iPhone Night Photography

Did you know that there is awesomeness in your own backyard? Really! Some of the most interesting places to visit may be within 30 minutes of your home. You don’t need to travel far to have a “mini-vacation” or a “staycation”! And if you are in the Los Angeles area – check out the venues Hubby and I recently have visited- the Descanso Gardens (La Canada) and the South Coast Botanical Gardens (Rolling Hills).

These two places have a rotating set of exhibits. Recently, they offered a walk-through of the parks with holiday/winter-themed exhibits. Of course, we went and I took this as an opportunity to check out the night mode on my iPhone 11 Max camera.

I have learned through much trial and error that some of the best shots can be taken without a flash and/or when the lighting of the moon is “just right”. Here are some of my recent favorites. Enjoy!

GLOBE. GLOBE. globe. globe.

This first photo was taken at Descanso’s Gardens winter exhibit known as ENCHANTED. Nine individual-themed sections of this botanical garden created nine opportunities to explore and dream that you were in faraway lands. I decided with the image belowL that I wanted the tall trees to frame the image in an upside-down V formation. The globes are illuminated as part of the display.

photo credit: lmsattler


A SciFi Movie Set?

Again taken at Descanso Gardens with purple and blue lights hitting the tall trees. Photographed after sunset and when the garden staff employed a subtle fog machine to create the “smokey” look. How did I get this shot? Well quite frankly – it was simply by luck. I raised my camera phone and took this photo – “blindly”. The result is what some of my friends are calling my “Twilight Zone” / “X-Files” pictures!

photo credit: lmsattler

QUAD PHOTOS

A year ago I photographed these trees at the South Coast Botanical Gardens. I virtually stood in the same area but changed the setting on my iPhone. Do you have a favorite?


The Simplicity of Illuminated Trees

Trees that are illuminated with lights can produce some awesome photos. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the trees – you may just spot something spectacular – like a full moon!


Venue Links:

Descanso Gardens

South Coast Botanical Gardens

Traveling (Old) Route 66 – Arizona & New Mexico

Recently, hubby and I traveled from Los Angeles to Santa Fe between Christmas and New Year’s Day. En route we made sure to go off the major highways/ freeways and take “Old Route 66”. I wanted to write a blog to spotlight some of the places we stopped – including Oatman and Winslow Arizona.

Tip #1: Make sure you have a camera ready to capture some of the prettiest skies as you traverse Old Route 66 from Kingman to Oatman and then Kingman to points east. The clouds are so dramatic!


Welcome to OATMAN – aka the Wild, Wild West!

I am not sure how I feel about Oatman. Part of me loved the quirkiness and the roaming donkeys that seemed very domesticated. There are re-enactments of gunfights daily and some unusual exhibits – such as walking in a replica of a mine. The vendors who were selling coffee and homemade salsa and jams were filled with information and interesting trivia.

A website dedicated to Arizona travel describes Oatman as follows:

More than 500,000 visitors are drawn annually to Oatman’s gold mine history as well as the legend of its namesake. Olive Oatman is entrenched in western lore as a woman who was kidnapped by an Indian tribe, then sold to a friendly local tribe before being freed to her family near what became Oatman.

Oatman might have suffered the same fate as many Arizona mining towns and faded into a ghost town if not for Route 66 nostalgia and nearby casinos. The town prides itself on maintaining a Wild West feel, down to the wooden sidewalks, staged shootouts, and kitschy shops. (You can even adopt a wild burro and take it home!)

Note: Oatman has a number of individuals (i.e. shop owners) who are very loud and blatant with their words, displays, and merchandise about their disdain for the current U.S. President and support of MAGA and our former president. Tip #2 – if you offend easily – skip Oatman.


Paying homage to loved ones

When you leave Oatman you will be in for a treat as Old Route 66 provides us with a lovely drive through the mountains. (Be careful though as donkeys roam the roadways, as well.) About 10 minutes outside of Oatman is where Hubby and I found a small parking area to stop and snap some photos of the gorgeous views. It is known as Sitgreaves Pass. We walked a short distance and stumbled upon what looked like a series of makeshift memorials to loved ones. I did some research and found that this was an area where locals scatter the remains of cremated loved ones or erect a tribute memorial to them. Ironically, weddings also were purported to happen on this reverent mountainside.


