Archive for November, 2009
I feel so privileged to have had the great opportunity to play golf at one of the nations premier golf destinations, home of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf 1994-2006. Thanks to a wonderful birthday gift, I had this pleasure, one extravagance I would never afford myself. This was dream golf. When compared to my usual choices for frugal golf.
The warm up area was the best I had ever seen. All the range balls you wanted were included and they were good balls too. We practiced up plenty because I really wanted to play well here. The driving range even included sand traps, so you could practice your strategy of avoidance. Some practice putting on fast smooth greens was all of the preparation I needed, and then off to our round. We were able to play as a twosome. I love that.
The fairways were plump. Drives had a really long run with the help of the wind and could roll even further on the carpet-like fairway grass. The fairway held the ball perched up, like on a tee. I had my best second shots ever with my 5 wood on this turf.
This course was gorgeous and serene. The pace was just right, we never felt pushed or hurried. The drink cart attendant was ever present. I was pleased with my performance as with numerous traps and hazards I only found myself in the sand once, and had a great out with a little bounce near the pin.
We loved the wind. We loved the views.
My score did not reflect the generally good game I played, hitting the ball straight, staying in the fairway and out of the traps, good chips onto the green and putting true to the read. That could be because I dropped 3 balls into the water on just one hole. So be it. This was a wonderfully satisfying golf outing . Thank you, Chris.
We made plans for this northbound adventure the day before and decided to get take out from Kalena Fish Market as recommended by a local. We ordered just what was recommended as well. This place sells Korean style plate lunch. The woman behind the service counter was so friendly she showed us the different foods and patiently explained how each one would taste.
We loved our lunch, and had enough food to feed us for the whole day again for under $20.00 for us two.
Anini beach is one of the safest and most protected along the North Shore of the island. Over 2 miles of reef runs the length of this beach and protects people entering the water from dangerous surf. This is Hawaii’s longest reef. It is popular for both snorkeling and windsurfing. We planned to snorkel today but visability was poor, due to the after rain run off flowing into the sea. Snorkel day is postponed. This beach was once called Wanini. It is told that the , “W, fell off the sign, rather than fixing the sign, the name was just permanently changed. This is so Hawaiian.
Interesting Kauai fact……BEER IS ALLOWED AT ALL PARKS AND ON THE BEACH. Sad to say, there is broken glass on Kauai’s beaches, this is a great disappointment that really mars the overall beauty. Please don’t litter.
A short walk out my back door yields a multitude of orchid varieties.
Orchids are one of the largest and most varied plants in the world, with over 25,000 species known. Most are found in the tropics. Many are epiphytes or plants growing on trees or other plants using them as a host.
Orchids come in all shapes, sizes textures and colors. So many types of orchids are growing right here in Kalaheo. They are tucked into cevices and little hiding places all over the yard. I’m collecting photos for painting reference.
They are exotic and beautiful. Part of living and travelling frugally is finding enjoyment in all of the free things to behold. Both our world and Kauai are filled with abundant everyday treasures, all we need do is open our eyes.
It’s now November 22nd, I’ve been here for one month. I’ve learned that every day is a beach day in Kauai, there hasn’t been a day since we arrived that we haven’t gone to the beach. Even when there are storms there seem to always be a few breaks to offer up some sunshine and rainbows. The place is magical.
You sit on the beach watching the surf, then you turn your head and see rainbows over mountains. Looking out on the ocean you watch a storm track across the water, then disappear to reveal an island. This place enlivens all of the senses, the winds caress and cool, the sun warms and relaxes, the sound of crashing waves soothe. Fresh scents of citrus and tropical fruit entice and the visual is always spectacular. It really is hard to take a bad photograph here.
I’m so glad that I came here. Everything is going as planned. This month has been but a blur, thankfully I have this blog ,hundreds of photographs and a killer tan to help me remember it all.
They are magical little people like elves, pixies and leprechauns. Many large and ancient structures all over Kauai, fishponds, temples and immense water carrying systems are attributed to their skills and labor. The magical feat is these things were all built overnight. I keep looking for Menehune. It’s told that the 1820 census listed 65 self identified Menehune living in the Wainiha Valley. We enjoyed our joy ride through the mountains and valleys, taking in lovely vistas and many beautiful home sites and worked up an appetite for our next stop.
Mexican food for lunch. This place was recommended by our golf partners from just the day before. La Bamba, was also rated best Mexican food on the island for the last 8 years by the Garden Island News. Near Sears at the Kukui Grove Shopping Center in Lihue. The decor is very casual, but clean. The staff had a watchful eye for water refills. The menu was pretty standard for simple Mexican, our lunch was under $20.00 with a on the rocks margarita, no salt please. Sorry to say I probably would have been just as happy at Taco Bell, sans margarita.
