April 6

Sharon and Dave picked me up at the airport and took me home to a party. You know I love a party! This is most of the Kauai gang, Camas being late as she was taking a class but we got her son Koa from the beginning.

There's Dave at the edge of the picture in the far lower left. Then Chris, Bob, Kathy and Kenny's grand and great-grand daughters (ggd hidden from view), Kenny, Idaho-Sharon, Kathy, Sharon, Koa.
April 7 morning

I got up early not feeling time-changed in the least, and watched the day break, dark threatening clouds dominating the sky. So I thought to snap a few quick pix before the rain kicked in.

The landscaping has totally changed from last year revealing the receiving pond more clearly. Last year I named her Hi'iaka after the Hawaiian goddess of water. Sharon calls her Fiona.
The first of no doubt many pictures of the river flowing under the bridge and into the sea.
The back gate leading to...
...the outside shower and the mini-golf course. You can see about half of it in this shot.
April 7 afternoon

After breakfast, and despite the rain because it's mostly always raining at some point or other, we headed left, in a northerly direction.

They're doing a big rehab at the lighthouse to be ready in 2013 for its 100 year anniversary.
So the lighthouse isn't so much but the birds are still in abundance. Our red-footed boobie!
Albatross breeding grounds VERY far away - max telephoto, max computer enhancement.

I've deleted the albatross on the wing because it was just too fuzzy. Dang.
And we love these guys, the state bird of Hawaii, the Classic crossword puzzle goose, the nene. .pronounced NeighNeigh btw, like all the other 'e' sounds in Hawaiian.
Oops, are they coming for me?! Oh you guys.
Next stop my favorite beach and now Chris's favorite beach, Anini. It is an AWESOME beach.
First dude of the trip...
...and first Splendid Red Jungle Fowl. I usually have to be deleting these guys as the days go by there are so many everywhere and so photogenic and so very very full of themselves.
Blue Sky, and Sun!
April 8

Chris and Dave went to the Hindu temple this morning while Sharon and I stayed in with the internet fix-it guy. He was great - above and beyond, and now the whole house is humming with internet.

Since I got here I've been perched on a couch corner, plugged into the modem on a short little cord behind the entertainment center. Now I'm back to the luxury of My Office in the stunningly Fabulous Tatami Room which is basically My Room since no one else wants to sit on the floor. What luxury!
After a most successful morning all around we went for lunch at Smith's on the other side of the river. I walked from the house and took this picture on the way. There we are in the center of the frame.
We then we went back to Anini beach to swim, which I did and can report that it was glorious. The birds were on the ground trolling the visitors for crumbs, and proffered macadamia nuts.

Common Myna, Red-Crested Cardinal (aka The Dude), House Sparrow
Among the sooo many things that make this such a fabulous beach, you will find folks in this position all along the shore line.

What are they doing...
...looking for shells. Teeny itty bitty tiny perfectly formed shells. Sharon and I looked for maybe 10-15 minutes and between us found these.
After our rainbow we said fond farewells to Anini beach and went home.
For Pizza! We get pizza from this place at least once every trip because it is my favorite pizza On Earth.
April 9

On the way to our big event of the day, a tour of the Allerton Garden, we stopped by Spouting Horn because it was right there. The bigger of the two spouts wasn't going off but the smaller was very active. It makes a loud haunting sound, like whale song I think, and is quite hypnotizing.
The Visitor's Center to Allerton Garden, a restored 1920s sugar plantation home. Allerton Garden is operated by the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a trust that provides ecosystem preservation work at five gardens in Hawaii and in Florida.
Queen Emma's retreat overlooked this very spot.

If you're interested in the history of Allerton Garden and the surrounding area the website is well organized although I'd say not particularly complete.
The home of the caretaker who was born on the property and worked here his whole life.
Our small tour group and our charming guide.
Moreton Bay Fig Trees, only 60 years old now. These same trees at this size would take 250 years to grow in their native Australia.

One scene from Jurassic Park, where the kid found the dinosaur egg, was filmed here. The guide was urging everyone to stand on the spot inside the tree roots and have their picture made.
The garden felt actually wild and that it was left to grow on its own but no it is carfully tended and there are what are meant to be rooms of specific design with sculpture and water features prominent in the layout.
One of the rooms and the Mermaid Fountain.

The water flows down the channel over small gates that causes the stream to pulse as it falls into the collecting pool. The guide said the pulsing is at exactly 60 beats per minute and if you sat there for a while you would become very very calm.
The Bamboo Grove.

