a bit nerdy every once in a while, but I’m seriously excited that it’s whale season once again. So bare with me.)
Every November, we see more and more whales migrating around the island. And it brings some excitement and a sense of wonder to my world. I love witnessing the enormity of the journey, the pristine beauty of the world’s largest creatures cutting through the water, and the glistening sun bouncing off of their features as they pursue the path of their natural instincts, swimming toward the open water.
The beauty of whale season is a perfect time for island tourists as well. After all, who wouldn’t want to wake up in their home rental and look out the window to see these mammoth sea beasts bursting through the waves? They make life more splendid, especially if you have never seen a whale up close before. And, if you didn’t know, it’s good luck to have a whale surface for you. It means prosperity and happiness all year long.
So if you have been wanting to visit Kauai, now is a great time to come. There will be luaus, town events, concerts, festivals, parties, holiday cheer, and hundreds of large mammals floating through the water, waiting for a kindly tourist on a whale watching tour to meet them. It’s truly a wonderful time, this November-January season. And I hope you will all join me in celebrating right here on the North Shore, my home.
And, if you are on Kauai tonight and feel like celebrating with us, come to the Whales Homecoming Slack Key Concert at the Hanalei Community Center. The concert starts at 4pm and has a fee of $20. The music, however, is priceless and will be a gift offered to the audience by the McMasters, artists who have given their lives to the pursuit of traditional slack key and the knowledge of customs past down from generations past. They are truly dedicated musicians, histories, story tellers, and friends. I hope you’ll be able to come and witness this event in person.
This year, I decided to cheat a little bit. I hadn’t heard a whole lot about trick or treating events here on Kauai, so I wasn’t sure what to tell all of you who wanted a fun place to take your kids. (I know – I’m suddenly a terrible guide, right? I’ll do better.) Anyway, in order to ensure that you all can have a fun and safe Halloween with your children, I looked online and found this: Kauai Exclusive.
According to this website, there are several places where you can have some Harvest fun this holiday. And, if you aren’t sure where you will be on October 31st itself, don’t worry. This site has events listed for the weekend before Halloween as well! So you can get candy and have some harvest-oriented fun all week long if you so desire.
Now, if you want to go Trick-or-Treating, you can! But keep in mind that typically door-to-door stuff usually isn’t done here on the island. In fact, in all of my years living on Kauai, I’ve only ever had kids come to my door once. It’s just not our tradition, ya know? So my advice would be to avoid going door-to-door in the Kauai neighborhoods, as you won’t get much candy that way.
In fact, most Kauai kids will heading to a Halloween party, town event, or church harvest festival. Many Kukui Grove merchants have candy each year for the kids, so you can just go to the shopping center if you want. Or simply check out the local church scene. There is almost always a large harvest party somewhere. In fact, I heard there was a church in Kilauea that was doing something… a carnival or something. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. But trust me – you’ll find something. Big Halloween events are hard to miss.
If you are a tourist here, I would suggest you head out early. Go to the grocery store and ask around for a place your kids can have some fun. Or simply drive through the neighborhood you are staying in to see who is setting up for an event. Last year, I actually called the churches in the phone book to ask who has having a harvest party. That worked wonders. Plus, I always recommend that people with small children go out earlier in the night before the teenagers come and eat all the candy. ☺
Now, whether you pick the Ghoulish Golf Celebration in Kilauea or the adult-only parties in Lihue, keep in mind that Halloween is supposed to be fun. So please don’t drink and drive. And never go to a party to pick a fight or to cause a scene. (Also remember to wear a good costume. Some things are just too important to forget.) ☺
Now, I’ve been recommending a lot of tours, which are fun, challenging, exciting, adventurous, and not exactly free. And if you’re worried about spending all of your vacation money on tours, please don’t. I have a simple and easy way of saving you money on your vacation. All you have to do is stay at Kamahana 18 instead of in a hotel.
Now, hotels are great. I mean, there are a million rooms, so you’ll probably get one if you ask. And there is typically a ballroom or event room downstairs where they sometimes host entertainers, for a price. But the downside is that each room is $200-$500 a night! Yikes! And if you have a large family, you might need a couple of rooms. Plus, those rooms are tiny little things with a bedroom and bathroom only. You’ll have no room to stretch, relax, and enjoy your evening.
On the other hand, Kamahana 18 is a vacation condo that you can rent per night or by the week. For an entire week’s stay, you will only have to pay $810. That’s 7 days of vacation lodging for only $810 plus tax. Can you believe it? But it gets better.
Renting your own condo means you can have privacy and a place to stretch out and relax. Instead of one bedroom and a bathroom, this vacation rental has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, and your own private patio! In other words, you get an entire house to make your own for the week. And that house has some great amenities.
