Friday, April 16, 2010

buzz, buzz, buzz

The bees are coming today. I ordered two nucs (which are a bunch of bees and a queen for them to love) and they come in this afternoon. Nice! Only sad part is the man who started the bee business died a couple of weeks ago so his widow will be passing out the bees and I am sure just the thought of doing his work will make her even sadder. I hope the bees themselves will help her. They are SUCH the essence of love. Tomorrow some folks are coming over to watch while I hive the bees. Maybe I will have pictures or something to post. I love bee season.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Ever look at the list and feel immobile instead of activated. That was me today. Nothing useful has gotten done so far (except a trip to the dentist, which hardly counts). Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Home again, home again Jiggity Jig

I just have to say, if you are going to go away, you ought to have Becca and Seth come live your life for you while you are gone. Seriously, we came home to clean house, a cleaner barn, happy animals and fresh CHEESE. I mean, geez, that is something I always mean to do but seem not to find the time for. Yippee.

Becca had even redone all the strawberry beds--the old ones are weeded and refilled with new plants and the new ones are now not crawling out into the pasture. Yes, mam she did a good job. Yea for Becca.

Now it is rainy and cold and I can stay inside relatively guilt free and put all facets of our life back together by getting the laundry done and the fridge cleaned out. Sweet deal. Thank you Becca (and Seth!).

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Knowing yesterday was our last day before piling on the airplane and flying home inspired us. We got out early for a short walk on OUR beach and then hopped in the car to go back to Tunnels beach for another round of snorkeling. The surf was up, as were the currents so it was good we went early when it was relatively calm. We saw many of the usual suspects but also saw a gigantic moray eel that was half in and half out of his hole in the rock. We looked him up on line thinking that we could find out what kind he was. Since he was spotted, we thought it would be easy to tell. But alas, there are three spotted moray eels. We think he was a snout eel but he easily could have been a whitemouthed one, esp since the inside of his mouth was very white. Steve tried to take a picture but it didn't come out because we stayed a very comfortable distance above him in the water. I liked that. The last time we were in Kauai, a moray eel struck towards my face when I was looking at some fish near his hole. That was way too close for comfort. But I suppose he felt the same way about me!

After Tunnels we headed into Hanelei to produce the long promised Shave Ice for Aidan. Clearly a winner with him, as he was lamenting that he should have been having this all along. Me, I am not a fan of shave ice...way too orange or blue or green and way tooooo sweet. Steve and Aidan happily ate theirs in the shade on a bench while I walked around. I wandered into this cool store that sold handmade Polynesian things...phew, they make some really nasty weapons like the one that is designed to poke out both eyes of the enemy at once. Geez, I hope if I ever go to that island I mind my p's and q's. Wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of that puppy.

Then we came home for a very quick lunch and to reapply sunscreen because it was SUNNY and HOT and BEAUTIFUL and we headed for the Queen's bath again...of course because we spent so much time snorkeling by now it was 2 o'clock and we were worried about getting back in time for our last Banana Joe's so we had to stop there before the Queen's bath just to make sure. They are closed today so we can't get one on the way to the airport, but I may start looking for a champion juicer on craigslist. I can only imagine how delicious that concoction would be made with berries from the garden...Yummy and good for us too!

Then we dashed off to the Queen's bath where it was one big party. The surf was crashing over the rocks and into the pool which made it very fun AND we saw an entire little tide pool full of baby eels. They were eating each other for food. : (( Guess it was just an eely kind of day.

After this we went back to the fish market for one last round of fresh mahi mahi and came home for a movie. Aidan finished off the Kauai made sorbet that was in the freezer making it a great end to a great day. Oh, did I mention that we got an ice cream too when we went to the fish market?. By the time Aidan went to bed he had had 4 frozen treats in one day. (We tried hard to make his last day memorable! And NO, the parents didn't do that. We have a little restraint!)

Now it is packing and off to the airport we go. Aloha Kauai, we love you!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bali Hai

The day started off with a double rainbow, how could it be anything but perfect!

