Monday, April 30, 2012

Beach Time and Coffee, and another Beach!


Aloha.  So, after all that gelato, we needed some time to rest…on to Poipu Beach! The only time I had been to this beach was on New Year’s Eve and it was dark, so I didn’t know what to look for. We stopped off at Sheraton Beach while looking for Poipu Beach before finally finding it. Then we all just soaked up some sun for a while…it was so wonderful and relaxing! Nancy and I took a walk over to the sand bar. The picture below is the sand bar with waves coming in from both sides - it makes kind of a path. So, of course I took this picture for Aunt Nancy who loves paths! I love this picture, too!

Then onto some coffee! As I mentioned in my previous blogs, everything was a surprise to Nancy. So, while driving amongst rows and rows of coffee trees I told her to start guessing, she had no idea! I told her to just “look around,” she still didn’t get it. Somehow she finally got it and realized all of these trees were coffee trees! She was very excited, as was I! We arrived at the Kauai Coffee Company and we took a stroll through the coffee fields. They have a path that you follow and it has signs along the way telling you about how they make their coffee; it is very interesting! Then we all tried a few different types of coffee. There is one flavor called Estate Roasted Hawaiian Hazelnut and another called Chocolate Macadamia Nut, both very good!


Next, Glass Beach! A little tricky finding it, but we did and it was wonderful! The last time I was here the glass seems to be getting depleted, but it looks like the ocean is bringing up some more glass. I love this beach and I think it is so unique!

Have a wonderful day and tune in tomorrow to hear about some yummy food!
Aloha, Kaileia

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gelato!!!


After seeing the turtles, we headed up to see Spouting Horn.  My mom and Nancy shopped around a little at the local booths there and bought some trinkets and such.

As we were driving to our next place we got a little lost, good thing though. The road we were “lost” on was beautiful and lined with palm trees on either side - it made for a great “path picture” for Nancy. See, Aunt Nancy has this thing for path pictures, so anytime I saw an opportunity for a path picture I had to snap it for her!


We finally reached our desired destination…Papalani Gelato, Heaven on a Cone! This place is in the Poipu Shopping Center and they have gelato and sorbetto. The flavors are amazing! I got Maha’ulepu Mint, Tiramisu and Kona Coffee…Wow, all I have to say is yum! I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who visits Kauai. http://papalanigelato.com/










…tune in tomorrow for some Beach and Coffee Time!
Aloha,
Kaileia

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Swimming with Turtles


On to Day 2

6:30 - an early morning to say the least!  We left the condo about 6:50 to head out for the day.  The first thing we came to was the Tree Tunnel.  This is a road with a long row of trees on either side and the tops of the branches come together to make kind of a canopy.  When hurricane Iniki hit the island in ’92, a lot of the vegetation was stripped bare, but it has slowly grown back again to make this unique Tree Tunnel.

When we finally made it to our destination we told Nancy what we were doing… a snorkeling adventure!!!  We arrived at the marina and got on our wetsuit jackets while Captain Tara told us the do’s and don’ts of snorkeling.  Then it was time to go!  We had our snorkel gear in the boat and took a ride along the coast before getting to our first dive spot.  When we got there we saw a turtle right off the boat!  Oh, and I should mention this wasn’t a traditional boat, it was a zodiac - it was a little bumpy but lots of fun!  I was so excited to get into the water and swim with these turtles – they’re amazing creatures!

We finally got in the water and soon after getting in I came face to face with a beautiful turtle – the Hawaiians call them “Honu”.  I just floated there, right alongside the turtle, looking at him eye-to-eye.  For the next little while we were all able to swim around right next to the turtles, following them, watching them dive for food and then swim away.  We must have seen 6 or 7 turtles there; some of them were pretty big too!   I saw a smaller one and our captain explained to us that it was probably only about 25-30 years old.  The other bigger ones were probably over 100.  We headed to the next dive sight and swam along an underwater rock/lava wall with a variety of fish.  It was an amazing experience that I will treasure my whole life.

Tune in tomorrow to see what we did next!
Aloha,
Kaileia

Friday, April 27, 2012

A night to remember, and the beginning of fun!


