Poipu Blog

If you have kids, sometimes it’s hard to find things to do that are new, interesting, and fun for them. That is especially true around the holidays. While adults often like to attend parties, go to nice restaurants, and see the Christmas lights, kids aren’t always that interested in those things. Parties are just old people talking, restaurants are just opportunities to behave and sit quietly, and lights are cool for a while… and then they’re just lights.

At least, that has been my experience with the kids I know. Maybe your kids are different. If that’s the case, good! Every child is different. But if your kids are like the ones I know, then this holiday reading schedule is for you.

It’s very important to read to children. It gives them a better vocabulary, teaching them that reading is fun, and stimulates their brains and creativity. So when there is an opportunity to have someone read to your children, my recommendation is to take it. After all, the books will be new and fun and most authors who come in to read will make a real event of it.

And this holiday season, there will be two more opportunities for you and your children to enjoy a special holiday reading series. (I say two more because I heard about it through a friend and her children who went to the first reading. They told me to mention it here, and so I am!)

Wednesday (December 18th) and Tuesday (December 24th) there will be reading times outside the Coldwell Banker Makai Properties office. (That’s in Poipu at The Shops at Kukuiula.) Both days, the readings will begin at 3:30pm and go for a little over an hour. And both days are absolutely FREE!

On December 18th, Mark Huff will be reading. He is the author of the books “King of the Beach” and “The Sheltering Place.” And on December 24th, Monika Mira will be reading. She is the author of “The Complete Hawaiian Reef Fish Coloring Book.” Both authors will be around for book signings if you want to purchase some of their work, and each author will be reading their stories as well as their favorite holiday stories to the kids.

And, to make it even better, there will be ornament decorating after the December 24th reading! So if you want to go out on Christmas Eve for a holiday reading, this would be the one to attend! ☺

I’ve always loved book readings. After all, I’ve always loved books. And if you haven’t been to a holiday book reading in the past, I encourage you to come for a while. You will truly enjoy it.

November 25, 2013 by, Emily

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, in my last post about Koloa Plantation Days, I gave you a general schedule for the activities and events planned for the weekend opening of the Plantation Days celebration. And now that I have a bit more time, I will continue to add to that schedule by listing the activities and events taking place in the upcoming week.

(Again, please note that many of these things were taken directly from the Koloa Plantation Days website. This is not in an attempt to plagiarize. It is simply my way of trying to give you the best information possible.)

Monday (22) – There will be events from 8am-9pm. First off, the Grand Hyatt Kauai will be hosting a Makawehi Sand Dune Hike. Those interested need to meet at the Seaview Terrace at 8am sharp. Later in the day, the Plantation Days exhibit will open (6pm) at The Shops at Kukuiula. This exhibit will stay open until Friday, so make sure you stop by sometime during the week. Plus, there will be a Historic Film Night that night at The Shops starting at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (23) – There will be events from 9am-10pm. It is on this day that the Grand Hyatt Kauai will be hosting the Koloa Plantation Days Craft Fair from 9am-3pm. This should be lots of fun, as there will be many booths to purchase from and many craft venders to chat with. Also, there will be a Talk Story focused on Koloa Before Sugar at the Koloa Union Church at 3pm. I will probably be there, as I love the tradition of a good talk story, as well as the histories they bring to life. And to finish off the day, there will be live music in the Old Koloa Town Courtyard from 5-8pm.

Wednesday (24) – There will be events from 7am-9pm. Those who want to join the Coastal Hike by Malama Mahaulepu, please be at CJM Stables by 9:30pm. The hike will go until noon. Also, there will be traditional Hawaiian Games (SO FUN) at Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation from 10am-12pm. Then in the evening (4-6pm), there will be a Plantation Cooking event at Kauai Culinary Market (in The Shops at Kukuiula).

Thursday (25) – There will be events from 9am-9pm. From 9-11am, you can learn all about the sugar era at Old Koloa Mill. And in the afternoon, there will be a Plantation Days Putting Contest at Poipu Bay Resort (2-4pm).

Friday (26) – There will be events from 9am-9pm. Now, I heard there will be a Mahaulepu Pastel Class from 9am-noon. But I don’t know the price or where it is exactly. So if you have the information, please post a comment for those reading this blog! ☺ There will also be a Talk Story entitled “Sweet Memories of Old Koloa” at Koloa Missionary Church (4:30pm) and a Koloa Town Historical Walk leaving Koloa School at 5:30pm. (If you have never had a tour of Old Koloa, this would be a good chance for you to see the sights.)

