KAUAI (part 2 of Hawaii trip)
Alright...here's round 2!! Highlights: Kipu Falls!! Actually that whole day. see #6 at the end for a better description. Low point: Going home, i guess. Also, the pics of this trip didn't end up being uploaded in the right order. grrr... oh well.
The search for quality shave ice quickly became an integral part of our trip. At first mom and i were very skeptical of the importance of shave ice and the difference between shave ice and a snow cone, but i assure you there is one. and this place was the best on the island. it's so finely shaved it's like eating snow. One day dad is going to open up 'Lopaka's Hawaiian Shave Ice'. Lopaka is Robert in Hawaiian. Peki is Betsy, so that was her name the whole trip. If you are interested in finding your Hawaiian name, here is the link:
The beginning of our hike along the Napali Coast on the Kalalau trail.
Our treacherous stream crossing.
This was our destination...the so called Hanakapi'ai 'beach', which as you can see was NOT a beach. So i was therefore a little disappointed since the trail was really really muddy etc to get here, and i was sooo looking forward to a nice beach...
more taro plants. taro is a staple of the hawaiian desert. it's their sweet potato.
HUGE snail that lives in the taro plants.
a rain cell on the horizon
what was supposedly the best shave ice on the island, but actually was NOT. their blad was too dull, so their shave ice was too chunky, and they didn't give enough syrup.
...but they had good flavors. the li-hing-mui is an island fav...it's basically plum, and it's sweet, sour, and salty all at once!
this is Waimeo canyon. It's referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific...thanks to Mark Twain. It was really cool.
ok, so these surfers are awesome. it's these big huge long boards that they always stand on and use this $350 paddle to get out there and help them catch waves. Imagine surfing with no lying on your stomach paddling out there!!
ok so this is the Marriott in Lihue, which is by far the coolest hotel i have ever visited. we went there for dinner one night, and checked out of our condo the next day to switch into here coz it was so cool. also, there was construction being done on our condo which was not ideal for our tranquil vacation. this marriott has the biggest pool in the state!! and 5 hot tubs!! under each of those little balcony thingies is a hot tub. so if you don't want to share your hot tub you have to swim through the relatively cold pool to get there. but it's worth it. you can also see some fountains spouting into the pool which were really fun to get under...free back massage!! here's the link if you want to stay here... http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lihhi-kauai-marriott-resort-and-beach-club/
and there was a bridge to the center part of the pool. cool.
this was a memorial to all the sugar cane workers on the island in the order that they came. first is the hawaiian, then the puerto rican, then the chinese, korean and japanese...and then...
the portugese!! this is where my family history comes in. My dad's maternal great-grandfather came over to Hawaii from the Azores in 1887. My grandmother was then born on the Ewa sugar cane planation on Oahu. You can actually see it when you fly in. She was raised there for a while, which is why the Hawaiian culture is so important to her and my dad. And then the Filipinos came.
Dad back at the best shave ice in the world having his fav combo...Root Beer and Lilikoi (Passion Fruit)
Dad's SWEET pic of one of those paddle board surfers at sunset
koi feeding time at the marriott. in another part of the hotel they had a huge koi pond with a bridge and everything. they also had hammocks and tiki torches and sand all over the place. it was awesome.
take a minute to read this. it's pretty funny. you think i'd make a good weather person??
our fav table in the restaurant at the marriott. we played EXTREME UNO every single lunch of the trip just about. i'm the champion.
The spouting horn. OK, this thing was awesome. it sometimes spouts like 50 feet in the air, but there's only so long you can watch a blow hole waiting for the perfect pic. you can kinda see off to the left where there's a big hole in the rock...it used to be another blow hole that spouted like 70ft in the air, but this mean old sugar cane farmer blasted it with dynamite because the spray was hurting his crops. boo. the horn is a dual chamber blow hole with one hole spouting water and the other making a hella freaky loud noise that the ancient Hawaiians thought was a dragon, or someone cursing you or something. we went down there to put our faces in front of the hole, and it was dusk, and the sound was SO loud and SO powerful, that mom and i were actually really scared, and were clinging to dad for safety, and crawling away. we can't remember being so deeply chilled by something, but it was just fundamentally scary. maybe it had something to do with being near the open ocean at dusk...i mean, we were in no danger of even getting sprayed by the horn due to the location, but still...there could always be that sneaker wave...Go here if you want to see some random person's video of the horn and hear the SCARY roar. imagine it dark and it's like 5000 times louder and blowing really strong on your face: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyfPS69nguc
from our balcony...
posted on a lifeguard tower...read it! This is at the beach where Phil's house is.
I know it's blury, but this shows a HUGE spider on phil's balcony. and this was taken from the ground, and that's on the 2nd level. it really freaked me out.
And here's Phil's house!!
