I took the kids for a short swim in the pool this morning. They had a good time but I was going shopping with my mom so they had to get out - hey shopping, something you can do on the spur of the moment! Beth decided to come with us. We took off to the Coconut Marketplace.
At one artsy knickknack store we both liked some baskets, but one was much nicer than the others. Mom got it. I decided that the others were just not as nice, so didn't get any. But I found some nice shark tooth necklaces for Ben and a pearl bracelet for Beth.
We were starting to run out of time, so zipped through most of the other stores, but ended up stopping at a jewelry store that had Ni'ihau shell jewelry. These shell leis and bracelets were absolutely lovely, but the price was more than I was willing to pay. My favorite was a simple pink necklace about 3/8th of an inch thick. It was a mere $2000, but they would discount it to $1500 for us. For a necklace that I would probably rarely wear, it seemed a bit too much, OK way too much. Now if you are wondering how they get away with charging so much for a necklace, you have to understand how they are made. They are handmade from tiny little shells, all individually collected, cleaned and strung. That 3/8th of an inch thick lei that I liked was comprised of thousands of these tiny shells, strung in beautiful patterns. Supposedly it takes years to make a single lei.
When we got on I expected to have assigned seats, because they often do that to balance the weight. But they didn't. Instead they asked us where we all wanted to sit. We gave Joel the best seat in the house, the front window seat, so he could take photos better. The pilot wanted the kids split up, probably so that there was a parent next to each one in case they freaked out. Ben sat next to Joel and Beth and I had the back two seats. Our pilot then helped us strap in and put on our headphones. The headphones come with a little button, that you press if you want to talk. And up we went.
I waited for the big winds my mother talked about, and waited, and waited. The winds increased slowly, not all at once so you got used to them. The kids loved it, as did Joel and I. The pilot was obviously used to people that had trouble with the winds. He kept talking soothingly telling everyone how safe it was and that the wind can't blow us out of the helicopter even if we didn't have our seat belts on. The only way we would fall out is if we were pushed. I told him that must be the real reason he separated our kids.
This tour includes lunch and a stop at a waterfall. The waterfall is owned by a friend of the owner of Inter Island Helicopters. There is room enough on a small meadow for two helicopters to land. The other one was already there. When we got out they were in the pool under the falls. The pool was brown. Usually it is clear, but with all the recent rain it had turned muddy. Ah well, at least the falls was going great and it had cleared up and the wet foliage was sparkling in the sunlight. They have a small platform (with a roof, just in case of rain) with benches for lunch. Unfortunately most of the bench area was taken up by everyone's clothing (you wear a lot in the copter to keep warm, but have to strip to swimsuits to swim) so it was hard to find a spot to eat. I had placed orders for sandwiches when I made the reservations and Joel was shocked to find out that he didn't have to pick the sprouts out of his sandwich. They had all been made as requested and were quite yummy. Beth and I didn't want to swim, but the guys did. They got in up to their waists before they chickened out and came back.
None of us wanted the tour to end. We all had a great time. Ben picked this (along with the Japanese restaurant of our first night) as his favorite activity on the island. I'm still voting for the kayak trip, but this is a close second.
Back at the condo we debated on where to go out to eat tonight. It was a toss up between Kintaros again or the Caffe Coco. Coco is supposed to have interesting food, but I wasn't sure that it would have food good for Joel or the kids. So we had almost decided to go to Kintaros, until the rest of the gang came back. Mom and Dad had decided to go to Caffe Coco tonight. They had no idea that we had been debating it, but that made up our minds. And Damon's family decided to go with us too. Then at the restaurant Harold and Kay showed up (we left a message on their machine, but weren't sure if they would get it in time). So all 13 of us once again had dinner together.
Caffe Coco is an interesting restaurant. Their seating is outside, but under tarps just in case of rain. The whole place is teeming with plants. They even cover the tarp area and are just gorgeous. You feel like your having dinner inside of a rain forest - without the rain. One bad part of this is the mosquitoes. They didn't bother me at all, but they got Ben pretty good. My suggestion is wear long pants or repellent if you are susceptible to mosquito bites.
The food here was wonderful. Ben had the French Toast which was not like any French Toast I had seen before. It was a mini loaf of bread that had been soaked in custard and I guess baked. Ben said it was awesome. I had the Pacific Rim Platter with the Mahi Mahi. Quite good, and I loved the wontons that came with it. Joel had some kind of Ahi Tuna which was also good. The only bad part was my mother. Again she got a dish she didn't appreciate. Poor mom, she always orders the wrong thing.
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Text and images © Copyright 2001 Joel and Daphne Gould. If there are any problems or questions email Daphne Gould.