Archive for the 'Hawaii' Category
This beach area is on the map of Kauai, but we’d never ventured there before. The last time my husband and I were on the island, back in 2010, we did a lot of exploring for a week, but for some reason, we never checked out this part of the south shore.
It was fantastic!
The roads to get there were a bit tricky, but nothing we were nervous about…especially in a rental car.
The sand on this beach felt like silk. Seriously…it was incredible. We had fun renaming various beaches around Kauai. This one was Silky Beach (with the Roaring Trail), and another was Brown Sugar Beach. You get the picture.
Wait. There was a roaring trail? Yes, there was, and it scared us half to death!
We followed the well-worn hiking trail along the coast line, and the views were just incredible.
In one part, you can take in all the colors of the ocean, and as you’re gazing breathlessly out to sea, little do you know there is a blowhole of sorts behind you, off the trail on the opposite side. It would scream with a hissing roar at intervals. It was so shocking!
As I mentioned, the sand was the softest we’ve ever felt (hence our nickname for it being silky), yet the rocks were sharp and craggy.
It was such a contrast of soft and jagged, dangerous and beautiful.
We spent hours exploring here, playing in the sand with our shadows while hiking the dunes…
…frolicking in the pools left by the lowering tide and then watching the waves rise to reclaim our playground.
…and taking it all in, the peace of the island seeping into every pore.
It was hard to leave.*
*Needless to say, that was a recurring theme of our Kauai Vacation.
The mornings on Kauai are magical. I’m not a morning person on the mainland. I could see that changing if I lived on an island paradise…maybe, just maybe.
I look at this photo my hubby took, and my heart is happy. Our shadows play with the wind, waves, mountains, sea.
We’re back from a week in Kauai!
I thought it was hard to leave the island last time, and this time is proving to be even worse.
We took an overnight flight last night, and after what seems like days of traveling, we stopped at a restaurant on the way home. I wasn’t offered a flower for my hair. The view of ocean was completely obstructed. I’m wearing pants.
This version of reality is just awful!
Needless to say, this was one of the most fantastic vacations we’ve had, and in true Casual Perfectionist style, it was a fun mix of relaxation and awesome adventures. I’ll be reporting back on all of those and more in the coming days.
In the meantime, Aloha!
I love this photo. Right now, it’s the “cover photo” of my personal Facebook page (I change that often, but this one spoke to me, so I put it up last week, and as of the time of this post, it’s still there…). It’s also the background on my phone.
We took this photo in Hawaii, on the island of Maui. We’d stopped to explore the Black Sand Beach (yes, there is one on Maui!) while exploring the road to Hana.
It’s at a park called Wai’anapanapa.
Just saying it is fun.
Side Note: This weekend, Claire was looking through a calendar we got from a conservation organization. March’s picture is a beautiful shot of this very Black Sand Beach! I showed Claire the photos WE took of that beach, and when she saw they were the same, she was in awe! “Look! I see those three palm trees, right there!” Fantastic!
This was a trail we would have never found if it weren’t for letterboxing. We were thrilled to discover that there was a letterbox hidden at this very park, and the clues seemed easy enough. Needless to say, the start to this particular letterboxing adventure was just as rocky as the shoreline. We could not find this trail. We did not understand what some of the clues meant. None of it was making any sense. We traipsed off in the totally wrong direction, all the while pretending we were on the right track. We tried to force meaning out of the things around us. ”Surely this is what they meant!? Maybe they meant that!?” No. When you’re right, the answers to the clues slip into place. Usually.
We knew the rules, but decided to blatantly disregard them.
Although completely frustrated but not wanting to give up completely, we decided to stop for lunch and try again.
After a bite to eat at the park, we decided to try one more time. This time, everything fell into place. (We also agreed on how WE would have written the starting point of the clue, but that’s neither here nor there. Details, details.) With this renewed energy, we found it! It’s one of the coolest trails we’ve ever explored.
The picture doesn’t show how dark and mysterious this all was; the camera has lightened it up quite a bit. The canopy was so low that my husband had to crouch while under some of it. It was so thick, you could barely see the bright blue sky through it.
We’d stumbled into another world.
Steps worn by other adventurers and the passage of time.
Such a great reward for not giving up, for going back to the beginning and trying again.
This photo inspires me in so many ways.
I see this view every day, all day. Well, every time I look at my phone, that is. I’ve been changing up the picture on Eva‘s “wallpaper” every now and then with pictures that make me smile.
This one certainly does.
I took this photo in Kauai when we were there in October. It was just steps from our hotel room.
When I look at this, I can smell the wonderfulness that is Hawaii. I can feel the warm sand between my toes. I can feel the soft breeze playing with my hair. I can hear the calming yet exhilarating waves.
I could get used to this view. Yes, I’d miss Colorado dearly, but I have a feeling the soft ocean breezes would dry my tears quite nicely. ;)
Needless to say, every time I look at my phone, I smile.
If you’ve spent any time around me in real life, you’re probably tired of hearing about Hawaii, but I really haven’t shared much online yet. We went in October for two weeks, in honor of our 10 year wedding anniversary. Claire stayed home with the grandparents.
