Posts Tagged ‘Kaua’i’

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’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

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.

Soon it will be time to say, good-bye, Kauai

March 26, 2010

Back-yard bird. I don't know what kind.

Only about 2 more weeks until this wonderful adventure in Kauai will be just a memory.   What great memories  I’ll have from this budget trip of a lifetime.  I’m living proof that anyone can do this.

monk seal rests at the salt pond park

6 months of sun, sand and adventure.  Playing golf 2 or 3 times every week.  Enjoying the ultimate scenery for photo opportunities.

just got wet

Seeing and experiencing the wild-life.

Getting ready to go for a swim.

last one in is a rotten egg

swimming away

say good-bye

Going on great hikes.  Eating and experiencing new foods.

suyo, chinese cucumber from my garden

The coconut sprout.

The coconut sprout.

Not working.  Hunting down the next bargain and the next adventure.

I'll miss the java sparrow.

Right now I’m expecting visitors from the mainland as my time here grows short.  So a little entertaining is in order.  I found some boogie boards and a skim board each for one dollar.  Found some water shoes for my guests to protect their feet from the reefs at 50 cents each.  Planned quick meals for 5 at budget prices.

Wild pig eats avocado.

Turned our 2 room ohana house into one with a second bedroom by converting a storage room into a sleeping area with a 10 yard bolt of 2 dollar material and white king sized hotel sheets for 1 dollar and strategically placed thumb tacks.

Storage room converted to island abode, cost 4 dollars plus tacks.

I'll miss you Kauai.

All it takes is imagination.  I’ll surely miss this adventure when it’s over, but I’m planning the next one already.

The Gatherers

March 20, 2010

The Gatherer

Gathering of food is a frugal endeavor.  I gather fruit.  If I was more knowledgable I would gather other foods as well.  I need a local mentor to take me under their wing and show me the way.  Any volunteers out there?

This morning the tide was low exposing pools for the sea to give up it's offerings.

A low tide exposing rock, perfect for collecting limu and 'opihi.

When I questioned the gatherers I was told they were hunting for limu, the Hawaiian word for algae or seaweed and ‘opihi. They are Hawaiian limpets with a dome-shaped shell.  They suck down and hold onto the rocks tightly so they can deflect pounding waves powerful enough to sweep an unwary collector out to sea.

The tide was low but the waves were never really far away.

I took the risk and scrambled along the rocks to gather photos of what life can be found between the rocks now exposed. This is the place to find limu.

‘Opihi are a prized delicacy in the islands, and collecting enough for a meal can be a dangerous task.  Sure footing, a good grip, a sharp knife and vigilance with a constant eye on the waves are essential while gathering ‘opihi.

She gathers limu and 'opihi.

‘Opihi are eaten both raw or cooked.  I had some trouble finding out how to cook them as most are eaten raw and many right on the spot.  When the locals congregate at the beach they park in a line of pickup trucks wheels in the sand, tail gates tipped down toward the ocean, canopies set  for shade,  ready for fun, food and social activities.  Kind of a combo tailgate party/luau.  The men often go out into the water with snorkels and spears, while the women chat and children frolic in the water.  After they leave I often find piles of ‘opihi shells scattered about gleaming with mother of pearl, remnants of what seems a delicious good time.

Urchin lunches on limu.

I have never collected my own limu but I do eat seaweed both the nori for my sushi and this stuff called ocean salad that we pick up at the grocery store.  We eat the bright green ocean salad with rice, I don’t know if that’s proper way, but it sure is good. We also eat some ahi poke that has seaweed in it and like it very much.  And most of the Furikake (japanese rice seasoning) we use contains seaweed as well.  I read some articles about it that say it’s chock full or iron, and antioxidants and some believe it has extraordinary health benefits.  The following links have more information about seaweed for those who just need to know more.

Tire tracks in the sand.



More limu and fish too.

This blog segment contains frugal and free things to do when travelling to Kauai.  The location was near Salt Pond County Park by the Port Allen Airfield.

People are asking, what kind of camera are you using to take your Kauai photos

March 13, 2010

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 4MP Digital Camera

I’ve had this camera for several years now and I’ve been very pleased with its reliable performance.  Originally I chose this model because it was the most optical zoom I could buy in a digital camera without using separate lenses.  I wanted a camera that was easy to use but gave me lots of options.   I desired a high optical zoom for wildlife photography and the DiMage Z2 has delivered.  This camera is a good buy at $220.00.  Great camera for the creative hobbyist.

Flying high over Port Allen

Mauka Hanapepe

Misty morning makai side Kekaha

Wig out

Private swimming pool

Rainbow end to end

Red rocks at the Salt Pond County Park

View from the Port Allen Airport toward Hanapepe and beyond.

Waves carve the rocks.

The glow of rainbow light. I see a version of this almost everyday from our deck.

The tide pools in from under rocks.

Brace yourself for landing.

The good old fashioned swimming hole, in Kauai

March 8, 2010

Twenty feet of rock rises up from a clear inviting pool, while water cascades over the rock to continually replenish it.  Tourists and locals alike enjoy this hidden treasure, that can be found by travelling a dead-end road toward the mountains and a 5 minute trail through high grass that runs along  Huleia Stream.

Please click and double click on photos for the best viewing,  Mahalo.

Tourist vie for the best photo ops.

Multiple rope swings of varying heights are tied to nearby trees and the brave leap from the rocks above into the pool. You can climb out of the water using tree roots or use the ladder placed for just this purpose.

Getting ready to take the rope.

The scene is reminiscent of an old-fashioned swimming hole, with people gathered and having fun.

Swimming at Kipu.

I like this spot for a picnic, dappled sunlight, refreshing water and local entertainment.  Who could ask for more.

There are many small falls at Kipu.

Rocks can be slippery, unseen objects can be below the water’s surface, rope swings and ladders deteriorate, rocks as well as water can come over the falls, common sense keeps your adventure safe and remember no diving.

More small waterfalls.

Take Highway 50 west from Lihue. One mile past Puhi, at Mile Marker #3, turn left on Kipu Road.  Park your car before the bridge and follow the trail on the left that runs along the stream.  Don’t  leave valuables in the car and carry out whatever you bring in.

The trail to kipu.

Flower along the trail to Kipu Falls.


This is one of the best things to do in Kauai.   Now I’m writing for Kauai tourism and not just for the frugal.

Wave watching, a free daily activity in Kauai

March 8, 2010

I watch waves almost everyday.  Sometimes the seas are rough and wild, sometimes calm but the sights along the ocean are always spectacular.  There are times I find the sight and sound of the waves breathtaking, but I find it difficult to capture the feeling with the camera.  Todays blog is a photographic study of waves.

All of the photos can be clicked and double clicked to enlarge, please do so to view.

The thought in this photo was to include a boat in the photo to help illustrate the roughness and size of the wave. I like how the boat image is bathed in mist.

Can you see the wind?

Misty wave. Is a small sliver of sky and earth enough.

Rock, sea, and sky. I wonder if the feeling of the wave is better expressed in the photo that contains water, earth and sky.

Sky meets sea. This photo gives the sky more prominence.

Rocks along the shore capture water from the waves.

Study of waves.


It's a double.

Rocks and waves.

More waves.

Small waves course rocks and reef.

White foam.

Wave good-bye.

Kauai filled with wonderful things to do.  I’d say Hawaii’s best beaches are in Kauai.  What to see, what to do, go to the beach and catch a wave.

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.