Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kauai, Hawaii

After (and before!) Oahu, we flew to the island of Kauai for five nights, aka Hawaii's "lush, green island" that is known for its scenery and varied landscape. We rented a car to drive around because the island cities are spread out. Overall, Kauai is less touristy than other parts of Hawaii, and there is not as much to do. One night we even ended up at the local Blockbuster to rent a movie. If you want to feel like you've stepped back in time about 10 years, a video store will do it. It really felt like we were in a living museum, with the obligatory overpriced candy, cardboard movie cutouts, and gangly teen cashier. Maybe Netflix hasn't caught on in Hawaii.


There are boatloads of feral chickens running around the island, which prompts the following obvious joke.


Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

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A: Because Nick was chasing it with a large fern!

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In front of Mt. Wailaleale, aka the wettest place on earth, before we went water tubing:

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We stopped at a farmer's market as well, where we bought mangos, mountain apples (strangely shaped mini apples), and apple bananas (sweet, stubby bananas.)

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Nick also bought me my first lei.

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We finished the day watching the sunset at the end of the road. A lot of the roads just randomly end at waterfalls or beaches, because the entire west side of the island is not navigable by car. Luckily, there was a guy whacking the tops off of fresh coconuts, so we enjoyed the sunset with a coconut & rum cocktail. Not coconut flavored rum, a fucking coconut with rum poured into it!

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One main attraction of Kauai is the Na Pali Coast, which is only accessible by boat, air, or foot. Nick and I made sure to cover all three.




We started out exploring the coast by boat, with a sunset and snorkeling booze cruise.

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The next morning, we attacked the coast from 4500 feet in a motorized hang glider. Nick was really scared, but I convinced him to go, and he loved it! Although not enough to do it again. And he liked it! I, on the other hand, was contemplating starting up a hang gliding tour company that flies over NYC. Irrelevant aside: pretty sure NYC controlled airspace is not open to hang gliding.

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A couple of days later, we attacked the Na Pali by foot and hiked the Kalalau Trail. It was a 4 hour round trip, comprised of high cliffs, loose rocks, mud, waterfalls, and views for miles. In fact, it was so muddy and/or I was so hardcore that I threw away my pants and shoes after the hike. Such a scenic place was the perfect setting for senior pictures. Though we graduated ten years ago, and missed our ten year reunion while we were in Hawaii, we took "senior pictures" anyway. As I mentioned, we were on a senior citizen time zone schedule.

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We also drove along Waimea Canyon, also referred to as "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific" (Mark Twain) and "the Mulholland Drive of the Pacific" (Erica). About 10 miles of gorgeous highways, we had to stop so many times to look and gawk.

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Can you see Nick?

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When we left Kauai, I sadly bid adieu to my lei. Since a lei picks up the wearer's spirit, it's definitely not a good idea to chuck it in the nearest trash bin. Some lady on the internet suggest disposing of the flowers in the sea which sounded reasonable enough to me!

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And, with that, mahalo to Hawaii for the adventures, the relaxation, the snorkeling with sea turtles, the rainbows, the signs that begged for rebellion, the mai tais, the Ben Stiller family sighting, the jumping dolphins, and the hula lessons!

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