02 October 2014

The day we almost died. (Wed)

[Don't worry, I'll explain everything]

We woke up early again and ate our normal breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats (the almond kind) and Kauai Coffee. We ate outside, which was all kinds of fun! 

We knew we were driving to the north side of the island today to see Princeville, Hanalei (Hanna-lay) Bay, the Queen's Bath, and a lighthouse.

The toughest decision we had to make was whether or not to take a 4 mile hike. We pondered that over our delicious 6 dollar farmer's market pineapple. Again, worth every penny.


We got dressed and began the 1.5 hour drive to the other side of the island.

[half way!]

Ryan is a big fan of car games, and chickens are all over the island. He decided we should play Zip Chicken. Whoever sees the most Chickens and calls out "zip chicken" (modeled after "zip dog" from How I Met Your Mother) first is the winner. I stopped playing to write my blog. I'm a sore looser. 

[Amberlee got really into the game]

[I took pics of some pretty scenery]

[bay panorama]

We got to Hanalei Bay and jumped in right away. The lifeguard truck drove over to us and told us it's too dangerous to swim there due to the strong riptides. Apparently those things can drag you out to sea. Noted. He pointed to an area on the other side of the bay that was safer. 

Ok, we'll move 20 minutes down the beach. Honestly, it didn't look much safer to me, but I haven't been a waterfront-certified lifeguard in over 5 years, so things have probably changed a little.  We jumped in the waves a bit and I worried about the riptides pulling my friends out to see for a long time. Then it was lunch time. We hiked back down the beach and made a picnic lunch. They blew a long whistle while we were eating lunch and made everyone get out for safety. Looks like we made it out in perfect time.  We ate sandwiches and they were delicious! Saying sandwiches always reminds me of Joey from Friends.

Then we left the beach with the plan to drive to something called "the queen's bath" that none of us had ever seen except on Pinterest. Then we would see a lighthouse.

What I planned on seeing thanks to Pinterest:

[safely nestled bath area: I have no idea who the photo belongs to, but it's the only one that comes up when you type in Queen's Bath Kauai. Look how high the sides of the bath are.]


We park at the Queen's Bath trail and it took us a while to find the opening of the trail.

Honestly, none of us had been before and we didn't know to expect a legit trail and hike.

We were all in flippy floppies. If there was ever a time for cool hiking sandals, this would be that time. In retrospect, I would have gotten great use out of legit hiking sandals. Maybe I'll look for some "gently used" ones to purchase.

The trail goes through dense forest by a calm, peaceful path. It was beautiful! 

[peaceful, "jungle" hike that we didn't plan on but Ryan really wanted but probably shouldn't have taken because of his back. But it was too late to turn around]

We got to this waterfall and Amberlee stopped. She thought this is what we came to see. It is pretty, but not The Queen's Bath. 

We almost stopped at this big opening, 

[open bath]

But decide to keep going since that's where other people were coming from. And that's where all the "DANGER" signs were. Apparently there have been a few deaths. And I really wanted to see this thing.

[Death sign]

[creepy clifs]

We finally arrive at the Queen's Bath just before Jonathan jumps in, joining a family of 5 already swimming. I ask Amberlee if she wants to jump in, but she politely says no. I hand her my camera and get ready to jump off the cliff. It's maybe only 10 feet high, but it's really rocky. There's all kinds of waves coming in. I get ready and jump.

[ about to jump!]


We swim around for 2-3 minutes before deciding it's time to climb out. Just as I get on the rocks to climb up, a HUGE wave comes and crashes into me.

We passed a bunch of signs saying "danger! Stay away from the edges! A big wave will knock you down and drag you into the sea."

A big white wave crashed into me, scaring me, almost to death. All I could think of was to hold the rock for my life and try to wedge down between the rock. Jonathan tried to grab my hand but he was up too high. Finally, the wave recedes, but another wave comes up before I can move. I grab onto a bigger rock, preparing to jump up as soon as it passes. Jonathan has moved closer to help me up, and as soon as the wave is gone, we climb up and away from the dangerous rocks.

[clearly, I made it!]

That was not the first time I've jumped in dangerously close to the edge of sanity.

The people in the photo on Pinterest made it look so much safer!

And note: tides are lower in the summer, giving the bath higher edges, and lower in the winter...


That evening we went to a Luau at a 30 acre botanical garden. We took a lot of photos, but none with my nice camera. Which is a good thing in retrospect because it rained most of the night. 


We learned some stuff too:

These trees were brought over by explorers so they could replace the bow of the ship if it broke.

[Hawaiian "Christmas Trees"]

We learned that people here use Noni for a lot of stuff. 

We saw some pretty trees and flowers.

[the state flower]

[a replica from Easter Island]

We saw an Imu (pronounced Emu) = Cooking pit for pig. They put hot lava rocks inside and a banana tree on the hot rocks.

They also put inside banana leaves and Ti leaves. (Think hola skirt leaves)

Then they put the pig in!  We went to "Smith's family Luau." They get their pigs from a local family pig farm, and they come cleaned out in the center.

The only seasoning they use is Hawaiian rock salt in the pig. Which makes the pig pretty salty, but most Hawaiians eat it with purple mush called puoy. It's like mashed potatoes made from taro roots. Jonathan was pretty excited for us to try it. Honestly, without the salty pork it wouldn't have been very good. (To me) He loved it though.

Back to cooking, they put lava rocks inside pig. Then more leaves on top of the pig. 

Then they let it cook for 9 hours! That's longer than most Thanksgiving turkeys.

If you're a vegetarian, skip the next 2 photos.

[cooked pig]

We also learned that Ono = delicious in Hawaiian. 

While walking to our dinner table we noticed there was a disturbance in the structural integrity of Amberlee's shoe.


Actually, it used to be my shoe, I paid maybe 15 dollars at Old Navy my sophomore year of college. They were a bit big on me, so I gave them to Amberlee. Not to worry, it looked like they just needed some shoe glue...

We ate some delicious food. Salmon salad, normal salad, macaroni salad, mahi mahi, beef, pork, fruit, rice pudding...

After dinner they showed us a traditional hula dance. Of course I volunteered immediately to dance the hula when they asked for volunteers. 

When they taught us, I remembered learning the hula in dance class Freshman year of High School. Ryan snapped a few photos. 

Then it started pouring down rain. We were supposed to watch a legit hula show. The seats were covered, thankfully, but the stage was not. 

Apparently it was no problem for the dancers. Or the fire. It poured almost the entire show, but they kept dancing.

[Do you see how hard it's raining here? The dancers were still awesome!]


Afterward, Amberlee's shoe was almost completely broken. She just tore off the bottom. Then she walked a while hobbling on one wedge, before she pulled the bottom off of the other wedge. At which point Jonathan had to carry her. 

[dead shoe]

Then we went home and fell asleep immediately.  But don't worry, the story continues tomorrow...

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