Well… you don’t see THIS everyday!

There are a few places along Route 66 that are best described via photos. Here are some of our favorite “finds”.. b.


Tip #3: Stop for Good Eats at Gabby’s Cafe

We had some good and some not-so-good meals during our road trip. One of the favorite eateries was not far from Rte. 66 and located in Grants, New Mexico GABBY’S CAFE. The sandwiches and donuts were awesome! The servers were very friendly and pleasant and the coffee was better than most places we found! Gabby’s Cafe for a win!


A few extra travel tips:

  • Gas prices vary – so you may want to use an app like GAS BUDDY to compare and plan your gas stops in advance
  • If you are unfamiliar with an area consider making the drive during daylight. Some of Rte. 66 is windy and the weather can be variable – including black ice on the roads during the colder months
  • Ask local folks where they eat so you aren’t subjected to touristy places with so-so meals.
  • Pack for all kinds of weather. Rain gear and snow boots were needed on this trip.
  • Know that you may not have consistent cell phone reception, as some of these areas are very rural and surrounded by mountains.

About Accessibility

Almost all of the places I listed in this article has easy accessiblity for those who have mobility challenges. There may be some stores in Oatman where access is limited, however, I believe most can be available to someone in a wheelchair.

For people who are blind, be careful in Oatman, especially. There is uneven ground and as mentioned, donkeys roam freely. People walk on the road and that means a bit of mayhem with cars and people trying to share the street.

Next travel blog will be (drumroll)… Laughlin, Nevada

Travel Nevada: a Visit to Laughlin

Hubby and I recently took a road trip from Los Angeles to New Mexico. We ended 2021 in the very fun Nevada border town of Laughlin.

I had heard about Laughlin via their very robust travel representatives that I met when I visited the LA Adventure and Travel Show in 2019. I was all set to visit and tour the Laughlin area and then… well you know… the Covid 19 pandemic hit!

Fast forward…secure with two vaccines, a booster, and lots of masks – we ventured to Laughlin en route home to LA. We opted to stay at the Laughlin River Lodge located on the banks of the Colorado River. The hotel was well equipped with dining options nearby, several casinos, and an outdoor heated pool with a spa.

PLUS… the lodge is loaded with family fun activities including a bowling alley, kid specific activites, and kid-friendly electronic games (Similar to what we played many times at amusement centers on the New Jersey Shore boardwalk.)

The rooms at the Laughlin River Lodge are quite nice and reasonably priced. Thanks to my TripAdvisor’s TRIP PLUS membership, we paid under $60 per night for a quiet and clean room.

Some may say Laughlin is a “mini Vegas”, but we found it to be unique and prettier than over-stimulating Las Vegas. First and foremost, you can enjoy water sports thanks to the flowing Colorado River that separates Arizona (Bullhead City) from Nevada (Laughlin). Staying at the Laughlin River Lodge afforded us access to the beach alongside the river and an opportunity to snap photos. Plus, there are many places to shop, eat, have kids play, and enjoy a walk while being surrounded by beautiful mountains that illuminate the awesome sunsets.

Read more about Laughlin’s efforts to become a tourist destination.


Sushi in the Desert?

We had read up on TripAdvisor reviews about where to eat in Laughlin. The Minato Japanese and Korean restaurants frequently received consistently excellent reviews and the menu piqued our interest!

OMG – this restaurant was AWESOME. Yes… there is EXCELLENT SUSHI in the DESERT!

Minato’s was located within easy walking distance from our hotel in a little shopping center. An elevator for easy accessibility is available to bring you to this ultra-yummy establishment. We started our meal with a LAUGHLIN ROLL. This was a tempura-sushi hybrid made with various veggies and seafood. I could have ordered a second but we opted for an udon noodle soup instead. Hubby likes to compare restaurant spring rolls, so we ordered some. They were some of the best we ever have eaten!

Lastly, the udon soup was stocked full of meat and veggies plus a healthy dose of chili! Luckily, I had ordered a Thai ice tea that helped to soothe the slight burning in my mouth from this spicy dish! I would easily give the food and service a 9/10 rating.


Bonus Fun – Classic Cars!!

