My first morning here I scheduled a photo tour. Retirement has given me the opportunity to pursue a passion for photography. Sometimes, I put my camera down and see things I might otherwise miss. Conversely, through my viewfinder, I have a different perspective and sometimes see things I might not otherwise see. The other participants on the tour, all from Georgia, were seeing Kauai for the first time and called me the “seasoned” visitor. I told them that no matter how many times you come to the islands, there are always new discoveries, about the island, as well as about yourself. I enjoyed “talking story” with Levi, our guide, and learning about his life growing up on Kauai and his perspective on many of the current issues in Kauai today.
Spectacular views are everywhere you turn and I had already photographed many of the ‘vistas” over the years, This time, while I continued to appreciate the magnificent views, I wanted to see deeper into Kauai’s beauty. I watched a local child contently playing in the sand and sea….
We have stayed previously at Sealodge, The Islander, Hanalei Bay Villas, and several times at Hanalei Bay Resort. This is our first time at Pali Ke Kua. It’s very peaceful here and the views are spectacular. Our unit is large with high ceilings, wall to wall windows and a large ocean front lanai.
Today’s first gifts…an amazing display of colors against the stormy sky and sunlight dancing on the land. My awe and appreciation of this place is as deep as it was the first time I saw it…perhaps deeper. What words can one find? Sometimes I can’t… so I take photographs.
“How glorious a gift the sun gives the mountains”. John Muir
With each visit, we find ourselves spending more time just enjoying the simple things. We no longer feel the urgency to see and do everything. Watching the sun rise, having coffee leisurely on the lanai, hanging out in the comfort of a sarong….these things mean Kauai to us as much as any activity. Today, we leisurely made our way down the steep path to the beach below Pali Ke Kua. It is a rocky beach but no less enchanting than a sandy one. Liz read, I played with camera settings and we both enjoyed the warm waters of September.
Just as the day is quietly ending, the sun appears beneath the clouds and the sea is afire. “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we will have for destruction.” Rachel Carson
Checked out of Pali Ke Kua and moved down the street to Bali Hai. We had to pull ourselves away from the view this morning. No waves crashing off the lanai at Bali Hai but we traded a week at our DePoe Bay fractional for a week here so the price is right. This condo is also a 2+2 and spacious. The accommodations are fine but, without the ocean out our window, we discover we want to get closer to it each day. We headed to Hanalei for the Saturday farmer’s market.
Hanalei also means a drive down Weke Road ….
…walking past Bar Acuda, dreaming about dinner there later in the week….
I woke up this morning with an urge for breakfast at Common Ground. We loved the rain showers off and on and soon I found myself intrigued by the sparkle of the raindrops on the array of lush tropical plants in their gardens.
Went walking this morning. sat on the lawn out in front of the St. Regis. Just sat there. What can you say about colors like this? I needed to feel Kauai at home so we did our living room in these colors.
Old friends….another beautiful thing in life.
We met up with some and shared memories and laughter over lunch at Nanea.
After lunch, we headed to the Tuesday farmer’s market in Hanalei.
We drove to the end of the road, stopping at Haena along the way. A sudden cloudburst caught us without shelter but we didn’t care. We love the rain. The rain is what makes everything so green, creates waterfalls and rainbows.
Another beautiful day in paradise.
Each time we come to Kauai, we try to make new discoveries. We decided to venture south and had two very different beaches on our agenda. Liz wanted to go to Glass beach and I wanted to find Mahaulepu.
As we slowly drove down the bumpy road to Mahaulepu that seemed to go on and on, we wondered if our efforts would be worth it. They were.
As with Anini, we didn’t want to leave….ever….but we know we will return to Mahaulepu.
“Ua mau ke ea o ka `aina i ka pono” (The life of the land is preserved in righteousness)
“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke. Poet
Our tradition is the last night’s dinner at Bar Acuda. All our meals on the island have been great but Bar Acuda is our favorite. Every year we order the honeycomb with apple & blue cheese & the best bruschetta ever.
I always tear up a little upon leaving. Kauai is like a dear old friend. She calms our spirits, makes us laugh, and reminds us of who we are and the things we most love in life. In spite of the tears, we leave with gratitude, happy hearts, much aloha and plans to return very soon.