The gorgeous scenery of Kauai, Hawaii’s “Garden Island” has been featured in many Hollywood films including the classic 50s film South Pacific, James Cameron’s Avatar, the Spielberg classic Jurassic Park, and The Descendants. In addition to stunning landscapes, Kauai offers less cinematic charms. If you are looking for things to do on Kauai, here are some of my favorites, illustrated with GIFs.
I plan to explore much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, and decided to start with a road trip to Olympic National Park. Located on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, one of the park’s big draws is the proximity between the coastal beaches and rainforest. Ruby Beach was such a gorgeous discovery.
My lab, Zeppelin, exploring Ruby Beach
Rocky with a rugged stretch of coast, Ruby Beach reminded me a lot of the beaches along Big Sur, in California. It’s nice to know that same Pacific goodness stretches all the way up the coast.
Ruby Beach Hyperlapse
Ruby Beach is pet-friendly, and many dogs were there and loving it. My two labs enjoyed sniffing the surf and got their paws sandy.
The view from one of the caves on Ruby Beach
Every dog has it’s day on Ruby Beach.
Ruby Beach is a dog lover’s dream GIF
Driftwood along the beach was a popular spot for visitors to build piles of rocks. The rockitecture was impressive.
This driftwood was a popular spot for visitors to stack rocks, and children to knock them over
Another view of the rock formations along Ruby Beach
Waves, sand, and rocks along Ruby Beach
Stacks of rocks along the Washington coast
Water along Washington’s Ruby Beach
Driftwood, rocks and water along Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach is located within Olympic National Park.
The shrimp tacos became a daily must have at Las Alamandas
My recent trip to Mexico involved my first visit to Jalisco’s Costalegre, where my husband and I stayed at Las Alamandas. We’re both fans of good Mexican food and arrived hungry and ready to eat a late lunch at La Palapa Beach Club.
Shrimp tacos GIF
We were quickly served our first round of excellent (and inexpensive) margaritas and were very surprised when we saw the menu and found very little Mexican food on it. Instead selections included dishes like Asian shrimp and pasta. Who comes to Mexico to eat Asian shrimp? We asked our waiter to speak to the chef and Head Chef Alejandro Morales quickly arrived to chat with us.
Chef Alex (as he’s called) was very friendly and had no problem letting us order off the menu. He prepared chicken enchiladas, shrimp tacos, and guacamole for us. He even honored my request for no raw onions and the dishes were all muy delicioso. We continued to order off the menu for the rest of the trip, and Chef Alex had no problem serving whatever we asked for.
Huevos Rancheros with green tomato salsa GIF
The breakfast menu featured many more Mexican specialities– eggs a la Mexicana, Eggs Machacha with dried beef, onion and poblano chile. Chilaquiles were on the menu as well as what became our go-to favorite, the Huevos Rancheros, served with either red salsa or green. The green salsa was outstanding and Chef Alex remembered our preferences.
Tropical fruit platter with Mexican lime GIF
The breakfast menu also had a host of other non-Mexican options, including organic oatmeal, muesli with coconut milk, French toast, pancakes and waffles.
Coffee con leche with a hammock at La Palapa Beach club
The coffee was tasty and the views of the pacific from La Palapa were a great way to start the day. The space is beautiful and also includes a lovely hammock should you wish to hang out while you’re digesting.
Top notch margaritas for $6 US at Las Alamandas
I don’t think the menu at Las Alamandas would work for serious foodies who are looking to explore the vibrant and happening Mexican food scene. Chef Alex had no problem accommodating all our requests, which is great since the resort is so private and isolated that there are not a lot of other options for dining nearby.
A smiling air hostess aboard an Emirates flight from DWF to DXB
I’ve flown a few legs on Emirates in First Class recently. Since nothing is going to top the video my husband and I made back in 2009, I needed to come up with another way to capture the experience.
The Emirates Flight Crew at DFW airport GIF
I thought it might be fun to do GIF post.
2004 Dom Perginon prior to take off GIF
I shot these images as stills on my iPhone 6 and then turned them into GIFS using the Giffer Pro App ($3.99)
Dates before take off on Emirates First
Emirates is known for hiring very attractive “brand ambassadors” as flight attendants. Here my husband enjoys one of the dates offered to Emirates First prior to take off.
Arabic coffee pour with a smile GIF
Small cups of arabic coffee are poured prior by an Emirates flight attendant. I love their I dream of Jeannie style hats. Giffer Pro also offers fun filters which help compensate for bad airplane light.
The Emirates First shuttle at Dubai International Airport
Giffer Pro also allows you to turn video into a GIF, like I did with the video I shot on my iPhone above.
You say “when” on the tequila pour for your margarita at Si Señor
It’s always fun to venture off the resort grounds and eat at a great local restaurant. A few years ago I asked Carl Emberson, the General Manager of the St. Regis Punta Mita, for a restaurant recommendation in the sleepy town of Punta Mita, he insisted we try Si Señor. I’ve been recommending the restaurant to friends ever since.
Left: The signage isn’t fancy Right: the colorful entrance to Si Señor
Si Señor is funky, atmospheric and all about the fresh fish. If you go, have your camera ready because the whole restaurant has a fun, show-like atmosphere and delicious Mexican cuisine and very strong margaritas.
The atmosphere at Si Señor is colorful and fun
From the giant clam shell at the hostess desk to the Mexican serapes strung between palm trees to provide diners shade from the sun, the restaurant feels like fun from the moment you enter.
The waiters at Si Señor make you say “when” when pouring the tequila
The menu at Si Señor
While fresh seafood is the standout here, Si Señor does great with all the traditional Mexican specialties. The guacamole is made table side and the queso fundido is pure cheesy goodness.
Guacamole prepared tableside
Be sure to ask what the catch of the day is, because that is when a meal at Si Señor gets really fun.
Here’s how you get shown the catch of the day at Si Señor
Si Señor Catch of the Day GIF
Our entrees have arrived!
Tacos chilapa (hard chicken tacos soaked in chicken broth) were also super yummy
Your catch of the day can be prepared to your liking
The catch of the day can be prepared a few different ways: Arriero (with potatoes, onion, chile guajillo, garlic, wine, olive oil and paprika); Mexican Cajun style (chiles secos, curry, olive oil, garlic and mushrooms; or sauteed with lemon and capers. Your waiter will be sure to offer advice and the best preparation for whatever fish you choose.
Si Señor’s resident parrot is quite the showman
Don’t miss the exceptionally charming resident parrot at the bar. He’ll shake his tail feathers while taking a birdbath making for a memorable meal.