Tag Archives: Farmers Market

Kauai – Day 2

Bronze plaques by Jan Gordon Fisher in Kolea with the space above the Hawaiian where we think the Caucasion was. Was he removed over a local political skirmish?

Bronze plaques by Jan Gordon Fisher in Kolea with the space above the Hawaiian where we think the Caucasion was. Was he removed over a local political skirmish?

Today we decided to drive to the south of Kauai to see if we could find somewhere to snorkel. We went totally prepared with our bathing suits and towels. Before setting off we feasted on fresh papaya, apples and yoghurt. The sun was rising as we left which caused problems for us. As we drove east for the first part, there were times when the sun was shining directly into our eyes. Tom had to slow right down just to make sure we stayed on the road. Leaving at that time as well, we had forgotten to take rush hour into account. All was well until we approached Lihue. Suddenly cones appeared turning our direction into two lanes. Before long we were crawling along and it took about three quarters of an hour to drive around Lihue and through a major road construction.

(Click on the photos for larger versions.)

Finally we were on Highway 50 and heading west. We were hoping that the weather would be better in the south but it was overcast. We had come this far so we persevered. We took Highway 520 south towards Poipu. The road was lined with tall trees with twisty bark. I found out later that it is call The Avenue of Trees.

We stopped in the small town of Kolea because it looked interesting and we wanted to stretch our legs. There were some historic buildings which had been converted into small boutique shops. Even though it was only 9:30 some of then were open. Tom wanted to buy some new sandals. He brought leather ones with him but they had got soaked yesterday and he was on the lookout for something more waterproof. We found the perfect pair. In another shop I spotted a book on Hawaiian birds and just had to have it. Maybe now I would be able to find out the names of some of the birds I had already seen. On our way back to the car we saw part of a ruined brick building across the way. Tom thought it was a chimney so we went to investigate. Tom was absolutely correct as the building used to be a sugar mill and the chimney is pretty much all that remains. Nearby there was a monument to the fact that Kolea is the first location to be commercially successful in sugar cane production. The monument contained a number of bronze plaques describing the history and a brass sculpture by Jan Gordon Fisher. The sculpture contains six full sized figures depicting the different cultures which represent the people who worked on the plantation. One of the bronze plaques has a description of the figures but also mentions, “In the background, riding upon a horse, is a Caucasian, representing the North American and European entrepreneurs who started and developed the industry.” Search as hard as I could I could see no sign of anybody on a horse. Has the Hawaiian weather worn it away or maybe it has been deliberately erased by human hand? Pondering this mystery, we returned to the car to continue our journey.

Beach in Poipu. The wind is kicking up and storm clouds are rolling in.

Beach in Poipu. The wind is kicking up and storm clouds are rolling in.

Before long we arrived at the beach and found somewhere to park. As soon as we got out of the car we remarked on how windy. The wind got worse as we reached the beach. It was a warm wind but it got stronger and stronger. While Tom took a few photos, I sat at the top of the beach in a slightly secluded spot. There were people trying to walk along the beach but they all had difficulty with the wind. Some of them were bent nearly double. When Tom joined me he pointed out to sea at an ominous dark cloud. We immediately decided to head back to the car. It turned out to be a wise decision as we felt the first drops of rain on the way and made it back to the car just in time. The heavens opened and for ten minutes we sat in the car and watched the almost horizontal rain drench the area. Rivers appeared across the car park. Was this a tropical storm? It certainly looked and felt like it.

Snorkeling was definitely out so we called it a day and drove back towards Princeville. In Wailua on the eastern coast we passed a derelict resort building. Tom wondered whether the building had been destroyed by the hurricane in the early 1990′s. Later that evening we did some research and once again he was right. The building was the Coco Palms Resort which was opened in 1953 and became known worldwide when the last twenty minutes of ‘Blue Hawaii’ starring Elvis Presley was filmed there. When Hurricane Iniki struck in September of 1992, the Coco Palms Resort was damaged beyond repair and has slowly been decaying ever since.