The weather was gorgeous, the seas calm(ish), and the boat within walking distance of the house. We wandered down towards the dock at 7:15. Just as we got there the van was pulling up with all our other boat buddies coming in from Hanelei and then we all watched the boat as it was launched into the water. It wasn't long before we were all aboard and heading down to the Na Pali coast. The boat's name is the Seabreeze and truly, the day (well, morning) was as perfect as the name implies.

Isn't that a great picture! Don't thank the parents, Aidan took that one. His photography class skills have shown all trip. There were 14 of us aboard and two captains. The Seabreeze had it's annual Coast Guard inspection immediately after our trip so our Captain Bob
had his friend Capt. Rick there to help. That way we had two very knowledgeable tour guides and the trip was the better for it. Each had their own take on the tour and since Steve and I were sitting in different parts of the boats we heard both. Capt. Bob focused on the history and land forms, while Captain Rick made sure we knew exactly which celebrity lived where. I can now somewhat confidently say that Julia Robert's house has a green roof and is is NOT on Anini beach but is still close by.

The sea was full of swells on the way down the Na Pali coast, otherwise known as Bali Hai. From the sea, we saw the beach where Mitzi Gaylor washed that man right out of her hair and the scenery that National Geographic considers the second most beautiful coast line in the world. You have to admit, it is pretty spectacular, even with our amateur photography skills. The water is at least this gorgous.
And every bit of the scenery breathtaking. We saw valleys that looked virtually inhabitable they were so steep and rugged, and yet thousands of ancient Polynesians lived there for centuries. We saw the 'warrior' cliffs where the young boys would train for their lives as warriors diving off one cliff and swimming up to a virtually unswimmable beach only to have to reclimb a cliff for some other test of their manhood. Impressive stuff. As Capt. Rick said, this was when men were men! Speaking of that, I forgot to mention that Captian Rick (easily a man in his 60's) makes a yearly swim/run down and back the Na Pali coast in some kind of race...8.5 mile open water swim (with flippers and mask and snorkel and then an 11.5 mile run back up the Na Pali coast trail where parts of the trail are 18 inches wide and if you misstep once you fall down a very tall cliff! The swim part that sounded okay to me.....

When we reached our lunch spot, we immediately saw some turtles swimming in the waters around the boat. Yea! I love turtles. Capt. Bob declared the waters calm enough to swim so we donned our snorkel gear and jumped off the boat for an hour long snorkel. We saw plenty of fish and another monk seal sunning itself on the reef. We also saw a few of those beautiful turtle friends up close. Thanks again to Aidan for capturing them with the camera. It is much harder than it looks to get beautiful underwater shots.
On the way back we saw an entire pod of dolphins swimming along side the boat, jumping and playing. Quite a sight. I even saw a baby swimming right in tow with its mama and a friend. So cute. And then just as we were about to head in over Fringe Reef (the reef surrounding Anini beach that happens to be the largest living coral reef in Hawaii) we saw a baby humpback whale surface. Capt. Bob stopped the boat and we waited and watched until mama and baby came up to the surface again. Quite a sight to see them so close. The water over the reef was shallow the mama whale couldn't flip her tale when she was surfacing and diving because that would have taken her deeper than she was able to go. All in all, it was an amazing morning. Steve however was raring to go more, so as we are walking back up the beach he's planning our next big adventure--hiking above Princeville. Aidan and I stayed home savoring the last one while Steve went by himself and took this picture of some interesting tree he saw on the hill. That boy can go and go forever, Just like the energizer bunny!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spouting horns and waterfalls...we turn touristy....

Life has been good...we've been on the much we didn't even make it back in time yesterday for our traditional Banana Joe's frosty. Had to make do with homemade ice cream. Oh, poor us.

Yesterday we put on our tourist hats and went to see the spouting horn and the cutest turtle who came by to see it too. And then snorkeling in Poipu at a place reported to be the best snorkeling on the island but we weren't sure. Lots and lots of people and some different fish than we have seen but I wouldn't call it better. We have been to some pretty stellar places this week. I guess in the end it is kind of hard to compare.

After Poipu, we hopped in the car and took a short drive/walk to a beach that was lined with petrified sand dunes. Cool. The water was gorgeous, as were the waves breaking on the cliffs.
Aidan was feeling very 14 at that moment so he didn't seem to be having a very good time but Steve certainly was. There was a hole in the ground right in the surf that provided him with his very own hot tub.

