Marketplace Cafe at Nordstrom Ala Moana

Marketplace Cafe

Marketplace Cafe

“I like looking nice, but I always put comfort over fashion. I don’t find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy.  I’ve never had a problem with the way I look. I’d rather have lunch with my friends than go to a gym.” ~ Adele

IMG_0849Escape the madness of Ala Moana Shopping Center at the Marketplace Cafe, tucked away on the 1st floor of Nordstrom.

Blue Cheese & Pear Salad

Blue Cheese & Pear Salad

Surprisingly, it is fairly quiet, dim lighting and a relaxing setting even though it is located in a major department store within the mall. As you walk in, you’re greeted by a display of wines, cookbooks and gifts boxes. While the feeling is quite bistro-ish, it is actually a cafeteria-style order process.

Grab a tray and make your way down the counter. Choose from soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas or pasta. All of the food is local, sustainable, natural and organic. The fountain area is all self serve.

Soup options are Roma Tomato Basil or Soup Du Jour. The salad menu was most impressive with choices of Chinese Chicken Salad, Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad, Chicken Apple & Goat Cheese Salad, Nicoise Salad with Salmon, Blue Cheese & Pear Salad, Caesar Salad with Chicken or Mixed Berry & Chicken Salad. I love a light salad for lunch, so this was the perfect place for me! A great place to rest your feet from shopping or to meet up with a friend, as we did. Choose a table or a booth. Sit, relax and talk your lunch away while sipping a refreshing Plantation Tea (made with organic tea)!!!

Cheese Pizza

Cheese Pizza

Pizza is always a great option for kids! I could smell the pizzas as soon as we walked in to the cafe. Choose from specialty pizzas including Prosciutto & Arugula Salad Pizza, Margherita Pizza, Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza or simply order a classic cheese pizza.


Arugula shrimp salad with polenta croutons

If a sandwich is your preference choose from 7 wonderful options which include the California Grill, Chicken Club Sandwich with Maple Glazed Bacon, Grilled Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich, Sliced Peppered Steak Sandwich, Cranberry Turkey, Prosciutto Mozzarella Caprese Sandwich, or Grilled Pesto Chicken Sandwich.

The Marketplace Cafe also has Specialty Selections which include Tuscan Roasted Chicken & Tuscan Roasted Salmon. Many of the dishes are displayed at the counter for customers to see. However, the make each dish made-to-order. Grab your number, pay at the end of the counter and choose your seat. The wait staff will deliver the hot items to your table.

Kaylee Marketplace CafeDon’t let the cafeteria- style setting fool you. The Marketplace Cafe is not your typical cafeteria-style food such as mac n cheese and patty melts. If you are looking for a fast, but healthy option – The Marketplace Cafe is a great choice while shopping at Ala Moana!! We weren’t looking for anything heavy, just a quick bite to rejuvenate before hitting the mall for more shopping fun. Let’s not forget to mention, they have pasta too! The Mushroom Ravioli looked amazing and I almost chose that! Other pastas include Chicken Tomato Alfredo & Spicy Shrimp & Angel Hair Pasta.


Lunch Time

Lunch Time

“I think people in Italy live their lives better than we do. It’s an older country, and they’ve learned to celebrate dinner and lunch, whereas we sort of eat as quickly as we can to get through it.” ~ George Clooney

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Let’s not forget to mention dessert! The best part of a lunch date. The Marketplace Cafe has desserts displayed in a case as you walk by the counter. The humongous slice of carrot cake caught my eye immediately. Although we really didn’t have room to eat dessert- we broke down and had to have a slice. The desserts are perfect for sharing. The cake itself was very, moist and full of walnuts and shredded carrots. The cream cheese frosting was way to sweet for me, so we just scraped it off and enjoyed the cake.



The Marketplace Cafe at Nordstrom


The Marketplace Cafe also caters to children through a unique Kids’ Cafe program.

$$ Saving Tips:  The salads and pizzas are large, great for sharing! Prices range from $3.95 for a cup of soup to $13.25 for specialty dishes. The prices are extremely reasonable in comparison to the portion sizes. I had expected the prices to be high since it is located in Nordstrom- but not true. Be sure to order the Plantation Iced Tea and the wait staff will come around throughout your meal and fill it up.

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March & April 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine

Kauai Eco Sporting Clays

Kauai Eco Sporting Clays

Kauai Eco Sporting Clays

“I have a love interest in every one of my films – a gun.”
~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

The phrase “comfort zone” is defined as a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. With that said, get ready to step out of your comfort zone for 1.5 hours, pray that you have a steady level of performance at best, test your anxiety levels, and experience something new!!! This page is dedicated to a great friend who decided to celebrate her birthday, by dragging her friends down to Kauai Eco Sporting Clays.

