Day 13 – Simple Treasures

taken above the water, the water is that clear!

Today seemed to have the theme of simple treasures.  Mike and I had a leisurely 40 minute stroll on Cannon’s Beach, while the nephew slept in this morning.  It was low tide, which we always enjoy because there are sea creatures to be spotted and admired in the water.

Mike’s greatest treasure he discovered this morning was a sea urchin spine. We marveled at nature’s engineering of it.


The views this morning, as usual, were beautiful and a perfect way to start our morning, being very zen like.

After our beach walk, we headed back to make breakfast burritos and plan the day.  We desperately need some more fruits and greens so off to the Hanalei Farmers market we went.

After this market we decided to go check out the market at Anaina Hou in Kilauea.  This market had less crowds and a good selection of eats.

On our way home we stopped in Hanalei to pick up a few more items at Big Save.  Once home we lunched on leftovers.  Our next outing was Limahuli Gardens in Haena.  This is one of my favorite places on the island, I find it very spiritual and calming.

As we walked the upper terrace of the gardens, a gentleman was gardening.  I started chatting with him, discussing my favorite plant Alula.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe provided me with tidbits of information, about how the plant in ancient times was pollinated(by a night moth now extinct), how they are studying currently how it pollinated and how they are saving this plant.


We moved on to sit and take in the views.


While sitting here he came over and gifted me with a Hawaiian White Hibiscus Flower.  It was that simple gesture, that came from his heart, endeared me even more to this sacred place. Talking story with Tom, the volunteer gardener, made my day. I don’t think he realized how much this simple act of giving meant to me.


After an early afternoon of walking in the sun, we returned to the house. Mike and I started to plan out the next few days, while the nephew enjoyed a few hours in the shade at Tunnels Beach. This isn’t our normal style of travel, to write out and plan each day, our nephew’s time visiting is limited, so having a plan will help us utilize time better for him.


After a dinner of burgers and salad greens,  I explored the yard and took a few new pictures of the orchids in the yard. I was excited to find a new one blooming. I love finding these small treasures throughout the yard.

Sunset viewing tonight was a colored cloud fest. It was another simple treasure that reflected the day, reminding us to enjoy the small gifts nature provides us with.


Day 8 Local Knowledge

Once again we had a plan, but once again mother nature decided she didn’t like our original plan. The plan was get up early and hike the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail. She decided to drop some rain on us and we know when we see the mountain flow of water from our house, we know the trail will be too slippery to hike. Little piece of local knowledge we gleaned.

So what to do? hmmm sit back and enjoy a leisurely breakfast of papaya boats and coffee. fullsizeoutput_1716

The new plan was to go to Koloa area for the afternoon farmer’s market.  Before that though we would go over to McBryde Gardens part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.  On our first trip to Kauai, we decided to become members and support their mission.

Before we left the house, our neighbor let us know the other neighbor had fresh caught ahi for sale.  It helps to be repeat visitors, the locals come to trust you and share that type of information. Off I went to get 2 lbs of fresh local cut ahi. Talk about local, it was in a cooler on the back of the guys truck under his house.

Finally we were on our way to the Gardens.  A lot has changed in six years, the trams are buses now to get to the garden, more walkways were added, new sections were put in,  and the bus guides are more knowledgeable. I feel like the gardens are growing up.

After our jaunt around the gardens it was time to head back on the bus.  We then drove over to the Koloa farmer’s market. Once again we picked up more fresh fruit.  We figure while here, eat as local as possible because in CT, fresh veggies are NOT year round.


Our next local thing to do was go to Costco!

As we drove home we decided to explore a bit and went on a new to us road, Kealia Road.  What views of Kong we had.

We stopped at the aging Spalding Monument.  This monument bordered the Kauai Ranch. 

The drive down the road was just as stunning.

We arrived home in time to make dinner.  We were so busy today, we forgot about lunch. So while I prepped dinner, Mike made guacamole from a butter avocado we picked up at the farmer’s market. OMG, I only want to eat butter avocados from now on. While I cooked we snacked on salsa, guac and chips.  Dinner was a jambalaya with local shrimp, veggies and sausage.


After clean up it was sunset viewing time.  We learned on our first trip to leave our slippahs at the beginning of the beach, like locals do.


Post sunset we returned “home”. I put dessert together wrapping the banana in the lumpia, then baking for 25 minutes.  The bananas are a perfect size to wrap up and the taste was out of this world. Though a drizzle of chocolate would make this out of the ballpark amazing!