And then on the way back we decided to continue with our heavy tourist day and visit the waterfalls..We have been to them before but they were very different with the heavy water flow. Last time we were here we went swimming in Kipu Falls, but yesterday it was way too full to swim. The water was bright red with the iron oxide soil that was still filling the streams from the big storm that caused the flash floods. We watched in awe and then walked back through the mosquito ridden grasses with the thoughts of finally getting a shave ice...the local treat we have yet to try this trip. We wandered our way through Lihue in search of the island's best shave ice only to find that it closed at 3. So we hopped back in the car and headed straight up to another falls--one that is taller than Niagra Falls--and about the size of Snoqualmie Falls, though with less water than Snoqalmie or Niagra on a heavy rain day.

After that, we had certainly worn out the generosity of the 14 yr old's patience with his parents ideas so we headed back to get that delicious, previously mentioned ice cream and headed home for dinner and bed.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Time for a new plan...

Ever have those days when you have EVERYTHING all planned out and it is going be great but then NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING goes the way you wanted it to. That was yesterday. Those days can either be frustrating, if you fight the tide, or they can be awesome if you go where life is taking you. That's what happened to us yesterday.

After the sleepy people woke up, Steve and I decided to go to visit a beautiful lighthouse on the very northern tip of the island. There is a National Wildlife Refuge there and it is a GREAT place for seeing cool sea birds and even sometimes marine mammals. We got going lickity split and were disappointed to find that it was closed (it didn't open until 10). We stood outside the gate for awhile watching the many and amazing sea birds fly around and hanging out on the sides of the cliffs. I tried to take some pictures but honestly they were just plain stupid because the birds were so small (even super zoomed) and the ocean is so big. So you will just have to imagine with a red-footed booby looks like or a frigate bird or some giant white bird with a red tail that I can't remember the name of this morning. Honestly, I guess am kind of boring because I liked the relatively common red-footed booby best. It has such a great name, beautiful bendy black and white wings and seriously has bright red feet...very noticeable to even me (and let's just say that I am NOT the best birder on the block.)

After a long time of watching the cool birds and looking for whales, we got back in the car and talked and waited and then gave up. Probably if the lighthouse had been free we would have had more patience with waiting but it was going to cost $5 each to get in and we had been looking at the view for a while, so we just nixed that plan and drove away onto the next adventure. There is a wonderful fish market about a mile or two from the lighthouse so we thought we would stop by there and get fresh (and I mean FRESH--this stuff is always right off the boat) fish for dinner. But guess what, they weren't open either. That makes sense I suppose, they do need time to be out on the boat. But there went plan two. The ice cream store was closed too, but I guess that was okay considering it was only 9 something.

We got back in the car and drove towards home where Aidan was texting us from his I-Pod--when were we coming home? Heck, we didn't know. We wanted to explore our neighborhood a little more so we took this bit of time to go down all the little roads and check out all the beaches nearby. To tell you the truth, I had a hidden agenda. I knew that Julia Roberts has an Anini Beach house and well, I was just kind of hoping i would run in to her. Okay, stupid but I can dream a little can't I. She has made me laugh more times in the last 10 years than anyone else I know. Gotta love her for that. After lots of driving and no sightings, we went home. I didn't even see a house I would have guessed to be hers (like I would know). After my thorough tour of the road by the beach, I decided that she must have one of the gorgeous, much more private houses on the hill that OVERLOOKS Anini Beach and isn't directly ON Anini beach--unless her house was the one house down this little tiny private road that I couldn't see. Maybe there was a super cool house ON the beach down that ratty road.

Well, anyway, enough of that.

When we came home ready to prepare for the big boat trip on the Na Pali coast. Aidan informed us that the boat people had called to say that there was a possibility that it would be cancelled do to a flash flood warning. Hmm. How could a flash flood warning hurt a boat out in the ocean? We didn't quite understand, esp because at this point it wasn't raining but we said ok. Steve got online, sure enough there was a big storm coming from the south and huge flash flood warnings were out. More hmmiing. We did a few little things and waited. Yep, an hour later they called and cancelled. What to do?