A grand time was had by all.
My husband and I didn’t want to leave Hawaii. We looked at each other and said, “Let’s just send for Claire and the kitties and just stay!” We weren’t kidding.
But, like good little travelers, we showed up at the airport on the last day of our trip and used our return tickets home.
This trip was magnificent. Hawaii truly is a paradise, and I can’t wait to go back.
Today, I got word that there is some exciting volcanic activity at Volcano National Park, and it’s prompted me to share some of our own adventures.
One of the most exhilarating experiences we had was the day trip to The Big Island to see the volcano.
We used an outfitter, and they couldn’t guarantee that we’d see lava flow. It’s worse than predicting the weather, and they didn’t want to get our expectations out of whack.
We knew we’d be able to hike in the lava fields. We did!
We knew we’d be able to see a volcano (and hoped we could get relatively close). We did!
Would we be able to see lava flowing? Would one of the main reasons we traveled to the Big Island come to fruition? Time would tell. With our fingers crossed, the sun slipped farther and farther to the west, and Pele smiled upon us! We got to see lava flow! We got to get right up close! (Well, roughly 35 feet) We could feel the heat, and the sight of new earth being created right in front of us changed us forever.
You can tell things are exciting when all the tour guides are ecstatic. They were saying that they hadn’t seen such a wonderful display in over 6 months.
It was all we could have dreamed it could be.
I can’t really describe the feeling of that moment and how it will forever be a part of me. We witnessed pure power. We witnessed raw creation. Experiencing it first hand was overwhelming and more exciting than we could have ever imagined.
And I can’t wait to go back.
I am not fluent in French, but I just love the way that word looks when it’s spelled:
Doesn’t it look like a little guy, the j for the nose? See the upraised eyebrows over the concerned look in the e and a eyes?
…but I digress.
Remember when I had coral removed from my thumb?
Well, it’s baaack. Actually, pieces of it never left. My thumb healed well, but it was still painful to bend and grip, even after the incision and stitched area healed…and that’s when I could see another piece.
So, I scheduled an appointment that would work for our schedules, and Friday I got to go under the knife again. This time, he found another piece of coral, and possibly a fourth. It was really hard to tell, what with all the blood.
So, I have another stitch.
…that I couldn’t get wet until Monday.
…and it looks just as gross (if not more so) than it did the first time I had coral removed.
…and I can’t use my thumb until I get the stitch out on Friday.
At least it’s just a thumb. On my right hand. It’s not like I’d use it much for anything. All day. *cough*
Hopefully this heals, and we’ll be done with it. If any more coral is lurking, I get to meet one of the plastic surgeons in town that specializes in the removal of foreign bodies. OH! And! Coral doesn’t show up on an x-ray. True Story.
Who knew such teeny tiny pieces of coral could cause such trouble?
All this, and I still can’t wait to go back to Hawaii. I’m plotting my return to the islands. I think this is a sign we should have never left.
I hear you Pele, LOUD AND CLEAR.
Alternate title: Some people will do anything for a souvenir (stolen from my friend Melissa who said that to me on Twitter.)
We all know I’m a HUGE fan of irony. Because of this, I’m finding some delight in this story, along with the pain.
Without further ado, here starts my tale…
Remember when we went to Hawaii? I mean, how could you forget? I only mention it daily.
Well, when we were in Kauai, we decided to go snorkeling. The snorkeling in Maui was fantastic, and we’d heard that the snorkeling in Kauai was incredible, too!
We couldn’t wait.
We rented gear, and the clerk at the store told us some hot spots to go. We followed his instructions and found ourselves at a nice beach near Poipu. Other people were also out snorkeling, so we thought this would be great!
We find a place for our bag, put on our gear and head to the water. The best place to go into the water looks to be over these dark rocks. Lava rocks? Roundish wave-beaten rocks? That doesn’t look too dangerous, plus, that’s got to be the only way in from here…so let’s go!
If you’ve never walked with flippers on and tried to get in the water during high tide, you won’t know how difficult that really is to execute. I’m in the water for approximately 17 seconds and I slip and fall. In an attempt to catch myself, I put my right hand down and my knee scrapes against one of those rocks.
I feel a sharp cutting pain in my right thumb, and I pull it out of the water to see what looks like a knife slice. Amongst the rocks? CORAL. I have blood streaming down my palm and my wrist. I call out to my husband who in an attempt to reach me slips and slices his finger.
We both determine that we can’t get out to deeper water at this rate, and we try to turn around to get out of the water. The high tide does the rest and we’re washed back up on the beach, a bedraggled and bloody mess.
Sweet! This is not how we expected to start the day! How in the blankety-blank are those other people out there snorkeling!? We KNOW to avoid coral. Every time we go out, we make a conscious EFFORT to avoid coral. Explaining this to the coral does no good.
My thumb is killing me, but I’ve clamped it enough with my index and middle finger to get it to stop bleeding, somewhat. I have an emergency first aid kit with us, but it’s back at the rental car. We do not, however have any form of paper-towels or tissues of any kind.