Satuday (27) – There will be events from 9am-5pm. PARADE DAY! The Annual Parade and Park Celebration will take place at Koloa Town starting at 10am. This is one of the biggest events of the Plantation Days celebration and will include floats, marching units, riders, classic cars, and the Pacific Fleet Bank. The Park Celebration will commence shortly after the parade (10am-5pm) and will be filled with food, crafts, games for kids, live entertainment, and more. It will take place at Anne Knudsen Park (which is another name for Koloa Park) and will cost $3/person. (Kids will be free.)

Sunday (28) – There will be events from 7am-9pm. This is the last day of the Plantation Days event and will start bright and early (7-9am) with a Family Fun Run/Walk hosted by the Kukuiula Canoe Club. If you want to run, there will be race fees. Please check the website for price information. Then at 10am, there will be a children’s ukulele competition at Keoki’s Paradise. The competition is free to enter and includes a t-shirt for the child and lunch!

So there you have it: the schedule for the rest of the celebration. I hope you have a chance to visit Koloa sometime this week for some fun times and fantastic events. And if you don’t, maybe you can plan a trip to Kauai during the festival next year! 2014 is just 365 days away. ☺

It’s that time again! The town of Koloa is having their Plantation Days celebration, and you are invited! That’s right – You can head over to Poipu and enjoy several days of fun, games, live entertainment, competitions, exhibits, story talks, tours, and more! Plus, admission is typically free. Sounds good, right?

Now, the theme this year is “Stories of Our Heritage,” which tells me that there will be a lot of fun stories, histories, cultural exhibits, and traditional events and games mixed into this event. That means that I will likely be dragging my wonderful husband to at least a few days of this festival, though he isn’t the biggest fan of cultural histories himself. That’s okay though. For those of you who think history is boring, there will still be a LOT to do.

(Note: Most of this information has been taken directly from the Koloa Plantation Days website. This is not to plagiarize, but to provide you with the best information possible: directly from the source.)

Friday (19) – There will be events from 11am-8:30pm. These events will include a rodeo at CJM Stables, featuring preliminary roping (11am-3pm) and barrel racing (4-8:30pm). Also during this time, there will be a Paniolo BBQ with live country music, activities for kids, pony rides, a petting zoo, and much more.

Saturday (20) – There will be events from 8am-8:30pm. These events include a tennis competition (8am-4pm), a Historic Hapa Trail Walk starting at St. Raphael’s Church (9am), more rodeo roping at CJM Stables (11am-5pm), Keiki Fishing at Waita (1-4pm), and Polynesian Revue and a Fire Dancer at the Poipu Shopping Village (7:30-8:30pm). If you want to enter the tennis competition, I’m afraid you cannot. I just heard that the entry deadline was the 12th. Sorry everyone! But you can still come and watch. It should be some great tennis.

Sunday (21) – There will be events from 9am-9pm. The tennis semi-finals will take place from 8am-2pm. And there will be a miniature golf tournament at the Lawai Beach Resort at 10am! (Only those 13 years old and under can play.) Plus (and maybe most importantly) the 14th Annual Plantation Days Rodeo at CJM Stables will take place from 11am-3pm. The cost for the rodeo will be $3/person ($1/child), and this rodeo is great fun every year!

Okay, I’m running out of time to blog, but this should give you a great idea of the fun Plantation Days activities that will take place this weekend. Before Sunday evening, I’ll try to blog again and include the schedule for the rest of the week. Enjoy!

The best part about living on an island is the fact that you get to be surrounded by the ocean. And while rivers and lakes are nice, the ocean is a truly amazing place filled with unique life, large fish, teeming reefs, beautiful spaces, and magical ambiance. In other words, it’s worth spending time in and around. And if you get the chance to scuba dive, then you will truly understand the majesty of this aquatic world.

Scuba diving is a fun and professional way of getting a glimpse of the underwater kingdom surrounding Kauai. And, if you aren’t a professional scuba diver just yet, you don’t need to worry. There are tours you can pay for and lessons you can take, earning your right to enter the water and swim with the fishes. Plus, if you take a tour, there will always be a certified scuba instructor with you to help with all your needs, as well as showing you the truly unique places near the island for exploration and fun.

Back in the day when I used to scuba dive, I would go with a group of friends in a tour group. We went with Seasport Divers and always had a good time. So I figure I can recommend them to you now. After all, they are still under the same ownership, so I’m sure their instructors are still top notch.

Seasport is located in Koloa on the North side of the island. (They also have locations in Poipu and Kapaa for those who are vacationing on a different side of Kauai.) You can email them for more information by using this email address (info@seasportdivers.com) or by visiting their website (click HERE). But to give you a quick overview, you can just read below.

