I don’t aspire to write a post every day I am here. I’ve made a promise to myself that I will be offline for the vast majority of this trip and I’ve done well so far. As I write, I am sitting on the lanai (the deck to you mainlanders) and although it is nothing but blackness past the deck railing, I can hear the ocean and waves crashing.
The flight went well. We ended up sitting next to a lovely woman named Gladys who has invited us for dinner while we’re in town. She retired to Kauai about two years ago but was born here and moved to the mainland when she was 5. She still has business in Idaho and family in Utah so she goes several times a year. She was a complete sweetie. She shared home baked cookies with us and told us all sort of stories about her great-grandchildren and gave us the low down on what places to go and things to do in Kauai. I have a feeling she’s the type of person who makes friends wherever she goes.
We got here and I split for the car rental while Andy got the bag (tip from Gladys, probably saved us about an hour!). We got a 4 DR jeep and then we proceeded to spend about the next hour in the car rental parking lot trying to figure out how to take the top down. We finally got it down (although sooo not in the correct way) and drove to one of the only grocery stores on the island (Safeway) and then to the condo. It’s about a 30 mile drive altogether from the airport. The Safeway is in Kapa’a, about 18 miles from Princeville where we are staying. I picked up some staples and we set off. I was really exhausted.
By the time we got home, we couldn’t really figure out how to put the top back on the jeep so we just sort of propped it mostly on top and went to bed. The condo is amazing, the deck has an unbelievable view of the ocean and instead of the baby monitor as my white noise, I hear waves crashing all. the. time. It’s heavenly. Today we slept in (6:30 AM, we’re three hours earlier) and then had a lazy morning which included watching videos of how to put the top on and off of the stupid Jeep. At least we figured that out. We drove around the island up to and past Hanalei and walked around on Lumaha’i beach for a bit. Then we went and ate at Hanalei Dolphin for lunch. We went back to the Safeway, grocery list in hand, and bought food for the week. $216. WHAT?!?! Mind you, we did NOT go crazy and fancy with the food. Food here is insanely priced. INSANE. Things that cost $3 back home are $6-$8 here. It’s really nuts. Like Andy and I were saying though, they can get away with that because wow, look at that view!
After we unloaded the food, we switched into bathing suits and loaded up our (complimentary) snorkel gear and headed off for SeaLodge Beach. It’s a semi-hidden beach, you have to hike through woods for about 15 minutes to get to it and it’s very small and off the beaten path. I have a kauai guidebook that I heard was excellent and it recommended the beach for being very secluded and quiet. Andy and I passed another couple returning on our way there and once we found it, it was amazing. We had the whole beach to ourselves. We spent a few hours snorkeling. Well, he snorkeled. I practiced snorkeling in the shallow end because I’ve never done it before and it kind of freaked me out and I felt claustrophobic underwater. I eventually became more comfortable with it until I saw an actual fish, at which point I shot up out of the water like it was Jaws. This fish was probably less threatening than being greeted by Nemo underwater. Anyway, learning curve. I will keep practicing for our snorkeling tour on Saturday and I’ll be fine by then. In any case, I got to sit and doze on the beach in between my sad snorkeling attempts and Andy was happy as anything, just swimming around and telling me about all the fish he had seen.
Now we are home. He’s grilling up some dinner and I’m sitting on the deck, listening to the ocean and updating the blog. To say I miss my boy is an understatement but at the same time I’m okay with that, it’s not an all consuming longing and I know he’s having a good time. Several times I wish we had brought Will with us as he would enjoy all of this so much but Andy and I really need some time alone. We’re having a great time just being us instead of parents with a long list of things to do and it’s wonderfully recharging.
Weird Kauai things–
-All of the salmon on sale in the store is cruddy Atlantic salmon. Whaaaat?
-There are feral chickens EVERYWHERE. The story is that Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai in 1992 and destroyed a number of chicken farms. There are no natural predators on Kauai for chickens (other than the random cat or dog) so boom! Chickens everywhere.
-Everybody rents Jeeps. They’re like every second car on the roads here. Funny.