As previously mentioned, there is much to do in Laughlin. We opted to visit an exhibit of old classic cars and gaming machines at the aptly named Laughlin Classic Car Collection. Pricing varies here from free to $3 per person. (Waived if you are a casino “member”.) I would recommend this place as it provided great family fun and there were no visible issues for people using mobility equipment to have full access.

LAUGHLIN – thanks for the fun! We will be back!

(Note, I have been a frequent contributor to TripAdvisor and a beta user of this new plan – but my opinions are not being compensated for on this blog.)

Travel New Mexico

New Mexico has always fascinated me. Maybe because the culture is so different than the way I grew up in New York. Since it is within a “reasonable” driving distance from Los Angeles (14 hours), hubby and I decided it would make a perfect holiday vacation destination. So with a packed car for all kinds of weather, from snow to “sweater weather”, we ventured out through the Mojave region of California, into Northern Arizona, and eventually reached Alburquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Along the route, we stopped at a few fun locales off “Old Routte 66”. From quirky dinners to a place that touts itself as a “ghost town” – OATMAN, ARIZONA. (I will go more in-depth about this region in the mountains another time.)

Back to New Mexico…

The west part of New Mexico is FLAT… and WINDY! And despite the speed limit often being 75 MPH, you will find yourself cruising much faster because there is not much visually interesting to stop you. The ride is a long and quasi-straight highway/freeway with an occasional tumbleweed flying by you. Once you find yourself on the cusp of Alburquerque (ABQ), you will notice more mountains among the vastness.

Hubby and I mapped out a few places that we wanted to see in ABQ during our stay. Friends had suggested we check out the petroglyphs that are in several parks on the perimeter of the city. We started at the visitor center mid-afternoon, only to find out the park closed by 4:30. That left us a measly hour to explore. Note: this park is not handicap accessible for those who wish to see the petroglyphs up close but use a walker or wheelchair. The terrain is rocky and there are many uneven steps that need to be taken to see the ancient artwork.

Day 2 – Museums of Alburquerque

First, we went to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Hubby was a former nuclear engineer and he was hoping that the museum would dedicate a good bit of its real estate to exhibits about the benefits of nuclear power. On the contrary, we found much of the museum dedicated to informative and interesting displays of nuclear energy for war efforts, such as during WW II. While this is an excellent history lesson and one that should be reiterated for the ages, it was a bit of a disappointment that only a small sliver of the museum spotlighted the positive use of nuclear energy/ power.

Of all the exhibits that piqued my interest, there was one that chronicled the post-effects of “the bomb” on the children of Hiroshima. There was a small display dedicated to the “Crane project”. I snapped a photo of the explanation of this mission below. In essence, there was a young girl, Sadako Sasaki, who was suffering from leukemia or “Atom Bomb disease”. She believed that anyone who created a thousand cranes would be granted a wish. Despite her efforts, she did die, but her friends and classmates published a book in her memory and the story of her crane project lives on decades later.

Not all was gloom and doom here. There was a section that brought out the movie geek in me. I really liked the exhibit that highlighted movies with “nuclear” themes. Notable mentions were “FAIL SAFE” and “WAR GAMES”.


Museum #2 included a trip to the ANDERSON ABRUZZO INTERNATIONAL BALLOON MUSEUM. This museum is dedicated to balloon flight and mainly the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Sadly, the internationally renowned Balloon Fiesta is in October and not December, when we were in the region. But, someday I hope to venture back to ABQ to see thousands of balloons lift off in succession for one of the world’s greatest exhibits of ballons in flight!

Included in this museum are several interactive lessons and much to keep the whole family occupied. There is one room dedicated to artwork, called MAGIC, that takes up a whole wall and is stunning. The artist is Jane Maclean and her 6 x 20-foot montage of balloon scenes is frankly… magical!

Made of a series of panels, this artwork by Jane Maclean depicts the ABQ Balloon Fiesta.

See a video about the Balloon Fiesta here. If you plan on visiting the museum – be sure to plan ahead. Tickets to the museum tend to sell out fast!

Note: Both museums demonstrated good accessibility practices from what I was able to see and learn.

More about Alburquerque…

This lovely city has very little in the way of nightlife. In fact, it is safe to say that it pretty much closes down by 5 pm. Old Town ABQ is very nice, but again – the local shops, museums, and other points of interest are closed before sunset. Dining also is a bit tricky. And for any kind of after-dark entertainment, many travel to the area casinos. We spent some time in the Isleta casino. It was nice and we had a good time, however, it is a wee bit of a hike from the center of the city.

