February 10, 2016

Kauai: Waimea

This is our first time to go to Waimea during sunset hours.  After successfully NOT getting expensively stuck in the sand at Polihale, we headed up the hill to run around Waimea for a bit…
This was such a beautiful serendipitous find off the side of the road…
This red dirt!  The stuff that makes Kauai’s coffee beans so good.  And their Red Dirt shirts so red-dirty.  And stains our socks (permanently, btw) and feet (not so permanently).
First time I can recall seeing this waterfall in this canyon.
After waterfall gazing, we hightailed it up to the Ke’e/Kalaulau Overlooks, hoping not to miss the sunset.  I wish my pictures remotely did this scene justice.  The sun was glowing, the water and waves were so blue, the clouds were moving/swirling/rising/blowing SO FAST.  A stunning scene; such a good GOOD show. (I kicked myself a million times for not having my fisheye with me).

February 8, 2016

Kauai: Polihale

This was our first time checking out Polihale.  Access to this beach is by way of a long dirt sugarcane road.  Funny story about the inefficiencies of government (as documented on wiki):  In December 2008 flooding damaged facilities and closed this access road. With the park site closed and fearing the economic impact, numerous local residents and businesses volunteered to repair the road on their own rather than wait for the government to take action. The cost had been estimated at $4 million, an amount that the Department of Land and Natural Resources did not have budgeted, with repair time estimated at one to two years. On March 23, 2009, local volunteer residents and private businesses began repairing the road on their own and completed the job eight days later. 
The sand dunes here were pretty sizeable, and can get as high as 100 feet.  We were surprised to find this huge WWII Amtrac tank cemented into the beach at the water line.  I hunted around online to find the story, but I was unsuccessful.  All I know is that there are actually 5 tanks on this beach.  2 of them are visible during the winter surf season (when the winter swell washes away the sand); they’re all buried during summer.  Weird.

So I guess there’s some small print somewhere on our rental agreement that said we weren’t supposed to take the jeep off-road??!!  Seems kinda silly for a jeep.  But I guess the really REALLY big no-no was taking the jeep on sand.  Polihale itself allows vehicle access.  So we were looking forward to a little drive on the beach (we hadn’t read that rental small print).  We went out a little ways before hitting these biggish dunes.  Big Dude, who’s a relatively cautious kind of dude, checked first the sand access at one point and then the sand access at the next point …

and the sand access up the dune…

… and determined that none courses were probably wise.  Apparently if you get stuck in the sand, it’s a really hefty bill to pay to get unstuck.  And so we headed back on out the sugar cane road and headed up the hill to Waimea for sunset (next blog post).


February 7, 2016

1 Second Everyday: January 2016 edition

Drawing lessons for Little Dude, College Kid home for Christmas break, SHERLOCK Victorian style!!, El Nino and big waves, surprising birth of two monarchs in Winter, long awaited return trip to Hawaii, back to real life and schoolwork and backyard bananas and Kauai coffee we brought home with us, and yes, a shopping trip to T-mobile for their BOGO-half-off sale (Big Dude's 2012 phone died its last death, and I'm the happy recipient of the half off phone). This is officially my last Galaxy-ography (S3) version of 1SE. Commencing next month will be LG-ography...

February 5, 2016

Kauai: Coffee and Frisbee

Kona coffee beans are generally held up as a gold standard; Kauai beans are much lesser known.  And this is likely ironic.  Kauai will smile knowingly and then proudly educate its coffee-drinking-public with a few important details:  like Kauai is a much MUCH older island than Hawaii.  And has all that beautiful red dirt that is way less acidic.  And thus, Kauai beans are just that much smoother and less bitter and less acidic than their sister island’s beans.  And we Kellers happen to agree that Kauai beans are The Bomb. 
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We enjoyed sampling a few new varieties.  We liked Sunrise and Peaberry-Medium so well that we brought a few bags home with us. (why, yes, Middle Dude was sporting bed head hair our whole vacation!)

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After Kauai Coffee Company, we headed over to gentle (no big waves) Lydgate Beach to hang out a bit.  I picked a warm spot on the sand and read further in one of my vacay books,  All the Light We Cannot See (review here).  The dudes headed over to an adjoining park to play Ultimate Frisbee.
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One of the top want-to-do items on the dudes’ list was showing up to play for this pick-up Ultimate Frisbee game (here at home they play weekly on Sunday afternoons, so this was a serendipitous Kauai find).  It’s a Kauai East Side every Sunday 3:30 thing.  So we planned our day’s island schedule around a 3:30 arrival.  Silly haoles we were.  We forgot about Aloha Time.  Nobody but we visitors showed up at 3:30.  Game didn’t actually begin til 4:30ish.  Big Dude was tremendously bummed to be merely watching from the sidelines; a compromised shoulder kept him from playing this time.  I guess we need to go back.

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Methinks the Dudes enjoyed a new experience with this lively, friendly group of fellow frisbee afficionados.  Certainly the backdrop was jaw-droppingly eye-arresting.  Little Dude did remark at the end that it was a decidedly R-rated frisbee game.  Yes, Little Dude.  Yes, it was [grin].