Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Island Time

Last week, Luca and I went to Kauai, and for five glorious days time slowed to a crawl. It's amazing how quickly one can go from being a dedicated planner and appointment-keeper to not knowing (or caring) what day it is.
(View from the house, Kauai, July 2010)

We stayed with some good friends who own an estate called Namahana Plantation just south of Princeville on the north shore. Five acres of lush vegetation surround the property, and the resplendent privacy made me feel like a Hawaiian Isak Dinesen -- instead of "I had a farm in Africa," I would intone in my best Meryl Streep voice, "I had a plantation in Kauai."

Days were deliciously lazy. In the morning, my friend Gabrielle and I would stroll the grounds...

...and fill a pail with ripe offerings from the macadamia nut, lychee, banana, avocado, grapefruit, lemon, lime and starfruit trees that grow so abundantly everywhere.

In a clever horticultural move, there was an awapuhi bush right next to the outdoor shower so that you could palm a little of its sudsy juice for an instant conditioning treatment.

Luca and I had our own guest house tucked away underneath an arbor of tropical vegetation, complete with our own waterfall pond.

The views from the main house extended across lush pastures toward Mount Namahana in the distance.

One day, we gathered up the troops and went on a hike to a secret garden Gabrielle and her husband discovered that isn't located on any map or accessible from any road.
(Gabrielle and children)

After about a mile, we spotted a bamboo hut half-hidden in a clump of trees that signalled to us we were almost there.

Just beyond it was a dirt track leading down to a hidden valley and veritable private wonderland.

We crossed a wooden bridge surrounded by Jurassic-sized blossoms...

...tiptoed respectfully past a Buddha in a blue shawl...

...stepped nimbly along a rock ledge up to a waterfall...

...and over a lush wooden footpath...

...to our own private lagoon. The stillness was spiritual.

The boys found a bamboo fishing pole and immediately set to work.

Turns were taken dragging the pole back and forth to see whose angling style was most effective.

Turns out that pretzel innards are irresistible bait to locals.

And so the days continued....

In the afternoons, there were beaches to explore, each one with its own soothing charms. Even an avowed non-tanner like me couldn't help but succumb to the spell of sun, sand and sea.
(Hanalei Beach, July 2010)

For lunch, there was the Kilauea Fish Market, an unpreposessing shack just off the main highway...

...renowned among locals for the freshness of its just-caught fish and healthy, delicious meals. If you ever go there, order the cajun ahi sashimi salad. You can thank me later.

No night was complete without a local trip to the nearest shave ice stand, Hawaii's gourmet answer to a snow cone. Pineapple, lychee, coconut, li hing mui (plum), dark cherry -- as you can see, the flavors were always thoroughly slurp-worthy.

Therein lies the essential ingredients of our brief Kauaian idyll. Add some shopping, some napping, some reading, and shuffle and repeat.

On our last night, we had dinner on the terrace of the St. Regis Princeville and watched the sun sink slowly over Hanalei Bay. Really, words fail.

For information on renting Namahana Plantation, click here.

30 comments:

Belly said...

Sounds like the perfect holiday! Have you rested a lot?

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Belly: I did while I was there, but now it's back into chaos again...we leave Saturday for Europe, so I've been unpacking and repacking...trading out swimsuits for sweaters and wellington boots! xx

pve design said...

I have already put in a request to come back as you.
You sure know how to enjoy life.
pve

Belly said...

Wow, enjoy Europe. England, I guess? Couldn't agree more with Ms. PVE here.

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

I wonder how many times you can be cloned? Oh, my...what a glorious summer you're having!

helen tilston said...

Lisa - Beautiful post and a well deserved holiday in Hawaii- I would love to have some fish from that little shack. Can't wait to hear all about Scotland and hopefully you won't need the wellies!
Helen Tilston

helen tilston said...

Lisa - Beautiful post and a well deserved holiday in Hawaii- I would love to have some fish from that little shack. Can't wait to hear all about Scotland and hopefully you won't need the wellies!
Helen Tilston

Diane James Home said...

Welcome back Lisa and thank you again for transporting me on another trip through your wonderful photography! Reading The Twenty-One Balloons to the boys and when we reached the part when the professor falls from his balloon and lands on Krakatoa, I showed them your pictures (much better than the black and white drawings to stir the imagination!).

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Diane James: I am honored...!

helen tilston: Actually, I hope I DO need the wellies. I'm craving a bit of bad weather. :)

Emily said...

Well Aloha and Cherrio to you dear Lisa! You are having a fantastic summer! What a dream! Your Hawaii pictures are sublime. Safe travels and do report back on your wellie wearing!

Susiachi said...

Hawaii just seems supernatural. As a painter, I hope to get there one day as I'm a bit tired of midwestern deciduous trees. What a change in landscape you are heading for! Can't wait to hear about it!

The Zhush said...

This sounds and looks perfect. We spent part of our honeymoon on this glorious island...long to return!

Rocio said...

Gorgeous pictures, gorgeous place....can I jump inside your bags for your next trip there??
Have a safe trip to Europe - Scotland, isn't it?? I am off to Galicia next week, where I will possibly need a raincoat too!

Hannah Stoneham said...

What wonderful pictures - it is always so relaxing just to look at your blog!

Vicky said...

wonderful post!it's so relaxing to look at your images so great!thanks for sharing.

Teresa Hatfield said...

Beautiful photographs! I am glad that you were able to get away!
Teresa (Splendid Sass)

Ivy Lane said...

I think my blood pressure just dropped a few notches! What a beautiful place! We have been to HI a few times but never Kauai...I think...we must go there!! Glad your trip was wonderful!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

It must have been so hard to leave!
Love all the lush pictures!!!

Daniel-Halifax said...

Wow, I missed you! I've always wanted to go there.

Where in Scotland are you going? My friend just moved there...another place I dream of.

Anonymous said...

Perfectly gorgeous! I hope you get some nice rotten weather in Scotland, the weather here in Los Angeles is sooo boring!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

I'd be happy to accompany you as your personal chef to get my hands on that fresh fish and macademia nuts next time. Dinners on me.

modernhaus said...

Oh, impeccable timing. I booked our Kauai flights two days ago and have been searching for house rentals (and let's be honest-sources for good food) since.

Did you have a favorite beach?
A favorite "end" of the North Shore? We're looking at Hanae and Hanalei...

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Modernhaus: Hanalei is gorgeous, as are all the beaches there, but there are many others that are special as well. Anini Beach near Princeville was great for kids because there is a shallow riverbed that feeds into the ocean where non-swimmers can feel safe.

Seriously, go to the Kileaua Fish Market -- it's a hole in the wall but the food is the best we had on the island. The dish I got was the Cajun Seared Ahi Sashimi Salad, but everything's amazing. Have a great time! xxx

Sandra said...

Thank you all so much for your comments and support in this post "Island Time" in A Bloomsbury Life blog. I enjoyed all videos.

Great resource for educators as well!.Thanks for sharing...

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Lexa said...

Hey--that's my friend Gabby! Small world--looks like you all had a wonderful trip. Still haven't been to Hawaii and can't wait to go.

modernhaus said...

Thank you, Lisa! Sunny, beachy, Mai-Tai vacations are not my cuppa either, but my aspiring surfers and the lush scenery were very convincing. I know what I'm having for lunch the very first day ;)
Cannot wait to hear about your ferry berth to Yell Island...how positively romantical!

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Aron said...

My wife and I started itching for Hawaii ever since we left Ca for NY!
Great photos!

Aron

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