Day 9 – The Package

Today we received shipment of a very special package, our nephew flew in to spend some time with us!  However before his afternoon arrival, we decided to get a hike in.   After a quick breakfast of eggs, toast and coffee, we jetted off to the Kee Beach parking lot to hike the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail.


We landed at the parking at 7 a.m. and even the overflow lot was full. Oh well, we knew what our back-up hike would be, the Okolehao Trail. We’ve done this hike a few times, however this time our memory didn’t match the actual trail.  We thought the switchbacks came sooner, the trail was wider and it wasn’t as steep. No problem, we trudged on.


Following the hike, a little swim was in order.  We figured if Kee Beach was packed at 7 a.m. Hanalei Bay at 9:30 a.m. would be the same. Returning to the house, we dropped off our backpacks and walked down to Tunnels Beach. Once at Tunnels we plunged in and did our typical float down the ocean.

It was now 11 a.m. and we were tired.  “Home” we headed to prep dinner, check on our nephew’s flight status and I really needed a nap.  A little after 1 p.m. we went to the airport. Instead of greeting our nephew with a lei, we stopped at Foodland to purchase poke and greeted him with poke. Our package had arrived!

While at the airport waiting, I spotted Craig T. Nelson, he was waiting for an arrival too.

Back to the house we went, to enjoy appetizers and dinner.  Dinner was ribs, mac and cheese and a salad, perfect for the 4th of July.


As our routine goes, it was sunset viewing time. Off to the beach we headed where the boys had a quick swim and I just absorbed the beauty of the island. The sunset provided our 4th of July fireworks.

Tomorrow is our first full day with our nephew, who knows what the day has in store for us.

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 5

I knew we would have an excellent day and we did.  We started off doing a power hike on the Okolehao Trail in Hanalei, we did this last year (  As were driving to the trail head, I noticed on a hunter’s trail a dead boar.  I believe in signs and took this as a sign we were to have a grand day.

As we entered the Hanlaei Wildlife Refuge we were greeted by Nene’s, the Hawaiian Goose which is an endangered water fowl.

Nene greet us

Another sign that exciting things were in-store for us on this trail.

We did this trail last year in dry conditions, as with all our hikes so far this trip, it was anything but dry.  I have come to embrace Kauai Mud on trails.  The trail is a puffer going up 900 feet in about a 1 mile.

Going up
hiking in the mud - FUN

I’m glad that I forget trails easily, I just remember the reward of the views.  I forgot totally what an uphill hike this is.  This year it was much easier for both of us to do.

As I rounded the corner, I knew one of my favorite views was almost in front of me.

I know the view to expect and I'm Happy

We looked out at Hanalei Valley and over at Princeville, as we watched the rain cloud approach.  We secretly hoped that the rain shower would grace us with a rainbow over the valley.

Rain approaches

We quickly scurried from the Aloha bench to an area where we could take shelter. Luckily for us there were strawberry guavas to be picked and eaten.

The rain stopped and we continued on the trail, as we looked out…mother nature delivered us a rainbow over the valley.  We hurried back to the aloha bench to capture its beauty.

aloha bench with rainbow
see the beginning of the double?
Ahh beautiful rainbow

After the giddiness wore off, we powered hiked down the muddy trail.  Sometimes we had to treat the mud like slippery, compacted snow and just let ourselves slide.

slide or rather glide on the mud

As we neared one of the final switchbacks, the bank was littered with orchids.

Wild Orchids on the side of the trail

This is a trail we will continue to do for a great cardio workout and for well….for the amazing views.

When we returned home it was time for breakfast number two.  Leftover crustless quiche with salsa, fresh Kauai pineapple and Kauai coffee.

crustless quiche, salsa, Kauai pineapple and coffee - yummmmm

Time for some beach action.  Could it get any better than a rainbow over the valley?  Ummmm…yup  our first Hawaiian Monk Seal up close, another of Hawaii’s endangered critters.

Monk Seal sunbathing at Tunnels

He didn’t stay long, but for all the time we sat at Tunnels last year, we didn’t see one.  What a treat.

Once he cleared out, we sunned, read and then went for our afternoon swim/float down Tunnels Beach.  We emerged from the water to see a couple plop themselves three feet from our mats and chairs.  Really? Our end of the beach was pretty deserted.  After we spent time drying off and listening to how annoying they were, we packed up…that’s ok, it was good for me to get out of the sun.

After a snack and shower, we headed into Hanalei.  I needed to pick up a few things and we stopped in to Shave Ice Paradise.  We had surprisingly passionfruit with mac nut ice-cream on the bottom.  Not so good this year…

shave ice

Of course we sat on a bench close to Java Kai, as I’ve heard Pierce B. is a fan of it.  No sightings today…After some Nenes, a rainbow and monk seal, seeing Pierce is pushing my luck.

Java Kai

We completed our shopping mission in Hanalei and headed home to cook dinner.  I used these beautiful golden beets in our dinner tonight. Just loved the pattern.

Beets I purchased at Waipa Farmer's Market

After dinner time to head out for our nightly viewing of the sunset.  Thought we might give Cannons Beach a try.  We usually go to this beach early but decided it was time to try it for sunset.

On the way out the driveway, we noticed in the farmland, across the road, the farmer had brought the cows down.  I spied a nice steer that would feed us for a few months.

Paleo Cow

After chatting it up with creatures, Mike finally got me in the car to head out.  The setting sun was a huge orange orb tonight.  We wandered the beach taking artsy photos, sat for a bit and goofed off in the setting sun.

Sunset at Cannons
Mike's artsy photo
Mike enjoys the sunset
I'm goofing off

It was an exceptional day today. Tomorrow we are off to the south side of the island for the Allerton Sunset Estate Tour.  Allerton Estate is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden Group (  It is claimed to be a stunning botanical experience, one that won’t disappoint.

Can’t wait to see the beauty of the day tomorrow.

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