Tuesday, March 1, 2016

16th and 17th day of our vacation - 12-31-15 and 1-1-16

7.04 a.m. and the birds are chirping noisily.  They are in the small tree just off the lanai on the left.  I see them hopping about but it is hard to identify them in this light, and I don't know enough about birds to identify their calls.  I am quite used to the  Pacific Plover, the Mynahs and the Cattle Egrets, as one or the other meanders across the grass frequently.   

There is a list of birds in a folder on the desk.  I thought it was very nice of the owners to leave it for their guests.

We are on the ground floor if I haven't mentioned it before.  Our studio room is bottom right on the above photo.  We have the curtains open, the sliding door is too (with the screen closed).  The sound of the surf is loud but it always lulls us to sleep at night, and in the morning we welcome it and makes a very pleasant alarm clock.  Actually we don't bother with the alarm clock.  No need for that on holiday.

We stepped outside and took photos of the sunrise. 

10.00 a.m. We decided to do some laundry and are taking our time getting out.  We don't have a washer and dryer in the condo, but the laundry room is only a short walk.  

Gregg just checked and he met a lady from Kansas. Her first time in Hawaii, she was having a wonderful time.  I remember my first vacation in Hawaii and what joy I felt being here, not quite believing it, as I do now.  

12.54 p.m. We are trying to find the Bank of Hawaii to get some cash for traveling, as tomorrow is our last full day on the island, and then we head home.

1.01 p.m. We found the bank thanks to the phone's GPS. The Bank Teller told us that she had just moved to Kauai and was from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She was very nice and asked us how we were enjoying our vacation, what had we been doing.  She even made some suggestions of places we might like to check out. We have enjoyed meeting people while away. 

1.52 p.m. and we have spent a great time at Wailua Falls near Lihue.  It is located behind the Kalepa Mountain Forest Reserve in Hanama'ulu.  If you ever watched the old TV show Fantasy Island, the waterfall was used in the opening credits.

I have read this waterfall is 173 feet high, but one person said it is more like 80 feet.   I am not sure which is correct and I forgot to make a note of the website, but they say that state officials measured the waterfall at 80 feet high. It is a very short walk from the parking lot, so no hiking to speak of.  

Gregg took this photo of me trying to get the whole of that gorgeous scene in by tilting my cell phone this way and that way.

This is one of those that I took.  There was a very large tree trunk that was doing a balancing act at the edge of the falls.  I couldn't help but wonder how long it would be before it fell.

Legend has it that Hawaiian men, possibly royalty, would test their endurance by jumping from the top into the 30-foot pool, some of whom did not survive.

People are swimming and there is a rainbow!  

Typically for me I was more interested in the birds that were flying around.  

There were several of them, and I realized that these were the Tropicbirds I had first learned about at the lighthouse.  They were circling far below us and I noticed a few on the rock face near the waterfall.

Those long tails were distinctive and the very first bird I had ever seen in my life with those kind of tail feathers.  Very cool!

Later we had lunch in Kapa'a, in the Olympic Cafe. 

It is on the second floor of a building in the historical part of town, and there are no windows, all open to the outside with canvas shades that are drawn down when needed. 

Gregg had a Thai-style Chicken Wrap with Peanut Sauce.....

and I had a Kalua Pig Burrito with a Papaya Salsa. 

I can't remember what this drink was now but I am guessing a Lava Flow, this from the descriptions of their selection here.  It was good!

On the way down the stairs we enjoyed looking at several photos.  This one I enjoyed the most.

There were also paintings which I have already shared in a couple of other posts, and the surfboard.

We stopped at one of the stores and bought a few gifts.  

The gentleman who helped with our purchases was originally from Denver but moved to Virginia Beach, and then 30 years ago he made a final move to Kauai.  We were wondering if he had been in the navy, but by the time we thought of it we were out of the store.  He was really nice and friendly, very helpful without being at all pushy.

We have been back at the condo for a while now, another day over.  We're finding that we are winding down as we draw to the end of our holiday. 


Friday, January 1st, 2016 and first day of the new year!

11.37 a.m.  Gregg and I got up early and have just returned from the beach in front of our condo.  It was a lovely walk and relatively quiet. 

There was a young man fishing....

a couple with two small children splashing in the water, a couple of young girls walking along in the surf and a paddle boarder, rising and falling with the slow motion of the sea.  

We sat on a large tree trunk, the largest piece of driftwood I have seen washed up on a beach.

It had been there for a long time, someone had used it to practice their carving.

We inspected the grain of the wood. The old trunk intrigued me and I started taking photos.

A very friendly couple from Alaska stopped to chat at some length.  They were from the Kenai Peninsula, a hundred miles south of Anchorage.  We also met another lady who said Happy New Year as we walked up to the water spicket to wash the sand off our feet.  She was from Arlington which is only a short drive down the freeway from where we live.  We have met three people from Virginia so far on this trip.

