A Travellerspoint blog

Kauai Trip - Day 6


semi-overcast 26 °C

Last day in Kauai -- it's hard not to be pouty and sulk. Breakfast today consists of consuming all the leftover produce that wasn't eaten on the prior mornings. This means we end up eating pink grapefruit, tangerines, valecia oranges, and tangelos. The grapefruit was so damn delicious, the tangelos and valecia oranges were super juicy, but I wasn't honestly all that fond of the tangerines. We decide to head down to Hanalei Pier for the afternoon. We arrive there and my desire to try surfing comes about again, so I head over to the booth and ask if they can fit me in. Turns out they can, and right away. They give me a discounted rate since I don't think I can fit in a full 2 hours for the lesson, so I pay and get my rashguard, then get to know my instructor Chris. He lays the board down on the ground and walks me through how to lay on it, then how to gradually get to my feet. Knee, hands, swing foot, plant foot, up, release. So first time he asks me to get up I do it. He blinks and shakes his head, saying "okay do that again, you must have missed something". So I lay down and do it again, then he laughs saying "okay I guess you've got it after all. It usually takes a little longer". So we grab the boards and head down towards the beach.

In the water you have to paddle out to the waves. Hopping up onto the board is a bit of a challenge at first, and paddling is very hard on the arms. We coast out to a suitable area and he sets me up for my first wave. I get up onto my knee and place my hands, and freeze. I didn't fall off, but I didn't really progress any further. The wave dies out and I roll off the board, swim out to a shallower area and hop back on it, paddling back out to Chris. He tells me that was good, but it's better if you get up fully on the board. On the next wave I get to my feet, stand for about 1 second, then fall backwards off the board. But at least I made it to my feet. Third wave I manage to stand upright and actually ride it for most of the wave before falling off. Fourth, about the same. Fifth wave, got upright, stood, and rode the wave the entire way until it died down. And it was just awesome! I ended up riding about 7 more waves, and managing to stand up and ride through almost all of them (on like the 9th I stood on the board wrong and fell off the back end of it, lol). And by the last few I was actually able to turn and maneuver a little better. So fun, so addictive! I totally want to go back and do more.

(But swallow less saltwater, bleck)

I meet up with M. and the gang, who had been swimming. We decided to do a bit more swimming, M. and I were famished however so we went to a little taco trailer. He got a fish taco and I got a side order of spanish rice. A fish taco is, well .. interesting. It's exactly what it sounds like, a taco with fish instead of ground beef. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't fabulous either. And the spanish rice was just horrid, even with a pile of hot sauce I threw onto it was still bland. Food arrives (mmm Bubba Burger veggie burger with pineapple!) and we chow down, then run and jump into the water for a swim. The water feels cooler and the waves are rougher as the storm front from the north was moving closer. We get out of the water and head back to the resort. M. and I make a trip down to the hot tub. Shortly after we climb in it starts to rain, but we chill out in it anyway just chatting. We realize that his glasses are missing from where they were, and in the end I find them at the bottom of the hot tub in the rocks (thankfully not damaged). We head back to the room, I grab a sandwich (hummus and bean/lentil mix on whole grain toast, yum!), then a shower and start packing up all my stuff.

We load up the car and decide to grab dinner on the way to the airport, so we stop at Oki Restaurant in Lihue. This restaurant is great because they actually make all their own syrups in house, being homemade vanilla, coconut, or strawberry syrups. With a long flight ahead of me I skip the pancakes (and the likely sugar coma that would accompany it), so I end up getting a fish sandwich (mmm mahi mahi). I actually found myself very conflicted about what to get because the menu had so many options that were delicious looking and vegetarian-friendly. We sat on the balcony since it was such a nice warm night.

Surfshop where I took my lessons at Hanalei Pier.