Now there is nothing that a 14 yr old likes better than to tell ya' what to we threw the guidebook at Aidan and gave him an hour and said you decide what we should do this afternoon. We left him alone and when we reconvened he had an EXCELLENT plan fully researched. Go Aidan. We quickly piled into our snorkeling outfits (sans mask and fins for driving), lathered the skin white with sunscreen and drove off towards Hanelei where we haven't seen Puff but have seen his cave. Destination: Tunnel's Beach

I knew all about this beach. I remember reading in detail about the place where that cute 13 yr. old surfer girl had her arm bit off by a shark a few years ago...I knew that. Aidan didn't. But I wasn't really worried really because that was a freak event (only 14 shark attacks in Kauai's written history) and she was surfing at dawn when the sharks are feeding and besides we aren't as cute as she is. I wasn't worried but I did think about it.

We get there and guess what, NO parking anywhere. So we scout it out and find another place to park. Guess what that is all full too. So we keep on going on down the road, this is a 2 mile long beach and finally find some parking way down past where we wanted to be for the snorkeling. This is a swimming, surfing. snorkeling beach each in its own section of the beach. I only cared about the walk because my feet are getting holes in them where my flip flops rub the sand in at the straps. Ouch.

ANYWAY, we grabbed all the gear and started trucking down the beach. We finally get to a spot that looks good to us and get on our fins etc. We are just about to sckwaddle (what else could you call walking in fins?) across the flat underwater rocks to where it is deep enough to get in when some very nice man from Calcary says we might not want to do that because the rocks go on forever there and well, tells us to walk on down the beach some more to the channel out to the tunnels. OK, off go the snorkel and fins, on go the flip flops and down we go. This time we find his spot. Clearly, he was right. Thank you man from Calgary and out we go into the water.

We spent the next 3 hours snorkeling to our heart's content. It was AMAZING out there. So many kinds of fish. Seriously, we saw at least 25 kinds of fish and lots of them So many colors, and even the softest colored ones were beautiful when we took the time to look at them more closely. Gorgeous. Steve took oodles of pictures and I took a few. Taking pictures of fish is HARD. Steve and Aidan are definitely better at it than I am. Anyway, we lost track of time out there it was so fun. One time when I got a few feet away from Steve a monk seal swam by and looked him in the eye. Nice!

After we were all swum out, we asked Aidan what was next. He said " Shave ice, Banana Joe's and Ice cream." All three, yep, all three. Okay we said, you sure? Yep! So we scuttled back to the car as quickly as we could and looked at the clock. Dang, it was so close to when Banana Joe's closed. We ditched the shave ice idea and hurried as fast a person can hurry behind very slow driving cars back to Banana Joe's. We arrived JUST at closing and got our two fruit frostys (Aidan and I) and a smoothie (Steve). It was pineapple again and so we go into a long discussion with the owner about the weather and I guess the reason there are no choices at Banana Joe's this year is because the tropical fruit has had a hard time ripening when the weather was 65.

At this point we were so close to home we hopped on down the hill and all took showers and got off those sandy, salty swim suits and piled back in the car in search of ice cream. Hey, a promise is a promise and besides, snorkeling for 3 hours makes a person very hungry. Thanks to Karen, we found a DELICIOUS ice cream store that also made some kind of soft ice cream that had no dairy and no sugar (what did it have is the real question). Steve was glad to try that and got a big giant bowl of chocolate and vanilla mystery stuff. Aidan and I happily at the real stuff. A quick stop at the fish store for some fresh mahi mahi and then onto the video store where we found a really bad movie, so boring we didn't even watch it.

Dinner was great though and bed was even better. This week is so much fun as to be exhausting! I could use about 3 more nights' sleeps.

All in all, the day that wasn't came out pretty darn good! The big storm did hit, btw. At 9 when we were eating dinner. Whew, what a lot of water. Rained most of the night hard.

We are going to try for the boat trip again tomorrow.

ps sorry for not proofreading, just want to get those sleepy people up and go do something.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bathing like a queen....

So I left you yesterday morning when it was dumping rain; roof pounding, can hardly step outside without getting drenched kind of rain. After a couple of hours of that, the clouds moved on and we were left with an amazingly nice (and not too hot) day. How cool is that!

But before the rain stopped completely we decided snorkeling in the rain could be just as much fun as snorkeling in the sunshine. We lathered up the sunscreen as Aidan and I are living testaments to how badly a person can burn on a cloudy day, grabbed our snorkel gear, threw on our flip flops and headed out the door to our own little beach. (I like how after 2 days it is now MINE!) Click here to see a picture of MY beach! We walked down the beach to the little rope swing and shoved our raincoats and clothes under the roots of a tree__yea, you read that right UNDER the roots of a tree. then donning our mask and flippers walked backwards out into the sea. If you only knew how glamorous we can make that look. ; )

Unfortunately the water was only knee deep there for a very, very long time. So Aidan and Steve came back to shore and walked our stuff down to another protected spot and I swam--or shall I say held my breath and tried to swim. Seriously, it was about as shallow as it could be and me still be able to float and navigate. I bottomed out once but not with my bottom. Funny. Sort of. Made me realize if I was ever going to have reconstructive (deconstructive?) surgery of that area of my body I would like a good surgeon to do it, not a wad of coral. Ouch.

Anyway, once we were all back in the water, we snorkeled around for a couple of hours looking at all kinds of cool coral formations and tons and tons of fish. I am sure this beach is not known for its snorkeling but it was cool anyway. And it was still raining on and off so it was surely more fun than sitting inside waiting for the rain to stop. What's the point in that?

After a couple of hours we came home and made lunch...hmm, maybe we were out there longer than that because it was 12:30 by now. How did it get so late?

Regardless, we munched on boring things like guacamole made from fresh, very local avocados and tomatoes from a farm down the road a bit (Steve and Aidan) and peanut butter sandwiches (me, because clearly nobody else is going to eat what I thought would be good lunch stuff) and then we jumped back into the car and headed to the queen's bath. There is a lot of history to that spot but I forget it and was more interested in swimming than history so I didn't reread it yesterday.

The Queen's bath was my favorite part of Kauai when we came here in 1999. Well, at least tied for first. Kauai is really nice. Hard to pick, ya know. It is a beautiful pool of frequently refreshed ocean water (waves come splashing over the edge) complete with fish and interesting underwater things to look at. It is a nice (bit tricky) walk out from a subdivision in Princeville which is only 5 minutes away from MY beach.To get to the Queen's Bath, you walk down a hill, past a waterfall, across the lava flow and then down into the pool. The views are amazing. Seriously, amazing.

I saw on whale spouting yesterday, but the last time we went we watched whales swimming by for nearly an hour. And saw oodles of turtles swimming right off shore. Yesterday though, we concentrated on swimming and more swimming. We had the place all to ourselves (which apparently was kind of a miracle because after about an hour 30 or more people showed up and we saw almost that many walking out when we were walking in). We had plenty of time to swim and swim in completely comfort..warm water, no dangers. Very nice. (The queen's bath can be dangerous if the surf is high, but yesterday it was perfect.)

After watching the fish swim in so many different ways--with their whole bodies, with lots of fins, with just a couple fins, with their back fins...etc. etc. I decided I would try to emulate them and see how well I could get around. It was the kind of thing that embarrasses my children, so it was lucky that Aidan wasn't watching me and nobody else was around. Apparently, that while I am a great swimmer, I am not a good fish. I couldn't do any of their moves and still move forward. Actually, a lot of the moves I tried made me go backwards or worse, absolutely nowhere. I am sure I looked ridiculous, so I am very glad nobody noticed what I was doing and took pictures. The ones they have been taking are bad enough.

We swam until we were done (maybe 1.5-2 hours) and then walked back up the rocks and to the car. During the last half hour when all the people came we got to talking to the other non-locals about possible things to do. What we had scheduled from Thursday (a boat ride up the Na Pali coast starting in the south of the island 1.5 hours away from here) was apparently better scheduled from our end of the island. We had meant to pick a tour boat from here but somehow messed that up, We were definitely not keen on the drive, nor the time we would be doing the drive (leaving at 5:20 am) so we hurried home to cancel and reschedule. With just a few minutes to spare before they closed we were able to cancel with the southern company (with no fees--whereas, if we had waited until today it would have cost 50%) and then reschedule with one that takes off from OUR beach and will require no driving at all. Score. And supposedly, according to the guidebook of all guidebooks Kauai Revealed this is the best trip on the island. How did we miss this one to begin with? The rain must have addled our brains this morning and caused us to read an advertising magazine instead of the bible!

With that little mistake corrected we headed back out for our daily dose of Banana Joe's. Things have changed there since we were here in the 90's. No longer do you get to choose your flavor from a variety of choices. They make one kind a day and you suffer through their choice, like it or not. It was pineapple again, and poor us, it was delicious. Every time I eat these things it makes me want a champion juicer. How can just plain frozen fruit taste this good. Oh my, better stop talking about it or we will have to go twice today. yummy. We do have a few hours to fill before the boat ride.

While at Banana Joe's, we bought some more fresh produce and then wandered down the road to a little roadside stand selling ice cold coconuts. Since coconuts have been promoted to a real live superfood, how could we not stop and get one. Umm, fresh young coconuts are so delicious...Steve and I drank the water (Aidan tried it but didn't no likey) and then handed back our coconut to watch it be smacked with the back side of a machete. Amazingly, it cracked in half (I guess the right tool is everything). and with a little plastic spoon we scooped out bits of the inside. It was so soft and creamy, not at all like other coconut I have had. Guess i have never had one that young before. Yummy again.

We came home again and had some kind of taco/tostada concoction with tons of local, delicious produce and a beautiful pineapple, coconut, papaya salad for dinner. yumm. Even Aidan was full after this. An hour or so later, he resumed his grazing habits and found the local ice cream we had stashed in the freezer. yum on that too. Tonight we will try the guava and the pineapple gelato we found at the health food store. Made in Kauai, no dairy. Sounds good.

After all that swimming, we went right to sleep and I at least slept for a long, long time. Those two lumps are getting an extra long attached to their sleep since here it is after 7 and they are still sound asleep! Maybe I will go jump on their beds and wake them up. It's BEACHTIME.

ps Since it is beachtime, I am not going to take the time to redo the formatting to get those pictures in the right spots. They WERE there and then it changed. The top one is the Queen's bath...and the other two are sel-explanatory.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lucky girl

My kids always say I have very good luck when it comes to seeing wild animals. I guess yesterday proves their point.

Steve, Aidan and I went snorkeling at Ke'e beach at the very north end of Kauai yesterday afternoon. It was windy and kind of rainy so the water wasn't as clear as it could have been but it was warm and the reef there is beautiful so it didn't matter much to me. After the initial 30 nanoseconds it takes to get used to the water, the swimming here is extraordinary. (I hate cold water so much I can even think the water in Hawaii feels cold!). We saw zillions of tropical fish, large and small. And most excitedly a 700 pound Hawaiian monk seal taking a nap on the beach. These seals are critically endangered so it was more than a treat to see one.

But let's back up a bit and start the day for real. First off Steve and I went for an early morning walk along Anini Beach (the beach that is 100 steps from where we are staying). The tide was low so we were able to wade around the headlands and watch the sun rise up (not the official sunrise but the rising sun). It was beautiful. In our wade we saw all kinds of critters in the tidal zone--sea cucumbers, beautiful fish, crabs, and a bunch of critters that I don't know the names of. Then we went back to the house, had breakfast and got ready for the day. (It was all of 7 by then.) The Hawaiian time is 3 hours earlier than we are used to, so it has been early to bed, early to rise for this crew so far.

Anyway, Steve loves to snorkel but has all kinds of trouble with it..he wears glasses so he can't see and has a mustaches so the water leaks into his mask and goes up his nose and makes him really uncomfortable. Poor guy. So after our last trip to warm snorkeling waters he swore he was going to change this. When it came time for him to get his eyes examined last year he decided to buy himself some contacts. He's been wearing glasses since he was 12 and will be 55 in a couple of months. 42+ years of glasses with no contacts. This was a big change. He's been learning how to use them hiking and skiing (other places where his glasses caused him trouble) but he has been waiting to see what it will be like to snorkel with them.

