Posts Tagged ‘Kalaheo’

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



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

Rain doesn’t dampen my spirit, it makes the garden grow.

March 7, 2010

Today was semi-dry,

Rain glistens on a sidewalk stained with red dirt in Kauai.

different from the previous several windy wet days that kept us away from the beach but not off the golf course.  We find the 30 mph gusts and soaking rain a special kind of golf challenge, our goal is fun so rain or shine we can’t stay away.

The rainbow, a Hawaiian gift between the raindrops.

Still rainy early this morning, I slept-in a while and was out to the garage sales late.  There were still a few good finds, a round platter for 25 cents, a nice white plate for a dime, and a dehydrator for $5.00.  I bought the dehydrator as I’m anticipating  abundance from the garden and I know my daughter will like it when she gets here.

The first luscious mango of the season, delightfully sweet, juicy, and delicious

The rain really made the garden explode.  Today  I harvested some tomatoes, red sails and oak leaf lettuce, and daikon radish.

Fresh salad everyday, oak leaf and red sails lettuce.

The daikon radish is delicious grated, with a drizzle of soy sauce.  It gives quite a kick to a bowl of noodles or rice.  Daikon have tasty, nutritious leaves, that can be prepared as any other greens,  I like them stir-fried or chopped in a noodle soup like Saimin.

Daikon fresh from my Kalaheo garden.

Saimin (sigh-min) is the uniquely Hawaiian version of Japanese ramen and Chinese mein,  chewy fresh egg noodles in a light clear broth with a mind-boggling variety of toppings reflecting saimin’s plantation origins.  I love trying all kinds of topping and flavors.  Maybe next I’ll try making  kiriboshi daikon, (shredded and dried daikon)  or maybe sundried tomatoes or when the next figs ripen, chewy dried figs. Yummy.

Our first tomatoes, small but wonderful. Hopefully many more to come.

Whale Watching Both Free and Exciting, Where to View Whales in Kauai

January 14, 2010

We’ve been whale watching over the past several days.  They have finally arrived in our area of Kauai.  We love it.  We parked above Glass Beach by the shearwater release site to view them with sundaes from Mickey D’s.  A grand excursion that only costs 2 bucks for 2.    Life is good.  This is the first time in my life I have ever seen whales.

Sunrise in Kalaheo

I’m loving it.  No good whale pictures yet I was too absorbed with just taking in the sight of them.  We’ve come across several pods of humpbacks.  I can watch them for hours.  The first thing that is visible is the large spout from where they breathe.  I find if I keep watching after they spout,  many times they  breach the water.  What a sight to behold.  We also went on a hike west of the Salt Pond County Park along the coast and found other great whale watching opportunities.  Hiking about one mile brought us to a high elevation rocky coast where the whales were well visualized, but I was without camera.  This area was beautiful and private,  perfect for an afternoon of whale observation.  Hopefully photographs of whales are soon to come.  Maybe next time I’ll bring my camera.

Another of my photos was featured in the Garden Island News on January 12th 2010, I feel very privileged.

I’ve been working on my garden here in Kalaheo.  I’m thinking having a garden is going to save a great deal of money by decreasing the amount of produce I have to purchase.

our new garden, just planted

I am currently harvesting tomatoes, avocados, grapefruit, key lime, oranges, figs and Hawaiian hot peppers.

Bowl of grapefruit harvested, cleaned chilled and ready to nourish and refresh.

Soon the lettuce, arugula and papaya will be ready.  I can’t wait.

marauder caught on night time camera

lettuce seedlings going in tomorrow, expecting lettuce in 2 weeks, hooray

Whales are a Kauai must see.

On the Outside Looking In…….Rene makes local headlines

January 9, 2010

Today I had the honor of having one of my photos printed in the local newspaper, The Garden Island News.  On the coaxing of my favorite Kauaian  friend I submitted the images that she selected, and voila.   3 days later I’m featured in the paper.

On the Outside Looking In....Rene makes the news....

I also have high hopes of being honored again as I received the following email:

LIH Copy Desk <> to rene halligan <>
Jan 7

Aloha, Rene! Thank you for the submission of photos. Your images are beautiful. We are planning to use the cattle egret in tomorrow’s paper (Friday, Jan. 8 edition). I forwarded your e-mail to the editor (Nathan Eagle) so more may be used in the future, as space allows. Mahalo for sharing your art with our readers … and please thank your friend, too, for encouraging you to send them in!

Thanks again,
Viviane Stein

beautiful giant begonias, so big like none I've ever seen before

Mahalo, Connie and Viviane …..I am honored.

Odd Brown Kukuiolono Golf Course

Clouds Over Kalaheo

Welcome New Year 2010…a collection of photos and light commentary

January 5, 2010

welcome new year.....another great sunrise.....I wake up every morning to see the sunrise, brew some coffee and try to get a photograph of the wild pigs. I'm just not quick enough with the camera. No wild pig pictures yet.......

