Kauai Day 6 – Hawaiian chocolate tour

Thankfully when I woke up this morning I was feeling SOOOO much better with just my normal fibro pain, which went away quickly after taking my pain meds. I enjoyed another sunrise from our apartment but I must say they haven’t been as spectacular as I had imagined.

For breakfast today we enjoyed the frozen bowls we bought at Target yesterday. Kevin had a banana & peanut butter smoothie bowl and I had an acai bowl. Both were delicious.

We left home just after 8.30, stopping briefly to have a look at this double waterfall, Opaekaa Falls, before driving on to todays destination. It was so easy to see from the car park – which is not normally the case.

We were running just a few minutes late but weren’t the last ones to arrive, and were there in time for the introduction to the Lydgate Farm Chocolate tour. The farm is is a lovely area with some pretty stunning homes.

There are also lots of fruits and other plants around the property as they do their best to look after the land. This cherry tree had just started to have ripe berries and we were able to pick and enjoy as many as wanted / could reach. The one I had was pretty nice but not so juicy and fleshy as the ones I’m used to.

We were there just at the right time to see some vanilla bean flowers get hand pollinated (as the flowers are only open for a 10 hour window). The plant actually grows on another tree.

We then headed down the hill (there is a cart available if you need assistance since it is quite steep and gravely), stopping at different plants to learn more about them and how they were/are used. It’s quite amazing to learn all about it. And as you can see the grounds are just stunning.

Kevin, and some other brave souls, tried peppercorn right off the vine. Kevin said they were very, very, very peppery and spat his out.

Finally we got to the fruit trying portion of the tour. We got to try things like apple banana (which was really yummy), pawpaw/papaya and more exotoic fruits (the name of which I can’t remember). All are grown of the farm.

We also tried a delicious farm honey and some honey coated macadamias – which they are just testing and were definitely the highlight for me.

Then time for the main event – the cocoa pod & seeds. We got to taste it just after opening and though the white coating was pretty delicious ( you just suck it off the seed), the seed itself was pretty bitter (I fed mine to the chickens – two of whom were name Russell (Crowe) and Sheryle (Crowe).

I love how some of the pods just grow right out of the tree truck, while others grown off the branches.

We had time for a little photo shoot among the cocao trees, then a very short walk over to the chocolate tasting tent. Our chicken friends joined us in the hope of more treats.

Isn’t this flower just stunning?

We then learnt about the way chocolate is made and about what happens during the making of cheaper chocolates ( the cocoa butter is removed and sold off and replaced with castor oil). We also got to sample 10 different chocolates from the farm and a few other places and honestly by the time we got to number 10 I was over chocolated. My favourite had surprisingly been the 75% dark with rum – but when I had another piece after all ten samples I didn’t like it as much. This tour was great and I highly recommend if you’ve got time (it goes for 3 hours).

We then walked back up the hill. Being pretty unfit I was puffed by the top but it wasn’t too bad. We had the chance to buy some chocolate from the gift stall but as I said I was over chocolate by that time…

Back in the car we drove back via Kapaa’ as I wanted to stop in at the Glass gallery buy some earrings.

We did that and then headed to Papaya’s healthy grocery store. It doesn’t look like much from the outside and Kevin really wasn’t convinced it was what I thought it was. But it’s much bigger on the inside (not that I took a photo). We gathered supplies for a few more meals and had fun exploring. It was cool seeing taro since we’d driven through the fields a few days ago and I had no idea what it looked like.

I also bought a big salad which I turned into lunch with some freshly cut Dole pineapple, vegan potato salad and leftover pasta from dinner a few nights ago. It was pretty good but a different dressing would have made it awesome. Kevin had a chipotle and turkey wrap (also bought from Papaya’s) and we sat out on the lanai to enjoy.

We moved back inside since it was more comfy on the couch and when I had kept drifting off to sleep we decided to go have a nap. I very rarely nap during the day and was quite surprised when I slept for almost an hour. I then proceeded to read on the couch for another few hours – which is lovely holiday indulgence. We had planned for a swim but with the breeze you get through the apartment it never feels that hot. I also managed to get my first video up. It’s definitely hard finding time to both blog and vlog and sort out all the photos.

We had frozen pizza for dinner which was nice but nothing amazing and watched some YouTube. We even got a bit of a sunset tonight, even though we are facing East.

Saturday in the kitchen

I woke around 6.30am and thought about doing a workout. I debated with myself and was inspired by Lisa at Bike Bake Blog who not only exercises on cold Winter mornings – but leaves the house to do so. Finally I got into my exercise clothes and did my red carpet ready workout. Since I really didn’t want to do it I just did one of the short SAS-E workouts. Loved it and as always felt great afterwards.

