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Still dreaming of Kauai…

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But this will be the final post. I know it has taken me awhile to get the third part published but since we arrived back on the mainland work and more travel ensued. We went to Vista, California but I will share that in another post soon so let’s re-visit Kauai.

I am a snorkeling fool. There- I admit it. Who would have known? The only time I have been snorkeling was many moons ago off of Key West and everyone on the boat was an experienced snorkeler with no obvious fears of the deep blue sea. Me on the other hand with my eyeglasses instead of contact lenses was terrified of what I might not see. So by the time I got myself oriented and started off, the rest of the group was returning. Not the best experience but I do remember seeing creatures that fascinated me so I was all gung-ho to try it again. My dearest Kris after hearing my one experience snorkeling did some research and found Snorkel Bob’s online information stating that they carried masks with Rx lenses. A big woo-hoo because this meant that I would be able to see everything swimming in the great big sea and this is important when you are out of your element.

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We rented our gear from here and snorkeled our way around Kauai.

We bought an underwater camera by Nikon to photograph the various reef creatures while we snorkeled and while we did get some nice pictures we were extremely disappointed when the display went haywire towards the end of our trip. Here are a few of the pictures Kris took while snorkeling.

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Looks like a cartoon fish!

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Pittsburgh Steeler fish

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Some kind of Butterfly fish

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Lot’s of these fish

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We loved the rainbow fish. Don’t know their real name though.

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Maybe a Milletseed Butterfly fish.

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A colorful Wrasse fish.

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Green Sea Turtle

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Another Steeler fish fan!

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Fish name unknown

The first time Kris and I saw the Green Sea Turtles was at Anini Beach when we met all the girls one day to picnic and snorkel. Our friend Rachel is recovering from a major back surgery a few months ago and needed a calm place to snorkel. Anini Beach fit the bill according to everything we had read. Anini has a large shallow area and calm water where you can snorkel to your hearts content.

This is the beach that convinced me to purchase a long sleeved swim shirt the next day. We snorkeled for about three hours and I got a little too much sun but I’ll shift the blame to the sea turtles. They made me stay in the water too long. Anyway, there I was meandering along checking out all the colorful fish including a couple of puffer fish when I saw an area that needed exploring when I almost bumped heads with a humongous turtle. At first I thought it was just part of the underwater rocks but when it raised it’s head, looked straight at me, I realized that the rocks around me were alive. Suddenly I realized there wasn’t just one turtle but a herd in the water with me. About this time Kris had spotted them and started snapping pictures but that is when our camera started acting stupid. It’s okay though because we were actually there swimming with real live sea turtles and nothing beats the real thing!

On Thursday four of us decided to go on a snorkeling cruise on the Na’Pali Coast. I had seen the weather forecast the day before and it said Thursday would be the last good clear day before we left. Guess what? Weather people all over the world broadcast incorrect forecasts and we had the rainiest day ever. It was still fun and an adventure that we will remember and laugh about when we are old. Below are a few pictures of our “three hour tour.”

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Kathy and Kay wearing the latest fashion wear that is a must when the weather man is wrong.

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Hard to tell but my hat was still dripping.

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The fish swimming around the bottom of our boat.

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The calm after the storm.

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A nice little private area on the Na’ Pali coast.

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Another boatload of raincoat clad fools investigating the numerous caves on the coastline.

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Most of the pictures we have from the rainy ride to our snorkeling destination have water spots on them so I won’t share them with you. Just know that the water spots are from the rain and not the water splashing up onto the camera lens.

Though the snorkeling adventure was a bit of a wild ride and we were all humming the Gilligan Island theme song, it was fun. I was a little freaked out by the depth of the water when we arrived at our destination. Some of the fish were huge and I kept my eyes open for sea life that might of thought I was lunch. Kris on the other hand loved it and wished the water wouldn’t have been so murky from the crazy rain.

Our last two days on Kauai consisted of more snorkeling, beautiful sunsets, investigating the little shops and markets for inexpensive little trinkets, and getting our fill of local cuisine. During our week on Kauai we tried the local burgers at a few places, ate lots of ono/ wahoo, and tried starfruit and loved it. We had a lovely dinner with all of our friends including two more that had flown in the night before on Friday night at Duke’s. The restaurant is named after Duke Kahanamoku the famous surfing famous pioneer. All in all it was a fabulous holiday and we have decided that Kauai is our kind of place to visit. Next time we fly that direction we hope to visit some of the other islands.

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The Kauai Humane Society has a really cool program for pets that allows people to take a shelter dog on a field trip so they are not stuck in kennel waiting for their forever home. We ran into these folks on our last day on the island. Here is a link to read all about it! http://kauaihumane.org/volunteer/dogfieldtrips

I could go on and on about with so much more but for now Aloha from Kris and I.

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Kukakuka (Let’s talk story)

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Well, maybe not a proper story. This post will be more like a bunch of pictures from our trip with a bit of dialogue about each one. I have to admit that I also thought I might finish the Kauai blog in this post but due to an excessive amount of pictures I want to share there will be a part three.

