April 2

ALOHA - Welcome to KAUAI, The Garden Isle!

On our very first morning Mount Waiʻaleʻale revealed herself in all her 5,200 feet glory. Last year we didn't see her even once since she is one of the wettest places on earth and almost always capped by rain clouds.
OOw, lookie here, 'our' new car! 'We' have had that Honda since I first came to Kauai in 2006 and now 10 years on 'we' have a new vehicle with all the modern amenities.

Especially this car has a running board that comes down and up when you need it. It is the most awesome thing and Sharon will take a picture of me lovin' on that running board. I told her I will never not notice, every time, how awesome it is to get into a truck with a running board.
I oh so love this tree, looking out to the bridge. AH, Kauai!
Sharon's son has a young child now and oh yes the décor is shall we say adjusted.
Reflections in the fish pond. I'll get my feet cleaned soon by the fish in the pond as I've done each year since they arrived on the scene.
Lydgate! Our absolute favorite walk.
Hello chicks and mom who is handsome enough but...

((Kaitlin and Lilly! Kauai is just full of wild chickens and this is the time for all the baby chicks too. What fun!))
...not so Splendid as dad, a Splendid Red Jungle Fowl!
Another view from the end of Lydgate Park looking onto the bridge I always admire from the house.

Rarely you can take boats from this, the Wailua River into the sea as you can today.
Our first lunch in Kauai at the Olympic Café and our always beverages - Sharon, the driver, enjoys an iced tea and I, the passenger, have a draft beer, usually Longboard or some other local offering.
Along the shore, fishing. What a cutie-pie!
Evening out my bedroom window.
April 3

Good morning! We have to go far out of our way to see the orb of the sun either rising or setting so the morning just gets brighter and the evening sky darkens. We're used to it.
Heading into the shore-side walk at the Grand Hyatt!
Ke Kahua o Kaneiolouma: "The Kâneiolouma Complex in Poʻipû, Kauaʻi, is an important part of the Hawaiian cultural renaissance. Until recently this site remained a complete mystery. Now the ancient village is being brought back to life."
Past this wall is what was once a fish pond.
A better view of the poles.
Golden Shower Tree! They were shining like this for what felt like a mile on the road between Poipu and Koloa Town.
We don't catch this every year so we're basking in the glory. There are other kinds of Shower trees too that we look forward to seeing.
Wow, a new place for us! La Spezia in quaint little Koloa Town. It was lovely and I believe we'll be back.
Doggin' down the river.
Kathy and Kenny hosted a most delightful soiree in the New House! There was a fire, years went by, and now here it is again, completely rebuilt and redecorated and ready for FUN!

That's Ruby, me, and Sharon testing the camera for a run-around picture...
...and here it is, a picture that will need to be recreated because we can't see the handsome faces of those boys in the back.

Kathy, Sharon, me, Pat, Ruby, Bob, Sharon, Kenny
A view from their balcony.
Sharon-Kathy-Sharon, a Kathy sandwich. They love to have this picture made!
April 4

We traverse all these roads many a time during a month in Kauai.

No pictures today! We did shopping, walked a little, cooked food, and read.

If I can just not get distracted by other books as I have continually these last few years, I WILL finish Proust before I leave. I can hardly believe how bright that light at the end of the tunnel is becoming.
April 5

It poured rain today and the wind blew like crazy but we did get out mid-day for a trip to the Marriott.

It's chick season and I can't stop watching them they are just that cute.
Hello Marriott...
...situated here in the tranquility of Kalapaki Bay.
A great spot for paddle boarding and anything else you want to do without waves.
Always here for the amusement of the passing tourists, and me.
Our upwards view enjoying yummy fish tacos at Duke's.

Sharon reminded me tonight that I need to take some pictures of the food because everyone wants pictures of food. Ok, I hope I remember!
April 6

Looking back from the bridge, I'm walking over to Smith's because we're going to take a boat ride up to Fern Grotto.
They operate out of the Wailua River State Park across the river from the house.
There she is, from the Smith's kayak launch area, The House.
A view of Sleeping Giant from the Wailua River. The inset I got off the internet taken from a different angle and it has our Giant's forehead and chin marked.
The gathering point in Fern Grotto.
It looks funky and touristic to the max, which it is, but it's actually fun too and worth the $18.
Bamboo catching some rays.
A Spider Lilly.
They were delightful and cold poor things. It was about 73 and breezy and you didn't hear a peep out of me.
It's a job and she did her part.
Sharon, enjoying the ride.