First time divers need to be given the proper training. And at Seasport Divers, there is a class for that. They offer free pool lessons 7 days a week, so you can practice before getting into the ocean. But once you get good, you’ll want to head to the water immediately, which is why they have a shore dive program and a boat trip you can take.

Now, if you are new, you will not be allowed to dive below 40 feet. That’s just the rule. Non-certified divers must be closely monitored and not allowed to place themselves into a position that will get them hurt. But don’t fret. 40 feet is still a long way under the water, and you will be surprised by just how amazing the underwater world can be.

Now, if you are a certified scuba diver, you can just go out on your own. But, if you are visiting Kauai, you probably didn’t bring your scuba stuff with you on the plane. And you might not know where the best diver spots are located. Well, no worries! You can rent scuba gear from Seasport and get all the information about the waterways from them.

So have you always wanted to learn to scuba dive, but you just weren’t sure you had the time or the proximity to the ocean? Well, now is your chance! Come and visit Kauai, and get to know a different part of the island, the part that not many see… the part under the sea.

Remember in my last post when I said that you could look for local artists at cultural festivals? Well, there is going to be a Japanese cultural festival on Saturday, June 22nd, from 9am-4pm! So here is your chance to see some amazing local artists. Plus, experience everything this festival has to offer.

The Cultural Arts and History of New Japan – 2nd Happiness Planting Festival will occur in Lihue, which is on the South side of the island. The Happiness Planting Center is located next to KEO behind Isenberg Park, according to their flier. (Though I admit that I haven’t been there before.) And admission is FREE! So, if you are looking for something fun to do on the 22nd, why not pay them a visit.

According to my sources, this is going to be a lot of fun. There will be performances, live music, crafting booths, dancing, games, and more. Plus, there will be experiences here that you can’t get anywhere else. For instance, you will be able to hear the ancient Japanese language come alive, watch anime, eat Japanese fare, take part in a fresh green tea ceremony, and learn about enlightenment and spiritual growth. Not only is this a cultural festival, it is a spiritual one. And it’s family friendly, so you can bring the kids and introduce them to a new culture. Fun right?

Now, I’m attaching the festival’s schedule HERE so you can read over it and decide when you’d like to go. But if you haven’t been to a cultural festival before, I highly recommend stopping by. After all, it’s a free visit and a great look into what makes Japanese culture tick. Plus, you can make some new friends. So come and join in the fun.

So, if Jazz at Birdie’s Café sounded good (or if you are just visiting the Southern half of the island), there are a couple of great places to stay in Poipu. My favorite of them is called Hale Huna, and I’ve probably told you about it before. But in case you’re new to this blog, let me catch you up.

Hale Huna is a lovely rental home on the end of Kelaukia Street. It’s a larger rental, with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and large common areas for dining, lounging, entertaining, cooking, and watching tv. Each room flows into the next with seamless perfection, as the plantation theme of the common areas runs throughout the entire house. This means you get modern comfort and creativity with an old Hawaii plantation house style and feel. The result is a home that is both welcoming and easy to live in. This is definitely the type of house you want to rent while on Kauai.

And, of course, it has a back yard that is just as epic as the front. This is very important if you love the outdoors and/or have a bunch of kids. The backyard of this home is spacious. Large French doors open into a private garden with lots of lawn. From this yard, you can see the beautiful mountains and lush gardens surrounding you. You can also dine outside, grilling on the BBQ and using the patio furniture as the children play tag football on the lawn.

And what vacation home is complete without some wonderful amenities? This home in particular has “more than you can shake a stick at,” as my mother would say. First off, it has all of the major comforts of home. For dining, there is a kitchen filled with all the latest gadgets, a large dining room table set for eight, and enough outdoor patio furniture to comfortably seat 8. Then there is the ambiance, complete with ceiling fans in each room to combat humidity and hardwood floors throughout the home. For those who love electronics, the house comes complete with 3 HDTVs and 3 DVD players, two in bedrooms and one in the living room. And if you need to check my blog while you’re here, Hale Huna also has DSL and WIFI.

Plus, Hale Huna is a part of the Poipu Kai Resort structure as well, meaning you can use many of the resort amenities. They include tennis courts (the house has free tennis rackets you can use), a gated swimming pool, and a spa. Plus, security is assured, as the resort has a 24-hour security team whose sole job is to keep renters and resort families safe.

