Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kauai...the first impression

Aloha friends!  I still can't believe our long awaited trip to Kauai is actually over, or that I'm sitting behind a computer screen again.  We got back on Saturday and I've been trying to reacclimate ever since.  The six hour time difference is really a pain in the rear.  I toss and turn until about 2 AM and yesterday after days without sleep it caught up with me.  Last night I finally slept...thank you sweet Tamara for some meds that actually helped!  It's a small price to pay for a couple of weeks in paradise.  I'll try not to complain too much:)

It's hard to process it all quite honestly because going to Kauai is about as far off grid as you can imagine.  It's an escape like none other.  I didn't read a paper or check the news.  The "mainland" is the farthest thing from anyone's mind.  Commercials are targeted to Hawaiians.  The sports channels I saw were surfing:)  The weather focused on island only, so it's very easy to forget that anyone else is out there...  Which is exactly the kind of vacation we were desperately seeking.  But in addition to sleep deprivation I realized I'm also a little blue.  I call it Hawaii Fever.  The lifestyle is just so different.  It's a complete flip.  There we were outside 90% of the time.  Here we are inside 90% of the time.  Oh how I wish I could figure out a happy medium with that.  Anyhoo...it's back to reality.


I booked our house from the VRBO and feel in love instantly with this property.  It's called Makale'a Palms online if you are interested.  Just beware there is NO a/c.  Nope none, and it's in the middle of a jungle...cue creepy things with lots of legs.  If that doesn't detour you this is the place for you:))  And the owner's dog Moke welcomed us and that really helped make the place feel like home.

It didn't even dawn on me when I booked it that it wouldn't have air.  Apparently it's not uncommon in Hawaii with the trade winds. But when we walked in at the end of our long travel day and opened the door to a HOT stuffy dark place my honey immediately went over to the corner and crashed on a chair and didn't talk to me for a good half hour.  He was in a stupor and I knew he was hating on me at the moment, but I kinda don't blame him it WAS really hot and there wasn't really two bedrooms...like I thought:(  And see those cool barn doors??  They don't lock and that's a no-no with my Honey.  Oh well that's what you get sight unseen.

We rallied and the next morning when the sun streamed in from the blind free windows and our pet rooster crowed 20x's we were ready to face a new "different" normal;)  We nicknamed the house the "gecko house" because they were everywhere...and they left a trail for me in my bed at night.  Yep.  They really did:( I also saw a giant centipede.  I'm pretty sure you could hear my scream on the mainland, but it really was my own fault.  I left wet clothes on the floor in front of the washing machine.  The creepy thing just couldn't resist that.  The worst part is that when I screamed it scared it half to death and it slithered or crawled...whatever one does with a million legs...under the machine.  SO WE DIDN'T GET TO KILL IT!!!  That was seriously the most tragic and upsetting part of the whole trip.  That centipede kind of haunted me.  And did I mention the washing machine was right by the bathroom, so we had to walk right by it every time we went!  Oh mercy me!!!  The owner was fabulous and completely related to my horror and had the house sprayed one day while we were beaching it.  So I applaud her for that.

(fresh coconut water...my obsession for our stay.  had one every day)

Going to Hawaii isn't just about beauty and nature, it's definitely a study in human behavior and cultural differences.  It's fascinating actually.  It's like going to a zoo, but instead of animals to observe you can first hand see a whole different way of life.  An entirely different spectrum of the human experience:)

There are obviously the tourists.  Those people are pretty easy to spot...cameras around their necks, stark white or painfully sunburned, hustling around, guidebooks in hand, ignoring the rules etc...  Then there are the sweet Hawaiians that talk your ear off and welcome you with open arms.  They answer all your questions and gladly give you loads of helpful advice about where to go and what to do.  They seem eager to meet new people.  Eager to find out where you're from. Almost bored with the beauty and limited options of their glorious existence and ready to venture out...experience everything/anything else.  Most of our experiences were with these sweet peeps.  There are the other locals too...the ones that are annoyed by tourists.  They are not friendly and actually seem a little hostile.  It's a pretty obvious gap between the two.  And honestly I can understand their anger a little bit.  The tourists would annoy me too.


