March 6

It's the spirit house (and Sharon!) welcoming me to Kaua'i.

And my new favorite fountain that wasn't installed yet when I left last year. It's just outside the front gate that leads to the front door. The decorated metal chain is a rain catcher Sharon's son brought home from Thailand. They rigged it up with a circulating water source through the roof so it's always got water running into that big pot that has water plants in it. That thing is profound.
Around in the mini-golf course...
The living room with the furniture in it. Last year everything was still getting pushed around.

My travel day was very easy btw but by 7:30pm here I just collapsed into my king-sized thermapedic (10,000 thread count sheets all perfect down pillows louvered windows (my fave) gently fanned) bed and slept like a stone.
March 7

Today we took the first of no doubt many walks through Lydgate park ending in...
...the Kamalani children's playground. It's a very cool walk - with the sea and sand on one side, picnic areas nestled amidst the trees, of which there are many varieties...
...and the play structure itself, to admire the dozens of charming mosaics made by local children.
You can rest along the way and let yourself be hypnotized by all that surrounds you.
Then it was Oscar Party time at the neighbor's down the street, Cathy and Kenny. Feast-o-rama.

Also attending were everyone's long-time pals from Idaho, Sharon and Bob who are always in Kaua'i in March-April too, and their friend Carl, and more neighbors Camas and Koa.

I'm quite satisfied with the Oscar winners which is always a special delight, to be happy with the outcome of an election.
March 8

Bright and early this morning, out Sharon's bedroom window we find ducks with a serious case of Spring fevor.
This room makes me sigh with pleasure. That's my computer on the corner there, with a view into the lanai, living room, and kitchen. It is the perfect seat in the perfect room and since no one else really wants to sit on the floor it's mine all mine.

In an effort towards tidiness, I keep all my bits-and-bobs there in that antique grain barrel.

Those windows look down on the river where long outrigger canoers work-out most mornings and afternoons and hence the wall decoration...
...which couldn't be more perfect.

Sigh for the koa wood floors and walls too. This is not a huge house by any standard and you don't go rattling around in unused space, you just enjoy every place you find yourself.
The wind was fierce today and with occasional light showers so we did some chores and drove around instead of doing a long walk.
We stopped off at the Kaua'i Beach Resort which is very near the house mainly because I don't remember ever having stopped by before.

It was very nice and there were some easy short walks nearby.
Including a place that was supposed to be a salt flats but we didn't see any salt flats.

We did see cows. We were women who stare at cows. When we arrived they were just milling around and then first one and then two and then one by one they were all staring at us. Or were we staring at them? We entertained ourselves for a good long while with these cows.
March 9

Good morning! A view out my bedroom window. Looks like it's going to be a nice day for walking...
...not. Rain rain rain.

We haven’t had one consecutive hour without rain. It’s random reinforcement. We keep thinking AH-HA, now it has stopped, which it has, and the skies clear and the sun shines and we put on our shoes to go walking and BAM, like from out of nowhere, more rain. But then they don’t call it the Garden Isle for nothing.
Looking out from the entrance gates.

Inside the gates is a vestibule where you can admire the stone carvings and change your shoes before entering the house.
She watches the lanai from her spot along the side of the house.

I was thinking to name her Hi'iaka after the Hawaiian goddess of water. Because the Thai goddess of water is named Phra Mae Khongkha... Sharon wants to name her Tofuti.
We did go out for a couple chores where it rained on us, ate lunch where it rained on us, and tried for a few walks when the skies cleared, all failing when the rain would come back before we were 10 feet from the car.

Here's a dry moment at the view point of the Menehune Fishpond. Last year we saw the Menehune Ditch. The Menehune are a legendary people of Kaua'i, their story available to all, on the source of all, The Internet.
From the corner of the back upstairs bedroom you look down on the nine hole miniture golf course recently built with the last remodel.

Which also works very well as a nice garden.
March 10

We decided to brave the off and on rain and headed up to the Hindu Monastery as neither of us had been before and they are open only a few hours each day Monday-Friday.
From their website:

"Kaua'i's Hindu Monastery, founded in 1970 by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), is under the spiritual direction of his successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. It is part of the Saiva Siddhanta Church, founded in Sri Lanka in 1949. Its spiritual heritage derives from the Nandinatha Sampradaya, which goes back to 2,200 bce."
We're thinking to come back when they have the once per week tour. They take you into the places you can't visit on your own, like the new temple in the distance there.
It was all quite fabulous. Here you walk through a tunnel of these trees and come upon the figure very surprisingly, and it was dark as you approach through the trees.

