Coconuts, Mangoes, and ...Chickens

After settling into our room, it was still mid-afternoon. Not ones to waste precious vacation hours, we all decided to drive out to and spend the rest of the day in Kapa'a. Kapa'a is just one of Kauai's many charming towns, with buildings painted in fun colors, quaint shops, art galleries, and unique eateries. While walking down Kuhio Highway, just fifty or so yards past the Java Kai Coffee shop and Mermaids Cafe, we stopped at a fresh fruit stand. This was my idea of PARADISE.

The first thing you notice when you walk up to the stand is the green, young coconut. A lot of coconuts. They're displayed on shelves, piled on carts, and even bordered the surrounding sidewalks.

Next, I saw the mangoes. Mangoes, mangoes, MANGOES. As soon as I hovered over the bamboo trays, I could smell the ripe fruit. When I'm choosing, I go by smell and feel, never by how red it is. A perfectly green mango can actually be perfectly ripe on the inside. These ones had the sweet, tropical aroma and gave in slightly when I squeezed. (Hard with no give whatsoever = not ripe. So soft that your fingers leave imprints = over-ripe.) They were also I bought twelve.

A close second to mangoes on my "Fruits You Must Buy In Hawai'i" list are the sugarloaf pineapples. These are very sweet and very juicy, and I find that the cores aren't as tough. Also, the biggest difference between the sugarloaf and the ones that you're used to seeing in grocery stores is the pale, white, and not-so-golden flesh.

If I'm going to call the sugarloaf pineapple "2a" on my FYMBIH list, the apple bananas are "2b". You may recognize these from when I talked about eating a ton in the Philippines. These sweeter, petite bananas are perfect for breakfast, a snack for the beach, or something to munch on while you're driving around. I definitely bought more than twelve.

Once we were done browsing through the fruit, little packages in colored baskets caught our attention. (Fact: I'm a sucker for treats in cute baggies.) There were pineapple crackers, sesame candies, coconut candies, and different dried fruits.

I bought a couple of bags of the taro chips with honey. They were delicious! A tasty combination of sweet and salty!

After we purchased our fruit, snacks, and drinks, there were plenty of adorable tables and chairs to relax in...Soak up the sun, enjoy the breeze, listen to the waves just yards away...An amazing way to end Day 1.

I'd also like to take a moment to point out my first encounter with baby chicks and a chicken. When in Kauai, along with the scenic shots and food porn, a photo of a chicken is necessary. I'll have more on this later, but just remember...Kauai. Chickens.