Up and out early, we decided to take ourselves a little road trip. We viewed this from a lookout off the road way.
“Opaeka’a means rolling shrimp. The name dates back from days when shrimp swarmed the river and were seen rolling in the turbulent waters at the base of the falls. Near by were some ancient Hawaiian ruins to disturb them is kapu, or forbidden so we enjoyed them without touching. Heiau means sacred site. It’s unknown exactly how the ancient Hawaiians used Poli’ahu Heiau, the largest pre-Christian temple on the island. Legend says it was built by the Menehune because of the unusual stonework found in its walled enclosures. Some Hawaiians feel these sacred stones shouldn’t be viewed as tourist attractions. Treat them with respect: never stand or sit on the rocks, or leave any offerings.named for the snow goddess of the Island of Hawaii (legend has it she lived on Mauna Kea). The heiau contains several terraces, idol sites, and a “god stone” five feet high.
Fish ID……….from my friend via email………”Just wanted to tell you that the fish on your blog is called a “papio.” My fish expert friend Bernal who grew up on Kauai tells me that you salt and pepper it and fry it. Very tasty. It is a baby actually. I think when the papio grows big, it is called an “ulua.” Jerry says he thinks it is a jackfish in English. Years ago, Bernal and Jerry went out at night to fish. Jerry caught a fish and Bernal filleted it right on the beach for the freshest sashimi ever.” mahalo to Connie
Aloha……………………Hello or Good-bye…”aloha” is a greeting or it could mean “goodbye.” It can also mean “love.”
More Hawaiian lessons from my island friend…… “Makai” means on the ocean side and “mauka” is toward the mountain side. When people give directions, they use those terms to indicate if something like a store is on the ocean or mountain side of the highway. Oh, another important one is “kapu” which means to keep out or forbidden. You might see signs on Kauai that say “kapu” so don’t enter that property.
Great hikes and refreshing swims make for ravenous appetites. Next on the agenda, birthday dinner at the restaurant of my choice, it had to be Thai. I love Thai food. Chris is unsure, he doesn’t like spicy food. I assure him he will love the delicate and subtle flavors found in Thai food that doesn’t have to be overly spicy. This restaurant was recommended by my new fast friend, Connie, who sold us the Acura. She has been invaluable, by giving me much local information and protecting us from making dangerous mistakes. Like,” don’t swim at Lydgate or nearby after heavy rains. The Wailua River empties into the ocean and will bring all kinds of animal yuck (leptospirosis) and debris from the mountains.” In our ignorance we thought from our research that Lydgate Beach was the safest beach. Mahalo, Connie, for keeping us safe and well informed.
We arrived Toi’s Thai Kitchen located in the Eleele Shopping Center at about 7pm, bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in hand purchased at the Big Save almost next door. Toi’s doesn’t serve alcohol but encourages bringing in your own bottle and although a corkage fee was on the menu, we were not charged for this service. This is a strip mall restaurant but the atmosphere was pleasing, the seating comfortable, and the wait staff skilled and friendly. All of the food was wonderful, we sampled an appetizer of deep fried noodles with shrimp, fragrant greens and sweet and sour sauce, green papaya salad, pad thai, and Toi’s temptation, and the price of around $15 or less per entree included salad and dessert. We were very pleased with Toi’s and we can’t wait to return and try some other delicious fare. Chris said, this food is great, now he is a fan of Thai cuisine.
The storms have blown over, the tradewinds are back, the humidity gone and it’s warm and wonderful once again. Perfect for a little hike suggested by a local to a secluded beach. It starts at the Japanese Cemetery just above Glass Beach and follows the trail along the coast. Only about a 20 minute hike. At first the trail is narrow, red and studded with lava rocks, well above the crashing surf.
It provided excellent views of natural bridges, blow holes and arches carved by the relentless sea. We didn’t linger at these sights for long, anxious to find the secluded beach.
Ahead the trail carved its way through high grass leading us toward a quarry and coffee fields. Soon the beach came into full view, but not easily accessible, we needed to remove our hiking shoes and walk knee deep though the muddy currents of fresh water spilling into the ocean.
Then sinking into soft gray sand. We found our beach. The sand was firm by the water and fine in texture. We placed our beach sheet on the far end, pulled out our reads and made ourselves comfortable. The Giant yucca were amazing their lances were approximately 8 ft tall but their spires reached thirty feet into the sky.
My more familiar yucca is never more than 4 feet tall. The crabs were dancing along the surf, searching for meal while we rested before following the trail just a little further. We climbed to an elevated area above the beach on another of Kauai’s red dirt roads. We took in breath taking vistas and a view back at our beach blanket in solitude, while the aroma of coffee from Kauai Coffee Company enticed us. This entire adventure was a pleasant 3 hours, then off to our favorite Salt Pond for a cool off swim.