Not far past Coco Palms, as we were passing the Coconut Marketplace, we spotted a small farmers market in the car park. We had planned to visit a farmers market in Hanalei this afternoon but thought we might as well check this one out as well as the rain had stopped. There were half a dozen stalls selling an exotic array of tropical fruits and vegetables, some of which we’d never seen before. At one stall the ladies were extremely friendly and helpful. When We asked them what the strange, small, red, hairy fruit were, they told us rambutan. They went so far as to peel one and let us try it. Inside was a white translucent fruit which looked and tasted like a lychee. We were curious about a largish, green, spiky fruit as well, which was called soursop, and once again they cut one open and let us try it. Inside it was white and gooey and tasted both sweet and sour. Neither of those appealed to us at all but we did buy three papaya and a bunch of apple bananas. As we were walking away, we noticed some coconuts in a cooler chest, so we bought one. To complete the deal they made a hole in the top and put a straw in. Lovely, fresh coconut milk. At another stall a very animated smallholder persuaded us to buy a starfruit, which Tom ate right away. By the time we got back to the car, juice was running down his arm. This is the life!

Lighthouse on Kilauea Point

Lighthouse on Kilauea Point

Driving through Kilauea we decided on the spur of the moment to visit the lighthouse on Kilauea Point. Just before we reached the lighthouse we stopped at an observation platform and took a couple of photos. Then we felt raindrops and once again made a mad dash back to the car before the heavy rain descended. We sat in the car and ate our sandwich lunch hoping the weather would improve so we could visit the lighthouse but it wasn’t to be.

As we wanted to visit the farmers market on the other side of Hanalei, we drove past the entrance to our hotel and onto to Hanalei. We had half an hour to spare before the market opened so we stopped off for a drink at the Hanalei Gourmet Bar. It was still raining but nobody seemed too concerned about it. People were walking about in shorts and t-shirts and ignoring the rain altogether. We were the only ones with an umbrella. We cogitated whether the farmers market would be operating but decided that we would check it out and if it were open, regardless of the weather, we would stop and investigate.

Church in Hanalei

Heading to the farmer's market we passed this church. It was just about to really start raining. We got soaked but who cares, it's Kauai.

Armed with our umbrella, we drove about a mile outside Hanalei to the farmers market. Even though it was just after two, there were already a number of cars parked in the field next to the market. By now the rain was coming down heavily but it was not cold at all. There were a couple of other people sporting umbrellas so we didn’t feel so odd. Once again, stall holders were cheerful and very helpful. We hade decided to cook an omelet tonight and were able to buy most of the ingredients there at the farmers market – half a dozen eggs, bell pepper and goat cheese. We couldn’t decide which greens to serve with the omelet as the choice was overwhelming. A very friendly stall holder explained the different varieties of greens she had on sale and we chose something that looked like nettles. At another stall we bought two small pineapples. Another customer buying them told us to snap them up as they would go fast. She explained that they are the sweetest pineapples around and that they were so good, you can even eat the core. We also bought some lemons and the stall holder threw in two limes for free.

By this time, the umbrella was almost superfluous as we were both extremely wet. To make matters worse, somebody had managed with their umbrella to dislodge a large amount of water from a tent roof over a stall, which then cascaded down my neck. On the way back to the car, we stamped in all the puddles just to show we didn’t mind how wet we were as we were having such a good time. This vacation is certainly turning out to be a wet one.

Colorful rooster on our patio

Colorful rooster on our patio

Back to the hotel we changed out of our wet clothes and relaxed with a nice glass of wine on our patio. The zebra doves (now I have a bird book, I can identify some of the birds) came to investigate. They were very tame and come to within six inches of our feet. Then a mother hen and eight chicks came and milled around in anticipation. Tom went to get some bread out of the fridge and we scattered crumbs about.  A rooster also appeared on the scene but couldn’t get a look in for awhile. The mother hen made sure that all the chicks were eating before she had anything for herself. We thought the little chicks were aggressive because they would jump up and try to snatch the crumbs out of the hen’s beak, but that was nothing. Tom stood up to scatter more crumbs and the mother hen flew up to his chest to snatch the bread out of his hand. We then decided they were ferocious and it was probably not a good idea to feed them. Lesson learnt.

