We celebrated Alec’s birthday this year with a weekend trip to Washington DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
The weather was sadly gray-er than originally forecast, but we still had a fantastic two days exploring the nation’s capitol.
First up was the National Air and Space Museum, where we saw cool things like the lunar landing modules, the first airplane, moon rock. We also checked out the American History Museum where I was delighted to see the original ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Julia Child’s kitchen.
We spent sunday wandering around the cherry blossoms and war memorials. The blossoms were in amazing abundance everywhere!
Happy birthday husband!!
I haven’t felt much like blogging lately, so this is a brief account of my recent USA trip. It was mostly for work, but I managed to squeeze in a trip to NYC and Monterey. Most of the trip, when I wasn’t working, I was catching up with friends and family.
First stop, San Francisco.
Next destination, NYC! I stayed with Masa for a few days in Brooklyn.
Then it was back to Mountain View…
I wasn’t planning on doing a post on my Hawaii shopping, but Beverly wanted to see my purchases, so here we are. I reserved basically all shopping till the last day and went a bit berserk at the outlets and Alo Moana Centre. Thanks Alec for your supreme patience…
Last stop – Oahu and shopping. Honolulu reminds me of the Gold Coast, so I like to get on and off the island pretty quickly. I’m sure there are beautiful areas on this island too, but it’s just so built up that I’m not overly keen to explore it. We spent a very short period here – two nights and one full day. Just enough to shop till I maxed my credit card out.
Pretty much the only bad thing about Hawaii is the food. They have a lot of junk food, and most regular food is cooked the fattiest way possible. Throw in vegetarian and it’s a struggle to find anything to eat.
One of only two decent places we found to eat was the Bubba Burgers chain on Kauai. The burgers look like cute little McDonald’s burgers – but they taste amazing in a way Maccas have never been able to master. They had a vegie burger made out of Taro, a root vegetable kind of like sweet potato. I was hesitant to eat it, but it was really good.
We found this pie stall on the side of the road. The pie maker had created about 15 types of fruit and dessert pies.
We tried two types, one of which was mango. It was the best pie either of us has ever eaten.
Kauai is a small island. You can drive from one side to the other (on the one main road they have on the island) in an hour.
We took a drive along to the end of the highway, along the Coconut Coast and North Shore, stopping along the way at anything looking interesting. It was a gray, rainy day, but fortunately the sun came out sporadically enough that it was still a great day for our hike at the end of the road.
The USA is famous for their fruit pies – and we happened upon a little cafe in Princeville that sold slices of blueberry pies that made Alec exclaim in happiness – much to the amusement of the waitress who had never seen anyone so happy to buy pie before.
Across the road from the park is the Manini-holo dry cave, one of several sea caves located in the area. The cave, which is about 300 yards deep, used to be much larger but the 1957 tsunami partially filled it with sand.
A little further down the road is the Waikanaloa Wet Cave.
We decided on a hike, despite the bad weather. We’d heard great things about the Kalalau Trail, which starts at Ke’e Beach and leads to Hanakapiai Beach. You can continue the walk further, but the mud from the rain made it a really difficult hike so we just walked the 3.2km to the beach and back again.
Waimea Canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific. It measures 10 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,500-feet deep.
We took a drive up into the canyon to do a hike. There are a lot of hikes you can do – you could easily spend days trying to do all of the walks.
Around 90% of Kauai isn’t accessible by land, so the only way to see it is with a helicopter flight. We decided to take the Jack Harter Helicopter tour because they flew a Hughes 500 with the doors off for maximum photo greatness. I was incredibly excited about taking photos from the air – only to find myself squished in the worst possible seat because I was the lightest person on board – between a fat lady and the pilot, which left my arms pinned in a position like a T-rex. I put Alec in charge of the camera and enjoyed the view.
We had a particularly lovely sunset that night – amazing lighting for a few photos.
For a change of pace we spent our second week on Kauai. We stayed in a boutique hotel on the beach in Poipu. We had a gorgeous view from the window and it was amazing falling asleep and waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore.
Staying on the beach allowed for many walks in different lights. Thanks for being such a good model Alec 🙂
We also stayed right on a beach with great snorkeling. The water was crystal clear, so we had perfect visibility. There was a surprising amount of fish as well – in amazing colours. The fish were really relaxed about us snorkeling all around them, letting us get really close.