An alley of an artist’s gallery in ABQ

Next stop… Santa Fe… but first the Turquoise Trail.

Many shops along the Turquoise Trail are brightly painted and very inviting.

We had heard about the infamous “Turquoise Trail”. This is a stretch of road between Albuquerque and Santa Fe that supposedly offered many shops and quirky “sites” to visit. Sadly, we were not too impressed. Much was closed and frankly, many of the area’s “hot spots” were run down. We did go to the Henderson Store in Golden, New Mexico. There we met a lovely couple (and bought some items). We enjoyed our time there and that stop alone made the trip worthwhile. I have a funny feeling that the Turquoise Trail is much better to see during the warmer months when more stores are open and artists are “in residence”.

About an hour north of ABQ is the small city of Santa Fe. Technically, it is a large city and the state capitol. Adobe buildings adorn the city center square with museums, galleries, and fine dining all throughout the city streets.

We started our day by touring the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. This is a compact museum that takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours to cover. It was just perfect to start there for our touring of Santa Fe. If you visit, here is a tip… Don’t leave here without checking out the museum shop on the bottom floor. It has a lovely book selection – including for children.

Downtown Santa Fe is charming, but was very crowded the day we arrived. Seating at restaurants was at a premium. We ended up getting take-out at Tomasita’s the evening we arrived. It was delicious but eating in our hotel room was less than desirable.

Here are some “tips” for Santa Fe, too:

  • While Santa Fe has lots to offer by day, again, the nightlife is limited.
  • Tickets are encouraged for the more well-known museums – such as the Georgia OKeeffe. We opted not to go there due to the limited number of tix and also having only two days in the area to explore.
Sculpture at the Wheelright Museum of the American Indian.

More tips…

  • There are many wonderful parks and outdoor attractions in the Alburquerque and Santa Fe areas. Go visit them!
  • Be prepared for weather that ranges in a single day from sunny and 60 to freezing and snow!
  • New Mexico is a slow paced state. Don’t expect a frenetic party environment – unless you know people in the area. This is one “chill” state – relaxation is like the state motto!
  • If you have the time – keep traveling – as there is much to see! Taos is the north of Santa Fe and worth a visit.
  • This state has mask mandates – everywhere. We were thrilled to see Covid 19 safety protocols in effect throughout the state!

A note to my readers…

If you are a regular reader of my blog, LouiseSattler.com – you may have noticed some subtle changes. First, I refocused the themes of this website to be more about learning – but the fun kind of learning. Nothing boring, I hope, you will find here.

WHY?

Because Covid 19 has resulted in my wanting to pivot – all the way back to my “roots” as a psychologist working with children, their families, and teachers.

So, as a result of my “pivoting”, I no longer will be offering any (social) media marketing services with these few exceptions:

  • Maintaining my relationships with current clients.
  • Creating BLIP BILLBOARDS
  • Review of products, books, or services that are child, education, or family -“centric”.
  • Event reporting (tbd)

Know that backing away from the world of social media marketing truly is a gift – to me! While I have made scores of great friends and have had more amazing and wonderful experiences than I can count working in the media world- I also have seen the dark side. And, it isn’t pretty. And frankly, I can’t stomach the drama a day longer. I am done with it. I now want to spend my time making a difference in the lives of children.

I won’t bore you with details about who, what, where, and how I went from happy to “done”. But, I will say that although I am stepping away from the world of social media marketing – I am confident that many excellent people will remain who I would trust with my business promotional needs and can help yours.

So, What Now?

For me, 2022 will be filled with positive changes and renewals! You can expect the following in the coming weeks, months, and years…

While I haven’t quite mapped out my next steps – I do know that they will be focused on children and creating content to help make their lives and education easier and perhaps more successful. I want to create common sense “takeaways” – such as helpful suggestions for families struggling with homework woes.

I also wish to do the following here on this website:

  1. Use this website and fill it with resources I have sourced! Travel! Special Education! Psychology! and MORE!!

2) More conversation and sharing of my content via my FACEBOOK , INSTAGRAM, and TWITTER. This way we learn from each other.

