Multiple people told us to eat at The Kountry Kitchen in Kapaa for breakfast.
We both really enjoyed it.
I ordered a monster coconut/chocolate chip pancake with coconut syrup.
It was delicious and I had a hard time finishing it.
Our plan for the day was to go to the Princeville Botanical Gardens.
We got lost trying to find it but stopped at a beautiful lookout while searching.
A cute little brood greeted us...
The Princeville Botanical Gardens were amazing! We spent 3 1/2 hours roaming acres of luscious land crowded with all kinds of exotic plants.
It was a little more tame than the other adventures up to that point but we were both fascinated and loved it!
I'm sorry for all the pictures and I don't remember most of the names of these flowers but they are just gorgeous.
Guess what we saw growing in Hawaii?!?!
The guide and other members of the tour were interested to hear that I had a few growing as house plants back in Utah.
I wrote about mine back here.
These were different colors than mine so they were fun to see.
Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree
In the middle of our tour we had a chocolate tasting.
We got the whole process of how chocolate is made and were able to taste several different, mostly dark, chocolates from around the world.
Then we moved on to the cocoa trees...
I thought it was pretty funny that they messed up on this sign...
Our guide was amazing! He had quite a story too...moved to Hawaii and lived in a tree for two years before he got married.
This picture below is of fungus. It's a blurry picture because he kept waving it around and wouldn't hold still. We spent about 15 minutes hearing about how amazing fungus is and all the crazy things that it does that no one realizes. He was quite passionate about the topic.
This crazy blue berry is from the Rudraksha tree.
Again, we heard the history of this tree and how spiritually important it is in the Indian culture.
I was just so blown away by its color!
Some of the names of these plants were pretty fun :)
Can you see the giraffe's knees?
And I think Fairy Rocker is the perfect name for these little beauties.
Andy tasting a type of ginger...
They had their own swarm of bees on the grounds and we got to taste their honey.
You know, it's always been kind of ironic (especially to my mother in law) that I love bees so much but I don't really like the taste of honey. I don't mind it as a sweetener in recipes but on it's own, it's just not my cup of tea.
This is another type of ginger.
This bloom is as big as a small cantaloup and stands on a stalk of at least five feet.
This is Noni fruit...apparently it is super medicinal.
It just reminded me of the caterpillar on A Bug's Life :)
After enjoying the gardens we drove back to Hanalei to find nourishment.
After wandering around in the rain trying to decide between the food trucks and the other establishments I finally ended up with another burrito from Chicken in a Barrel and Andy wanted to experience some coconut shrimp on the island.
I also had to get another shave ice at Jo Jo's while we were there.
The weather was awesome in Hanalei and we were enthralled with the view of the waterfalls and misty mountains in the distance.
We parked by this awesome church to get the pictures. I should have gotten a shot of this from the front because it's so pretty.
This was a very cool tree along the road to Hanalei that we passed several times and finally stopped to get a picture.
Once again, we felt like we hadn't had a real beach experience yet and so we went in search of a sunny location to try out some snorkeling.
We drove to one near Princeville where there was more sunshine at the time and put on our gear.
For the record, I am not an awesome swimmer and have never felt super comfortable in the water so learning to snorkel was a big deal. I didn't go in deep but I did seem to figure out the general idea.
I only got one picture of this event and it turned out kind of funny looking so I won't post it.
We enjoyed the sand and the waves as long as we could before we needed to head back down the coast for our luau...
We reserved spots at the Smith's Family Luau in Kapaa.
We got there just before they began the meal. I wasn't too excited for the food since I'm not a big meat eater but Andy was kind of looking forward to it.
I did end up really liking their potatoes and vegetables.
Below center is Andy trying poi for the first time. We did not expect it to be so very bland.
We certainly didn't love it but at least we can say we have experienced it :)
Since we hadn't had a chance to explore the grounds before the meal we slipped out a little early from dinner to walk around.
It really was a beautiful area.
As soon as we saw the hoards of people coming over from dinner we raced to get a good spot in the amphitheater for the show.
We were pretty familiar with a lot of the types of dances we saw since we've been attending Abby's hula recitals for so many years, but there were some fun new things as well...
Like this...we don't get fire dancers at Abby's shows :)
It was a good experience but at the same time I was a little disappointed. I guess I had pictured a more intimate (meaning maybe 50-60 people instead of the 200-300 that were there) dinner and show right on the beach. I honestly don't know how other luau's would compare but this is the one thing I booked that if I were to do it again, I might look elsewhere.
That being said, it was still a pleasant evening and we happily concluded our third day on the island.
p.s. so sorry for the super long post...I just have to get it all in there :)