Hawai’ian miscellany

As the final installment in my Hawai’i saga, I have a random collection of photos from the trip.

During our layover at LAX, we had to get some dinner. There were three choices for restaurants, and Shake Shack seemed like the best option. As it turned out, it was the saddest burger I’ve seen in a long time.

Here are Alex and Kyra on the hike to Queen’s Bath:

While we were looking down at Wailua Canyon, we saw a guy pull up in an old beat-up Prius. The entire back half of the car was filled with coconuts. It looked totally sketchy.

Notice the rooster. They’ve pretty much taken over the island, and you see them everywhere. Sidewalks, along the road, parking lots, and anywhere there’s a flat surface, there are roosters and hens prancing around clucking. Kyra wasn’t at all pleased when she was awakened (every day) by the cock-a-doodle-doo of roosters at 5am.

Anyway, back to the coconuts. We talked to the guy, who apparently climbs the trees each morning and cuts down big bunches of coconuts. He pulled out a machete and proceeded to deliver a series of well-placed whacks to one of them. La and I both enjoyed a drink of fresh coconut milk.

I’m not normally a fan of coconuts, but there’s something about drinking it right out of a freshly-harvested one. Good stuff.

One afternoon we didn’t have any firm plans, so we headed down to a bike shop and rented cruiser bikes. They were pretty sweet.

There’s a nice bike trail along the eastern coast of Kaua’i, so we went about five miles up the shore. Not surprisingly, we saw some amazing beaches (several of which we’d visited earlier).

Oh, that blue. I love it.

We also partook of the traditional Hawai’ian shave ice (not shaved ice):

Sweet glory, that stuff is amazing. Laralee complained that it was “too sweet” (whatever that means). The kids and I absolutely loved them.

True shave ice is completely unlike a snow cone, and this particular roadside stand knew how to pump just enough liquid sugar to completely saturate the ice. Perfect!

In addition to the prolific chickens, I noticed a ton of wild cats. They’d just sit around outside stores, at roadside stands, or wherever. I’m not sure if they dined on chicken much, but there sure were a lot of them. Here’s one surveying his (her?) domain at a roadside park.

Laralee and I had opportunities to take nice walks along the beach. I figure that’s part of a healthy marriage: take your wife to Hawai’i and go to the beach.

The road along the southern coast of Maui has some really cool black-rock beaches, where the rocks are roughly the size of bowling balls.

When the waves come in, the rocks roll around and make a loud rumbling sound. It’s very different from the quieter rattling of finer sand in places like Waianapanapa.

In the photo above, part of the road is visible along the edge of the cliff. Much of the southern highway is a one-lane road that hugs the cliffs along the shore, with a sheer drop to the ocean (at times, hundreds of feet straight down). It’s a bit of a white-knuckle drive, but absolutely gorgeous.

Speaking of gorgeous, here’s Laralee with her wind blowing gently in the sea breeze.

At one point I noticed some waves hitting the rocks particularly hard, so I hiked over to take a look.

I got a bit too close.

On our last day in Kaua’i, I convinced Laralee and Alex to join me on the Kuamo’o Trail to the top of some cliffs overlooking the Wailua Valley. The trail was pretty crazy, snaking amongst towering grass.

We didn’t make it to the top, because we had to turn around so we could check out of our house on time. But we were rewarded with a nice view of Wailua and Kapa’a.

What an incredible trip. I’m thrilled we were able to go, and to take our kids. With Alex getting married next week and Zaque heading out on a mission next month, this will be the last time just the five of us can be together. Hawai’i is truly a paradise, and I can’t wait to return.