June 6, Good Morning!

Good morning beautiful land of Aloha. Good morning river.
Good morning gorgeous landscaping.
Good morning fish pond and happy fish getting a big good morning breakfast.
Good morning Spirit House, so nice to see you! I'll be doing this Good Morning round again no doubt because every day is different and I could have done better with the camera settings.

AND I missed the goddess of all the water features here, the statue Sharon calls Fiona and I like to think of as Hi'iaka, the Hawaiian goddess of water. Maybe towards sunset .. maybe tomorrow.
June 6

A quick click just walking through the garden on the way to the car.
We spent the day trying to find Sharon a dress to wear to the wedding.

Eye HAVE a dress, oh miracle of miracles. Sharon came with me back in LA to Patagonia where there it was, a dress I didn't hate. YAY!

The weather has been spectacular because of the trade winds and we've not been rained out as is so common on Kauai. It's still plenty hot, oh yes, but at the moment quite livable.

We had lunch on the patio at one of the higher end shopping opportunities.
At another shopping opportunity (we stopped at five different malls) I got distracted by shave ice. Oooow, gotta have me some shave ice. (Sharon continued the search on her own...)
I asked the guy if I could watch him make shave ice and here we have it:

1) scoop the ice cream into the bottom of the cup (optional but not really)

2) attach the disk of ice to the machine that has blades that will shave the outside of the disk as it whirls around.

3) help the fluffy ice shavings pile up in the cup

4) pour the syrup and then...
...VoilĂ ! Shave Ice! My flavors were the same ones I always get: guava, lemon (or lime), and lilikoi.

Think there might be some sugar in a shave ice?
June 7

At the turn-around point of our favorite walk - Lydgate!
Wild cats...
...live in the bushes along with The Dude.

The Lydgate walk takes you along the sea, through a mini-forest, past the golf course, past the picnic and fishing spots, and more. It's a fantastic walk.
Finally the re-construction is done and the children's snorkeling pool is ready .. for children and anyone who wants to float around with the fish.
Back to Sharon's as yet unfruitful search for a dress, we decided to pass by Princeville and check out the lobby bar...
...and the poolside/seaside areas.
We continued on to Hanalei.
WOW is Right.
Back at the house this is the riverside lawn looking towards...
...the gate that leads to...
...the mini-golf course that is looking fabulous.

We just can't stop ooowing and awwwing over how thick and colorful we find the foliage everywhere here in June, much thicker and more colorful we believe than our usual visits in March and April.
There are So many blooming plants about.
June 8

Not too many pictures today but we were busy. We spent many hours of the morning and into the afternoon following Kathy's instructions. Kathy is making all the decorations for the wedding and we are her faithful minions.

These jars aren't done yet, no no, there is more. More. The list of individual decorating projects is as long as a tall man's arm. It's going to be amazing.
Also the internet was having a mind of her own requiring some time spent chasing down tech support. Everything was improved since last time I was here .. and now we're back in business and all is well.
As it was already toward evening we did a fast loop through Lydgate and enjoyed a massively delicious dinner at Brick Oven Pizza.

Brick Oven Pizza is one of our favorite meals in Kauai, and there's plenty left for breakfast, lucky me.
June 9

Here she is, the goddess of all the water features at the house, the statue Sharon calls Fiona and I like to think of as Hi'iaka, the Hawaiian goddess of water, but I call her Fiona too because it's easier to remember.

She watches over the fish pond...
...where I got a fish foot massage. You know elsewhere you have to pay good money to get a fish foot massage!
Lovely lady, and blooms in the tree.
I walked 'across the way' to get this shot of the house. I've done it before and will no doubt do it again. Every time it's different.
Cute kids enjoying a swim in the river.
SO many blooms. Look at that Look at that we say All Day Long.

Sharon went grocery shopping and cooked a few dishes that we will enjoy in the coming days. We worked a little more with Kathy. I read Proust, walked across the river, messed around on the computer. We had an overall delightful and easy day.
June 10

There was a little of this and that all day but our highlight was Happy Hour at Oasis on the Beach for cocktails and pupus.

We went to one of the beach front hotels and lolled around for a good long while enjoying our cocktails (one Thai Martini (mine, YUM), one Pineapple Passion Martini (Sharon's, YUM)) and an order of their deeelicious poke bruschetta.

Sharon now has her wedding outfit mostly complete except for a little wrap and I am still missing shoes.
June 11

From the patio at Duke's where we ate lunch, at Kalapaki Beach in front of the lovely Marriott Resort.
Some pictures from Sharon. That's the wind in my hair btw and not a fashionable new hairstyle.

June 12 morning

Snow bushes at the Hindu Monastery.
The same guide we've had every time!

