Monday, June 3rd
After our late night on Sunday, it was a little surprising that we were ready to go fairly early on Monday. We had breakfast at the Kountry Kitchen again. More bacon for Noah.
We had driven south on Sunday, so we drove north on Monday. Kapaa is well-suited to our driving needs as it makes going north or south pretty easy. Our first stop was at the Kiluea Lighthouse. It is set on a windy point and is surrounded by a wildlife refuge. Unfortunately, the last bit of road down to the lighthouse was closed (we should have checked) but we were able to get a good view of the coast and lots of birds. We got some good pictures.
On the way back to the main highway we stopped at the “Historic” Kong Lung trading center. Patricia has been shopping there for perhaps 30 years. Noah was able to find a nice present for his mother.
Then we headed towards Hanalei Bay. Last year this end of the island had some very bad weather and some of the roads were badly damaged. We did not know whether we would be able to get all the way to Hanalei. We did run into some repair work (figuratively, that is) and a couple of one-way stretches, but we arrived safely at the beach. the last time we were there, it was nearly deserted and the surrounding hills were covered in mist and we could see many waterfalls cascading down the hills.
This time, the beach was much busier, but still not too crowds but it was warm and humid so not a waterfall was in sight. We all walked along the surf line of the beach and got covered with sand. However, when it was time to leave we could not find one of the showers that seem ubiquitous at all the other beaches so we had to try to wipe sand off our feet and legs. Our car floors now look like a sandbox.
Noah and Patricia spent time walking along the beach near our apartment in the afternoon. When we first got here, we saw a monk seal resting on the beach but we haven’t seen it since. Noah has discovered the charms of driftwood and is sorry that he can’t take some of it home.
Last night we went to the Smith Family Garden Luau. In general, a luau can be thought of as a “pig roast.” The Smith family has been running their attraction near the Wailua River for about 70 years. It started out as a botanical garden and evolved into a luau “happening.” When we arrived at the gardens we took a tram tour and learned a lot about the plants/trees/bushes (flora?) on the island. A lot of it is not native and some of it is invasive. [On the Big Island we learned that many people have taken to poisoning the invasive species.] We walked around for a while taking pictures until the rain drove us into the banquet hall. The hale (ha-lay) is open on all four sides but is quite dry underneath/inside. By my estimate it seats about 500 people.
Noah got us a front-row spot for the Imu ceremony. That’s where they dig up the pig that has been roasting/steaming in a pit for the last 9 hours. We enjoyed the spiel and the uncovering of the pig. Noah wanted to see what the pig looked like when it came out saw we got up close. Frankly, by the time it is ready, it doesn’t look much like a pig any more.
Dinner is served buffet-style. You might think with that many people it would take forever but the efficiency of the Smith organization would put the Holland America cruise line to shame. There was plenty of music and entertainment while we ate. We all had plenty and did not feel the least bit rushed.
From the hale we moved to the lagoon stadium for the music/dance performances. Noah found seats for us in the front row center. We saw an hour long performance that featured music and dance from around Polynesia, New Zealand, Japan and the Philippines. Basically, many of the cultures that settled the Islands. Production values were high and we enjoyed every number.
But, by the time the performance finished shortly after 9:00, we were all tired. It was a good thing that we were only a couple of miles from our apartment. Noah has had some late nights on this trip.
That was our last big event for the trip.
Hi, this is Noah and on the day we went to the luau was really fun. My favorite part was the Pele part. In the acting part of Pele, they shot a flare or something on a string. Then where the fire shot out of the stage into another part of the stage lit up with fire. My second favorite part was the war cry they did. The whole luau was super fun! 🙂