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Thanksgiving Day began with a storm bringing 12 hours of rain to Princeville. With the bridge into Hanalei closed for many hours due to flash flood danger, there was not much to do but hang out close to home.

Hideaways Beach, Kauai

Hideaways Beach, Kauai

I went down to Hideaways Beach located below the rental condo at Pali Ke Kua. It is a a very small beach and very few people come here so it was very peaceful. On the east end, near the black lava rocks, I discovered several small red and pink Ni’ihau shells. Small fish swam in the tide pools created by the lava rocks. On the bluff above, pairs of Nene geese foraged on the grassy grounds of the condo complex.

Nene geese on Pali Ke Kua grounds in Princeville, Kauai

Nene geese graze on Pali Ke Kua grounds in Princeville, Kauai

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After a busy stretch when I was unable to blog, I went to Kaua’i for vacation in late September. The video below shows the Waipa Farmers Market held in a field just outside the village of Hanalei on the Northshore of Kaua’i.

The nearby Foodland supermarket in Princeville is convenient but like most supermarkets, the fruit is harvested long before it is ripe. A mango bought at Foodland took one week to ripen before it was ready to eat!

At the Waipa Farmers market, the fruit and vegetable are plucked at their peak, ready for consumption soon after purchase. Some of the produce is expensive as costs are high on this remote island but items abundant in season are usually cheap. This September I discovered the bland but crispy rose apple, and the luscious heart-shaped egg fruit. The mild hard-boiled egg yolk flavor and texture made me wonder if it could be made into a vegan substitute for the Spanish candy, yemas de Santa Teresa.

One stand sold a Mayan-style spiced chocolate drink made from local cacao. It is a concoction that reminds me of chai and expresso, and which will perk anyone up on a hot, lazy afternoon!

When you need a restful day by the seashore, Kauapea Beach, better known as Secret Beach, on Kaua’i fits the bill.

As access to the beach is not easy, it is relatively unpopulated compared to other local beaches. Between Kilauea and Princeville, this beach is reached from the dead-end of a dirt road with a very small parking lot. The trail down the cliff to the beach can be slippery after rain. And when does it not rain in Kaua’i? Hikers are rewarded with a long stretch of beautiful soft sand punctuated by a few outcroppings of black lava rock. Kilauea lighthouse can be seen in the distance on the right (east) and the condos of Princeville, on the left (west).

Secret Beach also known as Kauapea Beach

Secret Beach also known as Kauapea Beach

Grand vacation homes line the cliff edge along the beach. Thankfully, most of these are hidden behind the luxuriant screen of trees and shrubs growing on the steep hillside.

If spending the day at Kauai’s North Shore beaches like Lumaha’i, Ke’e or Ha’ena, you should get lunch in Hanalei or get provisioned for your own picnic. Kalypso Island Bar & Grill (Kuhio Highway at Aku Road) has a moderate priced-for Hawaii–menu. You can get decent fish and chips. This place is unavoidably touristy.

Basic fish and chips in Hanalei

Basic fish and chips in Hanalei

I prefer to get clever and delicious local inventions like Kalo Kooler (taro smoothie) and Taro Hummus at Hanalei Taro & Juice Company’s stand (on Kuhio between Aku and Ohiki Roads).

For fine dining, go to Postcards Café. It is only open for dinner so this casually elegant restaurant is a delightful choice for refueling after a day of swimming at the beach. They have a selection of fresh grilled fish and great taro fritters. Vegetarian and vegan choices are available. From their dessert offerings, the flavor of paradise is captured in their Lilikoi (passion fruit) mousse.

This polo club has an unique setting. The polo field is across the street from ‘Anini Beach Park with its famous coral lagoon. Behind the field, the green forested hills rise to form a lush, tropical backdrop. Matches are played on Sunday afternoons during the season. As this is Hawai’i, spectators are dressed very casually.

Kaua'i Polo Club match in progress across the street from Anini Beach

Kaua'i Polo Club match in progress across the street from Anini Beach

Ke’e is a spectacular beach on Kauai. A lagoon of coral reef protects the beach but powerful winter storms can create huge surf and dangerous currents. In good weather conditions, this is an ideal spot for snorkeling. Visitors can expect to see lots of colorful fish and green sea turtles, now a protected species.

Afternoon winter sunshine at Ke'e Beach on Kaua'i

Afternoon winter sunshine at Ke'e Beach on Kaua'i

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