Today, Thelma’s son, Tall Boy and I did a inner tubing tour through the canals and tunnels of an old sugar plantation. So cool. Although, these people are making a killing to charge people $100 bucks to float down something that was already there on indestructable tubes. I’m in the wrong business.
The tour guides are a bunch of young Hawaiian guys, “local boys”, who are mostly joking with each other and doing stunts on their tubes. As they drive us up to the spot where we begin tubing, they give us a brief history.
A few facts that weren’t boring:
The Ukulele is NOT a Hawaiian instrument. It’s Portuguese.
There were once 96 sugar cane plantations in Hawaii, now there are only 2.
Sugar cane is NOT native to Hawaii.
Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, now owns the 17,000+ sugar plantation we were tubing through, which opened 150 years ago and closed in 2000.
OK, now I’M bored. Let’s move on. So, the tunnels we floated through were built by hand by Chinese workers. The tour guide introduction painted a picture of very UNsafe, dark and rocky tunnels we were to float through. We had to wear head lamps to see, as some of the tunnels were very dark. I hit my head once. They made us turn off our lamps for the final tunnel, which was actually pretty fun.
All in all, this was a very relaxing, sometimes fun float. Afterwards, they provided lunch for us. Sandwich, maui onion chips, cookie. Dull, but got the job done. Then they drove us back to their headquarters.
On our way out of the parking lot, Thelma drove our Expedition RIGHT OVER A BOULDER (while Tall Boy kept warning “Stop! Stop!”), crushing the…uh…what’s it called…the thing you step on before you get inside the vehicle. Whatever that is, is now lying half in pieces in the Kauai Adventure Tours parking lot.
Hmm…I hope Thelma said “Yes” to the insurance.
We then headed to Tall Boy’s relatives house (Magenta and Robert – real names) who live in the hills of Wailua, a cute section of town where we did a little hike through the woods (seems funny to call it that, but “jungle” seems too extreme for what this was) to a little scenic outlook.
On our way back we ate some tiny strawberry guavas.
Their house is a typical Hawaiian house, at least in my mind. Airy, bamboo, wicker, slotted windows everywhere and all the typical fruit trees in their yard. Papayas, Bananas, Mangos. They even had a vegetable garden, where we actually picked the lettuce and cucumbers for our salad. Let me tell you, those were the best lettuce and cucumbers I’ve ever had.
Magenta, a “domestic goddess” is a wedding seamstress (she’s also licensed to marry ya, if you come to the island) She regailed us with the time “Bob Redford” drove to her house cuz he needed his Hawaiian shirt altered and when Annie Liebowitz taxied her to an Ellen Degeneres photo shoot, where Magenta recalls her hand being needed to grasp her boob for some important reason.
Robert, her boyfriend I guess, told us a few interesting Woodstock stories. They’re both the nicest folks you’ll ever meet. Even if you look for some on Craigslist, you won’t find better.
Robert grilled us some fantastic chicken while mosquitos dined on our flesh.
Magenta also made this incredible purple potato salad. I’m making this as SOON as I get home.
For desert, Magenta served us homemade mango puree with coconut sorbet and chocolate ginger biscotti. Wow, this chick can cook!
We played with her parrot for a bit, she played the ukulele, we sipped local Kauai beers and mango lemonade and then bid them farewell.