A Travellerspoint blog

Kaua'i 2024 Day 7: Lost in Time

semi-overcast 85 °F

One thing that had been advertised as part of Koloa Plantation Days was a tour of the Kaneiolouma complex, which included a royal observatory, a temple, and a number of houses, fish ponds, and athletic fields. We went to the site (which is near where we are staying) at 9:00 AM, and waited for a while. Apparently there had been some kind of mix-up. After a while a person arrived who knew some things about the complex and could talk a bit about the history. However, it seemed as though he hadn't really prepared his remarks and he just sort of talked for a bit about a variety of topics. Despite all this it was a fascinating opportunity to see the complex. It's interesting to think about how the landscape has changed over the years and how the uses of the land have changed, especially moving away from subsistence fishing and farming. Unfortunately it isn't currently possible to walk around at the actual site, but it seems that the long-term plan involves restoring more of it.
We went to Koloa town for a late breakfast after the talk.
We went to Java Kai, where we got a delicious breakfast burrito which included Portuguese sausage. The location was very pleasant and we had a great brunch there.
When you attempt to introduce ambiguity as a joke, and it works all too well (this is a shave ice place).
In one souvenir shop we bought Croc pins for the kids. Aubrey and Dalton already had a lot of them, but this was Austin's first Croc pin.
We walked to Shipwreck Beach afterwards to look out at the view. It was a beautiful afternoon and a wonderful walk.
Some family pictures at Shipwreck Beach.
Some bananas growing at the house where we are staying.
We went to Poipu Beach afterwards with the kids. Aubrey started to feel sick so Hilary took her back to the house. We stayed at the beach and helped Ed supervise Austin and Dalton. They had a lot of fun getting knocked around by the waves, "bodysurfing" and "boogie boarding." On our way back we picked some plumeria flowers, including one for Aubrey in hopes that it would help her to feel better.
When we got back home Aubrey was feeling better, and Kate was almost done making spaghetti for our dinner. It was a great dinner and we had a very good day!

Posted by danielcatherine 06:42 Archived in USA Tagged beach temple waves family coffee observatory poipu burrito kaneiolouma ambiguity Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2024 Day 6: A Short Walk on a Short Pier

semi-overcast 85 °F

Today was a more relaxing day: we didn't have any scheduled events, and so we slept in a little. Kate made some blueberry pancakes which Daniel enjoyed (Catherine doesn't usually want a breakfast so she skipped the pancakes). We then set off to drive to Hanalei Bay, which is on the other side of the island. We have done that every year, and we always find it to be a fun tour around the island. We stopped at Sueoka's to get a lunch of Spam musubi, but we were interested in the Swedish name on this product, given that we live in the Swedish Village of Kingsburg, California. Looking it up, we found that it was actually primarily of German origin. It was a pretty good variant on the typical musubi flavor.
We stopped at a lookout north of Kapa'a to have our lunch. The Goteborg musubi were very good, and it was a beautiful place to stop and eat. We sat in the back of the Jeep looking out over the ocean.
We then stopped for shave ice in Princeville at Sunrise Shave Ice. We got one of the "natural fruit" shave ices, which had coconut milk and coconut flakes. It was delicious.
Some views as we approached Hanalei from Princeville.
A cardinal at Hanalei pier.
Hanalei Pier was full of people playing music and jumping in the water. We walked to the end of the pier (a short walk on a short pier) and looked out. After seeing the pier we found a less crowded part of the beach to swim from. It was a very nice area and we spent some time swimming and floating in that area. It is a beautiful sandy beach without rocks, and while the waves could get slightly big sometimes they were mostly gentle swells rather than crashing waves. After swimming, we decided to head back to Poipu.
We went to dinner at The Cabana Bar and Grill, which was nice. It had beautiful views, especially of the sunset, and good food. It was located at a club that seemed to have swimming, tennis, and pickle ball. We had a wonderful evening!