It's the landscaping that brings us here again and again and the hope that...
...they'll get this project moving again. It's been a couple of years now with no action but they say by next year this time more workmen and more stones from India will have arrived.

From their website which I've copied before in other years: "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."
A very gorgeous and very serene mosquito farm.
Here she is again and this time all dressed up.
For flower offerings at the temple.
June 12 afternoon

We're off to the Kilauea Lighthouse for some bird watching. You can't see in the big picture but the entire slope and all the trees are full of birds.
No albatross this year as their season of nesting is past and for some reason I don't know we didn't see any of the usual nene that hang out here.

The big one is the ʻIwa, the Great Frigatebird, with a wingspan of 7 ft.

The white ones are the Koaʻeʻkea, the White-tailed Tropicbird, in mating season now and the guy on the top is flying backwards to get the girls' attention. It's very amazing to watch.
There are 150 species of the Albezia tree growing in the subtropics and tropics. This one is called the Chinese albizia and is an invasive species in Hawaii. It's a rapid colonizer and tends to shed large branches, damaging power lines, houses, and other infrastructure.

But look how gorgeous. This is our first chance to see them all, of which there are so very many, fully in bloom. They're gorgeous just as they are but these few weeks they are splendid.
June 13

We went on a garden tour we had never been to before. If another garden turns up that we have not seen I'll be amazed.

This place is called Princeville Botanical Garden and is very much a Mom and Pop operation. Their claim to fame is chocolate production which they do entirely by hand from the 50 or so cacao trees on the property.

They've also done a lot of landscaping with botanical specimens to round out the tour.
It was very gorgeous.
The Chocolate Tasting Tent where the guide has pictures to show how an industrial chocolate facility would work and comparing that to 'Lucy's kitchen'.

There were also plenty of bits to taste and everyone was happy.
More gardens to enjoy.
Sharon's pictures. We had tastes of some of the fruits growing on the property as well as a sample of the honey from their hives.

Hi Sharon! We had fun.
A scene on the way home. Sharon is so good natured about backing up the truck anytime for a photo-op!
June 14

Our local up-the-road waterfall: Opae'ka'a Falls, but everyone just says Opaka.

Isn't she pretty.
Kayakers heading up river for a trip to Fern Grotto and the Secret Falls, although not so secret really since every day these kayaks go up in herds.
Then we spent a couple of hours and ate a picnic lunch at Anini Beach. We love Anini Beach. There's beach on the other side of the rocks and beach all along the crescent bay formed by the largest coral reef in Hawaii. I just read that Anini used to be called Wanini but the 'w' fell off the sign and instead of fixing the sign they renamed the beach. Sounds apocryphal, but maybe.

It was beautifully not too hot, the clouds were stunning, but the wind was so strong I didn't take a picture and I didn't go in the water.

This shot is from another year but no matter because it's always like this.
June 15

This morning's view from one of my bedroom windows.

I have windows on three sides if you can believe it, all looking at the river, and a bedroom bigger than my house and a shower bigger than my bathroom. Oh yes, what a treat.
We're deep into another craft project for the wedding. This one is going to be the party favor.

First we undid the 100+ green boxes and secured the lids so as to be sure that the lid would go back on.

We opened the plastic bags and put them in the boxes.

Next came the distribution of very special and very sticky pink salt, that you can't even buy, given to the bride from the owners of the Hanapepe Salt Flats in Kauai. We had to leave the bags open to be sure we would evenly distribute the salt which turned out to be about two tablespoons in each.

Once all the salt was distributed we closed (get out all the air please) and carefully folded the bags to look nice in the box.

We still need to get the write-up of the story of the salt printed out, to fold and place inside the box, then close the box, then tie it like a gift with a bow of raffia.

What we have done with the jars, the napkin rings, and these boxes represents 2% of the craft projects that will be on display at this wedding. Pictures will be forthcoming.
This is a cute picture of Camas and Curt, the bride and groom, from 2011. When we first met Curt he made us dinner. OK, he can stay.
June 16

Waimea Canyon in all her glory.
Splendid Red Jungle Fowl. Pretty glorious too.
Another view of the canyon here looking all the way to the sea.
The lookout onto the Na Pali coast.
Wow, hydrangeas. We hadn't noticed them before growing here above 4,000 feet.
More hydrangeas at one of the park buildings. It is great up here at the Waimea Canyon State Park - cool with the mountain elevation and so beautiful. They have cabins to rent, a sweet cafe where we always have lunch, and an interesting visitors center.
And the highest concentration of Splendid Red Jungle Fowl on the island.
The views coming down from the park.

You can notice that this side of the island, the west side is much drier than were we are on the river, on the east side.
June 17

Lying IN my bed of an early morning, I'm snapping a few pics with my phone.

