Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 20 Rainbow Trees and An Abrupt Stop

Our second morning at the Kauai Inn started after sunrise, which gave us a chance to see how beautiful the grounds and background was.

6511.jpg

 

 

As we left to go out for the day we found a new city have moved in down the street.

To quote a line from the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ – “I’m bettin’ he’s gonna swerve first”

6504.jpg

 

 

Our day had us headed to some waterfalls – first was Wailua Falls. I was expecting to drive into a park and go for a hike to the falls, but we ended up driving up and getting a glimpse of them from the overlook in the fog.

6457.jpg

 

 

Still the double falls was impressive.

6456.jpg

 

 

We then headed to the nearby Opaeka’a Falls. While more distance, you did get a better view – but still no hiking.

6458.jpg

 

 

The Wailua River Valley is historically a Native Hawaiian settlement area.

6463.jpg

 

 

 

We continued up the road as far as it could go until we got to the Keahua Arboretum.

Not a traditional arboretum, but more of a ‘woods’, it nonetheless has some amazing trees. These are known as Rainbow Eucalyptus trees.

6468.jpg

 

 

As Wikipedia states: “The unique multi-hued bark is the most distinctive feature of the tree. Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing a bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. The previous season’s bark peels off in strips to reveal a brightly colored new bark below. The peeling process results in vertical streaks of red, orange, green, blue, and gray.”

6470.jpg

 

 

Easily some of the coolest trees I have ever seen.

6477.jpg

 

 

With that we headed back down the mountain, passing some houses with great views.

6481.jpg

 

 

We stopped by Poliahu Park.

6486.jpg

 

 

Where the remains of a Heiau (temple) remains from ancient Hawaiian times. People have left lei’s as an offering.

6483.jpg

 

 

Our plans were to continue north to a wildlife preserve and lighthouse when we ran into a bit of a problem – literally. An elderly man missed seeing us coming down the road and pulled directly in front of us – BAM.

Airbags are an exciting event – scared the #$%^ out of me.

Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt, and after getting a replacement car from Avis (who get’s a shout out about how well they handled this situation), we got checked out and were on our way.

6520.jpg

 

 

We decided to skip the lighthouse and instead went to the Spouting Horn Park, where we met some of the local sea birds.

6500.jpg

 

Spouting Horn was nice, but with the much smaller waves it wasn’t nearly as impressive as the ones in Maui.

With that our eventful day came to an end.

6496.jpg

 

 

 

Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 12 Lanai

Day 12 had us spending time near and on the island of Lanai. It is currently mostly owned by a software billionaire, but 2% remain in the hands of the local people.

We were parked for the day in the Mauele Bay.

4269.jpg

 

 

Before we started our day we had a private tour of the ships engine room with the engineer. For most people on a cruise in Hawaii this wouldn’t be high on the list, but it was for me – very cool.

4157.jpg

 

 

Twin 700 HP diesel engines (only one seen in this photo).

4167.jpg

 

 

It was a relaxing day for all.

4243.jpg

 

 

All of the crew of the ship have multiple jobs, including the captain – here explaining to the kayakers how to push off the boat and get started.

4252.jpg

 

 

Which they all successfully did!

4263.jpg

 

 

I opted for the skiff tour of the local geology. Note the mist coming out of the hole at the bottom center. There are numerous blowholes around Hawaii, basically small caves that the water is forced into where it runs out of space and come blowing back out.

4320.jpg

 

 

While one of the smaller ones we saw, it did creates rainbows.

4328.jpg

 

 

Our tour continued along the cliffs where there was clear evidence of the volcanic activity and subsequent abrupt movements of the earth that sheared off with dramatic results.

4371.jpg

 

 

The most famed geologic point was Sweetheart Rock. At one point there would’ve been a large arch here but that came down long ago.

As with many other locations like this, local lore has it that one person had forbidden love and threw themselves to their death, hence Sweetheart Rock.

4491.jpg

 

 

A local seabird (not sure what kind) coming in for a landing. It took him/her 4 tries!

4422.jpg

 

 

Eventually the kayakers returned.

4528.jpg

 

 

And everyone went for a swim. Most went off the back of the boat, but some of the more daring jumped off the 2nd deck, including this elderly woman from Mississippi!

4570.jpg

 

 

Our afternoon was spent at a cat sanctuary (enough on that for a separate post), and some time in Lanai City.

Lanai was a pineapple plantation before rich people bought the entire island. Our driver (Neal) had grown up on the island and worked the plantation before working in the motor pool.

He eventually started his own shuttle business and now has a fleet of 14 vans. Oh – he also plays music and showed us photos of him with Steven Tyler and Mick Fleetwood!

4798.jpg

 

 

After a tour of the town we returned to the beach for a sunset walk up to view Sweetheart Rock.

4829.jpg

 

4835.jpg

 

 

Another Hawaii day – another Hawaii sunset.

4887.jpg

 

 

 

Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 11 Lahaina, Maui

Our trip brought us to Lahaina, on Maui. One of the oldest settlements in Hawaii, it was once the royal capital of Maui Loa.

Today it is a center of tourism (as is most of Hawaii).

3891.jpg

 

 

We were anchored just off shore where we had great views of the houses and boats along the coast.

3911.jpg

 

 

Another day – another great Hawaiian rainbow.

3919.jpg

 

 

Meanwhile the first mate casually monitored the situation.

3989.jpg

 

 

While the crew readied the skiffs.

3957.jpg

 

 

Once on the skiff, we headed towards shore.

3996.jpg

 

 

But first, a dolphin show (not planned, just lucky).

4012.jpg

 

4023.jpg

 

4030.jpg

 

 

Once on ground, we made our way to the famed Banyan tree of Lahaina. Planted in 1873, it is the largest banyan tree in America, covering almost 2 acres.

4085.jpg

 

 

We took a walk around town…

4099.jpg

 

 

To check out some of the historic buildings…

4109.jpg

 

 

Including the former prison.

4119.jpg

 

 

Some colorful houses.

4129.jpg

 

 

And a great mailbox.

4140.jpg

 

 

Eventually it was time to leave Lahaina.

4148.jpg

 

 

With one last look…

4151.jpg

 

 

We sailed off into the sunset.

4179.jpg

 

 

 

Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 10 Zodiac Boat Tour and Historic Kona

Day 10 started out with a Zodiac Boat tour down the coast to another snorkel location. A Zodiac boat is a rigid hull, inflatable boat that can go very fast across the water, as Captain Bill demonstrated.

3616.jpg

 

 

Assisted by Chris, the first mate.

3617.jpg

 

 

As we made our way down the coast we stopped by some sea caves.

3621.jpg

 

 

Despite being formed by lava, they were very colorful.

3625.jpg

 

 

We arrived at the bay where the snorkeling occurred. It is the bay where Captain Cook met his demise.

3672.jpg

 

 

The snorkeling was great.

3592.jpg

3602.jpg

 

 

On our return trip we passed more sea cliffs

3689.jpg

 

 

Along the way we encountered a group of ‘Spinning’ Dolphins, as this series of photos illustrate.

3722.jpg

3724.jpg

3726.jpg

3732.jpg

3745.jpg

 

After returning to the boat, we made our way back to Kona one more time for a historic tour.

3766.jpg

 

 

We toured the Queens summer palace.

3768.jpg

 

 

Finally it was time to return to our home for the week.

3760.jpg

 

 

 

 

Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 9 Off the Kona Coast

Day 9 was somewhat uneventful, with a cruise up and down the Kona coast.

3465.jpg

 

The trip took us past a number of interesting looking hotels and other buildings

3473.jpg

 

 

A local parasail company had a steady business.

3475.jpg

 

 

There has been significant growth along the Kona coast over the last 20 years.

3486.jpg

 

 

All of the coast is built up with hotels, condos, and multi million dollar houses.

3489.jpg

 

 

On our return we came across a group of small whales.

3516.jpg

 

 

We were close enough to hear their exhales.

3531.jpg

 

They tracked south along the coast for a few miles before we lost sight of them.

3545.jpg

 

 

As we returned a group of dolphins came along side the boat, but all I had was the zoom lens, so close ups it is.

IMG_6312.jpg

 

IMG_6338.jpg

 

IMG_6340.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 8 Kona Coffee Festival

As noted previously the Kona region is famous for their coffee. Each November they have a festival to celebrate this, as well as the local culture.