That evening we had a gorgeous meal – goat cheese omelet with tasty greens followed by fresh pineapple and ice cream. This is the life. We retired for another blissful night’s sleep.

San Francisco – Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Old silos along the San Francisco Bay

Old silos along the San Francisco Bay

Our route from Candlestick Point to the Embarcadero was through some of the least desirable neighborhoods of San Francisco.  At one point we stopped and Tom took some photos of an old concrete building.

(Click on the images for larger versions)

In the city, we parked in the Howard Street Car Park.  They have a good deal for patrons of the Farmers Market – $5 all day until 6 pm.

The walk from the car park to the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero was as absorbing as usual.  Lots of joggers around plus a few homeless souls.  Mostly though the walkers were either going to or coming back heavily laden from the Farmers Market.

We were on the lookout for breakfast of course.  At the entrance to the Farmers Market was a stall selling several breakfast items but at $9 for an egg sandwich, served on a paper plate, seemed a bit steep.  Tom made his way to Peet’s for coffee while I meandered round a bit trying a few of the free samples.  For starters I had a piece of bread dipped in olive oil.  At the next stall I tried a few pieces of cheese and then at a third stall I had a piece of juicy Naval orange.

I joined Tom in Peet’s.  He had his usual black coffee and I had hot chocolate.  We sat outside on a seat overlooking

The Farmers Market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco

The Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco

the bay and enjoyed the view and the sunshine.  A pigeon and a blackbird were eying the scone Tom was eating and waiting for the crumbs to fall.

We then took a tour of the market, bought a herb slab at Acme Bread and some rather special goat cheese at the Achadinha Cheese Company stall.  The cheese was called Capricious and it won Best in Show at the American Cheese Society’s annual contest in 2002.  Finally we bought a couple of large Naval oranges.  We sat for a while, broke off bits of the bread and goat cheese and watched the world go by.  What a wonderful breakfast.  The bread was soft and the cheese was delicious and it was half the price of the egg sandwiches we were contemplating earlier.  Who would want to be anywhere else on such a perfect day?

Inside the beautifully restored Ferry Building

Inside the beautifully restored Ferry Building

Afterwards we went into the Ferry Building to check out the shops.  We didn’t hang around there long as the place was heaving.  What we did do though was to exit the building and climb the stairs outside to the second floor.  There it was very quiet and peaceful but we could look down to the crowds below on the ground floor.  A good tip for anyone wanting to use the restroom – ladies don’t stand in line for twenty minutes on the ground floor but climb to the second floor where there are two large restrooms which are hardly used.

Back on the Embarcadero we carried on walking north.  Just past the Pier 1 building, we turned towards the bay.  Tom wandered to the end of the pier to take photos and I found a convenient bench in the sun to catch up with my writing.  The promenade has a green, wrought iron railing with a brass rail at the water’s edge and attached to the whole length are plaques with quotes about San Francisco.  Tom and I have cycled along here – see this earlier post .  Today though I was distracted from my writing by a crew of two men meticulously cleaning the brasswork.  It is fascinating to watch people working, when you are sitting in the sunshine with time to spare.

It was time to make our way back to the car park.  We crossed the Embarcadero and sauntered through the various craft stalls between the Embarcadero and Market Street.  We then turned left and walked down Steuart to the car park on Howard.

