Story and photos by Emily Arbut
Etched in memory from my first trip to Kauai, more than 4 years ago, was this deck view from the beautiful Hale O' Nanakai. It had been only a dream that I would one day return back to the lush tranquility of the garden island. Kauai is, simultaneously, a sanctuary where one can feel at peace, and a treasure trove of breath-taking sights at every turn. One can't help but become engulfed in the hospitable embrace of both the natural environment, and the island populous.
Hale O' Nanakai owner, Sheila Heathcote, embodies this unique spirit of Kauai. Easy-going, yet an encyclopedia of adventure; she is the perfect hostess for just about anyone. On my first visit, she went out of her way to make certain that I experienced the island from every angle, and for that, I would have done just about anything to repay her kindess. Over the years, thanks to the wonders of Facebook, we managed to stay connected. When she sent out an SOS for help during the holiday months, I knew wild horses couldn't keep me away. I would finally have the chance to give back to the person and the island that had given me so much.From now thru the end of March, I am the luckiest of ladies, as I take on the role of jack-of-all trades at Hale O' Nanakai. Duties include, but are not limited to: cleaning rooms, helping with breakfast, taking reservations and leveraging my social media skills on the blog and beyond.
That being said, island living means a healthy balance between work and play, providing me with the opportunity to explore the island on afternoons and days-off. If you are reading this, I hope that you will stay with us, and that I will have the privelege to share my Kauai experiences in-person. If not, please feel free to follow this blog in the months to come. I will share some of the adventures that one woman, and her '96 Honda Coupe "Hawaii car", can encounter on the island of Kauai. Until then, ALOHA friends!