March 14-15

Aloha! Welcome to Sharon's sister-in-law Chris and Chris's friend Janis. ALOHALadies!
On their first morning in Kauai, and oh yeah, what a welcome this is!
We decided to go to Waimea Canyon first because it is such a phenomonal thing to see. This is not Waimea Canyon but on the way, and it's nice too, of Kauai's red dirt which is absolutely everywhere.
The classic view. Very fortunately we got to see the clouds lift for this sight. Unfortunately it was the only moment we were up there when it wasn't raining pretty hard so we missed the other viewing opportunities.

Just this though was worth the drive.
We ate lunch at the canyon, in Koke'e State Park where the Splendid Red Jungle Fowl are especially plentiful, fed as they are by the tourists.
Coming back we drove as far north as you can coming along the west side of the island. There's a military base that carefully controls access these days.

And speaking of the military, we did a little drive-by of the old Russian Fort.
And later we enjoyed the sun further inland a bit at Hanapepe, and even crossed the swinging bridge just for the heck of it.
We were home by 6 for an easy and pleasant evening, looking forward to more big fun tomorrow.
March 16

It's Kenny and CoCo out for a morning row. Enjoy!
One block from the house is this heiau, or sacred place, one of the seven along this stretch of road. In this location you also find the birthing stone upon which it was required that all future kings of Kauai be born.
Just above the heiau and the birthing stone you climb a few flights of stairs to reach this old Japanese cemetery.

It's not huge but it is so interesting to look around. With the exception of 5 or so more recent markers, the graves do not show dates past the 1950s yet many are freshly decorated.
From the Japanese Cemetery looking to the left is the start of the palm trees that grow in the abandoned and nasty old, but once elegant Coco Palms Hotel.

To the right is where the riverfront begins with a small plot of State Park for public access and where on occasion roudy youth disrupt the calm.
We continued up the road to the Opaeka'a Falls on the Wailua river...
...and across the road looking down you can see the Wailua river that runs past the house. That is an example of the long outriggers that pass by on their training runs several times a day.
Next we made another stop up at the Hindu Monastery so Chris and Janis could have a look even if all we got to see was this guy.
He was lit up today.
From their garden.
Our evening's activity was this: a LUAU!

There are four prominent luau offerings on Kauai, each a little different, all for the tourists. We picked this one based on some local recommendations and it was entirely fun. I won't complain about the kitschy inauthentic-ness of the whole enterprise because what do you expect when you go to a luau for tourists. A tourist luau.

And for that it was particularly good I thought. The food was tasty with entertainments throughout from the minute you get in your first line. And we got GREAT seats and had an unobstructed view from less than 15 feet away. We could really get into it.

(This is the Luau Kalamaku at the Kilohana Plantation btw.)
There were local arts and crafts out on the lawn.

"Wow" I said, "your flowers are fab". "Michaels, on the mainland" she replied.
They did the show as a story of one family who settled in Kauai, arriving by longboat seeking a better life.
...and some great fire action at the end. It was a real hit and packed a lot of wow for this relatively modest show's grand finale.
March 17

Here's a picture from Sharon's camera, from the Luau, us, way too cute.
Kicking off another big day, we swung by the Wailua Falls. And mighty grand they are.
Next stop, the little cutie-pie touristified village of Koloa where they have retained one chimney of the first sugar mill in Kauai and built a memorial to all those who worked the mills.

from The Internet: "The Sugar Monument itself is a circular, concrete sculpture suggesting a mill stone. Inside, there is a captivating bronze sculpture depicting the eight principal ethnic groups that brought the sugar industry to life (Hawaiian, Caucasian (this guy is missing from the sculpture!), Puerto Rican, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, and Filipino)."

Check out the chicken at the lower right. Even back then, chickens...
The sign says 'Koloa Historic Center' and they've got some interesting stuff in there.
We had yet again another yummy lunch.
The must-be-visited Spouting Horn.
I added this guy but deleted one of the others. There is a maximum number of chickens that one is willing to look at and in this story I had reached that number already.
The classic colors of the Hawaiian Hibiscus.
Here we board the Holo Holo catamaran for our dinner and sunset cruise and what was to be a tour of the Na Pali coast but turned out to be a whale watching adventure since the Na Pali side was, according to the boat folks, too rough to visit.
Look! Goats! The captain was so pleased to call out. From the boat those guys looked like specks and only folks with binoculars could confirm the sighting.

We can see them here because of full on zoom and full on clipped in the computer. But he was right. Goats.
We and several other boats like this were gathered around watching the whales of which there were many many and of which I got not one shot. But it was cool too see them.

