Revolution Day parade
Dancing in the zocola
I have been traveling to Isla four times a year for the last several years but I only post a trip report about once a year. This trip was very different for me. My daughter Tara, her husband Kelly and two other couples were there staying in a house on the airport strip. Allie, my 22 year old nice and her friend Lisa came down for just a quick four night stay. They stayed with me in the apartment that I rent year round with a friend. Usually my friend Denise and I are on the island at the same time or I am staying by myself.
Seeing Isla through Allie and Lisa’s newbie’s eyes was fun. Also two of my daughter’s friends had never been to Isla before.
Although Tara, Kelly and two of the friends flew down the same day that I did we were on different flights/airlines. I was scheduled to arrive in Cancun about 30 minutes after them. My flight left Houston late so they all had to wait for almost two hours at the bar outside the arrival area. Oh, darn they had to start drinking cervezas before me.
I had booked a complicated set of rides to and from the airport with AGI. Thankfully Javier and Lisa understood what arrangements I needed. I was leaving on the 10th on a 1:30 flight, Tara and Kelly leaving the 10th but on a 4:00 flight, Kim and Rob leaving on the 13th and Allie and Lisa arriving on the 4th and leaving on the 8th. When we got to the ferry dock I paid in full for all of the roundtrips so that was taken care. Our driver on the way to the ferry asked if we wanted cold beer. He stopped at OXXO and ran in and bought us two six packs of Sol for the drive and ferry ride.
Tara and Kelly and their friends stayed out on the airport strip at Villa Tranquila. VT is a beautiful home with killer views from every floor.
Kelly was excited to be on vacation on Isla for the first time in almost four years. The highlight of the vacation for Kelly was that he got to hold a baby turtle and release it at the turtle release October 2nd at Playa Media Luna. He has a video of it on his cell phone but said the file is too big to email it to me.
Looking south from VT
The three guys rigged up a pulley utilizing a golf cart to get the massage table up on the rooftop. My daughter was scared to watch since she thought that the rope was going to break and someone would get hurt. Once they got the table to the rooftop they said it would have been easier to carry it up the narrow spiral staircase. But hey guys will be guys!
Sunday night we went to the Soggy Pesos for the barbeque ribs. Some of us had the combo plate, ribs, chicken and sausage. Both the combo and the rib plate come with a healthy scoop of really good potato salad, black bean corn salad and corn bread. It looked like we had a ton of food on the table but I was the only one who took leftovers home. We were the only customers so Fredy wanted to buy us a drink. He made these shooters with tequila, Kahula, Coke and one other ingredient that I can’t remember.
Allie and Lisa had plans to do “everything” which included swimming with the dolphins and Garrafon’s zip line. After the first day on the beach at Sergio’s being served strawberry daiquiris by Rogelio they were content to just spend every day at the beach.
Each day I drove them around and showed them the island. They loved to just take the full loop drive around. I took them into the colonias so they could see more of the island. One night I tried to find the “crayola” house but got started too far south and we drove around and around for a long time and didn’t find the house. We were laughing hysterically at times because we started to use the dogs lying in the streets as our landmarks to tell if we had already driven down that street. A couple of days later after visiting the turtle farm I drove down a street on the opposite side of the salina where I knew I could see that back of the house to get my bearings. Then I was able to find the house so they could see it close up. They also wanted to go into the Super Express in La Gloria so that they could say they shopped at a real Mexican grocery store.
Allie, Lisa and I visited the turtle farm. Lisa must have asked me a dozen times if they could hold the babies. Every time we went to a different tank she asked, “do you think we can hold these?”
The girls and I had breakfast at Bally Hoo one morning. I had the Island wrap and the girls had scrambled eggs with bacon. Thanks Isla Gringo for the recommendation. He even showed up that morning and said hola and we chatted for a couple of minutes.
Two girls, four nights and a whole lot of their crap.
Allie and Lisa sad to leave Isla. They will be back!
My daughter, her husband, her friends and I having tequila shots at Adelita’s.
This was my Breakfast Trio at the Rooster Cafe my last morning. This was the morning that I went out of my apartment to find my golf cart was gone. My friend Jeri and I drove around until we finally found it across town parked in front of some apartments. It had gas and started so I was ready to go eat.
Tara’s friends Kim and Rob were scheduled to fly home today but due to Hurricane Paula their flight was cancelled. They are “stuck” on Isla until Friday afternoon. I can think of a lot worse places to be stuck.
That’s it for this trip. Next trip booked for Christmas time. I will be on the island for almost a month then.
This sunset photo was taken from the driveway of the condo complex we stayed at. It looked like a fire behind the trees. I wanted to go up to the rooftop of the parking garage, 4th floor to take a sunset photo but never did for some reason.
Hanapepe seems to be having pretty hard times. The small town is so much more run down looking than when I was last there two years ago. There are still art galleries but I think this sign is out dated as I don’t believe there are 16 of them anymore.
A nice welcome sign to Poipu where we stayed. We were just a bit down the road from this sign. Directly across the street is a huge new development with shops and restaurants. According to the concierge at the condos we stayed at the work came to an abrupt halt when the banks started to have problems. So now the buildings are sitting there unfinished with boarded up windows.
My ice tea in a coozie I bought the last time I was on the island.
A beautiful home behind this fence across the street from Kalihiwai Bay. Look closely and you will see one of the infamous Kauai roosters
Sunset over the ridge of Waimea Canyon.
