I've finally dug myself out of the sea of red e-mails accumulated over our vacation. Whew!
And now I can enjoy going through the photos and reliving our short but sweet vacation to Kauai, yippee! There's so much memories I feel like I don't know where to begin to recount them. I think I'm going to attempt to recap it in a Top 10 Countdown format, although I'm not sure if I can really rank them in any order, coz they're each awesome in their own way!
Well, let's try anyway...
No. 10: Eat, drink, and eat some more!
As a crucial part of any good vacation, sampling the local cuisine is every tourist's must-do. And frankly, it's an activity I can't say I mind partaking in over and over again.
First, there's the famous "shave ice", which is like an ice cone except that the texture is much finer, and comes in like 60 different yummy flavors.
Even though we tried to do shave ice at least once a day (it's the perfect heat-buster), we're far from covering the entire spectrum of flavors (we did get to blueberry, can you tell?). But from my experimentation, I have to say the best combo is lychee + pina colada shave ice over vanilla icecream + "halo halo mix". Delish!
And then there's the saimin (on the left below), which tastes kinda like ramen except it's more eggy. It's almost like a Chinese wonton noodle (but thicker). I can't say I'm too enthusiastic about that one.
What I AM totally head-over-heels about is the huge variety of seafood poke (Not poke! It's PO-KEE!)
It's like a Japanese version of ceviche. This place we frequented called "Fish Express" has at least a dozen different kinds of pokes, no joke!
My fav consists of the freshest chunks of tuna tossed in sesame oil, soy sauce, onion and wasabi mixed in with all that salty-fishy-islandy goodness... Yummm! If you like sushi, you'll adore this stuff. You can find some in my lunch box below (the red stuff), accompanied by a salmon lomi (the orange stuff), some delicious laulau pork, and a fat scoop of rice, which is served with just about everything on the island. I know it doesn't look very appetizing in this styrofoam box, you just have to trust me on this one, it's worth flying back to Kauai for.
No. 9: Chicken Run!!!
Eh, no, this one's not about eating. Here we're talking about the army of chicken that seems to carpet every parking lot every street corner every frigging inch of space of the entire island of Kauai!
They're like the pigeons / rats / squirrels of any urban area, in that they scavenge, reproduce rapidly and shit all over the place.
And as if that's not bad enough, they crow. All Day and All Night.
I think the roosters suffer from insomnia and just want to wake everyone up to share in their misery. I should've sprinkled Ambien all over the island so we could all get a better night's sleep.
Needless to say, it was an interesting novelty for us tourists for about half a day, and quickly became a major nuisance. We hear that this chicken situation began during the last major hurricane, when some domestic chicken got out and became "feral".
I think we should start a chicken pot pie factory on Kauai. :P
No. 8: Taro fields at the Hanalei River Valley
Finally, a glimpse of Kauai's scenery that you've been waiting to see! (Sorry for all the chicken and food stories, they're just too good to be left out of the top 10).
This photo really doesn't do the Hanalei Valley justice. Just imagine this scenery stretched to both the left and the right for miles and miles. This is one of the scenes that Kauai is most famous for that we've come to love: green, lush, knife-edged mountains jutting out from endless plains of taro fields.
We were told that many of these fields used to produce sugar cane, but since that's no longer economically sound, many of them are converted to produce taro (which I'm sure much is then converted to the local "delicacy", poi, which I've avoided like a pest since tasting it once many years ago. Imagine sour wallpaper paste. *gag*)
No. 7: Cliff-diving at Poipu's Shipwreck Beach
OK, disclaimer- we didn't actually jump, nor did we even think about attempting. And I'm glad we didn't coz just watching someone else dive off this 50-plus-foot/6-storey cliff into the blue ocean made my legs tremble (yes, that cliff behind me, people actually jumped off of it for fun).
Instead, we decided it'll be much for fun to grab a pina colada at the Grand Hyatt's pool bar next door, walk over, sit on the beach and watch other people jump. I have to say it was pretty entertaining after a few drinks with umbrellas and pineapple wedges.
We did eventually got up to the top of the cliff, just to check out how high it actually is. It's high. Especially after a few drinks. We got back to the beach promptly after snapping a few pix to avoid appearing in an "Intoxicated Californian Tourists Plunge to their Deaths" type of headline on the local newspaper the next day.
Are we only at No. 7?! Haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet! I guess we'd better continue tomorrow, as I still have to pack up and send out my gocco cards for the swap... Stay tuned!