Thursday, July 5, 2007

5-July 07

An early breakfast at Hanalei Wake-Up Cafe (their enormous macadamia-nut cinnamon roll is a bargain at $3.50, and the guava juice is to-die-for) was great--super casual, surfer paraphernalia everywhere, and tropical breezes (we sure love how all the restaurants are open-air here). Even Scarlett was appropriately outfitted for the surfer mood.

"Let's go surfin' now; Everybody's learning how; Come on and safari with me!" sang Noby on our way to surfing lessons for Mike, me, and Sawyer (the others chickened out). Our Hawaiian Surfing Adventures instructor, Chris, was a professional surfer, and he was incredibly fun and knowledgeable (he definitely put me at ease--when we first began, I was nervous and wishing I'd never signed up!). After just 15 minutes of dry-land lessons (he called us "quick studies"), he had us in the water surfing (he said the waves were strong and as good as they get in Hanalei Bay--we were lucky). We ate a lot of salt water during our twenty-or-so runs (the lessons lasted more than two hours), but we all stood and loved riding the waves! Mike and I are especially enamored with the sport (both of us picked it up quickly, and, if you insist, I'll reveal what Chris told me: that I "look like a natural" up there and "have real finesse" on the board!) and can't wait to try it again.

Sufficiently board-slapped (my knee got a surf rash--Chris said that happens at around two hours of surfing and that's the cue to come on in for a bit) and salty-haired, we drove to lunch at Kilauea Bakery/Pau Hana Pizza, where we had soup, sandwiches, and pizza. The bakery is in the nicely manicured Kong Lung Center with fun gift shops (the Kong Lung Co. is the perfect place for unique and beautiful items like Japanese ceramics, luscious coffee-table books, and cool kid toys) and a resident cockatoo. We visited the overlook to the Kilauea Lighthouse before leaving town.

We stopped in at the Guava Kai plantation for a browse through their gift shop, a guava-product tasting, and an unexpectedly interesting and pretty nature walk where we saw all sorts of tropical flowers and fruit trees.

(jak fruit)

Banana Joe's was open on our way back, so we couldn't resist a stop despite our full bellies (it was on Granddad's Kauai wishlist, after all). There weren't a lot of choices--just one smoothie (overpowered by banana) and one frosty option (the frosty was nothing but frozen pineapple blended up--the consistency was like ice cream!). We gotta say, we weren't terribly impressed; nearby Mango Mamas, with its huge smoothie selection (with names rivaling the very best cocktails around--including the Sweet Dream, Lip Smacker, and Koko Pina) as well as a build-your-own alternative, beats Banana Joe's any day of the week.

Back home, I mourned the extent of the sunburn on the back of my legs from surfing (I had sunscreened them multiple times, but apparently not enough!) before cleaning up and heading out to sunset drinks and dinner at the open-air Happy Talk Lounge here at Hanalei Bay Resort, where the atmosphere was superb, the view spectacular, the weather ideal, and musician Norman "Kaawa" Soloman's super-smooth voice perfect for Hawaiian ballads.

(Round Two: A Day at the Beach, Kauai Mudslide, and Hanalei Sunset)

Only in Hawaii:

Signs of the day:


At July 7, 2007 9:47 PM , Jen Louie said...

What a GORGEOUS photo of Sadie with the flower in her hair! Looks like you guys are having a wonderful vacation, I'm so jealous (again!). I gotta learn to vacation like you guys! Keep up the blogging so I can live vicariously through you. Aloha!


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