We also got a nice sea turtle sighting.
Nice. And good night!
March 18

Today's first stop - The Kilauea Lighthouse, favored spot for wind, to catch a passing whale, and to marvel at the sea birds that swoop and caw overhead.
Follow the arrow. What you can't see there is blown up in the inset. The rare and protected nesting Albatross. They've got a fence around that whole meadow in an effort to keep out predators.
Can't miss the red-footed booby.
Leaving the lighthouse and traveling on to Hanalei we pass by this view of a mountain of waterfalls. Water, essential for the Garden Isle.

It has rained every day but we've been lucky in not getting rained out of anything really. It would have been nice for Chris and Janis if we'd got more sun but all in all, and what with what it could have been, we're feeling lucky.
In Hanalei we enjoyed lunch and the girls go shopping.
And then we drove the few blocks to Hanalei Bay where she washed that man right out of her hair.
On the way back we stop at the newly reopened Princeville Hotel now named the St Regis Princeville Resort.

We didn't see any difference in the structures but all the decor is new. Do we like it better? Probably not but oh well.

I made this picture myself!
This is the last bit that lets you know you're in Hawaii except of course for looking out the windows that cover the entire back wall facing Hanalei Bay.
We're in the patio/lounge outside the main lobby.
And here's a view of their semi-private beach.

They've got all the rest that you would expect of a many-starred resort and I'm sure it is a pleasure to stay here. We were really happy when we got 'home'.
March 19

Egret. Whenever someone sees an egret she says "egret" because they are so entertaining to watch. Most often you see them on the ground, standing on one thin leg, always apart from one another, motionless. Or standing on the back of a cow.

We mostly tootled around today, a stop here and there, and I apparently didn't take a picture at each stop so I forget where we stopped and it's only the next day!
We did another Lydgate walk, the first for Chris and Janis because no trip to Kauai is complete without a Lydgate walk.
Resting along the way.

We ate lunch out today. We've been eating out only once a day at most and at home the rest of the time because it is just so nice to be home and with four people pitching in with cooking and cleaning the whole meal-deal goes quite happily, with ease and camaraderie. Impressively so I would say.
This evening Chris and Janis played a few rounds of mini-golf out in the back yard.

This is a true fact. Chris dropped her first ball, wacked it with her club, and it went in the hole. A hole in one on her first swing. A true fact.
More of the 'course'.
This time of year in Kauai the bloomers are not yet blooming. Even last year when we came in April there were more blooming than in March.

Most of the color you see now are the few hibiscus that give off flowers year around and these ti plants that grow everywhere and glow from pale pink to deep purple. And every green in the rainbow of course. Green is a color.
March 20

Starting today Kauai is celebrating Prince Kuhio Week. We got out of the house relatively early so we could catch the longboat races and it was fun.

By good fortune alone, since all the directions we could find were wrong, we ended up at the women's and mixed crew's finish line just as the first boats were coming in.
Those three ladies were the judges marking down the boats as they passed the buoy indicating the finish line.

This felt like a local event and all in good fun. Maybe all the wrong directions were to keep the tourists away? It was tons of fun to overhear people talking to each other in the island patois of family and friends.
Then we moved on to where the men were gathering to start their race. Sometimes the boats are called longboats, sometimes outriggers, sometimes canoes. In the write-up in the paper and online they called this a long-distance canoe race.
There were maybe 8-12 boats participating, 6 oars per crew. The race started not from the beach as I expected but out there by the lighthouse.

Then they paddled hard in open sea for a very long time. We didn't wait it out for their return but by three hours there was still no sign of them.
The beach above is part of the Marriott complex. (All the beaches are public by the way, it's the law.)

That boat, oar, and surfboard are all historic pieces lovingly displayed in their lobby. The boats used in today's races are the same basic design as this one which was built in ... I forget ... but it's plenty old.

(Another one of my new lobby-shots technique. I'm going to be doing these babies a Lot.)
On the grounds of the Marriott, famous for the frenzy they generate every day when they feed the koi.

This camel is rather handsome I think.
We ate at Duke's for the view, the ladies went shopping, and we got pizza in for our last night together.

And had a little pass at the hukilau hula as in 'we're going to a hukilau'. We're intently watching the computer play the dvd lesson. Another few weeks and we'd 'a had it.

March 21

It's Aloha, Mahalo, and Bon Voyage to Chris and Janis. Mazel Tov Chris on your upcoming retirement and for giving us such a fine opportunity to celebrate.

The girls have bestowed all their leis upon the spirit house, thanking her for letting us be here, and in her honor doing their very best huki-huki-huki-hukilau.
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