Posted by ka'la 12:42 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Kauai Trip - Day 5

Kapaa/Kaleheo/Waimea Canyon/Coastline Boat Tour

semi-overcast 26 °C

After oversleeping the day ends up being somewhat rushed since we have to arrive for the boat tour by 3:30pm and we have a lot of things we want to do and most are on the south end of the island. On our way down we end up stopping in Kapaa at Kountry Kitchen for some breakfast. There are so many things on the menu I want to try, specifically the macademia nut pancakes with coconut syrup, which I am sure will be pure bliss. M decides to order some pancakes and says I can try them so I end up getting the garden florentine, which is essentially eggs benedict but without the ham, and instead with spinach, mushroom, tomato, and black olives. I devoured the eggs because they were amazing, and nibbled on the hash browns on the side. I got a glass of hawaiian pineapple juice to go with breakfast (yum!), then stole some of M's chocolate chip pancakes with coconut syrup. This was, with all honesty, the best thing that I ate during the entire trip. If you are to go to Kauai and eat one thing, let it be chocolate chip pancakes with coconut syrup. Fanfuckingtastic.

After breakfast we pile back into the car and keep travelling south/west. On the way to Waimea we pass the tree tunnel, which is this stretch of roadway that is lined with trees on both sides to the point that light is barely visible, but we don't travel down there. We do however end up stopping in Kalaheo at the Kauai Coffee Company. Outside the entrance to the building is this tree that M explains to me as having leaves that never die or fall off. Looking at the plant closer you can see that people have etched their names, or things such as 'Stacy <3s Ralph' into the leaves. The giftshop is expansive and I end up picking up some cute little things for my friend L, some macademia nut brittle for my sister's boyfriend, and coffee trial packs for a whole slew of people. M brings me a sample of their peaberry blend which is just .. wow. I'm not a huge coffee person, but that stuff was just awesome. Pay for our purchases, then continue on the way to Waimea Canyon. Along the way we pass by an old and now closed sugar cane refinery. The drive up to the canyon is quite long (a half hour) and I find my ears needing to be popped every few minutes. The elevation you reach is pretty high, but you don't realize it at the time because the drive up is pretty much barren landscapes.

The love tree (as I have dubbed it) outside the Kauai Coffee Company -- worth stopping in just to see this.

We reach the first lookout, elevation of 3400 feet, and are greeted by a rooster. Seriously, they're everywhere. There is this vendor right there that is selling all these fruits and candies, so we decide to indulge in (1) candied pineapple, (2) candied strawberry papaya, (3) toasted coconut, and (4) sweet potato chips with honey. We follow the short walk up to the lookout station and the view is just .. expansive. So many hills and slopes, and valleys, and nooks and such. There's a small river off to the right, and a waterfall off to the left. Down at the bottom the water is a gorgeous blue and the plants a vibrant green against the red landscape. On the lower platform I stand next to this asian couple while snapping some photos. The guy has his fancy camera and keeps trying to set up the perfect shot with his girlfriend. You can tell she's tired of the whole process, and each time he comes next to her and says 'smile' this fake smile gets pasted across her face. The moment the camera clicks, it disappears again. This went on for a good five minutes while I stood there, and it took all my self-control to not giggle at the process.

Waimea Canyon lookout (elevation 3400 ft.)

We drive over to another lookout only to find it covered in fog. You couldn't see anything more than ten feet in front of you at the lookout, and in the area all around it was this thick mist. It was kind of like that bad movie called The Mist, I kept waiting for some weird animal/reptile hybrids to burst out and attack us. Alas, I did not die that day, and lived to write this blog (apparently).

We take off in order to make our date for the boat tour with Captain Andy's. The tour starts out in Ele'ele and is scheduled to continue up the Na Pali coastline. For the first part of the tour we munched on fresh fruit while the boat travelled up. The scenery is all green and blue and just gorgeous. Along the way we see some whales (mothers with babies) who keep their distance from the big boat filled with strange people making clicky noises. As we continue to coast along they indicate off to the left that there is an island in the distance known as Forbidden Island. It's said that only people who are 89% or greater hawaiian descent are allowed to set foot on it. A short while later we end up seeing some playful dolphins that follow the boat along as we coast. Laying across the mat in the front you can reach down and almost touch them they are so close. The jump along the boats front, clearly having the time of their lives. They part ways with us and you can already catch sight of the Na Pali coastline beginning.

