Alex Polson's Personal Blog

The Photos

Posted: 2007-11-14T05:15Z[UTC] by Alex

For the first time ever I've posted our vacation photos only a few days after we got back. Prepare to be dazzled. :)

Kauai (Nov. 2007) on Flickr

The Death and Departure

Posted: 2007-11-10T07:31Z[UTC] by Alex

Lame! Lame! Lame!

Sari and I are at the Lihue (Kauai) Airport waiting to board a flight back to Seattle. It really feels like we just got here. I have yesterday (Thursday) and today to cover in this post.

Yesterday we had decided we were going to head to Tunnels Beach one last time before going home so we got up relatively early and headed to the North Shore. When we finally got there around 10:45a we couldn't find any parking so we parked about half a mile away and walked along the beach to Tunnels. While the walked was very pretty walking that far in the sand, with such difficult footing, was a lot of work. We finally got to the beach and took a few minutes of rest in the shade before jumping in the water.

The Coffee

Posted: 2007-11-08T05:03Z[UTC] by Alex

Day five and we're still going. Though we've foregone the usual touristy stuff we're still finding plenty to do.

With our hotel booking we were given vouchers for a complimentary continental breakfast along with an island orientation. It was the exact same presentation, in the exact same place (our hotel), with the exact same person doing it. We pretty much did it for the free coffee, pineapple and pastries. Everything being offered was either too expensive, uninteresting or we had already done it. We did pick up some good pointers for some sites we hadn't seen yet though. We'd been mostly hanging out on the north side of the island so we decided to give the south side a go. We pretty much drove until we found some interesting spots. We drove through Hanepeppe and past the road to Waimea canyon before finally turning around.On the way back towards Kapa'a we stopped at the Kauai Coffee Plantation and tasted some delicious, hot coffee in 87 degree heat. Yummy. We also wanted to check out some stuff in Poi'pu since we hadn't explored the town very much. We made it to a small market on the west side of town which was also the site of the Spouting Horn which is essentially a chunk of volcanic rock that sits above the water. There's a small hole that goes from the under side of the rock at about the water level out of the top of the rock. When waves come in it causes water to be sprayed into the air. I'd seen it on TV but it truly didn't do it any justice. It was really cool. I have video of it which I'll post when I get back. By this time Sari and I were very hot and sick of driving and so decided to go for a swim. We figured we might as well give the beaches at Poi'pu another try since we were already there. The water was a lot more calm than it was the other day so threw on our suits and went for a snorkel. We saw lots of new fish but unfortunately we forgot to get a new underwater camera. We plan on going snorkeling one last time tomorrow so hopefully we'll end up with some reasonable pictures.We had had a pretty long day at this point so we decided to call it quits, retiring to our room and wrapping up the evening by watching "The 100 Greatest Songs of the Eighties" on VH1. Stupid addictive TV.

The Tunnels

Posted: 2007-11-07T05:17Z[UTC] by Alex

Yesterday was a bit disappointing but we made up for it with what we did today.

Yesterday, we wanted to do some more snorkeling so we decided to give Poipu a try. It was the first place we tried to snorkel during our first trip. We both must have looked pretty foolish given we were only sticking our faces in the water and promptly freaking out. We really wanted to make up for that embarrassment and hopefully enjoy the location a bit more than we did the first time. Unfortunately when we got there the water was clearly too rough to do any sort of swimming. The crazy weather around the islands was still causing a few rough spots, especially around the south side of the island. It was recommended by the guys at Snorkel Bob's that the North Shore would be a bit more calm so we eventually decided to head to Ke'ee beach, regardless of the reasonably long drive from Poipu.Ke'ee beach was our favorite snorkeling destination the last time we were in Kauai. It takes crossing several single lane bridges as you get closer to the beach. Unfortunately, we weren't there long before it started to rain again. Even the time we were there we saw almost no sea life. After the array of fish that we saw last time it was a real disappointment. After Ke'ee we were pretty tuckered out given we'd been driving so much. We went back to our hotel and spent an hour or two by the pool reading. We then went to the Coconut Marketplace for dinner (the first time since our last trip). We wrapped up our Monday by watching our NBC shows Heroes and Journey Man. Normally we have to record the shows and watch them the next day because of having to get up early so it was a nice treat. :-)

The Exploration

Posted: 2007-11-05T19:19Z[UTC] by Alex

Today started out quietly (though I imagine most Kaua'ian days do). We're still not quite over the time change.Initially it was 3 hours behind but now it's 2 because of daylight savings time. The good news is that it makes the days feel longer.