The morning started off with a rush of emotions which included anxiety, nervousness, upset stomach from nerves, anticipation, curiosity and absolute excitement. I can best relate the feelings to those when you are standing in line for a ride such as the Tower of Terror. You are so excited to experience what everyone is talking about but so nervous at the same time. I wasn’t scared though, just nervous. Probably didn’t help that I had never shot a gun of any kind in my life and when I left the house my husband was laughing saying, “The kick from the gun may knock you on your a–!” My ride came to pick me up and off we went! At this point I was wishing it were a long car ride so that I could talk to my friend and get my mind off of the upcoming – learn how to shoot a gun! Unfortunately, I live less than five minutes away from the facility. Off to face my fears!! New ventures.

When we arrived, everyone was SO NICE! The sound of the guns firing was instantly intimidating, guess I have never really stood that close to someone firing a gun. It is LOUD! I was raised around guns sitting in a gun cabinet in our living room (remember those), but it was more of a boys/hunting thing. The staff are extremely welcoming and kind that it calmed my nerves. If they would have started in with gun/shooting lingo immediately, I probably would have gotten back in the car. We signed the waivers, put in our ear plugs (that was another first for me and I think I was yelling the whole time), safety glasses, shooter belt, and we were off to our safety briefing provided by Ben. I must add that I am grateful that my son used to run around with “Legends of the Wild West” toys because I was actually familiar with some of the gear. Fortunately, there were no handcuffs involved.

Let the fun begin~


“Well behaved women rarely make history.”  ~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Guns & Tiaras

Guns & Tiaras

I have heard of people shooting clay pigeons, but really had no idea what this meant. So what exactly is a sporting clay? Sporting clays are similar to clay pigeon shooting, and sometimes referred to as “golf with a shotgun” due to having 10 to 15 different shooting stations. Trap and skeet shooting differ as they are games of repeatable target presentations. Sporting clays are described as “unpredictability of live-quarry shooting”.

Kauai Eco Sporting Clays is Kauai’s newest sport where 12 and 20 gauge shot guns are used to shoot flying clay targets. They offer a beautiful 5 stand sporting clays facility (see picture below).  Enjoy the beautiful, lush setting of Kauai while you concentrate on perfecting your shot.

I wasn’t expecting to break any clays to be honest. I was hoping I could just figure out how to shoot the gun! Ben is a great instructor. He is very patient and didn’t make me feel like a beginner. I really have to give Ben huge props because he dealt with four women, who were all beginners, laughing most of the time and one wearing an eye patch and tiara. We did really well! I broke a few clays and mainly got a feel for shooting the gun. The gun was much heavier than I had anticipated. During the shooting lesson, we learned how to hold the gun, how to stand, where to position our face, where to look, when to shoot, how to load, etc. Surprisingly, there is a lot to memorize! I was nervous to put my face on the gun, since my husband warned me of the kick, but it actually wasn’t scary at all and, more importantly, it didn’t hurt. I was surprised at how sore my arms were the next day from holding the gun. For some reason, turning the steering wheel in my car was painful!

Kauai Eco Sporting Clays are environmentally friendly. Steel shot ammo and biodegradable clays are used exclusively at the range.

Sporting Clays are not just for adults~

photo (35)

IMG_2065Our son could not wait for his 12th birthday to come around so he could invite some friendsphoto (36) and head out to Kauai Eco Sporting Clays to try it out for himself!!! Sure enough, on the day of his 12th b-day, he was off first thing in the morning. It was really simple, as the staff at Kauai Eco Clays emailed me the waiver in advance. Each of the parents could review the guidelines prior to the b-day clay shooting. My son was not afraid at all! Of course he has shot an air soft and BB gun in the past. The best part is that he came back bragging about the fact that he beat out my husband, who was an expert shot in the military. Apparently, it runs in the family. That’s the fun thing about Kauai Eco Sporting Clays- you can be competitive in a fun, safe environment. You’re left wanting to go back and try again, to better your shot. According to our 12 year old son, “It is a great experience. There is a lot of practice time with Ben and tons of fun! I loved it.”



“I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.” ~ Clint Eastwood

I highly recommend going in a group. It was really, really fun! I wouldn’t ever have gone, if not invited by a friend who was going in a group. I felt so safe in the controlled environment, that I suggested our 12 year old do this for his b-day. For those of you who already know how to shoot a gun, skip the 1.5 hour lesson and shoot a round in 30-45 minutes. You are welcome to bring your own gun (12 or 20 gauge only) and be sure to leave your ammo at home. Ammo will be provided by Kauai Eco Sporting Clay. Don’t forget to inquire about the membership!


We survived!!! Thanks Ben!!

We survived!!! Thanks Ben!!

We survived!! If this gang can do it, so can you. Check out Kauai Eco Sporting Clays. It is tons of fun and you have to try it at least once.

What to bring:
Prescription glasses/sunglasses if necessary
Hat, sunscreen, bug spray  (optional)
Adventurous attitude!

Available Times:
Monday through Saturday

$89+ tax per person.  Ages 12 and over welcome to participate.

Check them out on Facebook at

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March & April 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine

Kauai Beer Company

Kauai Beer Company

Kauai Beer Company

“Beer, it’s the best damn drink in the world.” Jack Nicholson

Date Night!

