More pictures and video from our tour of Kauai.

Day 4 - Back on the beach - New Year's Day


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Since we're 60 years old, we didn't even make it to midnight on New Year's Eve. We did manage to watch the
fireworks at 9:30pm from the beach (although I had to wake Natalia up to watch them...) So, with that much
sleep, we were awake and bright-eyed for a full day of beach time.


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I did some more snorkeling while Natalia read on the beach. I think this is some kind of parrotfish.


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We took a drive to Spouting Horn Beach Park to see a geyser, or more accurately, a blowhole. This was
a great sign that we saw in the parking lot.


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In some cases, the water gets under the rock and blows out 30 feet in the air. This wasn't one of those days.
Still pretty neat though.


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This photo practically begs for a 'Why did the rooster cross the road?' joke.


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We had dinner at a Tiki Bar/Restaurant called Keoki's Paradise. I had ribs (great!) and Natalia had fish (also
pretty good). This is Natalia loving her Blue Hawaii blended drink.


Day 5 - Our zip-lining day


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I woke up around sunrise (about 7ish on the island) and sat on our balcony (lanai) for a bit. As the sun came
up, the colour on the palm trees was just perfect so I snapped a few photos.


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This is a 'tree tunnel' of eucalyptus on the main road from Koloa back to the main highway. They were planted by
pineapple baron (what a great title!) Walter McBryde when he had excess from landscaping his plantation.


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On our friend Mel's recommendation, we stopped at Kountry Kitchen in Kapa'a for breakfast. I loved the vast selection
of rooster ornaments near the front counter. There were also great paintings which I didn't get photos of sadly.


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Natalia was excited to have a sour cream, bacon, and tomato omelette. I was super excited about the macadamia-nut pancakes.


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They're as big as my head! Actually, they're significantly bigger. I can't believe someone could eat more than one of
these things. I also loved the wild animal rooster border behind me. My favourite is the zebra stripes, but Nati liked the
tiger. Clearly, the rooster is at the top of the pecking order in Kauai!


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Look at the sour cream ridiculousness on this plate. Just out of control.


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We got suited up in 4 point harnesses and made our way out to the Zip-line area, near Princeville on the north side.


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Here is Natalia's first zip-line experience.


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Most of the zip-line terrain is across gorges and valleys on the owners' cattle ranch. This is a typical
view from the zip-line.

Video of me Zip-lining



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Because it's a working cattle ranch, there were some hazards on the trail. Oops, I made a doo-doo!


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Here is Natalia zipping across another of the 9 zip-lines we rode on this outing.


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You can see how Kauai is considered the Garden Island.

Video of me zip-lining



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If you tuck your knees and stay pointing straight, you can go faster.

Video of the Hila-hila plant or mimosa pudica



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After our 8th zip-line, we took a break in a swimming hole to have a bite of lunch. They had inner tubes for us provided
and we jumped into the water to cool off. On the way down to the swimming hole, the guides had some fun with some of the
clients and shook a bush after warning them about wild boars. The other zip-liners naturally lost their minds and tried
to scare it away by barking like a dog.

Video of Natalia jumping into a pool



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All of our tour, other than a couple from San Fran, were from Alberta. In fact, one family was from just down the road from us
in Royal Oak. It's a small world after all.


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The small waterfall still pushed a fair volume of water around, keeping it hard for Natalia to get too much closer than this.


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I got a little closer, but not much.


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Natalia and I before our last zip-line, called King Kong.


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Natalia decided to decorate one of the cow paddies since there were so many of them.


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The view looking down at the 1200 foot King Kong zip-line.


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After the first zip-line, Natalia had absolutely no fear any more and was ready for anything.


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Because these guys run a tandem zip-line, you can actually race each other. Since I'm carrying a few more stones
than Natalia, I had a natural advantage. Here you can see Natalia's impeccable technique. I still beat her by a good
margin though, since she started to spin in the wind.


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After we said good-bye to the tour company, we took a drive further north, up to Ke'e Beach. This is the end of the
road on the north side and the Kalalau Trail starts from here. You can see on the right of this photo the beach-side cliffs
that the Kalalau trail would be hiking over.


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I thought this was a nice shot of Natalia, even if I over-exposed the prehistoric-looking foliage.


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Natalia bought a coconut from a roadside vendor since she wanted to try out the ice cold coconut water.


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Some of the signs at Ha'ena Beach Park. They basically told us not to snorkel here during the winter months
so we just walked around and had a look.


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We had a short look through a small cave alongside the highway near Ha'ena Beach Park.


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On another great recommendation from my friend Mel, I had a burrito from Red Hot Mama's, a local hole-in-the-wall
(literally!) serving great carnitas burritos. Natalia was MUCH more excited to have found Like'M'Aid Fun Dip sugar candy.


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I picked up a 6-pack of Coors original, and I was ready for my beach picnic.


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The burrito may be my new favourite burrito of all time. Natalia, for her part, was far happier with
the Fun Dip.


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Here are some surfers surfing some decent-sized waves on the north side at Hanalei Bay.


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This is the view from the Hanalei Valley Lookout, near Princeville. You can see the taro fields
being cultivated below.


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Since I had already had my burrito, we stopped at Tropical Burgers so that Natalia could have a burger
with a pineapple on it. She started with another kind of fruity blended drink.


