Oh. My. Word. I have to say that of all of the places that I have traveled in my life, I have truly never witnessed anything as amazing as what I saw today. This island might be the most gorgeous piece of God’s handiwork I have ever ever seen. Dan and I took a helicopter ride this morning to see what can’t be seen on foot or in a car. I think my mouth was literally hanging open in disbelief the entire 50 minute flight. The Big Island of Hawaii might still be my favorite island, but Kauai, hands down, is certainly the most beautiful.
Dan also took some fabulous photos that he is currently editing to share with me. All of our talk after our return got Mike looking into a ride on a doorless helicopter so that he can get pictures without any glare. Last time he and I took a helicopter ride, he was sick with Vertigo for a good 24 hours so I’m not exactly thrilled at this new interest of his. I will keep you updated if this develops into something.
On our way back home, Dan and I also made an important discovery that I wish we had made three days ago. There is an awesome super market right out side the resort area that we are staying in. For the last three days we have been making the 6 mile trek down windy roads and over one lane bridges to get to the measly little Hanalei market that has a produce section the size of a closet. But we kept going back because we thought it was the only one around AND it had that famous Kombucha. The Princeville Foodland not only has Kombucha on tap (6 flavors) but it also has an awesome deli with lots of various types of poke and sushi. We came home with both and had a fabulous lunch on our lanai before heading out to yet another awesome beach.
To get to Hideaway Beach, we hiked a trail that descended about 150 feet. I felt like it was honestly pretty treacherous given that I was helping a little girl with DS while my husband continued searching for a parking spot up top. I did have moment half way down where I thought that we had made a huge mistake. But even though she was a bit scared and slipped once or twice, she powered through and we got to enjoy an amazing beach and some fabulous snorkeling. (I did wonder though, as difficult as it was for our family, who for the most part are in decent shape, how some of the beach combers made that hike, in their flip flops, with pretty good size coolers in their hands.)
Mike, Dan and I took turns checking out the reef and playing with Casey by the shore, which because of a small drop off, had some pretty strong waves. Casey looked like she was being tossed around in a washing machine at one point, but instead of being scared, she just emerged from the water laughing.
I did take her out a bit beyond where the waves broke and it was easier to relax in the water. There I could stand and hold her as we jumped the waves. She didn’t say much but I could tell she was calm and happy. She had a big smile on her face and at one point, proclaimed, ” I like this ocean!” We all had an awesome time and gratefully, the trip back up was a bit easier than the trip down.
As we chatted at dinner tonight (The Hanalei Dolphin had amazing fish!) we talked about favorite parts of this first week. We decided that possibly the funniest thing to happen so far was that early this morning, while it was still dark, Michael got up and went outside hoping to catch a glimpse of the moon setting on the horizon. Instead he got more than a glimpse of a man, in his 30s and clearly drunk, stargazing in the nude. Even though the man apologized, he made no attempt to cover up, explaining that he just liked being naked; then he went back to his stargazing. Having been to a couple beaches now, I would venture to guess that the Kauai culture is just a bit more laid back and ‘free’ than it is, perhaps anywhere, on the mainland!