On Tuesday morning, Kris and I along with our friends Rachel and Marlene had scheduled a helicopter tour for the Na’Pali coast. We arrived at Jack Harter Helicopters, got a briefing on safety, what to expect, and mostly on what not to do. This included the instructions to “Not” put your arm out the door-less flying machine when overcome by the awesomeness of the islands terrain when you are a passenger of a helicopter. This action could lead to your arm being snapped back and broken. This news led me to come to the conclusion that my seat-belt harness and the “Oh #^%” handle would be my best friend while in the air.

We split into flying groups of four according to weights and shuttled to the airstrip shortly after the briefing. Our friends were called first to line for their flight.

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Marlene goes first…

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Rachel went second

After the girls flew away for their tour, our group lined up next and Kris was called over to the helicopter. But- when Kris went to climb in the crew noticed something was not right with the landing gear so our flight was delayed and rescheduled for 3:00 that afternoon. Our group was disappointed but the Jack Harter Helicopter Company refunded us our fuel charge and we toured the Na’Pali coast that afternoon.

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And away we flew

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Waterfalls everywhere

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Obviously no doors

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Blue water

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Gorgeous coastline

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Pacific in the background

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Speechless for most of the trip.

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We snorkeled in most of the coral reefs below over the week we were in Kauai.

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We went through some rain eventually

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The waterfalls after a rain storm pop up all over the mountain range.

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Crazy hikers are actually on a tiny little trail in this area.

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We had driven to these falls on Sunday but from the air it gives you a whole different perspective.

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We actually saw this hole twice. The second time was later in the week on our snorkeling trip on Thursday.

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Our pilot chatted us up on the history and geological information about the island as he piloted the helicopter. One of his favorite things to do was chase the numerous rainbows. He told us that he never tired of the chase though he realized he’d never catch one.

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The ending of a fabulous flight!

That’s all for now, folks. I’ll will be back with more pictures of our holiday in Kauai soon. Have a great day!

Aloha,

Karen

Pa`a ka waha

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Sunrise on the Pacific every morning left us breathless

The title translates to “Observe, be silent and learn.” (If words are exiting your mouth, wisdom cannot come in).  I can honestly tell you that while on the isle of Kauai it is an easy rule to follow.

The beauty of Kauai took me by surprise and left me mostly speechless except for the ooh’s and ah’s that are reminiscent of a spectacular fireworks exhibit. Kris and I snapped away on our camera and little android devices but we didn’t capture the essence of the life and beauty on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It is laid back and slow. Just what we were looking for in a holiday retreat- similar to our experience in Italy on the Amalfi coast last year with stunning blue water, fabulous food, and friendly people.

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The lanai at the loft we rented for the week.

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A different view from the lanai.

I am going to post part one and then a part two about our trip to Kauai but first a little background on our trip for those of you that weren’t aware that Kris and I were planning a trip to Hawaii. A year ago one of our close friends announced that she wanted to holiday on Kauai for her 50th birthday and would love for some of her closest friends to join her there if feasible. Due to Kris’s schedule at DOW with her ongoing project with Siemens in Germany there was a chance a trip might be scheduled during the months of September or October. As it worked out, the next trip is in December. As soon as we learned of next date for a European trip we bought airline tickets and found a place to lay our heads when our friends would be in Kauai. The girls had already rented a house in Anahola which is on the east side of the island for 6 and all the rooms filled. Kris did some research getting lucky and found a loft down the beach about a mile and a half from them.

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Easy private beach access right in front of our rental property.

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Cozy place to lay down your head

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The one hundred year old beach cottage that was used as headquarters during WWII downstairs from us

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Kris relaxing in one of the many areas on the property facing the beach

We arrived at the Honolulu Airport on United Friday afternoon around 1:30pm and somewhat waited patiently for our flight at 7:30ish to Kauai on Island Air. By the time we landed on Kauai (awful landing too- plane hitting the runway and feeling like an out of control SUV) it was already nighttime. We gathered or luggage, acquired the rental car, and drove to our cozy rental so we could get some rest for our 6 AM chartered fishing trip with two of our friends that had arrived the day before. Of course we had to walk down to the beach and check it out before catching the much needed zzzz’s for the next day. The following pictures are of the fish Kris and Alisa caught and the beginning of our explorations around the island.

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Kris and Monica

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The ono aka as a wahoo that Kris caught being hauled in by Captain Howard.

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Us four- me, Kris, Alisa with her mahi-mahi she caught, and Monica back in the harbor after a fantastic morning on the Pacific

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The girls with Captain Howard and best mate Bo

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The view from the little farmers market we shopped at on Sunday morning. That is the sleeping giant in the background.

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Coconuts should not be used as footballs

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Anahola beach proper just 4 houses down from us with the river flowing into it…

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No words needed

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Stopped to get a picture of the beautiful lanscape as we were just knockin’ about on Sunday afternoon

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We went to the Smith Family Luau in the Wailua River Valley on Monday evening

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Kalua pig roasted in the earthen imu oven

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Kris and I

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Kathy and Kay

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Alisa and Monica

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Marlene and Rachel

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Another beautiful tree that I wish I could grow here at home on the Smith Family’s property

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A floral designer’s dream come true!

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This is where we rented our gear for snorkeling. Kris had verified that I could rent prescription goggles so I would be able to see underwater.

I am going to leave off here for now ending part one. The next and last post will focus on our helicopter tour over the Na-Pali Coast, our snorkeling adventures, and more of the beautiful scenery of Kauai.

Till then- Aloha!