Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunset in Paradise


What to do around sunset?  How about a little shopping.


A little sight seeing, even if it is just looking back at the hotel.


A walk on the beach.


Watch the waves rolling in.


And taking a dip (actually not Kat this time. Thanks random lady!)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Deep Fried You Say? Mark's Place it is!


All the local places had awesome shit food. For instance, this deep fried tuna belly at Mark's Place. It was phenomenal, greasy, filling, and fatty. And our first experience that the local food is generally a terrible combination of cheap ingredients and fat. Traditional food, and restaurant food was quite good. But, seemingly, due to the high cost of food, the local joints trafficked in high-fat and low quality fair. Of course, they did not forget the delicious.


They also didn't forget the requisite rooster. Seen here enjoying a meal with Katherine.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

There's A Monastery In Them There Hills


Up in the mountains there was a small, but notable Hindu Monastery. It was a long trip on a rainy day to go see, but we did have some planned stops along the way.


We actually intended on going to see the Iraivan Temple (http://www.himalayanacademy.com/ssc/hawaii/iraivan/ ) , but were foiled. When we called in the morning we were informed that you could go and visit any time of day, just to find out that the tour to the Iraivan Temple was only available by reservation at 9 am.


What was truly odd about the experience was all the white people. I mean, all the monks were white people, the visitors were about half white half not. Somehow, and this is the weird part, it felt less genuine that each of these monks chose to be, instead of grew up in a Hindu society. It is a feeling that this space is somehow "fake", an almost Disney "this is a temple" feel, instead of having the feeling it is a temple.


This assertion is; completely, absolutely, unquestionably unfair. I have no doubt that the people worshiping here regard their religion in the highest esteem. But, well, that's how it feels.


It also doesn't help that I'm a stupid tourist who doesn't understand their traditions.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Birds? In a Hotel??


Each morning the staff brought out four birds of paradise to the common area of the hotel. What was amazing about this space is that it was both open air, and in the hotel. The lobby was covered only along the halls and at the check-in desk. Otherwise it was a grand open space.


The gardening around the hotel contained the most spectacular flowers we saw the whole trip.


In fact, outside of the hotel we saw very few flowers. There was one truly spectacular wild orchid, but it was far to far to capture on 'film'


Upon exiting (or entering I guess) the hotel there was a giant koi pond with two black swans. When you walk up to the pond they immediately chase up to you, but when I took a picture instead of feeding them they quickly swam away.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

No, the License Plates Aren't Kidding


There are, in fact, rainbows everywhere on the island. It is that rain for a minute, then get clear type of weather that breeds the colorful wonders. In fact, we could see this bow from end to end, it was certainly a site to behold.

Blow Hole!


Hey, maybe by the time this posts I'll figure out how to view and post my videos. Oh man, they are huge, and my blasted computer can by no means handle the size. Outside of buying a MacBook, anyone have advice?

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Said the Gophers


Now, I understand that golfing in Hawaii is the top of many peoples list. In fact, once upon a time it did appear on my list. Then I realized there was; one, no way I would ever keep the ball from flying into the ocean after every drive, chip, and yes even every put. Two, wow, how expensive is that. I've long since quit playing the worlds most pointless, expensive, frustrating "sport". Well, maybe golf isn't all of those things, but if you average out its place on each of those lists, it may be the top combined.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

She Gets Her Own


My favorite subject always gets her own post. Except when she doesn't. But she mostly gets her own posts.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Along the Trail


A tough call was to bring the new camera with the one lens. Not even a zoom lens! The forced restriction was great for capturing certain things, but it made me miss on the grand expanse pictures.


It is hard to really complain, witnessing each scene in person, and not focusing on the "perfect" picture was quite relaxing. Only occasionally I would force an attempt. Not that this attempt is forced or anything.


But it absolutely changes your vision.Changes where you look, has you chasing detail. It is so easy to miss the details. A fifty millimeter is simply a different way of thinking. We have become so used to just zooming in and out without regard.


The trail itself was rugged and dry packed mud on rock. It felt as if we were flowing downhill. We also found out we were absolutely amazingly lucky to wander to the top on a clear day. From what we understand, it is almost guaranteed to be wet and cloudy.


In fact, Mount Waialeale is quite possibly the wettest place on earth,

Averaging more than 452 inches (11,500 mm) of rain a year since 1912, with a record 683 inches (17,300 mm) in 1982, its summit is one of the rainiest spots on earth.[1]

(thanks Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Waialeale )

For contrast, Milwaukee gets 35 inches a year, and the dry part of Kauai gets 17. I mean, how freakishly stunning is that.


More trees. Boy-howdy do I like trees.


FERN!!!!!!!!!   And yes, the mountain top jungles do seem to contain fern gullies.


Just showing off how much detail my camera can pull. Wholy moly.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

That Looks Like a Great Hike


The first whole day was the only hiking day. After buying a house and planing a wedding, we went for the 'wing it' style of honeymooning. On the first day we drove all the way to the top, and decided that this would be a great spot to start wandering down the red path. The tour book we had was not great for hiking, so you really had to keep your thinking cap on, just going for it would not be advised on the island.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Rooster Time


They were everywhere. Feral roosters from abroad. There were also feral cats, and wild dogs, but none seemed to take to island life like a rooster can. Especially the dogs, those sickly beasts were rarely seen, and even some of the domestic ones looked awful. The cats seemed much more territorial, only inhabiting an area around a shop. But the roosters, oh my. They were in every parking lot, along every road, and even into the wooded hikes. I've never quite seen such wild animal dominance.

Sunday, January 8, 2012



Love the trees. So many lush delightful trees. Imagine, trees. Leafy trees. In the WINTER!! Oh, I miss you so much Kaua'i

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Trip up Waimea Canyon


The Pacific's Grand Canyon, Waimea Canyon on Kauaii is a spectacle to behold. Beginning on the South side of the island it rams smack into the Na Pali coast.


The winding roads were the appropriate amount of twist and turn, certainly not a repeat of the nausea inducing "dragon's tail"


The whole of the south is covered in this red clay looking soil. It stains everything you own a nice brownish red.


The canyon is mostly formed by the flow of water, just like the more famous Grand Canyon, in addition it did have some assistance from lava flows and a collapsing volcano. Wikipedia Knows


As usual, I took pictures of graffiti stickers on a sign which no longer communicates. The lack of a wide angle lens presented a challenge in scenes like this. This is the second impasse it caused, the first was a lack of hotel room pictures.


But, it does take great pictures of Kat!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Crazy Chips


Crazy colorful that is. Look at the weird food these alien people eat! You wouldn't even think them Americans. Actually, that is a fact you sort of forget from time to time. You really feel that it should be counted as visiting a foreign country, because it just takes so damn long to get there. Maybe the Hawaiians should revolt and make it a foreign country again. That would be a total surprise, the over / under is that Texas would be the first to secede.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Porch


Though banned from our household, I do like me some wicker. It always feels so summery and light. A pleasant place to rest my bum. Kat missed out on porch time, usually napping in the wonderful AC as I sat outside and reveled in the local brews.


Our view was partial ocean. Which was true, there were a couple of snippets of ocean to be seen. But, that was of no matter, as we were close enough to fall asleep each night with the sounds of waves lapping against the shore, and overlooking the garden pools was no eyesore.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Good Place to Chill


The resort had many wonderful spaces to sit back and relax by the pool. Which is really nice, if that's your thing. Being a more sort of restless type, it was hard for me to imagine spending a day by the pool. A morning or afternoon, maybe, but a whole day. Probably not gonna happen.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

You Got Stacked!


Rock stacking is a fun and interesting habit. I have no idea if it is part of an ancient Maori tradition, or if it takes any particular skill. But, it makes for some nice detail on the scenery of the beach.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Morning


One of many delightful sunrises from near our hotel. It was quite pleasant being so close to so much for the early morning. That, and both of our sleeping schedules were set to be up at 530am in the morning every day. Far be it from me to deny an early morning jaunt.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

A NightCap


And a moment for rest and relaxation. The end of a long flight and tiring day. A time to get our ears talked off by another two honeymooners. Very, very drunk honeymooners. The best was either when he bought a bottle of Scotch to ship back to Philadelphia. From Hawaii. It wasn't Hawaiian scotch. Or, when he closed the tab because his wife kept ordering drinks while he wasn't looking. Either way, it was a bit much for our first day on the garden island, and we quickly scurried back to the room.