Around 9 we went for a quick snorkel again as we can't seem to get enough of it. We then went for a short adventure north to Annini beach. On the way we stopped at Bubba's burgers as it's been suggested to us several times.We've already seen most of the main sights of the northern part of the island so we were eager to see the extra stuff. Annini beach was beautiful and spread across several miles. The rain, as it did yesterday, would pour for about 15 or 20 minutes and then the sun and heat would come out again. We ended the day with a quick dinner at Taco Bell (the finest in Hawaiian fair) and then decided to go on a little driving adventure. On the way back to the hotel we turned down a side street to try and get closer to the mountainous center of the island. We drove through lots of neighborhoods and eventually entered a very lush area of the island. We drove slowly down a single lane road and ended up getting close enough to where we could see several waterfalls and the sides of the mountains in great detail. We eventually came across somebody trying to back down the road and that coupled with a dog trying to jump into Sari's window signaled the end of our adventure as far as we were concerned.

The Arrival

Posted: 2007-11-04T06:45Z[UTC] by Alex

We arrived Kauai at about 8pm and it had already gotten very dark. It took us about an hour to get our luggage, get our rental car (an Impalla) and then find our hotel.

We're staying at the Aloha Beach Hotel on the east side of the island and the town of Kapa'a. We originally had a regular room but for some reason they upgraded us to a cabana near the water. It's like a little apartment detached from the hotel. It's very cozy.We woke up this morning to a rooster crowing at the sun at about 7:30. We got ready and went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast; just a simple buffet with all the usual stuff. we sat outside on their patio while we ate and watched storm clouds roll in from the ocean. The morning started off calmly but we were hit with a sudden downpour while eating so we had to move inside. The walk back to our room was a wet but warm one.The rain continued for about 10 or 15 minutes before slowing down a bit; and me without a rain jacket. We went to five different stores before we finally found a decent jacket at K-Mart. The downpours came and went several times throughout the day but they never lasted more than a few minutes.We eventually developed a craving to do some snorkeling so we rented some equipment for the week and did some in our hotel's backyard. They have a large swimming enclosure that was perfect for the first snorkel on our trip. We ended the evening being treated to a lightening storm. I tried to get some footage of the fireworks but my camera wouldn't pick it up. Oh well.

England tickets booked at last!

Posted: 2007-09-10T22:13Z[UTC] by Alex

I've been putting it off for months but I finally finished booking our tickets to England for next May. We've been wanting to go to Europe for a while now and Sari's never gone. May will be a good lull in our schedules and life so it's a prime opportunity.

We used some of our air miles to pay for one of the tickets and it was an absolute bear to get through the purchase. Because we could only afford to pay for one ticket with our miles we had to purchase the other ticket with cash. Because they don't let you do that through Alaska's partner line I had to find a date that worked for both the mileage plan purchase and on British Airway's website (the airline we'll be flying). This turned into about 7 calls over the course of 3 days but I finally managed to find dates that worked for BA, Alaska, Sari and I. Disaster avoided. Apart from the arrival and departure dates we don't have any plans set in stone but we are planning on visiting as much of my extended family as possible, most of which I haven't seen since the 8th grade. We'll also be visiting Paris for a week which will be nice. Time to brush up and hopefully use my French skills. :)

Sari's Road Trip

Posted: 2007-08-24T16:05Z[UTC] by Alex

Today is the day that Sari and Robert leave on their 9-day road trip. She'll be driving from here to Ohio and then flying back a week from Sunday. Quite the trip. She's a bit nervous but I think she'll do fine. "So what are you doing while she's gone," I hear you ask?

Playing host for my parents while they wait for the air to clear in their home from the floors being refinished. Playing lots of music with Jeremy, Matt and Ross. Catching up on some projects around the house. I'm pretty funny about free time. When I don't have it I'm always complaining about not having it but when I do finally have it for an extended period I find, more often than not, I have no idea what to do with myself. Hopefully I'll have productive and fun week this time around.

The Harry Potter Plan

Posted: 2007-08-06T00:53Z[UTC] by Alex

For the last several months I've been explaining my "Harry Potter Plan" to my friends and family.

  • Before The Order of the Pheonix movie comes out reread books one through 4 (so I don't ruin the 5th movie with too many, "This doesn't follow the book at all"s).
  • See The Order of the Phoenix
  • Reread books 5 and 6 before the 7th and final book comes out.
  • Start reading The Deathly Hallows as soon as I get my hands on a copy.

This plan, while fitting ideally with my usual "Reread all the other books before a new one comes out" plan, didn't go nearly as well as I'd hoped.

5th Anniversary Get Away

Posted: 2007-07-20T19:48Z[UTC] by Alex

Sari and I are on our way to Port Townsend to get away for our 5 year anniversary. We're on the Seattle to Bainbridge ferry and will drive the rest of the way there. We've reserved a one-night stay at a bed and breakfast there.

We've never been on a ferry together before. We just made it under the 5 year mark. Pictures to follow when we get back.