The hills here are just so intricate .. it looks like someone took a knife and just started chopping out chunks in a very symmetrical and organized manner, and yet this is purely natural. Watching the waves crash against the rocks at the base just leaves you awestruck, especially when you get up close to see all the little nooks in the rock faces. They point out the remains of a village that used to be nestled at the top of one of the cliffs, and all you can imagine is how long a hike like that would take each day .. ugh. Again you see that beautiful mist that seems to always surround the mountains. At this point the bar has opened up and started serving drinks, primarily what they call a 'sneaky tiki'. I'm not exactly sure everything that was in it, but they usually poured dark rum onto the top of it and did not mix it in, making a very potent first sip. Around this point I find myself starting to get a little queasy and I end up having to stop looking at the coast so I don't run the risk of upchucking. In the end I swallow my pride and down a couple of Gravol. A girl walks by with one of those bras with transparent straps and M points out that that was what I needed to wear my sarong dress for the luau. Feeling gross I look at the girl and frown, muttering 'why is she even wearing a bra? It's not as if she has anything to support there'. M sits in silence for a second then bursts into laughter. I continue to focus on not vomiting.

Na Pali coastline from the left (Ke'e beach shot is from the right).

Once we reach the end of our northern trip they serve dinner, which consists of a salad (with that yummy papaya poppyseed dressing), some saffron rice, fresh baguette slices, and some beef and chicken (that I obviously do not eat). There is also a dessert of a pineapple coconut bar that is very yummy. At this point the sun is starting to set and the boat starts the voyage back to the pier. The view is still absolutely breathtaking, even in the fading light. My nausea starts to ease with some food in my stomach and I decide that if I'm going to throw up it'll be on my terms -- bring on the booze! So I end up downing about four sneaky tiki's in probably a good hour or so, but this pales in comparison to M and his brother in law who each consume about 10 each. How they were able to walk off the boat astounds me. One thing I do distinctly remember from the boatride was the number of people will really bad toe nail fungus (since you're not allowed to wear shoes on the boat). It was rather gross. By the time we reach the shore I feel slightly better, but my hair is a disaster and I feel thoroughly coated in salt. Note to self: next time make sure to tie your hair back before going on a boat ride. We kill some time in the gift shop and I pick up a cute ballcap that's green with a little heart on the front. It's cute, what can I say.

I fall asleep on the ride back to the resort until we stop at Taco Bell. I order a half pound burrito (a half pound? That's huge!) and some cheesy potato things that I've never heard of before. I eat the food reasonably quickly, then find myself dozing back off. I blame copious amounts of alcohol and Gravol. I curl up on the couch for a bit, M joins me and we relax, enjoying the feeling of solid ground before falling back to sleep.

Posted by ka'la 19:03 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Kauai Trip - Day 4

Hanalei/Hanalei Pier

rain 26 °C

My first day sleeping in! Take that stupid roosters. This morning for breakfast M's mother ends up cutting up a pineapple that she bought at the farmer's market the day before. As I surf the internet checking my email she brings the container over and puts it on the table (obviously my eating habits are predictable at this point). I grab a piece while scrolling down a webpage and put it in my mouth .. and the next moment I am enthralled. This has to be the best piece of fruit that I've ever put into my mouth. It's so soft, and juicy, and filled with flavor. I'm convinced that someone has poured coconut syrup overtop of the pineapple because it tastes so good, but I keep being told otherwise. I proceed to eat a large portion of what she just laboured at chopping up. Like crack to an addict, I am so hooked on that pineapple.

We end up heading back to the Hanalei mall for some lunch. The plan today is to visit Hanalei Pier, so we stop along the way at Bubba Burgers to get some food. Surprisingly they have a veggie burger (complete with poi .. oh dear). The menu gives you the option of getting pineapple on your burger, which I indulge. It also recommends you do not get the lettuce and tomato (no idea why). So I get their vegetarian burger with pineapple, with some frings on the side and a soda. M orders a chocolate milkshake, which his nephew ends up accidentally spilling all over the bench, but surprisingly ends up missing us. We relocate down to a table when the food is ready. The burger with the pineapple is so awesome, I can't believe I never thought of eating them this way before. It starts to rain lightly as we eat, but under the straw canopy on the table we barely notice. Food is consumed with minimal spillage, and M and I decide to indulge in some shaved ice. The day before he had spent some time reading a traveller's guide (yes, we are such tourists) that recommended two locales for the best shaved ice to be had. He had gotten one the other day, but felt disappointed due to the lack of ice cream at the bottom of the cup (which apparently is part of the experience). We end up each getting one at Shaved Ice Paradise; him the Bali Hai, and mine the Blue Hawaiian. It consisted of a scoop of (homemade) macademia nut ice cream topped with ice that has been powdered, then flavored syrups poured overtop (for mine: blue raspberry, vanilla, and coconut). If I thought the burger was amazing, it paled compared to this treat. I ended up devouring it, part due to the taste, and other due to its melting so quickly.