Date Night!

Rice Street is finally turning into a happening “downtown” for our little island of Kauai. With the recent openings of Ha Coffee, Masa Sushi and now Kauai Beer Company (KBC), you can walk along Rice Street for an urban experience. KBC opened their doors with a soft opening last Fall (2013), brewing and serving up fresh beer at their location on Rice Street. Some of their brews are available locally at The Feral Pig and Nawiliwili Tavern.

So what exactly is a microbrewery? A microbrewery, also know as a craft brewery, is a location where a limited amount of beer is brewed. Local breweries are typically smaller in size and independently owned. Independently owned breweries are often times distinguished by flavor and technique.

If you are looking for a great place to hang out, meet friends, catch up with old friends or just stop by the tasting room for a quick drink after work, KBC is the place to be! Bet you didn’t know how lucky we were to have a brewery on Kauai with a population size of only 69,000. Rumor has it that Oahu doesn’t have a single brewery!!!!! Well, there you go.

KBC is a family friendly environment with additional seating available outside. It is also the perfect spot for a date night. Be prepared for a packed house on Thursday evenings. I would recommend showing up just before 5 p.m. to reserve a table or it may be standing room only. I would also recommend ordering food from the food trucks shortly after they arrive to avoid long lines later in the evening. If you prefer sushi, walk next door and grab sushi to go from Masa Sushi to have with your beer.

The Sample line up

The Sample line up

 “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Let’s Talk Brews~ When you arrive, try out the 6 samplers, pictured above, for only $12 or $2 each. It’s a fun way to sit with friends and compare pallets. My two favs were the Lihue Lager and the Black Limo. Beers are available in sample (4 oz.), glass (12 oz.), pint (16 oz.) and as refills (32 or 64 oz.) for the growler.

Lihue Lager

Malty German-style pale lager, a blend of traditional and tropical flavored hops

Black Limo

A surprisingly refreshing dark lager, with caramel, toffee, coffee notes

IP Aloha

Brewed with 32 pounds of local Kauai honey, and an array of Pacific NW hops

Red Dirty

Malty red ale, with a hoppy kick

Tropical Armadillo Pale Ale

Tropical fruit, light pale ale, with a bitter, dry-hopped finish


Our special occasion beer, chocolate malt infused with 4lbs of toasted American oak chips.

Regular brewery Hours:

Wednesday through Saturday
3pm  to 8pm
IMG_0761The gorgeous tables at KBC, which will catch your eye the minute you walk in, were carved from local Norfolk trees. The tables are beautifully carved, smooth and gorgeous to look at, making quite the conversation piece while tasting beers. There are tables for four people and larger tables which are perfect for groups.

Julio’s Beach Burritos

“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.” ~ Earnest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Food Truck Thursday Line up!!

Come and try the craft beers and food truck fun every Thursday evening. Grab your table with friends and wait for the trucks to roll up at 5 p.m. The best part is, the trucks vary each week. If you find a “must have” food, just ask for their schedule for the week. Many of these foods trucks participate in the Kauai Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning at KCC. Read my post on the Kauai Community Market at
Kauai Food Truck

Kauai Food Truck

Fresh Island Fish with Lilikoi Pineapple Salsa

Fresh Island Fish with Lilikoi Pineapple Salsa

Kauai Food Truck- Kauai Food Truck serves up quality local seafood, shrimp, fish tacos and shave ice along with many local favorites . Striving to promote local business, they use locally caught fish and shrimp and as much local produce and products as possible. The Fresh Island Fish plate was amazing!

The Green Pig- Hawaii food truck serving Southern Fresh Fare with Daily Local Grinds! Open for Breakfast, Lunch and afternoon Surf Snacks! Mantra=”Feed Your ‘Sassy’ Soul”
Gopal’s Creperie- One of Kauai’s few gluten free food options! The crêpes are also VEGAN!! Filled with raw, vegan, and vegetarian options, they are made fresh and hot using locally grown ingredients. Loved by local repeat customers and tourists alike, you won’t even know they are gluten free!

Rafael’s Aloha Tacos-  This food truck can be found most days on the beach at Salt Pond in Hanapepe. We feature Al Pastor, Island Fish, Shrimp, Chicken, and Carne Asada Tacos and Burritos, as well as Chicken Mole and fresh Chili Rellano Plates.

Little Greek Town- Authentic Greek food for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters.


Banana, Caramel, Chocolate, MacNut Bread Pudding

Banana, Caramel, Chocolate, MacNut Bread Pudding

Haole Girl Island Sweets- Haole Girl Island Sweets is best known for their stuffed all-butter croissants with sweet and savory local island products. If you really need convincing, check out the picture above of the bread pudding. No words needed. It is the perfect dessert to share! We asked for four forks and dug in to this amazingly unique bread pudding served warm. I must add that it goes well with Black Limo beer. Forget wine pairing, let’s beer pair.

