Monday, January 06, 2014

Kauai

Just before Christmas, my husband and I were blessed to spend a week in Kauai.  It was our first trip with no kids along since back before we had kids, and we really needed the time to reconnect after a tough couple of years.  We had a wonderful time, and I loved having my new camera along to capture the stunning landscapes of the Garden Isle. 



We arrived on the island of Kauai at 6 p.m. local time, Friday the 13th, after a 12+ hour journey.  We flew from SLC to LAX then had a 6 hour flight to Kauai.  We got our rental car and drove five minutes or so to our hotel, Marriott's Kauai Beach Club in Li'hue (which I had been convinced had an exotic pronunciation, but alas, rhymes with phooey).  Our hotel was right along a lovely protected stretch of beach.  We had a great view from our 7th floor room.  Temperatures all week were perfect, with highs around 80 degrees and lows around 60.  Since we'd left behind several weeks with no temperatures above freezing, it was especially nice.
The view from our hotel room:

The icicles we left behind:

 And Salt Lake's inversion as seen from our flight -- that's smog down there, not fog.

Saturday:  Early Start, Helicopter, and Lilified Cliffs
Hawaii is 3 hours later than Utah time, and we'd crashed pretty early (8ish) so I suppose it should have been no surprise when I woke up at my regular exercise time back in Utah, or 3 a.m. local time.  Since I'd gotten enough sleep, I decided to make the best of it and went for a run along the beach by our hotel.  The tides in Hawaii are not as extreme as in California, with the difference in ocean height being only a few feet between them as opposed to ten or more, so running along the beach with shoes didn't really work since there wasn't a good stretch of firm sand near the waves.  In order to run close enough to hit the firm sand, it quickly became apparent I was going to get wet.  No problem there.  I basked in the warm air and moonlight as I ran barefoot through the waves.  It was hard to believe that back home it was below freezing.  The only downside to the beach was its length -- just a quarter mile across, so I had to do laps.  Three miles later, I was ready to go plan the day.



Around 6 a.m., DH and I went for a walk into town near the hotel, window-browsing the few shops and restaurants there, none of which were open yet.  We wanted to make sure we hit our weight limits for our helicopter tour (400 lbs between the two of us, including clothes and camera equipment brought on board) that morning, so we weren't anxious to eat a big breakfast anyway.
After our walk, we got ready for the day, tracked down the helicopter check-in place a few miles away, then went for a drive to see Wailua Falls.  We drove by green rolling farms with savannah-like trees on the way there and enjoyed the view overlooking the falls.  I got a few pictures and then we bought a loaf of mango bread from a local woman selling them from her truck.  She was reading the Bible when we walked over to her (I love the Christian faith so evident in the islands).



At 9:00, we checked in for our 9:45 helicopter flight.  We chose Jack Harter tours, recommended by our "Blue Bible" guidebook, for their doors-off tour.  The helicopter we rode was small, with space for just five people -- the pilot plus four.  DH and I were positioned in the back.  We wore headsets and could push a button to talk to the pilot (DH made small talk with him, I mostly requested for him to move the helicopter around so I could get better photos of things).  I was a bit nervous but mostly excited as the helicopter took off.  With no doors, there wasn't much other than a five-point seatbelt between us and the vastness below us.  It was thrilling, with absolutely stunning views. 
I put my camera's polarizing filter on, which makes a huge difference in saturating colors, especially the sky, and in cutting down glare and reflections, as you can see from the van pictures below.  The first one is with the polarizer, the second without.

Wondering if these tiny toy helicopters are safe . . .



Our hotel is the one with the green roof, in the lower right-hand corner:


We circled the island clockwise, starting across the south end of the island, with jungles mixed with rolling farmland and beautiful cliffs.







We flew around to Waimea Canyon on the western part of the island, where it is drier.  Waimea Canyon is stunning, with beautiful red cliffs and fantastic waterfalls. 







