Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hawaiian Time

Well it's been a few days since we first blogged and we now on Hawaiian time, bruddah.  

Sunday started out slow. We went to a local coffee spot in Hanalei for breakfast and by the time we got there, so was everyone else on the island.  We opted for the quick-fix breakfast rather than waiting 30 minutes for one of their famous waffles.  After eating, we tinkered around town to see what there was to see, then headed to the grocery store to stock up.   It was fun to take our time going up and down the aisles looking for all our favorites and rediscovering treats we used to enjoy when we lived here.  Hooooo-oooeeee, I had long forgotten how much groceries cost on the islands. Little bit, scratch that ... lot o' sticker shock at the register.

We headed to the Hanalei Community Center on Sunday afternoon to attend a Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele concert.  75 guests in a room with two musicians who "talk story" and play truly beautiful, old-school Hawaiian Guitar music.  We thoroughly enjoyed then entire 2+ hour concert.

Musicians are Doug & Sandy McMasters

Hanalei Mountains outside Hanalei Community Center


What we learned:
- The Hawaiians were introduced to the guitar in the late 1700's when the Mexicans were brought in to help round up all the wild cattle that existed on the islands back then.  The Hawaiians loved the sound the Mexicans made with their guitars and the guitars were left as gifts when the Mexicans returned home.  The Hawaiians had no music training and learned how to strum the guitar in such a way that expresses the essence of Hawaii - warm tradewinds, fragrant tropical flowers, gentle surf and the true spirit of aloha.  Ki ho'alu literally means "to loosen the keys".  It is a soft and sweet (nahenahe) sound.  Slack key is always played in altered tunings and each family created their own tunings and music.  These tunings were fiercly protected by a member of each family. Due to isolation and scarcity of intruments, the Hawaiians developed a self accompaniment.  The thumb plays a rhythm on the lower strings while the fingertips play melodies and harmonies on the upper strings - all at the same time.    
- There are roosters and chickens EVERY-where.  All the roosters at the Community Center are named 
"Bob" or some variation on that theme, Bob Junior,  Bobsy Twins, etc.  We've seen t-shirts with the words "Kauai Pride" accompanied by a very colorful chicken.  We've also seen t-shirts with the words "Stoopid Frickin' Chickin'" accompanied by a very colorful chicken.  The local theory is the Phillipinos had all these roosters and chickens from running illegal cock fights and when Hurricane Inikki hit in 1992 the chickens were blown all over the island, and just started procreating.  Now they're literlly everywhere you go since nobody eats them and they have no natural predators here on Kauai.

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday started out exactly the same.  The weather is perfect, enough said.  We've not totally adjusted to the 2-hour time difference so we've been up early everyday.  Dad and I start the day at the pool at 9 am and enjoy a couple hours with the place pretty much to ourselves.  The timing is great because the sun is out and it's well before all the kids get there and the heat gets too intense.  

Monday afternoon we headed south to Kapa'a for a little retail therapy - and we all felt better afterwards.  For dinner we stopped at Mermaid's Cafe for fish tacos.  Then across the street for a killler Margarita ... Yum.

Tuesday afternoon we headed North into Hanalei, through Haena State Park where the Napali Coast hiking trails begin and the road ends at Ke'e Beach.  

Waipouli Beach looking at Wainiha Bay (between Hanalei and Haena State Park

Wenesday is still unfolding so more to come ... in due time

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Aloha from the Kauai!

We arrived in Princeville yesterday after a long flight over the big blue ocean.  We started our flight with a POG Mimosa's (POG = Passion Orange Guava juice) and ended our flight with Mai Tai's garnished with fresh pineapple and a cherry.  Great way to start a vacation if you ask me.  

We got off the flight and as typical Seattlites, were jones-in for a Starbucks.  After the GPS drove us in circles for 15 minutes we finally narrowed in on one.  Dean will be doing 100% Kona after this fix.  The weather could not be more perfect.  It's sunny, in the low 80's with a light breeze.

We had dinner in Hanalei at Postcards Cafe.  Deee-lish.  Dad and I had Ono (swordfish fresh from the ocean that day) topped with macadamia butter, and served with green beans, mushroom mashed potatoes, and a pesto topped tomato.  Dean had a wonderful dish called Sorrento.  A creamy pasta dish with fish, clams, shrimp, spinach.  

We have a running stream and pond next to our unit and it was lovely to fall asleep to the sound of water and singing frogs.  The frogs are actually pretty loud, though not unpleasant.  We'll try to record them somtime this week.  Sunday morning view from our lanai below.

We woke Sunday morning to sun peaking over the mountains and chirping birds.  I forgot how much I missed the sweet smell of the air here.  We've also enjoyed listening to the locals talk with that sing-song flow to their speech.

We'll check in later to let you know how the day unfolded.