Religion...what people will believe...
And then Clear Skies! So we had the walk we had been hoping for along a portion of our new favorite trail.
A little slice o'.
March 11

We decided to just head out today and flip a coin as to turning left or right. This 'method' took us in the direction of Poipu and one of our favorite stops, the Grand Hyatt.
But first, what's that over there? An abandoned mill of some sort of which there are many on Kaua'i where once sugar plantations and processing plants drove the economy and where now it's all about the tourists.
A stroll through the fabulous landscaping of the Grand Hyatt...
...and futher along the coast and up the bluffs. It's an easy walk that we do at least once or twice every visit because it is so dang gorgeous.
Back at the hotel, various of these incredibly colorful guys live in the atrium. If they could wish I'd guess they were wishing they could fly the heck out of here, but they surely are amazing to watch.
We took a spin through the itty bitty quiet peaceful sailing port of Nawiliwili where once a week...
...this cruise ship disgourges several thousand folk onto the Garden Isle. All the big shows and tours kick into full force on the day-night-day of their stay.

Interestingly, in our daily life we don't notice them much so they must just get absorbed into the general tourist flow of things.
March 12

Anini Beach, near Hanalei but you've got to drive a fair distance off the main road to get here. This is my new favorite beach of all time (that I can remember at this moment anyway... memory being what it is).

Here is a vast expanse of bay protected by a coral reef. You can ride waves much further out and snorkel near the reef, or you can lounge in the calm, shaded, stunning to look at, easy to park, lovely facilitied, full of treasures in the sand, glory that is this place.
An offer to take our picture!
the Dude! We have been waiting all week for one of these guys to show up. The red-crested cardinal. Our favorite!
We are ducking out of the rain here on Anini Beach. We are on the wettest side of the island which must account for the lack of crowds.

The two women in the distance are picking through the sand grain by grain collecting a specific type of shell about the size of a lentel. They had been working for some time and had found enough to fill a couple thimbles. The women said doing this was calming, like a meditation.
An enterprise on the beach at Hanalei.
Hanalei - sight of the filming for Bali Hai. There are gorgeous properties edging this bay. The surfing was amazing. You could hardly see a wave but still people were riding great distances on these simple swells.

It looked like an excellent place to get started surfing because without heavy wave action you could paddle out easily enough to try again and again.
Looking across from the photo above, that's where Puff frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanalei.

Problem: he's supposed to be frolicking in a land that rhymes with sea... but still, it's supposed to be this place, it says so on the internet.
On the way back we stopped at Banana Joe's near the Kilauea lighthouse for a fresh fruit treat...
...and met up with a family of Splendid Red Jungle Fowl. I don't have any shots of the dads yet this year but they are still around, thousands and thousands of them protected by law, and very Splendid they are.
A formation that you can see from most places on this quadrant of the island. We had originally identified this guy as Sleeping Giant but not so. Sleeping Giant actually rests right up the road from the house!
March 13

In the far distance, Mount Wai'ale'ale from the river side of the house, one of the rarest sights in Kaua'i as the peak is so often hidden by clouds, raining nearly every day as it does, and the wettest place on earth.

We check every morning and clap delightedly when she reveals herself. Quick Quick, a Photo!
A few of the paddle/surf boards and canoes available at the house for your sporting pleasure. The opposite bank is reflected in the windows.
But we didn't participate in any sporting pleasure but rather had a lovely aloha and decidedly unambitious picnic and stroll at Lydgate.
In 'our' neighborhood you find the highest concentration of sacred sites in Kaua'i and worth learning a little about before visiting.
Of an evening, enjoying a cocktail on the lanai and watching the life of the river as it winds down for the evening.

Guests are arriving tomorrow and I'll start a new chapter where we'll be four instead of two. Should be FUN!
March 21

We said Aloha and Bon Voyage to Chris and Janis. It's been an exceptionally fine week. You can read about it here at this link: Congratualtions Chris On Your Retirement! Enjoy!

