Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Aloha From Kauai

By Murph

First off, great post/comments everybody. It’s amazing how many ridiculous things can happen when you get a group of real idiots together for a week, so much fun…and Jamie (Cook’s: Congrats on the news of the little dude! He’s going to be ALL OVER Anna, strange, but true, I’m thinking you name him “Seth”, but spelled: “Szeth”) I LOVE the idea of a reunion, even if we’d be missing a few people, we could get a couple cardboard cutouts of the “Mellen’s” (any linebacker would work for Jon), and any 8 foot pole should suffice to make it seem like LaPierre was there…..and KJ- pics of hot locals may be tough, I’m neither the stocker you are, nor have the camera with the sick zoom- but let’s just say the last day at Waikiki I’m pretty sure I saw Alyssa Milano and Jen Aniston walking along the beach in bikini’s, possibly holding hands…or at least a “close” resemblance which is saying something…SIX TO MIDNIGHT!

So I guess it’s been a little while since I update, I know, I’m the worst, but I’m still alive contrary to popular belief. Internet here is a challenge, but I found a pool area in a condo complex close to where I am that has wireless, that’s what I’m rolling on right now. Starting with last Friday: well, my plan to get to Pearl Harbor did not happen. On Thursday night I met some people out at a Hawaiian/Reggae concert at an open air roof deck bar on the beach in Waikiki- and let’s just say I partied like it was 2001. ANYWAY, by the time I got myself together on Friday there was a 3 hour wait to get through Pearl Harbor so I bagged it (I’ll hit it next time, or maybe at the end of my trip). Instead I hit the beach all day and finished off the Eric Clapton autobiography I was reading, great book by the way. At 3pm I hit a sports bar on the beach to watch the Celts/Cavs game (depressing), and then was out for dinner, and hit the sack early. Early on Saturday I packed two bags full of clothes that I didn’t think I needed (I brought a bunch because I could on the way down for free), and bartered with a guy at a surfboard storage shop in Waikiki to watch the bags for a month, hopefully they are there when I fly out. Saturday I flew out early to Kauai (35min flight from Honolulu). It was quite a scenic drive up the East Coast of Kauai (I drove from Lihue to Princeville), but I didn’t stop anywhere as I just wanted to get to my final destination, Princeville. After I got checked-in I decided to take a quick dip in the pool and then took short walk towards the ocean. After walking a couple hundred yards I saw this:

At that point I knew I’d love this place, and I do. I then decided to head out for a quick drive further up the coast before it got dark. About 1000 feet from the Princeville entrance is a “scenic lookout”, here’s a pic of that (Hanalei River/Valley):

It was pretty sick, and there are more pictures of this at the photobucket site, I’m trying to organize the photobucket by island, so if you don’t see anything new switch to the Kauai Folder. UPDATE: Photobucket site to be updated soon, when I can get a better connection, it would take FOREVER to do right now apparently.

While driving further up the coast I came upon a sign that stated: “Single Lane Bridge Ahead”…I was like, “what the f&ck?”. Anyway, all over the North Shore of Kauai there are “single lane” bridges where you approach, and if nobody is coming the other way you just go ahead and go. It’s “common courtesy for no more than 5-7 cars to pass at a time per side” – there is actually a sign that states this. I thought this was pretty cool. I then entered a SICK little town called Hanalei (the “Hon-a-lee” from “Puff the Magic Dragon” fame). This place is the coolest. It’s a tiny little town and it’s super low-key. It also is home to Hanalei Bay/Beach (world famous surfing spot)- here’s a couple shots (one at sunset) from there:

After dinner/sunset I headed back home for the night. On Sunday I watched the first football game in bed, hit the pool at halftime actually, and then headed out to a bar in Hanalei for game #2. After the second game I hit a few other local beaches and did a little more exploring of what’s in the immediate area. I really like Hanalei and the surrounding area a LOT.

On Monday I got up EARLY and headed down to the South Shore to get on a Catamaran (7:30am departure) that was to go up and down the Na Pali Coast. I don’t know how to describe what I saw, for the first time I can use the word “breathtaking” and mean it literally. It’s absolutely incredible. I tried to take pictures and video, but it really doesn’t do it justice. I would put this on a MUST for everybody I know. I can’t wait to do some hiking on the coast itself, but it was unreal to see it from a boat. Here’s a pic of me on the boat, to put it in perspective, the peak back over my right shoulder is around 4000 feet high! It’s a cliff right on the damn water!

There were waterfalls, and lush green valleys all over the place, it was simply amazing. I could have posted 100 pictures, it's so ridiculous. Along the way we saw several whales and both bottlenose and spinner dolphins. I took TONS of pictures and videos, but as I said, the pictures truly don’t do the Na Pali coast justice, you really have to “see it to believe it” as cliché as that sounds.

Oh, and here’s a little kicker, there was a crew from “Good Morning America” on board! It’ll air in about a month or so- so get your DVRs ready. On the way back the camera crew had gotten onto a high-speed raft and were taking vids of us on the boat. When they were getting off the producer took me aside and told me to start pointing in random directions, as if I was seeing a whale or whatever, and then others would get excited and look. He wanted some “action shots”. He singled me out because I had an orange shirt on and it would be easy for them to find me from the raft, anyway I was HAPPY to oblige, and what was going on after that was absurd. I was snap pointing all over the place, and with my non-drink hand I was dropping hang looses, subtly, hoping that one would get on camera. So I would point, yell something like “BREACH!” or “SPINNERS!” or “TAIL!” [my personal favorite], heads were turning all over the place, and then I’d finish with that subtle hang loose that I’m beginning to master…I’m PRAYING that it gets on the final piece that airs, it was hilarious, at least I thought it was, I mean of all people to choose, they went with me, MISTAKE.

