Monday, October 27, 2008

Go Phillies!

What a weekend for Philadelphia - the Eagles won and so did the Phillies!

Am glad I am not sitting there watching the game tonight tho - with the chill in the air and the rain - nope - not for me! But hopefully they are more use to the weather than Tampa Bay!

I am all in favor of small business. If possible, I will buy from a mom/pop store before a big chain one, even knowing I might have to pay a few dollars more for the item. Last week I went to my LYS and saw some pretty cashmerino yarn - kept trying to remember what the pattern was that I was thinking about it. Of course, I remembered when I got home - a baby cap! Only needed one ball of it!

So today I went back and decided on what color. I was a little disappointed in the limited color choices, so I went online to look at what colors are in the line. And I felt a bit betrayed when I found out that I pretty much paid $3 more for this one skein than other places charged for! And I am talking about other LYS as well as online stores. In fact, price wise with one online store I paid $4 more! And if you factor in gas + time compared to shipping - there is not necessarily that much difference.

I like this LYS so I will keep shopping there. But I will also - the next time I fall for some yarn - do some comparison shopping first!

I have a recert class and test on Wed that I am not looking forward to - keep your fingeres crossed for me people!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tying it all up

The last day Tom thought he was going to go back to the Kauai Products Fair after golf, and buy me a necklace that I liked. What he didnt know was that I already had gone back and bought it for myself. So we did some driving around. Drove along Annini Beach - rumor has it that it was originally Wannini Beach until someone shot off the W becuase they thought it was mis spelled. Beautiful beach - some gorgeous house there....and this. Pieces of a car - doors and trunk - arrange around some rocks. ??????

View looking down the cliffs from the walk up to the lighthouse.

A church built from lava rock.

A Kauia sunrise

Hibiscus flowers from the gardens at the Lihue airport....yes, we had some time to kill....

Another view fromt he walk up to the lighthouse

Taro fields outside of Hanalei

Kauia sunrise the morning we were leaving....

Tree tunnel on the road to Koloa

So we got home on time....none of the planes were late. And had to figure out when to go to bed - we were tired from the flights but our bodies were still on Hawaii time! So didnt got to bed until after midnight our time.

The next day had to pick up a very tired and subdued dog from the kennel. Plus I think he lost a little weight while we were gone. Am sure he didnt eat or sleep much!

That night we went to see Chazz Palmientieri do his one man show A Bronx Tale in SF. Very interesting - funny - touching. Had a lovely Italian meal before hand. And got home around 11:00 PM. Two late nights in a row....

Monday Tom went back to work. I ran errands (no groceries in the house!) and attended my 2 hour mandatory class before I can be a clerk at a polling place in November. I learned a lot of things I never knew - and found out this is the first time in history (I am not sure if they meant in the state or the county alone) that they have a waiting list of people who want to work the polls! Becuase of such a large number of people working they said we would have enough people at each polling place to assure that we get our breaks and meals....that is good cause the day starts at 0600 and doesnt end until 9 - 9:30 PM!!!!!!! And let me tell you, the money is not enough to make this a high demand job!

I will be back to work tomorrow....sigh.....

More vacation

Our snorkeling gear! No photos of us in the water, so this is the only proof that we went snorkeling....except for the embarassingly bad sunburns we got! Apparently we spent much more time in the water than we thought - and we paid the price. Reminder to self - need to get some sort of swim shirt if I want to snorkel more....

Our spot in the shade - which didnt help mych - at Lydgate Beach

Proof that we actually did get to enjoy the top down in our convertible!

Found a mess of these under a tree at Lydgate Beach. No one seems to know what they are - I thought they looked like candy corn so I took a photo of one since we were there in October!

One of the caves near Kee Beach. This one is posted no swimming or exploring.

Yeah they are everywhere...and I am STILL hungry for fried chicken! Our guide on the movie tour said they are not worth eating cause they are so stringy and no fat....hmmm, and how would he know??????????

Just a Hawaii photo op from the Lydgate Beach looking into the mountains

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tom's Movie tour - Many photos!

So the last time we were here, Tom really really wanted to do the movie tour - where you see the sites where movies have been filmed on the island. Didnt get to then - had trouble deciding which tour to take this time. - but he finally decided on the 4x4 tour. And let me tell you - we spent a lot of time getting our gizzards rocked - or a full body massage as I called it!

