Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kauai – Saturday

Whew we’re tired…we’re going to need a vacation to recover from our vacation!!! But we are having a blast!

Today started by going to look for this lady selling Malasadas (Polynesian Taro donuts). The book said she would be set up in front of the Nappa auto parts store in Lihue…so we went to search her out!!! She wasn’t there. I hope she’s ok!

So we headed up to Wailua Falls. This was a “double” fall with a huge pool at the bottom. This was another one of those “tourist spots” so it was very crowded and you couldn’t actually go down to the falls (well I think you can but we decided against a big hike this morning and I think you have to break a few laws to get there!). The falls were beautiful…I think they must have been in some movie because there were a couple of “Movie Tour” buses at the falls. Oh yeah...these are the falls that were in "Fantasy Island".

After snapping some shots at the falls, we headed up the north shore to Ke’e Beach. You get to this beach by going up the North Shore until there is no more road. No kidding…this is the beach at the end of the road. The beach is has a reef starting 20 or so yards off the beach that protects it from the waves so it is nice for swimming. But the cool part of this beach is the snorkeling. This was some of the best snorkeling we’ve don’t the whole time. After swimming out 20-25 yards, you get to the reef and soon you are in ankle deep water…well the water is probably actually 30-40 feet deep here but you can stand up on the reef and the water is ankle deep. Navigating through and over this reef is a chore but the reward on the other side is well worth it. The fish are beautiful…incredible colors…the water is so clear…and we swam with turtles. They weren’t little turtles like you see smeared in the middle of the road in Texas….these were huge…3 ½ to 4 ft. across. You could just float and watch them eat. At one point I was standing on part of the reef with one foot on one wall one on the another and a channel below me…trying to dump the water out of my mask. Then a huge turtle swam right between my legs!!! SO AWESOME. At one point I was swimming along the surface and there was a turtle swimming less than arms length underneath me. I could have reached out and touched it but I didn’t want to spook it.

Ok, then…as if the turtles weren’t enough, there were sharks!! Yep…reef sharks…only a few feet long but nevertheless…they were sharks!! To see them you had to swim down hard 6 or 7 feet and look under this little cave in the reef and they were laying down in the sand. It was so cool!!

We forgot to take pictures of the beach from the beach!! However we got some cool (hopefully cool, we’ll see when we get them developed) underwater pictures. I’ll post them when we get them developed.

We also took some pictures of the mountains from this beach and some caves around the are a couple of them.

View from the beach up the mountain.

We spent a lot of time in the water here and were pretty exhausted and decided to go in. While walking over the reef, I slipped, my flipper came off, and my leg went down in this whole up to right above my knee…and I landed on my butt!! Dude it hurt!! I now have wounds to prove I was out there. A huge chunk from my foot and several bleeding scrapes down my lower leg. Now that I think of it, it probably wasn’t so good to be out there bleeding with the sharks so close!!!

From Ke’e beach we headed back to Hanalei for some lunch. Lunch today was at Bubba’s Burgers….and excellent little burger joint! Their motto is “We cheat tourist, drunks, and attorneys”!! Then we headed back to “Queen’s Bath” (from Monday). This was one of my favorite parts on the island so we were going to go back one more time (plus Christy lost her first snorkel set there and I was hoping to find it). Then we ran into a new phenomenon on the island…weekend crowds. When we went to Queen’s Bath on Monday there was hardly anyone there…this time, the parking lot (only holds about 10 cars) and all around was packed so we decided to go to a beach we had not visited yet.

We headed down south to “Larson’s Beach”. This is another one of those out of the way beaches that you would never go to if someone didn’t tell you how to get there. The last mile or so is on a (very rough) dirt road and then we hiked down a trail for 10-15 minutes to get to the beach. The book said this was a good snorkeling beach but when we got there, it was pretty rough seas so we didn’t snorkel (plus we were worn out from the morning!). So we just relaxed on this beach. At one point, we were the only two people on this beach. Then this guy came walking down the beach (he had been a few hundred yards up the beach when we got there) to right be hind where we were. Evidently he was a homeless man. He had a few bags there with him and had dug out a small hole that he was resting in. He had several cats with him that he was giving water to. Pretty strange…I wondered what his story was. What kind of luck do you come on that leaves you homeless (if that is what he was) in Kauai.

Then the hike back up to the car….whew! It was a lot farther up that it was down!

This was our least favorite beach of the trip but still beautiful and nice just to kick back and relax.

Here are some pics:

From Larson’s we headed further South (toward home)…did some shopping then had dinner at Kauai Pasta. We ate here a couple of nights ago and LOVED it. The guy that owns it is a Christian…he has DVD’s of sermons from his church, Kauai Missionary Church, for you to take at the front desk. He also gave out “Scripture Mints” as after dinner mints. He seemed like a real cool guy and you could tell from when you walked in that he was…different! You know by different….I mean a Christ follower.

From supper we came home and started packing up for the trip home tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning, we are going to worship with some brothers and sisters here in Kauai. I remember singing at this church both times I’ve been here before and remember their preacher. It’ll be fun worshiping with them but I know we will miss our faith family at home.

After worship, we’re going to do some final shopping…maybe hit another tour…even thinking about another round of golf…and then off to the airport.

More later…

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kauai – Friday

Another great day in a great place…

Again, we slept in this morning…for me, that meant up at 7 a.m…I just can’t sleep here!!! Oh well! After breakfast we headed out to the golf course. I can’t remember the name of it and I don’t have enough energy right now to go find the book that has the name of it in it!! It was a pretty cool little course. This story is that this man living in Kauai built this nine hole course (in Poipu) and then when he died, he donated the course and money to keep it up to the island. This dude is buried in this little garden between 6 and 7. So, since it is donated, the greens fees are only $8!!! That’s my kind of greens fee. Ok, so it wasn’t the Princeville course but it was still fun. There were awesome ocean views all through the course and the fairways are wide and strait…unfortunately, not wide enough for me most of the day!! You may be asking…what did Christy do while you played golf? This is the really cool part of the story. Christy knew that the last time we were here, one of my favorite times was when I got to play one of the other courses here in Kauai. She had told me before we came that I could go play one afternoon if I wanted to but I told her that I didn’t want to without her (plus, I needed someone that could actually see my ball for me!). So…before we left Amarillo, Christy arranged a 30 minute golf lesson with one of our friends from church…nothing big…just teaching her how to hit the ball. (You can see her form below!) She did this just so I could enjoy and round of golf…with her. Pretty awesome wife huh!!! She did great too!! She didn’t hit the ball real far or up in the air but it was always strait! We had a lot of fun playing. We also got lucky that we got paired in a foursome with a couple that was worse than us!!! They were a lot of fun too!

I’ve now played two golf courses in Kauai…one more than I’ve played in Amarillo!

View from the golf course.

Check out this swing!!
And this form!

After golf and lunch at Brick Oven Pizza (again!!), we headed up to the North Shore to another beach we hadn’t visited yet. This was another very cool place. You can only get to this beach by taking this path between a parking lot and a tennis court at the Princeville Resort and following it down to some rickety stairs to another STEEP path and finally to this very cool secluded beach. There is no way you are going to find this beach unless you read about it in a book like ours or someone gives you directions…I think that’s one of the things I loved about it. It wasn’t a beach that everyone goes too….you have to know it’s there to get to it. The sand part of this beach is only 100-150 yards long and has huge trees for shade just 20 yards from the water. On each end of the sand is outcroppings of lava rocks….it’s just a beautiful place. Oh yeah…it’s called “Hideaway Beach”. And the sand here was awesome…very big grains of sand but very soft to walk on. The reason we went to this beach was because the book said it was great for snorkeling…and the book was right. We spent a few hours here snorkeling and relaxing. The snorkeling was incredible…there were huge rock formations that started about 30 yards from shore and went as far as we dared to go out. Lot’s of coral, lots of color and lots of beautiful fish. Just incredible fish. We took some underwater pictures here that we will have to get developed when we get home. At one point I got about 250 yards from shore and found my self in the middle of a school of fish. They were on every side of me…beautiful. At one point while I was out there, I stopped and stood on a big rock where my head was barely sticking up above the water. Christy was back at the shore but I couldn’t see her…that’s how far away I was. She said she couldn’t see me out there either. So I just stood out there on the rock for a few minutes…very humbling…when you are out there in the ocean…big cliffs in front of you, hundreds of miles of ocean behind you, you begin to get a glimpse of how small you are. It was cool….I don’t even know how to communicate how cool it was.

Here are some pics from Hideaway Beach:

From the hike on the way down

From the beach.

Christy, after the shark attack!!

After the LONG trek back up the trail to the car, we headed in to Hanalei to pick up some more souvenirs for the kids and to get some more Shave Ice. Ok, it was good, but the Shave Ice at Jojos is SO MUCH BETTER.

After Shave Ice we headed to the Hanalei Bay Pier to watch sunset. Beautiful is the word we use but it doesn’t do it justice. This was a cool beach…the sand at this beach was the opposite from the sand just a few miles South at Hideaway…it was so fine…like powder. There were several people fishing at this Beach too…with nets or poles. I still haven’t seen anyone catch anything. It was also cool here because you could drive your car right up to the water. Several had backed there cars or trucks up to within feet of the shore to picnic or fish or surf or whatever.

Like I said…the sunset was just incredible…the pictures turned out pretty good on these too.

Hanalei Bay

Locals backed up to the water.

Sunset at Hanalei. Nice huh?

Another great day!!! God is so good to me…this scenery, the beauty, and the reason I have taken this trip…my wife. I remember 16 years ago being here and being “so in love”…and I was. I loved her then…but today, I love her even more. Thank you God…You have been good to me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sorry for the not posting lately...the internet connection in the condo was not good so...anyway, here is Thursday

Kauai - Thursday

Wow!! Today was busy, we saw a ton of stuff on the West Shore of Kauai and up in Waimea Canyon. Here’s a quick run through of the day…

We started the day with a trip to Christy’s favorite spot in the mainland…Walmart!! Had to stop there and get some Benadryl for those nasty mosquito bites. We ended up spending a little time there looking at novelties and I bought me a sweet Hawaiian shirt!! From Walmart we headed to the West Shore.

Our first stop was JoJo’s Shave Ice. JoJo’s was highly recommended by the book we are living by here in Kauai (The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook) and we wanted to go there because…well…it was JoJo’s. JoJo’s was a cool little hole in the wall with GREAT shave ice (with Macadamia Nut Ice Cream underneath it). It was so good. The guy that served us had no shirt and board shorts on…only in Hawaii!!

After walking around for a little we headed up to Waimea Canyon. The drive up was very pretty. The West side of the island is the “dry side”. It is SO different from the side we are staying on and have stayed on for the first few days. It is not humid but very dry (hence the description "the dry side"!). The grass is all dead and yellow, and the dirt is RED. It looks a little like Oklahoma! Start up the mountain and things begin to change. We drove up the mountain for 15-20 minutes and it looked like we were in the middle of Colorado. We traveled all the way to the top of the mountain to the Puu o Kila Lookout. This lookout was from the top of the mountain out to the Na Pali coast. The Na Pali coast can only be seen by boat or air or from this lookout – there are no roads to it. It was so awesome!! Unfortunately, there were clouds rolling in so the pictures didn’t turn out great. Here are a few pics from that lookout.

With the clouds!! Pretty huh?!

Less clouds.

Even less clouds...the pictures again don't do it justice.

From there we worked our way down the mountain to several different lookouts including quite a few for the Waimea Canyon. This place was UNREAL. I can’t begin to explain how incredible this Canyon is…you just wonder at it’s beauty. From the main lookout you can see this BEAUTIFUL double waterfall (the one from Fantasy Island!) but I think the little off the road lookouts were even more spectacular. Here are a few of Waimea.

Almost as pretty as Palo Duro Canyon!!


Check out this cool waterfall!

We also saw a family of mountain goats from one of the off the road lookouts. Here’s the Billy!

The drive back down the mountain was also incredible. The views of the Ocean coming down were…well…they were incredible. No pictures!! You’ll just have to trust me on this one.

After a quick lunch (great Calzone at a little hole in the wall), we went to a few other sites on the West side. We went to 1 beach where the sand is a real dark green. This is where the Waimea River runs into the ocean….it’s real cool to watch. The sand there has olivine (green) and black flecks of lava in it to make it dark green. Very pretty but not good for swimming or playing on the beach.

Green Beach

We then headed over to Pekala Beach.

Pekala beach again is not for swimming and there were only a dozen or so people there...mostly surfers…well all surfers accept for us. This is a beach known for it’s surfing but not good for swimming or snorkeling. You get to it by parking along the highway, going through this fence then along a “pig trail” for a couple of hundred yards. Then down the beach and past the wall that says “private property”! All beaches in Kauai are public but sometimes you have to cross private property to get to them. We spent a little while at Pekala watching surfers do their thing and kicking back on the sand. Very relaxing!!

From Pekala we went to another beach…kinda weird beach…Glass Beach. Our book says that Glass beach was created from millions of pieces of broken glass washed in from broken bottles and auto glass. Behind it is the industrial part of the west side with huge gas tanks…you have to drive down this dirt road and then you come up on it. Again, not a place to swim but the “sand” was very pretty and cool and interesting.

Glass Beach

We spent some time then at the Harbor and watched some team kayaking and surfers then headed over to Spouting Horn at sunset. Spouting Horn is pretty cool. Spouting horn is essentially a hole in the lava shelf where water from waves is forced through forcing out water…and air. This is what the “blue book” says about spouting horn. “This particular site distinguishes itself from other blowholes around Hawaii in that it has an additional hole that blows only air, causing a loud moaning and gasping sound”. That's too! It was cool. Especially at sunset. When the sun was setting, every time the hole would blow (ha!) it would create a cool rainbow. We also saw a turtle and a seal at Spouting Horn. We spent quite a while there taking pictures and just enjoying the view.

Spouting Horn

A couple of Blowholes

Check out the Rainbow

We ended the day with a sandwich and some fresh pineapple at the condo…pretty tired from the day.

Today, we didn’t do any swimming or snorkeling or zipping…just a lot of enjoying God’s beauty. It’s incredible. It reminds me of how creative our God is….he is the creator! The beauty he made is AMAZING…and as I was sitting on the rail looking out over the NaPali coast, what came to my mind was…as beautiful as this is…outstanding colors, peaceful in every way, etc, etc, the most beautiful thing God did was on an ugly mountain with no flowers…just the blood of his son. This caused me to worship today…again. God is good in every way. Thank you God for the beauty you created in nature…thank you for the love you show every day to me.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kauai – Wednesday

This morning started early…but we had a blast. We started this morning with the “Zip-line Tour”….very stinking cool. Christy and I both have ridden ziplines at Blue Haven and Ceta Canyon but NOTHING like these. They were long…I think the longest was 350 yards or so….and some of them VERY high…I think about 80 feet above the ground. A couple of them were very low too which was cool. There were 7 different ziplines in all that we got to zip. We zipped over what used to be a crater created by one of the volcanoes that made Kauai. At one point, we were at the foot of the mountain (can’t remember it’s name right now) that is the wettest point in the world. It had rained last night (of course) and you could see 10 or so waterfalls from the first place to zip. It was lush and green and a TON of fun! We ended at this little pond and had sandwiches then road back up to the city. Yeah…we had a lot of fun!

