Waipouli Retreat – chocolate, meditation, and flowers in your neighborhood
While millions of readers have found inspiration in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love, you can create your own Hawaiian version up in the lush valleys of Wailua. In searching to satiate the appetite of mind, body and spirit, the sanctuary of this area offers it all with a Hawaiian twist.
In Eat, Pray, Love the author was on a soul searching adventure. She traveled the world to immerse herself in self analysis and emerged redefined finding contentment with herself and her surroundings. In your Kauai version, you might be able to accomplish these goals a bit more simply and within a few mile radius… living on island time in the comfort of your new home.
Just down around the corner from your Waipouli Retreat is the 48 acre farm of the 5th generation historic Lydgate Family. A descendant of sugarcane farming and with extensive agricultural background, Will Lydgate’s passion for cultural preservation and absolute commitment to all things delicious has resulted in award-winning honey, vanilla, and most amazingly… serious chocolate production. You think you know cacao until you sit through a blind tasting of chocolates from around the world and realize that this perfect “health food” has so much more to give.
This is the largest chocolate farm in the United States and makes supporting local farmers feel and taste truly divine.Not only do you get to enjoy the cacao bean at its purest form, but your entertaining tour guides will also sample other seasonal fruits such as lychee, papaya, soursop, mango, avocado, rambutan, guava and more. Your confidence at local farmer’s markets will skyrocket after a tour of Lydgate Farms, and your taste buds will never forget what chocolate is “supposed” to taste like.
Good news is — not only is this a great rainy day activity — but my kids loved it too. Kids under 12 are free! It is highly suggested to book in advance.
Zoe enjoying award-winning honey
Single Estate Lydgate Farms Hawaiian Chocolate
This truly special destination was founded in 1970 by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and instills a sense of magical peace within an already serene lush valley setting. Open to the public from 9am to noon daily with daily prayers at 9am, this is not your usual tourist stop. Time slows down and surrounding smells and light come alive in this inspiring location.
Whether you are seeking a single day adventure to visit the temple and gardens or to start your spiritual journey with transcendent meditation, a visit to Kauai’s Hindu Monastery is a must. For those seeking a deeper experience, personal and travel study programs are offered. Be sure to read their dress code and to bring an umbrella.
Image courtesy of Kauai Hindu Monastery
As many honeymooners will tell you, it is pretty easy to feel the love in Kauai. The sights, the sounds, the smells and the warm trade winds make it very complicit in affairs of the heart.
Finding romantic love is everyone’s own personal journey. However, without fail, it seems impossible not to fall in love with the beautiful flora growing in abundance seemingly everywhere you turn. Whether beautifully landscaped and manicured, or growing wild along a trail or roadside from an abandoned car, gorgeous flowers are blessedly a part of our daily existence. Flowers… plants…. trees… and all things pretty are found at the nursery Anthuriums and More just a few minutes down the road from your new Waipouli home. In the true spirit of Kauai sustainability, the team at Anthuriums and More derive most of their plantings from existing plants and seedlings from those disposed. Sustainability at its finest.
As Hans Christian Andersen said, “Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
Anthuriums and More – Wailua Homesteads
Love More… Home
Finding a home base to explore your new self might be easier than you think. This property is a custom built plantation style house nestled between Mt. Wai’ale’ale and Sleeping Giant up in the gorgeous valleys of Wailua. With modern conveniences and fine finishes inside, this retreat also has over nine different types of fruit trees including grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons, avocado, mountain apple, banana, and coconut and has its own fresh water from a lava rock filtered artesian well. Raised garden beds and a cozy chicken coop are ready to host crops of veggies and eggs. Sustainability surrounds this comfortable and tranquil home.
You can read more about this property here.
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
Your drive home