Just before we left to drive to the tour company, we recieved a phone call from our son saying he had been awakened by the Reno Nevada Coroner asking him if he was related husband's brother. Our son is young enough he can barely remember ever meeting the man. Apparently he died Sat midnight and they were trying to track down family. We last saw hubby's brother about 25 years ago. Heard from him twice since then - once when we agreed to 'loan' him money and once when we didnt. But still, this is a difficult wake up call for anyone. His brother led a sad life. And he died alone, without family at his own choosing, at the age of 61.

These photos are not in order. You can see that we progressed from sun to pouring rain thru the day.

This is one of two pickups that are full of hunting dogs. Apparently that is how they hunt boar in Kauia. After all, the boars are smart enough to take off and hide when they hear cars and trucks so they have to send dogs after them. These hunters did not have a productive day - as you can see, there is nothing on top of the board over the dogs!

Trekking back to the 4x4 after NOT seeing the crater that was featured in the movie Dragonfly becuase the rain would not stop and the clouds would not lift. We had to skip over rocks to get down a small muddy path that turned into a stream....waited for awhile until we gave up. The guides said they had not seen rain like this since February - go figure - after all, we have a history of taking rain with us on vacations PLUS we rented a convertible!!!!!
Hubby standing at what was once the gates to Jurassic Park. This is State property and everything they put up or down (including the paved road) had to be taken out and returned to nature when they the road was paved and torn up 3 times. And the gates are gone - and because they were made of balsa wood and styrofoam, they never would have survived the 1996 hurricane anyway! BTW, we were told that Jurassic Park #4 starts filming some time in the next month...
This poor guy is so screwed. First of all, he took a rental car off the paved roads which immediately negates the insurance and contracts you sign. And now he is liable for damages to it - if and when he can get it towed out of there! (When we passed himon the way up, he was stuck in a puddle of look at it!) Oh and another pearl of wisdom - if you go to buy a previous rental car -make sure it was not used in Hawaii. The natives will not buy the cars from the rental companies there (look at the photo again!) so the rental companies have to ship them to the mainland to sell them!
The historic Coco Palms. The site of many a celebrity - including Elvis and some of his movies. Devastated by the hurricane of 1996 and by the Japanese firm who owned it by then. They supposedly tried to cheat the insurance company - after they started losing business because of lack of upkeep - they say the chance to get the money to fix the place up again and factored in that money into their insurance claims. They lost. Big time. The insurance company refused to pay a cent. So they sold it for $13 million a few years ago. The owner is hoping to restore it. Right now it is a ghost town inhabited by many coconuts (the back acres are coconuts and no one is harvesting them) and one caretaker/guard. There has been looting - and jsut FYI if you come across a south seas clam shell billed as a bathroom sink from the Coco Palms, there is a reward offered....

Oh, one of the streams we forded on the way up to the Jurassic Park site.

Guess I thought you might want to see it twice?
Mushrooms apparently grow well int he rainforest!

This pier was used in one of hubby's (many) favorite movies - Donovan's Reef.
Look at the old fogies next to the waterfall. And look -we have sunglasses on, so this must have been earlier in the day!
This was the cottage Elvis always stayed in. And was used in one of his films. The owner at that time was not about to kick out one of her loyal customers, so they could not book more than one cottage. So in the film Blue Hawaii - this same cottage was used 4 different times with 4 different sets of furnishings!
The activity board still has announcements on it...
Nope, it is the world's largest fiberglass conch shell....

Waimea Canyon AKA the Grand Canyon of Kauia

Sunday we put the top down on the convertible and drove to the other side of the island to see what we didnt get a chance to see the last time we were here - the Waimea Canyon. We drove thru to the very end. Then headed back and had lunch at the Kokee Lodge.

Sorry, but this Nene got fed that day! Lunch at the lodge was awesome even tho I have never had sweet tasting chili before - and I ordered it with rice becuase that is how I like my chili - and it came with sticky rice! Tom had Portugese sausage soup and we split delicious cornbread (and later wished we had each ordered it!)

It is sick to say - but with all the chickens roaming free on the island - all I wanted to eat this week was chicken! So we used the barbecue grills at the place and grilled some chicken that night for dinner!

More photos of the inhabitants

See our morning alarm clock up there? Every morning, and thru out most of the day we could hear him ...except for our last morning there. Guess he knew we were leaving and no longer worthy of his attention!
Oh by the way, this is the view outside our bedroom. Would have been the pool. Instead it is this lovely fence. But I also must say - they did not start work at the crack of dawn as we feared! Usually no working noise until about 9 AM.
Arent they adorable? Most of the birds we saw were not original natives of Hawaii. But from other countries. These red headed cardinals are originally from South America.
And here are my namesakes....and the Hawaiian state bird. The Nene geese. They must be very monogamous and territorial.. If any other pairs came over into their territory, they would chase them off. Never really heard them honk - they would hiss, and groan, and moan, and purr. And were always very interested in my toes. I think if we had left the screen door open, they would have made themselves at home inside our place! Oh yes, they are descendants from Canadian geese....

