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Dispatches from Lanai

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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Dispatches from Lanai

It's a beautiful day on Lanai.

Jim from 808Hummers met us at the airport with my awesome white H2 and about 60 seconds and a swipe of the credit card on his iPad later, we were on our way.

Our oceanfront room is spectacular, the same spot we have been in previous stays, with sweeping ocean, bay, and beach views. My 11-year old tried to be unimpressed with the stuffed monk seal, milk and cookies, and sponges spelling out her name in the room, but I caught her posting photos on Facebook, lol.

Whales are breaching and the water is sparkling like it's hiding a million diamonds in the reefs below. For lunch I drank a lovely rose' from Provence and had ceviche at the poolside restaurant, now called "Kailani", formerly "Fresco". Food is better so far than previous stays.

Kidlet hung by the pool enjoying signing privileges while I headed for the beach. Very friendly and efficient beach staff...starting to feel like Hualalai! This is awesome! I headed out to one of the prettiest snorkel spots in the state, enjoying the extensive reef and coral heads which join together over small caverns and form interesting swim thrus and shapes. I dove down and was enveloped by trains of manini and yellow tang, surfacing through the black triggerfish circling near the surface, brushing my fingertips, fins glowing neon blue. Huge parrotfish waved their rainbow flags and while under, I heard the eerie thrum of whale song.

I got in a vigorous swim to the point and then lazily headed back, just enjoying the solitude and my fish friends. Out of the water, after an hour warming up in the sun with a good book, I started back up the path, watching the cruising whales spouting, when just off the point, not 100 yards from where I had been swimming, a huge breach caused gasps from awed onlookers.

You all know, every day on Lanai is magic.

Plan to try out the steakhouse tonight, "140".

Very happy to be here, one of my most favorite places on the planet! Now for sunset and more whales from the lanai...on Lana'i. Later, Lana'i peeps!

Big Island, Hawaii
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11. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

The road to Kaunolu wasn't difficult at all in the Hummer, and looked like it would be fine for a Jeep as well. It must have been dry here for a while, except up at the Lodge, because the roads we've encountered have been in good shape.

We're headed to Polihua and Awalua later today, so we'll really give the Hummer a work out.

Lanai City, HI
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12. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

Wonderful writing--I've lived here 12 years and I feel like I'm "rediscovering" the Island through your reports. And after reading about your golf at Koele, I think I've just put 2+2 together...enjoy the art and the Lana'i Animal Rescue t-shirt from our gallery! (unless there's another golfing mother/daughter from the Big Island!) Looking forward to your next post--Mike

Big Island, Hawaii
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13. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

Wow, what a day rambling around Lana'i nei!

We started out doing a little island economic stimulus program at the Lana'i Art Centre and the great Mike Carroll's. It's fun to talk story with Mike (edit: yes Mike, that was us!) and I picked up a pueo photo I loved as well as a print of a painting of the 17th hole at the Experience. I again shook my head at the wine selection at the markets and fantasized about running a wine and cheese shop next to Mike's.

We got chicken katsu (when in Rome...) from Cafe 565 and headed to Keahi Kawelo for a brief spirit-warming stop, then down to Polihua. It was windy, like can't-have-a-cell-phone-convo windy, but not so bad that I didn't enjoy a stroll and watching the fishermen. We rambled back up and then down Kaena road, to visit the Kaena Iki heiau and the point, supposedly a penal colony for those sirens with the scarlet As, the danger to society knows as adulterous women! Cool road, I like the mana of the whole area.

On the way up, my kid says, mom, I think I know why they call it Garden of the Gods. Why, I said? Because, she answered, the ground looks soaked in blood.

Yeah, the astute tween already has a pretty good grasp on religion.

We decided to go down to Awalua, one of my favorite places. Almost at the bottom I saw a flash to my right and mentioned it to my kidlet, who rolled her eyes in typical 11-year old fashion, then all of a sudden a huge axis buck leaped in front of the road. Had to laugh at the kid who almost jumped into the back seat. It was like elk-size! The rack and heavy spotted coat was so impressive, I swear those things are Tokien-worthy creatures.

But still no mouflon sheep sightings for me :-(

We spent some time at Awalua, enjoying the great views and watching whales. I wanted to hike the Koloiki Ridge trail, which I've done a few times (although never seen mouflon!), but the kid wanted some sun and water, so back we headed to Manele. We drove on the Munro trail for a while on the way back so I could give the kidlet some offroading thrills, since she had been complaining that I was driving like a grandma, which hurt. I got her eyes to get a little big :-)

Back at the hotel, she hit up the water, pool and ocean, I'm enjoying my spot on the lanai, have counted 14 whales the last hour. Another perfect day on Lana'i.

We have a late check out tomorrow, and plan to do some shoreline hiking from the property, visit Pu'u Pehe, and of course some snorkel swims, then it's back home on the late afternoon flight. So probably no mouflon for me again this trip...but there's always next time! :-)

Edited: 10:34 pm, February 09, 2013
Medford, Oregon
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14. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

I live on Maui, but stayed many times at the Lodge, actually all three places, back when Kamaaina prices were in reason and I worked there alot. Company housing then. First trips were when pineapple was in full swing and there wasonly one hotel.

Your story about the seal is what caught me. My now 9 year old got a white stuffed seal when we stayed at Manele Bay Hotel. I took a picture of him hugging the seal he named Manele that he still has & cherishes. I submitted the picture to the photography contest at the Maui County fair and it got a blue ribbon for honorable mention. I found a smaller version about two years ago for his five year old sister. Manele has now become the mother and they still play with them when they come to Maui to visit. Funny how somethings become so precious. Enjoying your stories and ready for at least a day trip to see old friends. Mahalo

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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15. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

Beautiful dispatches, makes me want to be there all too much.

Sounds like you have days worth of adventures you could do if you were to stay longer.

Edina, Minnesota
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for Lanai
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16. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

Well Shea, I have never seen a mouflon sheep either. One of these days. . . .

I will have to get the details on how to get to some of the places I have yet to visit on Lana`i, like Awalua, before I return. Sadly that will not be until next winter. :-(

Hawaii
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for Lanai
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17. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

FYI...we have seen a lot of Mouflon on the road down to Shipwreck (Keomoku Road) recently. Usually after 4pm. Beautiful animals.

Edited: 4:22 pm, February 10, 2013
Portland, Oregon
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18. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

Thanks again, Shea, both for the great read and confirming the location of that "prettiest" snorkel spot. You travel in a style to which I'd like to become accustomed. ;-)

19. Re: Dispatches from Lanai

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