Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PS to the Previous Post

Last night on the news there was a story about a 35-year-old man that drowned after jumping at Kipu Falls. So I guess that means we will not be doing any more jumping there... DANG!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Am I Brave? Or Just Stupid?

Last Friday was a state holiday for us, King Kamehameha Day, so I had a day off and was not even on call. Joey and I decided to have a fun day with just the two of us, since Mike's on the mainland right now. We spent most of the day at Poipu beach playing and soaking up the sun. There were two very big sea turtles also soaking up sun right at the edge of the water. We sat in the warm sand and kept them company for a while. They were beautiful. They stayed there all day. I would have taken pictures but I didn't have my camera with me. After the beach we had pizza at Pizzeta's in Koloa (one of our favorites), where Joey made friends with some men watching sports at the bar and had some pretty hot debates about teams.

On the way home, we decided to take a detour and ended up at Kipu Falls. This is a beautiful little spot near Lihue. We hiked the short hike to the falls and there were a couple of people there already. We watched them jump from the cliff at the top of the falls into the water. Then they got the rope that swings out over the pool and started swinging on it, landing at the base of the falls. After you land, you swim to the cliff and climb up a ladder someone has conveniently placed there back to the top of the falls. It looks fun, but I had no intention of actually doing it, mostly because I had no idea how deep the water was, and in my warped way of thinking, the deeper it is, the scarier it is. Also, I was two days from my 49th birthday, so, of course, I am too old to even consider doing such a thing.

Here's the scene: Joey, me and four teenagers from the mainland. As we watched the teens swinging out over the water, yelling and screaming and basically having a great time, we decided to do it. I stood on the edge holding the rope listening to my heart race and thinking I'm not really going to do this, am I? After a few half-hearted attempts at stepping off the cliff, I actually DID. I went soaring through the air, suspended by a rope, swinging like Tarzan through the jungle. It was exhilirating! When the rope started it's back-swing, my weight pulled me off the rope and I sailed to the water, landing with a big splash and a BIG smile.

WHAT A RUSH!! It was awesome! I swam to the ladder (not an easy feat for this poor swimmer but I did it) and climbed up. The teenagers were all impressed that this old grandma did it.

Joey did it twice after I did and the second time he did it, he didn't let go of the rope on the first swing, so he kicked off the cliff to swing again before he finally landed.

We were hyper driving home, let me tell you! What an adventure we had! When we got home, we googled Kipu Falls and found some terrifying videos of people having horrendous accidents on rope swings. We decided it was a good thing we didn't google it before we went or we would have NEVER gotten on that rope. As it was, we had a terrific time in our ignorance and no one was hurt.

I did not have my camera to take real pictures, so I got an internet picture for this post. If you look closely, you can see the ladder. The rope swing is at about the 11 o'clock position in the picture, hanging from a huge tree.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Queen's Bath

A couple of weeks ago we took pictures from the cliff overlooking Queen's Bath. This is a beautiful swimming spot on the North Shore. In the winter the water is too deep and wild to go there, but in the summer it's a popular place.
Bird of Paradise. So pretty.

There were only a couple of people swimming but we had a great view from the cliff above. One of these days we'll go down the trail and swim there ourselves, but we haven't tried it yet.

This is an interesting place right next to Queen's Bath. You can also see it from the cliff above. There's a wild video on YouTube that shows some people swimming here when the waves are rolling. It's called something like "Not Queen's Bath But Close By" and there's one called "Boy Gets Flushed." Check 'em out if you get bored. It's pretty amazing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Garden Island Touches my Heart

Hello world! Here's an update on what I've been doing the last couple of weeks.
I went to the mainland to help my dear daughter with her new twins. It was a wonderful trip and I love, love, love all my grandbabies! I got to see five of my six grandbabies and I just can't even describe how much I love them all. It was a very busy trip, trying to see my family and helping with two babies.
The weather was so cold! I froze the entire time. I'm not sure I can describe how I felt when I landed back in Kauai. The air feels different here. It's warm and humid, which some people don't like but it felt wonderful to me. The first thing I did in the airport was take off the jacket I had worn for two weeks, spread my arms wide, inhale a big breath, and SMILE! Then I wiped the tears of joy from my eyes. I really was so happy to be back home.
Home. Wow... weird that Kauai is home to me now. Someday (fairly soon) we will leave Kauai and move back to Colorado (which is truly my real home) but being back here just feels so wonderful. I am again awed by the beauty of this amazing island. I don't think I will ever take this beauty for granted. I love how everything here is green and lush, full of life and growing. This morning I lay in my bed waiting to hear the Hawaiian doves that coo so often. Within a minute or two I heard one and again I SMILED. That is the sound of Hawaii to me. I went to work and was greeted with hugs, cheek-kisses and welcome-back-wishes from the wonderful friends I work with. They said they missed me and asked how the babies and the rest of my family were doing. My boss found me to say welcome back, gave me a hug, asked me about the twins, and cried when I told her how they were doing (this is a little different from my boss in Colorado, whom I hardly ever saw).
To those dear loved-ones that I saw on the mainland this last two weeks: Please don't mistake my love for Kauai as a rejection of you all or of the home that I love there. Please try to understand this almost spiritual love I have for this new home of mine. It does NOT mean I don't want to be with you! I just want to treasure every single moment I have on my temporary island home because I know this time is short-lived and this place truly brings me JOY. JOY! Not just pleasure but true, deep JOY. I wish I could find the words to adequately describe my love for Kauai, but I can't, and I really don't expect my loved-ones to understand it, but please just accept it and support me and let me experience this life adventure to the fullest.