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
The Wai`oli Hui`ia Church
The ubiquitous wild chicken of Kauai
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.