April 24, 2011

Over the past weekend, I was invited (along with my car) to go to Koke'e with some friends. Unfortunately, my car didn't want to go up toward Waimea Canyon and started to overheat. With the heater cranked (I believe it didn't do any good) we drove to Polihale instead. I really love it out there. Maya found a Japanese fishing glass ball, used as a float on fishing nets. I found my first piece of a sunrise shell, which just makes me want to search even more for a whole shell.

Unfortunately, my newly made hammock got stolen while I was out there. Around the same time I noticed, it was stolen, I saw a six pack of beer sitting on a log. Yay, free beer, but not as nice as a hammock.

We had the most amazing pancakes for breakfast. Claire likes to add trail mix (with chocolate in it) into pancakes along with bananas. We used coconut oil and some Vermont maple syrup (from a happy customer of mine) as well. Cooked over a fire on an iron skillet too!

On the way back I took my first dive off Kipu Falls. Not the biggest jump I've done, but a nice one.

The whole trip (once my car started acting up) was agonizing because of my car, but I still had fun. I can't wait for it to be fixed.

Thursday, April 22, 2011

Aside from last weekend, I've taken some day hikes to the Hanakapiai Valley on the north edge of the Napali Coast on the weekends. The Hanakapiai Falls is absolutely breathtaking, over a thousand feet high! The beach is rather small, due to the huge cliffs on both sides of you, and the fact that the beach gets washed away by the winter swells. There's all these kirins people have placed which makes a cool site to see as well. Its very peaceful being at a small beach two miles from the nearest car. When I'm out there it makes me want to head to even more remote beaches and sip on some coconut water while staring into the Pacific.

I've been spending a lot of time with Valarie, which means going out to eat and drink, relaxing on the beach and sleeping in. I abuse my body much more than most people. Earlier this week I took her to the airport again, this time for her to be gone to Colorado for three weeks. I plan on fully wearing myself out on my three day weekends.

Stay tuned!

Sunday 3/13/11

I love Sundays in Kauai. Particularly the last two I've had with Valarie. The 'aina has really taken care of me. After all, Malama ka 'aina. This means take care of the earth and the earth will take care of you. Last Sunday we had an amazing time at Secrets. When we were sitting on the rocks together, feeling the warmth from them and being entirely captured in the moment we couldn't help but giggle about how perfect the setting was and how amazing everything is right then at that point. Not too long after, a wave comes and water rushes all around us through the cracks in the rocks. The best romance novels don't write experiences like this!

This past Sunday our day started off with a trip to Queen's Bath. The best part was away from where everyone was hanging out, looking around. Valarie and I almost immediately wanted to explore. The two of us having only been hanging out for a brief amount of time, sort of have the same style when it comes to a lot of things. The both of us wanted to explore and didn't have to say anything to one another. We just kind of did it. Our main drive was to find a tide pool to chill out in, but we found so much more. There's this one cut in the lava rocks where water slowly rushes in and out. The water depth changed so much you could feel the power of all the water movement as you stood beside it. The movement felt like the heartbeat of the ocean, filling up and emptying with every wave that comes to shore.

There were a couple of fresh streams and waterfalls which we came across. One cascaded into a tide pool where there were lots of tropical fish. On the other side of this tide pool there was a smaller one, just far enough away from the ocean to be safe but big enough to soak in. The water in it felt like it just came from the ocean so it was quite refreshing. Crossing the larger tide pool could have been pretty tricky, but we decided to wade through rather than hop across rocks. As soon as we crossed on the way back, a large wave came that could have given us quite the startle.

We decide to head to my house for lunch and shortly afterwards sitting on the beach at secrets drinking beer and smoking pakalolo sounded like the right thing to do. I turn my waterproof bag into a cooler and sling it over my shoulder with some rope. After a couple mile hike to the end of the third beach we sun bathe and shell hunt while sipping on Coronas. For awhile there we felt like we should be hired to market this tasty beverage. As the beer gets finished, we don't want to leave and the sun starts setting. We decide to stay and watch the sunset. A bonfire was in order. Valarie is really good at starting fires. That makes her even sexier. Well, we watched all the sunset and then stared at the stars. It may have been 9 or 10 before we decide to pack up to leave. Well, actually, we didn't decide to, the surf washed away our bonfire.

On our walk back with each other in our arms, we look straight up staring at the sky. Little did we know, we passed the beach where the path to our car is. We start climbing over rocks, thinking the tide must of came way up. At one point, Valarie got drenched by a wave that smashed on a rock that she was standing next to. I only had the chance to say, "this is going to be interesting." If it weren't for that boulder, I would have lost her. Seeing a wave completely engulf someone like that is very scary.