Food Truck Thursday”s
Food Service
5pm to 8pm
Souvenirs~ If you are on Kauai just for a visit, be sure to take home a souvenir from Kauai Beer Company!!! They have shirts, hats and growlers including their logo available for purchase. These items would also make great gifts to send to the Mainland. For those of you who are thinking, what on Earth is a growler - you’re not the only one! A growler is a jug which holds a half-gallon of beer which is filled straight from the tap and sealed.  Think of it as beer to-go. Just $15.oo to fill a half-gallon or $20 for the 64 oz! A growler is the perfect way to take home freshly brewed beer, lasting 2-3 days after opening and must be refrigerated. Just ring the door bell out front to get your growler filled. Now go get your growler!! Check out Kauai Beer on Facebook at
Kauai Beer Company

Kauai Beer Company

For more about what’s happening off the beaten path on Kauai, click on the link “Kauai” under topics on the right hand side of the page
“I work until beer o’clock.” ~ Stephen King

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March & April 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine

The Kauai Marathon

Kauai Marathon 2013

Kauai Marathon 2013

“The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.” ~ Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

Every year for the past 5 years, the Kauai Marathon takes place over Labor Day weekend on the gorgeous sunny side of the island in Poipu!!! The runners fly in from all parts of the world a few days early to take part in the pre-marathon activities which include: carb loading dinners, packet pick-ups, group warm-ups, runs and much more.

Packet Pick Up - Grand Hyatt Kauai

Packet Pick Up – Grand Hyatt Kauai

“The thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race is over. The pain in your legs within days, but the glory of your finish will last forever.” ~ unknown

Sign Up for the 6th Annual Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon

It all starts off with the Sports & Fitness Expo at the Grand Hyatt Kauai in Poipu! For 2014, the Expo will be on Friday, August 29 and Saturday, August 30. The Grand Hyatt resort is located in Poipu close to the start and finish lines. The Hyatt also will be hosting the Registration, Keiki Run, and Fun Run. It’s Packet Pick-up time!!! My husband gets very excited about picking up his packet. Off we go to the Expo to get the Kauai Marathon bag full of goodies. Our daughter purchased a new fuel belt. Our son kept busy in a jump roping contest at one of the booths at the Expo. There is an array of athletic products ranging from gels, Gu, fuel belts, sunglasses, visors, and clothing to RockTape & compression socks. There is something for everyone. If you forgot to pack it, no worries, it will most likely be there. Get to the Expo early to ensure you can purchase what you need before it’s gone. Just like the race itself, the Expo is small and intimate – perfect for Kauai! We have traveled to much larger marathons where the Expo is located in a convention center.

While the Hyatt is one of our favorite resorts on island, this blog is all about how to travel on budget. Explore your options, as there are many condos and homes to rent in Poipu as well as other hotels which are not as expensive. We love the Sheraton Kauai Resort due to the family-friendly environment and, most importantly, they have a great beach for boogie boarding and body surfing right next to the pool. The hotel will book up far in advance for the marathon weekend. Check out our post on the Sheraton Kauai Resort at

Kauai Marathon 2012

Kauai Marathon 2012

6 a.m. is start time! As you make your way on the course through Koloa, Omao and Kalaheo, you will feel the support from volunteers at the aid stations located at each mile with water and energy drinks. Residents will come out of their homes to get into the street and cheer you on through each town. On the marathon route, you will pass Hula dancers, musicians, cheerleaders, parents, kids and dogs standing by rooting on the runners. Feel the support of Kauai as you pass through each town!

In 2013, the 5th Annual Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon featured over 1,700 participants from 13 countries! 170 youth runners participated in the first Keiki Race at the Kauai Marathon. 911 residents of the Aloha State participated in the Marathon, with 615 representing Kauai. Tyler McCandless, three-time defending champion, broke his course record in 2013 and won $15,000. Tyler showed true Aloha spirit by offering running clinics around the island and even gave away Newton Running shoes!


Kauai Marathon 2013

“I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.” ~ John Hanc, running writer



Kauai Marathon 2014

Kauai Marathon 2013


13 year old runners

“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” ~ Kathrine Switzer, women’s marathoning pioneer

IMG_6945The Kauai Marathon is a family friendly event, welcoming participants of all ages. Our daughter and her friend, both 13 years old, participated in the Kauai Marathon (half) in 2013. Moms and dads run while pushing joggers with their little ones inside. The finish line is an easy place to watch for your runner without being pushed and shoved by crowds. As the running manager, which I call myself, it is important to have room to put your things down, set up a chair and be able to take pictures as the runners pass by. Not to mention, the finish line is oceanfront!!! Not a bad place to wait for your runner to cross the finish line. It seems that every year it rains at some point during the race, but then again, that is Kauai. It’s a great idea to bring an umbrella if you are awaiting someone at the finish line. Be sure to stay for the rainbow!!!

Kauai Marathon 2012

Kauai Marathon 2012

“I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” ~ Mike Fanelli, running club coach

I love the picture above because it depicts a true “final stretch” moment. Most of the marathon photographs which I have taken are post-run when everyone is smiling, drinking a beer and wearing their medals with pride. In this photograph, he was definitely pushing hard and in pain on the final stretch. Go Rob!!!!

