Hawaii’s Reopening – Visitors Are Welcomed Back With Testing

Hawaii's Reopening

Update: September 17, 2020. Governor Ige has delayed Hawaii’s opening with testing until October 15th. I do believe that this date will hold.

It was the news we had all been waiting for – Hawaii’s Reopening! Governor Ige held a news conference yesterday to announce that Hawaii will reopen to domestic travel on October 15th, as long as visitors can show a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours of the last leg of departure. So, what does this mean?

The 14-day quarantine is still in effect for domestic and international travel, and will continue to be in effect indefinitely. However, now there is another option for travelers outside the state. The model was taken from Alaska’s reopening. If a visitor agrees to take a NAAT, Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the last leg of departure, and is able to show a negative result, they will be allowed to enter the state after October 15th without having to quarantine.

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Living In A Pandemic Bubble On Kauai, Hawaii

Queens Bath - Kauai Pandemic Bubble

I feel like I am living in a pandemic bubble on Kauai. While the world continues to fight off the Corona Virus and the economy is at its breaking point, time seems to have slowed to a crawl on this little island in the Pacific. Our last confirmed case of Covid-19 was April 5th, bringing the total to 20. Our Governor and Mayor are very slowly and cautiously reopening aspects of society to residents, but the fear of allowing visitors back to the islands is visceral. Currently we have a 14-day quarantine for anyone (visitor or resident) arriving in Hawaii and vacation rentals are banned from operating. This, of course, breaks my heart as I have had to reschedule or refund 15 reservations so far. Waiting to hear each month if there is going to be another extension is stressful, to say the least.

It is hard for me to do what many here are doing, and that is to take advantage of this time to enjoy the island without crowds. The underlying reason always seems to crop up in my psyche. But, I will admit that not having helicopters and sightseeing airplanes flying overhead makes for some quiet and peaceful days. Being able to plan a trip to Lihue without considering Kapaa traffic is refreshing. And, quickly finding a parking space right in front of Foodland is Heaven! Yes, there are some advantages to having fewer people around.

The beaches are pretty idyllic as well. One trip to Ke’e found us at the end of the road sharing one of the most popular Kauai beaches with one woman and her son. Earlier Tom and I walked the stretch of Tunnels Beach passing a handful of people. SeaLodge Beach is generally empty and today we hiked down to Queen’s Bath (photo above) to find three local people searching for Opihi (Hawaiian shellfish) on the rocks. Yes, a few more people arrived before we left, but nothing like the numbers that are normally there when it is open.

The Hawaiian sea turtles were in abundance along the rocks and reef edge eating the algae that grows there:

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Kauai’s New Reality During Coronavirus Pandemic – Hawaii Update

coronavirus on kauai

Aloha to all of my subscribers: to past and future guests of our vacation rental, Honu Point, and to those who subscribe to find out more about the beautiful island of which I am lucky enough to call home – Kauai. This is, most definitely, the hardest blog post I have ever written. The coronavirus (Covid-19) is affecting every color of skin, every socio-economic level, and every walk of life. Kauai is not exempt. We are suffering too.

Because the first case on Hawaii came a couple of weeks after the virus hit the mainland, we did have a bit more time to prepare. Our governor and mayors of each county (island) acted quickly, enacting, first suggestions, and then orders, to prevent the spread of the virus. The first cases were travel related, either visitors coming to the islands or residents returning home. As feared, now some of the cases on Oahu are a result of community interaction with virus carriers. As of today there have been 224 confirmed cases in Hawaii and we had our very first virus-related death today.

Kauai, and it’s leadership under Mayor Kawakami, has been extremely proactive in keeping the virus from being spread throughout the community. As of yesterday, we have had twelve cases; all travel related. Six people with confirmed cases have recovered and returned home. The six remaining are residents who traveled back from the mainland. Five are in isolation at home and one has been hospitalized. Last Thursday, March 26th, a 14-day self-quarantine order was issued for anyone arriving in Hawaii, both visitors and tourists alike.

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So You Say You Want To Dance On Kauai?

Dance On Kauai

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.

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March Events (And A Special Concert In April) At Anaina Hou – Kauai

Anaina Hou - Live Music

Anaina Hou, home of the Kilauea Mini Golf and Porter Pavilion, continues to host Kauai events for residents and travelers alike. We are lucky to have this venue on the north shore. Following are the events scheduled for March 2020, with an added concert on April 2nd. Come join the fun!

Every Wednesday (Except Christmas) – Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show

Fire Dancing, Storytelling, and the Exhilarating Beat of Polynesian Drumming. Every Wednesday at Anaina Hou Porter Pavilion. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Arrive early to reserve your seats. Seating is limited and the show does sell out, so book your tickets in advance.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: http://anainahou.org/events/fire-show/

Friday, March 6th

Trivia Night! Generally the first Friday of the month is Trivia Night at Anaina Hou. Get in the game just for fun, or get competitive and bring your trivia expert friends and family to win the ultimate bragging rights! Visitors and residents join up at tables to answer 40 questions. Doors open at 5:00; Gaming starts at 6:00 and runs for two hours. Tables may be reserved here, or just drop in and join a team. Snacks and drinks available for purchase. Food truck(s) on site. It’s free!