We flew next to sites along the Na Pali coastline on the north end of the island, which can only be reached via helicopter, boat, or via an 11-mile hike.  The cliffs there have been used in many a Hollywood blockbuster and it was amazing to see them from such height.  I kept my camera locked on vista after vista, taking photo after photo, adjusting my settings for the light, and trying to keep my shutter speed fast enough to compensate for the helicopter movement.









Next we flew around to the north end of the island, viewing Taro fields and dozens of waterfalls, stunning cliffs, and then went to the most amazing view of all -- Mount Wai'ale'ale. 







The highest point on the island, it is also the wettest place in the world, with rainfall coming on average some 360 days a year and 460 inches.  The cliffside is massive and steep, with trails of waterfalls flowing down lush green.  We flew in close, though we didn't go up to the top.







The height of these stunning green cliffs was hard to capture.  I brought my 24-70mm lens on my full frame camera, but even 24 wasn't wide enough to get the complete picture.







We finished our 60-minute helicopter tour by viewing more waterfalls and then heading back for the helipad near the airport in Li'hue.  I took over 1500 photos in just an hour and loved every minute.






After our tour, we were ready to try some great local food.  I got teriyaki chicken at the Li'hue BBQ inn, while DH had a stacker -- an enormous burger with bacon, fried onions, and more.  Our meals included a yummy slice of pie for dessert.  After eating, we headed to Costco, where we bought stacks of macadamia nut chocolates, some muffins and fruit, and a few odds and ends.
After a nap at the hotel, we went swimming in the ocean and the pool, then went for an early-afternoon drive to the south coast.  We went for a short hike there along the beach, where white sands have been turned into sandstone.  We watched the sunset on our hike, then went to a shopping center nearby for a famous Puka Dog.  It's been featured on the food channel and in other places as well and many friends urged us to try it.  Basically, it's a polish dog roasted then inserted from the top into a long bun along with mango or pineapple relish and sweet Hawaiian mustard.  It was delicious, as was the Gelato we got from the shop next door.  We walked by the shops there, then headed back.  An awesome first day.
Sunday:  Storm, Church, Exploring the North Coast 
We awoke Sunday to very stormy weather.  The rains were pouring down and the lightning was putting on a show over the dark waves.  We watched it for several hours.  We'd been told that rains came often in December in Kauai, but that they were usually short-lived with only light rain.  That proved true, other than this particular storm, which went on and on.  We ate breakfast in our hotel room while watching it (Costco fruit and muffins).  It started clearing up around 8:15 as we drove to the north shore, planning to go to Church in Hanalei, a 45 minute drive from our hotel.  I regret not bringing my camera along as this was a stunning way to view the north coast.  After the rains, there were huge waterfalls everywhere on the mountains and cliffs, lots of rainbows and just jaw-dropping beauty.  The LDS branch met in a small building there and while I got some cell phone pictures, they really don't do it justice.


The Church meeting was in a small chapel with plenty of tourists, and I guess the power had been out until just before we arrived.  With flash flooding happening, they announced there would only be sacrament meeting held that morning.  We heard from the Stake President, President Gonzales and three of his children -- a 10-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl, and 16-year-old girl.  Then we helped put away chairs before leaving to explore the north shore of the island.  We got food at a couple of unmemorable, bland places on the north shore and drove to the Lighthouse lookout there before driving back to our hotel for naps. 

In the afternoon, we rented a body board for the week and I enjoyed learning to ride the waves to shore.  The hotel also had a small hula demonstration that we watched at sunset.

For dinner, we went to an amazing fusion Mexican place called Verde's, where we had the best food on the island. 

Monday:  Extreme Hiking, Fine Dining
Monday morning, we went on our first, and most daring, hike of the week.  We drove to the west side of the island, stopping at a couple of viewpoints of Waimea Canyon, then drove to the end of the road, a viewpoint of the Na Pali coastline and the start of the Pihea Trail.