With a little bit of local knowledge, we avoided a trail that could be slippery, purchased fresh ahi, visited  local food places (farmer’s market and Costco), went on a road less traveled by tourists and placed our slippahs in the correct spot.  Local knowledge is a blessing.

Day 30 – A Day of Beauty

We went our separate ways this morning. Mike went for a hike and I went for a run and a workout on the beach.

Mike returned to the Okolehao Trail and this time went past the bench we usually stop at.

Okolehao Trail Profile

Once again the views were wonderful for him.

Hanalei Bay
rain clouds
when mike hikes solo he gets rainbows
you can see all the way to the lighthouse
beautiful views

After we met up at home, we headed off to our last visit to Limahuli Gardens.  Today we were in for a treat, the hibiscus were in bloom and how stunning they were.

The birds of paradise were very showy today.

We came for the views, these cliffs tell stories and capture my heart.  I said a heartfelt goodbye to the cliffs, until we return again.

After the goodbyes we went to lunch at Red Hot Mamma’s, another hole in the wall joint that makes great burritos.

good eats. This is for you Tom

We then ventured to Waipa’s Farmer Market to pick up a few items to last us a few days.  Again another good bye had to be said, this time to our favorite market.

After that we were both beat from the exercise, walk to and around Limahuli Gardens, so we rested the late afternoon away.

We decided to go to Cannons Beach for sunset,  the sun was going to give us a great show tonight.

and let us not forget the beautiful moon tonight either.

Today was filled with beautiful gifts from nature.  We were lucky to be a part of this day.

Day 24 – Stink Eye, Da Crack, Hiking and a Crab

So we had another early morning. We hit Java Kai in Hanalei for an Americano and an iced mocha (no whipped cream) at 6:45 a.m. I was secretly hoping Pierce would be there getting his early morning java, but no such luck.

We merrily rolled on down the highway towards Allerton Garden on the south side.  We were going on the Ho’ike Tour, a behind the scenes tour of Allerton and McBryde Gardens.

As we neared the entrance to Allerton, we were going the posted speed limit of 25 mph when a man on a little bulldozer told, rather yelled at us,  to slow down and stop speeding.  We smiled as we knew we were going the posted limit (I even looked over at the speedometer and noted it was at 25).  Mike pulled into the lot, I went up to the visitor center to check us in.  In the background I could hear the tiny bulldozer coming into the lot.

Well Mike was confronted by a very angry man who proceeded to berate Mike for going to fast, etc.  If you know Mike, he just takes it in and smiles.  The man was hoping for a verbal confrontation, but none came from Mike.

As we were waiting for our tram, the guy came up in his machine to move more dirt and continued to give us the stink eye, all the while Mike and I just smiled at him.  We let our tour guide know about this and he quipped, “Clarence has anger issues, he does that to a few people and please let management know.”

Honestly if we were first time visitors, I would have demanded my money back and no longer supported the gardens.  Good thing, we’ve been before and had an excellent guide, David, today.  He was great at talking story.  It was fun going behind the scenes of the garden.

We stopped at the falls, the guide called it Queen Emma’s Falls.

Queen Emma’s Falls

We spent time in the green houses.  Part of the house is hurricane proof.

smells like chocolate

What makes each tour so unique is each guide has different stories to tell.  This is the guest house of the Allertons and during the filming of Fantasy Island, Tattoo stood on the balcony and welcomed the guests.

Tattoo stood on the balcony

We saw many different varieties of Hala Trees.

Hala Tree

We visited the lotus garden.


We even walked paths that on the regular tours you are not shown.


The Allerton Gardens are a magical place.  Dave, the guide, was outstanding and took away the evil stink eye of Clarence.

After our tour, we lunched at Da Crack in Poipu.  I had the special fish bowl and Mike had the veggie taco.  Both are excellent.  I’ve now had the fish taco, bowl and burrito.  The fish taco is my favorite, followed by the bowl and then the burrito.

Da Crack Fish Bowl
Da Crack veggie taco

After lunch we hike a small bit of the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail.  I would suggest doing this hike in the morning.  The afternoon sun was tough on me and we didn’t finish it.

view from trail
more views

There was even a heiau on the trail.  Anytime I can stop and look at a heaiu, I am filled with a  deep reverence for the power of the ancient Hawaiians.


It is an easy, non demanding hike with beautiful ocean and golf course views. But in the afternoon sun of Hawaii, my body didn’t like it.