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Natalia doesn't like this photo (her mouth is full), but I like how it shows off the pineapple in her burger.


Day 6 - The last full beach day for Natalia


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We tried to alternate activity days and beach days so that Natalia would get her relaxation time and so that
I wouldn't lose my mind. I woke early again to try to catch some 'artsy' photos from our balcony. I was
pretty happy with these ones. The contrast is stellar.


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More palm trees from our balcony.


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Randall decided to do some snorkeling as well. Here he found himself a sailfin tang surgeonfish.


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Randall and a orange-spined unicornfish.


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I think this is some kind of a parrotfish, but I couldn't find a good identification for it.


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Natalia and Randall hanging out in the ocean. After this excursion, I had to drain the sea water out of Randall's
ceramic shell or he likely would have exploded inside the plane coming home. Good story though.


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Watching the sun set from our balcony. Seriously. How awesome is this? Did I mention that minutes before this
we watching humpback whales breach a few hundred feet off-shore, also from our balcony??


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Yeah, I think this is pretty alright.


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Natalia enjoyed the view from here as well.


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I really enjoyed the sun rays coming through the clouds.


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We decided to have our last night's dinner down the beach from us at Koa Kea Beach Resort in their restaurant called
Red Salt. This is a kalua pork appetizer and Natalia is having a beet salad (excellent!). The dinner was pretty good
but not earth-shaking. Natalia was still asking about hitting up Josselin's for a third time, so I know which one was
her favourite.


Day 7 - Relaxing and enjoying our last day on Kauai


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I wanted to check out a different beach, so we drove to Maha'ulepu Beach on the other side of the golf course. Suffice it
to say that I saw far larger pot holes than I've seen just about anywhere (even Saskatchewan!). We walked the last little
stretch, but it was still no more than 30 minutes from our hotel and there were far fewer people here.


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We did see a kite-boarder enjoying the strong winds.


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The water was so clear at this beach that I got much nicer photos underwater. Here is a bluespine unicornfish.


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Here's another one. These fish are roughly the size of a large dinner plate so I was pretty excited to see
them this close.


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This might be a bluefin trevally.


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I was so excited to find this huge hunk of coral. This is roughly the size of a small car and it's about 10 feet
under water. With water this clear though, it was really cool to see it. It had fish just seething out of it,
and I kept seeing larger fish off in the distance.


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A better look at the coralled edge of the rock.


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A few other bright yellow fish. I think the bottom one is a millet seed butterfly and the top one is a type of butterflyfish.


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After we cleaned up and checked out from our hotel (most expensive hotel bill I've ever had...), we stopped at
the Koloa Fish Market for some tuna and chicken lunch plates. This might be the tastiest ahi tuna sauce I've ever
had. It was a wasabi cream sauce that was outstandingly tasty!


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Next, we took a tour to Kilohana Plantation to ride their train and see their working plantation. The train ride was
more than it should have been (almost $20 each), but we did get to feed some wild pigs and see actual growing pineapple.


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I think these are either oranges or lemons.


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These are avocados.


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And here are the pineapple plants. It turns out that each plant produces one pineapple and it takes the
plant 2.5 years to produce that pineapple. We eat it in ~10 minutes. Kind of crazy. Something else this
tour taught us is that bananas aren't a fruit. They're actually a type of herb.


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I was pretty pleased with this photo of a cocky little rooster who was hanging out where we were feeding the wild boars.

Video of feeding wild pigs



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The pigs were bigger than I expected, definitely meaner, and they oinked a lot.


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Awwww, aren't they cute when they're little? Don't you want to take one home?


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This goat just about made me fall over. The goat is actually nibbling on its own butt. Really.
Pretty flexible animal, but it makes you wonder about the genetic value in this... I suppose you could
always kiss your own butt...


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Natalia and I on the Kilohana Plantation Railway.


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Natalia and I tasted some Koloa Rum, which is being made from Kauai sugar cane. We bought a bottle of the spiced
rum variety. Actually, the rum cake with macadamia nuts wasn't bad either.


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One of our last tourist stops was at Wailua Falls. Here is Natalia with the twin falls.


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I thought the Wailua Falls were pretty cool.


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It's about 80 feet tall and drops into a sweet-looking pool. The view was used in the TV show Fantasy Island .


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Our last evening dinner was at Duke's Barefoot Bar at the Marriott Kauai on Kalapaki Beach. Natalia and I were
walking along killing time before our flight when Natalia said, "Oh my god, that woman is drinking out of a pineapple!
I need one too!"


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Inside was a mix of the fresh pineapple, coconut something or other, rum, and ice. Natalia thought it might be the
best drink she's ever had. Of course, I think McDonald's Big Macs at 3 in the morning after a solid drinking binge are
the best food in the world, so it's always up for debate.


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A bit of a blurry shot of Natalia and I at Duke's in the Marriott Kauai.


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This is Natalia's new hero. He was playing the ukelele during happy hour at Duke's and he was far and away the most gifted
ukelele player I've ever seen. He apparently teaches ukelele at the local college, but he played that thing like a classical
guitar.


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We did a reverse dinner and had dessert (the Hula pie) first. You can guess whose suggestion that was.

All in all, this was an outstanding trip and a great way to usher in Natalia's 4th decade of life.

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