The Pihea Trail goes along the ridge for about a mile, with stunning views of the cliffs and the ocean below, then turns into the jungle and heads up and down several ridges.  The trail was challenging -- wet, muddy and a bit slippery and involved a lot of climbing up steep spots then scrambling down, over slippery rocks and roots. 

Viewpoint as we began our hike:



These little crazy straight-up slippery sections were common:

A little mouse we crossed paths with:

 About a mile and a quarter in, the trail is about 75% covered by a boardwalk covered in chicken wire, which improved our footing considerably.  Somehow, when the guidebook talked about a boardwalk, I got the idea in my head of a pleasant, level walk for the remaining three miles.  What I didn't picture were the constant steps up and down.   



One section of steps lasted for what had to be a dozen flights of stairs.  It was fine going in, but coming back up was a bit challenging. 

After two miles, we turned onto the Alaka'i Swamp trail and followed it two miles up and down a ridge then through a (finally some level spots) long, large, otherworldly swamp.  This, according to one source we read, is the second wettest spot on earth and the highest swampland in the world at 4000 feet.  After Pearl Harbor, a telephone line was placed through the swamp, then down the cliffs on the north side to the town of Hanalei to serve as a back-up communication line for the island and military.  They've since fallen into disrepair and the swamp has taken over. 


At the end of the trail is what our guidebook said is a stunning overlook of the north shore, where you can see Hanalei and the ocean.  If it's clouded over, just wait twenty minutes, it said, and it might clear up.  Or it might not, in our case.  Our view was obstructed by clouds and remained so despite our waiting the recommended time.  So we headed back.  The four-mile hike to the lookout took us about 2.5 hours of steady hiking.  The four miles back took two, as we tried to hurry.  It was definitely a workout -- one website said the trail gained 2000 feet of elevation with its up and down.  DH is of the opinion that we perhaps should have skipped this trail, but I loved the challenge and adventure of it, not to mention the amazing views.  The swamp itself was an interesting, solitary place, with clouds rolling in and out and the vegetation stunted.  It was definitely unique from any other environment we experienced on the island.  Worth the 8 miles?  I think so, mud-covered legs and shoes and all.  We enjoyed the solitude of the hike, as we didn't see another person until we were a mile or two on our way back.




Another precarious section of trail:







After our hike, we pulled into the Ke'e Lodge, the only eatery within 10 miles.  It was good food.  I loved the cornbread, which had a soft texture rather than a crumbly one.  My kalua pork was good, and DH had a club sandwich.  We'd give the place 4 stars.

On our way back to the resort, we stopped at JoJo's in Waimea town for shave ice over macadamia nut ice cream.  We also found the local farmer's market at the KMart parking lot and experienced rambutan for the first time -- a most interesting and delicious fruit that has the texture and taste of white grapes after you peel off its interesting outer layer.



After a nap and a little bit of work (DH), we drove to Poi'pu on the south shore and ate at one of the famous restaurants there, the Beach House.  We had it reserved for 6:00, right after sunset, so after checking in, we sat on the lawn and watched the sun go down over the water.  The setting was gorgeous and our food was excellent too.  I had a watermelon salad, while DH had swordfish.  I saved room for Bananas Foster for dessert, which was was carmelized bananas served over ice cream and macadamia nuts with a caramel sauce.  It was delicious.
The view from the Beach House:

lovely trees at our resort by moonlight:

Tuesday:  Ocean Fun
We were ready for a more relaxed day after our hike on Monday, which left us a bit sore.  We drove ten minutes north of our hotel to Lydgate Beach, where the best beginning snorkeling is to be had.  There are two protected pools of water where fish gather.  We enjoyed seeing the schools, though it wasn't nearly as good as the snorkeling we'd see later in the week. 