3) Information about travel – especially for families who have unique challenges.

In closing, it feels good to be “back home” and to announce my intentions for 2022! Feel free to share how the past few years in “pandemic-mode” may have changed your career or family goals? Did you switch gears? Did you revert to what felt more “comfortable or traditional”? And check out below for a free download!

Below is a list of fun games and how they help skill development! The button to download free is below the image.

birds flying on a beach setting with these words: And suddenly your realized it was time for a change. A new path. A different journey. Oddly, it wasn't scary. It felt familiar. Comfortable. Accepting. It felt magical. Louise Sattler photography and quote

Giggling While Learning: Holiday Gift Ideas!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! This year my holiday gift guide is filled with family friendly items that will keep all ages entertained and learning for hours and hours. (Remember – never stop learning!) Some of the ideas are new games or books from first time authors, while others are “staples” in the toy bins and play closets of millions of households.

New games that teach and entertain!

Brave the winter elements and play an older game with a newer twist – THE GROUND IS LAVA! This game is great for reinforcing the “art” of turn taking and gross motor skills. Plus, it has the extra benefit of mentally helping people by encouraging them to become ACTIVE.

The publisher summarized this dynamic game as follows:

Many people know the impromptu game of shouting out “LAVA” and everyone jumping up into nearby objects to get their feet off the ground. Endless Games created a format where players continue to imagine the floor is molten hot lava, but added play patterns using a spinner for color call-outs and having players jump along foam game pieces in order to reach safety. Challenge cards that enforce activities that can make it difficult not to fall into the lava come into play when landing on certain tiles.

Taking the game outside adds another format to play. “Tiles can be placed farther apart. Patio furniture and natural objects, like rocks and trees, can provide touch points or obstacles,” Turtle explained. “It’s very interesting to see the ways that kids are using their imaginations and being active with the game play.”

Endless Games also offers these fun games are available on AMAZON. Click the photo or the description below for the Amazon link to learn more.

CAMERA ROLL – a game that aligns with today’s teens and adults who list Instagram as their favorite “hobby”. Seriously, this game is a great gift for the teen in your life. Social skills and great conversations can result with this game.

JEOPARDY CARD GAME (regular and junior editions)- The popular game made famous by the late Alek Trebek. Great as a stocking stuffer and a travel game. Making my list two years in a row.

WHEEL of FORTUNE (regular and junior editions)– Perfect for teaching predictive spelling and word usage. This game is fun and teaches the basics of spelling without your kids even knowing!

HORROR TRIVIA (I and II – for those who love to scream their answers!) I have this on the list – just because…

PASSWORD- This is an older game revised. The concept of guessing words within a certain time limit based on verbal clues continues to bring a whole lot of the fun factor. If you to like to compete – this game is for you! Another language based game that helps kids to describe – great for growing vocabulary knowledge and literacy.

DROPSY OOPS I did it again may be the theme of this game? Seriously, this is a funny game where balance is everything! Adults will like it, too.


New from Board Game GeekFREQUENT FLYER!

A game for families who love to travel! Covid has limited our ability to travel, but, not our wanderlust! So, here is a way to satiate your cravings for exploring new places from the comfort of your home. (Better yet, learn about each place, make a list, and go travel there in 2022!)


BOOKS! BOOKS! BOOKS!

A book is a gift that can help a child learn about the world beyond their homes, ignite a sense of exploration, or teach skills – such as how to cope during tough times. The children’s books by Familius Publishing are some of my favorites! This year they have a very solid collection of Christmas-themed books. Check out these very creative and beautifully illustrated selections.

SANTA.com – OMG this book is so cute! What made me a big fan was not only this modern version of a classic Christmas story but the gorgeous illustrations that POP from the book’s pages! A perfect book for both boys and girls who are imaginative and love to read and be listen to stories. (Suggested age range: 3 and up)


The Christmas Train is the perfect gift for a toddler or preschooler. The story AND the book both unfold in front of your eyes! Bright and cheery illustrations with a holiday-themed short story. (Don’t tell the neighbors – but I bought their little ones this book and a similar themed book as a set.)





LITTLE ELVES VISIT CALIFORNIA! How many holiday books teach geography and state facts? This one does (and Familius offers other states such as Missouri and Colorado! (Age range: Preschool and up)


FAMILIAR GAMES REVISITED WITH A PURPOSE or JUST FOR FUN!