We learned about the two kinds of bamboo - the clumping kind which you might consider having, and the running kind which will take over your whole house.
Sooo many of these guys and his cousins.
The Diana Fountain.
And more! Three Pools fountain and another one Rob's fountain made by the staff as a welcome home gift to the owner.
We were just a few minutes from Puka Dogs. Gotta have a puka dog.

I stole this off the internet. Nicely done Sara Light-Walker.
Following puka dogs we stopped by the Grand Hyatt...
...and then headed home through Koloa, one of our favorite little towns.
April 10

At the front door, he says 'bye, have a wonderful time' and then with open arms he says 'Welcome Home!'.
Off we went today, driving halfway around the island to bask in the glory of Waimea Canyon.
More magnificence.
Gorgeous view of the Napali coast. Maybe we'll make it around there this year?
In the parking lot of the Kokee State Park where you can always find plenty-o-splendid red jungle fowl.

Check out the little legs showing under the inset. Just a minute after this guy made it under there, in the minute it took me to put away the camera, she stood up and at least eight little ones scurried out. Watching the chickens in Kauai is so dang entertaining.
We had a rainy return but were glad for the clear day. On Kauai you can simply expect rain and 99 times out of 100 you'll be right.
A couple of my favorite scenes from around the yard.
April 16

We're back from our wonderful Big Island Adventure. You can click on the link if you want to see the whole thing in order and about as done as it's going to get.
First thing the first morning back we have to do our Lydgate walk. It's a rule.
Some of those sweet embellishments by the children at the children's play yard.
See that fellow out in the surf in the middle distance - he was up to...
...this! Fishing, Island style. He was a nice guy too and chatted with us a bit after he came out. One thing, I told him mahalo for the fun it was to watch and he said too bad he didn't have any fish to show for it.

Then we came back to the house and didn't go out again. It took me the whole rest of the day and night to finish the pictures and polish up the story of our Big Island Adventure and do the pictures from the 10th which I hadn't got to before we left. As soon as I press enter I'll be all caught up!
April 17

Good morning Mount Wai'ale'ale! Copied from the last time we saw her...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!
Me, reflected in the windows of the back yard.
Good morning Spirit House!
Another lovely stroll, a short distance of the miles-long truly spectacular walking path.

Today it did pour rain briefly around 3pm but most of the time it was hotter than it's been which seems to be the trade-off. Bright blue skies and puffy white clouds = hot.
From inside the lanai, look! EGRET! When I see an egret I say 'egret'. I cannot stop myself.

Egret! Look at his amusing walk. I am struggling to discover the best way to get these bird shots in focus and have as of now nothing to recommend.

These two I tried focusing on the bird's feet where there is ground or trees rather than going for the head which has turned out to be a sure failure. We'll see how that works out.
April 18

It's Coco the boat dog, and Cathy and Kenny fixing up the dock for a pot-luck dinner cruise.

That's right, a dinner cruise on the dock, where they unhook the dock and we cruise on the river sitting on the floating dock while we eat and shoot the breeze.
They set the table and made everything look so nice.
Bob arriving.
Cathy, Idaho Sharon, Camas, floating along. Also joining are all the usual suspects. (I'll get one of Sharon's pictures of the rest of the people, down at the other end of the table...) What a TREAT!
Aye mate-y, it's Captain Kenny of the Dock.
The lights you can see in the middle distance are the tiki torches from the house. You can also see the river flowing under the bridge and into the sea. Nice!
We were floating along in near darkness at about one mile an hour and this boat of rowers powered by, circling us for fun as we cheered them on.

Long boat rowing is a huge huge sport here, and on the Big Island we saw so many rowers out in the ocean in front of our condo. I suspect it's just as big on all the islands.
Heading out and then moon rise on the river.
We're back now, attached to the pilings and that's Sharon coming from the house after a clean-up run.
April 19

That's the Sharons coming back from our beach outing. I wanted to put this first to set the scene. We drove down unmarked dirt roads to get to a dead-end parking 'place' where we left the car and slid down this trail to...
...here where we were the only people within sight for the two hours we were there.
Lava! No surprise, but cool looking still.
Sharon and Bob brought their umbrella because I said I would go anywhere as long as there was shade.

Bob found his own shade tucked into the foliage. Look for his legs in the middle right of the big picture.
It was quite remarkable to be on this deserted stretch. I should add for full disclosure that just out of view of these photos were huge HUGE houses on giant gorgeous manicured properties, but I guess because there were so few of them we never saw any people.

We did see a couple guys in the parking 'place' - one net fisherman when we were arriving and a spear fisherman was going down as we were leaving.
This guy was hanging out near the lobby of the hotel where we ate lunch.