Some awesome shaved ice

We proceed on to Hanalei Pier ... what can I say about it. Nothing really, because words will never do it justice. It's shaped like a bay, so it seems to be somewhat isolated from the ocean but really isn't. The waves here aren't nearly as crazy as they were at Lumahei the other day, but they're still somewhat sizeable. I notice a whole bunch of surfers, and also people doing this paddle boarding thing, which consists of standing upright on a surfboard while pushing yourself using a long paddle for strokes. Where I'm staring at the surfers and wishing I could go out there and do it, M is more entertained with the idea of paddle boarding. In the end we do neither since we're not wearing our swimsuits.

Hanalei Pier - beach shot

The view from the pier is just breathtaking. The water here is so clear and so blue, the mountains so amazing. The greens are so lush, the mists so white. I just seem to continuously be in awe of this place. The beach here seems more manageable than Ke'e beach, so we tell ourselves we'll come back later that week and swim if not somewhere else. More random roosters (cocks) everywhere, and some really pretty trees. We pile back into the car and head back to the resort, planning to relax for the rest of the day.

Hanalei Pier - shot of the pier itself.

M and I spend a good chunk of time down at the pool. I end up meeting up with a Canadian woman from Calgary. It seems like everyone we've met on this trip is either Canadian or Alaskan .. very odd. She turns out to be on a rather long vacation, doing island hopping with her husband where they visit a different island for a week each week. I make a mental note that this is an awesome idea. I'm curious about Maui and seeing the volcano on the large island, so her idea has appeal to me for another trip. It rains a bit while we sit in the hot tub, and by the time we tire of the water we head back to the condo we are pretty beat. We end up large chunks of Saturday lounging around just enjoying each other's company. For dinner we end up trying to recreate that awesome salad we had at the Hanalei Blue Dolphin. M's mom picks up some fresh tuna steaks for us. I chop and wash, M seasons and throws the tuna on the grill. He ends up walking away, leaving me to man the grill (which is ironic since I'm a vegetarian). I end up overcooking it slight so that it's not slightly seared as it's supposed to be, but in the end we don't care. That salad was amazing .. fucking amazing. M breaks open the mead that he bought the other day and, sure enough he was right -- I love it.

Posted by ka'la 01:33 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Kauai Trip - Day 3

Lihue Market/Kauai Plantation Tour and Luau

semi-overcast 25 °C

Wake up to a breakfast of pancakes with coconut syrup and fresh fruit. Mmmm pineapple. Mmmmm coconut syrup! I have a new love, a new addiction, a new need. If only it didn't look white and milky like ... nevermind. I could seriously begin to live off of this type of food each morning, so good! M and I go for a swim and a hottub before getting ready for the day's events. I dress in my luau clothing and we pile into the car ready to go. On the way down to Lihue I end up falling asleep (despite sleeping in later this morning than yesterday). I overhear people mentioning something about the hills, and I wake up and open my eyes, commenting that the one in front of us looks like a bit of a face. M's mother makes a remark saying that it's Sleeping Giant and suddenly I am wide awake. This was on my list of things that I wanted to see, and suddenly looking at it you can see more detail. The face (nose specifically), the torso, the legs. It is mind-blowing that something like this would happen naturally. I snap as many pictures as possible while the vehicle continues to move. We drive past some beaches on our way south and see the golf course I had seen yesterday. The thing that facinates me about the golf courses here is that there are still palm trees on the fairway. As if golf isn't challenging enough, you also have to make sure you don't hit any trees. Only in Hawaii.

