Take a walk on the wild-side. Wawae Road.

November 18, 2010




Wawae the road less travelled.


Taking on the scene on foot is always a frugal way travel and the best way to immerse yourself  into the location for the ultimate vacation experience.


central focus


Walk on Wawae Road in Kalaheo for a wild wonderland, free adventure.


double pink hibiscus


The incline is gradual, the views extreme.




A surprise awaits at every bend.


empty pods


Even on hot and sunny days Wawae Road  provides shade and gentle trade winds for a comfortable and pleasurable  walk.




Wawae is a treasure trove for the senses, a delight for the artist and photographer.


nature's lace


It is off the beaten path.


orange wawae lily


How lucky I am to live right on this road, the best kept secret in all of Kalaheo.


red ginger cone


This road is aptly named as “wawae” in Hawaiian translates to “walk”.


the serenity of wawae



wild guava



bark covered roots cling to red dirt cliffs along the road



sunlit wild yellow hibiscus



texture variety along wawae



light glows from within the yucca



true flower amid the magenta foliage of bougainvillea



twist and twine, bean and wire



wall at wawae



unusual flower from Wawae Road



A Frugalista Word of Wisdom

November 14, 2010

During these times of mass unemployment and an uncertain economic future it is foolish to feed into the Black Friday frenzy. Stay home and avoid the crowds. Spend precious time with family. There are no real bargains at Wal-mart.

Beautiful Maternity Photos

November 4, 2010

My son-in-law Sean is a photographer here on Kauai. These are some pregnancy pictures he took of my daughter, Erin.

sunrise at Salt Pond

joyful anticipation

beautiful curves

All New (to me) Hawaiian Wardrobe, and a little something more.

October 15, 2010


October in Kauai


I arrived on the beautiful Garden Island on Wednesday, October 6th.  While still shaking off the jet lag I was off to the garage sales by Saturday.  A very small carry-on is a gift in 3 ways, light to carry, arrives with you to your destination and makes it a necessity to buy new clothes.  As a frugalista I find garage sale shopping for specific items like a sporting challenge.  To win in this event, the first step is the plan of action.  I scour Craigslist and The Garden Island News classified online the day before the event.  I make a list breaking down the sales by town.  Starting with Kekaha and moving onto Lihue.


The ocean view from our new digs in Kalaheo


Live in Kalaheo so I usually only shop the west, south and east.  The north shore excursions are a special occasion that I usually plan with another activity.   I usually end my “garage sailing ” excursion in Lihue, as a conservation measure.  I get my gas at Costco, do my Wal-Mart stop, and pick up some fresh produce at the Kauai Community College Farmers Market all in the same trip.




I list the number and street address under each town category along with the time that the sale opens.  The earliest garage sales usually open here at 7am.  I scour the listing of items in the ads to see which early sales may have the items I need and plan to attack them first.  I also note next to the address if there are specific directions to the location in the ad. Then I peruse the list to see that I know the location of all the sales. If not, I google the addresses and make notes regarding their location.


petal soft


My daughter tells me I can just put them all into the GPS and  the GPS would map us the best route.  I believe for me that would be time prohibitive, as it take me forever to type things into it.  I like to just cut and paste.   Hey, is there an app for that?


contrasts for the senses


This was my first outing of the season so this time I opted not to head too far west, as there were only 2 sales in Kekaha and none in Waimea.   The initial approach was made in Hanapepe.


hot hot hot only one per pot


Hanapepe is a quaint artsy working class town that’ s just a little rough around the edges.  I find it a photographic treasure trove, but poor pickings for garage sales today.


just a taste of Hanapepe


The next stop was Eleele, residential working class community that loves their dogs.  Found the pot of gold in Eleele.


my new friend Kala


Two wonderful garage sales with like new clothing in just the right sizes for me and lots of wonderful maternity wear for my daughter.  I was able to purchase 4 complete island style professional outfits, comfy soft jammie pants, 2 tank tops for golf, a stylish and  cotton comfortable orange and white dress, 3 ball caps, 1 aloha shirt for Chris, a 50 ct of golf tees,  a few maternity frocks for my daughter, Erin, all for under $30.00.


