July 30: 6 Turtles, 2 Kites, a Seal, and a Tree Rooster

Flossie delivered a night of rain, and today a lot of cloudy weather that required a good deal of creativity (between the rain, the still, humid heat, and the flash flood warning, planning was, as J says, “complex”).  It was raining on our heads as we went to Art Hemmingway Café (for breakfast following our fruit course at home), where we had delicious croissants with a variety of toppings.  It was a leisurely, desultory (please note the incorrect use of this word) breakfast at a communal table with two chatty older women from California and some time spent perusing books (New Yorker Cartoons; a picture volume on the Taylor Camp).

We walked over to the beach across the bay, where we swung from the ironwood trees.

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We also tried driving up the coast to see if we could find any huge waves and surfing action, but the surfers were all at work and Flossie didn’t do much to stir up the East Coast ocean.

Went on our daily Long’s Drugstore run, where we learned how people here pick their mangos and papayas without climbing the trees or throwing rocks at the ripe fruit:

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Returned home, where Pres packed for his flight.  Drove to the Lihue airport and dropped him off – sad!

Tried to find waves to ride at Kalapaki Beach, but again, there was no wave action (though there were several stand-up paddlers, or SUPers, trying to catch something).

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So we drove through the weird back roads of Lihue to find yummy shave ice at Halo Halo (which is strangely tucked into the back of a saimin restaurant).

Our next excursion was to the Aloha Aina Juice Bar in Kaloha to get acai bowls (basically acai berries mixed with frozen fruit in a very thick smoothie with bananas and granola on top).  Then on to Lawahi Beach for snorkeling.  First we watched the surfers (average age: 11) as we waited for the clouds to clear.

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Then we went in the water, where we saw turtles galore.  We saw two right up near the shore as we were getting in, and then we swam with a giant one.  Saw some cool new fish and nice coral.  The bay had rolling waves, and J got a little seasick, so we decided to take a break.

Watched the surfers and boogie boarders (one of the boogie boarders could do 360 degree turns both horizontally and vertically!) for a while longer as we waited for the sun to come out (J was determined that the sun would shine today, and so it did).  We also watched three turtles swimming up against the rocks, which was pretty amazing – they were all of ten or twenty feet from us, and we could see them through the waves.  Turtle heaven.

Drove to the Poipu Shopping Center and had shaved snow (they freeze water, milk, and syrup into blocks and then shave it, so it’s incredibly soft – they call it “ribbons of airy sweetness,” Dusty thinks it’s “milky shave ice”).

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Tried to go see another beach by driving down a sketchy dirt road through the old cane fields, but that lost its appeal fairly quickly.  Turned around and drove back up to Kapa’a.  For those of you interested in Kauai history, here’s a picture of the old sugar processing plant near Poipu (sorry it’s a little fuzzy — you can’t actually get anywhere near it today).

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Dinner at Verde (we’re in love with the stacked enchilada with seared ahi).  Then we walked across the main road to Kapa’a Beach Park to watch the kite surfers.  It’s so cool to see how much speed they can get! We talked to a few of them (the one woman said, “this takes forever to learn;” a cocky young Australian said, “it’s easy to learn – just look at who does it: a bunch of old men”).  J sounds determined to try it sometime.

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We also saw a monk seal swimming in the ocean while we were looking out over the waves; apparently, this seal makes that beach its regular resting place.

On our way back to the car, we saw a rooster sitting up in a tree.  There are chickens absolutely everywhere, but this one took the cake.  Sorry the photo isn’t clearer — you’ll have to take our word that the red thing there in the tree really is a rooster:

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J went running and T went walking (my attempt at running was foiled by a spectacular calf cramp) in our funny little neighborhood when we got home.  Now we’re back & getting ready to play some cards!

Editor’s note:  our new version of Oh Hell!, in which everyone bids at once, makes for a truly hellish game …

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