March 18, 2012

Sunday Ramblings - March 18, 2012

Hello! Yes, I’ve been absent for quite a while now, haven’t I? I need to catch up on reviews (I have three in the works), but wanted to pop in and say hi. How are you all doing with the time change? It’s almost 7 a.m. and still dark outside. We’ve been having summer-like weather this past week, so I have all the windows open to cool things off a bit. (I refuse to turn on the air conditioner in March!) As I sit here, sipping my cup of coffee, reading some of my favorite blogs, I hear two birds (probably cardinals) chirping away, as if to say, “Wake up, everyone! It’s going to be another gorgeous day and you don’t want to miss a single moment.” And, I’d have to agree. With these warm days (we’ve been in the 80’s all week!), my garden is requiring quite a bit of attention. The daffodils are in full bloom, as is the Star Magnolia bush and Forsythia. Unfortunately, we’ve had very little rain (and very little snow – three storms this winter, which amounted to about 16 inches in all), so I spent some time watering the beds yesterday afternoon. I cleaned up one of the beds in the front yard and plan to do more work out there today. But I also want to get back out on the bike trail. I had my first ride of the year on Wednesday and it felt great! I convinced Rod to go for a short ride before dinner last night and I can’t tell you what a joy it was to be out on the trail just before sunset. I love this time of year and am looking forward to another week of beautiful weather.

Which brings me to the week before last. You might have wondered where I disappeared to. I ran out of time before my departure to say goodbye and let you all know I was heading off to Kauai. My parents have a time share in Princeville and invited us to join them for a week. My hubby wasn’t able to go, so I invited my biking partner, knowing she’d enjoy all the activities I was hoping to do. After three flights (Omaha to Dallas to Honolulu to Lihue), we arrived on Kauai in the middle of a thunderstorm and made our way from the airport to the north end of the island. It was a pretty intense drive, as it was dark & raining and I was not familiar with the road, not to mention I have terrible night vision. But we finally arrived and collapsed. It felt like we’d been up for days!

The following morning we awoke to a torrential downpour. I had heard it rained a lot on Kauai—it is the Garden Island, after all—but I had not expected such a deluge. The wind was blowing so strongly and palm tree fronds were flying everywhere. It felt more like a monsoon than a tropical rainstorm. We were finally able to venture out later that afternoon and walk along the golf course, only to get soaked in anther downpour as we headed back to the condo. The days are all a blur at this point, but suffice it to say, it rained all but two of the six days we were on the island. We were able to get out and enjoy the southern part of the island (delicious lunch at Brennecke’s in Poipu!) on Wednesday and spent most of Thursday morning in Hanalei. We took a long walk on a bike trail right along the ocean near Kapa’a and watched the sunset from the St. Regis hotel, overlooking Hanalei Bay. But by Thursday night the storm returned and the bridge out of Princeville was closed (the second time that week) due to either a mudslide or downed trees. The bridge into Hanalei had also been closed earlier in the week due to flooding. With an earlyish flight out of Lihue on Saturday, we decided to pack up and leave as soon as the bridge reopened. We made our way south to Kapa’a where we found a couple of rooms at the beautiful oceanfront Courtyard Marriott. The staff was more than generous with their discounted rates for displaced tourists and we enjoyed a delicious dinner followed by a wonderful hula demonstration by four little girls. I wish I had thought to get some of the show on video. The music was beautiful and the girls were adorable.

Saturday we flew home, arriving back in Nebraska Sunday morning. I’ve only taken a red-eye flight one other time (Nebraska to England) and I have to say the name is truly fitting. I was awake for more than 36 hours on that trip home. Add the hour time change and you can imagine how red my eyes were! Fortunately, I have Mondays off, so I was able to sleep as long as my body needed…13 hours!! It took most of the week for me to recover from the jet lag, but now I’m feeling back to normal. I sure wouldn’t want to do that on a regular basis. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to be a pilot or flight attendant!

So, do you want to know how much it rained in Kauai? I don’t know if you saw any reports on the news about the storm that hit the island, but the north shore (where we were staying) received 46 inches in the week we were there! 46! There was also hail, damaging winds, flooding, mudslides, and a tornado. Yep. If it weren’t for the palm trees and the gorgeous ocean, I would have started to wonder if I’d ever left the Midwest. ;) You can read more about the storm here.

