Aloha from Kauai! In case you’re just tuning in, I’m on vacation with 11 other family members/significant others on the gorgeous island of Kauai for the week, and it’s here that you can live vicariously through me and experience the island as I am. Be sure to check out my previous posts for more aloha awesomeness.
I’m happy to announce that I had zero centipedes fall on me last night. I slept with my body completely under the covers, but zero poisonous monsters dive-bombed me from the ceiling. Huzzah!
Yesterday began with a delectable breakfast of leftover burgers, sunny-side-up eggs, avocado, and tomatoes, with a small glass of mango smoothie. Behold!
A beautifully colored plate! Afterward, Joana, Kacey, and I prepared for our surf lesson at 12:30. Husband and Ken came along to go check out Hanalei Bay while we were surfing, so we piled in the car and GPS’d our way to some parking by the bay. We got some great spots right by it, but we failed to realize that the shops we wished to visit beforehand were a few blocks away. We trudged through the heat and finally reached some shaved ice. I got the Bali something-or-other, which was pineapple, mango, and passionfruit, with mac nut ice cream on the inside. It was spectacular!
I can’t wait to get another! After we cooled down with shaved ice, we bummed around the shops for the forty remaining minutes we had before the surf lessons started. I found some really cool bone-like earrings (they look like bone, but I’m preeetty sure they’re plastic. F***s given: 0.) then said aloha and aloha to a lovely, simple dress that was on sale for $100.
We then went on the hunt for the meeting place for the Hanalei Surf School, which we eventually discovered was a white van parked in the parking lot about a four minutes’ walk from where we were shopping. We met a very kind, laid-back dude named Dane Grady who was to be the photographer if we wished — only $40 for pics — so we split the cost between the three of us and got some pictures of us surfing. Check it out:
Our surf teacher’s name was Clay, another very kind, laid-back guy. He showed us how to paddle, the placement of our bodies on the board, and three different ways to get up, then we went out and tried it for ourselves. According to Clay, the hardest part about surfing is catching your own wave, so he helped each of us out one by one and told us when to paddle and when to get up. Joana caught on quite quickly, while it took Kacey and me a bit longer, I think due in part that we’re snowboarders. With surfing, you want to stay in the middle of the board and stay as flat as possible, while with snowboarding you’re constantly carving, so that difference caused a few wipeouts initially. At the end, though, all three of us were getting up and catching waves, and it was a ton of fun. I got some decent blisters on my two second toes and my left knee about 90 minutes in, so I decided to tap out since I have to hike and kayak today. We killed it on the waves, though each of us got distracted by this surfing chick with the most glorious ass on the planet. It was perfectly sculpted and sun-kissed, and in a turquoise swimming thong. It was really hard not to stare. Buns of steel! They even had those side dimples that can occur when one flexes. Daaaaamn! Get it, girl.
Thankfully, there were quite a few waves considering the season and time of day, so we got some decent surfing in, but I have to say I think I prefer body boarding. A lot of surfing is reading the waves and determining if it will break at the right time, and of course the timing of paddling and getting up. Body boarding’s far simpler and has less requirements for a successful ride.
After surfing, we went and grabbed some lunch before we had to head back to the hale and get ready for the Smith Family Luau, so Joana and I grabbed some poke at a food truck in Ching Young Village — Kealia poke. I had the day’s special, the Na Pal, and it was out of this world. Dynamite. Orgasmic. I could eat poke every day of my life and die happy. Check it out.
As we used to say at my previous job: So f***ing bueno, guey! No maaaames! Definitely gonna have to get more of that before the week’s out.
When we returned from our surfing sesh, we had to make haste to be ready to go and drive to the luau, as it was about an hour away and began at 4:45.
The Smith Family luau is on this great stretch of land with all kinds of ponds, fountains, flora and fauna. I got some excellent pictures of Hawai’ian flowers and saw an adorable baby goat, a goose, peacocks, and of course chickens. Chickens for days. Take a look!
We first took a tour around the property on a little tram, and then we were free to roam the grounds until they unearthed the pig from the imu, the underground oven. First, the two men sound off on the conch shells, then proceed to dig up the pig from the imu.
Fun fact: The green grass that they’re wearing is called the ti (pronounced just like the drink) plant, which may look familiar from the grass skirts you’ve seen Hawai’ian women wear. This plant apparently sucks out the heat from its surroundings, so it has many uses, including helping to alleviate a fever.
Once they unearthed the pig, they laid it out for all to see! Here it is:
This was the fourth and final pig for the dinner. After this, we went to the tent to eat, drink, and be merry. It was all you can drink, so there were Mai Tais aplenty, which I think is my new favorite mixed drink. Delicious, and not too sweet! I loved it. Their beer on tap was Longboard, one of my old-time favorites, so we drank and listened to live Hawai’ian music while we waited for our table to be called to the buffet.
The buffet had pig, chicken, Mahi Mahi, teriyaki beef, macaroni salad, regular salad with papaya seed dressing and something called Lava Guava dressing (both were fantastic), three bean salad, cucumber salad, a lomi lomi salad, which is diced salmon with tomatoes and onions, Hawai’ian sweet potato, Chinese fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, coconut cake with rice pudding, all kinds of delicious fruit, and of course the notorious poi.
Poi is the Hawai’ian equivalent to mashed potatoes or rice, and is a purple-gray, sticky paste made from the taro root, which is like a potato that grows in water. Like rice and mashed potatoes, you’re supposed to have it with something, so the recommended method of consumption was to dip your meat into it and “enjoy.” Many people strongly dislike poi and find it deplorable, so at the luau they had plastic cups specifically for the poi so you could keep it separate from the rest of your food. Given this premise, I wasn’t expecting to like it — turns out I love it! It’s great! It doesn’t taste like anything, and I find the consistency delightful. Apparently it’s also very nutrient dense, so that’s a win! Here’s a pic of my buffet plate:
After dinner was the show, which took place at their on-site theater. I managed to get a few pics of it on my phone before it died, but then I had to switch to my husband’s sub-par camera for the remainder of the show. There were all manner of dances — Tahitian, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese — we got a taste of many of the cultures that helped shaped Hawai’i’s and made it all its own. The best part, of course, was the fire dancing. I could watch an entire show of that shit. That’s dope as fuuuuuu**! Let me see what pictures I can wrestle up for you:
I was pooped by the end — I maaay have fallen asleep during the Japanese fan dance, but I was completely alert for the final fire dance. It was quite the spectacle! My aunt was kind enough to drive back from the luau for me, after which I immediately went to sleep. I was too exhausted to fear for centipede attacks.
Today is the secret falls kayak and hike, a five hour journey to a beautiful waterfall with a sammich lunch! I think I might just hang at the hale until then. As always, I’ll let you know all about it on the morrow. Mahalo for reading, and aloha!
Next, in Claire’s Kauai Adventures: Kauai Day 4: Not-So-Secret Falls, Sandwiches, & Joana Saves the Day
Ever been to Kauai? Never been but have questions? Leave me a reply below! I’d love to hear from you.