April 4

ALOHA and Welcome to Kauai, from the entrance to The House. Everything here is as aloha as ever. Such a charming welcome man and I adore the rain chain.
I'm going to use this map's area distinctions from now on - good job 'Aloha Isles'...

... for when I make (hope to make/wish I would make/intend to make) my Kauai Highlights chapter, a touring guide of the sights with a combination of pictures from all these visits..
We decided to spend our first day out at the North Shore looking for some of the beaches we've never seen.

But first a stop-off at the Christ Memorial Episcopal Church on the way to Kilauea.

There has been a church and graveyard on this site since 1888. According to their website: "In 1939 the Kilauea Sugar Company deeded the churchyard to Christ Memorial Church and gave the native stone used in the erection of the present building. The chief benefactor, however, was Mrs. Robert Shapard, of Griffin, Georgia, in memory of her husband, and on the Second Sunday after Epiphany on January 19, 1941 The Right Rev. Harrington Littell consecrated the church."
With names like 'Hidden' and 'Secret' and 'Hideaway' many of the North Shore beaches are not easy to get to and we had no intention of slogging down muddy trails or crawling through sticky itchy jungle brush...
...but still there's plenty to enjoy with an easy stroll.
A view of where the Kalihiwai River empties into the Kalihiwai Bay and a view of Hanapai Beach. Very lovely.

We decided to pass by Anini Beach this time because it is our favorite and we'll go back there later...
...we come into the jewel of Hanalei Bay, the main arc being to the left of this picture, previously most well known for the location shots in South Pacific but the young folk might know it best from the many scenes in The Descendants.

Many of the patches of sand along this bay have their own names such as Puu Poa Beach, Pavillions, Pinetrees, Waipa Beach, Waikoko Beach, and more.
On one of the patios at the Princeville Hotel, now a St Regis, with 'Bali Hai' in the distance. The hotel is on the easternmost tip of Hanalei Bay and is still a very nice place to chill.

We're not big fans of Princeville dense as it is with condos and golf courses but you've got to admire these views.
Along the side of the road, a beautiful waterfall we'd not noticed before, at least not that we can remember.
Waiting for inspiration Jim Freeheart standing just above...
...the land approach to Hideaway Beach.
Leaving Hanalei Bay and traveling west on the Kuhio Highway we've got more beaches. This is from a scenic overlook, one way being Lumihai Beach and the other Kahalahala Beach.
And more into Wainiha Bay.

As you continue on to the end of the road past Tunnels Beach, past Haena Beach Park, past Canyons Beach and the Maniniholo Dry Cave and the Waikanaloa Wet Cave, past the National Tropical Botanical Gardens at Limahuli (don't miss this if you ever visit!) you'll end up at Haena State Park and Ke'e Beach where the Kalalau Trail begins to take you for a trek along the Na Pali Coast.

I've got pictures of all these from other visits and am planning to make a 'compendium' for future reference.

We didn't stop anywhere along this way because for some reason it was jam packed with cars Everywhere. Spring Break we're guessing, which goes on for several weeks around here.
I needed to end the day with a scrumptious shave ice over a scoop of the richest creamiest ice cream ever. My ice flavors: mango, passion fruit, and guava.
April 5

Good morning little guy.
Today we enjoyed a delightful tour of the Kauai Kunana Goat Farm. They make organic goat cheeses and grow a lot of organic fruits and vegetables for the local restaurants and farmers markets.

The farm is also in the North Shore area, a bit inland and south of the Kilauea Lighthouse, on the border with the East Side.
Meet Ryan who runs the tours. What a cutie.
It's baby goat season and we were all Nuts for the baby goats. Here they are 'meeting' Sharon.
"Mommy?" The Goat Whisperer.
I got to hold baby goats too.

The woman behind me is Rachel, wife of Ryan, and in charge of all the prepared items they make with the farm goods, and also she does the farmers markets.

We fed the 'milkers'.
From their website: "Enjoy a guided visit to our unique family farm. Sample the cheese while we explain how it is made, from milking the goats to the finished product. Interact with our loving family of goats, free-range chickens, and check-out the honey bees.

"Next, take a stroll through our organic tropical orchards. Here you will see mango, papaya, avocado, lychee, citrus, breadfruit, and many other exotic fruit trees. Learn about our organic vegetable and herb gardens while you rest under the shade of a tamarind tree with colorful orchids hanging from the branches. Discover some simple ways we are making our farm sustainable."
We got to hold the chickens too. These are plain old farm (free range organic vegetarian) chickens not the Splendid Red Jungle Fowl that roam the island.