Posted by danielcatherine 09:57 Archived in USA Tagged hanalei princeville cabana göteborg shave_ice musubi sueoka's Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2024 Day 5: Early People on the Beach

semi-overcast 84 °F

Today we got up early to do an outrigger canoe ride with Kauai Beach Boys. It was an amazing experience. Ed joined us, and we had a guide who taught us how to operate the canoe and guided us as we caught waves. It was fun to be out on the bay in the boat rowing, and catching a wave to come to shore was amazing. It reminded Daniel of the time that his family had stayed in Hawaii many years ago, and Hilary had looked out the window to announce that there were "early people" on the beach. Kate had assumed there were people doing a historical re-enactment, but in fact Hilary only meant that the people were up early. Today, we were the early people on the beach.
We had lunch as a whole family at Duke's Barefoot Bar. It was good, and we tried the Hula Pie with a twist (the twist being ube ice cream rather than macadamia nut ice cream.
A view of the stream from the bridge as we left Kalapaki Beach.
We went to mass at St. Raphael's in Koloa, and then we went to La Spezia, which has been rated as the best Italian restaurant on Kaua'i. It was a wonderful dinner and a great place to go for a "date night" during our trip.

Posted by danielcatherine 22:08 Archived in USA Tagged church italian outrigger canoe la_spezia ube duke's st._raphael's Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2024 Day 4: No Chicken on Our Pizza, Please!

semi-overcast 83 °F

Austin trying on Daniel's hat. In fact the hat once belonged to Daniel's grandpa, Tom. We got ready to go to miniature golf at Anaina Hou Community Park. We took the three kids there for a birthday excursion last year, but this year the whole family was going to go together.
The park is also a botanical garden, which makes it a beautiful location.
Dalton got a hole in one! Later on Daniel and Dalton both got the same hole in two shots.
All of us after golfing. Kate came in first, Aubrey came in second, and Daniel and Catherine tied for third (in our group). In the other group, Ed came in first, Hilary came in second, and Austin came in third (with an "incalculable" score, according to Hilary.)

After golfing, we had delicious pizza from Silver Cloud Eatery. It was some of the most delicious pizza we've ever had. It had homemade fennel sausage and white pineapple from the Kaua'i Sugarloaf Pineapple Farm. Even the chickens tried to get the pizza, but we were able to fend the chicken off and defend the pizza. Later on we said that "we don't like chicken on pizza"!

When we got back to the house, we got the chance to see Aubrey do her imitation of her grandma, Kate. (mini Grandma) She used Kate's hat and backpack, and held her Diet Coke bottle with a paper towel like Kate does. It was a very funny and perceptive imitation.
Afterwards we went to the Hanapepe Art Night. Aubrey had been looking forward to this all year after greatly enjoying the event last year. This year Kate and Ed brought Aubrey and Dalton to the event (Austin stayed at the house with Hilary) and we visited various galleries, food stands, and bakeries. It was a wonderful evening and a great event.

Posted by danielcatherine 22:07 Archived in USA Tagged art golf garden hat pizza tom aubrey hanapepe Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2024 Day 3: War Games

semi-overcast 85 °F

Today we got up early for a snorkeling/ Na Pali Coast sailing tour with Captain Andy's. We drove to Port Allen to get on the boat and waited for a while at the office while they did a safety briefing and divided us into groups for the different boats. Our boat was the Northern Star.
There was a nice continental breakfast on the boat, featuring a coconut/ pineapple muffin and some fruit.
Us on the boat.
Some views of the south side of Kaua'i, including the last sugar mill that was operational on the island, which closed in 2009. All along as we traveled we could see some warships in the distance. The captain said that a few allied countries do war games in the area, and that it has happened that a warship has requested that the tours pause for a bit. Thankfully we had no issues and proceeded as normal.
There were some areas on the bow that looked like trampolines, but the captain strongly advised against using them that way. Instead, we were instructed to sit on them and to take turns. We sat on them for a while and then found another place to stand on the bow.
Some more views of the coast.
As we traveled up the coast we encountered a pod of spinner dolphins. They were "sleeping," meaning that half their brains were sleeping while they played. The captain said that they would be even more active and playful if they were "awake." Catherine loves dolphins, and it was amazing to see them swimming with the boat and playing in the water right in front of us.
Some views of the famously difficult-to-access Na Pali coast. The rugged western short of Kaua'i is inaccessible by road, but was one of the more populous areas of Hawaii in ancient times. In fact, the captain said that it is thought that the first people to arrive in Hawaii from the Marquesas Islands may have settled on this coast.
As we went north we encountered another pod of spinner dolphins.
More views of the Na Pali coast.
Some of the warships doing the war games around the island.
Us in the bow of the boat.
We spent some time with the sails raised, sailing down the coast on our way to the snorkel spot. Snorkeling was fun: we saw some fish and had a nice time swimming near the boat. One of the crew members acted as lifeguard, sitting on a surf board near the snorkeling area and making sure people were okay. After that we had a lunch and headed back to Port Allen.
We walked to Kalapaki Joe's with Daniel's family for a nice dinner. There was live music, and on this particular night it was all Hawaiian music. Aubrey requested a Taylor Swift song but they were unable to do one: they did "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for her though.
We went home by way of the beach, which was a fun walk. We had a wonderful day: the Na Pali Coast tour was a highlight of our trip and we would highly recommend it.