You would think with all that time spent indoors, (as well as close to 32 hours of travel time) I would have read all the books I packed. Not so. I finished one book and read most of another, but that’s it. I wound up spending a lot of time catching up on my blog-hopping, which in my opinion is just a good as reading. And we did manage to get out and do quite a bit of walking between the rain showers. We weren’t able to bike down the Waimea Canyon or kayak up the Wailua River, but I did see a whale from our balcony. And several gorgeous waterfalls from a distance. And I had the most delicious Kona coffee and fresh ahi fish tacos I’ve ever tasted. And a few Mai Tais. J In spite of the rain, I was able to spend a week with my parents, which is always a joy. My mom and Bill are avid readers and it was cute to see them sitting side-by-side on the couch, each reading from their respective Nooks. I was also able to squeeze in a quick visit with my daughter and her boyfriend at the Grand Hyatt at DFW. They came out to have breakfast with us since we had such a long layover between flights. Love that D Concourse!

First morning at Alii Kai Resort
(Princeville, Kauai

The ubiquitous wild chicken of Kauai

Sunset over Hanalei Bay
(from the St. Regis Hotel, Princeville)

Flooded Lower Hanalei River Valley

Flooded road in Hanalei River Valley

Mai Tais at Brennecke's Beach Boiler

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough, so I’ll close for now. As usual, I took a bizillion pictures on my trip, so stay tuned for Wordless Wednesday.

Click on photos to enlarge.


  1. If I ever make it to Hawaii that's what'll happen. Your pictures are gorgeous.

    We broke down and turned our air conditioner on last week.

  2. That's too bad about all the rain on your trip, but glad you still had a good time! The weather you are receiving is crazy! I wouldn't want to turn on air conditioning in March either, but I did cook supper last night and regret using the oven. That surprised me for March!

    I hope you have a great week and I look forward to more pictures from your trip!

    (This post reminded me I need to find someone to fix my bike. When I put it away last fall I discovered there was something wrong with one of the tubes. As I have fixed the same tire before I refuse to bring it to the same place...)

  3. Anonymous11:07 AM

    This was really nice and gave a "bird's eye" or "rooster's eye" view of your trip. So sorry about all the rain. 46 inches is a lot for sure. Very nice pictures though and I'm glad you got to go.

  4. What a crazy and awesome adventure!! That is a LOT of rain...loved the photos too...really put it all into perspective!!!

  5. Kathy - Now that I've been home for a week (and caught up on my sleep), I'm not dead-set against going back to Hawaii. Next time, I'll plan to go in the fall and if I return to Kauai (which I think I'd like, especially since I still want to bike the canyon and kayak the river), I'll stay on the southshore. I'd also like to see Maui, so maybe I could combine the two islands in one trip. Of course, I need to save enough $$ so I can fly business class. ;)

    Still no a/c on here. A cold front has moved in and we should be comfortable in the 60s this week. We did have a few fans running upstairs, though! Hope it cools off for you!

    Kelly - It looks like we'll have a break in the "heat wave" this coming week. Thunderstorms are moving in today, followed by lower temps (in the 60s). We may get a spring after all. And, it might be a good week for me to get my bike tuned up. Thanks for the reminder.

    Kay - Thanks. As I look back on the photos, I realize I did have fun, in spite of all the rain. It wasn't the vacation I planned, but it was still a nice trip and a very good visit with my folks.

    Staci - It was truly unbelievable. But what a beautiful island!

  6. 46 inches of rain, wow.
    Just think, you have a great story to tell your future grandchildren! As a travel agent, this happened to a honeymoon couple that I sent to Hawaii, and they came back with photos of themselves smiling widely with the rain pouring down in every single photo. It's all in the attitude! (Oh, and the sun came out the day they had to fly back to Atlanta!)

  7. Ooohh, we went to Kauai two years ago and I fell completely in love. We stayed in Lihue. I was pregnant then, but I would LOVE to go back not-pregnant! Poipu Beach was SO crowded when we were there, seemed to be the only kiddie beach on the island.