He has also been saying he needs to shave off his mustache to properly seal the mask so he can have fun. Now saving a mustache might not seem like a big deal to you, but in our 33+ years together I have never seen him without one. I have seen pictures and let me tell you, they were scary. I have always jokingly said if you ever shave off your mustache I know you want to break up with me and then when we got married I included that as my only condition to marrying him. It was a joke but you know how jokes often are--they aren't really. So after this 30+ year build up, let's just say he was more than a little bit nervous about doing this and actually needed a lot of encouragement from me. I cleared him for this project months ago but I guess he didn't believe me.

I just spent way too long trying to post pictures of this but something weird is going I am giving up. Here's a link to facebook to see the pictures...hope this works.

After all this was done, we packed a lunch and headed out for Ke'e beach...I just tried to post somebody else's beautiful picture of this beach (because we forgot to take one so excited we were to get into the water) but that didn't work either. hmm.

Anyway, we donned our flippers and masks all piled in the water. Aidan, a bit reluctantly, and Steve and I with great enthusiasm. We snorkeled to our heart's content. We saw oodles and oodles of beautiful fish and after snorkeling we walked down the beach for awhile and saw the Hawaiian Monk seal. It was raining on and off but that didn't matter in the water. We were already wet.

After our walk, we sat on the beach for awhile and ate lunch (peanut butter on rice cakes). 15 tiny dove like birds and a Hawaiian cardinal came around begging for treats. I fed them little bits of plain rice cakes and soon they were climbing all over my leg and arm and eating right out of my hand. One time I had three of them on my hand--two were piggy backed on each other! Obviously, somebody had tamed them before me. They must have weighed 3 ounces at the most and had such pretty little feathers. About an hour later when the doves were getting full, 3 wild chickens came by and chased all the little birds away. They pecked my little bits of rice cake down in not time flat and were on their way. As Aidan says there's no escaping chickens or rain in this life.

All in all, it was a great day that we topped off with a trip to banana joe's...a place that transforms plain old fruit and nothing else into the best frozen concoction I have ever had...or at least one of the very best. Yesterday's flavor was pineapple. yummm Then we piled on home, took showers, had dinner and another beautiful walk on the beach (that makes 3 in one day!!!) and came home to watch Men with Brooms. The movie was funny but not near as much fun as the rest of the day,

Now here it is the next morning. I woke up bright and early ready for another early morning walk but these two lumps are still fast asleep.

And actually it is raining, dumping so hard even the infamous Kauai chickens have gone back to bed. So I guess I will wait awhile.

Monday, April 5, 2010

When the going gets rough, this gardener gets Hawaii

So last week we almost had frosts 4 nights. I went to sleep concerned for all our fruit trees, most of which are in full bloom. Then came Easter with a big snowstorm right up the hill from us. Sleet, hail, freezing winds. What do I do? Do I go out with blankets and sheets to cover the trees, set up hot pots to keep the orchards warm. Oh no, not me. I get on a plane for Hawaii. And that is where I sit, right now. In the sun on the lanai of the little house we are renting that is 100 steps from Anini Beach in Kauai. You envious? You definitely should be. It's amazing here.

All around me are the sounds of birds, many kinds. I see an enormous mango tree just laden with baby fruits. The trade winds are blowing just the right amount and I am waiting for Steve to finish his morning back stretchers so we can walk down on the beach. For it is sure bet that the 14 yr food monster will sleep another couple of hours. It is only 6:34 after all. I have been up for hours waiting for it to get light (a half an hour ago) and then for Steve to wake up (just now). I thought it would be more fun to walk with him. But if I wake up so early again, next time I may not wait. Hearing the crashing waves is like a siren's call for me. Hard not to follow.

Meanwhile, we left Becca and Seth home to milk cows and feed critters. Hopefully, we will all have a good time. Poor Charlie though, he really wanted to go.

ps When I call Aidan a food monster, even he thinks of himself that way. Last night he ate a steak that was bigger than his FACE. He was one happy camper. crazy, right.