Friday, May 19, 2017

Kauai album part 5

On the afternoon of day 4 (covered in my last post) we stopped by Shipwreck Beach, named such for this big ship-shaped rock that juts out into the water.  The waves were large and loud and the sand was very soft.  We watched a tiny little crab dig out a hole, throwing grains of sand out of his way.

Day 5: Saturday

We took off to go to the Kauai Coffee Plantation.  When I learned that there was such a place on the island I knew we had to go.  Aaron and I are big coffee fans and this place just seemed like something we couldn't miss.

Grow tiny babies....

More plumeria....

This cup is just the right size for a Monday...

The label of their fanciest, most expensive coffee.  I had a sample and it was so smooth.

My very first CARDINAL!!  I was so happy to see him.  He sang for us.  He was bigger than I was expecting but just as beautiful as I've ever imagined.  I saw one more cardinal on this same day.

The harvester...

Coffee flowers.  Aren't they just so delicate?!

We toured the farm and did some tasting, bought some souvenirs and gifts, and left with a couple of iced coffees.  P.S. None of the people in this picture are us.

We took the rest of the morning and the afternoon to drive to the north side of Kauai.  Up the west side is very populated as you go through Lihue and Kapaa.  The beaches are lovely on the Pineapple Coast.  We made our way to the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge.

The entire cliffside to the right was full of birds.  I didn't know at the time what they were.  Now that I've done some research I would say they are either Laysan Albatross or Red-Footed Booby.  I wish I would have studied them a little longer but they were rather far away and I didn't have my glasses on.  They were pretty loud and liked to soar and seemed to be resting mainly in the trees.

Just west of Kilauea was Hanalei, one of the prettiest spots on the island.  It was most jungle-like here on the North side.  We stopped for lunch at this grouping of shops.

I think I would like to spend more time exploring the beaches around Hanalei.  We stuck to the main road and didn't take much time to veer off.  We were super surprised to discover the Maniniholo dry cave up the road from Hanalei.  From the opening, it goes back about 300 yards.

Outside there were these huge Tarzan like vines hanging down the cliffside.

Just across the road was the Ha'ena Beach Park.  The surf was up on this particular day and we got to watch the surfers for a bit.

This house was right at the beach and was built elevated.  Many of the houses in this area were up on stilts.  For tsunamis would be my guess.

Back in Hanalei, a picturesque little church.

We got back to the house later in the afternoon.  I spent the rest of the day half napping in front of the tv watching old episodes of Full House.  Some of the family went out snorkeling.  Pizza Hut delivered our dinner that night and we chilled.

The next day I sat out in the sun with my coffee for the last time.  I tried to soak in all the bird songs, all the fresh flowers, all the tiny just memorize all the details of this beautiful place.  I shed a tear for what I was going to have to say good-bye to.  Really, it was that hard to leave.

We went to the beach again.  Aaron and Blake did some boogie boarding.  Austin and I soaked up some sunshine.  I did a little yoga under a palm tree.  The four us just sat there for what seems like an hour, not wanting to leave that beach.  I snapped a couple pictures as my heart broke a little.

The rest of the afternoon we just took a drive along the south and side of Kauai.  We made our way back to Waimea.  I thought of my Charlie and my chickens when I say this bus...

And we saw a heavily laden mango tree in someone's front yard...

Our flight leaving Kauai departed after 10 p.m.  We tried to get some sleep before landing in Los Angeles for a quick plane change the next morning.  We were home in Washington before noon.  And reunited with our Charlie pup within a couple hours. 

Here he is on my lap for the drive home...

It was a beautiful, wonderful, memorable trip.  I love Kauai.  I love the aloha spirit.  I love the warm sunshine and the flowers.  I love the birds and the water.  I love the beaches and the sea turtles.

Mahalo Kauai
A hiki i kekahi manawa (until next time)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Kauai album part 4

Day 5

This day we went tubing down irrigation canals on the old Lihue Sugar Plantation.  We tubed through hand dug tunnels and flumes in the 17,000 acre property.  The water is fed by the rain waters that fall on Mount Waialeale, one of the wettest spots in the world.  There was a chill to the water but it was not unpleasant.

As we exited the last tunnel, the rain was falling.   Big fat rain drops.  But they were warm and the air was warm and it just felt like we were in the middle of a jungle in paradise.

All of the following pictures were taken by staff of Kauai Backcountry Adventures.

Waialeale Crater

The group.  Yours truly front-right
Blake third back on right
Austin second back on left
Aaron 4th back on left.
Front and center: our guide, Chelsea.

This was when we were getting rained can see the drops in the water.

The last leg of the journey Blake got out and waded.

It was a great adventure and a really great way to get to see a part of Kauai that many don't get to see.

That afternoon we did a little more shopping.  There was this really pretty little shopping center nearby to the house we stayed in that we visited quite a few times during the week.  On this particular visit I tried an affogato for the first time.  I didn't love it.  I don't love all the whipped cream that made it so pretty.  I think I'd love it simplified and probably made at home.

Espresso shots poured over ice cream, topped with whipped cream and garnished with a chocolate covered waffle cone triangle.
Scenery behind the shopping center.

A tiny leaf resting on a giant leaf.  The beauty was not lost on me.

The evening of day 5 we grilled up some steak and some bacon wrapped shrimp and turned it all into fajitas.

After dark, Aaron and I drove down to the beach to see the stars.  They are so bright and plentiful when you get to the edge of the world like that.  We watched the moon set over the horizon and listened to the Pacific Ocean roll in on nighttime waves.

Day 6

We woke with the roosters every morning of our stay.  The entire island is filled with a chorus of roosters at the earliest hint of dawn and they continue for about an hour before calming down.

This morning was a lazy, relaxing start.  I sat outside with my coffee and the plumeria and enjoyed the warm sun and the fresh day.

The rest of the day was also pretty chill and relaxing.  We drove to Kapaa and visited Ironbridge Tattoo.  I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Some of the family went to the beach and did some snorkeling.  They met up with turtles, seals, an eagle ray, a puffer fish, and the rest of the cast of Finding Nemo (minus Bruce).

That evening we had huge plates of nachos at "home".

Stay tuned for one more installment of Kauai where I try to fit in the last three days in paradise.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kauai album part 3

The evening of day 4

This may a bit of a picture was so beautiful at The Smith Family Gardens.

We enjoyed an evening luau and it was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  The Smith family were perfect hosts.  They showered hospitality and the aloha spirit on every single guest.  The staff were attentive, respectful, friendly.  It felt like everyone wanted us there.  They wanted to bring us in and show us their heritage and their history.  It was really beautiful.

Just in case, if you ever go to Kauai, take in the Smith's Garden Luau.

Birds everywhere! 

We took a guided tram ride around the property.

The earthen imu oven.  There's a pig roasting in there!

More chickens...

Pale Washingtonians see sunshine for the first time in months....


Hen and chicks...

Preparing for the imu ceremony where they take the pig out of the ground...

Sitting down to our feast...

Kalua pork, beef teriyaki, chicken adobo, mahimahi.
Lomi salmon, fresh poi, Hawaiian sweet potato, mac salad, namasu salad

Tropical desserts...

After dinner was the "Aloha show".  The hula dancers, the fire, the lights.  It was pretty spectacular.  I liked that they gave tribute to the countries that influenced Hawaii the most.  The costumes and dances were all choreographed to honor Tahiti, China, Japan, Samoa, Philippines, New Zealand, and of course Hawaii.  No pictures but lots of memories.

That is all for this edition of Kauai.  In part 4 we go tubing!!