Showing posts from October, 2011

Shave Ice And All That's Nice

Kaua'i is an island that boasts several taste highlights that are a must for any visitor. You must try Hanalei poi, you must nibble a Pukka Dog and you must sample shave ice.  Now JoJo's is the place that will usually top shave ice lists or maybe Halo Halo but I didn't get a chance to go to either. Instead, I was advised to visit  Uncle's Shave Ice, a new treat shop in Koloa.  Shave ice might look like typical sno cone fodder but it's not. Good shave ice is literally shaved into a fluffy, snow like texture, it shouldn't be crunchy.  I tried an ice that was covered with my favorite lillikoi (passion fruit) fl as well as guava syrups. It literally melted on my tongue. The popular Hawaiian style is to fill the bottom of the ice cup with rich, macadamia nut ice cream but I nixed that. I figured I'd be overwhelmed by all the strong flavors. As it was, it took me hours to finish the heady fruity flavors of my shave ice. Yes, it melted but it was still tasty!  Wha

Kaua'i Mountain Tubing

Kaua'i is a topographically diverse island filled with gorgeous canyons, lovely beaches and sweeping mountains. You have to experience all of these aspects to really get the complete picture of Kaua'i and one of the most adventurous options is to go mountain tubing. I love mountains and I love being in the water so mountain tubing sounded like a fun, if slightly scary excursion to try. I glimpsed the mountains looming over every place I visited on the island and I figured mountain tubing would be a much easier way to see them up close than hiking them. Kauai Backcountry features the only mountain tubing experience  on the gorgeous grounds of the former Lihue Plantation.  I not only gained upfront views of Kaua'i's  majestic mountains, I witnessed the expertise of the complex irrigation system of tunnels and flumes hand dug over a century ago. That's what I call an adventure. The tour starts with the tour guide outfitting passengers in headlamps, gloves and tube

Hula Kupe'e

In Kaua'i hula, like all aspects of traditional Hawaiian culture, is taken very seriously.  It's not about pretty costumes and elegant moves but about the meaning and purpose behind them. The colors, patterns and style of a dancer's adornments all reflect an aspect of their background and training. For instance, if a dancer is honoring Kane  who is symbolized by fresh water, they may wear colors and patterns that imitate water. During the Prince Kuhio Celebration, I was honored to learn how to make kupe'e, which are traditional wrist and ankle adornments that draw attention to graceful hand and feet movements. The process begins with asking permission from the god of hula before picking the plants. Depending on the hula, there are proper plants that should accompany the song. An array of plants were spread out on a table during the kupe'e workshop. Some plants offer wonderful aromas and some supply sounds. I selected the ones that were easiest to weave into