Kauai Marathon 2011

Kauai Marathon 2011

“Few things in life match the thrill of a marathon.” ~ Fred Lebow

Check out the Panel Discussion on Saturday, day before race. Some of the previous years panel guests include: Bart Yasso, Rich Hanna, Dean Karnazes, JT Service (1st year’s winner), and Mike Wardian (2nd year’s winner).

Kauai Marathon 2010

Kauai Marathon 2010

“The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals.” ~ Hal Higdon, running writer and coach

The finish line is a celebration on the lawn with ocean view. Does it get better than that? Probably not. Not when you add 85 degree weather. EachIMG_6990 runner’s name and hometown are announced as they cross the finish. Runners are greeted with their medals just past the finish line. Take part in a free massage, foot rub, or first aid station if needed. Move on to the lawn of vendors which include Jamba Juice, beer station, potato chips, fresh fruit, and yogurt. Did I mention it is all FREE? Walk around or sit down and relax in the sun while the emcee interviews runners, issues awards and announces updates as the runners are still crossing the finish line.



Kauai Marathon 2009

“I don’t think about the miles that are coming down the road, I don’t think about the mile I’m on right now, I don’t think about the miles I’ve already covered. I think about what I’m doing right now, just being lost in the moment.” ~ Ryan Hall, U.S Olympic marathoner

Run for local charities!!! The Kauai Marathon generates money for local charities which include: Kauai Food Bank, local high-school programs, national nonprofits, A-T Children’s Project and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program, and Give’r for Liver of the Canadian Liver Foundation, have all partnered with the Kauai Marathon to raise money for their organizations.

Kauai Divas & Dudes

Kauai Divas & Dudes

“I love Kauai marathon, the route is amazing, the spectators are supportive; but most of all it’s the volunteers. I run so many races and the volunteers are what makes this race amazing to run. It is so organized and they are extremely supportive, standing at the water stations. You have hula girls, Taiko Drums and just laughter & support…it makes this tough course worth running. This is by far one of the toughest courses we have ran, but it’s something magical that makes us come back. Of course it’s in our backyard. Kauai Divas & Dudes love the Kauai Marathon!” ~ Lisa Ledesma, Kauai Resident & Ironman 

For more information on how to sign up for the Kauai Marathon, visit

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March & April 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine



Tikishiki Handbags ~ the perfect travel bag



Vintage Hawaiian Hibiscus

Your trip is booked, passports are laid out, it’s time to pack and you are undecided on which handbag to bring.


60′s Hawaiian Vintage

Do I want to pack multiple purses and bags or is there one, versatile bag which would be perfect for the entire trip? It would be great to have a large bag to put under the seat in front of me on the plane, a small bag for rushing through port towns when departing the ship for a day, a bag with a long strap to wear across my chest in crowded, metro locations. If I brought all of these bags, it would require an entire suitcase dedicated to handbags! The most practical handbag for travel is going to be something light, which allows for long days of walking without pulling on your shoulder. The next feature you want to look for is a handbag with a short strap, securing the bag close to your body with your arm and not lingering down low where pick pockets have easy access. Finally, a handbag with a sturdy, thick strap which cannot be easily cut when passing in a crowd. Yes, this does happen in crowded, tourist destinations. There are a lot of factors to consider before taking off on the trip of your dreams or a simple work training. Where does this leave us?

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn” ― Orson Welles



Let me introduce you to the world of Jennifer Todice’s Tikishiki Handbags~


Japanese Wrapping Cloths

“Tikishiki handbags are a blend of traditional Japanese design, Hawaii vintage and beautiful inspiring fabrics, with a modern functional edge. Upon returning from holiday in Japan I was motivated by the design of a long established furoshiki bag. This is a Japanese wrapping cloth dating back to the 17th century. Throughout history the furoshiki has been used to protect gifts, carry meals, and act as a handbag. Tikishiki is a blend of Hawaii (my connection to the islands) and the Japanese furoshiki bag. By adding a stylish and functional liner to the fabrics, and a strong leather handle; created is a handbag that not only REPRESENTS the CULTURE and HISTORY of the FAR EAST but a MODERN and FUNCTIONAL HANDBAG with a HAWAII TWIST” ~ Jennifer Todice

There is a Tikishiki handbag for every occasion, season and holiday. Use this handbag to accessorize your outfit for a fun lunch with girlfriends or a night out on the town. The bright colors are striking and the prints are bold. The handbags would be perfect with solid color clothing or subtle patterns. Mix it up!! Throw a bag over your shoulder and grab bright-colored flats to tie in the bag. All of the elegant bags will complement a simple pair of jeans.

