Category: Uncategorized

What? You want news?

Well winter hasn’t been much like winter up here in the great Northwest. Unlike other parts of the country that are experiencing sub zero temperatures and snow drifts the size of small cottages, the Northwest has been relatively unscathed. But we have not gotten away entirely. Take a look at this picture and the horrific damage caused by the storm that cut through Renton, Washington recently. It really makes you stop and think about how much we have…

Storm Damage

PS: Only 212 days until we head out on our second International Golfing adventure.


The Guilt Trip Works

This just in… During several margaritas Mike and Rose saw the error of their ways… Good news. They are back in and the better yet, back in the back of the bus. Spread the word!

Sent from Comcast Mobile via the iPhone

More Golf Tips

Ok, we’re moving on… past the antiquated drawing and into the world of video.

I have heard a lot of guys talk about the golf swing and seen far to many instructional videos, but this guy is the best. His ability to visually simplify the swing while succinctly expressing the process is amazing.

Although the 5 stroke drop in handicap guarantee that comes with the previous set of tips can’t be included, sharing this video with your opponents could result in a victory.

Golf Tips!

In a recent post I asked for people to send me some golf tips. I had a few of my own that I thought I would share and of course there is the infamous tip from Arne… but I have to tell you the response was over whelming. Hundreds of tips poured in… so many that we had to commission an artist to put them all together into one cohesive drawing. I would suggest downloading this drawing and laminating it so you can carry it in your pocket… a quick reference card for when the swing starts to go awry.

Now keep in mind, the golf swing is approximately 1.5 seconds long (well for most, but we won’t get into name calling here!) so if you can just remember these simple thoughts during that time frame, you’ll easily drop 5 strokes… guaranteed!

Swing Thoughts

While this picture may be overwhelming at first glance, print it out and take a closer look. There are actually some pretty good ideas floating around in there. (Thanks to Rick R. for the picture)

Blog 101

I know a lot of the group from Ireland will be coming to this site to re-live a few moments and to see what the rest of the world has been hearing about out trip. Just a couple of hints on making the experience a little more enjoyable. During the last 2 weeks there have been over 2,100 page views – 400 just this week – and about 200 today! So here are the tips…
1. If you click on the Blog Summary, you will get a list of all of the articles. You can then view all of them individually. The front page of this site only shows about 5 or so depending on space.
2. At the very end of the main page of blogs, there is a "View more entries". This will load another set of previous blogs.
3. After each article or even on the pictures, you can leave a comment for the whole world to see.
Had a great time… now I just need to think of something new to blog to keep everyone coming back to read my rambling posts! Maybe I’ll start posting golf tips… hmmm… send me your favorite tips and I’ll try to work them in.

Temporary Blackout

We are in Dubin and find ourselves without ready access to the
Internet. We’re not ignoring you and look forward to sharing our
stories upon our return.. Some on Tuesday and some on Wednesday. Thank
for all your well wishes!

The Fairwood Irish

Steven Parker

Patiently typed on the iPhone.

Kauai Day 5

Another day, another adventure. We decided to mix it up a little bit today. No Starbucks. Instead we head up to Koloa just north or our place in Poipu to the Lappert’s Ice Cream and Coffee shop. I think I’ve been looking at ads for this place for about 20 years. Seems like Lamppert’s white bearded face is always smiling back at you in one of those in-flight magazines. The latte’s were good… not great, but then I may be a Starbuck’s snob… and who would have thought someone could actually charge MORE than Starbucks! (Oh by the way, I hear McDonald’s will be entering the coffee business… new store design and designer drinks oh my! And prices about 50 cents less than Starbucks… but I digress)

After the stop for coffee, we head once again west on the Highway 50 towards Hanapepe. Just across the bridge is the road to the Salt Pond Park. It really is a nice beach and seems to be well protected so it’s a good beach for small kids too. Amazingly, this is our first time to sit on the beach in a swim suit and actually enter the ocean. Judy and I decided to try some snorkeling. (Forget about renting from Snorkel Bob’s or any of the other places… Costco sells the fin and mask combo for less than their rental fee.)

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Me trying to put on the swim fins

Since I had melanoma cut out of my back earlier this year (which I think was a direct result of a sunburn the last time I was in Kauai) we didn’t spend a lot of time at the beach. Lunchtime was calling and we headed into town to walk around the many artist shops that now call Hanapepe home… and of course to see the famous swinging bridge.

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Steve and Judy trying to figure out why this bridge is so famous

We actually ended up in Waimea for lunch. The Wrangler’s Restaurant. It was a nice little place right on the Highway and we sat outside… beers, tropical drinks… life is good. And either the service was faster or we are finally adjusting to this "island time" thing.

After lunch we drove up Waimea Canyon… I think it was Mark Twain that called this place the Grand Canyon of Hawaii… and while I’ve never actually been to the Grand Canyon, I have got to believe he’s right. It really does look like many of the pictures you see of Arizona. Originally, we had wanted to hike into the canyon, but after Tuesday everyone was "hiked out" so we chose to view it from the many view points.

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Sandi and me on the edge of the canyon and a view back down the canyon from the top.

Done with site seeing, it was time to head back to Costco for some steaks (we’ll BBQ tonight) and more wine… yep, we finished off that first supply of wine. With appetizers tonight, we’ll also be drinking the bottle of Dom Perignon my boss gave me to take on the trip.