Location – Sure, a hotel might be in the city near the beach. And if you are on a high enough floor and facing the right direction, you can see the ocean. But Kamahana 18 is on the golf course with an excellent view of the cliffs and the Kilauea Lighthouse! (Which is a great place to visit, by the way. The history and beauty of the place really shouldn’t be ignored.) So while relaxing on your patio, you can star out into the ocean’s soothing blues and enjoy the manicured greens.
Size – If you have kids, this place is perfect. You’ll have your own master suite with a Queen-sized bed and a private bathroom, so you get some privacy during your stay. And your kids can share the other bathroom and the 2nd bedroom, which has 2 twin beds. Plus, there is a family area with a kitchen, dining room, and comfortable living room furniture to hang out during the day with your kids and watch TV.
Extras – And if the price, location, and size aren’t selling points on their own, keep in mind that you will also have access to a fully-equipped kitchen. This means that all the utensils, dinnerware, cookware, and appliances you’ll need are right there, waiting to be used. The laundry room has a washer and dryer, so you don’t have to worry about taking a bunch of dirty clothes home in your luggage. And there is free high speed internet, so you can check my blog for fun activities and festival ideas while you’re here!
Do you see why this condo is SO much better than a hotel? And it’s clearly a WHOLE lot cheaper. So if you want to go on a bunch of tours or spend your money on nice restaurants in town, you can!!
It’s always important to use your money wisely. And renting a condo is a great way to accomplish that.
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.
If you haven’t heard of Kipu Ranch, then I’m clearly not doing a very good job of blogging. Let’s fix that problem, okay? Kipu Ranch is one of the best places in Kauai to get muddy! So if you want some down and dirty fun, keep reading.
Kipu Ranch is the best location on Kauai for an ATV tour. Have you ever been on an ATV tour? No? Well, it’s a fun trip involving a 4-wheel drive vehicle, about 3,000 acres of property, and some hidden wonders. By taking an ATV tour, you can get up close and personal with the nature of Kauai. And, because you’re on a private estate, you’ll get to see parts of Kauai that most residents never see. You’ll get to experience the wonder of our tropical habitat. Plus, it’s fun.
Now, because you’ll be in a small off-roading vehicle, you will likely get a bit dirty. So I would recommend not wearing any clothing that you care overly about. In fact, I would wear jean and an older t-shirt with some good shoes. (Nothing open-toed, though. Closed-toe shoes are required for all off-roading trips. Trust me on this.) Also, you might want to bring a water bottle, a hat to keep off the sun, and some sunscreen for protection.
Now, there are several different ATV tours to choose from when you get there. Each tour is 3-4 hours, unless you request a private tour. Then the tour length will be up to you and your guide.
The first big tour is the Ranch Tour. This tour will take you all over the pastures, valleys, and mountains of this private estate. You will be in a large ATV with room for up to 4 people, so you don’t get too muddy. There will be a large amount of dust, however. But don’t worry. The touring group will provide you with a helmet, goggles, and a bandanna to keep yourself safe and breathing fresh air.
The second tour includes a BBQ picnic. I highly recommend this one, as this is the one I’ve done. It was a great afternoon of off-roading, seeing the sights, hearing about the history, checking out the trails, and eating some amazing food. Who could resist a good BBQ, am I right?
The third tour is mud central. It’s called the Waterfalls Tour and will get you up close and personal with some water and dirt. You will be driving your own ATV, splashing through puddles and investigating the waterways on the property. So you’re sure to have a muddy, good time. For this tour, you’ll want to wear a swimsuit underneath your clothes so you can enjoy the Indiana Jones rope swing, sailing through the air and into a waterfall. And don’t worry about food or water. A lunch of deli sandwiches will be provided by one of the majestic waterfalls in the region.
So, are you interested yet? Good. Then why not book your tour today?
For a tour, simply visit their website (HERE) and choose which tour you’d like to take. They have Book Now buttons for each group. And when you book your tour, they will also give you extra information about what to bring, how much it will cost, and where they are located. However, if you don’t want to follow their directions, I’ve listed some here.
To get to Kipu Ranch, simply drive south from Princeville on Hwy 56 until you reach Lihue. You will hit Hwy 50 and can continue on that all the way through Puhi. There will be a Kipu sign on your left by the 3 mile marker. Turn there and then take the first right onto Kipu road. It’s easy to find from there. Just follow the signs.
I don’t have kids, so I’ve only been to the Fun Factory once. It was for a birthday party, a place where 20 4th graders could all go crazy and eat cake. It was a madhouse and I loved it. The kids did too.
I was thinking about the Fun Factory today, wondering about whether they just did big parties or whether tourists could bring their kids in individually for some fun and excitement. You know what? It’s not just for big parties. So if you want a place where you kids can run and play and have a great time indoors, this is the place.