Now for the best part: location. Hale Huna is located right near the ocean! In fact, you can access three major beaches by walking less than 10 minutes from your front door. And, if you want to head to the beach, the house has some beach chairs and towels you can use. So go, enjoy the day and, when you get home, you can rinse off in the outdoor shower, a convenient way to get cleaned up and leave the salt and sand out of the house.

So do you and your large family need a place to vacation this summer? How about you and a group of friends? Do you want a convenient and central location to stay on Poipu without it costing you a fortune in hotel room expenses? Well then visit Hale Huna! You’re going to love it.

With Mother’s Day almost here, I though it would be a good idea to give a shout out to my own mother. Mom – You taught me so much about how to be a woman and how to live my dreams and love my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!

And now, for the rest of you reading this, let’s talk brunch.

If you don’t know, brunch is the magical meal between breakfast and lunch, the perfect time to take your mom out for a bite to eat. And this year, I recommend Tortilla Republic for your meal needs. Here’s why.

1. Tortilla Republic is yummy. Seriously, their food is really good. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten something there that I didn’t like. They are a “modern Mexican grill,” which means that their Mexican food is grilled to perfection and has a signature flavor that I simply love. In fact, I’m craving it right now just typing about it.

2. They have drinks! Their margaritas are just about famous in both Hawaii and Hollywood. Plus, they have a plethora of other options for you, including their Mother’s Day “Mom-osas”. These are sure to be a big hit.

3. For Mother’s Day, they are featuring a “Mom-osa and Bellini cart.” And they are serving brunch from 9am-3pm. So you can bring your mom down for food and drinks, enjoying your time together with the assistance of a little alcohol. (Which is sadly a necessity for some of you and your moms.)

Now, here is my question: will you be on Kauai for Mother’s Day? Cause if you are, this is a great choice for a brunch, lunch, or dinner date with Mom. And if you are on Kauai but your mom isn’t here, why not go anyway? You can take pictures of your great time and send them to your mom as a Mother’s Day present. ☺ Or you can take me and I can watch you eat all of the amazing food while I try to stick to my diet. *sigh*

When you have children, the idea of going to an island completely surrounded by water might be a bit scary. After all, the worry that your child can wander out into the water and be swept out to sea is a real one when there is that much water around. But, luckily for you, I have the answer.

Keeping your little ones safe so that they can enjoy the wonder of the ocean is important, so I want to help. And luckily for you, I know some of the safest beaches on Kauai! Is that because I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve been to every beach on Kauai? Well… okay, yes both of those things are true. But I know the safest beaches for kids on Kauai because of the Kauai Visitor’s Bureau, who have an awesome pamphlet about water safety and which beaches to choose.

So here is the information I read on the pamphlet:

Anini Beach – Anini Beach is on the North Side of the island near Princeville. And while this beach does not have a lifeguard (which is a big No No in my world), they do have a protected swimming area. So the water in this area stays calm and, if you keep a sharp eye on your kids, you should be able to have a lot of fun at this beach.

Lydgate Beach – Lydgate is on the East Side of the island and, unlike Anini Beach, it DOES have a lifeguard station. So in addition to a protected swimming area, there are trained professionals on site. (Yes!) Plus, if you are just getting into town, Lydgate Beach is just north of the airport a ways.

Poipu Beach Park – Poipu Beach Park has all of the greatness of Lydgate Beach, except it’s on the South Side of the island.

Salt Pond – Just like Poipu Beach Park, Salt Pond has a protected swimming area, ample room to set up your supplies for the day, a lifeguard on duty, and it’s located on the South Side of the island.

So, as you can see, there are a few beaches with calm, protected ocean waters where your small children can splash around, play with floaties, build sand-castles, and experience the warm tropical waves. And if you have any questions about the beaches listed above, you can contact the Kauai Visitors Bureau or simply write them a note on their Facebook page.

Okay, there is so much more to do before the Prince Kuhio Day celebration ends. But I don’t have enough time to blog about all of it. ☹ (Sometimes it’s hard when the rest of my life interferes with my blogging.)

SO… I’ve decided to give you a brief overview of everything else you can do during this month. Hopefully, you will see something you’re interested in and you can contact the venue for more information. Okay, are you ready to quickly learn about your options? Good!

Cultural Demonstrations (FREE) – Did you miss the crafting sessions and cultural lessons last Friday? Well, good news! There will be more sessions today (March 24) from 9:30am to 3pm. Plus, in addition to the previous lesson choices, you can take ancient hula lessons at 10am! Awesome, right? For more information, contact Stella Burgess at 808-240-6369.

