Tuesday, July 3, 2007

3-July 07

Scarlett was up 45 minutes before the roosters. The roosters were up at 4:45 AM. Yawn. To her credit, she did follow Grandma's explicit bedtime directions to the kids: don't wake up any grown-ups until after 7:00 AM. Scarlett just hadn't set her watch to Hawaii time yet, I suppose. We'll aim to correct that before tomorrow.

We opened our drapes to a rainbow over Bali Hai. Yeah, this is paradise, alright! Just outside our sliding glass doors, mother hens paraded their chicks as roosters crowed and shooed other birds away.

We enjoyed a relaxing morning (the kids and Granddad watched Bridge to Terabithia) before having brunch at The Hanalei Gourmet, a bright, cheery little cafe in the Old School Building at Hanalei Center. We highly recommend the Fresh Island Fish Sandwich (today the fish was a meaty and delicious Tombo) and the Waioli Salad with grilled vegetables (the artichoke hearts and baby corn were excellent), goat cheese, and a not-too-sweet, not-too-tangy mango vinaigrette.

After a little shopping and a stop at Shave Ice Paradise for our first shave ice (we're going to reserve judgment until we order a better flavor combination than Sawyer's fruity rainbow of ice over chocolate ice cream--oy!), we continued our way up the coast (most locals live in extremely modest homes, but their waterfall, mountain, and coastal views are priceless) to Lumahai Beach (where they filmed South Pacific and, specifically, where Mitzi Gaynor washed that man right out of her hair). I fed Scarlett on the sand shaded by a massive yellow hibiscus tree.

On our way back, we hit Waipa Farmer's Market, where we tasted icy cold coconut milk--clear, thin, and subtle in flavor, it's nothing like the sickeningly sweet, condensed stuff you find in cans on the shelves of the supermarket. For $5 or $6 (depending on size), the vendor hacks it open with a machete, yanks out a small section, and drops in a straw and paper umbrella. After you drink it down while browsing the market, you return and he gladly slices it open and carves the flesh for you. (Good thing we bought ours when we did--about five minutes after opening--as people not long after were turned away! The market doesn't go on for hours as ours does at home--there were hardly any cars in the field when we left after 45 minutes or so.)

(They grow 'em big--and small--in Kauai!)

At the market, we picked up some obligatory pineapple as well as mangoes, bananas, passion fruit, lychees, and a few new-to-us fruits: mountain apples, kaimitos, and strawberry papayas. We even got some sugar cane (Granddad showed us how to carve it and work the sweetness out of the fibers--it was $1.00 well spent!).

We stopped at the Hanalei Lookout to get a postcard view of the taro fields. Our photos don't do the area justice, as you can't see the beauty of the various patches of green swaying in the breeze and glistening in the sun.

Sadie and Grandma took a poolside hula lesson this afternoon. They learned a graceful dance to "Hanalei Moon." We think they're naturals.

After a refreshing afternoon swim, we showered up and headed back to Hanalei for dinner at Sushi Blues. It's an open-air balcony restaurant--industrial chic meets tropical flair (and yet somehow it works). We were hoping for live music by local musicians, but we had to settle for piped-in reggae music. We shared a bunch of specialty rolls, including the tempura-battered Las Vegas Roll, the Waimea roll (garlic sashimi with tobiko--a little too intense for our liking), and, our favorite, the Grasshopper Roll (with unagi and macadamia nuts). Noby upgraded to the 22-oz Stella Artois beer, and I savored my first island Mai Tai (the server promised it was the drink of the house--"a Mai Tai that doesn't really taste like a Mai Tai ")...but it was Sadie who was knocked out by the evening's end!

Sign of the day:

(We just thought the lettering and art was so cool!)


At July 5, 2007 9:49 AM , Kimbocita said...

WOW! I feel like you guys are really getting the party started right. It looks like Sadie's done the hula and Sawyer's got the coconut down. I can't wait to hear what you are up to next! Everything looks so amazing! Be sure to continue to take lots of pictures. Wishing I was there! - XOXOXO Auntie Muscles

At July 5, 2007 9:27 PM , Kim O said...

Lucky you, to be in paradise. I can assure you that your weather with the island breeze is much better than ours. It has been miserably hot here in Novato.

You sound like you're liking those chickens. Aaron loved the chickens, too, when we were there. Have you seen any peacocks? Some of the properties have noisy peacocks that 'meow' early in the morning.

Food looks yummy. Alisa, did you try the coconut milk? I thought you didn't like coconut.

What does Sadie think of her 'Sleeping Beauty' photo?


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