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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 24 – His, Mine and Ours

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That was the kind of day it was…His morning, my morning and then our afternoon and evening.

Mike went for a hike, I stayed home due to a knee injury (nothing serious, hyperextended the knee and strained some muscles).  Mike hiked the Kealia Trail (we did this earlier in our stay) to the Makua Overlook.

Mike sums this hike up with:

1. He prefers trails to walking on forest roads

2.  He would rather do switchbacks than straight uphill dirt roads

3.  Great view overlooking the Makua Valley

4.  He has never been called “Sir” so many times in his life.  He crossed trails with a group of Army guys working out on the trail.  Several men were carrying 35lb Kettlebells.  He thanked them all for serving

5.  The trail provided nourishment, strawberry quava and unripe lilikoi

Enjoy his photos:

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at the start he watched parachuters

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gliders
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seems every hike in Hawaii has to have a water tower
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unripe lilikoi

P1230912 P1230909 P1230907 P1230899 P1230896 P1230892 P1230890 P1230884 IMG_0682 IMG_0678 IMG_0677 P1230874 P1230872 P1230865 P1230862 P1230859 P1230857 P1230853 P1230851 The hike lasted 3 hours, over 6 miles with an elevation gain of 2100 feet.

kealia makua overlook

While he was off blazing the trail, I was having my kind of morning.  I was sitting around, reading and watching three guys fish off of the reef.  It was low tide so the turtles hadn’t arrived yet.

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When Mike arrived home, blistered feet and all, we started our afternoon together.  We ventured out to lunch at Banzai Sushi Bar in Haleiwa.  If we had eaten here earlier in our trip, there would be multiple check in’s on facebook here.  We really enjoyed our lunch.

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appetizer of ahi poke in coconut milk with red peppers, onion and cucumbers
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I had fish and salad. Fresh caught marlin in tempura batter. Eating salad with chopsticks, a first for me
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dessert was tempura fried bananas with fresh coconut ice cream

Back to the house to watch turtles.  I think I’m turning into the crazy turtle lady, forget ever being the crazy cat lady.

P1230948 P1230947 P1230924Dinner was succulent pork ribs, thank you VJs butcher shop with fresh Waialua grown green beans.  Sorry no picture, we ate it to fast.  We enjoyed dessert from our  friend’s goodie bag, limoncello and chocolate chip cookies.

Sunset was definitely our time.  We missed the past two nights of sunset viewing, we were not going to be missing it tonight.  It was a grand day of having our own time and our together time.

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Day 20 – Time Out

IMG_0648Sometimes in life your body tells you to take a time out from busy.  OK for me, the body tells me on a quarterly schedule.  Today was that day.  We had plans to return to the church in the morning for the unveiling of the cooked pig, volunteer for a bit, have a friend up with her son and show the around the North Shore, all by noon.

Body said no after watching the unveiling(and it wasn’t because of seeing the piggies).  I wasn’t feeling so hot, so we cancelled plans, which I felt horrible about.

We missed the undressing of the imu, arrived in time to see them pulling out the first pig and stayed for a few minutes more.

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as soon as the pigs came out, people where there to quickly get the bones out.

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We retreated home for the rest of the morning.  Around noonish, I felt like I could function for a bit and Mike was a bit bored of sitting around.  We headed out to Wahiawa Botanical Gardens.  It was a quick drive from the North Shore and the walk around the gardens wasn’t time-consuming, mainly because the lower portions were closed.

Lower portions were inaccessible
Lower portions were inaccessible. sorry not a great photo
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ummm what do you mean, I can’t go down there?

The garden is beautiful and you wouldn’t realize you are in an urban setting.

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loved the leaf design
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This is a cactus hanging from the tree
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beautiful to look at, but I thought it smelled like a room full of wet dog
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love these trees

P1050973 P1050966 P1230661 IMG_0643 IMG_0642 P1230657 P1230653 IMG_0636 IMG_0637 P1230644 P1230642 P1050924 P1230636 P1230635 P1230631After our exploration, I still had a little steam left, so I knew I could do one more short excursion.  We drove by a sacred site, The Kukaniloko Birthing Stones and visited the site.

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This is located in a sugar cane field with the beautiful mountains as a backdrop.

IMG_0648You walk down a short dirt road.

P1230664There the stones stand.

IMG_0655We meandered about, soaking in the beauty and mystery of this sacred place.

P1230667 P1230668 P1050985 P1050984 P1050990 IMG_2831We had one last stop to make on our way home, VJs Butcher Shop.  We had a few items we needed for our final week (boo hoo).