Family Favorites also include these games (with a little info about which skills they develop that may help your child’s development/academics).

GAMESKILL DEVELOPMENT
CANDY LAND
SORRY
TRIVIA PURSUIT for KIDS (or adult version)
Turn-taking/ Learning colors, basic counting, basic reading skills, and Trivia Pursuit expands beyond the basic fundamentals of learning.
MONOPOLY
YAHTZEE
CONNECT 4
CLUE
MEMORY
GUESS WHO
Verbal Comprehension/ Verbal Reasoning Skills / Numerical Reasoning/ Prediction Skills/ MEMORY

SCATTERGORIESClassification and categorization of items/ words

Just in case you were wondering what I did with all these review copies I receive…

Games and books reviewed here were received from the publisher. I have donated them to charity so that disadvantaged youth can enjoy their holiday season.
Whatever you celebrate may this holiday season be filled with positivity and hope for a better 2022.

We. Have. NO. Children. To. Spare.

I am writing this on a quasi-cool September Los Angeles day.  Schools are back in session. Kids are playing outside with their neighborhood friends.  All while the work of the devil, aka Covid 19, continues to snatch our children.  

If you think that kids aren’t getting Covid 19, becoming very ill from the disease, or dying – stop reading unless you wish to be educated with some hard facts. 

And, if you are unvaccinated because you think “it won’t happen to me”, ” vaccines are a political ploy”, “I refuse to support Big Pharma”, ” The shot will change my DNA”, or any other stupid and non-educated reason –  you may want to stop reading because I am tired of your rants and you will probably disagree with mine.

But, if you are one of the people who believe in science, know that we have to protect our children at all costs –  even if that  means being a little inconvenienced or fall slightly ill for a day or two due to a vaccine – then by all means – read on! 

You see, I wouldn’t care if adults received a vaccine – or not – if it wasn’t for the millions of unprotected children around the globe. Who the heck is looking out for THEM?  Science is.  I am.  Are YOU? 

Your non – vaccinated self may decide not to hang around with kids – but are you having a beer with their parents? Going to the local football game with their teacher? Attending a concert with their bus driver? Or just hanging out in your cushy office for your co-worker to bring it home to the sweet newborn baby that he is bragging about being “just so perfect”?  Your germs may seep their way into another grown-up human and make their way to mini- humans.

And while the vaccines aren’t 100% protection – No vaccine can guarantee that – the Covid 19 vaccines will stop kids and adults from DYING. 

So until EVERY child is vaccinated or this insidious disease is eradicated – do the RIGHT thing. Get vaccinated. Funerals of children are the worst of the worst. Scratch that – all funerals are awful!

By the way here are some lesser known facts to combat the fiction about vaccines.  

1) mRNA (the stuff that is in the vaccine by Pfizer and Moderna) also is being tried for anti-cancer / cancer treatments. Hmm.. how many non- vaxx Covid19  folks would run to get an “anti cancer” vaccine?

2) For the people who say it is against their religion – keep in mind that Pope Francis and the Vatican support the vaccinations for Covid 19 and even created this video.

3) Can you try to become pregnant or be pregnant and get the Covid 19 vaccine.  The CDC issued this statement – the short story – yes. 

4) While we are on the subject of “sex” … can the vaccine ruin virility or fertility?  Well guess what ?- Having Covid 19 could ruin your sex life- but the vaccine – nope. Read more here: https:///covid-19-could-cause-male-infertility-and-sexual-dysfunction-but-vaccines-do-not-164139

Yippee! You read to the end of my educational post about vaccines laced with a hefty dose of ranting.

Sorry for any grammatical or spelling errors – must have been the vaccine that took away the part of my brain for literacy. (Hmmmm)

Need some more reasons to get vaccinated? Go walk around your block, visit a park, or look into the eyes of your child/ grandchild.  

Thank you. Respectful comments welcome. Disrespectful comments will be deleted.  

Tips on Traveling to Kauai, Hawaii During Covid (Plus photography)

Kauai is one of my “happy places”! Unique topography juxtaposed with a “tropical attitude” makes this Hawaiian island a true treasure. I have traveled to Hawaii several times and prefer Kauai to the other islands because of the “old world” feel it exudes. However, traveling during the Covid pandemic made this trip much more challenging than any of the previous. Because many are finding Hawaii, including Kauai, a preferred destination for their own vacations, I have decided to share a few travel tips here. Need some enticement to visit Kauai? I added photos, just in case!

