Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

a little reluctant farewell to paradise

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:57 PM 0 comments Links to this post
J told me about the secluded and uncrowded sandy beach at the end of highway 50. We drove there this morning and after a half hour on the unpaved, rocky and bumpy road, we arrived at the most gorgeous beach on the garden island. The water was smooth and blue and the sand white as sugar. The view on the road to the beach and on the beach was spectacular. The sun shone brilliantly and forcefully on us so we couldnt stay on the beach for too long. Back in Waimea we had shaved ice at Jo Jo's again. Back at the condo my headache attacked me once more so I just spent the last day relaxing and enjoying the resort.

The drive to the Lihue airport was traffic filled. I like Kauai. Kauai is a beautiful island and the red dirt and sugarcanes reminded me of Maui. But it doesnt tug my heart like the other 2 islands. I guess nothing can surpass the fond memories I had in Maui and in the Big Island. However, on the morning when I left, I did feel a bit reluctant to leave. I took one last look at the ocean, the coconut trees and the distant palis and wondered if and when I would be back. I have no hurry to be back to this island but if I do, I know there are things left undone. I'd like to take the helicopter ride to see the famous cliffs and waterfalls. I'd like to hike the entire 11 miles of Kalalau trail. I like to take more time sitting on the Polihale beach and perhaps dip into that blue and calm water and contemplate the low hills. I like to spend time in the Waimea cottages and have a truly relaxing vacation, instead of the crowdy and kids filled resort at the Kiahuna Plantations. So perhaps I do have a reason to come back.

beach at polihale
 The beach at Polihale State Park

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Meeting classmate in paradise

Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:32 PM 0 comments Links to this post
The view from the Pu'u o Kila Lookout at the end of the Waimea Canyon Drive was exactly like the ones in the guidebooks. We even saw boats going by and choppers flying that look like tiny birds. Just like what the guidebooks said. Steve, my online classmate, and his wife Cathy were good site seeing companions and high spirited hikers. We hiked some of the way of the Pihea trail from the Pu'u o Kila Lookout where we got different perspectives of the same palis and canyon. Steve and I had started the OTL program last Fall and chance has it that we're both in Kauai at the same time, so there's nothing left to do but to meet. So we did the Waimea Canyon together. They are fun people and we joked a lot, just like we did in the online classes. Never a dull moment with this guy!

In the afternoon, I checked in to the Kiahuna Plantations and to my disappointment I got a ground floor unit. There's no AC, so I had to leave the shutters open even during the night which left me little privacy, a little unsafe and with lots of noise. But the unit offered a direct view of the ocean so all wasnt lost. The private beach in the complex was sandy and nice but crowded. I sat there to listen to my iPod and had a tranquil moment. Probably the best moment thus far on the island.

Waimea Canyon
 View of the pali
 from the Pu'u o Kila Outlook
 at the end of the Waimea
 Canyon Drive

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

More paradise in the garden island

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM 0 comments Links to this post
First it was M calling and then the lawn blower woke me up again. I've tried to ignore it because I stayed up most of the night listening to Harry Potter and I wanted to sleep more. Then the blower got closer and closer and I realized the noise came from the open window right behind my bed (this place is entirely open, but isnt all places in Hawaii?). Then L came to wake me up. The cleaners are here and we must leave the house for a couple of hours. We had a hasty breakfast and went down to the rocky Poipu beach. I didnt get to swim because it was too rocky and I couldnt negociate the slippery bottom. I simply dont understand what this beach is so famous. I hated it! But it's a good place to snorkel because there were tons of tiny fish and crab.

In the afternoon, we drove to Waimea to check out L and B's house and I liked it. Very tiny but the crown molding and hardwood floors were very elegant and the place was very cute. In my mind, I completely re-decorated the place. There in Waimea, I had very first shaved ice. Mm, yum yum good!

Wanting more beach, we went for a quick dip in the Salt Pond and I loved that beach. Very sandy with a rocky area with huge splashes. In the evening the Kiahuna shopping mall has free hula dance show. Coming back was pitch dark and we almost couldnt find the PT Cruiser. More Harry Potter at night before sleep.

Yesterday was the north shore. We stopped by the lighthouse in Kilauea on the way, and stopped at the Princeville resort with the gorgeous lobby and view of the pali coast. Next we checked out Hanalei resort. Then we drove till the end of the road and hiked up the Kalalau trail for about a mile. It was getting late so we returned. I had wanted to do the entire trail so I get to see the palis up close. But we didnt have enough time nor the equipment for the whole 11 miles. Ah well, I must leave something to do the next time I come here. Right?

Playing phone tags with Steve all day. They had arrived and we arranged to meet tomorrow in Waimea. It would be nice to finally meet him and his wife f2f after talking with him for almost a year. He'll be the first online classmate that I'd meet. It will be fun. I just hope I behave!

Napali coast from Princeville
 View of Napali coast
 from the Princeville Resort

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Not again ... in paradise

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM 1 comments Links to this post
I knew something was wrong when the take off time had passed but the plane was still at the gate. When the pilot announced a passenger found a crack on one of the windows, I said to myself 'not again!'. Last year's fiasco with Hawaiian was what brought me here today to fly again to paradise. I dont much feel like spending another night in the dumpy Honolulu airport hotel, nor wasting a day waiting at the airport instead of spending it in the garden island. Luckily, after a 1.5 hour delay they decided it was safe enough for us to fly. With only 20 minutes to spare, I ran most of the way to catch the wikiwiki to the inter-island terminal to catch my flight to Kauai. Once arrived, my fear was confirmed. Our lugagge didnt make it. Then a red PT Cruiser pulled up and someone called 'Hippo'. My lugagge did arrive on the next flight and so everything was cool and welcome to paradise once more, finally Hippo's first visit to the island I've only been once before for half an hour.

Somehow I didnt get a feeling that this island was small. One thing for sure is that there's really no point of reference, just mountains everywhere and lots of green. The earth was specially rich here, very orange.

Uncle Chet and aunt Tish's house, resting on about 3000 sq ft in the Kiahuna golf course was a castle. Floor completely in Italian terracotta tiles, a lanai separates the 2 bedrooms giving each the privacy it deserves, full bath inside each. 48 inches flatscreen in the entertainment room, complete with a 24" iMac - free lightning speed internet! Now I have no excuse not to keep with my classes! The open floor kitchen and living area is what one would die for. I've never been in a house that has such a perfect layout for entertainment. The living area is huge with each side with a door that opens to the outside. The back side faces a green yard with just enough fruit and palm trees and a fish pound and it's completely open to the cool the house off. The kitchen has a breakfast nook that I just love to sit there and enjoy the outside green. It takes about half the width of the house, with a center island for cooking, full of every appliance that a kitchen needs. These people really know how to live in paradise! Paradise indeed!

B made us a smoothie of passion fruit, guava, lilikoi, and banana, and we had sushi and vietnamese noodles for dinner, while watching 'Keeping Mum (Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patrick Swayze and Maggie Smith - a British black comedy that was actually very good), the old British Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy series, and Penn and Teller's Circumcison theory. Hm ... I stick to my theory ... many more DVD's to come in the week ... Netflix just keep arriving!

In pitch dark (Felix was right!), we strolled in the neighboorhood, occasionally turning on our flashlights to avoid toads that leap and land on our pathway waiting to be squashed!

I was gonna start the Harry Potter audio series but it was way past midnight (past 3AM) and I was bone tired. I just crashed. Welcome to paradise Hippo! Once more!

hippo in Chet's house Poipu
 Hippo in uncle Chet and
 aunt Tish's house in Poipu
 

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