Our emcee was a hoot, sort of a Hawaiian Cheech Marin.

3066.jpg

 

 

In addition to the coffee there were other activities occurring, including a lei making contest. The judges were very thorough, checking for stitching and display.

3080.jpg

 

 

All were beautiful and very different from the stereotype that you see in the media of the ring of flowers.

3081.jpg

 

 

There were numerous coffee growers offering samples, as well as educational displays.

3089.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

The highlight was the entertainment though. We saw a number of dance performances.

The region has a number of immigrants from Japan and the Philippines, which is where these ladies came from.

3170.jpg

 

 

This group had a very lively audience participation dance.

3138.jpg

 

 

Many of the dances were similar, yet unique in their own way.

3221.jpg

 

 

All ages participated.

3269.jpg

 

 

The final dance was a traditional hula.

3284.jpg

 

 

Afterwards they posed for a group photo. Hang loose dude (the hand gesture)!

3323.jpg

 

 

Once the dances were complete a Hawaiian guitar band took the stage. They were very talented.

3344.jpg

 

 

We even met the queens.

3099.jpg

 

 

But it was time to catch our home for the next 7 days, a small boat that will take us to new adventures. But first another great sunset.

3348.jpg

 

 

 

Pittsburgh – October 2018 – More Architecture

Having spent the weekend in the city for Doors Open Pittsburgh, we had additional time to check out the sights that weren’t officially part of the tour.

 

The Armstrong Tunnel. Built in 1927, there are longer tunnels in Pittsburgh, but none have a curve in them like the Armstrong.

There is great debate as to why the tunnels have a curve.

2018 10 05 4 Pittsburgh.jpg

 

 

South Side Slopes – An old church, an old bridge and new condo’s.

2018 10 06 1 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The Warner – it was once a theater, then a food court, now a welfare office. But the sign is cool, with one of the newer skyscrapers as a backdrop.

2018 10 06 212 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The famed Kaufmann’s clock – the store has been closed for some time now, but appears to be getting new life soon.

2018 10 06 262 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Some classic cornices.

2018 10 06 270 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

A streetlight, the US Steel (aka UPMC) building with interesting lighting after a thunderstorm.

2018 10 06 338 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Even the smaller old buildings on Liberty Avenue have excellent detail up high.

2018 10 06 273 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

From Mt Washington the view of the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt looks quite small. In reality it is 500′ high, but partially hidden behind the hill.

2018 10 06 561 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Another vintage downtown building.

2018 10 06 276 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Not to be outdone by Kaufmann’s, Gimbels had a cool clock too.

2018 10 06 518 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Heinz Field just after a University of Pittsburgh game ended.

2018 10 06 567 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Carnegie Science Center on the north side with one of the subway trains in the background.

2018 10 06 573 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

A view from Mt Washington through downtown buildings up the Allegheny River.

2018 10 06 584 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

It has been almost 40 years since Station Square restored the old rail station and yards and it is still going strong.

2018 10 06 616 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Sun setting on the Mon.

2018 10 06 637 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Replica Christopher Columbus ships have been making their way up the Ohio River all summer, and are now in Pittsburgh – as this panorama shows the Nina and Pinta.

2018 10 06 655 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Four Gateway Center.

2018 10 07 3 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Gateway Center with a purple fountain. (must have been Raven’s fans sneaking the water coloring in).

2018 10 07 6 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The 1764 Ft Pitt Blockhouse, the 1960 Ft Pitt Bridge and Mount Washington in the background.

2018 10 07 18 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

A major rowing competition was occurring on this early Sunday morning as the first of the boat tailgaters were arriving for a Steelers game.

2018 10 07 37 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

An amazing wildlife photo from the Allegeheny River.

2018 10 07 40 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The Point Fountain from a different perspective with the apartments on Mt Washington in the background.

2018 10 07 45 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The very cool Duquesne Incline.

2018 10 07 53 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Along the Mon Wharf.

2018 10 07 70 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The Gateway Clipper crews getting ready for that Steelers crowd.

2018 10 07 75 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Pittsburgh is the city of bridges.

2018 10 07 81 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Finally a shot of PPG Place with one of the more architecturally interesting parking garages.

2018 10 07 118 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg