I woke up to a gorgeous morning on Kauai with a walk on Hanalei Bay calling out to me. Just down the road from Princeville, I was slowed for a few minutes by the flag people stopping traffic on the hill where they are reinforcing the road. I found the first parking lot full at 8:00 but the second virtually empty. There were a handful of people on the sand and a few novice surfers waiting for the summer “surf” to arrive. Plenty of boats were anchored in the bay with kayaks and paddle boards floating by. The water was crystal clear. It was a pretty idyllic scene, so I thought I would share a few photos with you.
I have been hearing a lot about these two Kauai driving guide apps lately. I must admit I have not downloaded them to my phone to check them out, but people are raving about them on social media. I did look them up and they both get good reviews. They might come in handy as you drive around the Garden Island.
Both apps use your device’s location abilities to play the commentary AUTOMATICALLY. Once you download the app to your device over Wi-Fi, no data, cellular or even wireless network connection is needed while traveling. Anyone can use them with no need for roaming data – even when visiting from another country.
It is like traveling with a local tour guide in your car!
2019 marks the 34th year for Koloa Plantation Days Festival, a ten day celebration of Hawaii’s sugar industry and heritage. Koloa plantation was founded in 1835, the first in the islands. The birth of the sugar industry shaped the lives of everyone in Hawaii forever. Although the mill and fields are idle in Koloa as well as virtually all over the state, many people in Hawaii are former workers themselves or descendants of plantation workers. Koloa Plantation Days Festival brings people to Koloa and Poipu on Kauai’s south shore to celebrate aspects of the plantation lifestyle.
Koloa Plantation Days Festival is held every year in July. The many ethnic groups that came to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations, and the Hawaiians who welcomed them, are celebrated through music, dance, costumes, and food throughout this ten-day festival. This year the Koloa Plantation Days Festival is from July 19th to July 28th and every day is packed with events and activities. Offering parades, rodeos, runs, gaming, shows and more, you are sure to find plenty of ways to enjoy your time on the south shore.
Koloa Plantation Days Festival Schedule
Two of the seventeen albatross chicks born in Princeville have taken flight. All of these chicks were born the end of January and have stayed close to their nests until now. Mom and Dad have been bringing them sustenance for months. Now it is time for each of them to head out to sea to find their own food thousands of miles away.
Pela (Hawaiian for “soar”), the chick I was lucky enough to name, is still in the cul-de-sac just at the foot of Honu Point’s driveway. He/she, like the others, has much of her body covered in flight feathers but still maintains the baby fluff around her head and chest. It is not her best look.
The reasons are clear but the timing is questionable. The State Department of Land and Natural Resources announced on Monday that new parking fees at Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke’e State Park will start on Friday, June 28, 2019. It is unclear how the parking will be managed but no reservations will be required.
Visitors will be charged $5.00 per vehicle for parking. One $5 ticket gets you into all four lookouts: Waimea Canyon, Puu Hina Hina, Kalalau, and Puu o Kila. For those on a moped or motorcycle, the cost will be $1.00 per person. Pedestrians in the two state parks will be charged $1.00. There will be fees for commercial vehicles and tours as well. Residents, with a Hawaii driver’s license, will not be charged.
Update as of June 24, 2019: The road is open! After one week of free-flow traffic, however, there is still a lot of confusion over what is happening on the North Shore. There is no better way of knowing than actually driving there and that is just what my husband and I did this morning. We left our house in Princeville at about 7:15 AM. We had a smooth ride, breezing through the one-lane road going down into Hanalei and crossing the bridges on the north end of the bay. It was a beautiful ride as we passed the enormous amount of work that was done over the last 14 months since the 2018 flood.
One of my June guests who stayed at my vacation rental, Honu Point, was quick to tell me about how much fun they had taking ukulele lessons at Hanalei Strings. The whole family participated, along with a friend who happened to be on the island at the same time. I had heard about these lessons before, but there is nothing like hearing about it from someone who has actually participated. They had a blast!
Weather and surf reports vary tremendously depending on the time of year and your location on Kauai. During your tropical vacation you may find yourself in an area where it is raining or the surf is not to your liking. You wonder what it is like on the other shores of Kauai’s coast. Following is a list of websites and phone numbers that may help you determine the best place to spend your day.
If you want to see exactly what an area is like, at any given time, the best way is to check out the various live web cams that are around the island. Currently there are six on the north shore, five on the south shore and two on the east shore. When clicking the link to each camera, you will be taken to the website which hosts the web cam. The map at the bottom of the page shows the specific locations of each camera. This allows you to see the current weather at thirteen spots around Kauai.
So many visitors come to Kauai for a very special occasion: engagement, wedding, anniversary, maternity, milestone birthday, family reunion, or last hurrah before the teenage/young adult children start busy lives of their own. Others are simply celebrating the “trip of a lifetime.” Kauai’s scenic backdrop makes for some beautiful portraits. But, a selfie can only goes so far. Why not hire a Kauai photographer instead? I happen to know of four you might want to consider.
Of course there are many Kauai photographers of which to choose. I decided to feature these three because I have seen their photographs on social media and from what each of them say it seems like their personalities would lend itself to a fun, relaxing photo session. They all seem passionate, confident and willing to work with their clients to create beautiful portraits and, in one case, videos. All three will go just about anywhere on the island to find the perfect location (and weather) for your photo shoot. So, may I introduce……
Researching the differences between full face snorkeling masks and traditional snorkeling equipment has been a real eye-opener for me. Thousands of visitors each year hit the beach with snorkel gear in hand. Who doesn’t want to see what lies below the ocean surface? Heck, many have never even been in the ocean before. Warm water, tropical fish and sea turtles make for some impressive vacation memories.
But, unfortunately, for many reasons, this Hawaiian experience can be very dangerous. In fact, from 2008 to 2017, in the state of Hawaii, there were 183 drownings which occurred during snorkeling. 93% were non-Hawaii residents. More Hawaii visitors die from snorkeling than from motor vehicle crashes, aircraft crashes, falls or homicides combined. We want you to be safe!