Monday, December 22, 2008

Mele Kalikimaka

Aloha blog-land! For the past week, myself and my family were exploring the many exciting adventures Kauai, Hawaii had to offer! Overall, it was a wonderful trip and I couldn't feel more refreshed! So without further ado---my quick trip wrap-up:

Lots of rain throughout our stay, but with 80 degrees mixed with humidity, there were no complaints here. All of the "winter" weather created some fierce waves though:

Surfs up anyone???
While if you turned around and walked in the opposite direction, you'd get an ocean like this:

The following day started with a visit from some Monk Seals:

They ended up becoming daily attractions. Usually 2-3 would beach themselves on the sand, this particular morning was all about who was "King of the Shoreline."

"Oh what a hard life I have."

This fellow was the eventual loser and shortly after this photo, he literally rolled back into the ocean.
The rest of the trip involved kayaking, hiking up and down very muddy jungle-paths, rope-swinging into rivers, ziplining, general site-seeing, lots of sketching, etc.

The kayaking, zipling, hiking day also involved highlighting certain spots where famous movie scenes were filmed(mainly Jurassic Park and the first 15minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark). These lush green fields inspired this scene:

Run Indy, Run! That mountain should look a little familiar now.

Later on we were given a sneak preview of an upcoming addition to Kauai:

A 1600ft zipline! Should be up and running by next Fall! See that tiny speck of yellow between the lines? That's the general finish line---who's with me???

Now this zipline doesn't seem so intimidating after visiting the previous one. This roughly 60 ft line was up and running and I got to race across it twice. You start at this front gate, fly across a now muddy, raging river, and eventually stop at that distance dock. Pretty fun once you get over that initial free-fall drop.
After the zipline we hiked down some slippery slopes and ended up at another popular film site:

A slightly choppy panoramic of this very beautiful waterfall.
The theatrical action took place on the land opposite of where I'm standing....

For this famous scene...and later on:

It was now about 3 in the afternoon and the group headed back. The forecasted storm thankfully held off until the VERY end...just as we reached the river shore to where a motor-boat was coming to take us back in.

This spot also had a theatrical debut:

Slightly drier and the water is blue-er too---but it's there! That rope vine was just 20 feet to my right, but my camera wasn't waterproof so I packed it away before it flooded.
The following days we toured across the island visiting spots like Hanalei Beach, Tunnels, and on the final day, Spouting Horn. We also stopped by the hotel's daily morning Koi feedings.

...and here's our hotel! Alright, maybe not--but this was still interesting real-estate.
One evening was spent at Smith's Tropical Paradise Luau:

Can't have a luau without a fire dancer!

I carried my sketchbook with me everywhere(except on the one day spent ziplining, etc.). Unfortunately, the quality of my mac photobooth camera will not do---so since updates will be needed in the coming months. I'll be posting my sketchbook studies throughout next semester. Here's a quick preview though:

Well, Mele Kalikimaka and here's wishing everyone a safe and very merry holiday!

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