Whew! We are flying home from our fantastic vacation at the the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club in Poipu, Kauai. My sister made sure we were kept busy experiencing all that we could. I have already mentioned some things we did. I continued to take an enormous number of photos, many of waves and sunrises. My storage for photos has been eaten up by the unexpected videos I shot with the little waterproof camera my sister gave us. I am now down to the onboard storage of both my cameras. I should make it, however, I will have to do some real juggling to find storage space to sort photos and edit all the videos into a short movie.
Back to the activities. Our hosts, my sister and brother-in-law, were truly generous by not only stocking the unit we stayed in with plenty of food, but also, getting us out to eat in the local dining places. For them, it is the experience with the dining rather than the price, however, they always point out that we are the least expensive guests to take out since we do not drink alcohol. So, the food is even more abundant.
One night we went to a semi-outdoor restaurant nearby. We sat right near the live music which included a fellow who surfs by day and plays the electric ukulele and sings by night. He was good too. Besides the fellow playing guitar at the outdoor bar at the Waiohai, we did not hear much more live music. Oh, there was a small jazz combo at the Grand Hyatt bar as we walked through.
One morning, we went for breakfast at the local golf course and had another huge meal. It seems that the World War II canned meat spam, still has a following in Hawaii. There are many dishes incorporating the meat, long forgotten elsewhere. I also had Kalua pulled pork, on other occasions too, even on the airplane a while ago. I tried my sister’s breakfast burrito and had a banana and Macadamia nut pancake with coconut syrup. I simply could not resist.
Another night we went to a Mexican restaurant, yes, Mexican in Hawaii, just to be different, I guess. The unique experience here was the table-side guacamole. Pedro came and made the guacamole, two servings, in a lava bowl right at our table and it was surely the best I have ever had.
We were treated to more surfing lessons. Our instructor, looked like true Hawaiian surfer. No family, just teaching surfing everyday, all day. He was there at sunrise and still around after sunset. Very dedicated. We were learning on reef surf, different from the beach surf at the previous lessons. All I can say is, it is still hard to do. But, we sure had fun. My son really took to stand-up paddle boarding and spent some hours on the last day trying to graduate to catching waves on the board.
The resort has a new contract to have daily scuba lessons available. Our instructor struck me immediately as very confident. There was my sister and three of us from my family. Neal told us that we had to do the academics first, so, he gave a short lecture, but, at a high velocity. One rarely runs across someone who can speak so fast. He assured us by giving his long list of qualifications, including the fact that he is the top person for the Pacific area and does work in movies and trains and qualifies instructors. Next, we had a couple of performance skills to master and demonstrate, such as clearing our mask of water and finding and clearing our regulators, all under water. It turned out to be so simple that, in no time, we were swimming around the pool underwater and having a great time. After, my sister invited Neal for a drink where we talked more about scuba and other interesting stuff. We came away from the experience knowing it had been a real treat. We had been in the company of a true master, just as we were with Mitch and Nelson, our surfing instructors.
As the trip was nearing its end, my sister urged me to do a few more things. One morning they took me to a somewhat remote beach for some photography. The drive was rough, through some private land. The road was the common red dirt with deep potholes, however, the Grand Caravan finally made it. We walked along the beach, along some rocks, I took many photos and then we did some snorkelling.
It was the last day, so when we got back from the early morning trip, my sister still had a few more activities for me to do. I had to keep up, somehow, so I grabbed some food and then we were off to have a swim with my wife and daughter at another beach and then, do some boogie boarding at still another beach on the other side of the resort and past a park. It was a crowded beach that we went to. People were body surfing and boogie boarding. It was difficult to keep from running into each other. On one ride I crossed over and my son ended up riding on top of me all the way into the shore.
I was not finished yet. My sister had some fish food to feed fish while snorkeling, so, off I was again to snorkel. My wife even went too. Not knowing where to put the food while we swam out to the reef, my sister suggested I shove the plastic bag into my bathing suit pocket. At one point, as I was using my small video camera, I realized that there were more fish than normal. A quick check of my pocket and I knew they already got the fish food.
Finally, it was time to get ready for the New Years Eve party on the beach. We started at the bar with some fancy drinks, virgin for most of us, and some dinner. People were already setting off fireworks on the beach and launching fire lanterns (I know there is proper name for them, but, I don’t have it on hand) that would float high into the air and drift away. Then came the big Poipu Beach fireworks display and the party was over before midnight. We went and had some ice cream, watched TV and then got tired, so we went to bed.
I feel as if there is so much I have not written about. We really did pack plenty of memories into this eight days of fun in the sun. We are about to land in Seattle for our connecting flight to Vancouver.
I will post some photos on my PhotoBlog and Feature Photos website once I get them sorted. I may even post some video on YouTube. I may also post links relating to the trip, if I get a chance.