I was so looking forward to saimin at the Smith's restaurant but it was not to be since they are closed now for lunch. So I remembered The Noodle House in Kapapp. Let's go there! But it was not to be since they are closed now for vacation.

Oh No. Which brought to mind the Ono Family Restaurant and they had saimin so we went there. But it was Island saimin, not Japanese saimin. So I'm still hoping to get a good one!
Red Bird of Paradise shrubs...I think...

"The botanical name for Red Bird of Paradise is Caesalpinia pulcherrima, it is a species in the FABACEAE Family, more commonly known as the pea, bean or legume family. Red Bird of Paradise is also the National flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, which is why you may hear it called Pride of Barbados."
April 7

It rained mostly all day. It happens here on the Garden Isle. We drove out to Hanalei for lunch and shopping with Idaho Sharon.

This is Wai’oli Hui’ia Church in Hanalei with a long missionary history beginning in 1834 although this particular building wasn't finished until 1912.
Com'on kids, let's go!
April 8

It was a different color on the river this morning because the sun was sliding under the clouds to bright up Smith's...
...and lay some clouds down for a nice reflection.
From the garden, Fiona (or...Hi'iaka, the Hawaiian goddess of water!) takes it all in. She is becoming overtaken by the vegetation but I'm sure the landscape guys will be revealing her again.
Camas came over for dinner...
...and took us a selfie:

me, Camas, Sharon

April 9

Standing just outside the front portico you can look up and see three different kinds of palm trees, and handsome they are.
Me and the Escalade, lookin' good.
A part of the extension of Lydgate and the bike path that goes for miles.
We like this section that takes us to the old pineapple dump.
Our first dude! The birds have been in seriously short supply this year except for the chickens who have all settled in nicely.
Along the bike path - KAPU!
April 10

Camas turned us on to this new shave ice place that is the cat's meow for sure. Different and amazing. They call it Tege Tege Shave Ice Japanese Style.

That's the hand machine they use to make the fluffiest ice imaginable. You can choose one flavor among the ten or so choices - just one.

They grind some ice, add some flavor (fabulous, fresh, and not too sweet), grind more, more flavor, etc. for like a dozen times. It takes forever and hence...
...the lines are interminable. We got there 20 minutes early so were first in line and that was a good idea because it takes at least 5 minutes to make one and people further back in the line took much longer than 25 minutes to get their shave ice.
YUM! I got grapefruit. Would I get another flavor next time, just to try it out? Maybe, I don't know!
Then we went on to the Kilauea Lighthouse that we knew was closed for repairing the tourist paths and cliff supports but we wanted to have a look anyway.
This is a good view...
...and we still got to see plenty of soaring birds. We didn't get to see the albatross breeding grounds but here's an adult.
There's a small shopping spot near the lighthouse that we like to visit. One of the stores is particularly lovely and here is their display of 1,000 Cranes.
We had lunch in Hanalei at a table on the patio looking down at the chickens waiting for kids to throw French fries.

Those chicks blend in perfectly.
And here's dad all full of himself.
On the way back we stopped for a stroll through the taro fields...
...and for a very long time we enjoyed watching the nenes, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice. The two males always kept the two females between them. If someone stepped out of the pattern they would quickly realign themselves.
Oh look, a weir.
April 11

Handsome parrots, must by the Grand Hyatt.
Usually I take the picture from up there looking at the sea but this is the view from the lanai looking back.
We did a lot of kicking about today, driving around the Poipu area...
...just admiring the views.
April 12


I've fallen behind and now I don't remember. Sigh!

This is one of the rain chains here ending in its little pond of rocks.
It looks like this and I can buy them online, and I will, in case it ever rains again where I live.
The play structure at Lydgate Park and part of one of the world's great walks.
I told a story earlier about how I didn't get my saimin so as I was whining about this to Camas she said you have to go to this place, it's the best and it IS the best!
Hamura Saimin far off the beaten path in an industrial part of Lihui we find a lunch counter that serves almost nothing but deeelishious saimin.
April 13

On our way to Waimea Canyon we stopped off at the always entertaining Kauai Coffee Company for free coffee, absolutely fabulous cookies, and a self-guided stroll through the coffee making process.
Then we drove up up up for views of the canyon and waterfalls.
I think the waterfall was particularly full although the rivers running through the canyon bottom seemed empty of water.
Just beginning...in the French tradition. The Park people might be taking them off though as whenever the locks grow to cover the fence they get very heavy and threaten the integrity of the structure.
The waterfall from a different angle, and take a look at the path along the top of the wall leading to the top of the waterfall.
Here it is closer. Those are people and they like to hang over the edge to get a nice selfie.

