Saturday, November 5, 2011

Welcome to Kauai!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

When I woke up yesterday morning at 5 a.m. it was hard to believe that our Hawaiian vacation was really here! Rachel had kissed us goodnight the night before, and Jill got up to take us to the airport. We were there by 6:30 and had time for a mocha latte for me and breakfast tacos at Ray Benson's kiosk. We had a connecting flight in Phoenix and Tom had the forethought to buy a bag of trail mix before we boarded our 7 hour flight for Li'hue, Hawaii. We thought we might be able to purchase a sandwich on the plane, but all that was offered was a bag of almonds or trail mix which we already had, so that's what we had for lunch! We drank lots of complimentary water.
As we were nearing our destination our pilot pointed out that you could see Pearl Harbor Bay from the left hand side of the plane, which is where we were. You could see the whole island of Oahu, so I was able to distinguish the bay. I was glad that I had checked out a map of the islands before our trip. I had been curious about the names of all the islands and where Honolulu was since I couldn't remember my 5th grade geography lessons. Kauai is the garden isle. It has a huge botanical garden that we hope to visit. It's also known for its grand canyon. We'll be staying on the north side for a few days and then drive down to the south side of the island for a few days.
We arrived in Lihue around 2:15 p.m. which is 7:15 p.m. Austin time. It took a while to get our rental car cuz lots of other people were doing the same thing, but already I could see the the scenery was beautiful and very different from central Texas. There were looming clouds in almost every direction with the sun peeking through now and then. Palm trees, blooming bushes that must be bougainvillea, lots of hibiscus in orange, red, yellow and magenta, and green, green grass everywhere. Our car is a white Nissan Versa with a hatch back. It's just the perfect size for us!

Since we missed lunch, we were hungry and stopped in a little town, Kapa'a. Tom had a turkey club sandwich with cole slaw and I had a Kalua Pig sandwich with fresh papaya. It was good and hit the spot. While we were parked, we decided to poke around in a few of the shops. We didn't stay long as we were ready to arrive at our abode for the next few days in Hanalei!
Our house is pink stucco! It's divided in three suites, but ours is great because we're on the 2nd floor and the porch faces the ocean. We have a great view of the little bay here, plus, we just walk across the street and across the grassy park to the beach. This porch has a hammock and patio table with 6 chairs so it's pretty big. After we checked out the place and unloaded our luggage, we went for a quick walk at the beach before it got dark. Dark came earlier than I expected, around 6:30. After that we went to the Big Save grocery store. I just love those mom & pop style grocery stores that have everything you need in a very small space, plus friendly local people smiling while they check you out. Reminds me of my growing up days.
I found Tom in the hammock this morning at around 5:30. He was listening to the waves crashing on the beach. The temp was amazingly comfortable. We had the windows open all night. We could hear the roosters crowing trying to wake up everyone. I was told there were lots of chickens, but I haven't read the history yet on how they got here. After eating our cereal we went for a long walk on the beach. We saw surfers, and some fishermen on the dock. The jutting mountain on the other side of the bay looked magnificent with the thin low hanging clouds in front of them, and the ominous larger clouds in the background. Tom and I tested the waters with our feet and decided it was cool, but would be comfortable if it were hot and sunny. We had just decided to turn back when it started to lightly rain. The sand along the beach is very soft, so we found our way to the street and walked back that way. We were pretty wet when we got back. Soon it was raining on and off consistently. I laid in the hammock and finished reading the book I started on the plane.
After a while we were having a major thunderstorm with lightning and loud clapping thunder. I've been wishing I could send this rain home to drought stricken Texas! The sound of rain is music to my ears. It's very relaxing, now that the thunder has gone. It's also giving me time to write this blog. I probably wouldn't sit down long enough to do it if it weren't raining. Sometimes blessings come in disguise. Now that it's not storming, I can go back out to the hammock and start another book or knit or sleep... Tom is trying to read his book, but keeps falling asleep. Of course, he's watching football on tv. It is Saturday. And it's raining. :) And I just heard another clap of thunder.

A Hawaiian welcome!

Here we are in Lihue, Hawaii.

The Pink House on Weke Road in Hanalei, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai

The Gardenia Suite

The yard and our entrance to the Gardenia Suite down below.

View of beach from the porch

To the beach

Hen and chicks in the park

more chickens:

Hanalei Pier built in 1898, shown in the 1957 movie, "South Pacific"

Watching the waves roll in

Self portrait

Palm trees
Logging off 'til the next exciting thing happens!

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