Golf… not much more to say. Well that and the fact that my entire body still aches from the hike yesterday… but it’s golf… so it’s good.  Here’s a picture of Steve (not me, the other Steve). He doesn’t play much golf, but I’m looking over this swing. It’s pretty good. I gave him strokes to make the game even and he beat me each time… maybe he plays more than he’s letting on.Kauai 2 2007-11 070

Tonight we had dinner at the Beach House. It’s a beautiful restaurant right on the beach… duh, guess that’s why they call it the Beach House. The place is nuts right around sunset. Everyone comes down to watch it… from the beach, the lawn, the bar… we chose the lawn followed shortly thereafter by the bar. This place really is a great place to have dinner. One of the nicer places on the island… even though we had horrible service (how can we forget Junior since he forgot about us!) I have to believe based on the crowd, we were just unlucky. So despite our experience, make a point of going there… and here’s a little tip… make reservations before you head over to the island and make them early enough so you get a window seat right at sunset. Here’s a picture I took from the lawn!Kauai 2007-11 006

Kauai Day 3

Day 3 starts just like every other day on the islands. Fresh brewed coffee and toasted bagels… then off to Starbucks for the ultimate caffeine jolt.

Today we are continuing with the theme of “Don’t just lay there and fry… do something!” Today we will be hiking the Nai Pali coast. The trail head is almost exactly on the opposite side of the island from where we are staying. So we’re figuring it’s a 90 minute drive… 30 to Lihue, 30 to Princeville, and another 30 to Ke e beach.

Upon arrival we make a quick check of our gear… first aid kit, flashlight, water, swimsuits and a couple of towels and we’re off. As we start out it seems like what is supposed to be a trail is nothing more than a creek bed with no water. Climbing up the rocks we eventually hit a more traditional trail. The walk to the beach seemed fairly easy. I later learned that is was because we were walking downhill for the most part! Funny how gravity has a way of making downhill walks easier. I think it was just under 90 minutes into the beach. We were taking it a little slow, since we weren’t really sure where we’d be going after the beach or how difficult the hike would get further out. The beach was beautiful. It is a smaller beach set at the end of one of the pali’s and so while there were not that many people there (maybe 10?) it seemed crowded. A couple of guys had paddled around the pali from the State Park (I’m assuming) with their surf boards. By coming that route they couldn’t have seen that sign that said “Stay out of the Surf” and then with “hash marks” we counted 83 people that hadn’t paid attention to the sign and who apparently died playing in the waves. Needless to say, I didn’t even get my toes wet! Oh well, even if the tide carried them out to sea, it would have taken them right back to their kayak so I guess they knew what they were doing.

Now it was decision time. Continue the hike along the coast to the next beach (about 3 miles) or turn up hill and head for the waterfall and pool at the wall of the pali. We chose the waterfall. I was a little disappointed. Not because I was looking forward to hiking 3 miles instead of 2 and not because I wanted to see another beach… but I had heard that once you get past the first beach it is like going back in time… lush jungles and a place where really few people go. In retrospect, I’m glad we did the waterfall. Our hike inland was great. There were “stands” of bamboo that were about 20 feet in diameter. And the jungle was still very lush. If someone got ahead of you about 50 feet, you lost them… couldn’t see them, couldn’t hear them. We crossed the river about 3 or 4 times on the way up (yeah, on the way back too!). Rock hoping to keep from getting our feet wet. We ran into a group coming out and they said we were about ½ mile away from the falls. Yeah right! Longest ½ mile I’ve ever walked! As we started getting closer to the falls it started to rain. And the trail got muddy and the rocks got slippery… but we made it.

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After a quick lunch, we decided we had better head back. It was still raining and we weren’t sure how much light we would have as the sun set. We were deep in the jungle, at the bottom of a pali and the sun was setting on the other side of the island. Turns out we were fine, but we headed back just the same.

About a mile down, Sandi slipped and twisted her ankle. Like a trooper she kept going and never complained. A mile later we were back to the beach and that formerly gravity assisted downhill hike became the more grueling uphill hike I’ve done in years. The island guide books tell you it is a strenuous hike and we thought, “sure it is”… that’s probably just to keep the crowds down… NOPE! It is definitely strenuous!

All the way out we kept talking about how great a burger and a beer would be. As soon as we got to the car, we through our stuff in and headed out FAST. First stop, Hanalei! We drove past a place where people were eating and drinking out on a porch and that looked good enough to us. Calypso’s! Within minutes, Burgers and Beers were on the way.


Kauai Day 2

Well before Day 1 was over we put a dent in the liquor supply! So day 2 is started a little slow. At least we had done some searching yesterday and scouted out a couple of Starbuck’s locations. Yeah, they are even on Island Time at Starbucks! I mean really… how long does it take to make a latte!

Day 2 is going to be really awesome. We’re playing GOLF!! Woohoo! Yeah, as Jake Trout and the Flounders said, “I Love to Play”.

Well be playing at Puakea Golf Club. This will be a first for me and I didn’t really know what to expect. The head pro used to be head pro at our local country club. He’s from Hawaii and when given the chance to return… he jumped at it. Can’t say I blame him!

Puakea is an unusual course layout… almost like 2 different courses. The “front 9” is pretty wide open (With the exception of a 160 yard par 3, elevated tee and about 100 feet down to a green with a lake in front of it!!!) while the “back 9” seems much more tropical. Hit it long into a green and you’re deep into the jungle! Trust me… I did it on a short par 3 with a gap wedge.

After golf, we downed a few rum and cokes at the course and headed out for dinner. Ended up at Kieoki’s (or something like that). Think “Rain Forest Café” in a real life setting. In any event it is not on my list of recommendations. Drinks were good… food so so.

Back home, we’re working on reducing that liquor supply. (I said we would not have any left when we leave this paradise and I’m holding up my end of the bargain.

And finally… we’ll finish up the night with some hands of Pinochle. Judy and me against Steve and Sandi. I think this game has been going on for about 10 years now and no one remembers the score. At one time we (Judy and me) had over 25,000 points and we still hadn’t won! I think they keep changing the rules on us.

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