Tuesday, January 29, 2013
*Well we DIDN'T END UP IN HAWAII!!!! Got up at 2am. Left at 3am. Drove several hours to the airport. Got through security - whew!! Waited eons to find out our plane can't fly due to bad engine (well thank God that we DIDN'T board it :-) ). Got re booked as we would not make our connecting flights. Got re booked again. Shared a burger. 6 hours later caught a plane to Seattle. After a few unsuccessful attempts, secured meal tickets. Got to a motel which refused us. Back to the airport. To another motel. ARUGH!!
Had a lovely, romantic afternoon in a nice motel at the airlines expense "distressed traveler" - um uh huh, enjoyed a wonderful hot shower, ate a delicious salad at the airports expense. Went for a walk together. Worked out in the fitness room and it felt GREAT!! Chilled out in our room watching movies :-) Great end to a complex day. Proud i kept a good attitude and thankful for such a fun day together to start our adventure. Motto on the wall for hours at the airport "Itineraries are meant to be changed" - lol :-)
**I was a nervous wreck trying to get to the airport, worried something would go wrong, again. My husband and i were suffering from sore throats, coughs, aches, fever, stuffiness, chills generously sent along by our loving kiddos. The shuttle driver drove all over except for the airport. Some poor guy even forgot his wedding band and we had to go back to the motel. At long last we made it through getting correct boarding passes, security and awaited our gate. And then began the long 6 hour flight to aloha land....
Random thoughts that go through my head on a 6 hour flight..........
- "oh my goodness what if i have to hurl?" as i envision that i can't get to the barf bag because of the stuff in front of me, resourcefully i grab the hat off my husbands head and do the dirty deed.
- "what if a strange man tried to kiss me?", an involuntary wretch occurs and i almost do option A.
- a passenger demands that i stop staring at him, even though i'm not. He soon becomes irate and becomes belligerent. Soon there is a big scene unfolding. The stewardesses ask me politely to please stop staring.
- i may be required to do specific random acts of heroism such as save a man having a heart attack or a small child on a plane crash in the ocean. These heroine acts are generally followed by a feature of me on the front page of a newspaper.
- a person in my row thinks i stole something from him.
- a spy scene unfolds as a mysterious man in a nearby seat is carrying some multi billion dollar device which must be protected from espionage.
- an obese individual has a terrible gas problem. In this one, i can't get away from excessive and overly offensive odors of the perpetrator.
During these thoughts, i begin intermittently laughing loudly. No one understands why i am laughing and begins to question my sobriety and or sanity.
- I also imagine my cell phone ringing. This happens about every 5 minutes.
After these random thoughts and stir craze had made its rounds, i noticed that the gentleman near my husband's pen had exploded. We were in turbulence and so he couldn't get up or get help. Heroine that i am, I gave him a napkin and hand sanitizer to try and clean up his hands. Up until this time he had not said ONE WORD to us. Not even looked our way. It was a strange feeling sitting next to somebody for hours and never interacting. I was jealous of the other passengers, but reminded myself that conversation can also become exhausting. Still, the fact that this man had not spoken at all for 3 or 4 hours made me more and more fascinated and got my imagination going in circles.
When finally he spoke, it was to thank me for the napkin. That broke the ice and suddenly i knew all about him. He was from England, working for a big company...studied political science...breeds horses on his own farm for a hobby ....... no kids...... He doesn't think I'm old enough to have a 21 year old (I knew there was something good to be said about him)...... married, no wife (what?).....HUSBAND = GAY.
I love gay people. They don't bother me at all. I don't necessarily believe in its morality, but I believe sin is sin and I have plenty of my own to be repenting over. My husband, on the other hand, does not overly enjoy being around gay people. It gives him the heebie jeebies. He's not mean or rude, just heebie jeebied. Immediately, the humor in it hit me and I could hardly keep a straight face. My husband was spending 6 hours shoulder to shoulder, arm to arm cramped up next to him. Being that they placed us in the nonreclining, emergency exit doorway, head proximity was quite near. I kept the conversation going, desperately, seeing a momentarily pained expression on my dear ones face. Then it was gone and he kept on visiting with him......selah.
We stepped off the airplane into windy, warm breezes and the vast expanse of a different world. I had contacted some mom and pop operation off Craigslist for a minivan without the back seats (so we could sleep in it). Owner, who only wants to go by "Chris" and it was hard getting that out of him, picked us up. He took us to an undisclosed location near some low income type housing. A burly Hawaiian man jacked up the car in a hurry "looking over some problem" and helped Chris get the seats out. They were in a real hurry and I imagined he may have been looking over his shoulder alot. I smiled pretty and got him down a bit on the price before handing him the wad of cash. He was in a hurry to get out of there mumbling something about "another customer". My husband asked me if we had any sort of documentation. I said we didn't. He asked me how I knew that it wasn't stolen. I told him the guy has been running Craigslist ads since Sept. That gave us momentary comfort. No spare... crappy tires... dented... perfect. We'll be incognito. Nobody will imagine we're tourists ;-) As long as the beast can run for 2 weeks it will be good to go......
After that we went nuts at the thrift stores buying up cheap pans, utensils, bedding and such. After a few Walmart trips we were pretty well outfitted. We ate at a great cheap place called "no1". That's it. Just "no1". There was so much food on my plate I couldn't possibly eat it all. After all the travels with relatively very little food, I gorged on the steamed veggies and bbq pork and rices. It was the first time I felt full in days.