The doorman said he was a Chinese Whistling Duck but Ms Google the source of all, doesn't have a picture of a Chinese Whistling Duck. The beak looks right though for other whistling ducks. And there is a red-billed whistling duck that looks close except this little fellow doesn't have a red beak.

I asked the doorman where was the duck's family and the guy said he didn't have any. All the other ducks are mallards. Maybe they can't find another Chinese Whistling Duck because there isn't one.
April 20

This year's visit to the Hindu Monastery. Maybe we'll even go again we enjoy it so much.

Here are a few from prior visits: Hilo Hattie's contribution; Another Ganesha; Differently dressed; And so many more.
At the entrance.
Our tour guide, the same fellow we got last time.
All the stone workers have gone home to India while they await some infrastructure work (I'm not sure what that means) but they are scheduled to come back in a year so I think they are a way from being done.
They did say the outside of the temple was complete though, so that must be satisfying.
There are four colors of yellow flags, one for each quarter of the year reminding the followers of what it is they are supposed to concentrate on during that period. For now they are supposed to be working on their five year plan.

Every year you re-do your five year plan. I like that, I think it's useful. I haven't really done one since I retired but I think I'm going to try to before I get home. That can be part of my five year plan - to do them.
April 21

From the dock, Sharon enjoying the morning ...
...and Beth and Trevor heading out in the kayak...
...after getting the kids off into the river. They went out for a river adventure, then we had a stroll, some of this and that...
...and dinner! Oh goodie, another day of Good Times set for tomorrow.
April 22

The house from the river...
...on our big birthday river outing. In a break with tradition this year I enjoyed the Christa-Caleb-Charis Birthday Fete all together instead of one by one.

Wake boarding with Kenny in Kauai!
Trading out gear, next!
Beth! (Who stood up from this position and did in fact have a good long ride but I didn't get a decent shot (she wants me to be sure to let you know).)
Thanks Kenny, Thumbs UP!
I could hardly believe it - after the wake boarding adventure we had a little snack-lunch and off they all went for the Three Hour round-trip by kayak, paddle board, and hike. .fording streams and scrambling up muddy hillsides, to reach Secret Falls.

They said it was wonderful and I believe them. Congratulations!
Cleaning up. What a great day on the river!
April 23

I thought the tatami room had developed into a little satellite office for a Japanese business concern.

At one time there were two more computers out, and I'm sure everyone enjoyed the beauty of the room and the rare opportunity of working in such a unique and inspiring environment.
This was exciting - the acquisition in the river of two perfect coconuts, the husks removed and the hard shell whacked open by The Browns and then all the meat cleaned out for our snacking pleasure.
Christa was thinking a little outing would be good and Beth, Sharon, and I wanted to go too. We looked in some shops and admired one of the grand hotels.

And then. .Hey, said I, let's get a Shave ICE!
We all agreed, it was if not the best then certainly among the best shave ice any of us had ever had, so light, so wonderfully flavored.

I can see more of this shave ice in my future!
As a fond farewell we got to hear Caleb give his prize winning competitive speech which was delightful - too bad I didn't get him in full action.

More of what I don't have pictures of: Boccie Ball tournaments, rounds of Miniature Golf, lively games of Spit, Lounging! And we ate in the fabulous screened lanai for all our meals because no one wanted to leave!
April 23, dinner!

Camas and Curt, her guy from the Big Island, brought us Dinner and it was faaabulous. Kurt made it all... Everyone around here has been singing Kurt's praises, and they are well founded it seems.
Curt with Koa and Such delicious sashimi made by Curt with fish from Costco. Good Job! He told us how he did it. .will I have the nerve to try? Then we had dipped strawberries and haupia for dessert. Yum!
April 24

Look what the Easter Bunny brought, this and a veeery quiet day.
April 25

On the way to the car this morning look who's taking the sun.
We checked out a new shopping center in Poipu just to see what they had which, what they had was a more than half empty shopping center. We'll not be going back there for a long time.

Then we enjoyed the Grand Hyatt, a perennial favorite for it's gorgeous walking trail.
More of the trail.
From the walking bridge over the koi pond.
Two of the Parrots of Grand Hyatt Poipu.
On the way back we saw a little sign and a little arrow so we turned to find the Koloa Cemetery decorating the graves with beautiful plantings...
...and full of fresh dedications.
April 26

Today's outing - Limahuli Garden and Preserve, from their website: "Set in a narrow valley framed by soaring cliffs, Limahuli Garden and Preserve evokes the history of Kaua`i, and of the Hawaiian Islands.