woman's best friend


Next stop home to Kalaheo.   Two sales here and a quick check in home, then on the road again.  Kalaheo is rural to residential, upscale to working class, with houses carved into and perched on the hills to take advantage  of extraordinary views.  Breezy, green and beautiful Kalaheo is my favorite place to stay on all of the island.


slender trees arc in the wind near my Kalaheo home


Today we’ll skip Koloa, Poipu and Lawai, but make a quick stop at a moving sale in Omao.  I made a small purchase at a big sale 3 bars of dove soap, 7 candles, and a tiki salt shaker for $3.50.  I think there is mainly just one road in Omao with just a few offshoots.  This is hilly ranch land with mountain, valley and pacific ocean views.  The livestock seems to like it.


eggplant gleam in the sun


Last stop today for the sales is Puhi, working class and a comfortable commute to the big city of Lihue.  Puhi is also home to Kauai’s only college.  We found many nice baby items here.  Many people in this community are having keiki (pronounced “kay-key”) is the Hawaiian word for “baby” or “child”, literally meaning “the little one”.




Here in Kauai, so many are growing keiki.


tropical mixer


Everyone loves keiki, their mothers and the mothers to be.  There seems to be no better place to grow and give birth to them.  I am so glad my own daughter gets to experience her pregnancy here in this wonderful island place bathed in love and the spirit of aloha.


blue skies in paradise


What it feels like to have finally arrived.

October 11, 2010


views from Seattle/Tacoma Airport


It was October 6th we arrived.   Aloha Kauai.  Mahalo Continental Airlines/United and Alaska Air for my safe arrival but not for the very tight, uncomfortable seating and the luggage loss.  The flights were basically  uneventful except that the seats were so tight and that made each leg of the trip seem so much longer.  We were lucky and the Newark to Seattle leg of the trip was an hour shorter than advertised.  We enjoyed our 2 hour layover in the Seattle airport.  The airport had the fastest free WiFi that I ever experienced, the best views and vistas I’ve ever seen in an airport and the  long walk from arrival terminal to departure terminal was so welcome to stretch my economy seat cramped legs.

Of course I flew economy.  I spent weeks hunting and searching for the best deal.  I’d like to thank Airfare Watchdog and Yahoo! Travel Best Fare Tracker, both made the watching airfare prices easy.  This time we booked one-way flights to make our return time more flexible.  Last year we took the red-eye out of Kauai and absolutely hated it.  That flight was with US Airways.  The price was good but I had a seat that butted up against the bathroom wall that didn’t recline at all, 6 complete hours of torture.  From Kauai to Phoenix, then off to Newark.  I vow never again.  On the way back to New York we are planning to book a flight from Kauai to some city to be determined, that we’ll explore for a few days and then take our final flight home feeling refreshed.

The balmy breezes of Kauai welcomed us as we entered the open air baggage claim area.  The carousel entertained the flight weary passengers with anticipation.  As the mouth of the monster ejected the last bag.  We found that our only bag checked, our golf clubs, did not arrive.  I try to travel with carry-on only and that being only one small bag, but sporting equipment always a dilemma .  Prepaid and pre-checked it cost us $23.00 to be a little worried we’d never see our clubs again.  Luckily they were delivered to us 2 days after our arrival.

Living in Kauai is living in paradise.  We have arrived.

Travelling light has its advantages.  A whole new Hawaiian wardrobe, but another story.

I say Kauai is number one.

September 25, 2010

Travel and Leisure Magazine says, Kauai is the world’s second best island. Find out where number one is Kauai is a lot more affordable and accommodations abound.  Read my blog to find out how to visit and adventure in Kauai without it costing a fortune.