Then there are the hippies/hitchhikers/granola mainland transplants.  Most walk around in dreadlocks or matted beards, completely barefoot, skin darkened from constant exposure.  They wear backpacks and live off the land.  They don't smell very fresh, but they seem perfectly content and blissed out.  And I couldn't help but wonder what they do...what all of them do all day long.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not judging at all.  It's just such a different existence.  I've dreamed about living in Hawaii my whole life and on this trip I spent half my time trying to visualize how it would be on a day to day basis...  I'm not sure I could do it.  It would be a major reprogramming.

Can I just talk about the man on the bike for a minute?  I took this pic on our last day while we were on our way back to the airport.  We were driving down a steep hill, and there he was arms wide open, head tilted back, eyes squeezed shut.  That would have terrified me.  But his face!  His face was pure bliss.  I wish so badly I could have captured it for you.  It was almost a peek into glory.  I say that fully aware that it sounds exaggerated, but you should have seen it.  It made me cry and honestly it wrapped up my thoughts about the week in a beautiful way.




So back to beaches and sand.  We had two favorite beaches...Hideaway and Hanalei Bay.  I'm sure there would be more if we truly had the time to spend on each and every one of them.  But these two we visited more than once.  Hideaway was right by the St. Regis resort.  You had to go down a very steep path and then all of a sudden the view blew your mind.  It was a tiny beach with a big tree for shade.  It had a view of the Napali Coast and most of the time it was people free...which is always a plus in my book.  We just loved it and it felt very Gilligan's Island to me.  Our own special little "hideaway":)

Speaking of Hanalei.  We adored this little town.  It had loads of cute shops and restaurants.  We loved the Farmer's Market...which meets up every Saturday.  That was one of my favorite memories of our visit. We felt local.  We bought salsa and soaps and cute shirts and bags.  It was very small town and sweet.  Two thumbs up for the market:)
The cute town of Hanalei also had THIS church!! Cue me yelling "STOP THE CAR"!!!!  I had pinned it on Pinterest multiple times, but seeing it with my own eyes was surreal.  I will paint this church!  I will.  Maybe today:)  Lucky for me we stayed on the North Shore.  I got to drive by this church many many
times.













The first couple days we just drove around.  We'd see a pretty beach and hop out.  We'd see an overlook and we'd pull over.  Horses!  Yes, let's jump out of the car and take pictures.  It was nice.  It takes us a bit for us to really slow down.  Apparently we're hard wired to work like dogs and kill ourselves.  Apparently having fun and relaxing isn't instinctual:/  So like an onion day after day I could feel a shift slowly begin to happen.  It never completely materialized.  We didn't become blissed out and completely free like the hardcore hippies, but the bugs didn't make us scream as loud.  The humidity didn't keep us from sleeping.  We became used to the roosters' crows and on a few mornings it didn't even wake me...now that is shocking:)

(big chick took this of Finn...Kasey's son)


I have several more experiences to share, but before I end this first post I have to share one of the highlights of our trip.  For years I've followed along with Kasey Buick on her blog and on IG.  I was truly captivated by her move to Kauai...at the EXACT same time we moved to Richmond.  So imagine how exciting it was to meet her in real life and jump into her pictures for a second.  She graciously invited our family over for dinner one night and we got to visit with her people...see her GORGEOUS beachy bohemian home, walk her backyard and get a little peek into her island adventure.  It was truly a blessing.  And that's what's so amazing about the internet.  You can fly half way across the world and meet a complete "stranger" for a homecooked meal.  Love it!!  Thank you Kasey for dinner and for posting your favorite places...we tried almost every single thing you wrote about:)




more to come...





Be a blessing,







home sweet Virginia home
our own beds
our coffee
air conditioning
Fergie
friends who take care of you
a God who blows your mind...
being grateful for what you have

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