Posted by danielcatherine 09:40 Archived in USA Tagged fish coast dolphins hawaii snorkel poipu port_allen kalapaki_joe's na_pali Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2024 Day 2: Board Meetings

all seasons in one day

Dalton received the "Always There Bear" from the Tooth Fairy. Hilary was glad to learn that she would not have to care for the bear, given the kids' recent discovery of Tamagotchi virtual pets.
Hibiscus flowers outside the house.
Catherine and the Jeep.
We went to Old Koloa Town. This moth, seemingly a Black Witch moth, is the same type as the moth we saw at the house last night. They are very large and somewhat bat-shaped.
We had a great time shopping at some of the local stores. Pineapples Boutique was especially fun. Daniel got a Hawaiian shirt and Catherine got a dress that was designed by one of the women at the shop. Catherine also got some jewelry. Aubrey got some jewelry at another store. Afterwards we got lunch at Koloa Pizza Kitchen, which was delicious. It was nice that we were all able to go together, and the pizza was extremely good. Afterwards we went to get ice cream and Dole whip. We ran in to some people from Ireland. Ed was wearing a t-shirt that said Ireland, and this started the conversation. We talked a little bit about Gaelic football.
After lunch we went to Poipu Beach. Dalton wanted to boogie board, so we did a lot of boogie boarding. Dalton was very good at it and liked it. Daniel tried to do some, but wasn't as good as Dalton. The other kids were not as interested in boogie boarding, and so Austin built a sand castle with Daniel. We then moved to a nearby beach which had more gentle waves and both Austin and Dalton were able to play in the water. Aubrey was less excited about playing in the water and preferred to stay on land.
Bananas growing in the back yard of the house.
Aubrey and Dalton trying some purple taro rolls. Aubrey has long had an interest in "pink and purple rolls" (basically just Portuguese sweet bread with taro or guava flavoring).
Pudge the Cat! We talked to a lady who has been taking care of her (and calling her Oreo) for the past five years. It was good to hear that she is cared for. The kids started calling her Panda because they have a black-and-white cat named Panda. The lady told us that some kids call the cat Moo, because of her cow-like coat.
We decided to get dinner at Bangkok Happy Bowl. We've gone there before and the food has been good. We happened to arrive right when the live music was starting. It was mostly Hawaiian music, and sometimes accompanied by a hula dancer. It was an unexpected plan but it ended up being a beautiful evening.
After dinner we stopped by a store, Whaler's General Store, and got a few snacks. Catherine found some li hing mui flavored Sour Patch Kids, which was a combination of her favorite flavors.

