The road to Hanalei

I’m officially down a whole two pounds today….because i made the trip into “town” 

{for those of you that forgot what the word “town” means…it’s my 45 minute drive into our big city…and by big city…i mean….it’s where Walmart…Costco…and other very important things are located}

i went into town for one of two reasons.

First being…i heard that on a side street…out of the way…there was a Salvation Army thrift shop.

Secondly….i needed to hit Walmart because i was out of my fine boxed wine.

The reason i’m down a whole two pounds is because i showed up at Walmart…and low n behold…they were completely out of my $9 box of fine wine.

Which means…i’ve already lost weight because i’m going sober tonight.

{unless i get into the vodka…..but it’s behind lock and key…and bryan has the key…so sheet….}

I perused through the Salvation Army….and came home with two really cute vintage plates….but that’s about it. It’s not quite like going through a thrift shop back home….


not quite like that.

Bryan is working a double shift today….and he’s working one tomorrow.

In Hawaii….if an employee works 20 hours a week {which is considered part time}…they have to offer the employee benefits.

We’ve been really stressed and worried about our benefits the last few weeks…because we have been on Cobra…and we had paid for it through october..but come november first….we didn’t have the “good” rates anymore and would have to pay out of pocket somewhere in the range of $1500 a month to continue the medical/dental/vision plan we had…so needless to say….we were getting stressed.

{hence…the reason i drink boxed wine like it’s water….}

Luckily….bryan was offered a permanent part time {20 hours a week} at the Hotel i mentioned in an earlier post. So….now we get full benefits… the kids and I included.

Deep breath…..because it all seems to work out….and to think we just took this crazy chance to do something different….but i truly believe….that if you keep your head up….think positive….know that you might be down for a bit….it will all work out in the end.


Anyhoo….bryan is still working two jobs right now….the first one being the fancy schmancy hotel with benefits. He’s your pool guy….the guy that brings you your $25 cob eggs…dressing on the side …to you while you lounge with your legs dangling in the cool pool water… at said fancy schmancy hotel.

My husband the “pool” guy.

His other job is waiting tables at a really nice mediterranean restaurant on the north end of Hanalei…. he works there three nights a week.

So…between his two jobs right now…..i haven’t seen him a whole lot…but it’s okay…because it was important that we get benefits.  Now that we have benefits……we will start to work on his schedule to make sure he doesn’t get back into that same routine we had before…which was….

all work and all work.

Now that i’ve caught you all up on the job front…i thought i’d show you around my stomping grounds….


north shore of Kauai……the wettest place in the united states……

{no need for K-Y  here…..}

and the most beautiful.

We live right above Hanalei…in Princeville.

{i’ll chit chat about Princeville some other day…….but there is not much to chat about…so let’s chat Hanalei..}

Hanalei sits in the valley below Princeville… is situated right on the Hanalei bay.

After you leave Princeville…you drive a curvy road down into Hanalei….and go over the Hanalei bridge. It’s a one lane bridge…..where the local rule is….5-7 cars at a time…and you wait on the other side till it’s your turn to go over.

{most people follow the rule….it’s just common courtesy}

then you enter Hanalei …..

best sushi and fresh fish is at The Dolphin….first place you come to on the right and it sits right on the Hanalei river.

Always crowded…..and hard to get a table in high season.

This is one of two places i recommend if you have dinner in Hanalei.

There is a fish market behind the restaurant….so if you want some local catch of the day…this is the place to go.

You will see all over the island….little stands set up in front yards or driveways of homes.

This is the most economical way to shop “local” if you can…..this place for instance…is in front of someone’s home…..but you can get organic avocado’s for $.50 each. {it’s an honor system…you put the money into an envelope and take what you paid for}

Our avocado’s here are huge…..

Our other must try restaurant is Bar Acuda.….

it’s tapas only….but they use all local foods. The items are pricey….but you pay for what you get.

Take for instance…the local goat cheese with honeycomb…..

holy hotdog…..

if you just go in and order that…i promise you….


i promise you nothing…because you will love it…honest}

Next on the list is Tahiti Nui……

i only recommend going there if you are local…..but if yo are not local…and are here on vacation….. please don’t go in there if you…..

have on your flower lei that they handed out at the airport….


if you are wearing a hawaiian floral button down shirt….


drove up and parked in front in your rented Ford Mustang convertible.

