Archive for December, 2013

A Heart Warming Story For The Holidays

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Happy Holidays to one and all!

My best wishes to all of our readers and their loved ones this Holiday Season. Following is s story that brings tears to my eyes each time I read it. I’ve sent it out during the holidays for several years, so if you’ve seen it before, take the time to read it again. You won’t be disappointed.

Aloha,
Herb

 

The Christmas Rifle

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or for those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors.

It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving. It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the hunting rifle that I’d wanted so badly that year for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

So after supper was over, I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace, waiting for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible; instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though; I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

en5fSoon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting my hunting rifle for Christmas, but, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.

But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up, put my boots back on, and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short or quick or little job, I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him.

The cold was already biting at me, and I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain and all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something.

“Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?”

“You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what? “Yeah,” I said, “Why?” “I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said.

He then turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading and went to the smokehouse where he took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.

When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack?” I asked. “Shoes. They’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunnysacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.

“We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house, unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, and took the meat and flour and shoes around to the front door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?” Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all.

Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp. “We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks.

She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out. “We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said. He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and, as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes, too. In my mind, I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people. I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy, and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time.

She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.” In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it, I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth.

I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it. Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go.

I could see that they missed their pa, and I was glad that I still had mine. At the door, Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you”. Out on the sled, I felt warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold.

When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday, a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunnysacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent your rifle money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.” I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.

Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night; he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

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Need Room For Fourteen? The Big Kahuna’s The Answer!

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Hideaway Cove’s Big Kahuna Sleeps 14–An Ideal Space for Family Reunions, Wedding Parties and Large Groups.

When making the decision as to where to hold your family reunion, some of the things many people consider are the weather, the surroundings, available attractions or activities, and the type of accommodations available.
We might just have the perfect solution. The tropical climate of the Hawaiian Islands makes it an ideal destination for a family reunion any time of the year, and on Kauai’s stunning South Shore, there are a wide variety of adventures and activities to suit all ages and tastes. Of course you’ll also be surrounded by spectacular scenery including unsurpassed sunsets, picturesque beaches and dazzling turquoise waters.

When it comes to available accommodations, Hideaway Cove offers the ideal option for large groups with the 3,650 square foot “Big Kahuna.” This 5-bedroom, 4-bath ocean view vacation rental sleeps up to 10 in beds, or up to 14 with 4 additional aero beds. The unique feature not found in any other five bedroom vacation rental in Poipu, is that the Big Kahuna combines a 2300 sq. ft. three bedroom two bath upstairs with a 1650 sq. ft. two bedroom two bath downstairs by means of an internal staircase. Both the upstairs and downstairs also have entrances to the outside and can be rented individually as well.

This gives large groups the convenience and privacy of having four to six guests downstairs with their own master suite, kitchen, living and dining areas and outside covered lanai. en5eUpstairs is much larger, so six to eight guests can sleep there while also enjoying their own master suite, kitchen, living and dining rooms.

The upstairs indoor dining table seats eight and the outdoor table seats six, so everyone can enjoy meals together. This arrangement provides two master suites, one with a Jacuzzi tub and the other with a deep soak tub and two shower heads–unusual features in a five bedroom home.  Both living rooms have fifty inch HDTVs and there are HDTVs in all five bedrooms. They will never be any arguing here about who gets to watch which program.

The Big Kahuna is ideal for any group that wants to save money on accommodations and spend a little time together while still having room to spread out and enjoy some privacy.

Home away from home

The Big Kahuna offers a “home away from home” environment – much more comfortable than forcing everyone into individual stuffy hotel rooms. With two fully equipped kitchens completely stocked with everything you need, you can choose to save money on dining out by making your own meals too.
Of course, many celebrations include grilling out, and we haven’t forgotten that detail either with two BBQ gas grills. If the kids want to watch cartoons or a member of your party can’t miss that big game, there are no worries here with plenty of TVs for all.

Worried that with so many people there will be piles of dirty laundry that will need to be taken to the Laundromat or hauled back home? That won’t be a problem here, with a laundry room with two washers and dryers in the building, complete with detergent and fabric softener sheets.

With so many people finding it difficult to leave work behind these days, guests love that Hideaway Cove offers high speed wireless Internet at no extra cost as well as access to our business office 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A desk complete with supplies, computer, printer and fax machine are all available for use which is especially handy for printing boarding passes.
One destination

Centralizing your destination by having all family members stay in the Big Kahuna, or throughout Hideaway Cove’s property for larger parties, helps to promote the feeling of togetherness and reconnecting that reunions are all about. Being split up at a large resort or hotel defeats the purpose and usually costs more too.
Staying at Hideaway Cove is usually much less expensive than paying for individual rooms; here costs can be shared evenly and you’ll get a lot more amenities too.

Are you ready to include Hideaway Cove in your reunion, wedding or family vacation plans? Give us a call on our toll free line at 866-849-2426 and ask about availability.

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Romantic Kauai Weddings

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Planning a Wedding on Kauai

The Garden Isle provides a spectacular setting for a wedding; it’s famed for its natural beauty as well as uncrowded, pristine beaches and breathtaking views. Many consider it to be Hawaii’s most romantic island, and with a ceremony here, you’ll be just steps away from an idyllic honeymoon too.

The Logistics

Getting married in the state of Hawaii is fairly simple. The easiest way to get started is to visit https://emrs.ehawaii.gov/ and complete the online application and make the $60 payment by credit card. The application is available for the issuance of a marriage or civil union license by an agent in the State of Hawaii for up to one year from the application date.