Posted by danielcatherine 06:44 Archived in USA Tagged shopping cat moth pizza fairy tooth thai_food koloa tooth_fairy pudge sour_patch old_koloa_town tamagotchi care_bear Comments (1)

Kaua'i 2024 Day 1: Turtles and Teeth

Featuring a Special Appearance from Pudge the Cat!

overcast 77 °F

We had an early flight to Lihue. Here is a picture of all of us on the plane.
As we approached Kaua'i we were able to see the other islands from the plane. It was an amazing view!
We stopped at Sueoka's Market in Koloa and got spam musubi and Maui onion chips for lunch.
All of us in front of the house! It's the same place we've stayed before, but its has been renovated recently and looks amazing.
Daniel's parents and Hilary took the kids to the beach, where they saw a sea turtle coming out of the water. Turtles are a frequent sight on this beach, but it's always amazing to see one enter or leave the ocean.
Dalton lost a tooth! He had also lost a tooth last year in Hawaii, and had thus proven that the Tooth Fairy's sphere of influence extends as far as the Pacific. He was very excited to see what the fairy would bring!
Catherine and Austin (with our red jeep in the background).
We went to dinner with Hilary at Brennecke's Beach Broiler. It has beautiful views, good tropical drinks, and good food. We had a great time.
On our way home, we encountered this little black-and-white cat. It's the same cat that we saw last year and named "Pudge" (despite it not being especially pudgy) after the fish who controls the weather in Lilo and Stitch. We are so happy to be back at the Ohana House and to see Pudge again!

Posted by danielcatherine 21:16 Archived in USA Tagged turtles islands beach cat plane hawaii fairy kauai teeth kaua'i pudge Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2023 Day 9: A Purrfect Homecoming

sunny 82 °F

Our flight was delayed about an hour and a half, so we had a drink at the airport tiki bar. Unfortunately you can no longer buy pineapples at the Lihue airport, and we hadn't bought any before, so we weren't able to bring home pineapples.

The plane ride was fairly pleasant. Daniel read a book he had bought in Mammoth during the flight, and because we had free texting we texted with Aubrey who had a lot of interesting questions and ideas throughout the flight.

We landed in San Jose and took the same shuttle we had taken to the airport back to Daniel's parents' house. Hilary ordered food from Local Kitchens, which allowed us to get different kinds of food all of which was delicious. We had a late dinner and then we headed back to Kingsburg.

It was a long day of travel, but worth it to be home and reunited with Flora and Aspen!

Posted by danielcatherine 02:25 Archived in USA Tagged aspen flora san_jose aubrey local_kitchens Comments (1)

Kaua'i 2023 Day 8: Rum Sunset

sunny 83 °F

We grabbed a quick breakfast at Sueoka's before going to Koloa Rum tasting and Gaylord's restaurant.

The restaurant is beautiful, and feels very pleasant with a nice breeze.

The food was very good. Daniel got pasta, Catherine got fish and chips. We split a dessert of sweet bread and taro bread pudding, which was delicious. Overall the restaurant was a great experience. It is in the former plantation house, which reminded us a little bit of a tropical version of Kincraig Castle.

Family Tree Farms blueberries, from Kingsburg or Reedley.

In the tasting room they had us make a mai tai, as well as taste a number of their varieties of rum. Catherine loves their rum punch, which we learned some secrets about how to make, and we bought a couple of bottles as well as some souvenirs. The rum tasting is really a fun and interesting experience.

Aubrey attempting to play Daniel's ukulele, and looking like a ukulele prodigy.

We went to Poipu Beach for a beautiful sunset, much like we did four years ago. Dalton and Austin were playing in the water, and we ran into Catherine's family as we were about to leave. It was a beautiful sunset and a wonderful evening!

After the sunset Daniel, Catherine, and Hilary went to return some "lookie boards" (boogie boards with viewing portals) that they had rented for a quasi-snorkeling experience for the kids. We then went back to the house, then walked to Brennecke's for dinner and a couple drinks. On our way home we encountered Pudge/ Sweetie Cat, who followed us back to the house and then got cozy on the cushioned chairs outside the house. We hope that he has a nice life there by the house, and that the people who see him are always nice to him.

Posted by danielcatherine 02:13 Archived in USA Tagged sunset cat rum poipu ukulele pudge sweetie_cat gaylord's koloa_rum Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2023 Day 7: Wonton Revelry

all seasons in one day 85 °F

This morning we took Aubrey, Dalton, and Austin on a birthday extravaganzo (the spelling is explained here, in our post about Aubrey's previous Kaua'i extravaganzo). This was Austin's first time going on an extravaganzo, and so it was a very special day. We took them to Anaina Hou Community Park, where there's miniature golf. It is a beautiful location with botanical gardens that you play miniature golf through. There are also plaques that outline the botany, history, and culture of the Hawaiian islands and people, which Aubrey would read.