...and center. And yet somehow I do get out of bed.
Lydgate again...
...because it is AWEsome.
She wants to say HI!
June 18

Out on the lawn this morning .. EGRET!
The bride, the groom, and the bride's son. We went up to their brand spanking new house. The builders left two weeks ago so this baby is NEW.

They're having the wedding up here and it is going to be fantastic.

Koa, Camas, Curt
Curt's dogs. When you take the guy you take him with his dogs.
The bride, the decorations maven, and her minions.

Kathy, Idaho Sharon, the groom's mom, Camas, Sharon.
June 19

Thank you Sharon! for inviting friends over to celebrate my birthday...

Kathy and Kenny
...and for CAKE!

The Sharons.
Kenny brought and cooked amazing fresh fish pulled from the sea this very day. He also stole those orchids from his next door neighbor's yard and gave them to ME! Yay Kenny. Kathy was busy being the decorations maven for the wedding and even she was impressed with Kenny's contribution.

Idaho Sharon brought the plumeria behind my ear that she stole from Kenny's yard and wrote the sweetest note.

Sharon made it all happen, she cooked food and ordered the cake (with my name on it) and provided the venue and made sure there was plenty of beverages of course, and I am grateful.

(I took that picture of myself...oh technology.)
June 21

Coming around the corner we think circus? Camelot? No, Wedding!
Working on crafts.

And more crafts. Kathy has depleted the entire island's supply of jute, raffia, and burlap. She made these cranes for her son's wedding and is using them again, why not.

Sharon did the shot on the ladder.
The bride on the phone. When she wasn't on the phone the phone was ringing. It's the day before the wedding and everyone has something they need from the bride.
Curt's mom and her friend are doing all the flowers. They brought almost everything over from the Big Island because Camas didn't want the traditional tropical choices and on the Big Island there is a wider selection.
The bride and the groom being summoned...
...to make some decisions. So many decisions.
June 22

It's their wedding day!
Ok, beer boat. Yes, that boat will be full of beer.
Camas's son Koa and Auntie Lei bringing in the powerfully fragrant gardenias.
More of the craft projects.

Notice the posts, covered in burlap, tied with a bow, and orchids tucked in. For several days the field to the left was full of cows. We wanted to put leis on them, and bows on their tails, but the owner moved them to another field.

On the lower left are the table assignments, hand made (on Both sides) by Kathy of course. We were having quite a windstorm up there and the occasional downpour but once this end got its covering up all was well.

On the lower right are (hand made by Kathy of course) little baskets covered in ribbons, flowers, and beads, to hold the plumeria flowers for tossing on the bride and groom after the ceremony. Kathy made one display with pictures of Curt and the other display with pictures of Camas.
The table, need I add all Kathy all the time.

Notice the table number, the placemats, two napkins, and napkin rings, the runner, and you can't see the bows at the ends of the runner.

Kathy has been collecting champagne bottles for half a year (a challenge to drink all that champagne but she was up to it) so she could use them for water, and she made the water signs lest you think otherwise.

We have short candles and tall candles, three or four different kinds of small flower vases, two different kinds of tall flower vases.

The little green boxes contain the salt packages that Sharon and I were working on, and we added a note from the bride and groom, and tied those pretty bows.

Overhead we have the lanterns with electric tea lights.
Kenny took this picture. It's the dang wind again this time blowing stray hair over my perfectly placed hibiscus.

Kathy, me, Sharon, Sharon
Their lot is three acres and all of this wedding magic is about to happen at their very own home and that's pretty awesome.
The aisle is ready for Hear Comes The Bride!
This is the officiant who from what I could tell conducted an entirely Hawaiian ceremony. There were probably parts left out, I wouldn't know, but all the rituals were new to me.

There was handwashing with water the couple had collected from the river and from the sea symbolizing continuously fresh life and most importantly, forgiveness.

The officiant opened a coconut, they spilled some on the ground and drank some together symbolizing nourishment from the earth and from each other.
This was my favorite. Check out their four hands. It was a fantastic moment for everyone, sharing the first breath of their shared life.
Then the officiant did the 'by the power vested in me' bit, and there we have it.
There's the real photographer doing her job with the wedding party.
After everyone got food which was a big luau feast, and after the slideshow, several of the women guests did wonderful hula dances and Camas did one too. No one knew she was learning so it made for a fun buzz in the crowd.
They had a five piece band playing Hawaiian tunes. We didn't stay long enough for the dancing which I expect was to follow...
...the Mr and Mrs enjoying the loving speeches of friends and family.
The luminarias, need I say...
...made by Kathy.

Following is the text from the note inside the little green box with the salt:

"It is with full hearts and much aloha for our ever growing ohana, we humbly thank you for joining us today in the celebration of our blessed union. In that same spirit that you share your love with us, we share this small gift of Pa'akai and the blessings it bestows.