After snorkeling, we took our boogie board just south of the snorkeling spot where the waves came in big and consistent.  It was almost too easy to catch them and ride to shore, and it was the best boogie boarding we had all week.  It was a ton of fun to stand out twenty or thirty feet from shore, watch and wait for the perfect wave, then hop on the board and enjoy the ride.
We drove north to check out another beach famed for boogie boarding and surfing, Kealia Beach, but the waves were harder to catch and I ended up mostly swimming while DH caught up on a bit of work (he did an hour or two a day, on average) from the car.
We had lunch at a picnic table near a beach in Kapa'a, buying fries and a yummy gyro from a Greek food truck.  It was delicious.
We then had a quiet afternoon back at our hotel, washing our laundry. and resting by the beach there.  We had dinner by the ocean at sunset, with food from a local take-out called Mark's Place (4 stars).  It was traditional Hawaiian fare -- rice, meat, macaroni salad dinner plate combos.  The teriyaki chicken was yummy.
I went for a mile run along the beach to try to loosen up some of my muscles, then cooled off in the pool for a bit with DH.
Wednesday:  Na Pali Coast hike, lighthouse, more snorkeling
We fit a lot into this day, beginning as it was with a phone call at 4:20 from Allison back at home.  "Hi, Mom, how are you?  Are you having a good trip?"  I guess she wanted to talk to us before she went to school.
We had breakfast at 6 at the Kountry Kitchen, where DH enjoyed coconut french toast with his enormous kalua pork omelette, while I fell in love with macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup.  Divine!
A few pictures from our drive north:

By 8:00, we arrived at Ke'e Beach, the trailhead of the Kalalau Trail, which follows the Na Pali Coastline for some 11 miles.  Popular with backpackers, it is the only way to experience the Na Pali coast other than by boat or by air.  Our destination was Hanakapi'ai Beach, two miles in.  It was a beautiful hike, made the more stunning by the morning light and a rainbow that decided to burst upon us.  It was a bit muddy at times, and I fell once.  There was a bit of up and down, but not anything too crazy.

















We enjoyed the beach at the end of the trail and took some photos, then headed back. 






We drove next to the Kilauea Lighthouse, where we enjoyed learning about the lighthouse and the wildlife on the island.

We then drove to the Garden Cafe, nestled on a beautiful spot inland a bit.  I had a curry wrap that was simply wonderful.  There were some neat multi-level spiderwebs near another building there that we found interesting.
We went back to the hotel for a nap, then to Walmart to buy me a cheap tripod (forgot to pack mine) and some coconut syrup.  We finished the day with snorkeling at Poipu Beach on the south shore.  I took pictures of sunset there.
Poipu Beach:










We had dinner in Lihue at the Humaru Saimin Stand.  Saimin is a glorified ramen and I thought it tasted like it, though DH liked it a lot.  We also tried a bit of Thai food from a food truck we passed on the way back to the hotel.
Thursday:  South Shore Gardens and Beaches
I woke up early, still enjoying the time difference between Hawaii and back home.  While DH slept, I ran two miles on the beach, then got ready for the day.  While DH got some work done, I drove over to a beach past the airport with my camera and tripod and had a wonderful time getting pictures of the surf and the sunrise.  It was sprinkling when I got there, but dried up enough by the time sunrise happened for me to get a lot of beautiful pictures.  With my tripod, I was able to experiment with long exposure times for the surf, turning the water into silky smooth lines.  I've not done as much landscape photos as portrait, but I feel like I understand how to do them and it felt great to practice.











After the photos, I drove back and DH and I went on a tour at the National Botanical Gardens Allerton Garden tour, which was interesting.  The land used to be owned by the McBryde family and Queen Emma had a cottage there she spent time in often.  In 1938, a wealthy mainlander named Robert Allerton bought the land and developed a series of garden rooms there over time.  When he died, in his 90s, he left the land and some other acreage to the Botanical Garden, with the caveat that they were not allowed to change or trim the gardens.  Replacements for plants that die have to be the same plant, etc.  There were a lot of beautiful plants to see, lots of ginger flowers, a bamboo garden, lovely monkeypod trees for canopy, and some interesting structures and fountains.  We went to the "Victory Garden" where we were allowed to sample what was ripe, which was some surinam cherries.  Very yummy.  