We played several holes, and Daniel even got a hole in one! Austin yelled "I win" on the first hole, and in fact it cannot be disputed that Austin had the highest score of all of us.

It started to rain fairly heavily, so we decided to stop playing and head to the cafe. There was, however, one hole with a log which the kids were eager to attempt to send a golf ball through. So, even though it was raining we played that hole.

We went to Ally's Cocina, which was a Venezuelan food truck at the park. The kids didn't want the pulled pork (especially Dalton, who loves animals and has no desire to eat "pig meat" as Aubrey called it), but they loved the arepas (basically fried corn doughnuts, at least at this place) and the rice and beans. Austin even loved the spicy garlic and cilantro sauce.

We then had popsicles and relaxed for a while by the food truck. Our original plan had been to play on the playground, but it was hot and humid by that point and so we decided to head back to the house. The kids behaved very well and greatly enjoyed the drive and the time playing golf. They also loved driving through the tree tunnel and listening to "Ha Mele No Lilo" (the Lilo and Stitch theme song). Aubrey also wanted to listen to Taylor Swift songs, but we limited the amount of Taylor Swift we listened to. Thankfully, unlike the last extravaganzo in Kaua'i, nobody threw up at the end of it.

After a short break at the house, we headed to Hanapepe for the Art Walk. We stopped on the way to see the Spouting Horn, which is very similar to the Nakelele Blowhole on Maui.

The Hanapepe Art Walk was fun. Ed and Kate and Aubrey joined us there, and we went into a good bakery where we got some sourdough bread as well as some other shops. For some reason one booth is called "Tedious Little Things."

After Ed, Kate, and Aubrey left we went in to Talk Story Bookstore, which claims to be the westernmost bookstore in the United States. We got the chance to meet the CEO, Natalie. One of her employees told us that she bites, so we steered clear of her even though she was very cute and reminded us of Flora and Aspen.

We got food at the Art Walk: Daniel got chana masala and a samosa, while Catherine got bacon, jalapeno, and cream cheese wontons with a sweet chili sauce. We shared some sweet wontons (cherry and apple) for dessert. Daniel's Indian food was good, but Catherine especially loved the wontons. She told the lady at the wonton food truck (Da Wonton Shack) that these were "the best bites of the week." It was truly a night of wonton revelry.

Posted by danielcatherine 08:15 Archived in USA Tagged cats ceo natalie indian_food hanapepe lilo_and_stitch wonton wonton_revelry miniature_golf talk_story pig_meat Comments (1)

Kaua'i 2023 Day 6: Push, Kick, and Shove

all seasons in one day 83 °F

We started the day with a .4 mile journey to the place where Catherine's parents and her aunt and uncle are staying. The grounds of their resort include a cemetery, which is marked with some stones and monuments. It is very interesting that they would build a resort in such a location. The grounds are beautiful and overlook Shipwreck Beach.

Catherine and her Aunt Mary enjoying a pina colada (rather early in the day).

We drove to Kauai Backcountry Adventures in Lihue, where we were going to go on our innertube tour. Catherine was very excited about it, but Daniel was a bit more skeptical. It turned out that it was a three hour tour total, not three hours in the innertube. Two hours of the tour are driving through the area and hearing some of the historical and scientific information about it, and one hour is tubing through the irrigation tunnels. Catherine's dad had broken his shoulder last week while mountain biking in Mammoth. We were concerned that he wouldn't be able to come on the Hawaii trip, but he was able to. However, he was not able to come on the tubing adventure because he has to keep his arm immobilized.

Some pictures of us and the group as the tour was about to begin.

Some pictures from our drive up to the beginning of the adventure. Apparently most of this land belongs to Steve Case, who was the founder of America Online and who was from Hawaii. It was formerly a sugar plantation but the sugar growing ended because other countries were able to pay workers a lot less, and growers in Hawaii couldn't compete with their prices. We saw some wild pigs...

As well as what the tour guide called a Hawaiian Mountain Lion (a cat sitting by a rock).