Back home hanging out on the dock...
...catching the rowers as they speed by.
April 6

We went out to the West Side today, to the town of Waimea where on Friday mornings the West Kauai Technology and Visitors Center offers a free lei making class.

We had two delightful teachers...
...and when I decided to make one of these...

...I needed plenty of help or we would have been sitting there for a very long time.

We followed lei making by eating at a local place and I had to have the deLUX Loco Moco. Dark brown gravy poured over two fried eggs that are sitting on top of a slice of American cheese that sits on a hamburger patty all nestled in a bed of rice surrounded by sliced Portuguese sausage, mushrooms, and onions.

Fortunately I asked for a take away box right at the beginning before I scarfed the whole thing and ended up eating half of it for lunch and the other half for dinner.
Then we walked around the old western style town a little and over to the Waimea Pier, built in 1865 for the sugar trade. Now there's a picnic table out there at the end.
Recalling their western past.

The town of Waimea is very small and has maintained an 'historic' feel. It is also the last bit of gas/food/lodging available before heading up into Waimea Canyon. The Russian Fort is right outside town too.

Since we've both visited the Canyon and the Fort so many times we decided to move on in search of what we had not seen before.
What was once workers' housing for the Waimea Sugar Plantation, we now have the 'lovingly restored' Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages. They really are handsome with period furnishings and those great front porches and not so expensive that you might consider staying for a few of your days on Kaiau.
Splendid Red Jungle Fowl! We saw so few last year we were wondering if there had been a plague but this year there are plenty of them again strutting around in all their splendidness.

"How you eat a local chicken: You put a chicken and a rock in a pot with water and boil the water until the rock is soft. Then you throw away the chicken and eat the rock."
April 7

This morning we went to the Farmers Market at the Community College in the Downtown area, hoping to find the goat people there, but no joy. Then we went to follow the South Shore Koloa Historic Trail and did find several of the spots noted.

Here we have "the oldest Catholic Church in Kauai, St. Raphael's was founded in 1841, two years after Catholics were granted religious freedom in Hawaii after the French threatened Honolulu. Father Arsenius Walsh established the parish."

There was a crew of parishioners dressing up the church for Easter tomorrow.
They were doing a really sweet job.
More of the grounds, aloha style.
Continuing on looking for landmarks, but then...
...it started raining and didn't really let up so we ate lunch at the Grand Hyatt, did a little shopping, and went home to cook some of the food we bought at the Farmers Market, and enjoy a gin and tonic on the lanai.
April 8

Morning from the front lawn looking right...
...and looking left.
Good morning Spirit House. According to the designations on the map I'm using, we're Eastsiders btw.
We had an early walk at Lydgate, also on the East Side, but the rain was threatening so I didn't carry the camera and ... not a lick of rain.

So we set out our chairs for a picnic brunch and ... rain. We finished eating in the truck.
We went for a drive and the rain stopped just in time for us to have a visit to the Kilauea Lighthouse...
...and watch the albatross soaring. You can see one in the foreground there. Behind is Hidden Beach.
Followed by a stop-off at Opaekaa, our neighborhood up-the-street waterfall.
And then we made ourselves an island feast and watched the rain from the cozy comfort of the screened in lanai.
April 9

On the South Shore today, we took an excellent tour of the Grove Farm lead by this charming woman whose parents came to Hawaii from Japan in the early 1900s.

(the tour group kid)
Here's a short introduction from their website:

"As the American Civil War was raging between the North and the South, young George Wilcox took a lease on a struggling farm located on the outskirts of Lihue, in what was then the Kingdom of Hawaii. The farm had been chopped out of a large grove of kukui trees and was therefore called Grove Farm.

"His vision combined with his education resulted in his ability to change this arid farm into a thriving sugar plantation. As the Civil War destroyed the agriculture in the South, it helped sugar become a successful venture in Hawaii. Sugar's success was also favored by the Hawaiian monarchy as it was an additional source of income for its kingdom."
The paragraphs above are directly from the website. As I recommended last year, Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes is a great history of the period assuming you have a fondness for Sarah Vowell's style of course.

Cats cats cats at this place.
We've done several tours recently and have a few more on tap. It's been really interesting and most recommendable.
Our tour group gathered in the kitchen where a sweet as could be woman made us iced tea and cookies and told us about how over the years it all worked in the kitchen.

Speaking of which, this morning I had a Starbucks giant espresso frappuccino with nonfat milk and not too much sweet powder and it was good. Oh no, that's not good. I rather wish it wasn't as good as it was!.
April 10

Hail Hail the Gang's All Here gathered for our annual pot luck feast extravaganza! We are missing Camus's teenage son Koa who came later and Camus's boyfriend Curt who is off island for work (everyone loooves Koa And Curt).