Tahiti Nui…is as local as it gets for a restaurant/bar…..

but it’s a must sit at…eat…{food is so-s0}…drink…and take in the local atmosphere.

This is the real deal….be a part of it.

Next up…is  …..


never mind….don’t know quite how that photo got in…..

let me just say…if you are need of some handy-work….or if your bathing suit zipper broke….

take it home.

There are kids on the beach.

Hanalei Bay…..and that is Princeville that sits above on the cliff…

Bubba’s is a very popular burger place in the heart of Hanalei…..

as a matter of fact….one of my favorite girls…Colbie Caillat.. {click here}  filmed one of her music videos here in Hanalei back in 2009….and take note of some of the pier jumping going on in the video.

Word on the street is….that she would like to meet me and the kids….and wants us in her next video….but i guess she heard that i’m a licker….so we’re out.


Best kalua pulled pork….it’s at the Hanalei taro and juice co.

a roadside wagon that sits in front of Hanalei kayak.

{pork is big in Hawaii….so i hope you like it…}

Hands down…’s one of the best plates around…and you won’t spend more then $8.50 for the kalua pulled pork plate….but normally i get the mini kalua …which is just a smaller portion…for $5.50.

Get one of their smoothies as well….to die for.

Best shave ice…is Wishing Well….also a road side wagon…and in the same lot as Hanalei Taro and Juice.

They are only open Tuesday through Saturday 12-4….but really what that means is…

that they are open Tuesday {maybe}….through Saturday….if they feel like it.

Some days they don’t open at all….

so don’t fret….come back a day or two later…it’s worth it. 

The owners are on island time…..and sometimes get a little crotchety…but if you bring them a box of fine boxed wine…i promise…they will love you forever.

One of the places that i have yet to visit…but have heard a lot about is Postcards Cafe.

Postcards is a sort of vegan place….and this is their deal…..

“We use no meat, poultry, refined sugar, or foods with chemical additives. Many of our dishes are vegan (no eggs or dairy) or can be customized for you.”

They do serve fish….and it’s always crowded…and i’ve heard good things…so i can’t say first hand if it’s fabulous…but i bet it is. So if you are Vegan…then go for it!

Okay….enough about food…..

one of the oldest churches in town… which there are still grave sites and markers from the late 1800’s-early 1900’s all around the grounds.


Taro fields…..lots and lots of taro fields{the only hawaiian taro and rice fields left in the United States}…which are owned by the family that has the Hanalei taro fruit and juice truck.

I’ll be taking a tour of the fields..which also includes local rice fields soon….and i’ll give my full report back to you.

{i’m actually a history freak…so i love learning this stuff…}

and that concludes our tour of Hanalei town.

I’m hungry…and i would like a plastic cup or three of wine…thank you very much.

Not that i had food on my mind or anything….really.

Hanalei beaches…and just north of Hanalei coming soon.

p.s. i’m wondering if the bag of trader joe’s ready to bake brownies that i received were supposed to be baked or just eaten right out of the bag??


  1. The in-laws are from Haena and we spent much time there…she was a little girl when the big tsunami came and took everything but her doll back in the 40’s?? Anywhoo once we were there (their home was next to Pierce Bronsans and another tsunami warning went off and we all rushed up to the hills and she brought that doll and poor thing cried most of the waiting…for nothing thank goodness. She was good friends with Louise owner of Tahiti Nui and we spent many nights there…good memories and it’s so nice seeing your blog so I get to see this all over again. It’s been 3 years since I’ve been there…came with the Hawaiian swine flu and I was sick in bed for 2 months……haven’t been back since

  2. I cannot WAIT to visit! You better start stocking up on that wine now and maybe I’ll order a cobb salad from Bryan….

  3. Cute.

  4. becky up a hill says:

    Love history and love the islands. So happy and thankful about your insurance. Keep up the bloggings/reports. The small details, the’s all things I really love. Thanks so much.

  5. Hello…I’ve been trying to post for several months now I think I fixed it. I need to send you a long email. I lived on Kaua’i for 0 years, stayed with my cousin back in 1987, she is a waitress in Hanalei and I met a local guy at the Tahiti Nui and moved back to live with him for 10 years…GREAT GUY, he works at the Hanalei Surf CO..Gordan Phillips if you bump into him, tell him you know me and he’ll show you the best Surf Spots in town..Love following you and now on make me so very homesick…..with your pictures. Kaua’i is a magical place… truely is. I taught at Hanalei School, lot of my friends still teach there, we went to school at the Univ of Hawai’i …tell Mrs. Paik, I said Hello!