The next day, on the 22nd, Sharon and I did absolutely nothing what-so-ever At All. I didn't go out of the house. We took a day to just absorb all that FUN we had had the previous week!
March 23

I'm sure I've mentioned before the rule in Hawai'i that all beaches must have public access. Sometimes they make that access 1) a mystery to find and 2) once found nearly impossible to navigate.

Not so here in Kapa'a, behind the Coconut Marketplace.
This section of beach through Kapa'a is entirely fronted by hotels, timeshares, and condos, some of very classic old Hawaiiana style, which makes it a delight to walk through with its shade trees, tidy paths, handsome buildings, and gorgeous waterfront.
Ah, a break in the accommodations.
Here we are at the entrance to the old Ahukini Pier at the southern end of Hanamaʻulu Bay, just south of the Lihu'e airport. You can see the harbor beacon at the end of the jetty.
The sugar folk used this pier for the ships that took their cargo to the mainland as it was the only deep water port in Kaua'i until, after WWII and the construction of the newer bigger better port at Nawiliwili this facility was abandonded, and then mostly dismantled by the late 1970s.

Wow, the whole story in one sentence...
March 24

We are on our third visit to the Hindu Monastery this trip with the pictures spread around in their day. I might try to gather them all together. A thought anyway.

Every tourist on every Hawaiian island Will visit Hilo Hattie's at least once and at that time said tourist will be gifted with a Hilo Hattie's shell lei. At last, something to do with those shell leis.
We took the actual tour this time and got to see much more of the gardens. They were fantastic.

We got poured on a couple times, real cloud bursts. The 'know before you go' guide on their website warned that because of the location of the monastery it rained particularly often so most people were prepared. Even Ganesha here.
March is really not a good time for flowers in Kaua'i but they had some good hits here.
The distant view of the new temple under construction for many years now with a projected completion date of 2017.

They are slowly building this temple, importing materials carved in India and Indian craftsmen are in Kauai putting the temple together on site.
This guy had the pride of place at the new site. I really like his feet, and the flower they've tucked into his ankle.
That's our tour guide in the white. It was a huge group, around 80 people, far too many to get a lot out of the narative. From what I did hear he was passionate and knowledgable. I would recommend going even though it wasn't perfect.
Some of the carved detail.
A closer view of the temple under construction.
On the way back we stopped off at another heiau near the house.
And then enjoyed a yummy and scenic lunch at Scotty's followed by...
...a drive-about. We just look for roads and drive on them. We were in the back country above Kapa'a. Cool!

Then we went to the Farmer's Market and then home to eat what we had tomorrow.
March 25

From yesterday's trip to the farmer's market. I don't remember the names of the odd ones and to be Perfectly Frank, only the papaya was particularly tasty, and it was actually overripe.

Then we went to the local Safeway where all the fruit was delicious.
An early morning shower usually = an early morning rainbow, from the river-facing lawn.

See Smith's Landing over there across the way... is the house from there.

We went on the Smith's tour this time for the first time for me. Yup, we never before quite made it over there for the ride.

(I seem to be obsessing on this pano business. It really is a lot of fun to do.)
They have a nice little tour that takes you to the Fern Grotto. We were lucky to be a very small group so everyone got to spread out and to move around to take their pictures.
See him in there? Cute!

And then...
...another downpour! Everyone rushed to huddle under a couple big umbrellas. Here's our guide and the head of our entertainment troop.

"Don't worry, it'll be over soon. Yes, I can hear it, it'll be over soon..." and it was.
Hi Sharon, aloha!
You can see at the back of the boat, the old diesel engine that puffs some serious nasty into the air. They could do something about that!
It was Great! For $18 you get a really nice entertainment.

They do a good-guide rap on the way up, the guy who walks through the garden with you is very knowledgable and likes to tell jokes, and on the way back they sing, dance, and tell stories. Short, but umm tasty sweet.
And then Home. Off with the shoes, and now we need to rest!
March 26

Our morning walk.
I did a little side excursion to stand on the bridge that crosses the Wailua River. It's a bit dangerous because there has been a huge construction project on this (actually rather small) bridge for as long as I can remember. One of the guidebooks says it should be finished sometime around the arrival of the next ice age.

