Glorious Na Pali

We had a fabulous time on the boat tour yesterday!  (Thank you Bonine with Meclizine.)
I shot 500 photos and have 36 picked to post later.  Here are just a couple to whet your appetite while we go off to Honalei Bay and snorkeling at Tunnels Beach (Turtles!!!).


These spinner dolphins did some flips and spins for our entertainment and then played under our boat for a while!



Too many photos of Na Pali?  Nah!  But you’ll have to follow the jump to the rest.

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Up the Road a Bit


Coming into Hanapepe, up toward Waimea and the canyon, but that’s for Saturday.  A few hours from now we’re off on Cap’n Andy’s NaPali Coast Sunset Cruise, so we’re just “killing time” exploring for now.

In other words, hours from now, we’ll be off the coast of this.


By the way, this above is the end of Polihale Beach, which combined with Barking Sands Beach to the South make up the longest beach in Hawai’i at 17 miles, though a good part of it is taken up by the Pacific Missile Range Facility, so it’s not all accessible.

The PMRF is a remnant of the Reagan Star Wars Initiative, and is apparently the most used missile launch pad in the world as they fire off missiles, then try to shoot them down; and they do it from what would otherwise be some of the most sought after beach real estate anywhere.

Spectacular beach, but the accessible part above is pretty much surfers and experts only, as the wave surge, rip tides and undertows (along with the lack of a lifeguard anywhere within 45 minutes) mark it in signage everywhere  along the beach as one of the more dangerous beaches on the island.  And it looks SO inviting.

Lazy Day – May 29

So we did not drive to Honalei Bay.  Decided to be lazy today instead.  FABULOUS!  There was a light switch broken in the bathroom at our condo.  I told the owner by e-mail and she had someone call me by 8:30am.  (It’s OK – we can’t manage to sleep past 5am here.)    She promised an electrician by 10 and we agreed to hang out. (Blogging accomplished!)  Sam the electrician was a super nice guy and quick.  We chatted and blogged while he worked and he asked us WHY we were computing on such a great day in Hawaii.

Blink, blink.  I just looked at him.  Then I said, “Waiting for an electrician.”  “I’ll hurry up,” said Sam.  I just giggled – no worries, still blogging.

Then we went snorkeling across the street at Lawai Beach.  SO different than the 2 protected beaches we have swum so far!  Very surfy and I loved it!!  LOTS of different fish with lots of colors, but not as many good photos as this beach was much harder to shoot.  Still just the one sea turtle sighting…







LOVE the surface reflection on the photo below.


THEN I did something I swore I was NOT going to do on vacation.  But it’s OK!  I woke with my right shoulder wrapped tightly around my left earlobe, so I decided to get a massage. (Shocked much?)  The REALLY nice owner of our condo left a card for a massage place in Lihue with great prices, but they were booked for the week.  So I started doing research and found a “kick-ass” therapist!  YAY!

Life is GOOD with massage.  🙂  It is with complete enthusiasm that I recommend therapist Jenn Sperry at Island Health and Wellness in Koloa, one mile from our condo.  Her massage is absolutely one of the highlights of my trip.  Jeremy also received a massage from Sophie and while he needed and enjoyed his massage, he says his regular therapist is better. I also was delighted when I inquired, as I ALWAYS do, what percent the therapist takes from my payment to learn that this WONDERFUL spa owner pays her therapist 50% of the take.  That is UNHEARD of in the spa industry!  (Napa spas pay 18 to 30%) So I tip my hat to the therapists and the owner of Island Health and Wellness ~ Thank you!

Jenn was also a doll to mention an event happening on Sunday in Wailua called Taste of Kauai, where all the best chefs on the island compete for “best-of” prizes in lots of categories.  It’s $100 ticket for a 5 hour event full of free food tasting!  Guess what we are doing this Sunday?

Lunch at Koloa Fish Market was 10-star fabulous and less than $20 for two.  The ono in creamy wasabi sauce served with Asian slaw and mac salad – Yum!

Dinner at Savage Shrimp was also great.  I had coconut shrimp which was delicious.


