Friday, August 19, 2005

Report from the Islands--w/ pics!

Wedding pics are up now on Steve's website.

8/5 - Rehearsal dinner. Mom outdid herself on the backyard. Great time.
8/6 - Wedding. Went 99% according to plan. DJ did as expected w/ the music. Screwed up a couple places, but one wasn't entirely his fault; not sure what happened to the winding down music.
8/7 - Back to Oakland.
8/8 - SFO to Honolulu, short layover, on to Kauai.

8/9 - First of 'take it easy' days, drove to South/West coasts, making many stops. Swing bridge, Glass Beach, Spouting Horn (blowhole), 17-mile beach (talked to a local family camping out there w/ a quad, would've been nice to carve some dunes out there). That beach out on the West Shore was a little hard to find. Turned into the Pacific Missile Range Facility entry and Mr. Army w/ the M-16 wasn't too stoked. Saw the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," went to various lookouts. Last one the road was closed so hiked a mile up to the last lookout to see an amazing view of the Na Poli Coastline. We might make it back up there to do part of one of the hiking trails.
8/10 - Second 'take it easy' day. Drove to North Shore. Most happening part of the island, including all the rich people hangouts. Hit the northern most beach. Water too cold for me w/ the mild weather (not 'cold' by California beach standards by any means, though). Erin loved it. Hit Queen's Bath lava pool on the way back.

Nice water, that was way fun. "Secret Beach" and "Secret Lava Pools" not exactly worth the hike in/out. Other lava pools we went near a seculded beach (by 4WD road) were awesome. Also went to a bird refuge and lighthouse. Only sight-seeing place we've had to pay to get into (3 bucks ea.) so far. Those 2 'take it easy' days weren't all that 'taking it easy' as you can see. Had a late dinner at Duke's. Really good fish (I had 7 spice ahi, which was pretty spicy and Erin had some white fish cooked 'firecracker' style that was also very spicy). Good stuff.
8/11 - My dirt bike adventure. This ride is as much fun as you can take. The better rider you are the more fun this will be and the better sights you will see. But, being on an unfamiliar bike on unfamiliar terrain sent my riding skills back to the dark ages. Even so, this dual-sport ride (we ended up riding on roughly 70% paved, 30% dirt) was a blast. The Yamaha WR450 seemed a little lighter than my Katoom (at least slimmer w/o the big gas tank) w/ a little more snap. Did rutted, slick fire roads (wet red clay, luckily not too much mud) w/ a few water crossings. Bit it going down a relatively minor downhill section to come to a little waterfall and took a dip into the river while riding a rocky trail out of that section. All told, rode 100 miles around the north shore and man was my ass sore. Only took 1 pic on the entire trip though. Had a GREAT filet mignon & lobster dinner at a Japanese restaurant (tapayama? whatever it is when they cook in front of you). I'm officially hooked on ahi sushi too.

8/12 - Helicoper ride: I did it, it was pretty amazing, I don't think I need to do it again. I told the pilot when we landed that the ground crew was going to need a crowbar to get me off that seat. My fingers were sore from holding on so tight too. Didn't help that there were no windows and I felt like I was hanging half out of the rig. But, no windows is really the way to go. Got some decent footage with the MiniDV camcorder shooting from the hip. Pretty damn good considering it's the first footage I've shot right out of the box.

8/13 - High-priced salon massages are not a good thing to do at 10am if you expect to do ANYTHING else that day. Laid about the pool and were totally worthless after that. Celebrated our 1-week anniversary.

8/14 - ATV Tour was pretty fun. They let you cut loose a little; I had it pitched sideways around every corner. Cool scenery, and went through a 1/4-mile long tunnel. Ended up at a waterfall. Water was on the chilly side. Erin jumped off the falls; I stayed dry. Got some cool pics.

ATV Tour also had a CD we bought w/ some other pics of us. I was the only guy the tour guide had seen in 5 years to show up in 'full' gear, and I was truly a huge dork, but, hell, I had it w/ me for the MotoHawaii ride, so I figured I might as well use my own stuff. Luckily, I didn't make too much of an ass out of myself (some other guy managed to almost flip his quad and fell off). Went to a local swimming hole w/ a rope swing, waterfall, and more jumping off rocks (for Erin).

Saw 2 other way cool waterfalls (Wailea and Opeekea).

Also drove out to BFE and did some off-roading w/ the jeep (had to be near where I was riding on the MotoHawaii tour--similar terrain and water crossings anyway).

8/15 - Shipped my riding gear back home (too heavy to take to Molokai w/ our other luggage), got breakfast, and Erin did some snorkeling. I wasn't a big fan. Ever since I almost drowned in Chico I'm not so into water that is any kind of active. Apparently there were a lot of sea turtle out past the breakers, but Erin didn't make it out that far either.
8/16 - Tried to kayak, but for the life of us, could not find the kayak rental joint near where we were going to try to attempt to get a ride in before we had to go back and pack and get to the airport. So we just drove around and had lunch at the harbor. Kauai has 3 or 4 kayak river trips we'd like to do sometime.

8/17 - Molokai. Mule Ride. Along the cliffs. 1,600+ ft. elevation change from top to bottom. Took ~90min down, faster on the way up. Got about 60 seconds of useable MiniDV footage from the colony. Mule ride way too bumpy and not a lot of spots to get clear shots over the cliff. I can't decide what was more nerve-wracking, the helicopter w/ no doors or riding the mules down that trail. Riding up wasn't so bad. Another amazing adventure that I've done, it was cool, but not sure I need to do that again anytime soon. We visited the east-end jungle and found a nice beach to hang out at for a while. Saw some great sites along the way, then tried to catch the sunset on the west side, but didn't make it. We did see the harbor on the west side, which was cool. Molokai was very mellow and a great place to go if you want to do nothing (because you won't have much choice to do anything else). Our hotel was on right on the beach, and the bar/restaurant was RIGHT on the beach (breakers didn't start for about 200 yards out, so it was like being next to a lake).

8/18 - Molokai to Honolulu. Honolulu to SFO. Worst seats ever, didn't recline and right up against the bathroom--got to hear every flush, yay!. Baggage either went on to Chicago or never made it from Honolulu. Apparently it has been found, though, and is allegedly en route to our house.

All in all, we had some awesome, amazing adventures was a total blast for both of us!


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