Some views of Waialeale, which is one of the rainiest places on earth. It can get over 500 inches of rain in a year. There are multiple waterfalls that come down from this mountain, feeding the streams and ditches like the one we tubed down.

A couple pictures of us, and Catherine's mom, in front of Waialeale.

We weren't able to take pictures during the actual tubing adventure. We each got on our own innertube, and got in the irrigation ditches on the former sugar plantation. We had helmets with lights and we went through multiple tunnels throughout our time there. It was mostly an easy ride, with a few slightly rapid parts where our tubes would get jostled together. There were several commands that the guides would yell, including "elbows and ankles" (meaning to tuck in to the tube so as not to hit things) and "push, kick, and shove" meaning that we should push, kick, and shove the tubes around us to get loose from a jam. In the last tunnel they recommended that we turn our lights off and focus on "the light at the end of the tunnel" which was interesting: it felt briefly like we weren't moving, and then suddenly we could see the light getting closer. Once we were done tubing, we were able to get out and were driven to another place, where we had a picnic. We had croissant sandwiches and cookies, and had access to a pond to swim in (although we didn't swim.)

The kids helped Daniel pick plumeria flowers for all the women. While we were walking we found a banana plant right near the house. Dalton wanted a banana but Daniel didn't think they were ripe yet.

We then went in to Koloa and went to an ice cream shop (Catherine actually had Dole Whip and Daniel had a guava danish.) We went to Sueoka's for some groceries, and then went home and planned to walk to dinner.

We walked to Brennecke's Beach Broiler, where we got nachos, pad thai, and mai tais. There was live music and we noticed a baseball cap from Fresno State while we were there. A few years ago when we were here we went here with some of Daniel's family, so we toasted with mai tais and remembered our past times here!

Posted by danielcatherine 03:04 Archived in USA Tagged rain mountain adventure plantation banana tube ditch sandwich irrigation koloa kauai_backcountry_adventures waialeale push_kick_and_shove brennecke's Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2023 Day 5: E Komo Mai

Which means "welcome" (or "come in") in Hawaiian

semi-overcast 80 °F

Late last night Kate made two pineapple pies using fresh, Hawaii-grown pineapples. We stayed up for a while to help her.

This morning, we drove to Lihue to go to Kalapaki beach.

The kids played on the beach and Hilary, Kate, and Catherine supervised them.

Daniel and Ed went kayaking on the bay. It was beautiful, but the waves were actually pretty big when we paddled out to the opening of the Bay. It was a wonderful experience to be out kayaking on the ocean. Last time when we were here we saw a cruise ship coming in to port, but this time there was no such thing. We did see some planes coming to the airport, which Austin enjoyed watching.

Aubrey created a beautiful sand structure. We thought it was a castle, but she explained that it was a ship, a throne for a king, and a dungeon (where the king's disloyal men were being forced to eat leaves.)

We stopped at Big Monster Sushi Food Truck for lunch, and also got some shave ice (passion fruit and guava). After that we went back to the house to start getting it ready for the party tonight.

Austin claimed that he isn't a cat, but he jumped on the counter and was hiding from the vacuum while we cleaned...

Catherine got a massage/ manicure/ pedicure from Aubrey. It involved painting her legs with a paint brush and water, and matching crayons to her nails.

Daniel, Kate, and Aubrey went out to get plumerias. Daniel had already gotten one for Catherine, but we went out to get them for Kate, Hilary, and Aubrey, as well as ones to give to Katie and Mary when they came to the party. While out, we saw Sweetie Cat/ Pudge. A man walking a dog told us that in fact Sweetie Cat isn't especially sweet. He advised that we not pet her, and that she's "an attack cat." Dalton and Austin had already been instructed not to pet her, but we have seen other people petting her without trouble. It seems likely that the fact that he had a dog with him may have upset the cat before.

Catherine's parents Anthony and Katie, and Catherine's Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe, came over. We had a very nice evening. Daniel barbecued some linguica (or Portuguese sausage, as it's called in Hawaii) and we had chips, drinks, and the pineapple pie. Everyone had a great time and wonderful conversations. Also, Aubrey had made beautiful labels for all of the parts of the meal. This is Katie and Anthony and Mary and Joe's first full day in Hawaii, and so it was a nice way to start their trip and a nice midpoint to our trip.

