Photo diary: honeymoon in Hawaii, part 3 (Hanapepe)

February 22, 2018

Our favorite place on Kauai turned out to be the historic old town of Hanapepe, which among other things is where the animated Disney film Lilo and Stitch took place, something we learned from a sign painted on the side of a delightfully funky derelict old stucco movie palace called the Aloha Theater.

We had lunch at Bobbie’s, which serves very local cuisine — which in Hawaii means really fatty pork and spicy Korean deep-fried chicken over white rice with sugar-loaded soda pop in island-fruity flavors (guava, pineapple, lilikoi/passionfruit). Kinda gross, to tell you the truth.

We couldn’t resist stopping in at Talk Story Bookstore, which bills itself as the Westernmost bookstore in the United States. The friendly couple who run the store shelve fiction in separate sections for male authors and female authors, and they told us they’re such book-nerds that when they traveled to Iceland and discovered a cache of ’50s pulpy paperbacks they left clothes behind to make room in their luggage for the books.

Clearly the town tries hard to stay in the game with a string of art galleries, but the number of boarded up or abandoned buildings gives it the feel of a ghost town, which I found perfectly charming. I also learned that there is such a thing as a movement for Hawaiian independence.

From Dave Seminara’s “36 Hours in Kauai” feature in the New York Times’ Travel section last November, we’d caught wind of “Jacqueline on Kauai,” aka The Aloha Shirt Lady, who will whip up a custom-made Hawaiian shirt for you overnight. Jacqueline Vienna is a character, a tough-cookie hippie grandma with great taste. We met her Wednesday afternoon and went back Friday morning to pick up our shirts, which we’re thrilled with.

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