The Honeymoon Is Over

I’m back on the couch. I think there’s some value in the fact that it takes more than 24 hours to get home from Kauai, because it’s the only way to make walking into the apartment a real joy when where you’re coming from is, essentially, heaven on earth.

We had such a wonderful time. I spent the whole week in a sarong and I’m wondering now why we don’t all wear them all the time. I’m guessing if I head out the door this New York November morning I will get a clue as to why.

For nine days we had plumeria and hibiscus and pikake and hundreds of other flowers I can’t identify. As I promised myself, I ate pineapple every day. I also ate a lot of pancakes.

One of the trip highlights was a helicopter ride over the island. I won’t lie. I was good and scared at times. But it was stunning. By the time we landed I had cotton mouth from all the gaping I did. We zipped up over a ridge and suddenly we were thousands of feet higher, hovering over Waimea Canyon. We covered the entire wild Na Pali coast. We flew into a dead volcano crater. And we flew up to a waterfall and then did a straight decent, recreating the landing scene in Jurassic Park (all the jungle stuff was filmed on Kauai).

Here’s are two things that particularly knocked me out about Kauai. The first is that there is so much beach, coastline, mountain and jungle that it’s simple to fall ass backward into having any one of those things to yourself. There’s plenty. Anywhere in California that looked like any random bend in the road in Kauai would be fenced off, rangered, and feature hot dog stands and souvenir photos. The second thing amazing is that the islanders treat their land reverantly. I sometimes walked big, long, beautiful beaches and couldn’t find one single piece of litter — not a cup, not a can, not a bottle, not a cigarette. The few times I’d see something it stood out in glaring relief.

We didn’t spend a ton of time actually in the ocean. The surf around Hawaii, especially in the fall and winter, is rough and dangerous. I loved it, as the enormous waves crashing huge sprays onto the beach never got old to me. But there was no question that at many beaches your dip would be permanent. Our hotel was on Kalapaki Beach, which is partially protected by a sea wall. Damon took surfing lessons there and, not surprisingly, was really good. Even the local surfers were shouting their approval.

And now I face the day with no mangos and no salt water and no crazy chickens (they run wild everywhere there). Not a happy proposition. But having Zoe curled up here beside me compensates for a lot.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Wow. I have never wanted to go to Hawaii until reading this.

    Reply

  2. Welcome back! I’m glad you had a great time and can’t wait for the pictures!

    Reply

  3. Check this out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/72673503@N00/tags/aloha/
    You’ll be booking your tickets.
    I am not a beach person. I actually had to be convinced to go. But this was so much more than just an uber-Bahamas.
    Did I mention the chickens?

    Reply

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