The walk from where I took these pictures to the top is a little over 2 miles making it 4+ mile round trip - really not impossible at all but it's 'moderately strenuous' and if it's raining or has been raining, as is so often the case, you're going to be slogging through mud and slippery rocks.

Still, you can do it! Not me though.
The view into the Na Pali Coast. It was raining but we could see down to the sea anyway.
Then we had a really great overnight at the historic Waimea Plantation Cottages there on the dry west side. The aloha view from our back lanai.
We walked over to Wrangler's in Waimea town for a nice cocktail and a little dinner...
...and then back at the cottages for a dark and quiet evening.
April 14

Our front door at the Waimea Plantation Cottages, with a welcome carpet of plumeria.
I tried out my new snorkel mask with the corrective lenses that worked great But I did make a mistake. I talked to the people who make the lenses before ordering the mask online.

The guy asked if I was snorkeling or scuba diving. I said snorkel only so he said you only need a mask for distance. Scuba divers need to be able to see the instrumentation so if they normally wear bifocals they get a bifocal mask.

The mask works great for distance BUT...

...I can't see the controls on my new underwater camera! That's a picture underwater btw, just point and click and hope for the best. It was even hard to tell if the camera was on...so I'll have to figure out something on that front.
A Hanapepe landmark.
A newly opened café in Hanapepe with a bakery attached that's been around for a while. It was good.
April 15

I put one of these in at the beginning but here it is again for reference.
From the website of The Spa we enjoyed like crazy today.
And these pictures don't do the place justice because we don't see the wonderful work of the Flower Lady who has the place giving off the vibe of a Hawaiian/Balinese/Indian Oberoi paradise.
And the food! Oh my.
Hey dude, waiting for a snack?
April 16

Good morning on the river. Nice clouds...
...looking in another direction...
...and another.
It was threatening rain all day but at one point we decided let's make a run for it, so we headed down to Lydgate. I brought my little waterproof camera so I wouldn't have to fuss over the bug guy and I think it did a fine job, and it never rained.
There were tons of folks out for a clean-up project including a massive crowd here painting the play structure.
What a cutie.
April 17

You can see down in the lower left the notation for the Maha'ulepu Historic Trail. I walked on most of it last year but I never found the Makauwaki Cave nor did I find the Kawailoa beach where King Kamehameha first attempted his attack on Kauai.

So Camas took me!
It was a TON of fun. It's no wonder I didn't find the cave because I was looking toward the coast and it is a bit inland on private land owned by the Grove people who own, according to people who live here, more than half the island.

Those are taro fields and sheep.
They also have a huge collection of free-range tortoises but it was rainy and windy like crazy, I was using my new underwater camera and I messed up the pictures of the tortoises.

Better to mess them up on Kauai than mess them up in Ecuador!
The egrets were far closer together than usual and hunkered down against the wind.
The Cave!
These are all from Camas's phone.

Lower right: me emerging from the cave entrance. It was a photo-op because the gate was locked and we couldn't get in!

Lower left: me in front of a new design put up in honor of a guy's wife.

Upper left: Camas, lookin' cool.

Upper right: me and the sea
We all had dinner together and since I didn't take a picture I snagged this off their facebook. Camas and Curtis young and in love.
April 18

This was fun! I made then all cheer me because I finished Proust.

Pat, Kathy, Kenny, Sharon, Sharon, Bob, John, Ruby
They were mighty tasty, not as good as Mom's, but whose are?
April 19

Here we have the Westminster Dog Show Champion Plover, his black so rich and shiny, his white swoosh so crisp and delicate, his mahogany color all aglow.