IMG_2833I was pretty spent after our two hour outing.  I rested while, Mike grilled up dinner.  After dinner, he went for a sunset swim and while I stood on land to capture the sunset.  We were treated to a pre show at our sunset show, a rainbow.

P1230677So our day was a bit of a break from rush, rush, rush of the last two days.  I had a time out, which was ok, because we have a busy weekend.

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Day 17 – Post Storm?

IMG_2738I woke up at midnight and listened to the wind blow, not howl, just blow a bit stronger than usual.  I waited for the rain, but never heard it.  I realized Storm Flossie had frizzled so I fell right back asleep.  There really wasn’t much of a storm overnight, we had maybe three extra twigs in our yard.

We decided to head out to Laie Point and see the window in the rock.  We tried to go on Sunday, but the amount of people and lack of parking, had us quickly turning around.  On our way, we noticed there was parking at Waimea Bay. There is never parking here, it is always jammed packed.  Mike quickly turned the car into the parking area and we jumped out in a state of shock.  We never thought we would walk this beach.

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We didn’t stay long and we continued on to Laie Point. We observed rain showers starting to move in on us.  As we were looking at the views, the remnants of Flossie made an appearance.

P1230251 P1050610 P1230250We took shelter in the car and tried to figure out which way the rain was moving.  We didn’t have good luck with that.  We decided to head back the way we came.  We had torrential downpours on the way back with parts of the road flooding.  I can’t imagine if Flossie hit as a tropical storm, how flooded everything would be.

As we neared Sunset Beach, the rain stopped and we choose to stop at Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau.  A heiau is a very sacred place to the Hawaiians, it is a temple.  This one is the largest in Oahu and should be visited.

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There were side paths that led off to views of Waimea Bay.

P1230257 P1230265 P1230261However, don’t wear flip-flops, some of the path is on red soil and sticks like crazy to the bottom of your flip-flops.

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Mike scrapping off the red dirt.
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what the trail looks like to the overlooks
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the bottom of my shoe, about a quarter inch of mud

We were very hungry by then and lunch was needed.  We decided to try Waialua Bakery and Juice Bar in Haleiwa.  Fresh baked bread (we had seven choices of rolls) and the freshest ingredients.  If you like lemonade, stop in here and they will even add items to it.  I had fresh ginger in mine and Mike had fresh mint, wowzers.

IMG_2744 IMG_2748 IMG_2745After lunch, we needed exercise.  Time for a snorkel.  We went down to what we affectionately call Horse Beach.  It is the public beach that the path is lined with horses.  This morning the waters were so calm, we hoped it continued for the afternoon.  No such luck at this beach.  Mike went in and I sat on the beach.  He said visibility was poor and then more rain moved in.  We packed up and headed home.

The heavens opened up as soon as we arrived at the house, instant flooding of the road.  If Flossie had dumped rain on us overnight, Mike and I might be swimming in our house, not outside in the ocean.  You could visibly see the sun rain line this afternoon.

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Looking at the mountains, you would think steam was coming off of them.

P1050648After the rain cleared, we noticed our beach had nice calm waters, the water was still a little murky.  Time to snorkel here.

P1050677 P1050673 P1050672 P1050669 P1050667 P1050664After a fun little excursion, I hopped on facebook and noticed my dream cupcake maker in Waialua had some for sale.  I’ve been watching her fb for months, hoping we would be able to taste one of creations.  Ka’ala Cupcakes is usually pre-order only. Today a local farmer gave her lilikoi and strawberry guavas. She made cupcakes and offered them to people via facebook.  All you had to do was text her your order and she would deliver them.  OMG, I was so giddy, I couldn’t type in our address in the text, Mike had to take over.

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The flavor is/was amazing.

Dinner tonight, no it wasn’t just cupcakes, but the filet mignon we picked up yesterday at VJs Butcher Shop in Haleiwa.  We paired it with salad, all local ingredients and bread from the bakery.  Love eating with local ingredients.

P1230280Sunset was amusing tonight, different cloud formations and types.  The colors kept changing.  Flossie may have fizzled overnight, but the end of her really let the rain fall on us today, but I think it inspired the sunset.

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Day 16 – Storm Prep

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7:30 a.m. rainbow

We awoke later than normal, it was a bit darker this a.m.. Mike put on a pot of coffee, new blend from Green World Farms, we paired it with a mango ginger scone(not the best and more muffin like) we picked up yesterday and made the plan for the morning.  We had a storm related agenda to attend to.

Off to Costco for gas. Wait a minute, we have a rainbow.  Time for a rainbow break.

P1050557 P1050562  At home in New England when a major storm is forecasted, the gas lines and grocery stores are insane.  We expected the same here.  Well, we arrived at Costco at 8 a.m. and the line was not long at all.

