Saturday, February 6, 2010

Good Day Sunshine!

High 79, low 61, light showers

As the sun tracks the sky gradually warming the day, so does yoga for my mind and body. The sun came  out today making everything more green, the heat feels good on my skin. Baxter catches the ball and immediately drops it, uninterested in  playing fetch this morning. I hope this doesn't mean he is already bored with it. Instead, we walk around the yard taking pictures, until he finds a chicken to chase.

Lazy Lucy

Papaya tree in our yard

Flowers wet with morning dew

This tree drops some big coconuts, watch your head!

The back of our tree house. The first window is the kitchen, then bathroom the last is the bedroom. 

Lucy licking the morning dew off her nose after some ernest sniffing around.

The way out.

Last June the water was 72 degrees, so we wanted to get a light wetsuit top for our surf lesson. Based on Mike's recommendation, we headed up to the north shore to the Hanalei Surf Shop. We picked up a hitchhiker on the way, it's good karma, we get to meet people and we get tips. Today, we got to meet Michael. Thin and youthful, Michael is actually 40, we mistook him for 30. His work is photography and web design and this takes him around the world. His next major trip is to the Himalayas. I ask him how to work around the contrast between a lot of light and shadow. His tip is to get my lights to the point where they are just overexposed and back off a bit, then, in Photoshop, tweak up the darks. You can check out his beautiful photography capturing the vitality of landscape and people here, it's worth the time. His goal is to get to the Hanalei farmers market before it closes and we take him there. We have never been, and the way he describes it, I want to see it. Surrounded by the towering mountains of the north shore and lined with beautiful, trimmed, green lawns and manicured flower beds the Hanalei farmers market is indeed beautiful.
Michael and Dan walking into the farmers market.

Dan pauses to check out these beautiful hand carved wood bowls.

Beautiful mountains surround the farmers market. There's Michael with a big bag of veggies.

View looking back from the farmers market.

As I have grown older, finding clothes that fit has become more and more depressing. To live here is to be healthy, lean, and vital. Most locals have about 10% body fat. I am looking for some bottoms to wear to our surf lesson and four stores later, I find some that fit. Even though we have lost some weight in the two weeks that we have been here, I am distressed, I decide when I get home I am going to go for a run! On the way to the car we stop and check out the tikis. A guy is sitting on the ground, carving intricate designs while another, under an awning, oversees the ones for sale. We stop and talk to him. It turns out that he is the guy we bought our tiki from when we were here for our anniversary. We chat, easy and comfortable shaded from the afternoon sun. As we leave he says we will do well here, the dentist said the same thing. I wonder what they see in us.

My first shot using Michael's advice and Dan's tutelage. No Photoshop though, I'm already averaging about 2 hours a day on this blog!

The ocean views in Hanalei are magnificent. The black lava rock in the foreground draws a stark line where the azure ocean begins and even that is contrasted with the white, billowing spray of the waves crashing against themselves. We found the perfect place for lunch, a cliff made up of large, flat lava rocks,  overlooking the ocean. In a careful controlled fall, we descend the narrow trail through the trees. There are seeds, the size of a small olive, littering the steep trail and if we are not careful they act like ten little marbles under each foot. Unpacking PB&J's, chips, water and the leftover chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies, (they were so big I could only eat half last night) we ate in astounded silence. Recovering from our reverie, we climb around the rocks and go down the road to check out the surfers.

Even though it was the weekend, we found a private spot.

Our lunchtime view


Warrior 1 pose

That's about 40 feet down

Surfing in Hanalei Bay, waves were 6 to 8 feet high, 2 to 3 Hawaiian (Hawaiian's gauge by the back of the wave). 

We pulled into our driveway and as soon as Dan put the car in park, it started to rain. I guess I won't be going for that run! Instead, I halve some plum tomatoes and toss them with canola oil, salt and pepper and put them in the oven for a slow roast. They'll be part of dinner tonight. I blog a little and then we head over to Da Kine Wines for a wine tasting

Danny is happy to see us and gives us a genuinely convivial greeting. I tell him about my blog and he cheerfully poses for a picture. We talk some more and I learn that he is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, one of the premiere culinary schools in America. Having the qualifications of a sommelier but not the certification, he tells us he wants to teach wine courses for culinary school at the Kauai Community College, Dan and I agree that this is a great idea. The wine tastings are every Saturday and turn out to be a lot of fun. There is a terrific wine selection and in the 45 minutes we were there, about 30 people filtered through. We met several interesting people. Notably, a lady who used to own a restaurant and lives off our street and a mother and daughter. The daughter is moving with her little girl to Cambodia to teach english. The mother just returned from Laos, she was there for three months doing research for her first book on single females and travel.
Danny's motorcycle parked out front.


Back home we toss whole wheat pasta with the roasted tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and jalapeno olive oil and crack open a bottle of Da Kine Wine.