2013 September

imageSeptember 9
It’s so good to be back.

September 10
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.
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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….IMG_5030_edited-1 (1276 x 820)IMG_5033_edited-1 (1492 x 898)

….and noticed the wonderful textures around me.
IMG_5073_edited-1IMG_5036_edited-2IMG_5327_edited-1 (1711 x 1140)“The earth has music for those who listen.” George Santayana

September 11
Since my first full day here was spent on the photo tour, I wanted a day to “hang out” and develop a “sense of place” at Pali Ke Kuaphoto (16)_edited-1-1

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.P1060896_edited-2
photo (14)IMG_5200_edited-003 (1475 x 1109)IMG_5156_edited-1IMG_5229 (1711 x 1140) IMG_5162_edited-1

September 12
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.
IMG_5292_edited-1IMG_5256_edited-1 “How glorious a gift the sun gives the mountains”. John Muir

In the evening, we watched people watching the sunsetIMG_5246_edited-002

September 13
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. IMG_5368_edited-1 IMG_5433_edited-1

After a cool shower, we headed for lunch at the Kilauea Fish Market. The ahi taco with garlic cilantro sauce…I dream of it. P1060884_edited-1 P1060887_edited-2 Another dream…If I could just win the lottery!

Just as the day is quietly ending, the sun appears beneath the clouds and the sea is afire. photo (28)_edited-2-1 IMG_5531_edited-1“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

September 14

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.IMG_5552_edited-1

The setting is breathtaking.   Could the sky be any bluer or the clouds more white?IMG_5612_edited-2

We enjoy meeting and talking with the vendors _MG_2658 _MG_2672 _MG_2692

A visit to Hanalei means a visit with Moses.  He is a wonderful young artist who is a quadraplegic and paints holding the paint brush in his mouth.  We stop by and visit with him every year.P1060916_edited-1

Hanalei also means a drive down Weke Road ….

IMG_5667 (1497 x 1047)

…walking past Bar Acuda, dreaming about dinner there later in the week….

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And Shave Ice! P1060917_edited-1

A day on in Hanalei is not complete without watching the sunset by the pier.  We watched a bride and groom who couldn’t quite escape the photographers.IMG_5901_edited-1IMG_5890_edited-1IMG_5954_edited-1

September 15

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.IMG_5777_edited-1 IMG_5730_edited-4IMG_5688_edited-1

Taking the trail behind Common grounds, we ran into folks we know  from the mainlandIMG_5742 (1296 x 864)

and at Foodland, too!photo (35) (1077 x 808)

September 16

On the beach at Anini by 7:45  IMG_5978_edited-3

We hadn’t planned on it but we stayed for hours. IMG_5990_edited-2

P1070015_edited-1 (1632 x 1104)Bliss

September 17

Went walking this morning. IMG_6150_edited-1sat 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.

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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.

photo (36)_edited-1 photo (42)_edited-1The large green thing with the sunglasses?  It’s called a Jackfruit and grows on trees.  Who knew?

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.

We weren’t quite ready to return to the condo, so we pulled off at the overlook, with all the other tourists, and stared at the taro fields. photo (39)_edited-1

Another  beautiful day in paradise.

September 18

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.

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This is a sacred place to the Hawaiians.  Maybe it was just our imagination but we could feel it, too.P1070104_edited-1

I kept seeing faces in the rocks …..a dog looking out to sea.IMG_6244_edited-2

a wild pig?IMG_6263_edited-1

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)

Our next destination was  Glass beach.  We knew not to expect much and it wasn’t.IMG_6316_edited-1

The most interesting part of the area was the old and overgrown Chinese cemetery overlooking the beach.  I wonder what stories lie here?IMG_6360_edited-2

We ended our South shore visit with a stop at Pohaku Tee’s  and the Gourmet farmer’s market at Living Foods.  I spotted this little guy while wandering around and he was willing to pose for me.IMG_6299_edited-1

We had one last stop in Poipu….Not sure why but I’ve always wanted a big oversized shirt from Da Crack!photo (53)_edited-2

Tired, but with smiling faces, we headed home to the North shore.IMG_6367_edited-2

September 19

The last day on the island is always a time for quiet reflection and Anini called us IMG_6458_edited-1photo (43)_edited-2

Time for reading, walking, chasing a bright orange leaf as it floated along the shoreIMG_6420_edited-1

I love to nap on the sand.  The best part is when my eyes open and I realize where I amphoto (47)_edited-1

“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. photo (54)_edited-1

The shellfish lover (me) also chose the perfect scallop with mashed potatoes & truffle oilphoto (55)_edited-1

while the meat eater  had skewered flank steak with honey chipotle sauce.photo (58)_edited-1

The food is so good, it takes our mind off leaving for a few minutes.P1070128_edited-1-1…but it’s time to go.

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.

Malama pono

Posted on September 9, 2013, in Happy Wanderer. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You beautifully captured the soul and essence of Kauai and our trip! Love you, the island memories and our next return!

  2. What a wonderful blog…even though I’m at work I felt, for a brief moment, as if I was home in Kona. We are kindred souls in the love of the islands. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I’m sorry you had to come back so soon.

  3. The spirit of aloha is alive and well with you and Liz. Love reading your blog and acknowledging some of my same heartstrings that are serenaded only there.

  4. Great shots! I particularly liked the rain drops. Thanks for sharing, and your blog makes them special.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your blog. It really reminded me of our time there and of the places to go next time. Meeting there was so special. I love the thought that there is coincidence in the world. Beautiful photos and good times.
    Cheers,

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