Posted by danielcatherine 08:58 Archived in USA Tagged beach cat welcome kayak sushi lihue shave_ice linguiça kalapaki Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2023 Day 4: Turtles in Action

all seasons in one day

We had a quick breakfast of malasadas and coffee to begin our day.

After this we went to Poipu Beach with Ed and Kate and Dalton and Austin. Hilary and Aubrey were on a kayaking adventure.

There were two sea turtles on the beach. At first the water was low and the turtles were dry on the sand. While we were there it started to reach the turtles, and pretty soon the lower of the two turtles propelled itself into the water and swam away. It was also interesting to watch it navigate the ridge of rocks slightly under the water. The second turtle was starting to move into the water when we were leaving.

Afterwards we went to have lunch at the food trucks in Koloa, and then to shop for the barbecue with Catherine's family tomorrow. We went in to Lihue and shopped at the Times Market.

It's like we're in Kingsburg!

When we got back, Dalton was extremely excited. He had lost his first tooth! He ran to the door to tell us, and is very interested in figuring out whether the tooth fairy comes to Hawaii, or if there is a different Hawaiian tooth fairy, or how the tooth fairy works when you are elsewhere.

He also wanted his stuffed pineapple to sit with "the rest of the pineapple family." He asked where the one we got last night went, and we told him it was cut up in the fridge. He then said its "the whole pineapple family except the one that's cut up in the fridge."

Daniel found plumeria flowers for Catherine, Aubrey, Hilary, and Kate, more-or-less matching the colors of their clothing. Then we went to the Smith Family Luau, which we have never been to but the rest of the group have seen before.

The birdseed was meant to be thrown to the birds on the grounds, not in the line to get in. Some level of miscommunication and overexcitement about the presence of birds led to the birdseed being dropped right there in the line. The kids were delighted, but the adults and the rest of the crowd were less so, with the flock of pecking, screeching chickens, ducks, and peafowl that immediately arrived.

The grounds, which are called Smith's Tropical Paradise, are beautiful. We went on a very nice walk with Aubrey, who enjoyed seeing the birds and the flowers.

The imu ceremony, where they remove the pig from the underground oven. The speaker was part of the Smith family, who he explained are descended from an Englishman who came to Hawaii to work as a postman, and his wife who was Hawaiian. As a result, they are a Hawaiian family named "Smith." He thanked us for trusting a luau called "Smith Family." The imu ceremony was cut short by a brief but extremely heavy downpour.

We went into the main dining hall, where there was live music and drinks until dinner started.

The food was good: teriyaki beef, kalua pork, adobo chicken, poi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fried rice, and various types of Hawaiian bread (mostly inspired by Portuguese sweet bread).

It rained heavily every so often throughout the dinner.

At one point children in the crowd were invited to come on stage and learn a hula dance. Aubrey was very excited by the opportunity, which was funny because Daniel remembers many years ago when they first went to Hawaii as a family and Hilary had hoped to have the opportunity to go on stage and learn some of the dances. Aubrey seemed to take learning the dances extremely seriously, and had a lot of fun doing it.

We walked through the gardens a bit to the auditorium after the dinner was over.

The show consisted of dances from various parts of Polynesia as well as other cultures that have contributed to Hawaii over the years. There were Hawaiian, Tahitian, Maori, Japanese, and Filipino dances, as well as fairly modernized versions of hula dances.

Some of the dances involved fire.

And some involved both knives and fire, which was extremely impressive, especially to the kids. That part of the performance was probably the most memorable.

We got the picture that they had taken of our group at the beginning of the luau.

By the end of the show the kids had gotten sleepy, especially Austin who was fully asleep by the time we left. Daniel helped Hilary and Kate get Austin to the car. After the luau we came home and started working on some pineapple pies for the barbecue tomorrow.

Posted by danielcatherine 11:17 Archived in USA Tagged rain dance turtle austin tooth kate ed hilary luau pineapple plumeria aubrey honu dalton kaua'i smith_family_luau imu tooth_fairy Comments (1)

Kaua'i 2023 Day 3: Dancing in the Moonlight

all seasons in one day 84 °F

Aubrey decorated her ukulele with flowers that she found on her morning walk.