Saturday 3/12/11

I don't know exactly what it is (its probably a multitude of things), but I've been doing some rather serious sleeping in lately. Valarie and I head out for breakfast around lunchtime only to find out that nobody on the north shore likes to eat breakfast after 12 o'clock.

side note. the apostrophe doesn't get used in the English language much except for contractions and the possessive form of words. o'clock is a rare word where the apostrophe is at the front of a word. after reading and pronouncing so much Hawaiian I've grown to appreciate the apostrophe as a matter of fact.

Anyway, I digress. Lets get back to it.

On our way, with 12 pack in hand. Wait a second. Here I am talking about being on my way to breakfast, at noon, with a 12 pack of beer. How did we get to this point? Well, we pulled up next to a couple of guys with a 90 pound boar strapped to their truck. Tourists were taking pictures (and so was Valarie) and I noticed they were having a beer and decided that it was a good idea to have some beer. We were on our way to Kapaa because there's a place called Kountry Kitchen, that must serve breakfast at lunchtime. Well, we didn't make it that far because I remembered brunch at Common Ground's restaurant The Garden. Not exactly the greasy eggs and bacon we were after, but we really enjoyed dining there. Valarie's first time there was a delight for her. I was delighted to have brought her to Common Ground. I just really love that place...its my favorite place to eat on the island. I actually try to bring as many people there as possible.

ooh, more digressing! Back to breakfast. Actually, Valarie had this garlic tuna entree and I had the steak wrap. This is my third time eating the steak wrap. Its that good!

After lunch we head to Kalihiwai to work on the rest of our 12 pack and and our sun tans. Valarie was hoping for a nap on the beach, but good conversation and playing in the ocean won her over.

After the beer was gone and our bellies telling us its dinner time, I felt like a bottle of wine from the Kilauea Town Market and Deli was in order. Their prices are quite modest and their selection is superb. Before our dinner plans could go much further, I remembered Valarie wanted to try the Kilauea Fish Market. After scarfing down a couple of Andy Irons Burritos while listening to a guy (whom I've met before but cannot remember his name) play some Hawaiian music.

We finished off the bottle of wine while watching the sunset down Kilauea Road toward the lighthouse. It was really great just chilling there enjoying the beautiful evening with Valarie.

Friday 3/11/11

Thursday night I had my first tsunami warning from the earthquake in Japan. It actually had some people a little freaked out. First thing I did was check the elevation of where I live in Kilauea. 300 feet above sea level and 1 mile inland is sufficiently safe, I'd say. Just after I started talking with Valarie about the tsunami warning, the sirens went off. And, wow, they are loud. Unfortunately, the sirens went off practically hourly. Valarie, who lives in Haena (only 15 feet above sea level) evacuated to my room. We had the misfortune of being woken by the sirens and then afterwards by our cell phones. Thank you to all who care about us and wants us to be safe. We are sleepy because of you.

During the day Friday work was rather slow and the mail didn't come to the island so it was kind of a free day. Get paid to hang out and listen to music. I'd rather be at the beach, but I got some projects done and enjoyed doing them while not under pressure.

After work, I met up with Valarie to have a picnic on the beach with a bottle of wine. I've developed a habit of putting my wine bottles in my cup holder on my scooter. I actually had some tourists take pictures of it!

Unfortunately, it rained regularly so the picnic didn't happen. Fortunately, we wound up at Tahiti Nui and ate spicy Hawaiian pizza...think Hawaiian pizza with jalapenos....such a wonderful addition! We also enjoyed a couple Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Margaritas that were delightful.

In between Lilikoi Margaritas, we went to the beach to drink our wine. Lucky for us, we saw a catamaran not far from where we walked onto the beach and sat on it whilst we drank our wine. It was really nice chilling on the beach with Valarie, watching the water glisten and gazing at the massive silhouette of the mountains to the west.

