Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Last Batch, I Promise
I'm trying to pretend that I'm still in Kauai. Can you tell? I don't know who these folks are. Steve just thought they looked pretty funny.
This is the beautiful Hanalei Valley, from an overlook. It's farmed, mostly with taro plants, which they use the roots of to make poi. This land is also a nature preserve for native ducks and geese and Hawaiian stilts.
This is a field of taro plants.
My favorite place in Hanalei is Banana Joe's, which is a fruit stand where they make smoothies and frosties. They take fruit that has been frozen and put it through a food mill to make a sort of sorbet, only there is no sugar added. It's just fruit. Yum!
Speaking of fruit, it really does just grow on trees there. Here's a papaya tree and a coconut palm.
We went to a luau at Smith Family Tropical Paradise. It was sorta what we thought it was going to be. The food was pretty good. You have to try the poi, but it's definitely an acquired taste. The luau reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner, only tropical. There were about 500 people at this one. We got seated at a long table across from 2 obvious newlyweds. They were cute. Turns out the guy was from Amherst, NY (Steve's hometown) and the girl from Tonawanda...Buffalo. That was pretty funny. The grounds have all sorts of beautiful plants and peacocks.
The show after the dinner was sort of pseudo-Polynesian and a bit hokey. It kind of reminded me of those shows at places like Marineworld Africa USA. We left early. But we did enjoy the happy hour with Hawaiian music at Joe's on the Green at Kiahuna Plantation Golf Resort. I loved the Hukilau Song. The woman who sang on Thursday and Sunday nights brought up some relatives from the audience who performed traditional hula, which was really serious and beautiful...not at all like the coconut bra/hootchie-cootchie girl version one sometimes associates with Hawaii. Click on the Hukilau link to see the Hukilau hula.
Our favorite meal stop (which Chris told us about)was about a block from where we stayed, Susan Allyn's shrimp truck on Lawaii Rd. Food off a truck is sort of the last thing I'd think of when looking for a good meal, but the garlic shrimp and the coconut shrimp were fresh and delicious.
Steve took this photo of Ironwood roots at Ke'e Beach on the far north side of the island. Our guide told us that the sand got washed away by a 40 ft. wave that hit the island a couple of years ago. The trees are still alive.
Here are two more images from the cactus gardens at Moir Gardens in Poipu.
There was an amazing full moon while we were there. Steve took a bunch of photos of it from Baby Beach.
We got to watch the sun rise the last two days we were there. Once when we were headed out for birding and then on our way to the airport. When we took off from Lihue, I looked out the window of the plane and saw a rainbow. Aloha, Kauai.