February News
Aloha from Kauai and our Great Vacation Retreats Ohana

It has been an interesting month for Hawaii's weather as captured in the photo above taken by Rodney G. McCollam Sr., who works at Haleakala National Park on Maui!

On Feb 10th the Aloha State recorded the highest wind gust ever along with a record low temperature! A gust of 191 mph was clocked atop the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island along with a temperature that fell to somewhere between minus-10 and minus-12 degrees Celsius (10.4 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit). While most people don't expect snow In Hawaii, the Big Island's two highest volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, are often blanketed in snow in the winter! On Feb 10th, snow blanketed Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area for what may be the first time ever. At an elevation of about 6,200 feet, officials said this might be the lowest elevation snow has ever been recorded in Hawaii.

Brrrrr! Enough of that! Thankfully today it is a balmy 78 degrees and the white fluffy stuff in our pics is sea foam!
Toasting to sea, salt and sunshine at Puu Poa vacation condos in Princeville.
Follow @ kauaivacations on Instagram to share the aloha and discover all that Kauai has to offer for your next adventure!
Cultural Kaleidoscope
Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands and offers a history that is rich in mythology and cultural traditions. According to ancient legends the earliest settlers were the legendary Menehune followed by the Marquesas in around 400 A.D. and the Polynesians in 500 A.D.

Waimea Town is Kauai's oldest settlement and a capital from ancient Hawaiian days. A statue of Captain Cook stands today in Waimea Town to commemorate the explorer’s first landing in Kauai’s Waimea Bay in 1778. Cook’s discovery of what he called the “Sandwich Isles,” named after the Earl of Sandwich, introduced Hawaii to the world. 

Whalers and missionaries made Waimea a port-of-call, and the growth of the agricultural industry in the 19th century brought plantation workers from many nations including
China, Japan, Korea, Spain, Germany, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Norway and the Philippines. Many of these immigrants settled on Kauai and, as a result, Kauai enjoys a fascinating multi-cultural society and ethnic diversity. 

Kauai celebrates and preserves its diverse culture through food, music, dance, melee, crafts and annual festivals. This last weekend wrapped up the 42nd Annual Waimea Town Celebration - 9 days of cultural & recreational events across the West Side of the island.
Paniolo Showdown
The Paniola tradition flourished in Hawaii long before cowboys roamed the American west! King Kamehameha was gifted cattle in the 1700s by a British Captain George Vancouver. The King placed a 10 year ban on hunting the cattle and the livestock population swelled. Mexican vaqueros were brought to the islands to teach Hawaiians the art of roping and riding. The Hawaiian riders took on the name paniolo and became experts in their craft.

Great Vacation Retreats was proud to be one of the sponsors of the Paniolo Showdown Rodeo at the Waimea Town Celebration. This is the largest traditional rodeo in all of the Hawaiian Islands! Keala, our Operations Manager, along with her daughter Keiara, presented winning buckles to Keoni Akita and Stewart Wellington.
PC: Lisa Akita
Legendary Mt. Makana
Makana Mountain, better known as Bali Hai, provides a phenomenal backdrop to the ethereal lagoon-like Kee beach located at the "end of the road" on the North Shore of Kauai. The 1958 film adaptation of the musical South Pacific, featured Makana Mountain as an exotic and forbidden island called "Bali Hai" and the name is still used to this day! Makana rises 1,115 feet (340 m) above Limahuli Valley.

Just before Kee beach is the Kalalau Trail trailhead, an 11-mile foot path that is the only land access into the Na Pali Coast State Park. There are several ancient Hawaiian sites in the Haena Beach Park Area, including sea caves estimated to be more than 4,000 years old. Archeological sites associated with the hula, including a heiau (shrine) dedicated to Laka, are located above the park's beaches.

The scenic wonders of the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park will have to be seen from afar for the time being, as repairs to the highway leading to the parks are ongoing following major flooding that brought multiple landslides to the north shore of Kauai last April. There was also extensive damage to Haena State Park, however, the good news is that restoration to the area is due to be completed in 2019. This park is of great cultural and ecological significance and after the park is fully reopened, the number of people who can go there per day will drop from about 2,000 who visited daily before the April storms to about 900 as part of a deliberate plan to reduce tourist volumes at one of the island’s most revered destinations.

Formulating a new master plan for Haena park began well before the storms came and has taken nearly twenty years. A copy of the master plan is available at the DLNR.
Ka Ulu a Paoa Heiau
Hā‘ena is a wahi pana (legendary place) well-known for the legend of Pele, Hi‘iaka and Lohi‘au and the ancient hula complex at Kē‘ē. Ka Ulu a Paoa Heiau overlooks Kē‘ē from atop the cliffs and is considered Hā‘ena’s most sacred and significant sites in all Hawaii by Na po’e hula (hula people). It is the place where hula was perpetuated by Lohi‘au and his sisters through rigorous instruction of their students and where the story of Pele’s love affair with Lohi‘au began. As the setting of one of the most famous mo‘olelo, Kē‘ē holds extreme and profound cultural importance and significance to Native Hawaiians and those who practice hula. These tales tell of Pele’s journey to Kaua’i in spirit form, her meeting with Lohi’au during a dance at Ke’e, and her sister Hi’iakaikapoliopele’s subsequent voyage to bring Lohi’au back to Pele’s home at Kilauea, Hawai’i.

Learn more about hula and the significance of this legendary site at Kaimi.org
Kilauea Point Lighthouse
Discover the many nā wahi pana o kaua‘iHistoric Sites on Kaua‘i

Kilauea Point NWR was established in 1985 to preserve and enhance seabird nesting colonies and was expanded in 1988 to include Crater Hill and Makalea Point. The refuge is home to the historic Kilauea Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1913 and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is situated on Kauai’s northernmost point and was used as a navigational aid for commercial shipping between Asia and Hawaii for 62 years. 
Event Calendar
Don't Forget to check out weekly events - many of them are free!
Listen to Polynesian drumming, watch a hula show, pose with parrots, feed koi fish, listen to live local bands, catch a ride on the Aloha Shuttle and more!
Don't miss these great events in March!

The 9th Annual Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Anahola Beach Park, Anahola, Kauai, Hawaii.
The event will reaffirm the leadership, stewardship, and vision of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaʻole and his legacy in perpetuating the growth of healthy Hawaiian community on ʻaina hoʻopulapula (homesteads land).

Saturday, March 30th, 2019 at 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Enjoy the Slide and Glide inflatable fun for $15 All-day wrist band pass. Festivities start at 12 noon to 6:00 pm followed by the 2nd Annual iSiva Youth “Burn Out Suicide” Fireknife competition and drumming exhibition.
Horton the mouse!
Horton clearly has no concept of his size! At 140 pounds he still manages to squeeze into the narrow crack on the seat next to Amy, granted half of him is on the ottoman which is the only furniture that he is permitted to be on! This doesn't stop him from thinking that he can get away with trespassing on forbidden territory a.k.a. the couch, especially if he is as quiet as a mouse!

Horton - you may have your eyes closed but we can see you!!!
Spring Fares on Sale - Plan Your Vacation!
Find great spring deals on mainland flights to Kauai on Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

Competition between the airlines with Southwest Airlines entering the Hawaii market means lower fares for all of us. Keep your eye on Southwest Airlines to take advantage when they announce the first fares available for purchase to Hawaii soon!

Explore our online EXPERIENCE KAUAI guide to plan your next vacation! View our Commonly Asked Questions covering topics like direct flights, weather, not to be missed, etc.