It is now 8.41 p.m.   We have had a lovely drive and took the back roads.  

At another beach we saw three men parasailing,  at great speed.

I was amazed at the wake they were creating...... 

often being pulled high out of the water.  

One man was a real acrobat and he must have gone as high as 30 feet, with several twists and turns that would have done a high wire act proud.  It was an impressive sight.  

There were also snorkelers.  From our vantage point they seemed a little bit too close to each other for comfort, but all seemed well as each enjoyed their own particular activity. 

We stopped off at Kapa'a for lunch, a place on Main Street.  Gregg ordered Fish Taco's 

and I had the  Caprese Salad.  

The Maitre'D was very nice, a lady who looked like she was wearing army boots.  They must have been comfortable with all the running around she was doing.  There were several people at the other tables, one a family of six who were watching a football game, and getting very excited about it.

It was quieter on the roads being a federal holiday (New Year's Day), and there was none of the slow moving traffic we have become used to.  We drove on.  However, one of the residents thought everyone needed a gentle reminder.

We took the north road to a little beyond the turnoff for the lighthouse, and drove by very interesting homes.  

I always enjoyed looking at the lush vegetation in the gardens, and also the different designs.

We came to another beach that looked very popular with the locals....

and at the end of the beach there was a very expensive looking home with tall gates, walls made from volcanic rock and lots of security cameras all over the property.  There were also warning signs not to trespass.

People value their privacy as many homes have no trespassing signs and are barricaded behind gates and walls.  

The road was a dirt track, very bumpy again, and there were of course chickens everywhere.  These chickens on the back roads were a little more skittish than the ones we find in the towns. 

We also drove by a single Nene Goose.  This one didn't have any bands on its legs.  Gregg stopped so that I could take photos.  I had the window down and didn't want to get out of the car to bother him or scare him away.  We were several feet away and I took my photos as he was picking at the grass.  He didn't like that very much as his head went down in a defensive posture and started running towards us.  It was time to move on and leave him in peace.

By the time we started back we were ready for a bite to eat again, so we stopped at a place that I have been curious about when driving by several times.  These pretty dogs looked hot and tired as they waited for their human in the parking lot.

It was mainly a general store for healthy, organic foods.  It is small but has an interesting variety of items and we helped ourselves to a small portion of a Thai Chicken dish from one of the hot urns inside.  

The front of the store had these pretty ginger plants outside.

Now we are back at the condo and ready to go to sleep.  The first day of a New Year is almost over.  It has been a wonderful vacation, one that has been incredibly enjoyable.  We have loved our time here, but now we know we will be heading back to Virginia tomorrow, we are looking forward to seeing home again.  

If you missed any of my daily journals and would like to catch up, I am sharing their links below.


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  1. PARADISE ! shear paradise . Lovely photos and post , one day I would love to go to Hawaii it's on my bucket list . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  2. Some gorgeous shots here... my favourite are those around the waterfalls!

  3. It has been great sharing your Hawaii trip this way. I have loved all the photos, and liked hearing about your days. I just have to mention a couple photos...one the Tropicbird...I would love to see one in real life. And that second close-up shot of the driftwood log...that is a wonderful shot.

  4. So many interesting photos! I enjoyed that exciting long walk with you. Powerful water fall,
    rainbows,men' parasailing and I like the dogs looking tired!
    Have a happy day!

  5. I didn't find all the cool places to eat that served authentic island food. food.

  6. It really was an incredible holiday wasn't it? Thank you.

  7. Lovely photos. I can see you have had wonderful trip.

  8. Hello Denise, what a wonderful report. It is such a beautiful place to visit, I love the sunrise, waterfalls, the vegetation, the birds and the cute doggies. The condo looks like it was in a lovely spot. Thanks for sharing your vacation. Have a happy day!

  9. palms and flowers and water and sunshine are all things i love. and that studio you stayed in is really cute and some place i would love to stay... not sure i would swim in the rainbow but bob would

  10. Denise, you certainly have a lovely collection of photos to remember your trip.

  11. Fantastic photos! I particularly like that first sunrise shot. Wow!

  12. You drank the most exotic drinks in Hawaii. They must have tasted good just by looking at your photos of them.

    Something might be wrong with my computer, but some of the photos you posted were not shown on your post. All I saw was a small box with an X in it.

  13. A beautiful place. When we received orders for Hawaii. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Once upon a time Oahu looked like this, but no more I fear. Ah well, I've always got my memories and a few hundreds of photos........

  14. I can see what a fabulous time you and Gregg had. We do have Kauai in our sights for this summer. It will be nice to go back there with our daughter and her family. I'm looking forward to seeing my cousins there too.

  15. I have enjoyed reading about your Hawaii vacation and looking at your pictures. What a wonderful time you had!

  16. Wow, I sure envy you the White-tailed Tropicbird and the Nene. I have seen members of both families, but neither of these two species. Wouldn't mind sharing lunch with you either!


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