Once you’re on Kauai, you’ll visit one of the licensing agents on the island to obtain the license. Sandra and Alan Matsumoto are located in the Koloa District on the South Shore of Kauai, closest to Poipu Beach and can be reached at 808-332-7133. There are a number of agents throughout the island; a listing can be found on the government site.

When you’ve obtained your license, it’s good for 30 days. The only requirements for obtaining a marriage license is that both parties are 18 and older and are not more closely related than first cousins. Couples who are 15 to 17 years old can be married but must have proof of age as well as written consent of both sets of parents and written approval from the judge of the family court. Although Civil Unions are legal in Hawaii, currently couples of the same sex cannot yet marry in the state of Hawaii.

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Planning the Ceremony

The great news is that Hideaway Cove offers accommodations that may be a great fit for the entire wedding party. Options include everything from studios to two-bedrooms and even a 5-bedroom, 4-bath, the “Big Kahuna.” If the entire property is booked with 24 guests, a tented reception can be provided onsite for up to 50 guests. A wedding planner is necessary, but there are many excellent choices available and staff at Hideaway Cove is happy to provide recommendations.

For those that prefer a simple ceremony on the sand, Hideaway Cove owners Herb and Gale Lee were married right on the beach on Kauai and are able to provide referrals for everyone and everything needed from the officiant to flowers, the photographer, and more. Some wedding parties have booked the entire property and decide to go to a luau instead of attending a rehearsal dinner; we’ve helped charter a bus for them. Others have had a ceremony right on the property, at nearby Plantation Gardens, or Beach House Restaurant followed by a reception at the prospective establishment.

The Honeymoon

Once the ceremony is over, you can relax and enjoy your honeymoon along with Kauai’s glorious sunsets, towering waterfalls that cascade down emerald-colored mountains, gorgeous beaches that sit at the edge of warm, turquoise waters, and much more.
Hideaway Cove also offers the ultimate honeymoon stay by ensuring that couples have an unforgettable and unsurpassed experience with rooms that include elegant furnishings as well as Jacuzzi tubs and rainfall showers, perfect for two.

What more could you ask for in a wedding ceremony and honeymoon on Kauai with a little help from Hideaway Cove?

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Relax and Unwind – The Spas of Kauai

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Spas of Kauai

If you’re seeking a relaxing getaway you probably already know that Kauai offers the chance for the ultimate in relaxation, but treating yourself to a day, or more, at the spa can help heighten your tranquil experience while visiting the Garden Isle. Here you can enjoy treatments that are uniquely Hawaiian – something that you probably can’t do back home, and all among a spectacular tropical setting.

What better way to recharge and reenergize?

Three South Shore Favorites

Anara Spa

The Anara Spa is widely known as the very best on the island. This award-winning day spa is located at the Grand Hyatt Resort, just a few minutes’ drive from Hideaway Cove. It’s the largest on Kauai, recently almost doubling its square footage to massive 45,000 square foot area, offering a wide range of Hawaiian healing therapies. There are nearly 70 different treatments available, from Lomi Lomi massage to an all-day package that include massage, a facial, wrap, lunch, and more.
The atmosphere is uniquely Hawaiian, combining island traditions with the soothing powers of nature resulting in the ultimate of relaxation. A fitness center, swimming pool, steam sauna, whirlpools, open-air lava showers and full-service salon are all available for guests to take advantage of.

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The Spa at The Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort

Located at Poipu Beach, this luxurious spa offers five treatment rooms, including a romantic couples’ suite. It offers a peaceful atmosphere and a variety of relaxing massages, facials and wraps. Services can be provide at ocean side, in-suite or inside the spa.
There is a focus on using natural and indigenous ingredients like pineapple, seaweed, awapuhi root, coconut and Red Kauai clay.

Hawaiian Rainforest Spa

Also in Poipu Beach you’ll find the Hawaiian Rainforest Spa located inside Koloa Landing, A Wyndham Grand Resort. The Spa reflects the island’s geographic wonders and embraces a strong respect for the Aina, or land. A number of its signature treatments incorporate the Garden Isle’s indigenous botanical products. Treatments use purifying body glows combined with herbs as well as Hawaiian sea salts. A variety of massages are available, including the popular Lomi Lomi massage, aromatic foot baths, Swiss facials, and more.

On The East Side

Spa Makaiwa

This spa is located about 24 miles north of Poipu Beach in Kapaa. Here you’ll find a number of natural healing therapies, including the spa’s specialty, raindrop therapy, designed to positively transform mind, body and spirit. Pohaku Lomi and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage is available and can be combined with Ka Mapuana Aromatherapy to experience the healing aromatic properties of essential oils. Facials, body wrap and beachside massages are all available as well.

On The North Shore

Halele’a Spa

This Kauai spa can be found at the St. Regis Princeville Resort on the north end of the island, offering over 10,000 square feet with 12 treatment rooms including a couples’ room and a VIP room. There are a variety of treatment options available; the Taro Butter Pohaku massage incorporates hot stones with taro butter for deep muscle relaxation and is a favorite of many visitors.

Many of the Halele’a Spa treatments incorporate the Hawaiian healing properties of the indigenous plants and flowers as well as the essence of the tropical environment.

Hideaway Cove In Room Massage

If you’re the type of person that prefers not to go anywhere, let us know and we’ll arrange for a trained professional to come to you at Hideaway Cove. In room couples massages are very popular and should be arranged days in advance due to high demand.

No matter where you decide you have your treatment, you can be certain it will be a relaxing day spent on our garden island.

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