I’ve found a wonderful place to live this winter season in Kauai

September 6, 2010

It was so simple. I placed an ad on Craigslist Hawaii, specifying where I would want to live, a little about me and what me needs are and the people who had the rental found me. It couldn’t have been easier. Things are going just as I hoped, I have a job and a place to call home. Next I look for wheels. Last year I bought a wonderful car that still is being used daily. If anyone knows of a used car for sale in Kauai, please let me know. This winters big decision is whether to buy or rent a car. I heard that Kauai has some inexpensive privately owned rental companies that offer some great deals. I will explore them and keep the blog updated on my finds. Until next entry, Aloha

Plans have changed, I will be gainfully employed in Kauai

August 27, 2010

Life is good. I will have fun and find new frugal ways to live in Kauai this winter. 6 months in Hawaii, here I come. I’ve dashed my plans for a 3 month share and plan 6 glorious months of warm sunshine, golf, hiking and beaches. Now I’ve started my search for a good home and car. The frugalista is ready to roll.

Planning my next frugal travel….and I’m looking for volunteers

July 7, 2010

Ever dream about taking a tropical vacation for months on end?  Well it’s entirely possible and affordable.  I’m working on my plan for another excursion to Kauai and possibly one of the other gorgeous Hawaiian islands for the next winter season.  I love my home in the mainland north country but winters are long and cold.  For this reason I have been a “snowbird” or winter visitor to warm and lush places since 1995.  You don’t have to be retired to do this and you don’t need to be rich.  You just need to be creative and develop a plan.  During my last visit to Kauai I met many people who paid thousands of dollars for weekly rentals for a vacation much too short.  Honestly, I felt sorry for them, because they could have had and extended adventure for about the same price as it would have cost them to stay at home.  Fact: my entire stay on Kauai for 6 months cost less than $10,000 and that included both the rental housing and a car.

I am now at the stage of formulating my plan for the next winter season.

Are there any other couples out there looking for a frugal winter adventure?

Now is your chance.

Last season I found it easy to rent affordable housing in Kauai with a 6 month lease.  Home owners are happy to rent their homes rather than leave them vacant during these tough economical times and the unsure climate of vacation rentals.  As I visited all around the island you could see that many vacation condos were at less than 50 percent occupancy.  Tough times for all who invested but bonus time for the frugal traveler.   Just search the many ads on Craigslist and vacation rental sites to see exactly what I mean.

My plan: Find like-minded travelers who are willing to sign a six month lease with me on an accommodation.  I’ll take the first 3 months and they’ll take the next 3 months.  We would each split the security deposit and each pay our 3 month rent up front to the realtor.  I will be purchasing an inexpensive car on arrival and would pass it on for what ever I paid to the next lucky traveler.

I might also like to do the same plan on another one of the islands if anyone is interested in staying on, say, the Big Island for the first 3 months and then we would swap for the next 3 months.

I really enjoy my privacy so there would be no staying together with strangers.

Please anyone who may be interested in this read my blog to see what I’m all about and contact me.

Aloha, Rene

Our guests are mainland bound.

April 4, 2010

Peace and tranquility return to Kauai

And all is quiet here in Kauai.

The joyful faces as they experience the wonders of Kauai.

We had fun.   Lot’s of sea and sand.  Joyful squeals from the teens at each new adventure.

Josh takes on Kauai.

Megan calls Kauai her own.

We all had the greatest adventure.  On their first few days here Chris and I showed our guests the Kauai highlights.  Then they used our car the cruise the island for family adventures on their own, while we played golf, all were happy.  We sampled Hawaiian delights like shave ice at Jo-Jo’s.


Our favorite #2 tropical rainbow shave ice with macadamia nut ice cream, simply the best.

The swinging bridge in Waimea.

They liked the swinging bridge and enjoyed the view, but the all time favorite was swinging on the rope at Kipu falls.

Megan flies through the air, with the greatest of ease.

We made new friends and got close to nature.

Monk seal rests after a long swim.

Megan makes friends with the locals.

We met a really nice man and his daughter that were so nice and allowed Megan to join them for a horse romp on the beach.

Riders on the sand, Megan and friends.

Post card moments in Kauai.

Riding at the edge of the surf in Kekaha.

Riding in style.

Ready to snorkel.

Snorkeling with the "Birds in Paradise" overhead.

There is always time to rest and relax with a good book.

Sunset at Waimea pier.

All of the activities on this entry were absolutely free except for the cost of the shave ice, which was a delicious bargain at $4.50 with macadamia ice cream or $3.00 without.  We splurged for the ice cream and it was worth it.

Another lovely sunset at Salt Pond Park.