October 2010November 2010 December 2010

11/30 - The Kaleberg Christmas Trees Have Arrived

For most people Black Friday is about getting great deals on electronic gadgets and housewares, but for us Kalebergs, the Friday after Thanksgiving is about choosing our Christmas trees. It isn't that we enjoy getting great deals so much as we like big Christmas trees, and our local tree suppliers only get so many big trees. If we wait a day or two, they are all sold, and we have to do experimental tree surgery and create Franken-trees and the like. So, every year, the day after Thanksgiving finds us at the tree yards and nurseries looking for the biggest trees we can get.

This year, we found a great nine footer for the living room and an elegant six footer for the cookie tree. They've already been delivered. We Kalebergs just aren't great tree wranglers. Now comes the real work, the lights, the ornaments, and the cookies. If you thought you had lots and lots of time before Christmas, it is time to think again. The season is upon us.

Keywords: christmas, kale

11/22 - First Snow of the Season

We've been getting a lot of snow today, over a foot. Here's some video of the accumulation at Lake Crescent Cottage. Keep your eye on the table out on the deck.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, let it ....

Keywords: winter

11/08 - Honolulu - Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Some years back we had a wonderful time dining at Izakaya Nonbei, but we had gathered that this restaurant was under new management and not quite as good as it used to be, so we decided to try a new place. We were well rewarded by Sushi Izakaya Gaku, a wonderful little restaurant. As so often happens when we find a new restaurant, we made a point of dining there twice, just in case we can't get back there for a while.

To start with, the sushi was wonderful, but our favorite dish was the house made tofu with sea urchin roe, a meat gelee and a bit of wasabi. Our waiter told us to mix up it. We did, and all the flavors blended beautifully. We mentioned that we liked sea urchin roe, so one of our dishes was sea urchin roe wrapped in thin slices of flounder, another great combination.

What more can we say? The broiled sardines with sesame seeds were wonderful. The horse mackerel salad with ginger, shiso and scallions was a great use of shiso which can overwhelm a dish if one is not careful. The thin slices of seared fatty beef were exquisite, well marbled and perfectly prepared. All told, this is a Kaleberg rave.

If you plan to go, get reservations. It's a little place.

1329 S King St
Honolulu, HI
(808) 589-1329

It doesn't look like much from the outside.

Uni wrapped in flounder

That's a quail egg

It's a jewel box inside.

Our sushi plate

Keywords: hawaii, restaurants, kale

11/07 - Lanai - Cruising

We almost didn't get to go on our snorkeling tour. The tour operator required at least six people to sign up, but there were only five of us. We did go out to the Shark's Fin, with only five and three crew members. The snorkeling was a bit disappointing - we've been spoiled by the Great Barrier Reef - but we did spot a whale on our way out and ran into a pod of dolphins near our snorkeling spot. All told it was a great trip.

A view of Lanai

That's Maui in the distance.

Our hotel

The whale

A whale spouting

The Shark's Fin

The high cliffs around Shark's Fin


More dolphins


11/06 - Lanai - Shipwreck Beach

This was the first tropical storm of the season. There was even a bit of rain, but the winds were moderate, or we wouldn't have driven down to Shipwreck Beach. It's always wetter and grayer up around Lanai City, but it was sunny on the coast.

Our wild ride

Shipwreck Beach

The view inland

The view north

Choppy water

Keywords: hawaii

11/05 - Lanai - The Garden of the Gods

We passed through the Garden of the Gods with its wild rocks and red stone. This part of Lanai has always been kind of wild, and parts of it look an awful lot like Mars.

Wild rocks

The view north to Molokai

Earth or Mars?

More wild rock country

Even more rocks

The road is lumpier than it looks.

The stela marking the Garden.

One of the few trees of any size

A wetter, more forested part of the island

Heading back to civilization

The wild road through former pineapple country

Keywords: hawaii

11/04 - Lanai - Dawn and Polihua Beach

On our last trip to Lanai, we didn't get all the way down to Polihua Beach. This time we did.

Dawn - brought to you by Jet Lag

A view from our hotel hallway

Another hotel view

Road conditions

Our trusty steed

Polihua Beach

A peep of some sort

This isn't a swimming beach.

A view from the rocks

A view inland from the beach

Another rocky view

Keywords: hawaii

11/03 - Lanai - Some History

Our first visit to Lanai started the same day Castle & Cooke, the island's owners, announced that they were getting out of the pineapple business. The island had been a big pineapple plantation since the 1920s, but in the early 1990s they decided it was cheaper to grow pineapples in the Phillippines. The new plan for the island was as a resort with two hotels, one in the highlands and one by the sea.

All this land used to be pineapple fields. No irrigation means no pineapples.

That's Halelanai on a clear day.

That row of trees along the road is irrigated.

A modern view of the Manele Bay hotel, from the keiki (children's) pool

A view out to sea

A view of the hotel from our first trip

Some of the pineapple fields just before the last harvest

Pineapple fields from the November 1930 issue of Fortune

Fortune's view of Lanai City - It hasn't changed all that much.

Keywords: fortune, hawaii

11/02 - Oahu - An Excursion

Oahu tends to be underrated, probably because it's the only Hawaiian Island, except for Molokai, with an economy based on something besides tourism. Honolulu is a real city, despite what the birthers say. Oahu is a real tropical island, and outside the city proper it gets pretty rural. We had planned to do the big loop around the island, but didn't get much past Chinaman's Hat. Maybe next time, we'll finish the loop.

The view from the Pali overlook

The misty mountains

A parking lot bird, not one of the flock of chickens there

A Buddhist Temple and quite fantastic

As rare as a black swan

A coastal park

Chinaman's Hat

Keywords: hawaii

11/01 - Honolulu - Diamond Head and The Hau Tree

We haven't been updating our website lately. Why? Because we were in Hawaii for a week. That's right. We went back, and this time we made it all the way up to Diamond Head. You can't miss Diamond Head. It's that big volcanic crater that dominates the coast past Waikiki. It's an old fort, and the only way into the crater is through the tunnel or a rugged climb over the crater's walls. We took the tunnel and climbed the staircase(s) to get some great views of Honolulu and the area.

The crater floor is covered with kiawe, a rugged tree, covered with spines and fond of dry volcanic soil. From the viewpoint, an old artillery emplacement about 700 feet above sea level, you can see Waikiki, the mountains inland and much of Honolulu. The city, like Los Angeles, tapers off into the canyons. It's dry in the flat lands, but the hills are green.

That evening, we had dinner at The Hau Tree and watched the sun set over the beach. Tropical sunsets are always amazing.

The tunnel into Diamond Head

The view east

The view inland

The view west to the hotel strip of Waikiki

Back then, forts relied on rock, not air cover

The Hau Tree

A sunset sail

Keywords: hawaii

October 2010November 2010 December 2010