Talk Story (FREE) – A talk story (if you haven’t read this blog before) is an oral account of Hawaiian history. And at this Talk Story, you will have the opportunity to listen to our eastside kupuna tell the histories of Kauai. This is also a great chance to ask questions about Kauai and a good chance to get your children some extra credit in their history classes. The talk story is Thursday (March 28th) at 10am. For more information, call 808-632-8202 and talk to the front desk. (This Talk Story will take place at Kauai Lagoons in Lihue.)

Birthday Party – You knew that was coming, right? ;-) Okay, so this party will take place at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua on Friday (March 29). From 5-6pm, the life of Prince Kuhio will be showcased, pictures will be shown, and history will be given. Then at 6pm, there will be an abundance of food! So come hungry and bring your wallets, because this will cost money. You can call Smith’s or check their website for more information.

Another Birthday Party (FREE) – This will be a town-wide celebration in Anahola on Saturday (March 30) and will take place mostly at Anahola Beach Park from 11am to 5pm. There will be stories, dancing, art, games, crafts, food, and more. For more information, call 808-639-1754.

Easter Egg Hunts – In all of this celebrating, we can’t forget Easter, right? So, you have options! I have heard about two egg hunts so far: one in Anahola and one at the Prince Clubhouse. The Prince (golf course in Princeville) will be hosting an egg hunt, meet the bunny, and refreshments event from 9-11am. This event is FREE but food will cost money. Anahola’s Easter event will take place at Anahola Baptist Church from 1pm-1am and will include a live bunny petting zoo, games, songs, stories, snacks, an egg hunt, prizes, and more. Free for all ages. You can call 639-9675 for more information.

Okay, that is just a few of the things happening this week. Crazy, right?! And the funny thing is… there is so much more I could have told you about! So if you don’t see something here that sounds like fun, just look around you and ask a resident. We’ll be happy to help you find a concert, craft fair, water sport, rental company, or luau that interests you. ☺

If you are visiting Kauai for the Prince Kuhio Day celebration (or if you plan to come to Kauai and spend some time on the South side of the island), I have another great vacation rental recommendation for you: The Tides in Koloa. Just wait until you hear more about it…

Inside

The Tides is a LARGE vacation home for up to eight people. There are 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a ton of living space. Actually, this vacation home is about 2500 square feet! That’s plenty of space to bring a bunch of friends, spread out, and really enjoy your stay. The master bedroom has a king-sized bed, which is glorious. And the second bedroom has a queen-sized bed, which is also very comfortable. But the third bedroom is actually located downstairs and has it’s own kitchenette, small living area, private entrance, and more. So your biggest problem with this place might be trying to decide which room you want.

The main living space is very open, creating one large room for you to hang out and visit. The kitchen is like a fairly island of awesome. (If you like to cook, this is the place for you.) It’s surrounded by counter-tops, is equipped with the best kitchen gadgets, and makes your kitchen at home look small. And the dining room has space for everyone in your party, as well as providing the dinnerware you’ll need to actually enjoy your meal. Finally, the living room has comfortable furniture, an entertainment center, and free high speed internet.

In other words, The Tides has everything you’ll need for a luxurious stay on a tropical island. But wait… there’s more!

Outside

The Tides is situated right on the water. So from just about every room of the house, you’ll have a view of the ocean. Because of the excellent views, you might want to spend more time than usual outside, which is perfectly possible with so much exterior space. The backyard is large, beautiful, and filled with green grass. So you can play football, croquet, or simply lay a towel outside and sunbathe. Plus, there are two beachfront patios (lanais) off of two of the bedrooms. This means that you can enjoy your fresh cup of Kauai Coffee each morning sitting on your own private patio looking out onto the water. Awesome, right?

Sounds tempting, right? So why not come and check it out. You’ll be glad that you did.

When I was a kid, I was pretty good in school. I loved to read, and so I easily got through my textbooks. Plus, I’m a visual learner. So, if it was in the book, I would pick it up rather quickly. If information was placed on the blackboard, I would remember it. And if I took notes in class, I would even remember what my teacher said. It was great.

However, there was a girl right next to me who simply couldn’t sit still. She was constantly tapping her pencil, bouncing her feet on the floor, cracking her knuckles, and generally moving. She simply had to move. At the time, her parents thought it was ADHD and put her on some low dose meds. But after her grades dropped (and a very good school counselor got involved), she learned that she was simply a kinetic learner. She had to be moving to learn. She really enjoyed building things, doing hands-on projects, and excelled at PE.

