A delightful lunch at the Princeville Westin with friends…Many new photos…A year ago, a special visitor awaiting us…

One of three pools at the Princeville Westin, where we met Elaine and Richard for lunch on Friday.

Seldom dining out in an effort to keeps costs at bay and to avoid foods not acceptable to my way of eating, we were pleasantly surprised when the Nanea Restaurant at the Westin Hotel not only had numerous options for me but also, served quality meals at affordable prices.

Entrance to the restaurant at the Princeville Westin.

We’d invited Elaine and Richard as our guests as a small token for all the kindness they’ve shown us since we arrived in Kauai, in introducing us to many of their friends and including us in social events. A small token, a lunch, but they both expressed a preference for going to lunch as opposed to an evening meal.

The lunch menu at Nanea, the Westin’s main dining room.

Although I rarely eat lunch, on occasion Tom may have a light breakfast or lunch to hold him through the day.  Based on my way of eating, I’m seldom hungry until dinner time.

My delicious lunch included a grass-fed burger with cheese, grilled onions and bacon, and a side salad.

However, there’s an exception. When an appetizing platter of befitting food is set in front of me, the sight and smell certainly fire up my appetite allowing me to enjoy a midday meal on a rare occasion.

Tom orders whatever he’d like when dining out. Here’s his burger with both fries and onion rings which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Such was the case yesterday at the Princeville Westin, an upscale resort and hotel popular attracting many travelers to the area with most rooms starting at the low $400 range. Rated 4.5 stars out of 5 at TripAdvisor, we decided a walk on the grounds may prove interesting and entertaining after our lunch with friends.

Elaine and Richard shared a meal of fried fish, fries, onion rings, and a fruit plate.

We weren’t disappointed as we wandered the grounds with fantastic ocean views, three luxurious swimming pools, an outdoor massage area, and lots of space for relaxing in the balmy trade winds.

Fresh orchids on display at the hotel.

The food at lunch was fresh and delicious with the chef totally complying with my dietary request of no starch, no grain, no sugar, and low carb, allowing me to enjoy a full meal in a restaurant.

Our friends, Elaine and Richard, have been wonderful to us.

With beverages (Tom ordered a beer, the three of us had iced tea) and entrees (Elaine and Richard shared an entrée and ordered a side fruit plate), our total bill with tax and tip came to $88.66, not bad for the upscale environment. We anticipate that dinner for two with a few drinks could stay under $100, not bad for the otherwise pricey Princeville.

After lunch, Richard showed us the koi pond near the restaurant.

After over three weeks on Kauai to date, this was only the second time we dined in a restaurant.  Having access to most of the ingredients we usually use to make our favorite meals has kept us content to dine at home, as opposed to a few times a week at some other places we’ve lived.

Wandering the grounds after lunch we spotted this outdoor massage hut.

Dining out is no novelty to either of us nor has it ever been. Since I continue to enjoy cooking to some degree, I never feel burdened to whip up a good dinner for only the two of us. 

Add more people to the mix and cooking becomes more challenging when others don’t necessarily eat as we do which includes a protein, a few veggies, and a salad which I can usually pull together in 20 minutes or less. With the expectation of a starchy side dish, bread or rolls and a dessert cooking for “company” is an entirely different undertaking.

There was a variety of waterfalls and ponds on the grounds.

As a result, I’ve somewhat lost interest in having dinner parties, especially when we’re living in a small condo such as this that simply doesn’t have the space for entertaining.

This lounge area is located in the center of the main pool.

As we make more and more friends on the island, we’ll have no choice but to do entertaining in public venues such as we’ve done today. One might think taking friends out for a meal is more costly. 

Considering the cost of groceries in the Hawaiian Islands, having even a few guests for a meal could easily cost $200 or more for the food and wine. Dining out may prove to be a more efficient alternative to reciprocation in several ways. 

Another beautiful pool overlooking the ocean.

Also, with the shortage of the many basic ingredients, we don’t use with our way of eating, filling in the blanks for guests coming for dinner could result in even a higher expenditure. We simply don’t have the inventory of many everyday products in the cupboards used in making meals with grains, starches, and sugar.

Back home by 2:30 pm, we found ourselves back into our lounging clothes with a plan to stay put until our daily happy hour foray across the street to whale watch, often meeting new people or gabbing with the locals we’ve already met who seem to frequent the same spot with the similar goals in mind.

At the edge of the grounds of the hotel, the views were familiar.

The remainder of the day and evening was spent in the pleasurable activity we call “mindless drivel” including online perusing, reading books on our phone, and, into the evening, relaxing with a good movie on my laptop.

Not unlike many of our worldwide readers, the mindless relaxation in the evening is an ideal way to “get outside our heads” allowing ourselves to wind down after an otherwise busy (or not) “day in the life.”

The Nene Goose, Hawaii’s State Bird, has experienced a resurgence in population over the past years when extinction was long a possibility.

There’s no complaining from us two, somewhat retired, world travelers always able to entertain ourselves one way or another.

Have a fabulous weekend. See you again soon!

                                           Photo from one year ago today, February 7, 2014:

Upon opening the drapes in the master bedroom in Khaya Umdani on this date one year ago, Mr. Kudu was awaiting us, wondering what plans we had for the day. Moments later, we opened this door, and yet he didn’t run away. For more photos, please visit us at this link.

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