Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kauai: Part Two

Welcome to the second installment: Days Five & Six on the island of Kauai!

Day five in paradise started with homemade grain-free pancakes and sauteed apple bananas. Yum-a-lish! I was rockin' the gourmet breakfasts in Hawaii (partly due to the fact that my prednisone wakes me up super early and by the time my family would wake up, I was not only starving but ready to start my day. Happy and full of energy!) Recipe coming soon. 

We played on the beach until lunchtime, when we picked up plate lunches from the Koloa Fish Market and had a picnic at the local ball park while we waited for the Farmer's Market to open. Here we are enjoying local favorites Pork Lau Lau (pork steamed with taro leaves, wrapped in banana leaves), Chicken Long Rice (rice vermicelli with chicken broth), and Ahi Poke (raw ahi with maui onion, seaweed, fish roe, green onions and salt). Oh my. So good. And Sam kept yelling excitedly, "PORK LAU LAU!" I think he just loved to say it. :)

When the bell rang at noon, we joined lots of other shoppers, descending on the fresh produce like flies on honey. Money was exchanged. Fruits were thrown. The children may or may not have been left to fend for themselves in the shade of the bleachers while we sought out sunrise papayas, apple bananas, sugar pineapples, and fresh veggies. And guess what? Even though everything else is way overpriced in paradise, I got a huge bundle of eggplants for $2, a bag of spinach for $2, two bunches of bananas for $4, and some basil for $1. Good deals!

I started getting super hot and shaky (more side effects) so the kids and I rested in the shade while Ben finished up the shopping, in hot pursuit of a fresh young coconut. Sam climbed the huge tree and made a "fort" inside:

Daddy came bearing that fresh young coconut and my two little nuts wasted no time:

It's one of Maddie's favorite Hawaiian treats.

After a long nap, back to the beach! A little snorkeler:

Maddie the budding photographer/fashionista took this one on the great lawn: 

I snapped a quick photo, wine glass in hand, on our way down the beach:

More sand adventures for Sam:

Happy little footprints exploring the beach:

Hawaiian monk seals come up on the sand to rest during the day and return back in the evening. This (big) guy was taking his sweet time as the tide came in. 

There was a kind and talkative keeping an eye on the seal (it's illegal to touch or disturb them so volunteers hang out while they rest). He told us a story of a lady who went into the water near a mama seal and her calf. You know where this is going. The seal bit her three different times protecting her baby.'s a good idea to keep your distance. The volunteers place signs and ropes around to give them lots of space.

The volunteer then told Maddie a legend about a flower she found on the beach, a princess tale involving a broken-hearted commoner who was sent away and turned into a flower. The prince turned into a flower. By itself, it looks like half a flower. But when you put two flowers together, side by side, they resemble a complete flower and the curled stamens cross each other to make a heart shape. Love reunited in death, as a flower, for eternity. The stuff of legends.

The golden light in the clear water was just irresistible:

And back at the condo, my own lava flow: frozen strawberries, bananas, fresh pineapple, coconut milk, honey and a touch of vodka. Yum.

Day six started with Mama-Maddie and Sam-Daddy time. Maddie requested that we climb trees:

Go to the gardens, where she looked for seeds to feed the koi:

We looked at all the beautiful orchids, cacti, water lilies and bromeliads:

Then I talked her into a coffee shop date (where I could see the ocean):

In the afternoon we visited the Kauai Coffee Company. All three of these kids were pretty excited:

First, a walking tour of the coffee plants. We picked coffee cherries right off the branches and checked them out:

For my hubby (aren't they beautiful?): 

 Maddie samples a coffee cherry:

 Sam samples the kona blend:

It's vacation; I HAD to let them try these things. The photos were just the icing on the cake of the experience, as far as I'm concerned.

Coffee gathering equipment:

The cherry picker (which looks JUST like a raspberry picker, from my old days of picking fruit in the summers):

More cherries, high in a tree:

 Then we headed to Salt Pond Beach for some playtime. Maddie was very good at making friends at every beach we visited: 

A quick stop at the Hanapepe swinging bridge:

Dinner is best described as a meal lovingly prepared and served by a little Hawaiian Tutu (grandma): saimin, fried teriyaki chicken, and the most AMAZING salad I had my entire trip. I didn't take a photo because I was too busy shoving it in my face. Greens with grilled, skewered shrimp, salmon and mahi mahi in a vietnamese-style garlic chili sauce, with grilled onions and tomatoes. Oh my goodness. It was ono (so good!) The kids loved using chopsticks to get the saimin noodles. 

After dinner the light was catching Maddie's eyes just so, and I had to snap a photo. The centers of her irises are almost red-brown, ringed by green, with blue rims, and these concentric circles that fan out from the pupils. So beautiful.

Across the street from the Saimin joint was a sign that read, "Kauai's best Lilikoi (passionfruit) Pie," so of course we had to stop. Vacation Ben ordered a whole pie (why the heck not?) and we headed to watch the sunset at the Beach House lawn. These three went to town on the passionfruit chiffon and whipping cream in a flaky crust while I took photos of their faces and the sunset:

After a little sugar, the wrestling began:

I could sit here every night. With a Hawaiian beverage. And my family.

 Halfway done! Hope you enjoyed days five and six!

No comments: