Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hawaiian Times

Just spent Thanksgiving in Kauai and boy am I not tan. We flew out of SFO on Thursday morning, got into Lihue that afternoon. It was an easy flight - we got the exit row so we could spread out. How great is it to leave a cold San Francisco and get in to a city where jeans are too much?

We got the car, checked into the resort and then headed South to Koloa and Poipu. I hadn't seen the island since before the last hurricane, and some things, like the tree tunnel were a bit different.

Each day was something wonderful. And I had the perfect travel companion, Greg, who was totally mellow, no-stress and fun. He totally made the trip for me. We went for an evening swim that first night in the protected surf area at our resort.

Friday we explored the Northern side of the island and visited an orchid farm. Greg was hoping to find some exotic orchids, but no luck. Also we stopped where our guidebook said was a great fruit stand, but found only 3 fruit offerings. The papayas were super tasty, even if that was essentially our only choice. We spent time at Secret Beach. On the East side of the beach are lava pools that were somewhat protected. The surf was getting big, so we decided to explore farther on instead of get hammered in the pools. It didn't' take too long for Greg to find a spot for a rest - on a raised point where waves would crash in front and to each side of us. Warning me, "If you think you're going to get splashed, just sit and brace yourself. Don't get up." We didn't get splashed, but the first wave came straight at us and then fell about 10 feet in front of our feet. I nearly had a heart-attack, as it was 30 feet down on all sides, but we were totally safe.

Saturday was a kayak trip and mud hike to a waterfall - with both of us sporting bruises and scapes from falls. Something about physical damage and slogging through mud detracted a bit from the glory of the waterfall.

Sunday we had planned to go on a zip-line adventure, but realized that we were much too damaged from the kayak and so went to the Hyatt for breakfast instead. There were some problems finding food. Our guidebook would rate a place as excellent, but we'd find it lacking. Sometimes having a palette is a good thing, as Greg's birthday dinner at Jardinere was heavenly for the two of us. And then it is a double edged sword when we can't find anything that isn't bland and fried on the Island. However, we did find the most tender steaks at Wahoo Seafood & Grill in Kapaa. If you are in the 'hood, check it out... it is well worth it.

Monday we took a snuba trip - where we go under with respirators connected to a tank that is floating in a little boat-let on the surface. I was very proud of myself for getting the courage to breathe underwater. Very difficult for me, but by the end I was doing great. In the afternoon we find a quiet beach where Greg taught me how to body surf. I didn't quite get it until the next day, but got over my fear of the water. That night we tried a sushi joint that was suggested by both the hotel staff and our guide book. We should have left after the sushi chef told us that there were no specials... Nothing had been caught special that day. Does something happen to tastebuds in the tropics?

Tuesday we packed up and spend the afternoon hunting down boogie boarding beaches and avoiding the rain that blew in. We didn't find a beach before we had to return the boogie board - I'll have to figure out how to make that happen next time - but I did catch my first body surfing wave. Sunset was spent playing in the water and just being happy.

When we got home and there was frost on the windshield. So cruel.

Big Thanks to Greg who took me on this wonderful trip.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Change or no Change

With today's decision that Webb won in Virginia, the Congress is officially back in Democratic hands. Not a moment too soon, I think. The current party, supposedly of small government has not found a spending bill or tax cut they didn't like. Which is quite a pairing, until remembers that we're paying with our grandkid's money.

While I find this cause for celebration, I've come into some resistance from my favorite male friend. His take is that it doesn't really matter which party is in power, that the effects are the same. Such a frustrating view - I can see the point, yet it makes me blue. At least we have Nancy Pelosi running the House. The first woman in that position. It warms my heart that I'm represented in Congress by women and women only.

On another bright note, I got my replacement iPod. Now with 80GB. Got a little something etched on it. Now I just need to recover all the music I lost on the last one. That will take a while. But bopping around the Jetta is more fun. Greg gets embarrassed, as I am a big fan of chair dancing. He's undecided on which he wants me to attend first: hip hop dance classes, massage school or cooking school. Which would you choose?