On the left you can see Smith's Landing. On the lower right is the public beach and launch site for kayaks. The houses that front the river follow upstream.

Then if you look at the mountain ridge at the middle right you will see Sleeping Giant. Sleep tight Sleeping Giant!

Tonight we had a major festivity over here - a big party and I have not one picture. How did that happen? The guests included Kenny, Cathy, Ryan, Sharon (the other Sharon), and Bob. We ate, we drank, we made merry.
March 27

We were going to the Hyatt to see what was up with the Prince Kuhio celebrations, took a wrong turn, and ended up here, at Prince Kuhio Park where a genuine local celebration was in progress.

I think we missed a big group of male dancers that was leaving as we arrived.
Many groups then came forward to place their lei on the memorial, sing a song (they all sang a song!), and one member of each group would say a few words. It was very cool.

Who are these ladies dressed entirely in black muumuus with the yellow/orange leis? More about that later.
And another group. There were many groups and it seemed these were all civic clubs each speaking of what they did for the community and how they were glad to have this opportunity to honor Prince Kuhio as they had every year. They were especially glad this year because of the tent to sit under.

If you're interested to read the wiki article about Prince Kuhio it's full of complex genealogies and political intrigue.

Basically..."Prince Jonah Kûhiô Kalanianaʻole Piʻikoi (1871–1922) was a prince of the reigning House of Kalâkaua when the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi was overthrown by international businessmen in 1893. He later went on to become a politician in the Territory of Hawaii as delegate to the United States Congress, and as such is the first native Hawaiian and only person ever elected to that body who was born a royal."
We then went on to the Hyatt were it is always a delight to sit in their open-air lobby and enjoy live entertainment.

The celebrations here, and I should say not surprisingly, took the form of shopping opportunities.
All through the lobby and courtyard areas they had set up tables of local crafts and with each display someone was there to tell you about it.

This woman was sweet but her mama was fabulous. She showed us what she was doing in interesting detail and we chatted about what we had just seen at the park. She then explained about the women in the black muumuus, coming up next!
I do sometimes get a little grumpy about those muumuus reminding me as they do of missionaries who Always know in every single detail just Exacty what YOU better be doing (or it's hellfire for you!). But I digress.

The ladies in the black muumuus have taken this bird as their symbol. I couldn't quite get what it is they do as a group. Here's what the picture says:

"The Mamo, a honeycreeper, subsisted almost entirely on nectar, and was especially partial to tubular flowers of several species of lobelias. The Mamo was highly prized for the few yellow feathers it grew at the base of its tail. The birds were not common and the last specimens were collected about 1907. No one has seen a Mamo since that time."
The great Hawaiian nose flute! It really did sound gorgeous, like a recorder but with a fuller, rounder tone I think.
Puka Dogs! But we didn't have a puka dog. Instead we had a really delicious shave ice, easy on the syrup, with a scoop of ice cream in the bottom of the dish. Ahh, shave ice perfection.
Three days ago we drove down this very road and these trees were empty. It'll be April in a couple days and here come the flowers...Watch Out!
March 28-29

We've been slowing down these last couple days as the end is fast approaching - I'm leaving on the 30th, Sharon on the 31st, and we're taking advantage of the opportunity to loll around the house.

Still, we did go out at least once each day! This is the Kapa'a permanent Crafts Fair where mostly you can buy inexpensive tourist goods imported from Indonesia and China.
Another swing by my favorite beach, Anini. Last time we went on a rainy weekday and it was empty.

This is a sunny Sunday and it's pretty full with more people than I expected but still, plenty of room to enjoy the picnic lunch we brought.
Finally we walked on the last leg of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae.

In this section the sea is wild and the land uninhabited...
...except for the birds. The birds were loving this place. And notice the wildflowers in the foreground. Spring!
There is an old structure here, the Pineapple Dump. Really. That wooden ramp-like thing was built so that the detritus from the pineapple processing plant could be easily dumped into the ocean.

This is probably the last picture of me from this trip. Ok ok it's true, it's not just Sharon and it's not just Kaua'i...photoshop made me look this good. Aloha!

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