Anaina Hou - Trivia Night

Friday, March 20th – Pau Hana Friday – Vic and the Victimz

“From the West Coast Swing of T-Bone Walker and the South-Side Chicago Grind of Muddy Waters to the Blues/Rock Stylings of Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Allman Brothers, and Carlos Santana, Vic & The Victimz offer a Blues-Infused selection of dance music for audiences of all ages.” Most of these musicians have been playing together for 20 years on Kauai. Bring a date, a friend, or your whole family. Here are a couple of videos to get you in the mood to dance!

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“Knee Deep” – Zac Brown Band – Theme Song for Honu Point

Kauai North Shore Beaches - SeaLodge

Every Tuesday night my girlfriends and I head into Lihue to go dancing (Tom is not a fan so he stays home). For years Rob’s Good Times Grill (think “Cheers”) on Rice Street has allowed our dance group to play our music from 7:30 to 10:00. We have fun dancing Swing, Cha Cha, Niteclub 2-Step, Country 2-Step, Salsa and more. For the rest of the people at the restaurant, we are quite the entertainment.

Darrel and I take turns creating a musical playlist each week. One song Darrel always includes is “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band (featuring Jimmy Buffet). Every time it comes on my girlfriend starts singing and says, “That should be the theme song for Honu Point.” So, finally, I thought I would share it with you, just for fun. I have included two videos and the lyrics. Let me know what you think.

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Kauai Events for February – Anaina Hou – Porter Pavilion – Hawaii

Anaina Hou - Live Music

Anaina Hou, home of the Kilauea Mini Golf and Porter Pavilion, continues to host Kauai events for residents and travelers alike. We are lucky to have this venue on the north shore. Following are the events scheduled for February 2020. Come join the fun!

Every Wednesday (Except Christmas) – Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show

Fire Dancing, Storytelling, and the Exhilarating Beat of Polynesian Drumming. Every Wednesday at Anaina Hou Porter Pavilion. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Arrive early to reserve your seats. Seating is limited and the show does sell out, so book your tickets in advance.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: http://anainahou.org/events/fire-show/

Friday, February 7th

Trivia Night! Generally the first Friday of the month is Trivia Night at Anaina Hou. Get in the game just for fun, or get competitive and bring your trivia expert friends and family to win the ultimate bragging rights! Visitors and residents join up at tables to answer 40 questions. Doors open at 5:00; Gaming starts at 6:00 and runs for two hours. Tables may be reserved here, or just drop in and join a team. Snacks and drinks available for purchase. Food truck(s) on site. It’s free!

Anaina Hou - Trivia Night

Friday, February 14th

Live music by Melvin Seals & JGB, featuring John Kadlecik. From their website:

“Melvin Seals has been a powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years with a long-established reputation as a performer, recording artist and producer. Melvin is most revered for his powerful, high-spirited, Hammond B-3 organ, and keyboards in the Jerry Garcia Band. Melvin spun his B-3 magic with the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years and in doing so helped pioneer and define what has now become “Jam Band Music”. From blues to funk to rock to jazz, Melvin Seals serves up a tasty mix with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up.

Melvin and JGB brings an intuitive, expressive style, soul, spontaneity and remarkable chops to the table. With acoustic and electric ingredients and unique combinations of Dave Hebert’s guitar and vocals, Pete Lavezzoli’s hearty drums and, of course, a heapin’ helpin’ of the wizard’s magic on Hammond B-3 Organ and keyboards. Along with backing vocals, the result is a most satisfying blend of natural organic grooves that challenges genre boundaries. Their chemistry is the focus from which they create a spontaneous and high art where the sky is the limit musically. They offer an exciting, often psychedelic musical journey that changes nightly and keeps the audience dancing and smiling (and some staring in amazement) for hours.

In addition to the often played staples, the band has recently been exploring the back catalog and performing a ton of super rare tunes, some of which The Jerry Garcia Band played only a few times over all those years.
Adding his rock-gospel-soul-rhythm and blues touch with his funky style of playing, no wonder Jerry nicknamed him “Master of the Universe”. Melvin continues to treat music lovers to his unique brand of melodic flavor with JGB. Come see and hear for yourself!”

Doors open at 6:00, Music starts at 7:00. Food trucks available.

Tickets are $39 for the first 100 sold; then $45. Buy tickets here.

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What To Do On Kauai – Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival – Hanapepe

Kaua'i Chocolate & Coffee Festival - Hanapepe

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.

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Kauai Theater – A Tuna Christmas – Hawaii

Kauai Theater - A Tuna Christmas

Who says there is no nightlife or culture on Kauai? Kauai theater is alive and well! This month Women in Theatre are presenting, “A Tuna Christmas,” a play which the New York Post claims, “It’s far too good for just Christmas.” I have been to several productions by the Women in Theatre group and I can not wait for this one. Three of my girlfriends and I have already bought our tickets. It sounds like a night of good fun.

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Update On Kauai Road Opening (North Shore) – September 5, 2019

Kalalau Trail Kauai-Haena Park

Update as of September 5, 2019: Parking reservations may be made one month in advance. There are three time periods for parking reservations: 6:30 to 12:30, 12:30 to 5:30, and 4:30 to sunset. For each time period the cost is $5.00. If all three time periods are available, you may reserve all three for $15.00 and park from 6:30 AM to sunset. If you arrive prior to 6:30 AM, leave the parking reservation under the windshield for the parking attendant to see. The shuttle is now $15.00/person.

The road is open! There is no better way of knowing how the new regulations work than to actually drive there and that is just what my husband and I did one morning in June (we have since been back a second time). We left our house in Princeville at about 7:15 AM. We had a smooth ride, breezing through 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 has been done over the last 15 months since the 2018 flood.

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