This is more Napali coast scenery. this is where Jurassic Park, King Kong and South Pacific were all filmed. sweet.
this is Bali Hai (south pacific movie)
part of the kalalau trail. on the way down we saw a man that had BADLY broken his ankle. we're talking right angle. he had to be helivaced
Lopaka and Peki
Oh, this is the construction on our condo which gave us reason to get our money back. imagine waking up and these guys peering in at you!!
those bring blue and yellow little fishies are the ones that eat stuff off the other fish and clean them.
this doesn't look as cool as it was, but that bright fish is a Parrot fish and seriously it was HUGE. it was like 3 feet long.
there are chickens and roosters ALL OVER the islands. wild. everywhere. and i think they like yellow stangs.
off in the distance you can see Niihau. on this trip i saw all the hawaiian islands. this one is actually off limits because it's privately owned by the Robinson family, but has the largest group of native hawaiians...
you can read about it here...
napali coast viewed from the other direction. basically, there is a road that goes all the way around kauai, but there is an 11 mile strech where no road could be built. we started walking from the other direction, but this is the viewpoint at the top of waimea canyon looking at it from the opposite way.
that mt there is the wettest spot on earth!!
this is the nene bird which is super rare in hawaii. it was a lucky thing to see it.
the canyon was built by years of lava flows piling on top of each other. you can see the geological formations here.
an old sugar cane factory
a swinging footbridge...
view to the left...
view to the right...
horseback rider. jealous.
our sick hotel at night.
and in the day.
Kipu Falls!!! 20 ft waterfall where all 3 of us jumped off. above the cliffs on the other side you can see the top of the ladder you climb up to get back up. but to get back to this side of the falls you have to wade across the stream, and i started getting swept over the falls, and had to cling to a rock to stop myself!! it probably wouldn't have been great to go over. and the current is pretty strong to swim against when you jump off this side of the falls and have to swim to that ladder. a cool thing about this spot is that Dad was here with his high school buddy Vern back in '66, so it was a trip down memory lane for him!!
me perched and ready to jump.
i know this is blurry. my bad...i was treading water when i took it. but his is the whole falls.
the SWEET rope swing i launched myself off. some guys were going huge off of it...at least 30 ft above the water, and then doing somersaults and stuff. This is the spot in the Indian Jones movie where he comes crashing through the brush and swings on a vine or something.
this is a creepy underwater snakey thing that i guess was an eel that slithered along the ocean floor as we snorkeled.
there it goes...
So one of the highlights of my trip was that i saw the most incredible whale breach of all time. as in the ENTIRE whale was out of the water all at once, and i could super clearly see the tail and everything. since it was a surprise viewing while i was eating breakfast looking out our condo windo i couldn't capture it on my camera...but i found another whale for you to see!! i know, i'm mean. i'm sorry.
my brilliant photography. one of our last sunsets.
i think i get an award for this one. the mom and her kid were just so irresistable...it's a gorgeous, completely non posed pic.
bye bye sun
And, that's the end. :(
Oh, and we flew over pearl harbor in Honolulu. you could also see the USS Arizona memorial. you can walk out over the ship and look right down onto it. apparently there are still like 800 men trapped down there in the ship and it still leaks oil.
A couple of other little tid bits i'd like to share:
1. When we were at that supposed 'beach' we saw a woman and her husband and their 8 month old baby and they were backpacking for a few nights out there!! i just think that's sooo cool, and i really wanna be her when i grow up. it doesn't get much more badass than taking your kid backpacking when they're that young! we also saw a bunch of old ppl out on strenuous treks, and i really wanna be like them when i'm really old.
2.if you ever go to kauai, you must eat at Hamura's Saimin. it's this amazing noodle place and it's a total local spot. you wait for a seat at this long counter that snakes around the room and you sit face to face with total strangers, and you order what size you want and get this awesome lunch for cheap.
3. if you stay at the Kauai Marriott, don't be fooled when they tell you that your room is on the 20th floor. You feel special, but you're not because they start counting at 16. CHEATING!!!
4. When you see an activity outfitter advertising 'Snuba', that is not a spelling error like i may or may not have initially thought it was. it's like basically shallow water scuba diving where they float the air tanks on top of the water, and you're on the end of this long air tube. real scuba diving is way cooler. snuba is not hardcore although i admit it looks like fun. (it's a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving...)
5. for all you journey fans out there, a highlight of the trip was that since we could not agree on any music on the radio and the only cd's we had were hawaiian slack key guitar cd's which dad loves but mom and i are SICK of, we bought a journey cd which we finally agreed on and listened to it on repeat, rocking out to 'don't stop believing' and 'lights'
6. the all time best day of the trip started out with Kipu Falls and went from there. after the falls we went snorkeling then i went for an hour long run, and when i came back i was so hot that i kicked off my running shoes and as soon as i was knee deep in ocean water i literally collapsed and then swam out a little and closed my eyes and just floated on the ocean. in my running clothes. it was amazing. seriously it was as close to heaven as is possible. you should definitely try floating on the ocean with your eyes closed not hearing anything except waves, and if you're lucky whales talking to each other under water (yes! you can hear them!!). then we sat with a bottle of red wine and watched sunset. the only thing that might have improved this would have been if some of you guys were with me and it was rum and coke. i know you incans feel me on that one. then we went to dinner and for dessert we had this incredible molten chocolate dessert that was to die for. and i had a chocolate martini: godiva chocolate liqueur, stolchinaya vanilla vodka and macadamia nut liqueur to top it off. i love being 21..finally!!! does it get any better??
7. dad said 'Outstanding!' more on this trip than i've ever heard him say.
8. All in all this trip was amazing. i have to admit, i was pretty bummed by the fact that i was missing out of 11 ft of powder in tahoe but in the end it was way more than worth it. and a lot of it had to do with the fact that i was spending quality time with Lopaka and Peki before I head off to spain, and won't see them for like 6 months!!
Ok, that's all. If you're still reading, thanks! See some of you soon! And check out the videos too.