I think of her now because there is a Hawaiian cultural demonstration coming up that I think everyone will enjoy. This demonstration is a part of the Prince Kuhio Day celebration, and will involve hands-on arts sessions! So if you have ever wanted to make Hawaiian crafts and arts, now is your chance to learn, no matter your learning style.

Let’s be honest here – it takes more than a lecture to learn something. You have to practice, play, and figure it out in a practical place. Well, this cultural event will highlight the Native Hawaiian culture and art practices by teaching weaving, working with taro, stone-carving, Hawaiian weapons, making drums, making tapa, and the creation of bracelets. There will also be Ukulele lessons. Awesome, right?

Now, not all of these things will involve participation learning, but several will involve activities where you can get hands-on experience. And, the best part, these sessions are FREE!

So, if learning about Hawaiian culture and learning to make fun crafts sounds good to you, come to Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa this Friday from 2pm until 7pm. And, if you want to ensure yourself a seat, you can call the concierge at the hotel early to register for the lessons. Want more information before you decide? No problem! Just call 808-240-6369 and talk to Stella Burgess.

Do you have $10? Do you like archaeology? Are you going to be here on Kauai on Thursday, March 21st, from 9am to 11:30am? Well, if you answered yes to these questions, then I have an event for you!

The Makauwahi Reserve is a fascinating place where explorers can visit and hear all about the past and future of Kauai. Both past and future? Why yes! Let me explain. This reserve has the largest limestone cave on Hawaii, which is pretty cool in and of itself. But add to that an open-air sink hole containing what scientists say is perfectly preserved fossils ranging from 10,000 years ago or more and you have amazing.

To quote the Makauwahi Cave Reserve’s website (which can be found here): “The rich fossil-bearing sediments of Makauwahi Cave, over 10 m (33 feet) thick in some areas, have an unusual chemistry that preserves almost everything that fell in there over the last 10,000 years or more – animal fossils such as shells and bones, as well as plant fossils including seeds, leaves, and wood. Microscopic fossils, including pollen, spores, algae, even DNA fragments, occur by the billions.

So what does this mean? Well, by using the information from fossils found in the cave, scientists have been able to research the past and do some pretty awesome things in the present, like saving species on the brink of extinction. Plus, the place looks really neat. So if you want to come and visit, why not stop by.

As part of the Prince Kuhio Day events, there will be a Makauwahi Reserve Tour starting at 9am on Thursday morning. The tour will give the history of the area, a presentation of the fossils found, and information about how uncovered scientific data is able to preserve the present and future as well as the past. The price for this tour is only $10! So it will be well worth the price. Plus, how cool is ancient history!?

If you’d like to sign up for the tour, simply call 480-225-5604 for more information. And if you go, remember to wear grippy walking shoes and to bring a water bottle. The preserve is 17-acres, and walking in and out will work up a thirst.

As part of the Prince Kuhio Day celebration, there will be a mini rodeo at CJM Stables at 2pm today! So if you want to enjoy some great horseback riding and be a part of a wonderful Kauai tradition, then come and join us.

Rodeos have a long history on our island. They started around the plantation era, where farming families would learn to ride and compete with others from around the island. And ever since then, we have held our horseback-riding heritage in our hearts. That’s why there are rodeo events and horseback riding options all year round on Kauai, especially in Poipu.

Now today, there will be barrel racing. This event will be divided up into three separate divisions: open, senior, and youth. So no matter your age or riding style, you could join us. And, if you don’t want to race, you can certainly watch the fun. After all, admission to this event is FREE!! So you can come, watch a day of horsing around, and enjoy yourselves for no cost.

And if you have kids, there will also be pony rides available. So everyone wins!

For more information on this event, you can visit CJM Stables online or call 808-639-6695. And if you don’t like horses, don’t worry. There will be many more events this month as we move toward Prince Kuhio Day.

If you visit Kauai sometime before the end of this month, chances are that you will hear about Prince Kuhio’s birthday. And you will think, “Well, happy birthday to him” and then go about your merry way, enjoying the sand, the surf, and the special events on our lovely island. But there is more to this event than you think.

First of all, Prince Kuhio is dead. I know – shocker, right? So don’t feel too bad if you can’t find him to wish him a happy birthday in person. So why are we celebrating? Well, Prince Kuhio Day is a statewide holiday on Hawaii, and on Kauai we like to build up the celebration a bit. So while the Prince’s official birthday is on March 26th and his full name is actually Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole Piikoi, we have a bunch of celebratory events all throughout the end of March.