Sunday 3/6/2011

After multiple weekends of having fun on the north shore in spite of the weather, there was very light rain and a little sunshine on Saturday and a beautiful afternoon on Sunday. The plan was to go to Turtle Cave, but with it being so wet after a heavy rain Friday night, I decided to meet Valarie at yoga. Afterward we went to Rock Quarries as planned, but most people who were to meet us there didn't come because of the rain. It was really nice hanging out on the beach drinking beer with her. A few friends stopped by and hung out for a bit. Nubia joined us and the three of us hung out together for the duration of the evening. I decided we needed to have a bonfire since it wasn't raining. I chose to break dead limbs off of some pine trees to make sure the wood was dry. Some logs were a little hard to break. At one point Nubia and Valarie were sitting on a log bouncing on it while I held it in the air. Not the easiest or safest way to break firewood, but effective. Another branch I tried to break by climbing up it and hanging from it. Unable to crack it, I got Valarie to hold onto me. For a moment she was off the ground holding onto me while I held the branch. After Valarie and myself finished off a 12 pack, we ordered pizza at the Kilauea Bakery and had a couple Jack and Pepsi drinks. Nubia as designated driver, we went into Lihue to Cafe Portofino to dance. Its not too often when there's an opportunity to be out dancing and partying 'till 2am on Kauai, so we all really enjoyed the night. To add to the fun, there was a dance team who used some pretty awesome led setups including batons and hula hoops. There also was this one girl who used a long cloth hanging from the rafters to do some really crazy spinning in really flexible positions. Valarie was interested in having another drink and was going to buy me one, however, the bartender couldn't handle how busy it was, so we opted not to. It was a good thing because we had a lot to drink anyway.

After finally getting moving on Sunday sometime early in the afternoon, Valarie and I tried to get some ice cream at my favorite place, Kilauea Ice Cream and Video, only to find out they weren't open for another hour. Deciding to hold out and have ice cream instead of something else, we head to Secrets Beach. It was really nice to be in the ocean, with the sun out at the most amazing beach I've ever been to. Valarie had never been there and had a really good time. Some really fun things happened, I'll have to admit. We had a hermit crab race, looked for shells (unsuccessfully due to the tide), walked the full length of the beach and climbed on the rocks all the way at the other end. This was were we had the hermit crab race. At a tide pool up on the rocks there were some small fish the same coloring as the rocks and some hermit crabs of all sizes with really impressive shells around their bodies. We also, sat on some rocks where at one point a wave came up and water rushed in between the rocks beneath us. Such a magical moment!

Monday 2/28/2011

This past weekend I shared an amazing one night stay at Polihale State Park over on the other side of the island. The scenery is as awesome as it gets here in Kauai. There were about 15 of us who were camping. Up until the last minute there were going to be four of us going in Sandy's truck and then Matt called and asked to join along.

After Sandy and I picked up the food for the weekend we spent at least 30 minutes stuck in Kapaa traffic. I thought we'd zip right up to pick up the rest of our passengers so I threw the ice in the bed of the truck. After a couple minutes of not going anywhere in traffic, I climbed into the bed and loaded a large cooler with beer and ice. I got big smiles from the taxi driver behind me as I kept on grabbing another 12 pack and emptying it into the cooler. The ride from Kapaa to Polihale took a little over an hour. Matt and I rode in the back of the pick up with our stuff. There wasn't much room, but after a couple beers we were fine. Well, that is until we got to the dirt road. Five miles down a not so smooth and in some places a muddy road with Sandy behind the wheel, fully obliging to our requests to just simply keep going since momentum was our best chance of not getting stuck. It was a very rattling experience for us in the back.

After not even 30 minutes there, the five of us committed to coming back regularly. After some relaxation and swimming and beer some of the rest of the group started to show up. A very smart 11 year old started the fire and not long after I started cooking hot dogs. I tried to use the campfire and a piece of a grill I found but spilled the hot dogs in the fire after they cooked awhile. Nesli helped me clean them with beer and we served everyone! They were a hit, and for the second batch I scooped some coals into the grill we brought to cook the remainder. A much easier way.

The sunset was absolutely perfect, slowly dipping into the ocean and shining bright colors into the sky in all its splendor. I love the sunsets here on Kauai and camping on the beach to see the sunset is even better.

As the night wore on some of the heavy drinkers passed out, some of the non drinkers went to sleep and the crazy people played a game with animal sounds.

Matt mentioned that there's a beach as you walk along the rocks to the north thats a 15 minute kayak away. Unfortunately, as I later find out the beach is only there during the summer, when the ocean is calmer. I walked passed where the beach would be, I believe.

There were 4 girls that Loren, the leader of the Kauai Adventure Club encouraged to head down the nasty 5 mile dirt/mud/holey road who camped with us. These girls are some of the crazy people previously mentioned. I tried to get a bunch of people to head for the beach Matt was talking about, but didn't have much luck aside from these girls.

The 5 of us were wandering quite a bit, heading up dry and rocky river beds, crawling into caves, scoping out amazing vistas. At one point I was all alone, but determined to find the beach, but could not go any further because the cliff and ocean were too close for comfort. On my way back I stumble into Chella and after hanging a bit we head up the canyon behind us (where two of her friends came from) and then up the side of the canyon to a really nice spot to gaze out into the ocean and watch the whales. Sometimes we'd get 3 and 4 whales doing their thing at the same time! Out in our view were two Cairns where the canyon curved a bit. They made a spectacular presence because of their location and made our spot so much more incredible.