  8. I'm glad for your parents that they have a time share so that this wasn't their only trip. Maybe you and Rod will go together sometime. Boy is it ever green there! I seem to remember mention of a church in Murder Casts a Shadow. I wonder if it is that one.
    Thanks for the great pictures. Even with the rain, it is so beautiful there.
    Did you bring home some Kona coffee? I buy mine right here at my friendly co-op, grown by some locals who live there part of the year. From the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle I've read, it is important that it be real and not blended.

  9. Kip and I honeymooned on Kauai and I am happy to say our weather was a little more hospitable. It is a beautiful island and so I am glad that, despite the torrential downpours, you got to see some of it and had a good time! The chickens there are pretty funny, aren't they? I think I took about 50 photos of chickens! LOL!

  10. Oh Les! I'm so sorry your trip didn't turn out as you would have liked (my February trip was a bust), but at least you did have some away time and enjoyable company! That has to count for something! :) AND . . . you got to visit with your daughter. That alone was probably worth it, huh?!

  11. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Sorry to hear about all that rain, but it seemed like you made the best of it! At least it's been warm since your return. Same here in NJ - I'm sitting in bed with the windows wide open in March - CRAZY! Stephanie

  12. 46 inches?! I think I'm still a bit in shock about your trip and the flooding the ensued. I've heard that Kauai can be quite rainy, but wow. You are wonderful to have made the most of the trip. We saw a number of wild chickens on Oahu--the first time I saw them I was so surprised. Seemed very out of place.

    Well, now that you're back--I'm hoping you're enjoying the warm and sunny spring! We're planning to clean out our flower beds this weekend. I was spoiled last year when my mom came to do my gardening for me (as I was 36 weeks). I just sat in a chair and directed. Ha!

  13. Kay G. - I'm just thankful we had two days of nice weather. Looking at my photos (which I'm still editing!), I can honestly say I had a good time. Just not the trip I imagined. ;)

    Lisa - I'd go back, too. However, I think I'd rather stay on the southshore. Poipu was a bit crowded, but not like the beaches in San Diego (where I grew up). There are so many beautiful beaches on Kauai, though, that I think it'd be fairly easy to find one that isn't terribly crowded. I think Poipu is nice for families since the surf isn't so big. Thanks for stopping by!

    Nan - They've been so many times, but this is their final trip. Kind of a shame to end it on such a disappointing trip...

    I doubt Rod and I will ever go. Don't you know he dislikes traveling? And he's not a beach kind of guy. Or one to want to go hiking or biking. Now a cabin on a lake in the woods is more his style of vacationing. As long as you don't have to fly across the ocean to get there! ;)

    Yes, I brought some Kona beans home from Hanalei, but we haven't broken into them yet. Soon...

    I still have Murder Casts a Shadow on my nightstand. I think it'll be fun to read it now that I've actually been to Hawaii. Thanks again!

    Wendy - What a wonderful location for a honeymoon. I'm glad the weather cooperated a bit better for you & Kip! :) I haven't tallied all the chicken pictures yet, but I'm sure there are close to 50. They are so beautiful. And I loved to see the little chicks with their mamas.

    Joy - Visiting my daughter in Dallas and my parents in Kauai made it all worthwhile! Thanks for the sympathies, though. :)

    Stephanie - It does help that I came home to warm temps. I'd probably be very depressed if I came home to subzero temps and blowing snow. ;) I actually broke down and turned on the AC today. We've been in the mid-80s for the past few days and I'm not sleeping well. I'm hoping a cooler upstairs will do the trick tonight!

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  15. Trish - Yep. Can you believe it? 46 inches! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. It literally POURED for hours and hours. Ok, days and days. ;) But, like you said, we made the best of it. We ate some great food, drank some great drinks and did a lot of walking.

    It's still absolutely gorgeous here. 80+ for the past few days. I've gotten out on my bike and logged quite a few miles this past weekend...after working in the yard for a few hours. I was pretty pooped last night. Maybe that's why I couldn't sleep. TOO tired. But the AC is on and I'm hoping to God I can at least get 6 hours. 4 just doesn't cut it. Enjoy your nice weather, too!


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