Tikishiki Handbags: Travel Benefits

1. Lighter than your normal handbag so you can full it up and not feel weighted down. (Due to its mostly cloth body.)

2. With two detachable functioning parts, it packs FLAT.

3. Reversible, have a bright and bold pattern or more modest solid as your front facing handbag.

4. Sizable, you can adjust the size of your handbag to a smaller evening size or a larger day time carry all.

5. Easy to clean! Just through your fabric portion into the wash or spot clean.

Perfect for packing!!! If you want to bring your Tikishiki handbag in your suitcase, it hardly takes any room with the option of the removal strap.


Perfect for packing

Don’t bother with packing bulky and heavy handbags because you will end up taking up too much space and possibly going over the allotted weight limit for luggage.

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” ― Coco Chanel

 ~Tikishiki handbags draw it’s roots from the land of the rising sun. A culture like no other, a land like nowhere else I’ve ever been. To know the beauty of Japan is a gift~


Vintage Hawaiian 1970′s floral print handbag

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” ― Coco Chanel

Yellow Silk Carousel

Yellow Silk Carousel

There are so many beautiful, fabric designs with the Tikishiki handbags and for this reason, they make the perfect gift! You will look at the handbags and be reminded of someone you know, someone who loves these color patterns. Or do you see yourself?



Yellow Silk Carousel~ Hermes silk printed scarf paired with a poly blend chocolate liner and yellow detail scallop stitching. Medium in size with a brown and gold leather handle.

Tikishiki designs a Vintage Hawaiian 1970′s floral print (pictured above- orange, green yellow & white floral print) handbag with soft cotton liner & black leather handle is looking for a home. This bag is FANTASTIC!!! This bag should really be called “Keri’s Travel Bag” since it is made with a fabric representing  my absolute favorite, vintage colors!!! This is the bag to have! I could see it thrown over the shoulder with a pretty summer orange, flowing white or lime green sundress or sassy shorts. Love, love this bag!

It’s Traditional! It’s Functional! It’s Stylish!


1978 parasol print Tori Richards Vintage

1978 parasol print Tori Richards Vintage

“How exciting to see that something you are passionate about and have conviction for regarding design, style, functionality and beauty is received and rewarded! Blessing and many Mahalos to all those who are supporting the dream!” ~ Jennifer Todice


Leather Handles

Loving the Tori Richards 1978 vintage fabric, parasol print. Perfect to wear with jeans. The great thing about Hawaii, is you can wear these colors year round. The rich, leather strap is very complementary, giving the handbag an expensive, classy look.

“We have been hard at work on beautiful leather handles. Some of the last few that will come from our studio on the back lanai of our home. We are moving forward into manufacturing them for the new year. Having readily available handles gives me more time to focus on the beautiful fabrics for our bags.” ~ Jennifer Todice

“There’s nothing interesting about looking perfect—you lose the point. You want what you’re wearing to say something about you, about who you are.” ― Emma Watson

1970's Vintage Hawaiian Poppy Print

1970′s Vintage Hawaiian Poppy Print

1970′s Vintage Hawaiian Poppy Print
Unique and Beautiful!!! The orange poppy flower print on black bark cloth textured poly fabric, shown with the black leather handle and gold hardware. It is a picture of pure and absolute elegance. I love this bag!! This is a bag that would make a great gift as it would go well with jeans and everyone loves navy! This handbag is a true conversation piece. 

Beautiful Black

Beautiful Black
Black Linen outer with cotton Hawaiian orange yellow and white floral liner or reverse it! Yellow scallop detail stitch & black leather handle with silver hardware. 
“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” ― Coco Chanel
Chocolate Brown

Hawaiian Chocolate

Looking for Fall colors? Are you more into browns, reds, deep oranges, iron, olive, rose and evergreen? Check out the Hawaiian Chocolate handbag made of chocolate brown cotton, Hawaiiana red and cream monstera leaf pattern. You choose how to wear it. Beautiful deep brown leather handle with accompanying bronze hardware.

Yellow Cotton Geometric

Yellow Cotton Geometric 
The photo above gives you a good idea of the actual size and how great a bright colored handbag ties in with simple jeans and a solid top. Beautiful yellow cotton geometric print lined with a slate gray poly for durability and an edge. Black leather handle. Large in size, and the perfect color combos.

“Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” ― Anna Wintour

Find an array of Tikishiki handbags and view various prints at

Or email at

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine

Best Hotel in Waikiki ~ Moana Surfrider

Moana Surfrider

Moana Surfrider


Front of Moana Surf

Front of Moana Surf

The Moana Surfrider, also known as the “First Lady of Waikiki” has been part of Waikiki since 1901. The Moana Surfrider is a Westin Resort & Spa. My first experience walking into the Moana Surf was during Christmas time and I could not believe the gingerbread houses decorated inside the lobby. The colonial hotel was decorated with poinsettias on every window. It was a true tropical, Christmas wonderland with guests rocking in chairs out front.

Westin’s well-being, healthy living was going on while we stayed over Spring Break. White tents popped up with various local, healthy food options including 100% fruit bars, smoothies, and yoga classes. Starwood’s six pillars of health promote: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. Moana Surf opened the first open-aired day spa on Waikiki in 2008. The windows open up to views of Waikiki Beach while guests soak in hot tubs from high above.

