Sitting at SFO waiting for our connecting flight to Reno. Will arrive around midnight and one more hour of driving and we’ll be home.
It’s our last night here and we are off to the neighbors’ for a potluck dinner. I swear I’ve gained five pounds since I’ve been here. Mom thinks it’s her job to feed us constantly and though I try to keep it under control, it’s well nigh to impossible.
So, I won’t be back to moderate posts for awhile. I’ll be up in the morning and then on an afternoon flight back to (sigh) Nevada in the afternoon, landing in Reno around midnight.
See you all later.
ETA at 9:21 pm Hawaiian Time (12:21 am PDT) – Dinner was marvelous. Wonderful mixture of people and we had a great time. I am going to miss this place so much. It’s my home, no two ways about it.
I must say that I quickly got back into the island spirit and my feet haven’t seen shoes since last Friday, but they probably will today since sweetie and I are planning a hike up to Jackass Ginger. Then again, the trail is pretty easy, and when I have to cross streams, I may want to be able to do it barefoot. I must remember to spray down with mosquito repellant. I’ve got at least a dozen bites on my legs right now. Like all critters, mosquitos love me.
We checked out at 10 am, and headed back into Lihue, making some shopping stops along the way. Mom got a shell hanging thingie for her lanai, we got all kinds of goodies at the Red Dirt Shirt stoah. We got the Kamaaina discount since Mom and George live in Hawaii. We told the cashier that we were Castle grads and she told us she graduated from Farrington. She said, “Castle is da bomb. They had all the cute guys.”
Lunch was at a little Mexican restaurant, where this young man seemed to be running the place. He bussed, served chips, water, and seated guests.
We finally made it to the Kaua’i Museum. One of the things I learned there, and felt silly that I had not learned it earlier, instead buying into the local lore that Menehune were some sort of fairies, was that the Menehune were a real people and responsible for the construction of most, if not all, of the ancient irrigation systems on Kaua’i.
I picked up a book originally published in 1897 and written by Hawai’i's last monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. I have always been fascinated with her, and the book is very interesting.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the U.S. has never invaded a sovereign nation before. We did it in Hawaii.
We headed for the airport and landed on O’ahu around 6ish. I headed for bed early.
Wednesday…the search for salt water
Yay, finally sweetie and I were on our own! We jumped in the car, made a quick stop for water, soda and some snacks and headed for Mokapu’u, but sweetie got one look at the break of the waves and said, “Nah.” So I suggested we head for Lanikai in Kailua. No waves for body surfing but there was some sand for lying in, and ocean for swimming in. The beach has pretty much eroded away, so most people were either on the grass or just past it. Still, it was lovely and we spent about two hours there. We had guest pigeons mooching Cheezits from us, and nestling into the sand and waiting patiently in between throws as though they were our guardians.
On to the Pali Lookout, always a favorite of tourists. It was at the Pali Lookout that Kamehameha I won the decisive battle that finally united the islands under one monarch. Today, the it is just known as the windiest spot on the island and provides a spectacular view of the windward side of the island, specifically Kaneohe, where sweetie and I went to high school.
On the drive up we waxed nostalgic about hiking to Jackass Ginger and perhaps hit some other trails while we are here, so we headed over to Ala Moana Center for som’grinds (food) and to find a book of hiking trails. Mission accomplished on both counts and I stopped at the Aveda store for some moisturizer too.
By then we were pooped and sweetie, who is not as familiar with the streets as I am, finally relinquished the steering wheel to me (whee!) and we headed back to home base.
I leave you with a picture taken of sweetie and me at the Waimea Canyon on Kaua’i…Day One.
Note: my legs are tanning up nicely since this pic was taken. And, I haven’t been in those shoes since I pulled them off at the time-share.
[+/-] Moa talk story/Aloha
It’s our last day on Kaua’i. We have to check out at 10am and our flight doesn’t leave until nearly 5pm, so we’ve got a couple more things on our “to do” list before we leave. One is to buy Red Dirt t-shirts. For those of you who’ve never been here, the volcanic rock turns into red soil that stains Everything. Once it’s on your clothes or shoes, it is Never Coming Out. Bleach will hold no sway, and you must carry your red badge of courage forever. So…when given lemons, they say, make lemonade, and a fellow here has done just that!
We also plan to stop at the Kaua’i Museum. More later on that. I like the scenery, but I find the history of the islands fascinating.