We had a breakfast of sweet bread and pineapple again.

After that, Daniel picked a pink plumeria from a nearby tree for Catherine, and then we went to Koloa to pick up a quick lunch. The town of Koloa was very crowded, and it was hard to find a place to park. We went in and bought some spam musubi and some guava juice to have as a picnic lunch. We then set off for Hanalei Bay, on the opposite side of the island from where we are staying.

We stopped at a place with a scenic lookout along the way, and had a picnic in the back of our Jeep. There were a lot of chickens around, and the view of the ocean was beautiful. We had a wonderful picnic there and then headed onwards to Hanalei Bay.

Hanalei Bay was beautiful, with warm water to swim in but some rain falling every so often. We had a wonderful time there, but we didn't take a lot of pictures because we didn't have our phones with us in the water. Then we headed home, with a vague plan of walking to Kalapaki Joe's from the house where we're staying. We weren't quite sure whether everyone would go or if only some of us would go, and we knew the kids were starting to fall asleep. We decided not to stop for shave ice to get there on time.

Geckos are everywhere at the house. This one is in our bathroom. Later it moved elsewhere, and Dalton told Catherine "maybe he's in your bed snuggled up to sleep." This sounds like a dream to the animal-loving Dalton, but is more of a nightmare to Catherine.

Dalton also wanted to place his stuffed pineapple next to the real pineapple that we had brought home.

We all ended up walking to Kalapaki Joe's. At first we were somewhat concerned that it was too loud, but Aubrey was excited when she heard Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" being played as part of the live music. We decided to stay. The live music ended up being very good, pleasing everyone with a mixture of seventies music, modern pop, and Hawaiian music. "Dancing in the Moonlight" was one of the highlights. The food was good, and it ended up being extremely fun.

Ed with Austin.

Daniel with Dalton.

Kate with Aubrey.

It was a wonderful evening and we are excited to continue our adventures tomorrow.

Posted by danielcatherine 09:24 Archived in USA Tagged beach flower hanalei dinner swim strike plumeria koloa kaua'i kalapaki_joe's dancing_in_the_moonlight Comments (0)

Kaua'i 2023 Day 2: To Valhalla!

semi-overcast 85 °F

Before we were up, the kids, Hilary, and Ed went on a walk to the beach. Dalton collected this cup of plumeria blossoms for everyone.

We slept in and finally feel rested after our long day of travel. Then we got up to have a small breakfast: pineapple from Oahu, some taro-flavored sweet bread (Aubrey loves "pink and purple bread" and remembers it from our previous trip here) and some cans of Hawaiian coffee. It was delicious. After breakfast the rest of the group went to do some grocery shopping and get some souvenirs. We drove to Koloa to get a lunch.

Now that we had our lunch, we decided to walk to Shipwreck Beach and have our picnic. Daniel picked a plumeria for Catherine, and we walked on the beautiful path to the beach.

Our picnic consisted of lilikoi juice, spam musubi, and Maui onion chips.

We also had li hing mui powdered mango slices for dessert.

People were jumping off of this rock, which reminded Catherine of this scene from the show Norsemen[/i]. Catherine yelled "to Valhalla!" as this person jumped.

This cat seems to live near the house where we're staying. Catherine wanted to name it Pudge (after Pudge the Fish from [i]Lilo and Stitch
) but Dalton wanted to name it Sweetie Cat. It seems to be comfortable and reasonably well fed.

After that we went to Poipu Beach with everyone, and swam in the small, child-friendly area to swim. Dalton especially loved "fighting" the waves by punching them. It was a very fun afternoon, and after the beach we went to the pool before walking back to the house.

We finished the evening by watching the All Ireland Football Final between Dublin and Kerry. We wondered how many people on Kaua'i, or even in Hawaii, were watching this. Of course it was played earlier and we were watching it recorded.

Posted by danielcatherine 08:50 Archived in USA Tagged beach cat lunch poipu aubrey musubi koloa dalton shipwreck_beach sweet_bread dublin_vs._kerry all_ireland Comments (0)

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