Moana Surf is ideal for many reasons but most of all – LOCATION!!! We didn’t rent a car and were able to walk to an array of  shops and restaurants located along Kalakaua Avenue, and catch the Waikiki Trolley to Ala Moana Shopping Center. We walked to the Honolulu Zoo one morning and Wailana Coffee House another. It is conveniently located near the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, PF Changs, The Cheesecake Factory, Honolulu Coffee Company, Kapiolani Park (Honolulu Marathon), and Waikiki Aquarium.


The view

The view

The Rooms~ There are three different wings of the hotel, the Diamond Wing, Banyan Wing and Tower Wing. We stayed in the Banyan Wing which is the original building of the hotel. Experience the historical feel as you make your way down the long hallway with high ceilings. The walls are painted white with extensive woodworking and moldings. The rooms offer Heavenly double beds or a queen bed, flat screen TV’s, Royal Kona Coffee and granite bathrooms. Our room was very beachy with white wood rocking chairs looking out to the ocean view and light, beachy hardwood floors. Rock away to the oceanview each morning while sipping Royal Kona coffee in the morning. The chairs and beach table made it feel as though you were outside rather than in your room.


Rocking Chairs

IMG_0240The Rocking Chairs~ Our favorite thing about staying at the Moana Surfrider is rocking in the chairs out front. Whether grabbing a coffee and rocking at sunrise, a cocktail at sunset or observing the rather interesting entertainment that comes to life after dark on Waikiki ~ the rocking chairs are the best place to see it all happen!

Honolulu Coffee Company is located at one end of the rocking chairs, so you don’t have to walk far to grab that cup of coffee. One evening we grabbed cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory and a coffee from Honolulu Coffee Company to sit in the chairs and eat our dessert. There are weddings happening constantly throughout at the day at the hotel. Sit in the rocking chair and observe the bride and groom head out to their limo and pose for pictures in front of the hotel.



Pool at sunrise

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach

Pool & Waikiki Beach~ If lounging is your thing, than Moana Surf is the perfect place to be.

Umbrellas for rent

Umbrellas for rent

The ocean side of the hotel has a pool, restaurant, bar and of course the infamous Waikiki Beach!!! Pool attendants come around and serve drinks and food while you lay out on the lounge chairs. There are umbrellas for rent on the beach for hotel guests at $60 per day. The one drawback about the pool is that it closes daily at 6:30 p.m. and there isn’t a hot tub. Due to the location on the beach, you can always jump in the ocean for a dip during sunset.

Sunset at Moana Surf

Sunset at Moana Surf

Since we live in Hawaii, the pool wasn’t anything exciting or new so the kids preferred to float on rafts near Waikiki Beach. Purchase a couple of inexpensive blow up rafts or tubes and float in front of the hotel. Hungry? Walk right back to your lounge chair and order lunch!


The Beach House

The Beach House


Superfood Breakfast Wrap

We started our morning off at the Veranda at the Beach House restaurant and experienced a fabulous breakfast.


Tahitian Vanilla French Toast

The Beach House offers many healthy options, listing “super foods” throughout the menu. The local ingredients offered at the Veranda at the Beach House are supplied by local partners including: Twin Bridge Farms, Waipoli Hydroponic Greens, Hamakua Springs Country Farm, Nalo Farms, and Ho Farms.

We enjoyed watching the hotel guests take hula lessons on the Veranda as we ate our amazing breakfast. Find healthy items such as an egg white omelette,  steel-cut cinnamon scented oatmeal, acai bowl, chicken apple sausage or turkey maple sausage, tropical fruit smoothies and much more!

Sitting outside with the ocean view while under a veranda makes for the perfect breakfast or brunch setting.


Bin 1901


Bin 1901 is the perfect place to relax after a long day of shopping or walking in Waikiki. Tucked away in the historic wing of the hotel by the Grand Staircase, is a great place to sip wine, sake, handcrafted beers or a cocktail, order pupus (horderves) or even dessert.

We were sure to stop off at Bin 1901 every evening on the way up to our room. The furniture alone is SO inviting. I ordered a glass of wine and my daughter went through her bags reviewing all of the shopping she had done each day. Bin 1901 is also a piano bar, pictured above.

It is open every evening from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm with live piano entertainment from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

At one end of the lounge you can view the nightlife on Waikiki and on the other side watch guests dining at The Beach House for dinner. It is a lively experience.

Bin 1901

Bin 1901

IMG_0524After all of the laying around being lazy in the sun and eating food and drinking cocktails, it’s time to work out!!! Moana Surf has a great facility overlooking Kalakaua Avenue on Waikiki. At the Westin Workout Fitness Facility located in the Tower Wing- watch tourists walking and shopping up and down the street while you work out in a nice, air conditioned facility.

We really liked the ice-cold, wet wash cloths stored in a refrigerator within the gym.  A very refreshing treat after a long, hard, hot work out. The gym includes exercise machines, mats, floor to ceiling mirrors, bands and exercise balls.