Sleeping Giant

We have time to kill before the Lihue Market but we head over right away regardless. The booths are set up by the vendors, but they refuse to sell until it's 1pm. I have only $12 in change, and am doubtful any would be willing to break a $20. We walk around for a bit, M and his niece and myself. We probably look like a family to the people around us, but meh what can you do. I stop by one booth and set aside some oranges, tangerines, and this thing called a tangelo. We continue to meander, noting the different produce they have down there (a strong asian influence). We happen to be walking buy one booth selling cucumbers and radishes when the bell rings (oh yes, a literal bell rings). I'm like 'ohhh radishes' and grab the last bundle, unaware that it was literally the -last- bundle. This old man next to me sighs and walks away, and I pay for my radishes. We walk along some more and I buy a starfruit, some fresh organic bean sprouts and this lentil/bean mix, some gorgeous pink grapefruits, the bag of citrus from earlier, along with a rambutan (M's curiosity got the better of him). We also bought a bag full of microgreens (so good!). M got a coconut drink, which is essentially a straw stuck inside a coconut so you can drink the juice/water. I'll admit it was yummy, slightly sweet. When you're done drinking the juice you take it back to the vendor and he chops the shell open, softens up the inner meat, then separates it from the shell so you can eat it. This I didn't like so much because it isn't very sweet (unsweetened coconut, duh). We leave the market and head over near the plantation. M's parents want to check out a harley dealership, so we go our way to get something to eat ... bottled water and kettle chips. On the way back to the dealership we come across a wine store and I notice it says they sell cigars. We stop in and I buy a few for my dad and brother, then M picks up a bottle of mead (this honey macademia nut blend). The store has all these unique bottles and blends that you never see in Canada, and makes me wish I could have brought them all home with me.

Lihue Market - M getting his coconut opened

We get back in the car and prepare to head over to the plantation. The drive is pretty ordinary, but I remember M's fingertips stroking the back of my hand on the seat. It felt very nice. When we arrive at the plantation we wait for the rest of our group, then get bored so M and I wander off to explore the gift shop at the plantation. I see a wooden coconut and have the overwhelming urge to buy it, but decide to later after the luau. We wander over to get our leis (oh yes, I got leid!), and then we sign in for the tour and ride the train, and I witness what is the most beautiful sunset to date on my trip. The sky is filled with various shades of orange, pink, and purple .. you just cannot put into words how breathtaking it is. We also pass through areas with endangered trees, plenty of sugar cane that you can reach out and literally touch, coffee plants, rambutans, and pineapples! We learn that pineapples take 2 years to grow (crazy). We also learn words such as aloha (hello/goodbye), mahalo (thank you), ono (delicious), and keekai (child). The train stops to feed the goats and the wild pigs, then we proceed back for the luau. Wandering past the pit with the pig you can't see anything since it's under the dirt, and ask we arrive the torches are starting to be lit. Entering the patio there is a live band (a drummer) to the left. Our table was right next to the stage which was great. The table had salad with a few vinaigrettes and these strange purple rolls (apparently they contain poi) that were sooooo good. Sweet and delicious. We head to the bar, starting with some mai tais (not so yummy). On the stage are some hula dancers, first with cups of fire, then with these weird pompom things. We move on to blue hawaiians for drinks and the food is served. Surpringly there were tons of vegetarian options. I have some tomato salad, some sweet potatoes (which are purple here) with coconut milk sauce, some rice with coconut curry, and some mahi mahi with fish sauce. All of it was so damned good. I also tried poi ... purple stuff should not be able to be inverted and immobile. It's just not natural, and it tastes gross.

We get a few more drinks before the official luau begins (blue hawaiian and happy hawaiian for me), then settle into our seats while the story begins. The luau is based on telling a story of how they came to immigrate to Kauai by using hula and other styles of dance. It really was really neat. Except for the blue dress goddess lady, she just confused me the more alcohol I drank. As the story progressed it ended up evolving into the fire dancers. The first set was 3 people (women?) in these unitards with balls attached to chains, where the balls were alight. A short while later a man walks onto stage with a baton lit at both ends. We are told he is the best fire dancer in all of Hawaii and you see shortly why. He is amazing at his art, and when he brings forth another wand and uses both at once, you can see why people think he is the best around. A lot of this is unfortunately a blur since I was (a) taking pictures, and (b) pretty sloshed at this point. What I do remember is just amazing, I had so much fun. I remember the pudgy hula guy, he was my favorite. And boy could he shake it! At the end of it all, we did some shopping in the boutiques where I bought a cute frame and got myself a jade bracelet (yay for drunken purchases). M ponders the idea of buying a cock painting, but in the end decided to wait it out. We pile back into the car and head back to the resort.

