Thanks to Honu Point’s concierge, Stephanie Michel, I had the opportunity to meet Rochelle Ballard this week. Growing up in San Diego and being around the surf scene for most of my teenage years, it was quite an honor. Rochelle Ballard, a world-class surfer, who competed professionally for seventeen years, grew up on Kauai. For the last ten years she has taken her well balanced, mindful approach to life and created an Elite Wellness Retreat business on the Garden Island.
Before I go into specifics about her offerings, check out this five minute video as an introduction to Rochelle Ballard:
Ready for a unique, sunrise yoga experience while overlooking one of the most picturesque views in the world? Tulasi Adeva offers this chance to practice in Paradise twice a week on the north shore of Kauai, Hawaii.
This outdoor yoga event starts at the Makai Golf Course Pro Shop. After a short golf cart ride, students arrive on a Princeville bluff overlooking Queen’s Bath and Hideaway’s Beach. In the distance is Bali Hai (Makana), a mountain protruding above Haena State Park, popularized in the movie, South Pacific.
During the winter months whales can often be seen spouting from the bluff. Albatross sometimes wander by from November to June, and light rain just might provide practitioners with a rainbow or two. It is always pleasant to practice yoga when the trade winds, coming off the ocean, help to keep one cool.
The 2019 Kauai Folk Festival is a weekend full of music, dance, food, drink, craft and good times for Kauai residents and visitors to the Garden Island. This year more than 34 performers (multiple Grammy-winning artists and more than twelve international acts) will be playing continuously on five music stages. The Kauai Folk Festival blends traditional music and dance from all over the world with its Hawaiian counterpart. And, for the first time, this event will be held at the Historic Grove Farm Museum in Lihue.
The Kauai Folk Festival showcases Old Time, Americana, Tropical, and Hawaiian music. Former Kauai resident, and Grammy winner, Taj Mahal, will be one of the more than 34 musical acts filling the air from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on September 28th and 29th, 2019 (rain or shine).
2019 Kauai Folk Festival Musical Line-Up (from the website):
Taj Mahal – Blues legend Taj Mahal has a long history in Hawaii. As a historian, he has studied the nuances of Hawaiian history and culture. As a resident performer, he has come to know, play with, and record with countless Hawaiian artists. His Hula Blues Band is a rotating cast of Hawaiian musicians fusing blues, folk, and Hawaiian music in the inimitable Taj Mahal style!
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:
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.
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!
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!
Here’s a unique way to watch the sunset! On the Sunset Cart Tour you will drive around the beautiful Princeville Golf Course on one of their cushy golf carts capturing incredible photos from various stops along the 18 hole Makai course. The best part is that you don’t have to be a golfer! And, no reservations are needed so you can wait until you are pretty sure the weather is going to cooperate.
Two hours before the sunset, people start gathering at the Princeville Golf Shop. First stop is the Makai Grill where guests order a few refreshing beverages, at Happy Hour pricing, to fill their on-cart ice chests. Then the carts are doled out and and guests jump into their designated cart for the one and a half hour late afternoon experience.
The line of carts, led by a Princeville Golf Course pro or employee, meander through the course, designed by Mr. Robert Trent Jones Jr., on smooth paths, stopping at five especially scenic spots. The guides (Tom, Randy or Andrew) talk story about the north shore flora and fauna, including the many different kinds of sea birds soaring over the ocean. Queen’s Bath, The Kilauea Lighthouse, Puff the Magic Dragon, Anini Reef, numerous North Shore beaches including Secrets, Lumahai, Haena, Anini, Hideaway, Waikoko and Hanalei Bay will be pointed out along the way. The Hawaiian state bird, Nene, and the seasonal Laysan albatross with their chicks, are extra, visual treats to see on the golf course. Photo opportunities abound.