I dont know exactly what this guy is. You cant truly appreciate his beautiful green and yellow coloring in this photo - but he moves so quickly this was the best shot I could get! We were told he wasnt poisonous, but you know what - every time he moved I jumped far away!!!!


So after months of looking forward to any vacation anywhere - and then weeks of anticipation after we finally decided what the heck- Hawaii is back on our list....we finally arrived in Kauai. A little late, but still in the afternoon. The plane from Oahu to Kauai took off at the time it was supposed to land in Lihue, never found out why. But still - we are there! And it is a lovely day. Sunny off and on, a bit muggy (but not nearly as muggy as we remember). So we went off to get our splurge - a convertible! Because our plane was late we only had choices of white or gray left....but still, it is a convertible in Paradise!

After getting the car and starting our way to the northern part of the island, we made stop #1. The stop my husband has been looking forward to for quite some time. Bubba Burgers!!!! He is so happy (I could care less0. We ended up eating here 3x this week - twice here in Kapaa and once in Hanalei (and I do not know why I did not take a photo of the Hanalei one and am even more surprised my hubby did not want a photo himself in front of one of them!). 3x more often than I would have liked....but hey, it is OUR vacation not MY vacation....

And then on to what turned out to be our less than desirable place of stay. Well, I really cant say that. But there were many disapppointments. The actual room was quite lovely. And of course we already knew that the pool was closed for construction. Yep, no direct beach access (read the name of the place - The Cliffs) and no pool. Altho it had been closed since mid Sept we found out the week before we left. When it was much too late to cancel. And considering it was the only place on the island - within our timeshare exchange - with a room available.....did I say it started off with us telling them Sat to Sat adn then they booked us Fri to Fri becuase that is supposedly how the bookings went? So we had to scramble around to make sure that both of us could get off that Sat....and then no pool. Oh, and housekeeping service? One day during the week and that was Monday - a whole 3 nights after we got there....and then there are the instructions and threats - if you dont do the following you could be assessed a $100 charge for heavy cleaning - that included vaccuuming and sweeping and mopping before we left and running the dishwasher.....and yet they had the temerity to leave a little personalized card that reeked of asking for a tip! And a notation that the housekeepers had 'permission' to take any foods or goods left behind!!!!!! All this after having to clean a dirty refrigerator when we got there - get battery replacements for the non working remote on one of the TV's and vertical blinds that kept falling off when you opened or closed them! And a screen door to the lanai that would not stay on track! Needless to say, we will not be going back there again....(But the very good news is we did find a washer and dryer in the unit which was not advertised when we looked at the place!)

We were so looking forward to eating at the WONDERFUL restuarant at the Princeville Hotel again. Fantastic food and the most wonderful place to watch the sunset over Bali Hia.....only to find that the entire hotel is closed down for 7 months for complete renovations....and they dont know whether or not they will be opening the restuarant again!

Oh, I did forget to tell you that there were arrangements made to use the pool at another hotel that was "ONLY a mile away". I dont know what birds they used to determine that mile - but it was more than a mile by car. And oh yes, the restuarant in that hotel was closed too.....

As we suffered to try and stay awake until a decent hour, we did go out onto the cliffs and watch the sunset on our first night there. Complete nightfall by 7 PM...which makes it very hard to stay awake (after all, 7 PM was 10 PM to our bodies) until a decent hour to fall asleep. We had stopped at a grocery store and stocked up on supplies, and didnt eat lunch until around 4 PM so our first night dinner in Paradise was microwave popcorn and wine!

And jsut so you know - even though you know pay for each and every bag you check thru on the airline (after all you shouldnt have to check in luggage when you are going on a vacation should you????) and pay an extra fuel surcharge fee...bla bla bla.....Hawaaiian airlines does still provide you with complementary soft drinks/coffee/tea/juice and water AND a meal!!! They also give you EXPIRED coupons for Hilo Hatties.....And BTW, you can get anything that is sold at Hilo Hatties cheaper at Walmart, Kmart, Longs, and Costco!

The next morning hubby got up very early....well, we both got up early cause our inner alarms were still messed up.....but he went out and played golf and I jsut lazed around, met the local alarm clock and other birds. That afternoon we went for a ride and saw some of the beaches in the area.

Will post more later.