The Embarcadero, San Francisco

At 6 we hit the road. It is light already but also cloudy and the rising sun is not visible. I don’tFerry Building, San Francisco know what makes this time of the morning so magical. The flowers look bright and fresh; the trees green and even the grass looks golden and not brown. Then we hit Highway 101 and nothing can make that freeway beautiful. Rank weeds and litter decorate the edges; numerous pylons tower within view; power lines are draped everywhere and idiot drivers abound. The state of the pavement is pretty good now, especially between Sunnyvale and San Mateo. There is always something interesting to catch the eye, like a new construction or the solar panels near Palo Alto. At Moffet Field the police stop the traffic for five minutes. When we eventually pass there was no sign of a wreck, just two vehicles pulled over and several police cars. At Millbrae there were flares laid down as they were cleaning the left shoulder.

As we approach the city, it is shrouded in fog. Parking in San Francisco is always a problem. With the bikes we could not park in a multi story and there are parking meters along all the main streets. In the end we found some street parking without parking meters at Brannan and Delancey. It is cold and there is a slight drizzle and here Tom is with his cycle shorts on. After our last cycle ride I took the precaution of wearing leggings on top of my cycle shorts. Ah well, here we go again!

Our ride starts on the The Embarcadero just to the south of the Bay Bridge. I asked Tom whether we could ride over the bridge but there is no bike lane on the section between the city and Yerba Buena Island although there will be one on the new section between the island and Oakland.

The Embarcadero sidewalk is wide and we are able to ride on it. Along the way there is much to be seen. We meander along, stopping frequently to gaze at something different – the fire boats moored at the end of a short peer; a small rowing boat tied up but barely afloat; the Bow and Arrow sculpture which is half shrouded while maintenance work is carried out and the Crouching Spider sculpture which replaced the two enormous females made out of scrap metal (we much prefered the latter).

We are both in need of a hot drink but the Java Coffee House is closed and padlocked. I hope it is because it is too early and not permanent. Two women and a boy walk towards us holding cups of coffee so we stop and ask where they’d got it from (the Ferry Building) and had an interesting chat. They were interested to know where we came from when they heard my accent.

Soon we hit the Ferry Building where it is a hive of activity with storeholders setting up for the farmers market which is held in the Ferry Plaza from 8 am to 2 pm every Saturday. Even though is it only 7.30 a lot of people are already busy buying the fresh produce. I guard the bikes while Tom goes into Peets and spent my time people watching.

Old pier along The EmbarcaderoWe sat on a bench looking out over the bay and the ferry terminal while we drank our coffee. Then we were on our way again, exploring each pier along the way.

Not so long ago the Ferry Building and the buildings on the piers were abandoned and dilapidated but a lot of work has been done to restore them. As we cycled past, we peered into windows. In one we spotted a series of color photos hung on a wall showing views of the old buildings.

A lot of fishermen were about and it appears to be a good day for fishing. We saw a recently caught, good sized, striped bass panting on the ground. The angler told us it would make a decent meal but I’m not so sure I would want to eat anything caught in the Bay, especially so soon after the recent oil spill.

Pier 3 is where the Hornblower Cruise ships are moored -the California Hornblower, the San Francisco Belle (a paddle boat) and the Santa Rosa – all huge but very different. The Santa Rose was sporting a big advert advertising three Dinner Wine Cruises, which look exciting.

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San Francisco – Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

From Hunters Point we drove north. We drive passed the AT&T Ballpark, the home of the SanSculpture along the Embarcadero Francisco Giants. It is a beautiful ballpark and we have spent many happy hours here watching some exciting games.

Parking in the city is hard to find and expensive but on a Saturday you can park in the Howard Street car park (which is just off The Embarcadero) for up to four hours it is just $5. It is the closest parking for the Farmers Market which is held outside the Ferry Building every Saturday morning from 8 a.m – 2 p.m. There is also a Farmers Market here on a Tuesday as well at the same time.

It is just a short walk from the car park to the market but there are a lot of distractions along the way. The Embarcadero itself is a show stopper all on its own. for many years, this part of the city was overshadowed by the Embarcadero freeway which ran above the road and separated the city from the waterfront. During the 1989 earthquake it was badly damaged and was pulled down. Thanks to the then Mayor, Art Agnos, it was never rebuilt and the city and the waterfront became reunited.

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