Seated: Kathy's son Ryan and his fiancee of one day Cheyenne, Kenny, Camas. Standing: Bob, Sharon, Kathy, me having rushed over to get in the picture and forgetting to open my eyes and forgetting to focus the &%*## shot, and Sharon. (When they're together we call them The Sharons.)

Kathy, in celebration of her 60th birthday wanted to hike the Kalalau Trail along the Na Pali coast...which she and Camus did last weekend. OMG...
...it took them 8 hours to hike in. This map doesn't show the entire 11 miles but you can get the idea.

There were no misshaps along the way. Fortunately they had arranged for all their gear to be delivered to/from the campsite by boat so they didn't have to haul it in backpacks.

They spent two nights camping with the hippies who have settled in permanently. On the third day it only took 6 hours to get out...and a Grand time was had by all! And then they took a nap.
April 11

We went over to the West Side today to enjoy a tour at the Kauai Coffee Company. They have a museum, and a gift shop of course, and a self-guided stroll with many interesting markers along the way.

They also had a video playing with an extended story of the process from seedling to cup'a joe that was very good, and they had samples of two dozen coffees for your tasting pleasure.
And landscaping.
They call them 'cherries'.
Sharon being chosen by the coffee bean picker, and Sharon enjoying the swinging bridge at Hanapepe.
We ate lunch in Hanapepe at this ohana place and it was fun. Check out the menu. Aloha all the way.
Still on the West Side, we did a swing by the lovely Salt Pond Park...
...and we wanted to visit the Kauai Soto Zen Temple. I called several times and left messages, but...
...NO, KAPU! Forbidden!!
April 12

Back to the North Shore today to see the Waioli Church and Mission House in Hanalei. The church was under a termite tent but the church social hall was hosting a hula lesson for haole housewives.

All the music came from the one woman sitting in front singing with her ukulele. She was great.
The Waioli Mission House was open for touring. Check before you go as they are open short hours three days a week. Ring the bell and the caretaker, Roger, will come out from a cottage on the property and give you a tour.

This is part of the grounds...
...and this is the house from the side and from the front. The parents of the man from Grove Farm were responsible for this Mission so it was fun to tie more of the story together.

The view from the Hanalei Valley overlook, and a good spot for a picnic.
We took a drive down in the valley, traveling along beside the Hanalei River and through the taro fields.
A stop-off at the Kong Lung Trading in Kiluea...
...and we ended our day with a drive through some back roads. I was trying to get us to a viewpoint for the Kiluea Falls but one road was blocked by a gate to a huge private estate and another road was blocked by construction of what looked like it was going to be another huge private estate.

If I lived around this area I would not be happy that all the backroads to where I was used to going were being blocked. This must be a constant problem where private developments grow up in once wild areas.
April 13

The Pride of America! We always know when she comes in and disgorges her load by the tour buses that range across the island looking for Aloha.
Looking in the opposite direction we see the lovely bay of the Marriott and Dukes as well as my favorite strip mall on Kalapaki Beach.
Hi Kaitlin! Hi Lilly! Aloha!!

We strolled a little around Poipu...

...and then enjoyed an afternoon at the Beach House Restaurant with Sharon and Bob.

(the waiter)
April 14-15-16

Randomly... a clear morning and Mount Wai'ale'ale makes herself known. This was the first day we could see back there and it could be the last as she is mostly hidden by the clouds dropping rain on her wet self.

See that paddle boarder. Soon that's going to be ME!
From another walk at Lydgate, a favorite on the children's play structure.
The front gate that leads to the shoe changing vestibule that leads to the front door.
One night's dinner at Scotty's, the view from our table. Yikes is right.
Here we are just lolling on the lawn, sitting in the shade, digesting our pizza lunch.
The theme of the day of course was Me Me all about ME and Camas helping me Paddle Board on the river!

Yes, that's ME! and I should add that power boats would roar by making big ol' honkin' waves for me to not fall off on!

Big fun television-wise we've been enjoying recently. It's the Merrie Monarch Festival, nights full of wonderful hula.

From Ms Wiki: "The festival (run each year since 1971) is dedicated to the memory of King David Kalâkaua, the second (and last) elected king of Hawaiʻi, who came to the throne in 1874 and reigned until his death in 1891. He was a patron of the arts, especially music and dance.

"Kalâkaua restored many of the nearly extinct cultural traditions of the Hawaiian people. These included myths and legends, and the hula, which had been forbidden — due to the influence of Protestant missionaries — for over 70 years."
April 23

We're Baaaack! In case you missed the 'the whole story' since I keep updating for days here's: Maui WOWie and a weekend with the fam in Honolulu.
April 24

We spent four hours today on our 'three hour tour' at the fabulous Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden.
The garden is on the Princeville peninsula on the North Shore. We chose the Stroll and Ride option and it was wonderful.
Wow, a baby albatross, right there by the side of the road! You can't tell the scale from this picture but he's pretty big, the black part of his eye about the size of a dime, and as an adult he will have a wing span of more than six feet.
The trees you see in the background are part of the hardwood forests the foundation is growing as an income source for the future.

