Saturday, March 09, 2013

Kauai, the Garden Island

The view from the lanai
My favorite place in Kauai was the lanai (or patio). It’s maybe a hundred yards from bushes, beyond which are lava rocks and the ocean. We sat there endlessly—breakfast, lunch, happy hour—talking, catching up, reliving old times, watching for whales. I think I was first to see spouts but Jordan got better at it than I was. The birds came right in front of us to eat bread that Martha provided, the wind blew, and occasional rain splattered us. My idea of heaven—especially with a book. When I said I could spend all day there, Dick said, “I do. A lot.”

Spouting Horn
But we were there to see the sights, and Dick and Martha showed them to us. Martha took us souvenir shopping for things to bring back home—a trip that would have bored Dick utterly. She also showed us some of the local sights around Po’ipu Beach (means crashing waves), including Spouting Horn, a phenomenon where incoming ocean water spouts up between rocks—not sure what causes it. And the wind blew and blew.

Wimea Canyon

One day we all went to Wimea Canyon, which involved a trip along the south and west coasts of the island and then angling inward, up twisting, turning mountain roads to a canyon that is a miniature of the Grand Canyon and spectacular in its own right. I wimped out and didn’t climb to the observation point, which Jordan said I would not have enjoyed—but I got enough glimpses as we sped along those roads to know how impressive it is. We went further into the mountains to a state park where we picnicked on a grassy meadow and fed the most spectacular chickens. They are wild and colorful descendants of chickens brought by the Japanese but very tame because they’re used to being fed. I noticed that neither Mama nor Papa were much concerned about feeding the babies and would grab the crumbs we flung before the little ones could get them. On the way back we stopped at the Kauai Chocolate Company—talk about temptation! That night we had dinner at Brennecke’s, a seaside table at an open-air restaurant with a great view of the sunset.

Anni Beach

The next day we went to the north end of the island. High point of that trip for me was seeing Anni Beach where South Pacific was filmed. Now we have to watch the movie again. The landscape was a bit different, and the houses reminded me more of Galveston. We did go by the hotel—now the St. Regis but then something different—where my oldest daughter and her husband honeymooned.

Hawaiians seem to live with one eye on the weather. One day we heard sirens, and Martha was worried—they have been through two tsunami alerts which meant they had to drive inland, once spending the night in their car in a shopping mall parking lot. This time it was merely the noon sirens. On the way to Princeville we went over a wooden bridge that she said they close when it rains hard.

I loved our time on Kauai and would go back in a heartbeat.

Frustration: some of my pictures are in my camera, but I discovered when I went to download them that someone had chewed the cord that connects the camera to the computer—I suspect a certain dog. Monday: a trip to Sony to get a new cord. Jordan got some great pictures that I didn’t, but images from her cell phone won’t download to my phone, computer, anything. I may be posting images for weeks when I finally get them. Tomorrow or Monday, impressions of Maui.

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