Ah - yes, I am on the beautiful island of Kaua'i with my friend Mary - a fellow book artist. It is about 9:30 in the evening, we had Island Sangria, (Gewürztraminer, little gin, soda water, sugar, pineapple, rambutans, bananas - yum), and now I'm sitting on the balcony - it's about 80 degrees and I'm blogging. This is part one.
What is a Rambutan? - it is very similar to a lychee fruit. Except that it comes in this very funny outer covering.
We start everyday with the alarm clock of the island:
I wish I were kidding. These birds are all over the place - there must be at least five that live in the bushes under my window. They start about 5:30 am. As of today I don't hear them so much. But it takes a night or two to get used to them. What I really want is a handful of those feathers.
Everybody seems to get along. There are a few cats and they pretty much leave the big fowl alone. I would too.
Its the rainy season at the moment, and so there are flowers everywhere. The beautiful yellow one (at the top of the blog) grows on giant trees 20 feet high and they are covered with them. They are everywhere on the island. When the yellow flowers fall off, they turn this beautiful red color.
The trees grow next to several of the rivers and so you see the flowers floating along.
We did a hike of the Na Pali Coast today. There were tiny purple orchids everywhere - guavas were ripe and falling off the trees and then there was this little passion flower.
Doesn't it look like it should come from outer space?
It has rained for two days straight. Pouring rain all day, well, it comes and goes but the sun doesn't shine and you don't get dry. So yesterday we did a tour of a chocolate farm. It was fascinating. Not only to they grow cocoa trees, but they have vanilla (which is an orchid!) they grow and harvest bamboo and several other things. It's a completely organic farm.
Here we have two cocoa pods.
and here are the vanilla pods (still green).
The tour of the farm ended with a talk about the history of chocolate, and how it is produced. Then we had a blind chocolate tasting of 10 different chocolates. It was very interesting to compare them. I now know what my favorite american made chocolate is (they didn't include any swiss or german chocolate. Hmmm - maybe because they can't compete with them?). And I can get it at Whole Foods. Speaking of whole foods:
our haul at the farmers market. We got green beans, bananas, papayas and rambutans. Plus I found a plumeria at the Kaua'i Coffee plantation. We also manage to put away two pineapples since we got here.
And believe it or not - it is even Christmas on the Island. We have seen some amazing decorations to say the least. From a tree decorated with lays, to one with soda cans, to this bougainvillea that was decked out with silver and gold balls.
Quite beautiful! And then last night we were hoping for a reprieve from the clouds and rain and such - and our wish was granted. We got to see the end of the lunar eclipse! We left the apartment and ran out to the golf course and just watched the stars and the eclipse. It was amazing! This morning we discovered we'd been eaten alive by the mosquitoes, but it was worth it.
If you double click on the image, the little white dot in the middle of this black photo will turn into the moon at the end of the eclipse.
We've spent some time at Hanalei Bay.
And the other day we ran into the man himself at Safeway.
He said he was resting up for the big night and graciously took a picture with us. That is - a friend of his (wearing a baseball hat that said, "I believe in Santa") took the picture. There is more to come, more to blog about, but we did the hike on the Na Pali Coast today to the waterfalls. I am pooped, but I will post more soon.