Of course after this, we had to detour to the coffee plantation.  Picked up a few more goodies.

At home, we cleaned up, snacked, who needed dinner after that lunch? And then headed down to the beach for sunset.

Once again we had a friend watch with us.

just a little friend
sunset reflections

Day 9 – Run, Walk and Sun

I started my day with a run. Ran to Limahuli Gardens and back, about 2.7 miles.  It is a great little run for the rolling hills, tight curves and most importantly the sights.

My first favorite view
A bird to cheer me on
Can you believe this view?
ahhh the views

Mike had breakfast of fresh fruit, coffee and greek yogurt waiting for me after the run. So welcomed.

We were rather undecided about our plans, so after much debating we decided a good cool down for me would be for us to walk to Limahuli Gardens and do the self guided tour (and you thought I took those pictures as I was running?).

Off to Limahuli we trudged.  This is another of the National Tropical Botanical Garden properties.  I find this a very spiritual place.  I love to meander the gardens staring at the majestic cliffs and gazing out on the ocean.  The garden gives out an informative booklet, not only does it include plant information but it has legends about the mountains that surround you.

Ancient Hawaiian Taro Terraces

The rock perched up is named Pohaku-o-Kane, when he falls Kauai will be lost to a Tsunami

After our walk back, we lunched and rested. Then it was time for our Tuesday ritual of going to Waipa Farmer’s Market in Hanalei.  We stocked up again on fresh fruit and veggies. For us half the fun is people watching.  Mike’s favorite comment he overhead was “We are at a farmer’s market and it’s raining, this awesome.”  A couple who appreciates what this island has to offer.

We also picked up our tickets for this weekend’s Ocean Film Fest, a fun event for us.

Once the market errand was completed and unpacked, we slathered on the sunscreen and hit the beach for late afternoon sun or rather rain/sun showers.  It was a game of sit in full sun, run to the shade when the downpours came, run to sun, run to shade, felt like I was doing a Crossfit sprint for time.

After dinner you know what comes next…the nightly sunset viewing. But it didn’t happen.  Clouds and rain showers have us secluded here at the house.  That’s ok because tomorrow is an early day for us, doing the 2 or 2.5 hour drive to Waimea Canyon to do a hike in there.  Haven’t decided which one yet…should be another fun day on the island.

Well after I hit publish, the night sky lit up here at the house, such sky I’ve not seen before…enjoy the colors.

After sunset glow

Day 6 – Saturday July 16

Our morning started off with rain showers,

The cliffs play hide and seek

but that means…..RAINBOWS


After the showers continued on, Mike went for a short beach walk, while I fussed about.  Time to hit the Hanalei Farmer’s Market. Once again we divide and conquer, Mike to fruit, me to veggies.

Farmer's Market


Fruit from the market

After unloading all the goodies, it was time to load up on sunscreen and hit Tunnels for a bit of sunning and a swim.

Instead of foot in the sand photo...
Four feet float

After this mid day picture-taking session, we returned to the house to get ready for our evening of the Allerton Estate Sunset Tour.  We were told to be there at 4, so with an hour and 40 min. drive ahead of us, we hurried off.

The Allerton Estate is set in the Lawai Valley on the south side of Kauai.  The Allerton Couple purchased it from Queen Emma in 1937 and made it into the beautiful gardens you see today.  Unfortunately it faced two hurricanes which during one of them it destroyed the house.   The tour brought us down into the valley,

Looking down at the Estate

where an excellent guide brought us around some of the gardens and talked story.

The Thanksgiving Room
Do these trees look like a movie set?
water feature
rub for good luck

We approached the house and the huge expanse of lawn and we were all transported to another era.

Allerton Estate
looking out from the house courtyard

We were given permission to wander the grounds and beach while a light dinner was prepared for us.

The Four Seasons
at the beach looking back towards the house
palm tree perspective
Mike hanging out

After dinner of light fare, the guide led us to the beach and over the bridge.  We learned that the latest Tsunami caused some minor damage to the beach, which in turned affected the nesting turtles.  The beach lost about two feet of sand and created a bank that the turtles cannot climb, the turtles have had to re locate their nesting area to another part of the beach.

Beach and effect of Tsunami

This was a wonderful experience and one I’m glad we participated in. The group was small, 12 people and the guide was excellent.  We plan on returning and doing the behind the scene’s tour.

Another fun-filled day in Kauai.

Lotus flower

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