This is the third time we've stayed here since 2003. This was the scene from our back door.
Those trees are Casuarina equisetifolia. Originally brought to Kauai for windbreaks; you see them everywhere you go. (Obviously, these trees have been limbed up, so not, ahem, breaking any wind.)
Casuarina is to Kaua'i as Eucalyptus is to Northern California? Maybe a little bit.
The beach is calm...
We dragged our chaises into the shade because we don't like to get too much sun. Guy spent a lot of time in those chairs reading mystery novels. I mostly swam with the fishes and snorkeled (come back later to see some pictures I took underwater).
We had some company...
The very endangered monk seals seem rather inert, but they roll over and move around when rising tidewaters rouse them from sleep. They appear in the morning, and someone quickly comes along and fences off an area for them. You must stay behind the fence and leave the seals alone. Often they're gone by mid-afternoon, but this one hung out all day.
There was an article in the paper about a dead monk seal washing up on the beach in Oahu--suffocated by a negligent fisherman's unattended gill netting. "A bystander said a second seal followed the dead animal's carcass to shore and remained nearby for some time." Presumably a mate.
Some tourist kids tried to get this one to move by shouting and clapping their sandals at it. I told them to scram (yelled at them, actually) and some lady said, "They're just kids!" I thought to myself, she must be from some place where people give a f-ck about her opinions. Alas, I did not. They can shout and clap their sandals at the family dog for all I care, but I chased them off the beach and notified hotel security who dealt with the situation immediately.
The Islander on the Beach is very pretty and we like to stay here.
Not many people will enthuse about staying in Kapa'a when vacationing in Kauai. Princeville and Poipu seem to be where all the action is, but those places are too... sanitized for us. Kapa'a is an actual Hawaiian town, with traffic and rundown strip malls, where people actually live. There's a dingy pool hall ($10 an hour), movie theater ($5 bargain Tuesdays), funky restaurants (incl. two Mexican restaurants, pizza, pacific rim, vegetarian, burgers, etc.), and a liquor store within easy distance (movie, pizza, burgers and liquor in walking distance; everything else a short drive). You couldn't have that in Princeville or Poipu.
It's not a very picturesque town so, for now, please content yourself with more photos of the hotel landscaping.
(And come back in a day or two to see some pictures I took at one of the botanical gardens we visited.)
This was outside the front door.
I smiled every time I walked by this absurd tropical plant.
Lots of cycads.
And of course Plumeria everywhere.
I'd pick up spent plumeria flowers and carry them around in my pocket.
I never did find their sex parts. Is it possible they don't have any?
Also, lots of giant crinums, gingers, cordylline, hemerocallis, and hibiscus.
In the front parking lot, some banyan.
And this is Shefflera actinophylla, a noxious ornamental from the Araliaceae, imported from Australia.
About this tree, the self-guided tour book for the Limahuli Garden says this: "From spring to fall, flowers and fruit are borne on stiff red branches that radiate outward like the tentacles of an octopus, explaining the origin of its common name in Hawai'i, octopus tree. Birds eat the fruit and spread the seeds far and wide. The octopus tree is able to out-compete most native plants because of its fast growth rate and its ability to grow on nearly any surface."