Long story short, we find some toilet paper to use in the women’s bathroom, and we get ourselves disinfected with some anti-bacterial wipes and all bandaged up with some bandaids from the emergency pack. During this debacle, and in the search for paper products of any kind, we see a small strip of sand leading out to the water. That’s where we went into the water and did so without incident.
…until it was time to call it a day.
From out there, that tiny strip of sand was nearly impossible to see. We saw the rocks, which we avoided at ALL cost.
As it happened, there was a snorkeling tour in the water at the same time. When their guide made his way to the beach and stood on the tiny strip of sand directing his people to come toward him, we just pretended that we knew where it was all along.
So, that’s harrowing, right? It was about time I got hurt. I was wondering when it was going to happen. It was my luck that it happened on October 20th, just a couple days before we left for the mainland.
That late afternoon, when we got back to the hotel, we assessed the damage in greater detail. My husband’s cuts didn’t look too bad. The scrape on my knee was just a scrape. Then, we looked at my gross thumb. It appeared to be a puncture at the bottom of the cut and the slice of a knife up and through the joint. Yay! I mean, if you’re gonna go, go all out.
In our expert medical opinions (ha!), we determined that it didn’t need stitches. I cleaned it again, slathered it in Neosporin and bandaged it. It was painful, but I didn’t let it ruin my trip.
Fast forward to Friday, November 12th. I’d been keeping a close eye on my thumb, because I’d heard from our guidebooks and confirmed with Dr. Google that the thing to watch for with coral cuts is infection. My thumb had only looked angry the day after I’d cut it, and more disinfectant seemed to do the trick. It appeared to be healing nicely, but it was still really tender. It was hard for me to open jars and bottles, but that was about it.
So, Friday rolls around, and I’d noticed that my thumb was healing nicely but was still really painful when I bent it. I also noticed that there was a bump forming in the cut. I couldn’t tell if it was scar tissue or if something was embedded.
He looks at it with the fancy-schmancy magnifier and announces that he thinks there is not one, but two somethings in there. Or it’s scar tissue. He then offers to disinfect one of his blades and do some exploring.
He claims he was joking, but I wasn’t taking any chances, so I called the doctor, and luckily, was able to get in that afternoon. My husband had the day off and could keep Claire occupied, so this was perfect.
The actual procedure was very tedious and took forever, but when it was all said and done, the doctor had removed two pieces of coral from my thumb and stitched me back up. (Letting the scar tissue continue to build around the pieces would interfere with the joint in my thumb.) I then had strict orders to not get it wet until at least Sunday and was told the doctor stitched my thumb with thread that will dissolve on its own.
So, let me recap: A cut that was healing quite nicely had to be sliced open again, this time requiring at least one stitch. A cut that I received while in the water couldn’t get wet.
Irony to the rescue!
So, here’s a picture of my thumb the day I had my impromptu surgical appointment at the doctor’s office. I’ve spared you the gross and gory picture. You’re welcome. I’ve softened it by playing with it in Photoshop so that you can’t see the gross wound. You can still see the iodine all down my thumb. (Trust me when I say this picture is gross without alterations.) They numbed my thumb with 5 needles, which was incredibly painful, and my thumb is still tender to the touch there, too. Irony, there you are again! Some of those shots also stopped the blood flow so that the doctor could see what he was doing.
Now, I get to go through the healing process again. My thumb is incredibly painful, and it’s hard for me to do even the simplest of tasks. Typing is getting slightly better, but holding a pen, opening jars, or doing anything that requires me to bend my thumb brings tears to my eyes. On Monday, I was able to wash my hair by myself, and was filled with joy. (It’s hard to rely on others, but Claire washed my hair that weekend at her “salon” and kept referring to me as “ma’am.” She did a fantastic job!)
Before I wrap this up, I’ll answer the number one question I’ve been getting: No, I didn’t get to keep the coral. I am not going to make it into a necklace. Although a fantastic idea, the two pieces were way too tiny, and the doctor lost them in all the bloody gauze and implements.
And, yes, I’ll probably have a scar. But, I’m okay with that. I mean, if you’re going to go to all this work for a souvenir, it may as well last forever.
Click photo for more detail.
This is one of my favorite photos from Hawaii. Yes, I say that with almost every photo. I can’t help it!
Why does this one look weird? Well, when we were in Kauai, we were fortunate to have a blazingly bright full moon. We decided to play around with our new camera on the beach, and we set the exposure really long and used the moonlight to take our photo.
I haven’t edited this photo at all. This is the power of a fancy camera, creativity, and moonlight.
I love how the waves appear to wash right through us, softened and morphed together as time goes on. Little movements we made while standing still for so long appear blurry and soft.
When I saw this photo, it reminded me of our relationship. For almost 14 years, we’ve stood by each other as waves have crashed around us, sometimes soothing, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes frightening, always exciting. Time has softened it all. Little movements we’ve made together or separate appear blurry now, but when held long enough, our image is strong.
Today, 10 years ago, we made this bond public and official.
Here’s to many more years of magic and moonlight, softness and strength, love and excitement.
I love you, babe.