We also went to an interplay of roots of some fig trees, where Jurrassic Park was filmed.  Other films that feature the gardens include Fantasy Island ("The plane!  The plane!"), and Pirates of the Caribbean. 




After the gardens, we visited Spouting Horn, where the surf forces itself up and through a hole in a lava shelf, forcing out a geyser of sorts up to 40 feet into the air.

We had lunch at the Seaiku Snack Shop in Koloa, then rested at worked at the hotel for a bit before heading south to snorkel again, this time at Kiahuna Beach.  The waves were a bit too high to enjoy the snorkeling for long, so we went for a walk near spouting horn, watched the sunset, then headed back to for another Puka Dog and Gelato for dinner.



Friday:  Hiking, Snorkeling, Plantations
Friday morning, we headed to a local Hawaiian place called the Tip Top Cafe for breakfast (banana macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup for me, yum!).  Then we stopped for some sunrise pictures.



We then headed to a hike nearby called the Kuilau Ridge Trail at the end of Kuamo'o Road. This road parallels the sacred Wailua River and includes views of 'Opaeka'a Falls and the remains of several ancient Hawaiian heiau, or temple.  The Hindu monastary is also on this road.  The hike followed a ridge of one of the mountains and had fantastic views of green rainforest and canopies quite different from the other two hikes.  It was a 4 mile round trip hike and once again, a bit muddy (December is rainy season in Kauai).  It took us about two hours total.








 
After the hike, we drove to Hee Fat's grocery where DH got more shave ice.  I went to the nearby Buttery Cafe and bought a chocolate banana cake slice.
After resting at the hotel, we drove to the north shore to check out some of the famous snorkeling there.  We'd been told that the winter surf makes the north shore less ideal for snorkeling, but we thought we'd try it out anyway.  We went to Anini Beach, a two mile stretch of sand with a protected, shallow reef.  Conditions were great and we really enjoyed the snorkeling here, swimming up and down to see a variety of colorful, tropical fish.  On the way back, we stopped at the Moloa'a roadside fruit stand where I had the best smoothie of my life.
 
After showering at our hotel, we drove to the Kilohana Plantation, where we got a free train tour of the plantation before eating at the fancy and amazing Gaylord's Restaurant.  The tour was interesting, telling us about the different types of plants and fruits that grow on the island, driving us past some of them, as well as a bit about the sugar plantation era.  Gaylord's gets much of their food from the gardens here.  We got a close-up look at the wild pigs that live on the island, though these domesticated and rather ugly fellows lived at the plantation so the tourists could feed them.  The train stopped and we were given bread to feed to them.  The little ones were cute, the older ones, pretty ugly.  The pigs were originally brought over from the Polynesian settlers, who also brought taro and other food crops with them as well.


The restaurant that night could not have been more wonderful.  Set in the back courtyard of a 1920s restored sugar baron's home, We had a beautiful table overlooking gardens and near a stage where a band played.  The food was perfect.  DH raved about his steak and I had wonderful pork ribs.  We loved it.
Saturday -- Boat Tour, Forbidden Island Snorkeling
We were up early again, this time to meet a 6 a.m. check-in time for a HoloHolo Charter boat tour in 'Ele'ele on the southwest side of the island.  A 65-foot catamaran, this 7-hour tour promised a bit of everything -- whales, dolphins, the Na Pali coastline, and snorkeling off of Ni'ihau Island, also known as the Forbidden Island.  A continental breakfast and a deli lunch were included.  This was a delightful adventure.  The boat wasn't especially crowded and the views, especially of Na Pali, were amazing.  Our captain warned us before we left that we had signed up for an "adventure" and that part of that would be going through heavy waves on the north shore that are common this time of year.  We were welcome to get a refund if we didn't think we could handle the motion.




