ur first visit to Kaua'i was in November of 1996 and on the plane home we started scheming about how we could manage to live here for a year. We are fortunate to have had businesses that are relatively adaptable to telecommuting: Susan did graphic design and Charlie did consulting and training in the high-tech industry. Our two daughters are grown so the possibilities were real. Against all odds we found a perfectly darling house to rent (now Sunrise Cottage), packed up and moved in by May of 1997.

Susan started paddling on an outrigger canoe team, many friends visited from the mainland, we made friends here, had many adventures and started to become part of island life. Our year stretched into 18 months and the thought of leaving the island and our little cottage on the beach was almost unbearable. We had grown to love Kaua'i, its people and our home here. Our weekly trips to the Kapa'a Farmer's Market had taught us about different types of papayas, avocado and pineapple, and which were our favorites. We had made countless kayak trips up the Wailua River to the waterfall with visitors and had the awesome experience of kayaking and camping with dear friends on the Napali Coast for three nights for our 30th anniversary. The island was in our hearts.

Sunrise was not for sale at the time so we looked high and low, from one end of the island to the other for months for a home to buy. But nothing compared — This house suited us ideally. Just as we had about given up and were making plans to return to California, the owners agreed to sell it to us and that was one of the happiest days of our lives. Never had we dreamed of owning a home in Hawaii but life takes interesting twists and turns sometimes and here we are.

Our businesses, old friends and family require that we spend part of every year at our home in California (now Portland, OR) so we're able to make our precious cottage available for island vacationers. One of the joys of this house is the spectacular sunrise every morning; thus its name, Sunrise Cottage. To walk out on the front porch, barefoot and still in jammies and watch the day begin...well, there's no better way to start the day. Since we lived in the house so long ourselves we've furnished it as a real home, with all the comforts and conveniences. The kitchen has just about every utensil you'd want, including a salad spinner and vegetable steamer. The bathrooms all have hair dryers and beach towels. Charlie insisted that every bed has two pillows for each person, one feather, one fiberfill. We've left some of our favorite CDs and DVDs for you and a variety of Hawaiian books and magazines. Tiki torches and a large stainless steel grill help light up the evenings.

Sunrise Cottage was originally built in 1929 by the Fujimoto family and is typical of that era's style, with single wall, board-and-batten construction. Mr. Fujimoto was well-known to his neighbors for his fishing skills and for raising the best vegetables in town. His influence along this stretch of beach was such that it became known as Fuji Beach. Because of the lagoon formed by the small inner reef it is especially safe for small children and is commonly called "Baby Beach" by locals. All three photos here are of "Baby Beach."

We make the most of living on Fuji Beach. Morning and evening walks on the beach are punctuated by finding shells and beach glass, which we display in the house and use for decoration. Susan has refinished mirrors for each house, accented with shells she found on Fuji Beach. Two or three afternoons a week we put on snorkels, mask and fins and swim the length of the beach and back (we think it's about a mile) for great exercise. We regularly see a small sea turtle straight out in front of the house and are convinced he lives there. Yesterday he swam along with us a short distance and we're imagining he's become our friend. Some days it's nice just to sit in the warm sand and watch the children play in the lagoon and if it's windy enough we love to see people practicing the newest water sport, kite surfing. A spectacular event once a month that we try never to miss is the full moon rising up out of the ocean at sunset. It is unforgettable.

A second cottage on the property, a small studio, had been a long-term rental. We have lovingly renovated, remodeled and furnished it as a second vacation rental. We named it Moonrise Cottage to reflect its cozy, romantic spirit. To make sure it has everything you'll need we stay there often ourselves and have added things like a bed tray, a cooler for the beach and blue ice. You'll find a hairdryer and beach towels here, too. Now it has just about everything. It's perfect for someone on their own or a couple on a budget and frankly, is one of the best bargains on the island.

If you're planning to be here with a small group of friends or family the two cottages work well together to accommodate up to eight people. You'll need to book early to assure getting them both.

We feel so lucky to have these delightful cottages and would love to share them with you. With much Aloha, Charlie and Susan Hoerner

For availability contact
Aloha Cottages

Susan & Charlie Hoerner