View of Waikiki from Moana Surf

View of Waikiki from Moana Surf

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine


Walk to the Honolulu Zoo

Honolulu Zoo

Honolulu Zoo

Rainbow Bark Eucalyptus

Rainbow Bark Eucalyptus

The Honolulu Zoo is a great place to visit while on Oahu.



We have visited zoos all over the United States and therefore, didn’t have high expectations of the Honolulu Zoo, as we knew it was quite small. Well, we were pleasantly surprised!!! For starters, the Honolulu Zoo is a 42 acre site with views of the ocean and gorgeous mountains as you walk around. How many zoos can claim that? Showing off all the beauty of tropical plants in Hawaii, the Honolulu Zoo offers a collection of horticulture including tropical trees, scrubs and flowers. Most zoos just smell like a zoo! The Honolulu Zoo has so many tropical flowers and constant ocean breezes adding great fragrances to an otherwise, typical smelly place.

Welcome Sign

Welcome Sign

It is a wonderful walk from Waikiki, located next to Kapi’olani Park. If you are driving to the zoo,IMG_0319 there is parking available. I recommend arriving when the zoo opens at 9 a.m. to experience the animals in the cooler part of the day. We brought our backpacks with water and snacks. It took us approximately 2.5 hours to see all of the exhibits, but if you plan to eat there, shop or tour the Keiki (kids) Zoo it would take much longer. It is the perfect place to spent the whole day and eat lunch on the picnic lawn and playground area in the center of the zoo. My favorite thing about the Honolulu Zoo is all of the trees providing shade throughout. There was always a place to stand at each exhibit in a shaded area. I cannot say the same for our experience riding camels at the Phoenix Zoo in 100+ degree weather!

Did you know that the Honolulu Zoo is the only zoo in a 2300 mile radius? Yes, the closest zoo to the Honolulu Zoo is the San Diego Zoo in California which is located 2511 miles away.

Giraffe Sculpture

Giraffe Sculpture



The Honolulu Map and Information Guide makes maneuvering throughout the zoo very simple. There are sculptures throughout the zoo for kids to climb on and for great photo opportunities~ the Giraffe, Maasai Tribesman and Hippo sculptures.

Off to view the Gharial, fish-eating crocodile. Yikes! Super scary, as we leaned over the bridge and saw what was lurking below ~ crocodiles sitting very still at the bottom of the water! They were huge. You can see one barely above the water in the picture below.



Off to the African Savanna to view warthogs, aardvarks, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, reptiles, baboons, lions, black rhinos, chimpanzees, African wild dogs and of course, meerkats!





The African Savanna is 1/3 of the zoo grounds where you can view animals from the world’s largest grasslands. Upon entering the Savanna, you will notice the characteristics of African landscape such as marshes, wooded forests, rivers and rocks. Hard to believe this is all in Hawaii! It was so exciting to see such large animals moving about so close to where we were standing. The African Savanna is set up with large, glass areas for optimal viewing rather than trying to observe through a fence.

The giraffes and zebras roamed around together in the same area. It is very open with bench seating and great for taking pictures.

Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran Tiger



IMG_0383Visit the Keiki Zoo within the Honolulu Zoo~ The Keiki Zoo is a special place for the little ones to run wild and learn at the same time. It is very colorful and near a large playground. This is an area for the kids to explore and learn more about animals.

Across from the Keiki Zoo is a large playground with slides and climbing structures for kids to get out their energy. It is also a great place to eat lunch at one of the picnic tables in the shade.


Primates of the World



Primates of the World~ What primates can be found in tropical regions of the world?? The chimpanzees are pictured above. They definitely perform for their audience. They were swinging from rope to rope making very loud noises. It was quite a show. There are five major groups: Lemurs which are from Madagascar, Langurs - old world monkeys from Asia, Spider Monkeys from South America, Gibbons and Siamangs referred to as the “lesser apes”, Orangutans/Chimpanzees from Asia and Africa.



Tropical Forest Animals~ Don’t miss the Sumatran Tigers!!!! They were asleep, or lounging in the sun, when we were there. However, they would occasionally lift their head and look around. I was able to snap a picture right as the tiger lifted its head. They were SO close! I can’t get over how close visitors can get to the animals. I just love that! Our favorite animal of the day was probably the elephant. She was definitely showing off, throwing clumps of dirt on her head and coming closer and closer to the fence.

In 2011, The Honolulu Zoo opened its new Asian tropical elephant exhibit which is 68-thousand square feet. The 12 million dollar exhibit has two separate exhibits and separate sleeping quarters for both Mari and Vaigai. The new exhibit has caves, real plants (opposed to previous painted plants), and two pools to cool off in. Be sure to visit Mari and Vaigai!!! The first time we went through the exhibit they were not out, so we circled back around before we left the zoo and one of them was out and about playing with the sand.


There is so much more to see at the Honolulu Zoo, including the Kipuka Nene Sanctuary, Australasian Birds, Galapagos Tortoise, Bird Egg Exhibit, Lions and more.

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine