Wednesday, March 31, 2004

2004-our 3rd Kauai visit, Dad's 2nd, Tim and Faith's 1st: Keahua Forestry Arboretum; Smith's luau; Waimea Canyon; McBryde Gardens; Fern Grotto tour

March 2004---back on our island. This was the first use of our 2 bedroom/2 bath ownership at Pahio Kauai Beach Villas. Again I rented a 2nd week and we had visitors join us for both weeks---Tim and Faith for one week and Dad for the other. The week Tim and Faith were there turned out to be one of the worst ones weatherwise that we've encountered. It was rather cool and rainy the whole week. But they were still impressed enough with Kauai to go back (their 3rd time will be coming up soon). I think the only day they saw sun was on the day they were leaving.

Here they are on the lanai of our timeshare condo.

Before Wyndham took over, Pahio use to run some interesting events at the condo. Here I'm participating in one where they brought dried coconuts and paints and let us paint one. I painted a Bird of Paradise flower on mine. Later in the week we took it to the post office and mailed it to Tim and Faith. I thought it was interesting that you can mail a coconut without wrapping it. They just staple the postage onto it and away it goes. I don't remember how much postage was, but it wasn't too much.

Just a few more pictures around Kauai Beach Villas---

the lush landscaping

the beach

More landscaping

A new place that we found to explore this year was the Keahua Forestry Arboretum. This wooded area is just inland from Wailua and easy to get to by car. Although as seen here, the road can be underwater here.
Several streams and freshwater pools that feed into the Wailua River flow nearby and provide a cool relaxing area to swim and fish.

It is home to monkeypod, mango, and painted bark eucalyptus trees. The painted bark eucalyptus trees have a unique bark that appears to have been hand-painted in shades of red, purple and green. There are quite a few of these trees on Kauai.

Another first for us was Smith's Luau. Upon entry we received shell leis and then took a narrated tram tour around the lush 30-acre gardens

There are twenty types of fruit trees in the Tropical Orchard including breadfruit, star fruit, jackfruit, macadamia nuts and soursop. There are also Bamboo forests and colorful flowering tropical plants, as well as peacocks and many other birds .

From where the Imu Ceremony takes place, here's a view of the dining area. I liked that it was open-air, but covered in case of rain. The food was very good! There was plenty to eat: kalua pork, beef teriyaki, chicken adobo, and sweet’n’sour mahimahi; as well as local specialties like lomi salmon, fresh poi, Hawaiian sweet potato, mac salad, namasu salad and tropical deserts! Unlimited free mai tais, beer, wine , soft drinks and juice are also available. I thought the mai tais were very tasty. After dinner we wandered over to another covered amphitheater to watch the Rhythm of Aloha Show which featured performances from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Philippines, New Zealand, China and Japan. It may not have been as fancy a performance as Ken and I saw at Germaine's on Oahu a few years ago, but I rather enjoyed that this show seemed to be performed mostly by the young locals, probably high school age or slightly older. They really seemed to be enjoying what they were doing.

Just another picture of the beautiful grounds.

And another picture of my beautiful son and daughter-in-law.

On to the north shore. Weather was still an issue---overcast and cool, but we had to show them that side of the island anyway. Here we stopped in Hanalei and headed to Bubba Burgers for a quick lunch. Not a gourmet eatting establishment, but it was ok. We also enjoyed wandering around in the shops within the old Hanalei School pictured here on the left.

We even enjoyed a meal at Bubba Burgers.  Love the outside seating along the railing.

We also wanted to show them Waimea Canyon. Again it was cloudy, but it wasn't cool---it was COLD. This is Kalalau Lookout just past Kokee Museum near the end of the road up into the canyon. Weather Permitting, Kalalau Lookout offers dramatic views through the valley to the ocean, almost 4000' below. Weather wasn't permitting today . Did I mention it was COLD!
The views weren't the greatest either.

The clouds were constantly moving through the valley, so we were able to get a couple glimpses of the ocean, but not for very long. It wasn't like the previous year when it was very clear and warm up there.

Donned in their sweatshirts and still shivering a bit, I did get a picture of Tim and Faith at one of the lookouts.

Back down to ocean level we did see a little sun at Salt Pond one day, but even there it was cooler than normal.  No snorkeling this time.

Can't resist pictures of the red ponds at Salt Pond Park.

We also hit Gaylord's for lunch one day. I like the ambience and the outdoor eatting, but it's a bit expensive for dinner.

Back at the resort, we did go to a few of the free "lighting ceremonies" at the adjacent hotel a few times over the years. Not sure if they still do them. The property has changed hands 3 times in the 9 years we've been going to Kauai. But it was interesting watching the young local kids who are taking hula classes come here and perform their dances for us.

You would think with all the rain we saw that week we would have enjoyed more rainbows, but this was one of the few that we saw. In fact, we really haven't seen many any of the times we've been there. This was by the small marina down south.

Also on the south side Ken, my Dad and I toured the McBryde Gardens. The Allerton Gardens are there, too, but McBryde was a lot cheaper so the guys consented to going there. McBryde Gardens is maintained primarily for conservation, scientific, and educational purposes. A number of the plants here are also maintained for their horticultural, ornamental, cultural and/or medicinal values. McBryde Garden is the largest collection of native Hawaiian plants in existence anywhere. Most of these plants are endemic and many are threatened, endangered, or even extinct in the wild.
All tours require a round-trip tram ride between the Southshore Visitors Center and the Garden; approx. 15 minutes each way. This is the same tram that tours for the Allerton Gardens take. This is a view down to where the Allerton Gardens tour goes. Note the bridge. You can only get there by taking the Allerton tour which is a guided tour.

The McBryde tour is a self guided tour. It reminded me of being on a hike in the woods with marker signs by many of the trees. The walk is about a mile loop and there are some paved and rock stairs along the trail. Species of particular interest are ālula, Brighamia insignis, a member of the Campanulaceae or Bellflower family, which is endemic to Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. Only a single plant is known in the wild. McBryde Garden also includes 27 so-called “canoe plants” that the Polynesians brought with them in their voyaging canoes to ensure they had essential plants to fill their needs for food, fiber, buildings, and medicine. Some of the other plant species are various palms, coffee plants, Heliconias, and coral trees which are from the bean family.

 Interspersed with the trees and bushes of the gardens were lots of orchids.

There's a free garden by the building the tickets are purchased in. It is more of a structured garden and I also love running around in it taking lots of pictures. Even the parking lot is beautifully landscaped. This picture was taken as we were driving out.

Not far from McBryde Gardens is a swinging bridge that we walked across.

On the East side, the Fern Grotto Wailua River Cruise is a neat inexpensive way to travel up the Wailua River. On board the boat was singing and hula dancing to entertain us even though the ride to the Grotto was only about 2 miles.

At the Fern Grotto landing, we enjoy a short nature walk through the rainforest to the Fern Grotto.
It had incured considerable damage from Hurricane Iniki on Sept. 11, 1992, but still looked pretty impressive while we were there. Ferns grow upside down from the roof of the grotto, which was formed millions of years ago.

North, in Hanalei, we stopped at the Wai`oli Mission which was established by American Christian Missionaries in 1834.

This picture doesn't do justice to the stained glass windows. The Wai`oli Hui`ia Church has had a continuous record of service since 1834, first as a Congregational Church, and since 1957, as a United Church of Christ.

Beautiful stained glass windows!

The "kids" did enjoy our trip to the north shore, even though it was cold!
Kilauea Lighthouse

And walking around Hanalei Bay.

I had to show them my favorite view on earth, too---Bali Hai from Tunnels.

Again our 2 weeks went way too fast.  Loved having "the kids" and Dad join us again.

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