It all started back in February when my mom, Aunt Nancy and I were Skyping. They both had ukuleles and were trying to play them. Nancy asked if I could teach her to play something on the uke.  I said, “Of course, but I won’t see you until September!” She said, “How about in 39 days?!” Wow, that caught me off guard.  I was so delighted about being able to see my mom and Aunt and show them my beautiful Island. (Ironically, we never did play the uke while they were here.) So, for next 39 days, my mom, the trip planner, planned everything - down to where we were going to eat each of our meals! She planned it perfectly and I am excited to share with you all that we got to do. I will do one blog a night until I am finished blogging about the time they were here, because if I tried to do it all in one blog, you would be reading a book! Everything that we did was a surprise for Aunt Nancy; we let her guess a few times where we were going but we kept everything a surprise - it was fun to do it that way!

So, the first day, April 16.  My mom and Nancy arrived at the Lihue airport where I greeted them with orchid leis and lots of hugs! While driving away from the airport, Nancy exclaims, “Look, there is a chicken!” and about 5 seconds later, “Oh, another one!” This is when I told her that she better stop telling us whenever she sees a chicken because she would be doing that 24/7. Even while on the rest of our trip she still couldn’t get over all the chickens!

Unfortunately, I had to work that afternoon, so I dropped them off at our Uncle Richmond’s place, where they would be staying and I headed to work.  While I was away at work, Uncle Richmond took them around and showed them his old stomping grounds and talked story of the good ‘ol days. He took them to Kalapaki Beach to get some fresh fruit and let them wade in the water and just enjoy the beautiful sunshine! Side note, when I woke up that morning around 6am, it was rainy, cold and cloudy. But, by about 10am it was gorgeous and the sun was shining, ready to welcome them into paradise!

After I got off work, I ran home, changed and then picked up my mom and FAN (Favorite Aunt Nancy) for our first outing. While in the car Nancy was able to quickly call her family and say goodnight and the rest of the drive to our destination I pointed things out around the Island. 5pm, we arrive at our destination, Smith Family Gardens and Tropical Luau! The first order of business, meet my roommate who works at the luau - she is awesome! Then it was onto a little tram tour of the gardens, which are full of flowers, fruit, trees and peacocks! After the tour we walked around a little bit until it was time for the unveiling of the pig in the imu. People gathered around the Hawaiian underground oven and listened to a sweet old man welcome us to the gardens and luau.  He told us about the old Hawaiian way and then prayed a blessing over our dinner.

Then onto the luau! Dinner was a variety of different salads with fancy dressings like Lava Guava and Papaya Dressing! Followed by an assortment of different meats, including kalua pig (the one that was in the ground), teriyaki chicken, fish, and more! Don’t forget the poi and lomi lomi salmon, so ono! It was all so good, and for dessert, fresh fruit including, mango, papaya and pineapple. Also some rice pudding and coconut cake! While we were eating dinner, live entertainment was provided with some beautiful ukulele and hula dancing. Then onto the show! We were entertained with hula dancing, poi ball dancing, Chinese dancing, Tahitian dancing, dragon dancing, fire dancing and other exciting dances! At one point in the show, which takes place in an outdoor theater, the lights when down just as a magnificent shooting star shot across the sky. It was slow and beautiful and you could hear the “ooohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd; it was perfect! After the luau it was a quick drive home and to bed, because we had to be out the door by 6:45am!...for what you may ask? Well, check back tomorrow to find out!

Please enjoy the pictures below.  Sometime next week I will have a link for you to go to where you can see all of my pictures from our adventures!
One of my favorite pictures I took...







Aloha,
Kaileia

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rambutan

On Easter Sunday I mentioned that we had a fruit called Rambutan. Here is what it looks like, kind of like a sea urchin, huh? Well, the pokey things coming out of it aren’t pokey, they are soft and pliable. The name Rambutan comes from a Malay word meaning “messy hair,” due to the spines covering the skin of the fruit. When peeled, it reveals the fruit and it is so yummy - very sweet too!  It kind of looks like a big peeled grape.  It is in the same family as lychee, another tropical fruit that is also good to eat! It had a seed in the middle that is wood-like, and if eaten, only mildly poisonous. I really enjoyed this new tropical fruit.










