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Made in Hawaii Festival 2016

Every Summer I look forward to attending the Made in Hawaii Festival with my “secret friend.”   We go through every aisle to see what’s new and what’s fresh in Hawaii.  Along with visiting favorite suppliers,  we talk story with some of Hawaii’s newest business owners.  As a fellow entrepreneur, I admire their ambition, their creativity and their willingness to be stand by their products.  They inspire me to continue doing what I do.  We should all love what we do.

Here are my fave pics from today – Friday, 8/19/16.  Let me know which catches your eye.

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Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi’ai Waterfalls… and back

On my BFF’s birthday I reluctantly agreed to hike the Kalalau Trail to the Hanakapi’ai Falls – which some consider one of the most dangerous and strenuous hikes on Kauai  -including the DLNR – click here to see the Safety Video for this hike.

Three weeks before the hike, I started doing some research on how to prepare and what to bring in order to survive this adventure.  Mind you, I’m not a hiker but in good shape … and still foolish enough to believe I could make it through easy peasy.

First, I had to motivate myself to mentally “kinda want” to do this.  I watched videos, read reviews, and saw “A Perfect Getaway.”  This movie is about a murderous couple visiting Hawaii who hike the Kalalau Trail to escape and possibly find more victims.  Totally unrealistic – right?

Secondly, I went shopping on Amazon Prime.  I bought myself a comfortable pair of stain-resistant, quick drying hiking pants and water-ready hiking shoes to get me through multiple stream crossings, muddy trails, and mosquitos.

This is what I brought with me on the hike and it served me well:

    1. Water – Two 1.5 liter bottles of refrigerated water. I only drank one bottle during the hike, but it’s always better to have more just in case you get stuck overnight,
    2. Food – 2 granola bars, a bag of cherries, beef jerky and a cold sandwich. Honestly, I thought I’d be ravenous during the hike, but I think my body was in survival mode and I only ate a granola bar and half a sandwich.  Again, it’s better to be prepared for an emergency so bring some food.
    3. Extra Clothes – extra socks, a windbreaker and a microfiber towel which doubled as a shawl when it was blustery at Hanakapi’ai Falls.
    4. Walking Stick – A wise friend lent me her Wood Walking stick. This literally saved my knees and helped me maneuver through the muddy wet rocky terrain
    5. Sunscreen – put it on before the trek and after you swim the falls. In the afternoon, the 7th mile is scorchingly hot since there’s little shade.
    6. Insect Repellent – keep it handy for those pesky mosquitoes. Not sure if it deters the ants but stay well away from those.
    7. Your phone or camera for taking pictures. Just remember, you probably won’t have cell phone service, but at least you can still check the time, take pictures and count how many thousands of calories you’ve burned.

Just to make the Hike a little more rewarding:

  1. Start early around 6:30A so you avoid the crowds and the air is still nice and cool,
  2. Have an icy cooler filled with your favorite beverages waiting in the car when you get back. A beer to celebrate making it though is icing on the cake.
  3. Take a dip at Ke’e beach. After rinsing off the layers of mud and dirt, put on your bathing suit and rest your weary limbs on the comforting hot sand and cool off in the calm ocean water.
  4. Take a day or two to just relax. It took me two days to walk around without wincing.

Kauai is my BFF’s favorite island and it is fast becoming mine as well.  Aside from the friendly, laid back vibe, Kauai’s natural beauty is lovingly preserved by both locals and visitors alike.  The respect and love for the aina is truly felt on Kauai.

Awesome view from the Kalalau Trail
Awesome view from the Kalalau Trail


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Forgetfulness and the Hawaii Plastic Bag Ban

As many of us Honolulu locals now know, Hawaii is the first state in the U.S.  to have a plastic bag ban in effect.   My problem was forgetting to bring a shopping bag with me everywhere.

On July 2nd, I was caught off guard when I arrived at the Target check out stand and was asked politely by the cashier whether I brought a bag.  Even though I had less than 10 food items, I immediately asked myself  the following important questions:

1)  Do you really need all of this? What can I return?

2)  Can I put anything in my pockets or carry them in my shirt like a hammock?

3)  Am I willing to pay the price – up to $9.99 – to buy a bag?

Embarrassed, I replied “no, sorry” and the Target cashier cheerfully told me that Target will give me a FREE reusable bag, and if I need additional ones I would have to pay for those.  Fortunately, everything fit in the one solitary bag and I left happy and unscathed.  I promised myself I would use the Target bag from now on since the customer service was so awesome.

My complimentary Target Bag.
My complimentary Target Bag.

On July 4th, I went to Longs and forgot to bring my favored Target bag.  I had all my weekly sale items lined up when the cashier politely asked if I had a bag.  “DARN it!”  She was very helpful and suggested I just push a cart to my car.  As I left the store I asked myself why I didn’t think of that.

On July 11th, I went to Longs and again forgot a bag.  Feeling a bit lazy,  I asked how much the reusable bags were and they were a whopping $5.99 so I said forget that.  I juggled a bag of ice, a case of “beverages” and 2 bags of chips carefully to my car.  Yes, I forgot I could push a cart to my car.

On July 12th, as I was rushing into Foodland  I saw the most wonderful sign – “Bring your bag- and get $0.10 off.”  All I needed was the visual reminder and I ran to my car for my favorite red bag.    They were also promoting the new Hawaiian Airlines Grocery Tote, but unfortunately they ran out of these.

The Hawaiian Air Reusable bag.
The Hawaiian Air Reusable bag.

On July 14th, I went to Tamuras  and I had a bunch of groceries and “sigh” – no bag. This time, for an affordable $0.10 I purchased their nice thick bag.  It is now rolled tightly with a rubber band stuffed in my already stuffed purse.

Thick plastic Tamuras bag
Thick plastic Tamuras bag

So what did I learn from this 16 day banned plastic bag experience?

1)  That I need constant reminders to bring a bag – like a BIG sign,

2)  Motivation to earn rewards might train me in the right direction, and

3)  I should find a nice compact bag that I can affix to my purse indefinitely –  that can also be thrown in the laundry without bleeding color all over my clothes!  I’m testing out this attachable, expandable tote bag now.

Expandable Carabiner Bag
Expandable Carabiner Bag

One day it will be second nature for me to bring a reusable bags to grocery stores, but until then – I’m gonna be pushing carts to my car for a while… if I remember.

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