Firedancer at the luau

Posted by ka'la 00:59 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Kauai Trip - Day 2

In Kauai -- Towns of Hanalei and Lihue; beaches; waterfalls; lookouts.

sunny 25 °C

M wasn't kidding about the roosters not understanding the concept of time, where they just start crowing whenever they feel like it. In this case it's like 3am. Then 4am, 4:30am, 5:15am, and so forth until I finally roll out of bed at 6am. The irony is that they will keep crowing like, all day, stupid birds. The fridge has plenty of fresh fruit to munch on, and I find myself stuffing my mouth full of pineapple .. which tastes infinitely better than any other pineapple I have ever eaten in my entire life. So juicy so good! I end up having some toasted raisin bread and some freshly made kauai coffee. I swear it's like the best breakfast I've ever had. Going out onto the balcony (the linai) I can't help but love the view as my brain starts to follow my body in its waking process.

Grabbing a quick shower I throw on my swimsuit and some loose clothing, and sandals. I pack up my purse with some essentials (lipgloss, sunscreen, nail file, wallet, camera, hat) and we head off to Hanalei market in order to get me some water shoes. The beaches here have rocks and coral under the water that you can easily step on and injury yourself (M having done so himself a few days earlier). Right outside the resort there is a lookout for the Hanalei river. This is my first experience with the scenery here and I am already awestruck. The valleys are so green, and in this location you can see areas that are farms for agriculture. The views are just .. amazing. I'll never be able to say this enough. We enjoy it for a few minutes, then continue on to the market for said water shoes. Apparently my feet are too .. petite for water shoes at the Hanalei market. On the plus side I scored a gorgeous sarong and a lei for Lantlig (it matches his beak). The thing that amazed me the most about the mall was the food court there .. totally outdoors! These cute little tables with grass umbrellas. This place is totally different from back home in so many ways.

View from the Hanalei lookout.

We continue west, heading for Ke'e beach. I read that it was one of the best beaches for snorkelling, which is something I wanted to do on this trip. We arrive and the coast is, well, crazy. The waves are huge and intimidating. Off to the left of the beach is trails that you can go hiking. The one that caught my eye was a four mile hike that would take you up into the Na Pali hills. Unfortunately we're not really dressed for such a hike (nor does anyone really care to embark on it with me). So no hike for me today.

We start walking along the shore and I am amazed at how gorgeous the view is there. Along the brush there are these amazing trees in which the roots are .. uprooted. You can sit or wander underneath them .. it's just very surreal. Along this path I come across a lonesome coconut which I can't resist snapping a picture of it. Kicking off my shoes I find myself wandering through the sand, which is so soft that your feet sink into it immediately. We wander down a ways and then put all our things down, heading down to the water. As the waves come in higher my shorts start to soak so I strip them off then run back into the water. The waves comes in sets getting higher and higher. I miscalculate and find myself soaked. The view from this point on the beach is just breathtaking -- you can see see the Na Pali coastline from there and it is, well, breathtaking. After spending some time here we end up piling back into the car and driving down the coast to explore some waterfalls.

Along the way we pass by some caves in the mountains. We stop at the one and I see these vines dangling down, and one of the trees above has branches that curve in this way that almost makes it look like a snake is coiled and dangling down. The cave itself is deep and filled with water. I find it hard to believe that all these things are just .. natural, but here they are. As we drive along I notice the houses are all built rather high, like on stilts. M's mother explains to me that this is because of the flooding and is most commonly seen along the shoreline. I imagine the owners of the houses must have great glutes. We drive past Lumahei beach where I witness the most horrific waves I have ever seen. They are massive! I cannot fathom anyone trying to swim in the water when it's like this. Apparently the north shore is notorious for being very choppy. Ke'e was supposedly one of the best beaches for snorkelling, but not during this season (their summer) since the waters are so rough. Nonetheless, the view of this beach terrifies me into not wanting to enter north shore waters at any point for the rest of my vacation.

