It is a strange and unsettling time living with social distancing on Kauai. After all, being social is what small-town living is all about. I miss the hugs that have become our welcome greeting since moving to the Garden Island. I miss the barbeques, the dinner parties, the fundraisers. I miss having friends over to play cards. I miss playing pickleball.
Even though the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus on Kauai has remained at 21 since last weekend, with 17 recovering, the state and county orders are still in place as Oahu battles to lower the curve. Our night curfew is in place, most businesses are closed, very few people are working, and face masks are required when in public. Fortunately though, Governor Ige and Mayor Kawakami understand the need for residents to exercise. Outdoor activities are a huge part of life in an area of the world where weather is pretty perfect year round.
So, surfing, swimming and hiking are still doable as long as social distancing is practiced. With this in mind, on Sunday Tom and I decided to leave Bandit, our cat, and the hens behind for an afternoon of adventure. We drove to Honu Point, our vacation rental (now closed for business), parked, and hiked down the hill to Sea Lodge Beach. The last guests who stayed at the house told us about a waterfall they discovered. We were determined to find it.
As we approached the ocean, instead of going left to Sea Lodge Beach, we turned right. After climbing across some rocks and walking down the coast for a few hundred yards, we found what a lot of people want to see when coming to Hawaii, a beautiful waterfall.
So you think you can dance? Good news! Dance on Kauai is alive and well. Whether it is ballroom, swing, Latin, tango, zouk or dancing with your partner on the sand, we have you covered. But, before I tell you what is happening on the Garden Island, check out this video that was created by one of the Oahu dance groups last year. The basic moves are West Coast Swing.
I have been involved with the swing dance community on Kauai for about 15 years. Our passion is west coast swing but that does not keep us from moving our hips to other forms of dance (cha cha, hustle, east coast swing, country 2-Step, nite club 2-Step, salsa). Every Tuesday evening a small group of us meet up at Rob’s Good Times Grill in Lihue for some companionship and dancing. Our leaders are really considerate about dancing with all the followers so no one gets left out. For years the owner of the grill has graciously allowed us to play our music through his sound system from 7:30 to 10:00. Many come early to eat in order to support our host. The food is yummy and relatively inexpensive. Visitors occasionally find us online and join in on the fun. Everyone is welcome.
Have you ever thought about adding a Kauai spa experience to your time on the Garden Island? There are a few spas on the island, but how about if the spa came to you? Recently I was introduced to Robin Sheldon, owner and operator of Mobile Spa Kauai. Once a month a friend of mine invites Robin to her home for an hour and a half massage/facial treatment. She schedules herself and two other friends (a spa party!). I was lucky enough to be one of the “others” last month, and I can tell you first hand that it is a heavenly experience.
The first hour is a massage from head to toe. Following that is a wonderful facial, complete with warm scented towels, essential oils, a facial steamer, calming music and more. I can just imagine having this experience with the sound of the ocean in the background! Don’t plan on getting much accomplished after these 90 minutes, however, because your body and mind will be in complete relaxation mode.
If you are on Kaua’i October 18th and 19th, do not miss the fourth annual Kauai Chocolate & Coffee Festival in Hanapepe, Kaua’i. Yes, it is a bit of a drive from Honu Point (about 90 minutes), but it will give you a chance to see our Historic Hanapepe Town and indulge in two of my favorite treats. This is a celebration of all things chocolate and coffee featuring a variety of these products from around the state.
The Kaua’i Chocolate & Coffee Festival spans over two days beginning on Friday with tours and workshops continuing into the evening. Then it picks up again on Saturday morning in order to highlight all the attributes of these two favorite local crops. The street festival takes place in Historic Hanapepe Town and includes farm tours, informative classes, workshops/demonstrations, live entertainment, a chocolate & coffee pampering station, a silent auction, keiki activities, sampling and much more.
It was almost a year prior to my brother-in-law’s retirement celebration and he was already calling me about going on a sport fishing trip with his three adult sons (my nephews). I suggested he might want to wait until a couple of months before their scheduled arrival to start contacting companies on the island. When that time arrived, I checked with a few of my fishing friends and they suggested Captain Don’s Kauai Sport Fishing. I knew this was super important to my brother-in-law, so I hoped my friends were not leading me astray.
Captain Don, and his boat the Happy Ryder, leave out of the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor in Lihue. The company offers specialty sportfishing charters and whale-watching expeditions. On their website they claim you can catch mahi mahi, dorado ahi, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, ono, marlin, sharks, amber jacks, barracuda, giant travalie and much more.
My family arrived on Saturday in July and the guys were checking the weather hourly in the hopes that Monday would bring clear skies and calm waters. Leaving the north shore in the wee hours of the morning, they headed to Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor. By sunrise they were motoring four to five miles away from the Kauai coast to look for ahi. It wasn’t long before the wives started receiving photos like this on their phones: