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Friday, January 25, 2013

THE ROAD TO YOUR KAUAI ADVENTURE - #1


THE ROAD TO YOUR KAUAI ADVENTURE

Ahhhh… 2013. Off to a great start! Fun holiday memories. All caught up with the family. Sure, it is cold in a few places around the world and that’s probably why many of our Facebook friends are already asking us to help get their vacation planning started. :-)  

Good thing for all of us, we work and live on Kauai – and that means everyone benefits from our 35+ years of vacation accommodation experience. Plus, Kauai Vacation Rentals & Real Estate, Inc has over 200 accommodations spanning the North Shore to the South Shore, and the East Side to the West Side! And oh how beautiful Kauai is right now!

In the next few Feature stories, we thought to share some first-hand experiences from our Facebook friends who visited the Garden Island for the first time. Through their eyes, we all get to learn about their island adventures to inspire us all to make time for a vacation this year. So are you ready? Cool. Pull your chair a little closer and let’s take a look at…


My First Time to Kauai – and My Amazing Hiking Adventure!

I decided within myself to keep an open mind on my first trip to Kauai because I really didn’t know what to expect. I have heard blanket statements from friends returning from Kauai, like “Oh, I can’t wait to go back…” and “It was literally AMAZING…” and even, “I might have to move there!” When my group of pals decided it was time for an island adventure, we picked up a copy of The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed to prepare ourselves, which turned out to be one of our best pre-Kauai purchases. When it came to planning our beach days and hikes, we agreed to treat every day as an adventure with no expectations. That said, I would like to share two “states of mind” that made my Kauai vacation something I’ll remember forever. 

First, keep an open mind and remain flexible. That’s a great way of keeping your options open as you explore the many regions of Kauai. Your own experience may include some welcome surprises and without a rigid timetable you’ll grow accustomed to “Aloha time” very quickly! The second thought to share is my first time to Kauai can be summed up this way: a trip to Kauai is more than a vacation, it’s an adventure!

I’m going to do my best to describe my first Monday on the island. My group of five pals and I were on Kauai for a few days staying in Princeville on the North Shore. The night before our big hike, we started the evening watching the sun set from the St. Regis Hotel. Believe me when I say life feels like heaven when you have the sun setting softly over the North Shore mountains while holding your sweetheart in one hand and a St. Regis tropical drink in the other!
  
The next morning we headed to a popular town called Hanapepe on the West Side which has plenty of art galleries and restaurants. That’s where I received another lesson in “Aloha time” when I asked one of the restaurant proprietors if she was open. She replied, “Oh, yeah! I should plug in the sign, huh?” And then we laughed genuinely and she said it was OK for me to do the honors. Over lunch, my group of pals decided Waimea Canyon was our destination for a hike. Incidentally, we had a scrumptious, authentic Hawaiian lunch of local pork, chicken and fish along with macaroni salad and some Asian-inspired noodles. We also hydrated amply so we would be ready for our ambitious hike. 


After lunch we drove West until we reached Waimea Canyon and Kokee Start Park. The drive took about 1 hour and we got to see many areas of Kauai along the way. We began our hike at about 1:30pm, realizing we could have started earlier. But hey, we are on Kauai time so the time we arrived was perfect. Though if you really want to get the most of your adventure, you may want to allocate plenty of sunlight hours for hiking. Regardless, we had plenty of water, related supplies, and even found a couple of great walking sticks along the way. It is important to note the path was rugged and really called for our attention. Still, along the way, we caught some tremendous views of the island’s beautiful northwest side. 
 
The highlight of the hike was reaching the vista that overlooks the Na’Pali coastline! Imagine hiking over three miles in the sunshine with an occasional steep grade to be rewarded by reaching a dramatic, awe-inspiring view of breathtaking canyons drenched in shadows – and a backdrop of deep blue water and soft wind cooling us off. We spent probably fifteen or twenty minutes at the end of the trail – the cutoff we reluctantly held ourselves to due to the time of day. Regardless, the six of us stood at the end of the trail soaking in the dream-like views. Now, after relaxing a bit, we began the trek back which was a bit challenging and also rewarding because coming from California, this was a day outdoors unlike any person in our group has recently experienced.

We had plenty to discuss as we rode back to Princeville and it’s worth noting there is no road connecting Waimea Canyon and the island’s North Shore. And as you can imagine, the drive back was just as beautiful as the hike through Waimea Canyon!

Later that evening, as we were turning in for the night, we realized why people love Kauai so much. We spent the day outdoors and it was beautiful! And after our great hike… we felt ready for a peaceful and much deserved GREAT night of rest. As I faded off to sleep, I remembered the way friends back home described Kauai. “Oh, I can’t wait to go back…” “It was literally AMAZING…”  “I might have to move here!” That’s when I passed out 100% relaxed, eager for a new day of adventure on what was one of the best vacations I ever had.

 

LET YOUR KAUAI ADVENTURE BEGIN! 

What a great story about Kauai! We could say we hear great things like this all the time – because we do! – and still every story our guests tell about Kauai always makes us smile. It is true: we love helping guests create a wonderful vacation for their family and friends, and quick get-a-ways that help you relax and keep your big 2013 plans on track. 

So now that you see how your vacation can unfold, check out the information on Kauai’s hiking trails (below) PLUS some information about fun events coming in the next few weeks.  

Just think: in a matter of days you can be here, Enjoying the beauty and splendor of Kauai. So take a look out the window… if your view doesn’t look like this, let us help jumpstart your very own Kauai adventure!

  
HIKING TRAILS ON KAUAI

Hawaii-Guide.com has posted on their website a number of tips on Kauai Hiking Trails. Some trails offer short walks while others are more appropriate for advanced hikers. For example, this page offers 11 maps of Kauai hiking trails with varying difficulty. Kokee and Waimea State Park trails are very popular, leading to Waimea Canyon. Another great hike on the East Side of Kauai is Nounou East Trail.

 According to HawaiiGuide.com, “The Nounou East or Sleeping Giant trail will take you on a journey of 1000ft, but oh the views at the top are grand. You'll be presented with a view of all of the east side of the island and a good look inland as well towards Waialeale. The trail can be hot if you start too late in the day, so try and get an early start. Be careful at the top too, as some of the dropoffs are pretty steep. 

Enjoy the view though, it's unlike anything else in East Kauai.”  And for folks who just want to have a leisurely walk on Kauai’s East Side, check out the multi-purpose path at Lydgate Park where “the whole family can enjoy a stroll on this paved path good for bikes, skates and slippers.”


UPCOMING EVENT: The 20th Annual Eat Dessert First Scholarship Event

Need a great reason for EATING awesome desserts? The Eat Dessert First event happens on February 8, 2013, sponsored by the Zonta Club of Kauai Foundation. Taste delightful desserts from local restaurants, hotels, local chefs, including a selection of sugar - & gluten-free items. Fruits, vegetables, cheese & cracker platters; plus Kauai Coffee Company and a no-host bar. A portion of the proceeds benefits student scholarships – a very scrumptious way to support the youth on Kauai. $20 in advance and $25 at the door.


Keiki Rodeo Sporting Event in Poipu at CJM Stables

Whooooo-hooooo!!!! This February, Enjoy the Keiki (kid’s) rodeo at CJM Country Stables in Poipu. The fun starts on February 9th at 9:00 AM and goes to about 4:00. Then, the Waimea Roundup Rodeo happens on February 22 and 23, 2013 at CJM Country Stables, with elimination roping starting on Friday at 10:00 AM. Then on Saturday, February 23, 2013, the fun starts again at 10 AM with Paniolo Grand Entry and the Rodeo starts right after. Food is available and if you love rodeo, come on out because there is plenty of action & events for the entire family!  More info here


WAIMEA TOWN CELEBRATION

Come spend 2 days of Small Town Fun at the old Sugar Mill in Waimea. Continuous Live Entertainment on Stage including a Ukulele Concert & Ice Cream Contest; Local Food, Crafts, & Game Booths; Beer Garden; Displays; and loads of sporting events including a canoe race, baseball and basketball tournaments, rodeo and Captain Cook Caper 10, 5, &2k Fun Run.  More information here



Special Thanks to: Burke and RonHamProd, MC, Wikipedia, Kauai Festivals.com, Friends on Flickr, and Kauai Vacation Rentals & Real Estate, Inc’s amazing collection of vacation accommodations.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HAU’OLI MAKAHIKI HOU – HAPPY NEW YEAR, FROM KAUAI VACATION RENTALS & REAL ESTATE!

HAU’OLI MAKAHIKI HOU – HAPPY NEW YEAR, FROM KAUAI VACATION RENTALS & REAL ESTATE!
Every year at this time we get very excited. 2012 is coming to a close and in recent weeks, many of us have Enjoyed spending time with family and friends, letting them know how much we appreciate them for the laughs, joy, and love they bring into our lives. Some of us have also Enjoyed spending time reflecting on all we have accomplished this year.   

The wonderful surprises … the new opportunities we have taken … and remembering to reward ourselves for a job well done.  And here we are in the final days of 2012. About to enter a new year filled with unlimited possibilities that will unfold all year long. More laughs, more fun, and definitely more time spent on Kauai!


Spending time on Kauai in 2013 is easy – especially with our weekly Wiki Wiki Wednesday specials!  On Facebook and Twitter we share amazing specials for homes, condos, and cottages here on the Garden Island. Our accommodations let you experience the best of Kauai with all the comfort and conveniences of your own rental home! 

Even though it may now be chilly in many parts of the world, Kauai still has bright sunny days with temperatures perfect for spending time outdoors.  Plus, we have over 200 accommodations throughout the North Shore, East Side, South Shore, and West Side.  That means days of beautiful scenery, sleeping in, and starting 2013 with the things you Enjoy the most! 

So grab your hula skirt, Bermuda shorts, sunglasses, and sun block – put them on – and check out this week’s Feature story.  It is all about things you can do on Kauai starting now. When you get to the end, call us! Kauai has some of the world’s best beaches and golf courses and in this new year, Kauai is calling you home! 

 SPEND THE DAY ON THE BEACH!

One of the best things about being on Kauai is walking on our breathtaking beaches.  At sunrise, at sunset, and anytime during the day, the sky is beautiful and the beach is a great place to plan all the new things you’ll do in 2013. Lydgate Beach Park on Kauai’s East Side includes a picnic area, a playground area, and a 2-mile bike path. 

Poipu Beach Park is another popular beach, named “America's Best Beach” by The Travel Channel, and always ranking among the top 10 "best" beaches in the U.S.  Poipu Beach is also great for snorkeling and swimming, features a natural ocean wading pool, and is a great destination for boogie-boarders and surfers. 



WERE YOU JUST THINKING ABOUT NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNERS AND NEW YEAR’S DAY BRUNCH?
This New Year’s, the St. Regis Princeville has 2 New Year’s Eve dinner options. The Kauai Grill features a New Year’s Eve Tasting Menu that includes Toasted Egg Yolk, Caviar and Dill; Tuna Ribbons with Ginger Marinade, Radish and Avocado; Kona Lobster with Meyer Lemon Risotto and Basil; Roasted Wagyu Tenderloin with Quince-Madeira Condiment,  and Broccoli Rabe and Cabrales Foam; and lots of amazing desserts! Our mouths are already watering!

Also at the St. Regis, Makana Terrace is serving a New Year’s buffet dinner that includes scrumptious salads, Artisanal cheeses, sushi & seafood, a carving and pasta station; and entrees that include Miso Glazed Hapuupuu, Roasted Big Island Red Pork Loin, Lobster & Scallops Thermomedore, Slow Roasted  Jirdori Chicken Breast, and Vegetable Terrine. WOW!  Want more details? Take a look at Makana Terrace’s New Year’s Dinner Menu here!

And there’s more!  Everyone who dines at the St. Regis gets to attend the annual New Year’s Eve Venetian Masquerade Ball! Fun people celebrating with a live band and dancing from 10:00 PM 2012 till 1:30 AM 2013! This year’s band is Green Flash with Coppin Colburn and other island musicians performing classic rock and top forty music selections. Sounds like fun!


FUN AND SUN AT THE 2ND ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Kalapaki Joe’s and the Poipu Beach Resort Association are hosting this year’s New Year’s Eve Celebration at Poipu Beach Park on the South Shore. This event is complimentary and open to the public, kicking off at 5:00 PM with live local music, food booths, and a Keiki (children’s) Tent. Then about 9:20 PM, look up and get ready for an amazing fireworks show.

This year’s local bands include Na Hoku Hanohano Award Winning musician, Anuhea, known for her lyrics, acoustic soul, pop, rap and reggae sounds. More performers include Kauai’s Revival and Hawaiian Surf Legend, Titus Kinimaka; and melodic acoustic sounds of Dustin Thomas who recently returned from his West Coast tour to open and close the music festival. What a fun time! Kauai Vacation Rentals Enjoys helping to sponsor this annual event!

Food Booths are set up around the main county pavilion at Poipu Beach Park and include Kalapaki Joe’s, Keoki’s Paradise, Chalupa’s, and Paco’s Tacos. The Keiki Tent, sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of Kauai, is located next to the beach playground and features Hawaiian games and much more. The tent is also complimentary to the public and donations to the club are always welcomed.
 

THEN IT’S FLASH – BOOM – POW! 
At 9:20 PM when you look up into the nighttime sky, see all the brilliant fireworks light up the night!  That’s your sign that 2013 is just hours away and all the great things you have thought about while on Kauai are about to begin: More laughs, more joy, and more frequent visits to Kauai! For Friends who haven’t experienced the Poipu Beach fireworks show, it’s awesome!  The whole island is excited and we hope to see you there! 



HAU’OLI MAKAHIKI HOU – HAPPY NEW YEAR, FROM KAUAI VACATION RENTALS & REAL ESTATE!
What a great year 2012 is. It is the year we started celebrating 35 years of helping guests create amazing vacations on Kauai! We are also happy to meet so many new Friends on Facebook. We love seeing your photos and reading the comments you post and Tweet. Have an amazing 2013 and thanks for helping make 2012 a wonderful year for us, too.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

- Aloha!!!