Sorry to my kids who've been looking for these for a few weeks. I'm sacrificing to get them done now, but don't see another way. I'll have to have coffee for breakfast.
We returned from our wonderful week-long respite a full 3 weeks ago now. I came home so relaxed and refreshed that I seemed to just float in la-la land for a couple of days. Then bam. Life found me again. I was laid flat by the flu for two days and needed two more to get back on my feet. A few others joined the sick club, basketball games were on the calendar, field trips were scheduled, school had to get done, meals, laundry, cleaning, real life for sure.
But I still feel the effects of our week away. I smile when I think of how simple it all was. If we wanted to go somewhere at 8, we did. Just like that, we just left. When we put something down, it stayed put. When we cleaned something up, it stayed cleaned. When I washed the dishes (notice I didn't say 'we' this time) they stayed washed. It was surreal. It was so easy. It was utterly relaxing. It was a wonderful break. But I don't want to move and I don't want to retire just yet. Breaks are good, but living the crazy, busy, scattered life that I do is better in the more permanent sense. And getting away makes that clearer. The love and appreciation I have for my family and home is always keener after a step back and time of reflection.
The very best part, of course, was being with Keith and not having anything to think about but being with him. We could do everything together all the time, and with the exception of a .3 mile spur on a 9-mile hike (I passed), we did.
Kauai is called the Garden Island for good reason and the pictures pretty much speak for themselves, so I'll keep the text to a minimum and let the pictures do the talking.
Keith is a marvelous trip planner and researched some spectacular hikes. We logged over 20 miles in our six days. Warning signs were abundant, we are not faint-hearted hikers.
My "tow rope" when the uphill switchbacks got to be a bit too much.
We did not leave feeling cheated out of relaxation.
Loved the trees
Loved the sunsets
Some typical tourist activities:
Visited the falls best known as the "Fantasy Island" falls. Tattoo points over them and says, "Boss, da plane, da plane!"
Historic walk through Waimea, the landing spot of James Cook, with 80-year-old native guide Aletha--a wealth of information, she had a fantastic memory and shared all we wanted to hear. What a treat to get a personal account of her memory of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the pre and post-statehood days of Hawaii.
The Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon
We also saw whales, dolphins, seals, and turtles, birds and birds, and too many chickens. We took a boat trip, snorkeled, shopped at the open markets for local produce, and visited the largest coffee plantation in the US. We hiked like we were young and played shuffleboard like we were old.
But best of all, we added to a precious pool of memories of enjoying being together.