2014 Our Two Month Kauaian Beach House

We found our long term rental the old fashioned way: we found a location we liked, drove the road in the neighborhood, saw a vacation rental sign, called and were able to rent an apartment there for our entire stay. We couldn’t have been closer to the beach and the views and location were very special (4934 Aliomanu Rd., Anahola, tel. 808-822-3000, Esther Medeiros,, P.O. Box 687, Anahola, HI 96703, [mailto:inquiry@kauaialoha.com], http://www.kauaialoha.com/). It cost (with negotiation) $4000 a month, including everything.

Dimitri had an idée fixe of what he wanted for our Kauai rental and we found it!
The view from our private balcony of our Kauai apartment
The area on Aliomanu Road in Anahola was called a Hawaiian Homelands area. In the Kauai Trailblazer by Jerry and Janine Sprout, it says: "The valley around Anahola was designated by the Land Act of 1895 as a settlement in which Hawaiians could acquire lands on 999-year leases. The Act was augmented in 1956 by the Hawaiian Homelands project, which allowed Hawaiians to finance homes on formerly government-leased sugar cane fields." 

It was a neighborhood on a street that dead-ended near our apartment (and thus did not get much traffic) where developers had not gotten involved. It was 1.4 miles from the main (and only) road (Hwy 56 or Kuhio Highway) that almost circled the entire island. Aliomanu Road was at mile marker 14.1 on that main highway. We were 7.4 miles from Kapaa and generally the traffic was light until we got into town. We were at Lat:22°09’34.03” N, Long: 159°18”26.83W, and elev 38 ft. (although Audre's MAPTAQ gps watch occasionally said that we were at -3 elevation).

There were three building units on a large, oceanfront property all owned by our landlady, Esther Medeiros. Our unit was  two-story and our apartment was on the top floor. It was called Hibiscus Hale Lani (hibiscus under the sky). See the pictures of our Hibiscus Hale Lani on Essie’s website: http://www.kauaialoha.com and the outdated pictures that were posted on VRBO http://www.vrbo.com/333804#. These were not luxurious properties; they were functional, perfectly situated and comfortable.
Our apartment was a one bedroom, one bath with two decks that ran the length of the apartment; one deck was on the ocean side and one on the garden side of the unit. We walked up stairs and opened our front door onto a hall. On one side of the hall was the small bedroom with a closet that had shelves, a ceiling fan and windows on two sides of the room. The ceiling was a cathedral ceiling so the room felt bigger than it was.

The other side of the hall was the small bathroom, with a tub/shower, vanity and medicine cabinet, also with windows on two sides. The view from the back window was of the Anahola Mountains. We could see King Kong's profile and spiked-shaped mountain called Kalalea. Many mornings the mountains were enshrouded in clouds when we would have a beautiful sunrise to the east.

Walking toward the ocean in the hallway (where there were more storage shelves), there was an expansive ocean view provided by two large picture windows, with a sliding glass door in between. The room was a large rectangle with a kitchen and dining area on the left and on the right side: a sofa, an interesting mahogany and drift wood table that we used for a coffee table, and a flat screen TV on a TV table across from the sofa. 
Audre setting our breakfast table on the kitchen side of our "great room"
Dimitri at dinner with the ocean beyond
On the far side of the room, away from the kitchen was a table that Essie found for us. It was long enough for our two laptops (side by side) in front of one of the picture windows. There was also a double bed (that we could not get rid of) squished next to the sofa and against the back wall on one side of it and the windows on the other side of it. The ceiling in this room was "cathedral ceiling height" too.

We could sit next to each other at our laptop table and gaze at the ocean or gaze at our computer screens. (This was togetherness.) There were louvered windows below the picture windows and there were screens on all of the windows. We got nice breezes from the open windows and from the ceiling fan. There was also a loft above the kitchen, with a ladder to it, where we put a suitcase. 

