I oftentimes get asked the question, “What is the best Kauai helicopter tour company?” I have been hesitant to answer in the past because I have not personally been on a Kauai helicopter tour since the 80s. Last week, however, a good friend of mine who owns a condo in Princeville, went on the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour out of the Princeville Airport and came back raving about it. “We FINALLY experienced this March 2019 – and WOW! It is by far the BEST way to get a sense of the whole island. It was spectacular!”
Kauai is unique in that there is no road which circles the island. Therefore 70% of the lush interior, along with the Na Pali Coast is inaccessible by car. This is, without question, the most beautiful part of the island. The tropical rain-forests, lush valleys and cascading waterfalls are what dreams are made of. Parts of the Waimea Canyon can be seem by driving to the west side of the island and up to Kokee State Park (about a two hour drive from Princeville). The 17 mile Na Pali Coast, with 3000 foot sea cliffs, is stunning by boat. However, ocean swells often keep boats from touring during winter months. A Kauai helicopter tour, on the other hand, will give you a bird’s eye view of this spectacular scenery and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters fly year-round, weather permitting of course.
If you find yourself falling in love with the albatross in Honu Point’s neighborhood, consider a walk with Cathy Granholm. She lives just down the street and checks on the albatross almost daily. With her computerized list of tag numbers handy, she scouts the neighborhood (and Princeville in general) to see which adults have flown in. She has been following some of these adults for years and has a family tree showing the lineage of many of the birds. She also checks each nest to make sure the chicks are progressing as they should.
Cathy’s walks are fascinating, filled with facts, theories, and lots of stories about birds she has observed over time. Because albatross return to where they are born and where they nest, it is much like a family reunion each year when the birds return from the north. She, like I, and many of the neighbors, feel totally invested in their welfare. Cathy has anecdotes about who has paired up with who (not all mate for life apparently) and about times when she has had to step in and help out a fledgling trying to fly for the first time. There are some funny stories as well as some sad ones. I keep telling her she needs to write a book.
On March 18th, a popular Kauai brewery, Kauai Beer Company, will be hosting “Beers For A Cause.” Not that most people need a reason to have a beer or two, on this day $1.00 spent on every pint or goblet will go to help Kauai’s animals in need. The Kauai Humane Society and Kauai Beer Company have joined forces to support this important cause.
Kauai Beer Company, in Lihue, is a social place to be, with locally made craft brews, good food and friendly people. From the website we learn, “Opened in Fall 2013, the Kauai Beer Company has become a destination for residents and guests. Our neighborhood microbrewery produces artisan batches of high-quality craft beer, served in a relaxed atmosphere, making all our friends feel completely at home. The creative food menu rivals the brew and stands on its own as a reason to visit.” Hear about this family’s passion for making beer directly from the father and son owners:
For the first time, on the north shore of Kauai, Aquatic Bodywork sessions are offered by my friend, Kalaya Delmars, an Aquatic Specialist certified in four water therapies (Watsu, Jaraha, Water Dance, Healing Dance). This exclusive kind of therapy is offered at only the very elite hotel spas in the world. Imagine floating in a warm water pool while being massaged and stretched by an expert!
The warm water embrace of Aquatic Bodywork invites the muscles to relax and the spine to open with each movement. The buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure of the water supports and increases blood circulation and lymphatic flow helping with range of motion, muscle tightness, weakness and emotional stress. Aquatic Bodywork helps break the pain cycle. What better time to try out this therapy than when on vacation?
Kauai, Hawaii is such a magical place that often times visitors want to take home a beautiful painting as a reminder of their time in Paradise. Saim Caglayan has been plein air painting the landscapes of Kauai for years. I have personally known Saim for 15 of those years and am proud to call him my friend.
If you happen to be on island on Thursday, January 11th then why not spend an evening with Judy Collins?
Blues Bear Hawaii presents Singer-Songwriter and Folk Music Icon Judy Collins. Judy is on tour in support of her latest release “Strangers Again” a collection of duets with some of her favorite male artists, including Don Mclean, Michael McDonald, Jeff Bridges, Willie Nelson & Jackson Browne. ”These are guys that I adore & respect. I have dreamed of playing with them.”
To all of our past and future guests at Kauai Vacation Rental at Honu Point, Tom and I wish you the most wonderful holiday season. We are appreciative of the fabulous guests we’ve had and look forward to meeting new friends in 2018.
Need a yoga fix on Kauai? Meet Anna Myers (far right in photo). She has been a fitness professional for 35 years. Several years ago she introduced Yoganna, her form of yoga, to the north shore of Kauai. It is a safe, fun, Hawaiian yoga program for all body types.
As a way to give back to the community she loves, Anna offers Yoganna by the Sea on the last Thursday of every month. All of the proceeds go to Malama Pono Health Services, an organization which has been helping those on Kauai for 30 years.
If you are looking for what to do in Kauai and you are a hiker, try the Okolehao Trail which is on the mountain behind Hanalei, just down the hill from Princeville. Let me warn you, however, this hike is not for the weary!
The Okolehao Trail is a 2.3 mile hiking path which ascends 1,232 feet up Hihimanu Ridge. As you are driving north into Princeville, look off to the left and you will notice a mountain that has at its top a shape much like a shark’s tooth. That is Hihimanu.
Okolehao Trail is a moderate trail but the weather really determines how difficult it will be to hike. If the north shore has experienced a lot of rain the trail will be much more difficult because of the mud. In this case a walking stick is a must.
The round-trip hike takes about four hours. In some sections, sharp, foot-wide inclines necessitate a system of ropes to aid hikers in their climb up Hihimanu’s spine. The reward, of course, is at the top where there are sweeping, 180 degree views extending from the Kilauea Lighthouse to the Na Pali Coast. Hanalei Bay’s crescent shape will be sparkling right below you.
Yes, today was another drop dead gorgeous winter day in Princeville, Kauai; warm temperatures, clear skies and a slight breeze. From the lush, green mountains to the white water swells I just had to share. This video was taken by me at the end of our peninsula.
And, just to add some excitement to the spender, we have at least four albatross nests within five houses of our property. One parent stays on the nest while the partner goes off for food. Then they exchange places. This continues until the chick emerges from its shell and is old enough to stay warm without them. Princeville is the only place in the world where albatross nest among people!!
To highlight the day, as I was wandering around taking photos, I caught two young albatross trying to “hook up” with each other. Enjoy the dance (be sure to have your volume on).
These magnificent birds stay in the neighborhood until their chicks fledge in July. They definitely add to the enjoyment of a winter or spring vacation on Kauai. Come stay at Honu Point and you, too, will be able to have this “bird’s eye” view.
For more detailed information about the Laysan albatross, see my previous blog written one month ago when I was anxiously awaiting their arrival.