Here are some pics:

Before the Zip

Christy Zipping

Doyle Zipping

More pics of this when I get to a faster Internet connection!

After the zip tour we were pretty tired so we headed into town for a little shave ice…then back to the condo for a bit.

After a little rest, we headed out for some beach time. This afternoon we went to Lydgate Beach. It’s a pretty cool beach…nice for just relaxing and playing in the water. They have created this rock circle to protect this beach from the waves so it makes a nice serene pool. We snorkeled for a little but the snorkeling wasn’t great. Not a lot of fish in this area. Then we just vegged!! It is so nice to be able to just relax and do nothing if you want to! This was a very pretty beach and we are hoping to get back to this beach to watch a sunrise.


We went from Lydgate to see Opaeka Falls. These aren’t falls that you get to actually go up to, you can only view them from the road. They are beautiful though! Here are some pics.

After the falls we were just driving up this little road and ran into a Hindu Monastary. It was pretty cool. We didn’t get to go into the temple…it’s only open in the morning. But reading some of the history of the monastery was pretty cool. One interesting thing they had there was a place you could write down all of the things that were bothering you and burn them in this urn. They said that your problems were taken away when you burned them in this urn….pretty interesting. A lot of interesting stuff in their tenets of faith…more on that later. No pictures here…if I get to go back to the temple, I’ll take some pictures.

After the monastery, we went to eat at a great little Italian place, then shopped a little, then went for a stroll on the beach. Again, it was a great day. We are pretty tired but having so much fun.

More later…

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Wow…Tuesday was fun but WE ARE TIRED!!! This was a day that we planned to “sleep in”. So, I got up about 6:30!! Wow…what a sleep in. I just couldn’t sleep. We lounged around the condo for a while, then had breakfast, and hit Kauai!

We started at Hilo Hatties looking for souvenirs and stuff. Shopping…woohoo. Then we headed to the South Shore to do some snorkeling and boogie boarding. We started at Poi’pu Beach and did some snorkeling there. There were a lot of fish and urchin and stuff to see but the floor was VERY rocky and hard to get around in. The hardest part was getting back to shore. The beach was beautiful though and we had fun just people watching. We laid on the beach for a while DOING NOTHING. Doing nothing is so good! No pictures of Poi’pu…sorry.

We headed off for some lunch…a very good burger and chicken burger at Tropical Burger, and then looking around in some shops at the Market in Poi’pu.

After lunch it was time for some boogie boarding at Brennecke Beach. The waves were pretty awesome. However, neither of us will soon be asked to join the national boogie boarding team. We had fun and took most of the sand from Brennecke Beach away with us in the many hiding spots in our swim suits and other crevices on our body! Here are some pics of Brennecke Beach.

From Brennecke we went to my favorite spot of the day…Kipu Falls. This was awesome. Kinda in the back country of the South Side, you park by a bridge and then take a “pig path” through some grass fields where the grass is taller than me. You walk down this path and over some rocks for about 10 minutes and then come up on this awesome waterfall and huge pool. The waterfall is probably 20-25 feet high and Christy and I both jumped off a couple of times. IT WAS AWESOME!!! Then you can swim over and climb back up and do this huge rope swing. Very cool too but not as cool as jumping off the waterfall. Again, I think this was our favorite part of the day. We like these places that are off the beaten path and VERY COOL. Here are some pics:

Christy Jumping

Doyle Jumping

Rope Swing

After Kipu Falls we were beat and ready for some supper and rest. We spent some time at the store buying souvenirs and food for tonight. Then we came back to the condo and Christy cooked supper. It has been a nice relaxing night.

Tomorrow is our Zip-Line Tour!! We can’t wait!!!

More tomorrow.