The deck on the ocean side was wide and ran the width of the house. It had two chaise lounges on one end of it and a small table with two chairs on the other end of it. It felt like it was right over the shore but it was actually back behind a hedge of  beach naupaka. We had a coconut palm in front of our deck and we had sour bushes and a tropical sea almond tree on the right side of our deck. The foliage gave us privacy. Many of the trees right in front of our deck had their tops cut off to keep the ocean view complete. 
Dimitri having a beer on our balcony in the afternoon
Around our house was an ironwood tree, banana trees, hibiscus bushes and lots of other tropical foliage. There was even the distinctive-looking Norfolk Pine nearby. There was a lawn between the units that had a hammock and two chaise lounges on it. There was an old fashioned charcoal grill on the lawn too.

Underneath our apartment was a studio apartment and a laundry room. Next to our unit was another tiny unit that had a deck at lawn level (called Da Fish Shack, very popular because of the price [http://www.vrbo.com/466306, http://www.alternative-hawaii.com/accom/kcoteast.htm, http://www.homeaway.com/search/refined/hawaii/kauai/region:1722/Property+Type:bungalow, http://www.gogobot.com/beach-front-rental-da-fish-s-anahola-vacation-rental]).

The third unit was on the other side of the property and was enclosed with foliage. It had an apartment upstairs rented year-round to one woman who was not there when we were, and another one on the ground floor. That unit had its own washer/dryer.

We had cable TV and very good wi-fi in the apartment (our landlady, Essie, bought a new router for our apartment). Our kitchen had a refrigerator, a microwave, a blender, a toaster and a full 4-burner stove and oven. There were two sinks but no disposal or dishwasher. Audre could cook comfortably in this space. So she was happy. We went out to meals frequently; click here to read our Kauai Restaurant Reviews.  Audre cooked dinner about three times a week.


Dimitri got his beach house on the sand in a quiet, old-fashioned Hawaiian neighborhood (with good wi-fi and cable) so he was happy. Essie was a very good landlady. If ever there was a problem, we would e-mail her and she would fix it herself or send someone. She made sure that we were happy. Essie's maid, Mahea, cleaned our apartment every two weeks. Essie had a man come to spray for bugs and the apartment was fairly bug-free. We had geckos, of course, but they are good to have around because they eat bugs. We had to sweep up gecko shit every morning. Even though Essie had provided mosquito coils, occasionally Audre was bitten by mosquitoes.  They itched and stung for about 30 minutes and then calmed down (or Audre would put witch hazel on them and they would stop hurting and itching.)

There were typically breezes from the tradewinds coming from the north. Even though the temperature during the day was in the 80’s° with the ceiling fans and the breezes, it was not hot. At night, the bedroom was about 80° when we went to bed but would cool to 78° sometime during the night. With the ceiling fan, it was not uncomfortable. The humidity was generally in the high 70%'s or low 80%'s. Dimitri was finally warm enough!

The sound of the waves at the shoreline on our Anahola Bay was a constant, calming sound. The waves weren't huge but were beautiful and we heard them everywhere in the apartment. There was a reef outside of the bay and waves crashed on it too. The neighborhood and our neighbors were generally very quiet. We had the familiar tweeting of cardinals and the songs of various other birds. There were also myna birds (from India) all over Kauai, including our yard. 

It would have been an ideal paradise if it were not for the roosters breaking our reverie with their crowing. Not only did they wake us up, but they crowed all day. They were horrible and they were everywhere on the island--although we must admit we did not see them at the posh St. Regis on Princeville. We considered becoming a Rooster Buster brigade.
We considered getting traps for the roosters and becoming vigilantes
We did a Google search asking whether it was legal to kill chickens and roosters. Here is a response from the Kauai Division of Forestry and Wildlife wildlife biologist:
http://hawaiideptland.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/427/~/are-feral-chickens-are-protected%3F-if-so,-why%3F

"...chickens found roaming around developed areas, such as rural or suburban neighborhoods, are referred to as "free-flying domestic chickens". These are fowl of domestic stock roaming free and are not "protected." Locals are free to take them (if they come onto your property) and put them in the pot. Backyard chicken is a favorite with the locals who will generally take care of the chicken situation themselves.

Division of Forestry and Wildlife will loan out traps (subject to availability) to the public to catch free-flying domestic chickens, but will not trap on private property."

What would we do with the roosters we caught? This could turn out to be a full time job. We decided to live with/endure the problem. But it seriously adversely affected our stay.

Read about our Kauai Doings and Hurricane Iselle during our stay.