Of course, then it was time for a green smoothie. One day I’ll have to make him one of his own.

Around 8.30am I had some cruskits with spreadable cheese.


I spent the morning in the kitchen – cleaning out the fridge/freezer and pantry and doing fun jobs like window sills and skirting boards. I did have a break around 11am for a babybell cheese and banana.


While I was in the kitchen I made some lemon cookies (as we have loads of lemons on our tree). Amy snapped this photo just after I’d wrapped the dough to place in the fridge.


By the time I finished the kitchen, vaccumed downstairs and help Kevin remodel the chicken yard it was well after 1pm and time for lunch. Amy and Kevin had jaffles but I opted for a salad – using the last of the rice balls. Love these and will need to make a trip to only organic store in Wollongong to restock after our holiday.


I spent the afternoon finally getting our plans typed up into tripit. I drank way too many cups of tea and around 4pm prepared a cheese platter to share with Kevin. I forgot to take a photo but it looked pretty much like the one I had yesterday but with a few other types of cheese. My legs were starting to feel a bit sore so I know I’ll be feeling it in the morning.

Dinner was homemade pizza on pita bread I found when cleaning out the freezer. Kevin didn’t want pizza so he had spaghetti on toast. My pizza had BBQ sauce, corn, tomato, pineapple and cheese.


Tonight we watched Elizabeth – the virgin Queen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many dead bodies, war and blood as I’ve seen in the last few weeks while we’ve watched all these historical shows and documentaries in preparation for our trip.

Later Kevin announced he felt like some chocolate so Amy divided up the block of Cadbury’s (fair trade) that was in the fridge. Loved how she served it in our little dishes. I definitely do {heart} chocolate.


Cold weather equals soup

Another slow morning. Drank tea while playing on the computer. Didn’t know what to have for breakfast. Eventually made myself a sandwich which  I ate in the car driving the girls to school.


After the school run I visited the pet shop to buy Bailey a coat for night-time. He’s been getting cold and sleeping on our bed too keep warm. Rosie used to do the same thing until we bought her a coat. The dogs and I then set out of a walk/photography session.


Boy was it cold out today. I had planned to have a smoothie when I got back but it was too cold. Instead I had a cup of tea, a banana and an oatmeal cookie.


I uploaded all my photos and sorted through the best ones. Lunch was an easy one today. Leftover red quinoa, frozen vegetables and tofu. All heated up and topped with some katsup manis (sweet soy sauce). Nice and warm and delicious.


Spent time working on our travels plans (again). I made a wrap with cheese, hummus, carrot, and spinach for my afternoon snack.


I must have been hungry because later I had a half a red onion and chili scroll from Bakers Delight and cup of tea while the girls were at singing lessons. I totally forgot I’d already had an afternoon snack!

Amy was a Nan’s for dinner and Kevin wasn’t expecting to be home till late so I decided on making soup for dinner. Definitely the right weather for soup. I made everyones favourite – cheesy potato chowder.


Supper was a cup of tea and a couple of chocolate :-). Can you tell I’ve already slipped into holiday mode?


Bread filled Tuesday

I don’t mind the cold weather of Winter but boy do I find it hard to get going in the mornings – which you know if VERY unusual for me.I was going so slow this morning I even had a great deal of trouble deciding what I wanted for breakfast.  We were out of all bread – except for homemade white, had no eggs (our chickens are barely laying) and I wanted something warm. I really felt like an ommelette but that was out of the question. Eventually I decided on cheese on toast. It was very nice but would have been much better on grain bread.



I had quite a few erands to run today and headed out just before 10am. Of course, by the time it got to 11am I was rather hungry, and not organised enough to have bought a snack with me. So I once again resorted to Gloria Jeans and their delicious Iced Chocs. One small skim iced chocolate with no cream coming up. No photo but I’ve had enough of these lately you know what they look like.

I finished off my errands, which included picking up a few grocery items, and headed home.

I enjoyed yesterdays salad so much I decided to go with a repeat, with a slice of fresh country grain bread.


Got a few more chores attended to this afternoon, which included a sandwich snack. Some days I don’t eat bread at all but today I sure made up for it.


Tonights dinner was really rather pathetic. I’m cramming a lot into the days, tired by night-time and wanting to use up food, plus we didn’t have much in the way of fresh veggies. So I present – veggie snitzel, veggie fingers and corn. Pathetic I tell you. Lucky I had that salad at lunch.


A couple of hours later Kevin was kind enough to make me a cup of tea, which I enjoyed with a few chocolates.