Camp-out Hawaiian style. I found this under a cliff facing the Pacific Ocean while hiking along the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail. Prime Hawaiian real estate, ocean-front, great view and privacy. The frugal travelers lodging delight.

rose petals...cliff side coast by Poipu. I don't know why the rose petals were there. I liked their contrast with the rugged background.

So hazy I could barely see the water. Could this be vog?

Petroglyph, found in the limestone on the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail. Is it really ancient, or was I scammed.

i love early morning

Doves perch in a dead tree in Kalaheo.

Exposed reef below the cliffs east of shipwreck beach. I stood at the edge of a cliff to get this photograph. It was beautiful the picture doesn't do it justice.

Bird on the deck railing from my window.

Sunlight thought the palms at Shipwreck Beach, Poipu.

This is sunrise January 4th, but each and everyone is spectacular.

This was the 2010 New Years Eve blue moon observed from Kalaheo, under the influence of margaritas.

Trio of shore birds at Barking Sands.

Plumeria, the floral inspiration for leis.

People all around Kauai always seem so happy. She strolls the beach singing and strumming the ukulele.

Fruit for Free in Kauai

December 29, 2009

morning's welcome

I’ve written about fruit in Kauai before, but there is so much to be had right in my new backyard that I am inclined to write about it again.  This new place in Kalaheo had a vegetable garden already started.

garden on arrival

So I got right at it and cleaned it up.  It’s already giving me roma and yellow pear tomatoes and tons of  Hawaiian hot peppers, which is great for me because I like things spicy.

green roma tomatoes grown in red dirt

I can mix up a guacamole from  pickings in the yard, buttery green avocados, colorful little hot peppers and tiny tart key limes.

Hawaiian Hot Peppers

Deliciousness abounds.

avocado trio behind banana leaf

The banana harvest hangs from the ceiling of the deck, and serves up enough bananas for all of our needs.  These are small sized bananas but have much the same flavor and texture of the bananas I was used to in the supermarkets on the mainland.  Chris likes these best.  I prefer the custard-like sweetness of a fat apple banana, but i’ll always enjoy those that are free.

the banana harvest ripens, giving us plenty of bananas for our cereal every morning


Papayas have many uses.  They can be eaten raw and are melon like.   Papaya can be used green and cooked like a squash or a root vegetable.   The seeds are edible and can be used as a black pepper substitute and to make a wonderful papaya seed salad dressing that is very popular here.  For tough meat…..unripe papaya can be used as a meat tenderizer.  The unripe fruit also contains a latex.  The stalks can be used to make rope.  They are rich in beta carotene and vitamin C.  It seems if you have papaya you need little else.

plump, sweet, moist, giant fig

The trick with figs is letting them fully mature on the tree.  A fig picked too soon will ooze a white liquid from the stem and never ripen completely.  Remember the birds are keeping and eye on the ripening figs too.  It can be quite a contest to see who gets them first.

wax or java apple

Wax or java apples, hang from a tree just off our deck.  In my research I found the white or “pearl” wax apples bring the highest price at market.  Our’s are free.  They are of unusual flavor slightly acidic and sweet with a moist crunchy texture. It doesn’t taste like an apple, nor does it have the flavor or the density of an apple.  It’s refreshing and juicy.  To eat, the core is removed and the fruit is served uncut, in order to preserve the unique bell shape presentation.  In island cuisine, the fruit is frequently used in salads, as well in with lighty sauteed dishes.

We planted a coconut.....and we have germination

How to grow a coconut palm:

Find a coconut.  Stick it in moist soil – half buried – for a month or two and if a shoot doesn’t emerge then it is a sterile seed.  No time to waste fooling around month after month with sterile seeds.   Do it the Rene way, find one already sprouting, throw it in a pot with dirt, place on deck, water and enjoy.

A Birdie for Christmas in Kauai

December 27, 2009

sunrise reflection from our deck in Kalaheo

Our holiday celebrations began on Christmas Eve at our local golf course here in Kalaheo, our  is routine set.  We get out on the course at about 8am and walk our first nine holes.   We work up a little sweat as Kukuiolono Golf Course has hilly terrain.

sunrise from the deck

Then it’s off to home base, only a half mile away,  for cool refreshments and lunch before heading off for the Salt Pond for a swim and leisurely sunbathe.

our hawaiian cottage

After were rested up we return to golf and finish out our 18 holes.  As a Christmas treat we rented a golf cart for the last nine.  I like to tee off from the mens tees on the first par 3 and try to make it over the great gully, usually I just lose a ball.  Today was different.  My drive landed just about 18 inches from the pin.  I didn’t choke and got my birdie.

tabi's for Christmas, The "Hawaiian Angler Felt Sole Tabi" is a traditionally shaped Japanese fishing shoe . It has a split toe and flexible sock-like instep and ankle sections. These will keep me safe when scrambling on the rocks and reefs.

