June 9, 2015

Kauai Coconut Diaries: Day 1

June 9, 2015
Hey everyone!  So I've been in Kauai these past couple of days, but due to some technical difficulties with the blog, I've only had the opportunity to post now.

My family arrived on the island after a very brief flight over from Honolulu.  From Lihue Airport, the five of us piled into a rental car and began our journey through the Garden Isle.  This first day was mainly spent sightseeing and driving through history as my Grandpa Harry, Kauai born and raised, showed the family where he grew up as a boy.

First stop?
Tip Top Motel & Cafe

When my grandpa was a teenager, he delivered farm produce from his father's farm, making the drive from Kalihikai to Waimea.

"Especially watermelon!" my grandpa declares.  "My father's watermelon was famous on the island of Kauai."

A regular stop on his delivery runs was Tip Top Motel & Cafe, owned by a close family friend.  According to my Grandpa Harry, the place had a big patio and good food.  He often spent the night there and always made sure to fill up on the ono grinds.

"Eat, drink, be happy, sleep," grandpa tells me.

I ordered a Hawaii favorite: The Loco Moco (a bed of rice, a juicy hamburger patty, two eggs, and warm gravy to top it all off).

Driving . . . the main scenery?  Greenery.

After our bellies were warm and content, we piled back into the car to visit my grandma's cousin, Uncle Bobby.

We conversed briefly as we exchanged gifts, smiles, and memories.  Uncle Bobby, a kindly, generous man, also shared some of his original art pieces with us.  A former golfer, Uncle Bobby explains he decided to put down the golf club and instead pick up a paintbrush with his old age.

"How often do you go to art class?" my mom asks.
"I don't go to art class," Uncle Bobby smiles.  "I'm self taught."

We were all rather impressed.

The ladies, (grandma, mom, and me), decided to go for a bit of shopping.  The boys?  They decided to take a nap in the car.

Hanalei Valley

Kilauea Lighthouse

On the way to Anini Beach

Anini Beach

My grandfather lived just down the street from the beach.  On the way to school, he would take a shortcut by jumping into the water and swimming.  

"I would jump in just over there by that rock," grandpa tells us.  He chuckles to himself as he remembers arriving to class with wet clothes and dripping hair.

Aloha Juice Bar

One of the highlights of the day was stopping by the Aloha Juice Bar.

It was such a cute little stand.  I couldn't refrain from taking my share of photographs.

My brother ordered a strawberry milkshake.  I ordered a chocolate banana milkshake.

Both were delicious and refreshing.

On the way to our hotel, we stopped on the side of the road to quickly check out this cave.  

Impressive?  Scary?  Yeah, both.

The hotel's tree-lined driveway

So . . . yeah.  That was our day in a nutshell.

It was a great first day on Kauai.

Thanks for showing us around, Grandpa.

author image

Julia Anne

I'm a teen with a refined taste for good books and great writing, currently living in Honolulu, HI. I'm a reader. A dreamer. And an aspirant writer. One day I have hopes to travel the world, but for now, I'll settle with venturing through the written works I read.


  1. GAH. It looks like you had a fantastic time Julia Anne! How lucky you are to live in such a beautiful state. Thank you for sharing this and these gorgeous photos - I felt like I was on vacation with you for a few minutes! ♥

    1. I did have an amazing time with family. Thanks, Zoe! Kauai really is a beautiful, laid-back place. I hope you'll have the opportunity to visit one day. :)

      Julia Anne

  2. Gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous. Kauai is probably the one island I haven't been to. I definitely have to make the trip to Kauai sometime though. It's one of those questions that I always get asked on the mainland, and I always have to answer "No, I've never been." Gosh I can't wait to go home to HI at the end of summer. Moving will be a total pain though.

    1. Kauai is very different from Oahu, but appealing in its own way. There is a lot more green (and many more chickens). I hope you'll have the chance to visit one day! And it's awesome you're coming back home to the islands. Have a restful and relaxing summer, Amy.

      Julia Anne


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