We’re back from vacation.
Which…in every sense, feels as though I need a vacation…like a six hour nap followed by an early bed time.
Because it’s work. This vacation thing. And it’s fun. And it’s every level of exhaustion in between…which is why, “how was your vacation?’ cannot be answered in a single word. Or five.
The thing was, we loved it. We loved Kauai. Loved its limitless beauty. We loved its rogue roosters and its people–both completely unruffled. And friendly. And we loved that their friendliness rubbed off on the rest of us, such that in our leaving, even, we are kinder than we came. I’m sure of it.
Here’s our son on the plane in Seattle. We haven’t moved an inch. But he’s honed in on the ‘special’ bag and has told me all he knows about it. “Food goes in there,” he says.
And I nod. Because it’s okay for him to be halfway right this time.
The welcome sign was probably over the top, as we felt welcome the moment we saw the sun.
And let’s just say it’s not so difficult to discern between those leaving the island and those just arriving from their winter cave.
Hello pasty white.
Here’s the Tunnel of Trees on the south end of the island as we headed to Poi Pu. Breathtaking the first time. And never boring after that.
We stayed here…at the Lawai Beach Resort, clear on the southern end of the island…
Which looked like this on the inside… (Never mind the three on the lanai who’ve dropped their bags and their drawers and ripped into their swimsuits in a new island record. Four seconds).
And like this on the outside. This is looking left from our lanai.
This is looking right.
And this is looking straight out.
That’s the ocean. Um. Right there. Across the street.
We ditched our shoes at the door. Just like everyone else.
And then went and checked that ocean out.
The water temperature did not matter.
It was enough to simply be here. In the sand.
This is Poi Pu Beach–just down the road. And without announcement this turtle emerged from the ocean and drug itself with the strength of an ox several yards through the sand before closing its eyes to rest. Nobody blamed him.
And then the sun set.
Not a lot of people were itching to play mini golf first thing in the morning.
Just those who rose at 5:30 a.m. and had eaten twice before the thing opened.
And weirdly…it was fun…
By week’s end, we didn’t even notice these guys. But for the first few days they seemed out of place.
Or we did.
Because they’re everywhere–like in the Walmart parking lot–and nobody flinches.
They’re at the beach.
By the car.
And under foot.
This is Lydgate Beach. A place we spent a bunch of time. And mostly because of those rocks in the back of the picture. They cut off the waves and formed a giant swimming pool, which made it easier for kids to fiddle in the water without getting swept away.
While he dug…
She clomped away to see a fish.
As first timers, we emptied a tank of gas trying to absorb as much of the island as we could.
This is a beach on the eastern shore.
And it had the same effect on them.
It had to be touched. And smelled. And flopped in.
Also…each day had a farmer’s market scheduled somewhere on the island in some parking lot.
Here’s her first coconut.
And here’s the rest of the bounty.
Fresh bread. A bundle of beets. A grape fruit. Apple-bananas. Longans–the things in the white bowl. Corn on the cob. Jicama. And a mango, a papaya, two mountain apples and two star fruit all in the center bowl.
These are the longans. They grow on trees in people’s yards…not wild.
What you do is bite into it to break the skin. Pull one side of the skin off and then suck the jelly center out.
It’s got a hard seed in the middle of it that you don’t want to eat, but the fruit comes off easily with your teeth
It tastes like…like honeydew.
These are rambutans. And once you break open the Truffula tree-like outer shell, their centers look just like the inside of a longan.
Only they’re sweeter. And they taste…exotic?
We miss these already.
This is another farmer’s market a few sunburns later.
And this is the lei he could not part with.
That’s a lemon.
And this is what most of the markets look like–people selling fruit and vegetables right out of the backs of their cars.
Produce goes quickly. And no one barters the price.
The is the Secret Beach on the northern shore.
Probably one of the prettiest…
And most dangerous this time of year.
The waves didn’t just cuddle up to the rocks. No. They smacked the daylights out of them.
And so with greater care, we out ran the waves.
And we tried to get air between them
Until with great reverence for the power of the ocean, we hiked back up that ‘hill’ a half hour to the car.
Kid tryin’ to shake a coconut from a palm tree.
Where I could spend every day.