Got back to shore around 1:30pm, and I was still in shock at what I saw. Hopefully you can start to see with all the pics I took. On my drive back to the North Shore I stopped by to check out a couple waterfalls (Wailua Falls [with me- cool video of this on the photobucket site], Wailua River/Valley, and Opaeka’a Falls):

By the way, if I ever encounter a rainy day I’ll start putting some captions on the photos in the photobucket site, I have some notes in a wordpad document, so I know all the particulars, but just haven’t taken the time to update the photobucket site with the details.

Monday night I went into Hanalei for dinner/drinks at the “Tahiti Nui”. They had a Mai Tai special going, and a local guy, who was tremendous, playing guitar and covering songs- everywhere from Puff the Magic Dragon (which seems to be played constantly around here…) to random 80’s tunes. After he got done, around 9pm, a full-scale Karaoke broke out. This time I did NOT partake (I hit it pretty hard in Waikiki that Thursday night, hilarious for everybody BUT me…), but it was super popular here as well. I was talking to a few locals, and then some chick stated, “Let’s hit Foodland (grocery store), get a shitload of Hawaiian Punch and Vodka, and do up some dancing at Stacy’s place”…I lost it. The look on her face was as serious as one could be, I mean she was in her own little karaoke-induced world, and nobody was taking that away from her. Thankfully I laid off the party because it would have involved me driving which wasn’t in the cards at that point (and I was truly scared of what could possibly happen, it was a MONDAY night..). I exchanged numbers with the crew though because there was no question that they knew how to rip it up, and I’ll be here for 2 weeks!

Today, Tuesday, I finally got the stix out and hit the lynx. I played “Princeville: The Prince Course”. It’s one of the best public courses in the United States, and can be found on several video games. The place was SICK. I got there early to hit a couple of buckets of balls and grab lunch. I got paired up with a couple dudes from San Diego, one was on his “Divorcemoon” (I laughed when he said that to me, but he didn’t find it that funny…GREAT start…) and he dragged a buddy with him. The course tore me apart, and the OVER on golf balls lost was a winner, I lost 10. I played the par 3’s 2 UNDER (on fire much?), but everything else was NOT so good. I ended up with a 49 on the front and a 53 on the back, the course is HARD, but I thought I actually played pretty well considering the circumstances. Here’s me at the first tee:

I’ll be playing this course again, it was fantastic to get out there, and by the end of the round I became “friends” with the other two, even after the rocky start.

So I’m loving Kauai, but there is just too much to do/see here. I’m going to rent a beach-bike tomorrow and bike up and down the coconut coast (they have a huge bike/running trail there), and I also have three 6-9 mile “day” hikes planned, as well as a full day at Waimea Canyon Park. I’m also looking at some Kayaking as well as hitting up a Lu’au here, and possibly a helicopter ride over the island.

Quick list of a few things I’ve learned here in Hawaii over the last 2 ½ weeks that are popping into my head right now:

--I MUST someday have a sick boat and house on the ocean, as well as a camp that can only be accessed via hike...someday.
--I like sunrises/sunsets.
--Two towns that rival Key West for "chillness": Hale'wia (Oahu), and Hanalei (Kauai).
--There is something magical about a tanned brunette in a yellow sundress.
--The appropriate way to rate a swell, surf, face, break, curl and "wave", that's right brah.
--Pipeline Porter = Beer + Kona Coffee = Candy.
--How angry a Sea can actually get: Underrated. Almost dying at sea: Overrated.
--French-Pressed Kona Coffee is a kick in the balls, borderline mind-altering.
--I like waterfalls, big natural ones.
--The Na Pali coast is no joke, we're talking silliness, on my list of must-sees for everybody
--Hawaiian music is great, and I'm not good at karaoke'ing them either (story for another time)

Take it slow all, and have fun with the snow/cold, I’ll be thinking of you on the 19th hole!

With Aloha.


LaPa said...

I told you that Kona Porter is delicious, fantastic beer.

LaPa said...

Seriously you should sign up for that, where you spend 6 months doing basically exactly what your doing now, but on an island off the coast of Austrailia, plus they pay you 100K. Maybe you can replace Anthony Bordain on the travel channel.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you have actually been to Hanalei. Kim has played Puff the Magic Dragon on his guitar a million times. I bet KJ was impressed that you actually got to visit "a place called Hanalei".
Thanks for keeping everyone updated with your adventures. I hope you realize how lucky you are. The memories you are making and the experiences you are having are something MANY only get to dream about. YOU get live your own "priceless" commercial.
Enjoy life......

I'm so glad KJ was included in part of your adventures and that he made this blog so we can all be envious and enlightened.

Darlene (KJ's Mom)

Mike said...

P.S. Not only is KJ a great blogger, he is also SUPER hot.

Love Mike

Anonymous said...

i can't wait to see snap points and subtle hang loose signs. what a mistake asking you to be the "point man".