The whole area was leveled in 1992 by Hurricane Iniki so it's quite amazing that they have managed all this in 20 years. 'They' is actually the founders Joyce and Ed Doty whose own vision and aesthetic is represented in everything you see here. Note the Norman Rockwell kitty there at the end of tree.

Every part of the garden has these sculpture features. There are more than 100 of them all chosen or commissioned by Joyce.
I'm saving this for a background on something.
More of the hardwood forests.
Gott'a love a classic aloha shirt.
Another thing for a background. I will not subject your patience to the dozen more.
That's a mighty big orchid. .the size of a dinner plate.
Birds of Paradise.
One of the many water features.

There is a huge children's garden, an entire 3/4 scale Hawaiian Village, a full sized hedge maze, a Navajo compound with villagers and handmade Sedona-style mesas, a set-up at the beach for big weddings, an orchid house, and there must be more I'm not remembering. And the gift shop, not to forget that.
And Splendid Red Jungle Fowl. What's a road in Kauai without some fowl? We were in the cart at the time and our guide detoured around them. Splendid Red Jungle Fowl have right-of-way here.
And then we made it home in time to get it all together for a Bob and Sharon Bon Voyage party. Bon Voyage Bob and Sharon! It's been swell!!

Sharon, me, Camas..Sharon, Kathy..Kenny, Bob

April 25

Today was Hindu Monastery tour day which we always enjoy but now are obliged to warn first-timers. The crowds have gotten so large, and they do only one tour per week maximum, sometimes not even every week, that you've got to have sharp elbows if you are going to hear the guide.

We are following the progress as they build their new temple. Nothing has happened all year due to 'the economy' but they are ever hopeful and have intentions to restart the construction this year.
I do this guy every time because he is irresistible.
So much green.
Green and blue-green...and dancing!
After the solemnity of the Hindu Monastery we went to the free hula show at the Coconut Marketplace. They support their classes by selling homemade leis for five bucks - a very good price and a nice donation.
Cute and sweet.
And then sunset on the river. Good night river!
April 26

Good morning from my bedroom window. Splendid isn't it.
And while we're at it here's a little piece of the garden, a hole in the nine hole miniature golf course out back.
One of the rain chains that I'm going to have something like one of these days. The chain in the front that's made into a fountain is my favorite, but it's an artwork.
We did all our shopping today - we are souvenired to the max.

Then we took a nice afternoon stroll at Lydgate. This is the turnaround point with the shady rest, the sea, and the play structure.
Finally! We've been waiting and waiting for our dude to show up. He did show up at great speed and without the least consideration for my photo.
(The story of his 5,000 mile trip.)
And another finally! the Lydgate children's swim and snorkel pool is cleaned up and ready for fun.
My office...ahhhh.

April 27

Anini Beach...THE Beach. Shade and sun, calm water and waves, picnic tables open and covered, toilets and showers, and privacy. It's perfect.
Some wildlife stopping by.
She's hunting the itty bitty teeny tiny shells found mostly on Ni'ihau and worth a lot because they are so hard to collect.
April 28

Camas came over to take me out paddle boarding again. This is a take-your-own-picture-with-the-phone picture.

There we are! Way out there! Heading for the ocean although I stopped well before we made it even under the bridge.

Having a little stand-up and a chat. That's Camas doing all the work.

Then we had a delicious lunch out and Shave Ice. What an excellent Aloha day.

April 29

It's our last day...oh noooo. So let's have a nice picture of the house.

We went across the river to the Wailua Restaurant for lunch and a photo-op.
In the morning I had noticed that there was a sight that we had missed all these years and for good reason since they are open for 3 hours twice per month, that's it.

But we hit it on the nose and got to see this interesting place, the Lawai International Center. First, tea and sweets from one of the many volunteers.
Here it is, built in the mid-1800s by Japanese immigrants on an old Hawaiian heiau ... "who sought to replicate an ancient 900 mile pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan. It’s rumored that a handful of dirt from each of the 88 Shikoku shrines lay in the foundation of each miniature structure."

You can see some people up there in the upper third doing the trek.
On our way home we took a detour for our first visit of the year to Wailua Falls.
April 30

It was time for mahalo and the direct-to-LA flight, and then the limo picked us up for a luxurious ride home. Too good Sharon, too good.
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