As my good friend, Rachel, has mentioned to me on multiple occasions, kids hate getting wet in the rain. Well, at least her children do. So when we enter the rainy season and our lush jungles are refreshed with a few random showers each day, her kids like to hide indoors. If your children are the same way, then hanging out at the beach for the day probably won’t be an option, even if the ocean water is warm and the temperature never drops very low. Wet is wet, and indoor fun can help with that.
Fun Factories are big rooms filled with video games, arcade games, ticket machines, prizes, activities, and more. Older kids especially love the multiple options and myriad things to do when playing here, and most games give tickets for prizes. (So it’s kinda like a big Chuck-E-Cheese, I guess.) And if this sounds like something your kids will like, you should know that we have two here on Kauai. The one I’ve been to is in Waipouli Town Center in Kapaa and, if I remember correctly, is open from 10am-10pm everyday. The second location is in Lihue. And while I’ve never been to this one, I can only assume that it is very similar to its Kapaa counterpart.
Now the only down-side to this place is that it’s not free. Kids will want money for tokens too, so there will be that expense. But if you’re willing to give each kid $5-$10 and let them run wild, it will be a good time. And, if your child makes good grades, most Fun Factory locations offer a rewards program for Honor Roll students. So, if your child has all As or Bs, they will get some free tokens for the games! (It’s important to encourage children to be their best, don’t you think?)
So do you have kids that hate the water or children that need a good reward after keeping good grades for the last couple months of school? Then why not take them to Fun Factory while they are here. They are sure to have a good time.
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.
Now I realize that the last activity I wrote about was in Lihue. And while I don’t normally recommend staying on the South-East side of the island, sometimes it’s handy to be close to an activity you plan to attend. And while I don’t recommend staying in Lihue (it’s loud and busy and not usually private), I can recommend a great vacation rental home in Anahola, north of Lihue: Anahola Aloha Beach House.
So what makes this beach house special? Well, the view is probably its most dominant feature. And I’m not just talking about the interior view of amazing architecture and aesthetically pleasing design. No, I’m referring to the fact that this house is directly on the beach. Yep, that’s right. Your view is of palm trees and sculptured lawns reaching down to the white sandy beach and crystal clear waters.
At this beach home, you will be an extremely short walk away from Anahola Bay. This is a wonderful beach for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and other water sports. That’s because there is a protective outlying reef that keeps the water from being too choppy. There is even a lifeguard on duty at Anahola Beach, though that is closer to the public beach side. And from the sand itself, you will have an amazing view of the mountains of Kalalea.
Of course, the interior of the home is just as important as its location. After all, the location can be perfect but, if you don’t have a comfortable place to relax, you won’t enjoy your vacation nearly enough. And we do want you to enjoy your stay. So, let’s talk about amenities.
This vacation home is comfortable, modern, has custom wooden features, and has an amazing kitchen. The kitchen is filled with white appliances that perfectly off-set the wooden cupboards. And everything else you’ll need to eat a meal in the home (from cookware and utensils to dishes and a large dining room table with linens) are included. So you’ll have no problem making meals and enjoying the conveniences of this modern house.
There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms, meaning there is plenty of space for a large family or a group of friends to come and spend the week. Two of the bedrooms are suits that include a King-sized bed and full bathroom. The other two rooms have queen-sized or Double beds and they share a bathroom. There is also a sofa-sleeper in the living room, so you can bring extra friends. In total, this vacation home can sleep up to 11 people comfortably. But wait – there’s more.
There is a living room where you can relax and unwind during the day, but there is also an entertainment room that has a flat screen TV with DVD player. And while there are TVs with DVD players in all the guest rooms, this is a great room for getting together for a movie night.
And don’t worry about running out of clean clothes. This home has its own washer and dryer, so you won’t have to pack so much stuff. (This will leave plenty of room in your luggage for souvenirs and will also allow you to clean all of your clothes before you go home, meaning less work once you return to your real life.) There is also a private hot tub on the lanai, so you can relax under the stars each night while sipping wine and dreaming of a quiet life.
And, this is the best part, you can stay here for only $3500 a week! This means that each person on this trip will only have to pay $45/night to stay at a mansion home with a hot tub on an amazing Kauai beach. Seriously! Finding a hotel like this would cost $1000 a night! Can you say “Amazingly Good Deal!” (Of course, this is the price during October only. During the summer and during Thanksgiving week, the price is $4500, and during Christmas/New Years, the price is $5500. So plan your trip accordingly.)
Now, can you see any reason why you wouldn’t want to stay here? I can’t. So come and enjoy yourself… and bring your friends!