Secondly, we aren’t just celebrating a birthday here. Just like President’s day is actually President George Washington’s birthday, Prince Kuhio Day is a day to celebrate the life and achievements of our dear Prince. You see, Prince Kuhio was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was prince of the House of Kalakaua. And he was, by all rights and accounts, a great man.

But you see, the United States was forming and our set of tiny islands needed unity and protection. So, when Hawaii entered the United States of America and became an official state, we could no longer have a King. We had a President.

That didn’t stop Prince Kuhio, however. Our prince did not consider himself so important that he would block our entrance into the United States. Instead, he desired the good of all of our people. He worked hard to ensure that Hawaii was well-represented in Congress. He authored the Hawaii Statehood bill in 1919. And he worked hard to provide for his people. By going through the US government, he did more for his people that we could have ever imagined. And he looked good doing it! ☺

And so we celebrate Prince Kuhio Day (his birthday) as a memorial to this great man and a celebration of his legacy. Plus, it’s always a good day for a party of two, right?

Now, if you are on Kauai and you see a PK Day celebration going on, join us! We welcome all tourists and residents alike. And we look forward to celebrating our freedom, our island heritage, and our culture with you.

March 14, 2013 by, Emily

You know, if you plan on going to the art fair in Poipu, you might as well stay at a beautiful vacation house while you’re there. And one of the best vacation homes in Poipu is Hale Huna off Kelaukia Street. Let me tell you a bit about it.

First of all, this place is gorgeous. Designed and furnished to let in as much natural light as possible, this vacation home is always bright and sunny. Mirrors located in strategic locations reflect light into other parts of the house, making sure you can always glimpse a little bit of tropical paradise. And all of the windows allow you to see a beautiful garden paradise all around you, including your private garden and mountain views.

Secondly, Hale Huna is soothing. With soft colors and textures, beautiful hardwood floors, large open rooms, and ceiling fans in each room to combat the humidity, you will truly be living in comfort. The kitchen is set up with a large island, lots of counter space, and an abundance of appliances for easy use. The breakfast bar has free Wifi and DSL. And the living room is set up with comfortable furniture and a 47” HDTV and DVD, so you can relax with a movie at the end of a long day.

Now, let’s discuss room. This home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, giving you enough space for 8 adults to sleep comfortably. And since this home is located at the end of a cul-de-sac, there will be enough privacy for you to truly enjoy yourself. The house has a dining room table large enough for 8 to sit comfortably and large rooms so you don’t feel cramped. Plus, there is a large area outside with patio furniture, a table, lounges, and a BBQ for grilling up dinner.

And do you want to know the best part? Well, this home is located right near the beach! In fact, all beaches in the area are a simple 10 minute walk away, giving you access to white sand, surf, snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming, and more. The house has beach towels for you to use and a convenient outdoor shower, in case you come back salty and sandy. So you can enjoy a day by the ocean whenever you want.

Need more amenities? Well, how about access to all of the amenities at Poipu Kai Resort, such as tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a spa? There are also great restaurants in town and shops galore. And, when you want to see the sights, you are in a prime location to start.

So why not consider Hale Huna. I think you’ll really enjoy it!

If you like art, then you will want to visit Poipu Beach Park on Saturday, March 16th. Why? Well, over 40 of Kauai’s top artists will be there, working artist booths and showing their wares. From photography and paintings to jewelry and wood carvings, you can find it all at one of our artisan fairs. And this one is no exception.

One of my favorite things to do is window shop. I admit that I don’t have a ton of cash to spend on things I like, but I do enjoy looking at the things that I like and knowing how lovely they would be in my house. So when an artisan fair comes up on the schedule, I get excited.

I love art because I love beautiful things. And you can clearly see that when you walk into my house. Paintings cover the walls, specialty baskets hold my belongings, wood carvings are the centerpieces on my table, and I have several photography books lying around on coffee tables. In other words, if it’s pretty, I want it. And I save up my money until I can buy it.

I also know a few artisans here on Kauai and request their work as my birthday and Christmas presents. So my life is always full of color, creativity, crafts, and created things. It makes me happy and my fiancée puts up with it nicely. ☺

So if you are anything like me (or if you just want something fun and easy-going to do on a Saturday morning), come to Poipu Beach Park. Walk along the sand, check out the beautiful works of art, and find something new. There will be clothes, carvings, pounded mulberry bark, oil paintings, linens, and much more to buy. Plus, you can see some of the best artists on Kauai, ask them questions, and get to know their work.

