Kauai was an interesting adventure, though a week is certainly not enough time to unwind. Nonetheless, it was a week I will not soon forget. I’m clearly the kind of being who loves having nothing to do except what can come up as I’m going along. My lady friend, a being with a to-do list, had some trouble getting used to my refusal at having every day planned out. Nonetheless, I think she not only got used to being a bit spontaneous, but actually began liking it when she realized my lack of plans didn’t mean becoming a couch potato. Personally, I think she should have known this quite some time back.
Kauai is about the environs and I was like the proverbial kid in the proverbial candy store—full of wonder and glee. We had a vacation rental on the north shore, not far from the beaches and some amazing hiking. I would walk and marvel and stop and marvel and just plain grin non-stop. As long as I am safe, I love and feel deeply nurtured by the earth and her flora and fauna. I respect that there can be trouble, but at the same time I am quiet and centered and released from nearly all of my life concerns.
We both like hiking and we did some of that. I’m hip-replacement boy and not nearly as nimble as I used to be. Still, I’m not the worst hiker around. In fact, it came to us that no one ever passed us, even though we would stop and admire and wonder. My lady friend is the first woman who can actually out hike me in every way—she’s generally faster and she can certainly hike longer. Pretty amazing. I will say that though I can step it out and challenge her, my body is much more used to running. On one day I went a bit nuts on a rather rugged trail and took off, dancing across rocks and up and down the trail, passing people like crazy, grinning like I was a kid, and feeling that wondrous physical nimbleness. It lit me up, though I was a bit sore the next day. I think when she caught up with me at the end of the trail she was wondering how to deal with this sixty-four-year old, going on fourteen.
We took a couple of hikes when the sun was setting. Wow! On one such walk we found ourselves out on a golf course overlooking a beach and the north shore coastline. Only one other person was there, sitting on a bench way away from us. We may have been out for an evening walk, but at the point the sun was setting and we became very still—and very glad.
And then there was the helicopter ride around Kauai. I’ve never been in a helicopter. Again my fourteen-year old emerged. Unbelievable delight. My lady friend had never been in a helicopter either and she was a bit nervous at first before getting lit up as well. One simply cannot see such places as Kauai from the ground like they can from a helicopter. Heck, one cannot access so many places very easily except with a helicopter. Now I am wondering about flying lessons!
And there were the beaches—including one called Secret Beach by the locals. It was not so secret, but it wasn’t anywhere near as crowded as the other areas. Wonderful to sit and lounge and read and doze and swim—and the water was warm.
Neither my lady friend nor I are all that much into food, though I noticed how many folks asked about what we ate when we were in Kauai. But we did have at least two memorable meals out—the kind where all the internal dialogue stops and you just look at each other. Again, simple delights. Even when we ate at “home,” we were amazed. How about a morning meal of oatmeal, juice, and coffee outside on the back porch when it is raining like crazy? More grinning. How about a salad at night in the same place, and it’s raining? Lovely.
Did it rain a lot? Yep. But not for long periods. And it never rained on us for a long time when we were out. At one point we dressed up to go out and it began raining really hard. We simply sat down on the front porch and chatted a bit, listened a bit, and soon the rain stopped and we were off. Delightful again.
Kauai was a great respite. My lady friend and I are still learning about one another—it’s only about six months since we’ve been dancing with and around each other. And this was the longest trip we’ve taken together. We had some great discussions, some difficult, some light, always interesting.
Sometimes beauty, delight, and adventure fade to the background when we are in our routines. It is not that Kauai is the fountainhead of beauty, delight, and adventure, but rather that traveling to Kauai allowed us to see with new eyes that which is always there in one way or the other—including all those knuckleheads seemingly wandering about as though their senses and minds are untouched.
My take-away? One can go on vacation and still not go on vacation (we take that darn to-do list everywhere). But whether one is away from their normal routine or not, it is clear that rest and beauty and delight and adventure are important—and highly underrated.