On other news, my Mom and Aunt will be here in 6 days and the weather better clear up by then! It has been rainy, windy and cold (meaning 68). I don’t remember who I was talking to but we were saying that in Seattle when it gets up to 68 everyone gets on their shorts and t-shirts; over here, people get on long pants and sweatshirts! I’m sure I will freeze when I move back but I will be with my family and friends so it will be worth it!
…So here’s to believing for some warmer weather coming our way!
Aloha, Kaileia

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

Last night, as a thank you, I took Grandpopper and Janice out to dinner at Duke’s. Duke’s is a restaurant chain that is here in Hawaii and a couple in California. The name comes from the famous surfer, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. Born in 1890, he grew up on Oahu and the ocean was his playground - swimming, surfing and body surfing. At age 21 he broke 3 freestyle world records, winning his first Olympic gold medal. When he was 24 he introduced surfing to the U.S Atlantic Coast, New Zealand and Australia. He continued to represent the United States in the Olympics for 20 years. In 1925 he rescued 8 drowning men in California. In ’29 he rode a monster wave for 1 1/8 miles, likely the longest ride in modern times. From ’34-’59 he was the sheriff for the city and county of Honolulu. In 1966 he was the first person to be inducted into both the Swimming and Surfing Halls of Fame. At the age of 77 he passed away in Honolulu. He has a statue at Waikiki which was erected on the centennial of his birth.


The food at Duke’s is absolutely delicious, especially the Hula Pie!!! It is a pie that has a cookie crust, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, chocolate syrup and a whole lot of macadamia nuts thrown in everywhere!

Today is Easter and we are celebrating our Lord Jesus Christ rising from the dead, Hallelujah! We went to New Hope church this morning and they held it at the convention center here in Lihue. Over 1500 people attended and about 200 people went forward and dedicated their lives to the Lord, Praise God! As we were entering the church all of the women received fresh orchid leis and the men got ti leaf leis. They were beautiful! After service we had a luau which consisted of Kalua Pork, Rice, Poi, Opihi, Lomi Lomi Salmon, and mac salad - most of it was good! I usually enjoy a bit of poi, but this poi tasted very different, and I don’t care for opihi (raw muscles). Other than that, it was all good and now I am over at Grandpopper and Janice’s. Charlotte and Marie are here and they are cooking shrimp and steak - yum!

The weather has been less than beautiful - rainy, windy and cloudy. It better clear up before my Mom and Aunt come next Monday.

I got to skype with my parents and the Weaver clan, who were all at my parent’s house having Easter dinner.  I am so jealous I was not there! But it was wonderful seeing all of them!

Happy Easter to all and Hosana ‘ia Ke Akua (Praise be to God)
Aloha,
Kaileia

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Place and A Little White Church...

Aloha,
Yesterday I moved into my new hale, Hawaiian for house! It took me awhile to get everything organized and situated but I did and I love how everything is set up! I live with 1 other person, a really nice lady. We live in a nice residential area, I took a walk for awhile this morning. Here are a few pictures.















This morning Grandpopper, Janice and I went to our friend’s Hawaiian church in Kapa’a. I loved it. As the bell rang outside this little white church we all started singing a Hawaiian hymn, I had the words so I could follow along. Then all of the keiki (children) came to the front of the church, we say a blessing over them and they head off for Sunday school. The pastor prayed a Hawaiian prayer, although I don’t know what he said it was beautiful! Then we sang a couple more songs, all in Hawaiian. Even though I’m not sure what hymns we were singing they were all beautiful! Today we talked about Palm Sunday, complete with palm leaves in the front of the church. As the service was getting ready to end the entire church gathered and held hands and sang the Doxology in Hawaiian. It was amazing, all of our voices singing acapella, with melodies and harmonies blending beautifully. While I didn’t understand much of today’s service because it was all in Hawaiian it was a great experience and I love all of the people there.

Hawaiian Doxology
Hoonani I ka makua mau
Ke keiki me ka uhane no
Ke Akua mau hoomaikai pu
Ko keia ao
Ko kela ao
Amene

Malama Pono,
Kaileia