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 do...so 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.
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