"From the sea that surrounds us and gives us life, to the ancient salt pans of Hanapepe, this salt was made with loving hands according to the tradition of our ancestors in that special place. It is given freely from family to friend and onward from friend to family and today, we pass it on to share with you!

"Mahalo nui loa, Curt and Camas"
June 23-24

Two days of bopping around. A mynah bird and a couple of dudes.

I'm taking a short break from Proust to read again Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes, her history of Hawaii. This is my third time through and the names with all their syllables made entirely of vowels, and the complex genealogies are falling into place more easily. But will I be able to repeat the story? Still no way.
The light at the end of the tunnel of trees on the way to Koloa and then onward to Poipu.
Here come the swans at the Grand Hyatt.

Hi guys.
Taking a rest from our stroll around the grounds of the Grand Hyatt.
Gotta swing by Spouting Horn.
June 26

Na Pali! This is a promo-photo from the company we went with, Capt'n Andy's. There are many companies with different featured boats and trips. This was the biggest boat we could find.
Heading out to our snorkel spot.

A little before this we had seen a great collection of spinner dolphins really doing their thing but it was so wet and salty out and full of rock 'n roll that I had my camera put away then.

What I ended up doing .. I took all these pictures with my phone.
The gear was great - flippers that fit and masks with corrective lenses so we nearsighted folk can see.

The water was warm and beautiful and there were a ton of sea turtles about, which was a big highlight for everyone...

...and fish of course.

This is a collection of Na Pali pictures I copied off the internet from people who had taken the helicopter tours.
It seems like you can't feel the soaring heights from this angle but wow, those babies are Tall.
In the shadow of the upper middle-right is that view spot from Waimea Canyon that we always go to and where it is 50-50 that you'll be able to see the coast because of the clouds.
Yes, more.

The only way to visit the Na Pali coast is to take a treacherous but maintained trail which brings you halfway in, or come by boat. The most common way to get onto these beaches is by kayak which is only possible when the seas are quiet.
Fun in the sun. We wanted the biggest boat because it would be more stable and because there were a couple of places to find shade.

They actually did cut the engines heading back and we took a slow smooth sail for about an hour while we ate lunch which was a delightful and welcome surprise.
Ahhh, I'm so happy we got to do this!
June 28

Ahh, a walk along the new east side path that now stretches for many more miles than we walked on it.
Wailua Falls pouring into the river that flows past the house.
We were deciding which of the garden tours to return to and because we wanted to go to Hanalei again anyway we decided to choose the Limahuli Garden, the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Ha'ena (that first a has a long mark over it), Halele'a, Kaua'i.

It's a wonderful place and so very very...
A one of a kind, maybe.
There were so many interesting configurations in this garden and as well as being a great place they have a great booklet that you get with your $15 admission including tons of information about the history of the plants and the myths surrounding them.
The grounds crew, Aloha!
Viewing a bit of the inland-side of the Na Pali coast.
June 29

We made our annual pilgrimage to Hanapepe today, the one stop town that recovered from the passing of the nearby sugar mills by remaking itself into an artists' colony.
In most of the stores around Kauai you see these tiles, plates and cups, and etc etc, and the proprietor will tell you that 'an artist in Hanapepe makes these for us'.

Well, behind the window in the top picture that artist of which there are many are indeed right here in Hanapepe making the glazeware for you too as they have a very large mail-order business. They are definitely very handmade with a lot of leeway for the artists as each one even with the same pattern are all different in detail and coloring.
The blooms this trip have been staggering.

We stopped off at the Kauai Coffee Museum where you can get a little taste, took a roll by the now nothing-but-mud Hanapepe salt flats, and enjoyed a scenic ride home.
This year's version of the rowers on the koa wall.
Sundown on the river with an event raging over at Smith's.
Reflections and a corner of the dock.
June 29

We enjoyed another delicious dinner with Kathy and Kenny. Kenny has a magic touch, he has The Gift for cooking fish. It really is a notable talent from which we all benefit.
Their dog Coco, almost fully recovered from Kenny having run her over with the truck.
July 1

I took a bunch of pictures of Kathy and Kenny's rental cottage for their craigslist ads. Here are only three, promise.

1 of 3
2 of 3
3 of 3
July 2

A familiar profile.
At the end of the street is this heiau and a royal birthing stone,
On the hill above the heiau is this Japanese cemetery. It was the Bon festival recently and many of the graves were decorated for the occasion.
From the cemetery you can look out over the ruins of the Coco Palms hotel and out to the ocean.
It's our last day and tomorrow we make our way to Honolulu for a few days. Aloha Kauai, Mahalo Sharon, Until next time!
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