We returned to the North Shore via Green World Farms for a cup of coffee.  I know we had some at home, but we didn’t drink much.  Coffee and a cappie to go please.

We had to stop at a grocery store in Haleiwa for a few items, thinking the lines would be crazy and no water left on the shelf, we braced ourselves.  Nope…hardly anyone in the store and shelves were full of everything.

We continue on our rounds, post office next, bakery for bread.  If we lose power and have to eat peanut butter and jelly, I want good bread.  Ok, confession here…it will be a coconut peanut butter and lilikoi or guava jelly sandwich.

Home at last, with a rainstorm coming in.  Checked facebook and noticed VJs Butcher Shop’s post they are open to 1 p.m. and have a 15% discount because of the storm.  Back in the car.  We pick up some filet mignon, can grille that if we lose power. We talked some storm story.  We did ask the owner how long power goes down around these parts with a storm and he replied only a few hours.  WHAT? a few hours, that is nothing. Two years ago with that darn snow storm in October we went without power for seven days, he couldn’t believe that.  Haleiwa wasn’t doing much to prepare for the storm, except for VJs he buttoned up his burger and dog shack.

vjs all buttoned up
vjs all buttoned up

Arrived at our house and the sky was blue.  We needed exercise, so went for an hour beach walk.  If I did this every day, I would have the most toned legs in the world.  Come on retirement, get here.

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looking back towards our beach and waimea
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umm where did waimea go to?
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grumpy crab on sea glass
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hey mr. turtle

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After the walk, it was lunch time.  Leftovers of chicken and steak…yummmmm. Luckily the rain stopped and we could eat outside.  We then played the rain falls, we go inside, the rain stops, we go outside, repeat about three times and we finally cry “uncle” to the weather and retreat indoors for the remainder of the afternoon.

Tonight’s dinner was ahi with kale/onions and a fried cheese.  We picked up the cheese yesterday from Naked Cow Dairy.  This was the first dinner we had to eat inside the house, no outdoor dining.

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We did some house cleaning after dinner (ok mike did) and waited for the non sunset.  Throughout the day we watched the forecast.  Cheered when Flossie was downgraded  and knew we are ready for an overnight of rain and wind.

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Day 13- Hiking the Wiliwilinui Trail

Finally a hike day for us.  We decided to do our first ridge trail hike in Oahu, Wiliwilinui Trail.  I write another blog about hiking, so if you want to read the details check out my hikergal blog at http://cthikergal.com/2013/07/27/wiliwilinui-trailoahu/

A few items to note to visitors that aren’t seasoned hikers:
1.  Wear hiking shoes or trail runners, sneakers won’t cut it on the slick mud sections.
2.  Wear long pants, the ulule fern or razor fern will slice you.
3. If you are short like me, long sleeves would be advised in those ferns
4.  If you have a hiking pole, bring it use it, helps on going down
5. Bring water

The hike starts off in a residential neighborhood, first part is easy, with good little views out to Honolulu.

P1050451 P1050452 P1220927 P1220931And then we came to the point, where I stopped and went we are going up there? Oh no…

P1220930We trudge on and the wide road changes to a narrow path, lined by ferns.

P1050471Did I mention stairs?  Yup we had to go up many steps.  The rise on a few were so high up, I had to kneel on them to get up it.

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I know i'm coming down, but I had to go up first.
I know i’m coming down, but I had to go up first.

And did I mention ropes?  They helped tremendously.

P1220967 P1050479What I thought was the goal, at the radio/tv towers wasn’t.  It was the next little bump.

P1220950We make it to our destination and the views were amazing.

P1220980 P1220983 IMG_0620 P1220989After a brief break at the top, it was time to head down.  I was a little nervous at first, but it was way more fun going down than up.

P1230002 P1050497 P1230012 P1050508 P1230064We survived, or rather I survived.  It took us 4 hours, to go 4.6 miles with an elevation gain of 1500 feet.

wiliwilinui trailSo what do you do after this kind of hike? First find the nearest McDonalds to use the bathroom.  Sorry ladies but trails on Oahu are not the easiest to pee on, no cover.

Next stop at VJs Butcher shop, we need meat and ice cream sandwiches.  No pictures of the sandwiches, we gobbled them down.

Came home, hit the water to float and relax all the aching muscles.  Then it was time to eat.

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Mother Nature gave us a little gift of a rainbow after dinner.

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Finally it was sunset.  It was lackluster, but the after hours showing was spectacular. What a day.  The hike was amazing, though a bit scary at times for me, but I am so happy I did it for the views and yeah I had fun.

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