About dave1y

Dave Oney was born mid last century in Middlebury, Vermont. He received his BS in Chemistry and worked as a polymer chemist in Massachusetts and New Jersey. He became a microscopist (someone who studies little bitty things using a microscope) and photomicrographer (someone who photographs little bitty things) before settling into a 35-year career in technical sales of scientific imaging equipment (the science of digitally recording itty bitty things, sending the image to a computer for analysis.) He designed and created a number of products contributing to this field. He is (was) proficient in several computer languages and is currently working on mastering English. After making a few more paradigm shift career changes Dave and his wife, Fran, retired and moved closer to their children and granddaughters and now live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

Fern Grotto and Poipu

We spent Tuesday morning on an excursion to Fern Grotto on the Wailua River. We then drove down to Poipu for lunch at a beach restaurant called Brennecke’s. It wasn’t bad and was reasonably priced.

The river is fed by runoff from Mt Wai’ale’ale, one of the wettest spots on earth. (Last week we were at Waimea Canyon on the other side of the mountain and saw the sign noting that the place that receives the most rain in the world. If fact, each year it receives 10 years worth of the rain that falls in Seattle.

During the tour up the river in flat bottom barges, powered by dual Cummings engines mounted off the aft of the barge, we were entertained by some very talented musicians and dancers. More on that later.

There was an option to kayak up the river. It would take something like four hours to go up and back. No thanks.

Once at the boat landing near the grotto there was a short walk of a couple hundred yards inland. It is a beautiful walk, as one would expect, with tall bamboo trees, waterfalls and flowers.

This picture is a vertical panorama of bamboo.

The grotto itself is impressive, however, due to large boulders falling down into the cave itself is closed to visitors.

Weddings are often held on the observation platform just outside the grotto itself. The musicians like to perform the Hawaiian Wedding Song by Elvis Presley.


We then drove south to Poipu and had lunch at the aforementioned beach restaurant. After lunch we walked over the beach to check out the surf. Some of the breakers were over 6′ high. Impressive but nothing compared to the north shore during the winter. Too bad I wont be back to try them on my big board. (If I had a big board or had ever surfed.)

Puff the Magic…

In a land called Hanalei. Truthfully, I never knew the lyric was about an actual town in Kaua’i. Live and learn.

After a typically excellent lunch at Coconut’s Fish Cafe in Kapa’a, we drove the convertible sans haut from Lihue to Hanalei this afternoon, hoping to stop at Piazza’s for a nice pizza snack. Oops, it’s Sunday, they open at 5:30. Live and learn.

Anyway, Kaua’i is one of the rainiest places on earth and luckily we don’t mind water as we drove through an really excellent downpour.

We pulled over into a scenic overlook just before we entered Princeville and took a couple of less than scenic pictures. (Thanks storm.)

After a short stop at Hanalei beach, for s selfie across Hawaii.

We took a longer stop in “down town” Hanalei for some shave ice and a walkabout the town. Of course it was touristy but fun and very nice people.

For those not in the know, Shave ice or Hawaiian shave ice is an ice-based dessert made by shaving a block of ice. While the product can resemble a snow cone, snow cones are made with crushed, rather than shaved, ice. On the Big Island of Hawai’i, it is also referred to as ‘ice shave’, though both terms (ice shave and shave ice) are used by locals. (Wikipedia)

Shave ice is smoother and often served with ice cream at the bottom of the cup. IMHO, the only way to fly! We had Rainbow Shave Ice which has coconut, strawberry, blue raspberry (my personal fav) and grape. Eat it with a spoon, but take a straw and don’t waste the liquid.

I stopped by a music shop (on the left here) to look at some ukuleles and ask for some advice. They had a selection of sizes, but the models they had were pretty basic.

Tomorrow is my first golf round on Kaua’i. I have to leave the hotel before breakfast so we stopped at the Hanalei Bread Shop for some breakfast pastries, the golf breakfast of champions. Note, it is breakfast of champions, not golf champions. I may report later tomorrow, OR, I may just pretend I never played at all.