TIP 1: If you are traveling from the United States be sure to consult this page at least one week prior to leaving on your trip: TRAVEL HAWAII . Also, check with your airline carrier.

International travelers should consult this website: https://travel.hawaii.gov/ – for pertinent information well before they plan on arriving in Hawaii.

SCREENSHOT OF https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/welcome page. Please click to read the complete details from this website.

TIP 2 – Make Reservations Well in Advance of Traveling

From cars to restaurants – be sure to make reservations well in advance to ensure that you have transportation (if needed) and also a place to dine. Popular restaurants, such as the Beach House in Poipu, are booking far in advance! Rental cars are a premium on the island and many are resorting to TURO to get around the island. For your personal safety please be sure to rent from only reputable companies. Note: a car is needed to visit many of the island’s favorite spots- such as Waimea Canyons.

TIP 3- Stay at a place that adheres to Covid 19 safety/ cleaning regulations.

TripAdvisor is very good at giving salient information regarding the reputation of hotels and vacation rentals in regards to their following Covid 19 sanitization protocols. Keep in mind, however, that this information is provided from the hotel or rental company and not vetted by TripAdvisor. A sample of what you can look for in the hotel description is below.

TIP 4 – Look for activities outdoors – without crowds!

While we traveled on a semi-crowded plane to get arrive in Hawaii – we didn’t feel the need to continue to be with “others” during our stay. Therefore, we opted for outdoor activities that were sans crowds or in some cases, even anyone else! When going to the pool we picked times that were not popular and if a group of people decided to join us in the hot tub we smiled and exited.

Most of our dining was outdoors at tables spaced fairly far away from other patrons. We stuck together on tours and didn’t do anything that entailed being with another group (such as any boat tours). While big group activities can be fun and a great way to meet people from all over the globe – we decided that now was not the time to be making friends! And, masks were mandated everywhere we went!


Below I listed some activities that you may want to consider if visiting Kauai:

  1. Go when not busy to the Kauai Coffee Estate. Lovely to walk the farm area and free samples! Plus a super yummy gift shop!
  2. Visit and if inclined, hike, Waimea Canyon State Park. Also, there is a delightful gift shop and restaurant within the park. Check it out for great coffees and perhaps you will have the pleasure of meeting David Parsons III as he sings a few groovy tunes!
  3. Visit Wailua Falls (hiking availabe there, too)
  4. Visit the Wailua State Reservoir -off the beaten path.
  5. Find quiet at the Sacred Forest – a great place to meditate and see some amazing trees!
  6. Eat in quaint town of Waimea at Island Tacos or the Shrimp Station. Both are family favorites! If in Kappa go to the Kountry Kitchen – another favorite (The Salty Monkey breakfast is a must!)
  7. Hang out at several beaches and relax far from others – there is plenty of space for all! Each beach has its’ own “personality” – so sampling a few is well worth it.
  8. Enjoy an ice cream from Lappert’s while walking around Princeville or Poipu (there are ice cream shops in both towns).
  9. Kauai is the garden isle – visit the many botanical gardens sprinkled throughout this region.
  10. Step back in time at the Kauai Museum on a rainy day or whenever! It is packed full of great Hawaiian artifacts, cultural information, and a fabulous gift shop!
  11. Drive from shore to shore. Be sure to bring your camera, swimsuit, sunscreen, and a towel! (Not to mention hand sanitizer and wipes.)
  12. Learn to kayak, paddle board, or surf! The ocean and rivers await you!
  13. Check out the local newspapers (or websites) for area cultural events such as Hula presentations or lessons about Hawaiian culture and the language!
  14. Lastly, rise early to see glorious sunrises and stand alongside the ocean shore to see the amazing sunsets!

As promised… here are some of my favorite photos (please do not copy or “hijack” – thank you!)

POIPU BEACH, KAUAI


WAIMEA CANYON STATE PARK, KAUAI


WAILUA FALLS and WAILUA HOMESTEAD (including the SACRED FOREST), KAUAI


KAUAI BEACHES