"Born of volcanoes and isolated by thousands of miles of ocean from the rest of the world, those few species of plants, animals, and insects that arrived on these remote and barren shores had millions of years to evolve into unique forms found nowhere else on Earth."
It was so excellent we can't believe we'd never been here before although it is at the very end of the Hanalei road which is an hour from the house.

The booklet they pass out is great too as are the signs and the well organized presentations.
Very gorgeous and interesting as well.
The mountains surrounding the valley of the Garden and Preserve.
"The goal for Limahuli Garden and Preserve is the ecological and cultural restoration of Limahuli Valley, using the ahupua`a system of resource management as a template for this work.

"The result is that past and present converge in this lovely valley, where native plants as well as ancient and contemporary Hawaiian culture are being actively preserved, nurtured, and perpetuated."

Grrr fuzzy flowers grrr.
A hala forest.
A view of the Visitor's Center and the terraces and the sea beyond. The self-guided tour takes you up into these mountains a short way and it is wonderful.
April 27

Our walk today took us along the part of the coast lined with small hotels, not the big resorts but just the local hotels of Kapa'a.

There's a public path with access to beaches where no one much swims because of the dangerous conditions.
But they loll quite happily!
Then in the afternoon we went to a hula show put on in the nearby shopping plaza by a local hula school.
We loved the show, downhome as it was.
They were selling leis as a fund raiser so I bought one...

...for the Spirit House who is delighted I'm sure.
April 28

Checking it out, just up the road, the Opaeka'a Falls on the Wailua river. You can search this site for Opaeka'a and see the falls from other years.

It's particularly thin this year because, I suppose, it's been so bright and clear since we arrived. We expect rain every day like usual and it just doesn't happen - it's been mostly bright blue skies and puffy white clouds for weeks.
Opposite Opaeka'a we find the big bend in the Wailua river. The house is downriver to the left and on the right you can follow the river to...
...here, the 80 foot Wailua Falls, featured in the opening scene of Fantasy Island. That's not too tall by big-boy standards, but cool nonetheless.
April 29

Today's journey took us out to Polihale State Park. I've been wanting to go there for forever. It is the most remote of the beaches you can get to in a car. Although I don't know about a car. We saw more than one car turn back because of the enormous ruts and that was before it started raining.

Blue skies and puffy white clouds
Soo gorgeous including the storms in the distance and the glowing blues of sky and sea.
The drive takes you as close to the NaPali cliffs as you can be without expert hiking ability or sailing around on a boat.
Our trusty steed, a Honda 4x4, who rides us high and mighty across the hills and plains and...
...the sandy mud holes of Polihale.

I couldn't get a shot of the really bad parts because we were a-slippin' and a-sliddin' across the road. Sharon brought all her skills as a Colorado ice driver to get us through like a pro.
On the way back we found a new beach. After all this time we are still finding new places to enjoy. This is called Salt Pond Park adjacent as it is to the salt ponds of yore.

We understand it's a local family hang with a nice walled in pool for the keiki, not so much on the tourist trail. There is reliable afternoon wind so it's popular with the guys who fly parachute like things and skim across the ocean on wake boards often finding themselves in the Air for a minute or two. It was fun to watch and wonder.
April 30

Dawn on the river. Really.
We like the Lydgate walks so well.

There are tall woodlands for shade; open sun by the lawns and sea, there are plenty of chickens, egrets, dudes, and other entertaining birds; a wide and well maintained path; and bathrooms!

Danger! There are so many hysterical Danger! signs along the beach and cliffs but this one is my favorite.
What it looks like outside the back door when visitors come calling in Hawaii.

Kenny, Jessie, Koa, Camas, Kathy, Sharon.
April 31

Egrets! We did another two new things today. First we had lunch in the new Organic-Local-Gourmet restaurant at Gaylord's and then we took the train ride around the property...
...the 'stop' being at the pig pen where the assembled tourists were provided with slices of bread to throw at the pigs thereby initiating a pig feeding frenzy.
Another view from the train.
We also did a drive-about on side roads and came upon a quite fantastic housing complex that included this place.

This gorgeous property wasn't for sale but the land in front of it seemed to be. There were many places for sale so if you're thinking about an island home this might be just the time for you.
Next morning, yikes, the river is up by a foot or two and the dock is sinking! Last night was the first big rain of our whole time here, and it's time for me to say once again...
...Aloha Hale Ohana, Aloha Kauai, and a huge MAHALO to Sharon for giving me again the utterly marvelous gift of time here in the land of Aloha.
HomeUSA Aloha! • Hawaii • '11 Apr: Kauai

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