Dinosaurs in the Distance

It would be easy to imagine dinosaurs ranging across the meadows and stalking prey in the forests. What an amazing ride. We helicoptered into the valleys and along the waterfalls, just like in the Jurassic Park movies. Unlike them we didn’t land and never uttered the words, ‘Clever girl.’

We took a helicopter tour of Kaua’i, recreating some of the scenes from Jurassic Park which was in part filmed on the island. We flew into Waimea Canyon, just like in the movie. It was beautiful and a totally different perspective and sense of scale (enormous!) from the driving day trip we took on Thursday.

Here are a few more pictures from the trip.

I edited the 120+ pictures taken down to 60+ which was subsequently culled to these 9 to keep from boring my readers.

Less Than 1000 Words

A picture is worth 1000 words, a video is worth 10,000. Helicopter trip to Waimea Canyon, where we drove on Thursday. From the ground you simply have no conception of the incredible size of these canyons. Our pilot would fly into a canyon and just keep going. You would swear you could reach out and touch the trees, then she just kept flying deeper into the canyon. Absolutely breathtaking. I was surprised the images are so sharp. The helicopter was pretty bumpy during the small squalls we hit.

We are thinking driving up to Princeville on the north side of the island tomorrow.

I was trying to put Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but a) I was afraid of copyright Issues and b) I couldn;t find a copy to download.

I decided to buy a ukulele, learn to play it and dub my own version… eventually.

Waimea Canyon, Why-Not-You-A Canyon?

We were told to drive up into Waimea Canyon early before the clouds set in. We were also told to drive up into Waimea Canyon at or after noon, after the clouds burn off. We decided to ignore the advice and spend the morning driving up and sightseeing waiting for our room to be ready. What an amazing place!

We are taking “selfies across Hawaii” and added to our collection here.

Speaking to a park ranger I commented how much Waimea Canyon reminded me of the Utah National parks. Absolutely breathtaking, but unlike Utah, this canyon was alive and verdant, thanks to the inordinate amount of rain it receives. Here is a sampling. I edited out about 1032 pictures.

We also stopped at the Kauai Coffee farm on our return trip. We toured a coffee farm when we were on the Big Island earlier this year and only toured and tasted the cafe and gift shop. You needed reservations for the full farm tour. Who knew? We did learn this farm grows 50% of all Hawaii’s coffee. They also had a small museum with an old roaster and some grinders. Interesting, but not worth stopping. The coffee was ok, but again, not worth your time.

Tomorrow we have a cruise down the Fern Grotto and lunch back at Coconuts in Kapa’a. When you are in Lihu’e, Coconuts is THE place to go for the best fish lunch or dinner you will find in Hawaii.

Stay tuned!

HI, Again

Dawn comes late in Hawaii—especially when you are still on Sacramento time. Luckily for me, I am an earlier riser, a very early riser. I only had to wait 2 hours before the sun began to rise.

It was well worth the wait. From the earliest light to the sun peeking over the ocean (at least I assume it did, the clouds hung right on the horizon,) required me to sit and watch the “action” for over a half an hour!! Oh, the sacrifices.

Same tree, same sand, same ocean, different time of the day.

Join me and sit for 15 seconds. It’s a great way to start the day!

You say Hello and I say HI (Aloha)

We left the Bay Area early Thursday morning on our way to Kauai. Traffic was light at 7:45 AM, but it made no difference to us anyway, just as the fog—how does that go, Carl? “The fog comes on cats little cat feet”—didn’t slow us. We had comfortable accommodations for the 5+ hour trip across the Pacific, until…

Land Ho! and we descended onto the “The Garden Isle” of sun, surf and sand.

And in homage to our friend Kimokeo Kapahulehua, a traditional wa’a (canoe) in the hotel lobby.

A week of sights to see, food to feast and excitement to enjoy.

Stay tuned!!