This is Lydgate Beach Park. There is a sea wall making a nice safe pool for swimming and snorkeling. It was a bit rough this day so the snorkeling was not good. But we had fun just floating in the pool. To the north is an even smaller shallow pool for the little ones. As with most state or county parks in Hawaii there is a lifeguard, outdoor showers, nice restroom facilities and picnic tables. When Tara was little we spent many days at this park on our annual Kauai vacations.
Tara’s fried ice cream at the Thai restaurant in Nawiliwili Harbor shopping plaza. It looks almost identical to the dish that my friend Ralph had at Om on Isla. The ice cream tasted like a fresh donut only better.
Tara complained about the spot I picked to sit on the beach at Salt Pond Beach Park because it was a shallow area surrounded by rocks. Another sea wall like pool like the one at Lydgate but this one is natural not man made. However once Tara got the snorkel and mask on she floated around for a really long time collecting the tiniest little perfect sea shells.
I just love the look of palms against a blue sky.
Old town Koloa from a moving jeep.
The tree tunnel on the road toward Koloa and Poipu.
|Maluhia Road, South Kauai|
|Walter Duncan McBryde, a Scotchman who began cattle ranching in South Kauai, planted these Eucalyptus Trees over 150 years ago. The trees once formed a beautiful canopy over the highway before two hurricanes damaged the tops of the trees.|
The tree tunnel was starting to nicely recover from the damage of Hurricane Iwa (1982) when Hurricane Iniki (9/11/92) hit as a cat 5 and caused major damage again.
Mt. Wai’ale the rainiest spot on the planet. Of course it can’t be seen in this photo because it was covered in clouds.
“A common question is why Mount Waiʻaleʻale is the wettest spot on earth averaging more than 460 inches of rain each year at the summit. The answer is three-fold. Its northern position relative to the main Hawaiian Islands provides more exposure to frontal systems that bring rain during the winter. It has a relatively round and regular conical shape, exposing all sides of its peak to winds and the moisture that they carry. Finally, its peak lies just below the so-called trade wind inversion layer of 6,000 feet (1,800 m), above which trade-wide-produced clouds cannot rise.”
The last photo was taken on the drive to the airport to go home. So it truly is the last photo I took this trip. I am already planning on going back to Kauai next summer.
Niihau is the smallest inhabited island in the Hawaiian island chain and it has no roads, no hotels, and no restaurants. It is located about 20 miles west of the island of Kauai. For the most part, access to Niihau is limited to the approximately 300 residents who live there, but a there are a few limited tours available from Kauai.
This is when I learned that my Flip Video camera has no low battery warning after I was about 2 minutes into filming the dolphins and my battery died. I hadn’t saved the video so I lost it. This was when I got the “practice what you preach” comment from Kelly because I said to Tara the night before to make sure her camera battery was fully charged.
I could just post a ton of photos of the beauty of the Na Pali coast but I won’t.
My body’s aching for a freedom ride, My brothers calling me to join them
The party’s jamming on the other side, over on the North Shore
The Myna Birds are leading all the way, they’re telling me how to get there
I’m concentrating on my early drive, driving to the North Shore
Under the Mango Tree, waiting for the sunrise, headed for the North Shore
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa
I hear the surf calling me, singing a new song, headed for the North Shore
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa
I wipe my hair away from my eyes, I like to feel the wind on my face
The salty air begins to make me breath, down in the North Shore
I lay my mistress on the surface swell, and as I move she starts to mile at me
Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Let it ride much higher and higher
Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Take me now Im your’s take me
Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Look at me Im higher than a mountain”
There is something about the north shore of Kauai that makes me feel like I have come home again everytime I visit there. Years ago when I thought seriously about moving to Kauai I would have been perfectly happy settling in Hanalei on the north shore. Oahau has its Haleiwa and Maui has Paia. These three cities have a lot in common. They are surfer towns and laid back hippieish, new age feeling places with a strong sense of community and ohana (family).
And of course now there is all of the controversy about the meaning of the song “Puff the Magic Dragon”. “Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea, And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee”. When Tara was little I used to sing this song to her everytime we went to Hanalei. That was every year until from age 9 – 16 and at least 3 or 4 times a trip. She hated me singing the song especially as she got to be a teenager. At dinner one night Kelly brought up the drug reference and Tara said “Nu Huh! You used to sing this song to me all the time when I was little.”
Tara and Kelly drove beyond Hanalei to the end of the road. The plan was for Tara to take Kelly to a couple of her favorite places, Lumahai Beach and the Blue Room. However it was so busy that Sunday that there was nowhere to park. So they came back to Hanalei Bay where they had dropped me off a couple of hours earlier.
During the winter months Kilauea is a good place to spot whales who have migrated south for the winter.
Heading back from the north shore we make this stop at a scenic overlook. Those are taro fields in the valley.
Tara, her husband Kelly and I will going to Kauai in less then two weeks. Kelly has never been to any of the Hawaiian islands. He is going to love Kauai. There is great snorkeling, beautiful beaches and lots of really fresh seafood.
I have two timeshare condos reserved in the complex right next door to where my friend Karen and her husband used to live. We will be in Poipu Beach with a good snorkeling spot right across the street.
These are some of my photos from 2000 and 2007 visits.
Oops, wrong caption this is Wailua Falls not Opaeka.
“Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee”
Posts from my 2007 Kauai trip includes a map to orient yourself to the island and lots of photos.