Jeremy ordered the scampi, but the waitress misheard him and brought the dish the place was named for, Savage Shrimp and it ROCKED!


Got my favorite shot of the day waiting for dinner:


And a few more random shots driving about in our red jeep.

jeepKauai Kauai3 KauaiGolf

We finished up the day watching the surf as the sun set.



Fabulous, relaxing vacation day!

Royal Kona Luau

I learned that I LOVE lomi lomi salmon.  (Lomi lomi means massage in Hawaii.  The salmon is massaged with seasonings and scallions.)  Poi is edible with a bite of lomi lomi salmon, but it doesn’t add much but carbs.  The pig was really dry and I did not like it at all.  Luau chicken and teriyaki chicken were divine.  Coconut cake was delish.  The show was worth the price!

They cook the pig in an Imu or earth oven.  They started it at 6am.  Tasted like they could have waited till noon.


Hula dancers entertained us while we waited.



Then they unearth the pig while we watch.


They take the leaves and rocks off with their bare hands!



She could really shake that thing.


Captured some of my favorite dance on a video here.


Video for this one here.





Enjoyed the dancing very much.  Nice evening at the luau.

Of Kona Coffee, Shave Ice and Kahalu’u Beach Snorkeling


Poipu Condo – View from our lanai.

I sit typing to you in Poipu on my lanai, enjoying three things: 1) our ocean view, 2) screaming speed on the internet (woo-hoo!), and 3) my FIRST decent cup of coffee since we arrived in the islands.  “What?  NO Kona coffee in Kona?” you ask.  Well NOT for lack of trying, let me tell you.  In Pahoa we bought great Kona coffee beans.  Our little cottage had a bean grinder (Yay!) but only a French press – no drip (nuts!).  The Royal Kona had a drip maker and provided us with the WORST “Hawaiian” coffee either of us had ever experienced along with one packet each of powdered cream.  Ewww.  We both tossed it down the drain and went to a coffee shop.  So we bought some ground Kona coffee and some half and half and made that in the hotel drip maker.  Strike three.  Bad coffee maker?  Dunno, but the HOURS we have been keeping demand better coffee!  Jer had an ice coffee and Island Lava Java and it was AMAZING, so we bought 2 pounds of beans to bring home.  Here in Poipu our condo has bean grinder and drip maker and we used the last of the ground Kona we bought.  Deep sigh of relief!  Currently on cup number two.

So Monday was our last day in Kona and the only plan was the luau (post to follow…) so after internetting at a coffee shop, we ate fresh fruit bowls from Basik Acai -Delicious! -then spent the day shopping for souvenirs, discovering shave ice and snorkeling.  I have a t-shirt, a tank top, a Hawaiian print dress, a coffee cup, Kona coffee, a beach towel and some hair clips.  🙂  Jer got a new Hawaiian shirt but not till we got to the Costco on Kauai.


Puna Bowl from Basik Acai. Yum!

Jeremy and I decided that Kona is a lot like staying in San Francisco with a far superior coastline.  We found “Pier 39” where they have Bubba Gumps and a Wyland Gallery.  Crazy Shirt is everywhere, and the ABC stores command the souvenir market.  We had fun wandering around shooting up the place.

THEN we experienced our first shave ice at Scandinavian Shave Ice!  Shave ice is NOT a snow cone.  It is finely, finely shaved ice (like powder) and covered in sweet syrup.  We ordered ours with vanilla macadamia nut ice cream in the middle.  Yum.

Then we went snorkeling at Kahalu’u beach.  No fins, so we tired quickly swimming in our water shoes, but I have some awesome photos to show for our short excursion!


Picasso Triggerfish


Yellow Tangs and Convict Tangs


Blue Parrot Fish and a grouper


Moorish Idol


Orange Band Surgeon Fish


Raccoon Butterfly


Slate Pencil Sea Urchin


Blue Parrot Fish (one of my favorites!), Yellow and Convict Tangs and the vibrantly colored Yellow-tail Wrasse. Awesome!