What a beauty.
We ate at a newly opened restaurant, Lava Lava, right on the beach at a hotel complex behind Coconut Marketplace. It was tasty and fun and worth a return visit.
Opaekaa Falls just up the road from the house...
...and across the street the Wailua River with a boat from Smith's, kayakers, and a speedboat. It was busy on the river at this point.
Usually the babies look like momma but she's down to only three left and they all look different.
April 20

Another very good morning!
We went for a walk and then I had a little snorkel. Look! Fish!!

I've never had a brand new mask before and wow, what a difference. It's works! No water in my eyes!
That's another snorkeler in the background.
Yes, Fish!
We drove around the back-country to find these gorgeous gentlemen farms...
...and monstrous waterfalls.
Nice, yes!
Happy Hour! although isn't every hour happy hour here in Kauai.
April 21

It's always entertaining to find a mower and watch the egrets in slow pursuit.

We went for a new walk today in the Kilauea area to what was a water control system for a guava farm. It's called Stone Dam and...
...it's FAB!
Look at all this green.
I don't know what I was expecting, just a dam I think, not this beautiful place.
Swimmers can jump off the platform and enjoy the rope swing.
A nice resting spot with a panoramic view.
Then we went to Anini Beach. The chickens and roosters and chicks were out in full force.

The water was warm and clear and great for swimming but the drift was so strong without fins I couldn't make it out to the reef. I might have not been able to get far even with fins strong as the drift was. But it was beautiful and fun!
April 22

Welcome to Smith's Tropical Paradise and Family Luau.
Everyone gathered between 5 and 6pm for a tour around the gardens - you can take the tram and stroll as you like.
At 6pm they began with a welcoming ceremony...
...and the uncovering of the pig.

Then dinner. Dinner was good, I liked it! If you've ever been to a tourist luau, it's exactly like that but the buffet dishes were well prepared, fresh, tasty, a good variety but not so many options that they couldn't pay attention - it was surprisingly good.

Also they had a full open bar and you never had to wait in line. That's pretty amazing.
Moving from the dining hall to a small amphitheater down the way, the show began with Pele emerging from the volcano.

There were group dances and bits from the immigrant nations as well as the contributing Pacific Islanders.
Some pictures of the participants...

Oh please with the coconut bras. But there you have it, a tourist luau from back in the day.
The grand finale, fire twirling man. He was a comedian too. It was a rather modest family show, not so splendid as others perhaps, but all in good fun and I am happy we went.
April 23

Since I've finished Proust I can read other things without thinking, as I have been for the last three years all those times I entertained myself with something else, oh, I could be reading Proust.

So I read this, The Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin's abridged journal from his trip around the world during 1831-1836. Not the whole thing though, yikes, just the section on the Galapagos and it really was worth getting through all the long list of names of things to see how he was thinking before he ever thought of The Origin of the Species.
April 24 morning

I walked out to the Birthing Stone Heiau at the end of the road this morning and up the hill to the old Japanese Cemetery.
Some years I miss coming up here because as soon as the afternoon approaches the mosquitoes become the dominant life form.
Sharon bought our picture from the luau, cute as we are, but we forgot to bring our coconut bras. Oh well, next time.
This is funny. I turned around to notice I had everything I brought plugged in - computer, phone, big camera, underwater camera, watch/fitness tracker. I had to laugh.
April 24 evening

Camas and Curt came by for dinner...the dinner they Brought which was yumeeee. Thanks guys!

Camas usually takes the paddle boards out for us (too heavy/awkward for me to get in the river by myself) but it was Sunday and the speed boaters just wouldn't quit. When they're roaring up and down they make little tsunamis that are not so fun to paddle board through so next year we're going to have to find an evening during the week.
April 25

It's out last day and we're going to enjoy a tour of the Allerton, a part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Of course, chickens.
There's a long Kauai story with this place - the movie The Descendants will tell you all about it.
I've taken a lot of these statues from the back lately. It's a phase.
This fountain makes the water gurgle at the end, into what the guide called The Neptune Effect which slows your heart and makes you relax. It's very awesome and I want one.
Nestled in this system we find the home of the dinosaur eggs in the original Jurassic Park.
Our guide showed us many eatables out of the garden and we got to taste some too.
Breadfruit. A little hard and you fry it up with butter, and when ripe it's soft and gooey and super sweet and you eat it with a spoon for dessert.
Ah Kauai, so Aloha!
HomeUSA Aloha! • Hawaii • '16 Apr: Kauai

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