Resort vacations hold a certain allure with quick access to restaurants and poolside drinks and two towel refreshes a day, but if you’re traveling with more than two people or for an extended period of time, a vacation rental just might be the way to go. In major cities, a well situated apartment can give you a good home base for seeing the sites; at the beach, it can you give the peace and quiet, and privacy you just won’t get at a hotel. And, you can cook for yourself.
On the one hand, some would say, “It’s vacation – why would you want to cook?” Well, if say, you’re entertaining the idea of a trip to the north shore of Kauai, a vacation rental with a kitchen gives you the flexibility to really enjoy farmers markets and eat local on your own. Depending on your budget, it can help save a few bucks as well.
As soon as it gets gorgeous out, the first thing you want to do is whip the cover off the grill and throw on some burgers and dogs. But what about after that? With a stretch of nice days its easy to run through your usual grilling repertoire and run out of ideas. So why don’t we do a little island-inspired grilled chicken? Pineapple Passion Fruit Glazed Chicken we first made during our trip to Kaua’i in February.
As you cross the bridge coming into Hanalei on the north shore of Kauai, the first thing you see is a wide swath of green taro fields, spread across the Hanalei Valley. Farmed by the Haraguchi family for five generations, the fields are situated on the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge which is home to a variety of endangered birds, including the Hawaiian nene and moorhens.
Taro, a root vegetable brought to Hawaii by Polynesians, was a primary starch in the traditional Hawaiian diet and continues to be a cultural touchstone. If your only association with taro is the poi you once had at a luau, a tour of the Ho’opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill and Taro Farm will go a long way in giving you a new appreciation for this tuber.
Vacation is usually a chance to get away from it all and let someone else do the cooking. But on Kaua’i, the Garden Isle, that’s only half true for me. If I’ve only got a week, I want to soak up the sunshine, slurp down some saimin and savor the sweetness of pineapple, papaya and mango.
None of that requires a kitchen, but once you’ve been to one of the farmers markets on the island, you’ll want one. For our last two escapes to sunshine, we’ve stayed in a little vacation cottage steps away from the beach with a little deck and a hammock slung between two palms. And a kitchen.
There’s almost nothing more comforting than a bowl of noodles. No matter what country it comes from — China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Italy, heck, even America — noodles fill your belly and soothe the soul. So it should be no surprise that after a 6-hour flight from Seattle to Kauai, our first stop was Hamura Saimin in Lihue. Read more