Christmas gifts fun and practical

Our island Christmas was wonderfully memorable.  We kept it simple.  Fun and practical gifts, favorite foods and beautiful sunrises.  Phone calls to and from loved ones topped off the day.

Learning to Accept Aloha

December 15, 2009

In the almost 2 months that I have spent here in Kauai I’ve heard a lot of talk on television, radio and printed advertising regarding, the aloha spirit and living aloha.  It is supposedly a way of life practiced by the local people.  In the Hawaiian language, aloha, means  affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy.  As well as the common use of hello and goodbye.

Living Aloha for Christmas

This spirit has surrounded me in almost every interaction with the people here.  Most friendly and smiling.  No one seems in a great hurry.  I experience patience on congested roadways, no horns honking, no aggressive driving, people are obliging to let others pull into traffic.  During the purchase of the Acura, the seller became my friend, so honest and accommodating.  She exudes this spirit of aloha, and she is still operating as my Hawaiian guardian angel.

Living Aloha

Yesterday was a very fortunate day for me.  The Acura’s alternator stopped charging our battery and left us stranded at the Salt Pond.  We lifted the hood, assessed the situation and then I walked toward some people on the beach and asked if anyone had jumper cables.  A young woman with 2 small children turned to them and said, ” pack up your things kids we’re going to help these people get their car started”.  She packed them up, and drove to our car and pulled out the cables.  We were on our way in less than 10 minutes.  We tried to give her a few dollars in appreciation her kindness but she would not accept.  Mahalo,  Salt Pond angel.

aloha...surfs up

We were off and running,  just a few miles from home, with the battery discharging all the way.  It started to rain and there wasn’t even enough juice to raise the power windows or use the wipers without out stalling.    After a few moments of stress but we could see the Kalaheo traffic light ahead.  Just then, the car died.  It was raining lightly.   Chris and I jumped out and pushed the car off of the road way.   There was a small safe area to place it,  a little miracle because there are no shoulders to speak of on this highway.  Then to our great surprise the person behind us pulled up to help, he was a nice young man in a dark colored truck.  He attached a tow rope and pulled us to a repair station just up ahead.  I couldn’t express my gratitude enough.  He too would not accept any money for his kindness.  I guess it’s a New York thing thinking it is necessary to give anyone who helps you a few dollars.

These kind people saved us so much money and time, a mere thank you didn’t seem quite enough to show our appreciation.

Our next encounter was with the mechanic at the Shell station.  He immediately assessed our car.  His partner called about the part we needed.  The part would be flown in from Honolulu and we were just a little stroll from home base.

A wonderful day.   Living Aloha……..

No car until Wednesday….for me , it’s like I have no legs…..but I’m still smiling and I’m grateful.

Up date::::A new alternator was found in Lihue, so I got my legs back a day early….hooray!!!  I’d highly recommend The Shell Station Auto Repair, Kalaheo for prompt and expert service.  I would not recommend the Sears auto service center that took my money and told me there was nothing wrong with my alternator, and sent me out on the road in danger of breaking down.

Moving on Up

December 11, 2009

We're Moving On Up

Before arriving on Kauai I found our first housing arrangement on Craigslist.  It was a simple process.  I posted an ad of what I was looking for, people responded.  I googled their names and their locations.  Made contacts, saw pictures and made a decision.  The day I arrived here my accommodations were ready at Aloha Estates at Kalaheo Plantation.  We rented from James Hargraves, stained glass artist, inn keeper, and ukulele player.  The dwelling is a 1920’s plantation house, architecturally charming, and seemingly well planned to take advantage of the local trade winds.  Our room was pitched to us as a studio but in reality is more of a room with a kitchenette in a closet, with a full bath, plenty of hot water, and no kitchen sink.  Requiring washing dishes in the bathroom and cooking with a rice cooker and hot plate.  We shared a small screen lanai with our neighbors, that had a small glass top table and chairs.

We spent most of our time out and about so the size of our rental was not a great factor for the 2 months we’ve been here.  When I made the rental agreement, I fully expected to stay here for 6 months, but I did make a month to month stipulation with the landlord in case either of us were not completely satisfied with the arrangement.  During our time here we did all of our living in the king sized bed, it was dining room, home theater and recreation area.

Home Sweet Home

Now it’s time to move on.  James was a wonderful host, our neighbors were quiet and friendly.  We were comfortable enough  and the price was great.  We love the location.  I think Kalaheo is the best place to stay on the entire island,  less rain than the north and east, close safe beaches , close golf, and midway between the resorts of the north shore and the canyons of Waimea.   Close to the art in Hanapepe, snorkeling, fancy golf and coastal hiking in Poipu, and the quaint charms of Koloa.  Oh and I forgot to mention tsunami safe.  James has rooms and apartments of many sizes available.  I highly recommend this place for frugal travel.  Please check out this trip advisor link for my review:

The Plantation House at Aloha Estates

If anyone has further questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

More pictures of the yard, fruit and flowers can be found throughout my blog.