By Léo Azambuja
Don’t worry; this isn’t going to be a motivational speech. This is really what I usually think about early in the morning; true story. Of course, the coffee helps to reinforce and clarify my thoughts.
My confession is, I’m an addict – to coffee. Twice a day. No shame here. As a child, I pretty much went from the baby bottle to mugs filled with latte. I really don’t recommend this at home, and I actually blame my mom. But it was the 1970s, and everything bad our parents did back then is forgiven.
I also have no shame in saying I love big chain coffee shops, such as Starbucks. When I first arrived in the United States at 21 years old, I was deeply disappointed that the coffee looked – and tasted – more like black tea than my favorite and most essential drink.
I’m not sure if Starbucks is to take credit for popularizing coffee-shop culture in the U.S. But I have seen small coffee shops proliferate and thrive in the last 15 years, after Starbucks’ popularity grew. I remember reading a study years ago that revealed small coffee shops near Starbucks tend to do well.
Coincidence or not, we now have loads of small coffee shops on Kaua`i, and I love all of them.
Well, anything is near everything on Kaua`i. Unless, of course, you have some business to take care of on the Westside.
I know, I changed the topic of this conversation three times, and it wasn’t until now that I’ll tell you the most important part: You’ve got go west this month.
The Westside is actually not that far. It just feels like it. It’s a pleasant drive, with many beautiful scenic corridors along the way. You’ll pass through several towns, all of them with their unique charm and character.
And if there is a time of the year when you really should make it a point to visit the Westside, it should be now. From Feb. 15 to 22, the Waimea Town Celebration will highlight – with plenty food and entertainment – all that is good about being from the Westside. A week before that, Waimea High School is holding a carnival to raise funds for school programs.
This month, pick a day, or several days, to really take advantage of what this island has to offer. Have the best day of your life. Go west!
But don’t forget to stop at your favorite coffee shop on your way there.