We stop at a church that is, honestly, beautiful. The stained glass windows are exquisite, and though it looks very tiny it is apparently very roomy. Here I locate some more random cocks (roosters), which are literally everywhere. The view of the mountains from outside the church is flabbergasting so I take some shots. Also are some amazing palm trees, which are slowly becoming my favorite plant I'm starting to think. We stop for lunch at the Hanalei Blue Dolphin, where M and I each get the salad with fresh ahi tuna. The salad is microgreens with bean sprouts, tomatoes, and seared tuna with a cajun rub. He gets it with blue cheese dressing, and I with the house vinaigrette. I also get a house bread that is a rye with honey and molasses in it that is to die for (as if the salad wasn't enough). We also indulge in some local ales, him getting the Keoki Gold and I the Keoki Sunset. His is a light ale where mine is more of a dark amber; I prefer his over mine, hands down. Already the food on the island has outdone my expectations.

We stop at a service station to get some gas and I run in to get myself something to drink. And what do I see? The most peculiar thing ever ... Diet Coke Plus. Diet Coke which has been enhanced with the addition of vitamins and minerals in order to make you 'healthier'. Forget the aspartame killing you slowly .. I digress. I end up buying a bottle because, like, how can you not buy something weird like that? I also end up picking up an Almond Joy because I've never had one tbh and I'm curious. I also notice that they are huge on snacks that are things like squid rings that have been smoked and seasoned. Ick.

A brief stop at the Coconut Mall so that I can try and find something to wear to the luau Friday night. As we walk in I see this girl looping a sarong up into a little dress .. immediately I know that's what I want. Unfortunately standard sarongs don't seem to accomodate a woman with a chest size above a B-cup. In the end I have to buy a plus-sized sarong. M helps me pick out the pattern, and a good choice imho. I also end up buying some necklaces for myself (a few kukui nut ones, some shell ones of various colors), some authentic coral necklaces for my mom and stepmom, some kukui bracelets for my sisters (along with some local soaps), some little tiki statues for the boys, and a beautiful jade bracelet for my friend's baby named Jade. Overall a very satisfying shopping experience, except for the overwhelming desire to buy more sarongs ...

Again we load back into the car and drive down to Opaekaa Falls. The lookout from the highway is pretty distant, but this does nothing to diminish the view itself. Around the corner from the lush green landscape is a set of waterfalls that are natural and amazing. Above the falls you could see a house nestled in high above. All I can think is that there has to be a road up there somewhere, otherwise that's one hell of a hike each day ... From there we travel on to see Wailua Falls, which is a short drive away. Again, the falls are amazing. This lookout is located right next to the falls so you can see them in great detail. Down at the bottom, in the pool, there is a cave that (to me) begs to be explored. If only the slope weren't so steep I would love to go for a swim and check it out. Not in the cards it seems.

Across the street is a lookout in Wailua River State Park that shows off a gorgeous view of the park. To the right of the river is the reminants of an old village. M's mother tells me about how in the center of the village there is this big slab of rock known as the birthing stone, and that every woman in the village would be taken to said stone to give birth to the child. Somehow the whole idea of this just seemed ... wrong. Not very sanitary, I mean I wouldn't want my ass to be stuck to said stone due to residual placenta goo from the last 20 women who gave birth before me. But I digress. An amazing view.

We pile back into the car and head into Lihue on the way back to do some errands -- namely to stop at Kmart and get me some water shoes. Upon entering the first thing I spot is a Little Caesar's and immediately think of my friend Christine. We get pizza there in the warmer months and tend to eat it in the park, so seeing it brought back happy memories and made me think of how much she would enjoy it. I snap a picture to show her later. I play around trying on straw hats, M seems mildly amused by my quirky pickiness. In the end I buy no hat. I do end up buying watershoes, some postcards (that I end up forgetting to mail), some painted kukui necklaces for my sisters, and a pair of sunglasses that apparently make me look 'rock star'. Haha. We stop at the market on the way home and I get some organic veggie burgers (worst things ever). We have a throw-together dinner, then M and I head down to the hot tub. Mmmmm, heaven.

View of the Na Pali coastline from Ke'e Beach.

Posted by ka'la 00:37 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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