On Sunday, sweetie and I spent the day together sightseeing and hitting the beach. Mom and George stayed behind to watch the Indy 500. Sweetie and I gazed a bit on the Kilauea Point Lighthouse, found a beach just outside of Kapaa and I finally got some salt water on my skin! Then we headed to Wailua to ride up the Wailua River to see the Fern Grotto. When we got up there, much had changed… Up until 2006, visitors used to be able to go right into the Fern Grotto, but as our guide explained, that year Kauai saw 42 days of straight rain which saturated the ground. This caused mud slides and boulders to fall, and rocks falling continued to be a problem. So, in the interest of safety, no foot traffic was allowed into the grotto any more and a landing was built for visitors to view the grotto. In addition, Hurricane Iniki pretty much wiped out the long fern fronds and though they are growing back, they have a long time to go before reaching their original splendor. Still the trip up and down the river was worth it, with our Smith’s Tours hosts providing true local entertainment on the way up and “dey wen talk story” on the way back.
Another word on the chickens…
Our guide was asked where all the chickens came from. He told us that the Tahitians brought their own chickens, but the ones you see all over the island came from their Filipino brothers who arrived about a hundred years ago. They all had cock fighting chickens and kept them in their yards. However, since cock fighting is now illegal, when a fight was broken up, folks would just drop their chickens and run away. In addition, storms, broken coops, etc, led to the chickens running loose, and since there are no natural predators on the island, they’ve exploded in population. He said, “Dey gon have to do som’ting pretty soon.”
Mom and George had to endure a 2+ hour time share presentation, but after that we went to lunch in Kapaa, did some shopping and then came back to laze away the rest of the afternoon. Off to bed early, and here it is, time to head back to O’ahu.
And it’s my birthday…could I possibly get spoiled any more? I am in the land where my skin doesn’t crack, the temperature floats between 77 and 83 degrees F (sorry DB!), and I can indulge myself in all sorts of local cuisine.
Aloha everyone. For your viewing pleasure…a lovely hula while heading up the Wailua River.
Well, almost. We arrived on O’ahu on Friday around noon, grabbed a quick lunch at Eagles (I had a Mahimahi sandwich complete with tossed salad and the standard Hawaiian salad dressing…kind of a French dressing but not quite). It was overcast and a bit foggy, so there was no chance of popping off to the beach that afternoon, so we headed to my MIL’s home up in Pacific Heights. We got a tour of their new home and admired the view. The house is located so that it looks down on the back end of Pauoa Valley (where I went to elementary school), and we can see the back side of Punchbowl crater, where the National Cemetery of the Pacific is located. Sadly, Hawaii has not been having as much rain lately and Punchbowl has large patches of brown instead of being the emerald green jewel it usually is.
Our Kauai adventure on the flip side.
Early Saturday morning we hopped on a plane to Kauai, and that’s where we are now. We spent most of the day tooling around. Our flight arrived in Lihue at a little after 7am, and when picking up our rental car I asked the gate attendant where was the best place to go for breakfast – local place – I was looking for Portuguese sausage and eggs with RICE. Num! He directed us to Dani’s over on, yes, Rice Street. Heaven!
Since we couldn’t check in to our accommodations until 4pm (!) we took a side trip in the other direction to see the Spouting Horn and then headed up to see Waimea Canyon. Gotta say, my MIL’s husband is a former taxi driver and quite frankly, insane, so the winding road up to Waimea State Park left me ready to toss my breakfast and my weak plea from the back seat was that my Sweetie take us back down and could I please move to the front?
Still and all, the drive was worth it. Waimea Canyon is beautiful. Period.
A word about the chickens…
When picking up our rental car in Lihue, we noted a lone rooster wandering through the parking lot. “How uniquely Hawaiian!” we all laughed. At the Spouting Horn, we saw more chickens: Roosters! Hens! and chicks! Cameras snapping away! In fact, nearly every where we went, chickens, chickens and more chickens! Including, our time share in Princeville. Yes dear reader, I returned to my Kahaluu roots this morning waking to the sound of a rooster concerto, distant at first and then, finally our own building rooster just below our window made it clear that the time to rise had come!
On a serious note…
While composing this post the 7:00 hour came with the playing of taps and a Hawaiian chant to honor those Americans who have given their lives in service to our country.
I wish I was on O’ahu this weekend. When I was a schoolgirl in Hawaii, we had a tradition that all the school children would make leis to lay on all the graves of the military buried in Punchbowl. It was a wonderful tradition and I remember going to neighbors’ homes to pluck plumeria blossoms from the trees in their yard, stringing my leis and taking them to school the next day. I hope this tradition has been carried on.
More for you all later.
All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…
Sweetie and I are off to Hawaii in the morning. I’ll be taking the ancient laptop and still blogging while I’m gone, but I’ll prolly be posting on what’s happening over in the land of my youth rather than politics, but hey…who knows?
I am so looking forward to this time out. I’ve got books to read, sights to see…beaches to lay on and ocean to body surf.
I am also thinking of swithching this blog to another service. Any recommendations? Typepad? WordPress?