  6. that should of said 10 years!! gotta go to work….but we need to chat..

  7. Thank you for the tour of your little paradise. 🙂

  8. Brave it up Kasey, that’s the spirit! Love ya!

  9. I just love reading all your posts, thank you for posting more lately;-)
    Love your humor!!

  10. I need to come visit, it looks beautiful. Wowzers.

  11. the picture of the pork plate made tears pop to the corner of my eyes. strange.

  12. I remember that bridge! In 1995 I flew to Hawaii to visit a friend and took a week detour to Kauai by myself. It was the best. Interesting how many people (and cute guys) you meet when traveling alone. I stayed in a one guest b&B and woke to roosters. Wish I could come back some day. Love Kauai!

  13. Love, love those smoothies!! We always have such an amazing time when we visit your town.

  14. Thank You taking us along on your adventures!!!

  15. Yes that was a terrible Tsunami, there was an Elem School in Ha’ena now there is only Hanalei and Kilauea. Auntie Louise died a few years ago but I suppose her son Christian is running Tahiti Nui. That is where I met my boyfriend…dancing to Prince….Rasberry Beret. Christian was Wendy Paik and our Soccer Coach. Ahhh so many memories and so many stories. I used to live right next to the YMCA camp, is it still there. Speaking of burgers…I hope ONO burgers in Anahola’s is still there?…oh my I feel so homesick….enjoy your time and I think that is great that you took this leap, I did it single with no children so you I think you have a lot of Moxie. I look forward to many more of your posts of Kaua’i.

  16. I just found your blog through Beth over at “be yourself”…. I love what you’ve done! Oh, to be able to pack up and live on a beautiful island for a while. I’ m enjoying getting to know your island…(been there only once on honeymoon many years ago) I look forward to browsing more of your beautiful blog and photography!…

  17. Kasey, I really appreciate all the great photos. I had never thought of visiting Hawaii till I saw the pics of yours. Thank you for presenting a true view of life there on the island. I understand your move there now! Maybe I will come be your neighbor! Looks like a lovely healthy place to live. Thanks for another great post. And blast on no wine to purchase at wallie world, maybe you can order some through Brians work? Have a great weekend, xo Jody

  18. I can relate to your drive to the “city”. It is 45 minutes to the nearest decent size city from WR. Been doing it for 20 years now so I am used to it:)
    Love your sweetie pie idea…awesome:)

  19. My little kindergartner, Kate is looking over my shoulder and she wants to know is there are crabs on the beach in Hawaii AND if they do acrobats n the beach? Now she is doing some Hawaiian dancing her in our living room:)

    Love peeking in on you:) Yeah for benefits!!!!

  20. Thanks for Colbie Caillat and pulled pork…. you made my sunday after my boxed wine saturday night.

    hugs from Holland


  21. babe in batavia says:

    All the photos brought back alot of memories of our trips there! Chris and I ate at Postcards one of the times… very delicious and I don’t think you will miss anything even though it’s vegan!!!!

  22. I always had a dream of getting married in that church. Well…second time’s a charm then….

  23. I did not hear you mention a PIE SHOP… So I assume we will be hearing that location soon..
    Beautiful place you are at. Never been to Hawaii. Looks like Im missing out.
    The water is such a beautiful blue. Huray for boxed wine.

  24. Thanks for this great tour Kasey! Looking forward to the next trip.
    Also, I have a french inspired give away, if you are interested, since I know how much you love Paris….
    Take care, Maureen

  25. At the TJ store, they sampled those very same brownies, backed with their mini peanut butter cups liberally sprinkled on top. I did manage to squirt the mix into a pan, sprinkle the cups and bake before I got a spoon out the drawer to eat from the bag. Good luck!

  26. mary gillis says:

    I love, love, love your blog!!
    You make me laugh and I feel like I’ve known you for years!
    I love that your a mom and(a good one i might add!) and I’m living vicariously as i read and look at pics of you and your hard working husband and children.
    I also have a hard working husband – 6 days a week! ugh – we are working on that!
    I am also an artist, now that my children are older I am trying to be prolific again !
    I also like wine, I am getting over having lyme disease.
    I live in Dedham, Ma – 20 outside of Boston.
    Thanks for sharing your life with us!


    What happened to Bryan? Is he getting help I hope?

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