He was right about the waves -- they were especially high and one crewmember kept lamenting that he had to be working instead of out surfing on such a high surf day.  We enjoyed the motion of climbing up the waves and coming down the other side, and watching them crash into the various shorelines in the distance.  We boated up the west side of the island to see Na Pali, seeing a pod of dolphins within a few minutes of leaving the shore.  After seeing Na Pali, we turned around and headed across a deep channel to Ni'ihau, the Forbidden Island.  One family -- the Robinsons, descendents of Eliza Sinclair, its first owner in 1864 -- own the land and allow only a select few native Hawaiians live there.  Our guidebook says that about 170 residents live there.  There is very little industry there, so many of them are on welfare and food stamps.  Despite a law that says that all beaches belong to the public in Hawai'i, if you try to enjoy the Ni'ihau shore, someone will come and tell you to leave.  If you don't, someone big and intimidating will come to repeat the request.  I asked one of our crew and he confirmed that they will ask you to leave.  
The island itself is 17 miles west of Kauai and very dry (and thus unsuitable for the grazing land Eliza Sinclair originally bought it for).  But the fact that it is so isolated made for wonderful wildlife.  A pod of spinner dolphins decided our boat was a toy and jumped and played off the front bow for over fifteen minutes as we motored around.  We saw a few whales in the distance.  And best of all, we took anchor off the shores on the east end of the island and went snorkeling.  This was the best snorkeling we had -- bigger fish, more variety, and a good mix of deep and shallower spots to explore.  A crew member taught me how to hold my breath and dive down and that was fun, though I had a hard time clearing my ears of the pressure that pushes on them just a few feet into the dive.


After the snorkeling, we were served lunch then motored back over the deep channel (5000 feet, according to a crew member) to harbor.  We then explored the west shore a bit more.  We walked through the small Hanapepe town for a bit, then drove over to Waimea, where I enjoyed a frozen cheesecake dipped in chocolate from the Kauai Granola and Snax shop while DH had a bunch of garlic shrimp from the Shrimp Station, followed by one last shave ice from JoJo's.
We then went back to the hotel, and did a final batch of laundry.  I boogie boarded and then swam out to the middle of our bay with my board to simply float and watch the sunset on our last evening there.  I returned the boogie board to the shop we rented it from for the week, then DH and I went for dinner at Verde's again, splitting our orders of the Ultimate Chicken Burrito and Ultimate Chicken Tacos.  Just as delicious as the first time we tried it and definitely worth a second visit.
Sunday:  Monastary, Church, and Reconnecting with an old friend
When I prayed that we'd be able to have a good Sabbath and feel the spirit of the Sabbath despite being on vacation, I had no idea what Heavenly Father had in store for us.  It was one of our best days on the island.
We woke up at 7 (hooray for sleeping in!), then packed and prepped for check-out.  We had breakfast at the ONO family restaurant in town, where I had banana coconut macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup while Aaron had omelets.
We drove to the Hindu monastery on the island next, reading about the gurus who started it and their beliefs.  There was an impressive banyan tree with a statue underneath for worship.  There was also a worship service going on at the temple, and as we watched, the guru there came out chanting and walked around an elephant statue there, leaving offerings.
We left the monastary before noon, and with Church not until 1:00, we drove to an ocean overlook north of Kapa'a, where we walked for a bit along the shoreline trail.  Then we drove to a beach, parked in the shade and took a short nap before heading to Church.