If you are vacationing here, what better souvenir can you bring back for your friends that a special piece of art made by a local artist right here on Kauai? Sure, it’s no plastic surfboard keychain, but I think a piece of art would make a great gift. So come and see for yourselves. The Prince Kuhio Garden Isle Artisan Fair will begin promptly at 9am and will continue until 3pm. Entrance to the park is free, so you can stop by and visit at any time.

It’s New Years Eve! I can’t believe how quickly this year has passed by. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down to write a similar post to this one… exactly one year ago. Weird.

Well, today I am sitting here to write about the fun things that are planned on Kauai for New Years. And, if you are a visitor to or a resident of our fair island, you should know by now that Kauai knows how to plan a party. So regardless of your reasons for ringing in the New Year, come and enjoy a few popular parties.

First of all, if you have a family, you should head to Poipu at 5pm! Why? Well, Poipu Beach Park is going to be hopping with a New Years Eve celebration for children and adults of all ages. There will be live music, food booths, children’s activities, craft booths, cultural displays, and games. PLUS, this entire event is free and ends with a spectacular fireworks display! What a way to ring in the new year, am I right? The fireworks will take place at 9:20, leaving plenty of time for you to get those kids home and in bed on time.

Of course, not everyone wants to go to bed early. So if you don’t have to stay at home with the kiddos, stay in Poipu after the fireworks are over. Tortilla Republic (in the Kukuiula Shopping Village) will be hosting a New Years Eve party as well. The party starts at 10pm and the cover charge is $10/person. And once you’re inside, take advantage of the great food, special New Years Eve menu, drinks, live music, dancing, and New Years entertainment. But if you want a table, you’ll have to call Tortilla Republic (808-742-8884) in advance for reservations. After all, this place is going to fill up fast.

OR, if you don’t want to do either of these things, you can make a party all your own. There are typically quite a few parties going on around the North part of the island, especially around Princeville. So head to the beach, find a nice restaurant, go clubbing, or simply stay at home and enjoy each other as the midnight countdown commences. Because, whatever you do, it’s important to be with the ones you love if you can.

Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2013!

It’s the end of the world!!! … or at least that’s what some people think. ;-)

Regardless of what you believe, this is the perfect time to party. After all, if the world is going to end, you might as well die happy, right? (Yes, I am making light of this. But if you truly believe that the Mayan calendar foretells our doom, all the more reason to drink, right?.)

So, come and party with us! Tortilla Republic in Poipu (in the Kukuiula Shopping Center) is having an end of the world Mayan Fiesta on Thursday and Friday (December 20th and 21st). They have created a new cocktail for the occasion and are offering specialty priced small plates from 3-5pm each afternoon.

Why tell you this? Well, I often write about festivals, pastimes, cultural references, and other community events here on Kauai. But I’m also known for writing about good food when I find it. And I like the food at Tortilla Republic. They are a wonderful Mexican restaurant with high end food and upscale location design. In other words, this is a great place to eat regardless of whether the world is ending. And, if the world does end, you’ll want to have a really great last meal, right?

So, if you’re in the neighborhood on Thursday or Friday from 3-10pm, stop by Tortilla Republic in Poipu. Enjoy a drink, eat some great food, spend time with some of the world’s best people, and help us send this world off with a bang.

Halloween is almost here. Are you ready for some awesome parties? Well, this year I’ve heard of two parties that have the chance of being epic. Wanna know more? Well good then. I’ll tell you.

First off is the Tortilla Republic’s “Angels and Diablos” Halloween Fiesta. (I’ll give you a hint: this means you should dress as an angel or a devil.) This party will be at Tortilla Republic in Koloa from9pm-1am and will feature live “Black Widow” aerial silk performers. Best of all, there will be drink specials going throughout the night, so you can loosen up and enjoy the evening. (Let’s just say this party is not for children.) And, sometime during the night, there will be a contest to see who is the most angelic and who is the most devilish. Want to go to this party? Well, then you should know that women get in free, but there is a $10 cover charge for men. So dress up, bring cash, and enjoy.

The second party starts at 10pm at the Sheraton Kauai in Poipu and goes until 1am. The theme of this one: The Captains Monster Ball. For this party, RumFire and Captain Morgan have teamed up to host a wild and awesome Halloween event. There will be a Captain contest, a costume contest, prizes, drinks, and a live DJ. And, for you guys out there, one of the main features will be the Captain’s Morganettes. (As you can tell, this party is also not for children.) Which party is better? Well, I can’t really tell you that. But I can tell you that this party has no cover charge, so keep that in mind men.

And there you have it. Those are the two big parties I’ve heard about so far. So if you are kid-free and looking for a fun evening, head South to Koloa or Poipu and have a great night.