Church was great at the Kapa'a 2nd ward.  The ward Primary president sat behind us and welcomed us, warning us that her grandkids would be sitting with her and might bother us.  We told her we have nine children, so kids aren't a problem.  ;)

Meanwhile, while I was talking to our neighbors, DH was out in the hall trying to find someone he'd recognized when he'd poked his head into the chapel a few moments before.  "Is that Elder Keawe?"  he'd said.  It was, it turned out, though by the time DH got to the hall, he'd disappeared.  By asking a few missionaries nearby, he was able to figure out that Elder Keawe was now Bishop Keawe and was busy in his office doing tithing settlements (In our Church, we have no paid ministry.  Instead, leaders are asked to serve for a period of time in a variety of callings.  A bishop is one of the most involved and involves serving for a period of five to seven years as the leader of a congregation of perhaps 500 people, counseling, asking them to serve in a variety of ways, helping to lead them to Christ.  Tithing settlement is a meeting each family has with the bishop at the end of the year where they declare whether or not they have paid tithing in full that year.  It's also a good chance for the bishop to thank them for the service provided in the ward.).  DH left a note at the bottom of the sign-up sheet, then came back to the chapel for sacrament meeting. 

The meeting was good, with a number of musical selections and duets interspersed with the bishopric sharing their testimonies of Christ.  The stake president, President Gonzales, whose home ward this was, finished the meeting with his own testimony. 

After the meeting, DH got to talk with Keawe about their mission experience in Brazil -- they'd been companions for a month or so, while both were serving as Assistants to the President -- and life since then.  We also found out that the Primary President who'd been so welcoming to us was his mother!  Keawe has four children and has been bishop of the first ward for a year.  He had to go back to tithing settlement, but invited us to his house for dinner that night in Anahola. 

We stayed for remainder of the block (Sunday School and RS/Priesthood), then had an hour before our dinner appointment.  We drove to Anahola Bay to watch the surf and eat pineapple, then found the Keawe house, where we thoroughly enjoyed dinner with the Keawe family.  Their two girls are about ages 10 and 8 and the boys are 5 and 3.  Kahana, Keawe's wife, and I enjoyed visiting.  DH and Keawe enjoyed telling the kids funny mission stories.  It was fun to hear how the couple had met (at the U of Hawaii, she's Hawaiian as well), how they feel about tourists (they don't see much of them because they stay close to home), Keawe's job as a high school teacher, and how the Church is in Kauai.  There are six units -- two wards in Kapa'a, one in Lihue, and one on the western side, plus a branch in Hanalei.  Their meetinghouse had a door that said, "Missionary housing" and Keawe confirmed that one set of missionaries live there, though there are three sets of missionaries serving in that area of the island.  The youth are strong there, making up a very small but popular part of the high school.  They try to do youth trips twice a year to the temple, but it costs $200 a person for the flights so the youth fund-raise for it.
Kahanu and I talked parenting, kids, and goals.  She's got a masters in social work and is working to get a life coaching business off the ground.  She has an interesting philosophy on reaching goals, telling me about her ideas of "align" and ancient Hawaiian navigation.  She says that we Westerners think of going somewhere, but that the ancients would align themselves with the stars for their island and then bring the island to them.  It was an interesting way to look at self-improvement and I liked it.
After a few hours, it was time to leave.  We drove back to Lihue, returned our rental car, and headed home.  Two flights -- the first starting at 10 local time and finishing at 6 a.m. LAX time, then another to SLC, then home to our yabbies and real life.

Goodbye Kaui!

5 comments:

rachel said...

Some amazing photos you've taken Christina! Beautiful!

Cheryl said...

I LOVE this so much! I'm happy you had such a great experience. You guys packed a LOT into that one week! What incredible photos, too. So happy for you!

Kelly said...

What a wonderful trip! I'm so glad you and your husband were able to take a wonderful trip together. You sure got the hang of your new camera! Wow, you have many amazing pictures. I hope you're going to frame some and make a nice book with them.

Courtney said...

What a wonderful trip and your photos are breath taking.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ said...

Beautiful pictures! It's like I was there. Thank you for sharing!

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