Paradise in the Walmart Parking Lot
When all was said and done, we decided just to sleep in the Walmart parking lot. It was late. We were exhausted and driving around to find some other place would have taken too much energy for both of us. I never imagined sleeping in a Walmart parking lot could be so surreal. Palm trees swayed outside amidst rusty shopping carts. Chickens walked around all over. Here we were, nestled into an extremely comfortable spot. Thick bedding cushioned us better than I imagined it would. I'd spent the extra money on extra pillows. Some crazy Hawaiian country station played loudly, which my husband was enjoying and we were sipping off a Jim Beam bottle trying to numb our sore throats. If ever a redneck visited paradise it would be us. Keeping my fingers crossed that I wouldn't end up on "people of Walmart", I snuggled down next to my husband not quite understanding the euphoric bliss that was going on between us.
Cars came and went all night. Headlights, engines and a crippled, homeless guy digging in trash cans. A Walmart worker collecting carts came up and peered into our window (weird). Now honestly, if I have to pee in the middle of the night, i can pee anywhere. Really I don't care. It goes into the ground and and doubt at 2 am if anyone is watching. Not so with my hubster. He's more the polite, private man. So here were were, in the middle of the night, and he makes me go out for a lengthy walk looking for a more secure urination destination. So on we walked in the cool breeze until just the spot appeared. By the time we were back in the van, we were both wide awake. Here we were, after only a few hours of sleep up half the night. I didn't mind. I love it when he's in a good mood and talkative.
My man awoke wanting nothing more than to get out of the city. He'd had enough and it was time to escape. We went on a 3rd Walmart shopping trip (ugh), had a quick bite, and stocked up at a local grocery. Finally i was feeding him rainbow mango as we drove out of the city into the breathtaking beauty of Kauai.
He stopped at the ocean and we played on the sand and water. His good eyes spotted cool treasures. I was desperate to try fish tacos. I ordered us seared ahi...um excuse me these are ONLY SEARED. Okay, well they tasted good. Eat em' and hope for the best. After that i demanded to try Sunshine's suggestion "Jojo's Shaved Ice". It was great. Then we drove up a mountain and saw lots of rugged sweeping views until we got into some kind of rain forest atmosphere. Before that, though, we stopped at a creek and followed it down a ways to get washed up. It was gorgeous, with a red dirt bottom and lush scenery all around us. I felt so much better being clean and the water was invigorating.
That night we camped in a secret pull out surrounded by trees and shrubbery, unseen from the highway. Breeze blowed through and it was a bit cold, but it was nice to have such privacy. Exotic birds called out, roosters crowed, and the forest seemed more a home to my husband. We organized all our gear and relaxed as the evening crept in....
It was a cold night in the interior and i was anxious to get back to the warmth. Hubby liked being surrounded by trees and he wasn't all that cold. He seemed to enjoy it more than I did. All i could think about was being in the warm sun on a beach somewhere. When at last he was ready to start our trek down the mountain, i was so relieved. He stopped at a beautiful, sunny spot overlooking some farmers field, and beyond that you could see the ocean. A small irrigation ran nearby, perfect for washing up the dishes. I fried eggs and the rest of our fried rice from no1 in the bright sunshine. In town, we got some gas and local fruit and headed out toward the state park campground. Before we got there, he stopped at a great beach that hardly had anybody around us. It was my first time finally getting to soak up the sun on a beach and i was ready to make the most of it. We enjoyed a walk and then got as far as the "Monkey Pod Tree" at Polihale while he talked on the phone and I chased after a rooster. I was back empty handed and on to more beaches. It was a nice day in the sun. When at long last we pulled into a camp spot I was so exhausted that simple things like brushing my teeth seemed monumental.....
*Peaceful, quiet day on the beach. In the morning I made myself yummy oatmeal mixed with an "apple banana", cream cheese and peanut butter, Kevin had his standard. We went climbing on rocks all morning out to a far away spot at the edge of the Na Pali coast. It was breathtaking. In the afternoon, he found us a remote section of beach. We spent all afternoon relaxing out there in the sunshine. He rubbed my back and made me feel like I really was in paradise :-) By late afternoon, I was begging for a shower. It felt glamorous to get all clean. Then he found a quiet little camp spot overlooking the ocean where I got the van organized and made dinner. The balmy winds playing along the ocean, and my freshly made up bed made the whole day just idyllic.
*Slept in this am and I think we are finally getting over being sick. Boy was i sick of being sick. Went for a romantic walk on the beach. It was such a beautiful morning. When we got back I played in the waves a bit. Its so crazy how forceful those things are!! In just shallow water some of them knocked me down and threw me around. It really gave me a healthy respect for being in there. It felt good laying on a blanket in the sun. I went for a short run and played in the waves again. That felt really good too. My body was begging to get some exercise. The cooler has become slim pickens and the ice has been gone since day before yesterday. Guess its time to move on tomorrow, but it has been a beautiful place to visit. Things I loved about Polihale : 1. The balmy, breezy evenings sitting in the opened minivan bed typing my journal. 2. The free spirits who dwell here - their colorful tattoos and surf boards, tanned muscular bodies and wild hair. Every one of them smiles and says "hi" when I go by. These are a people not overly concerned with money or possessions, but want to live free and good. 3. Romantic memories made, and the tiniest notion that maybe, just maybe I am beginning to understand my husband just a little bit better.
The day started rocky and i was ready to get out of Polihale. I wasn't too happy about Grandma falling off the roof either. We left the rugged beauty and to to town for supplies. We ate at the most peaceful Christian eatery called "Da Booze". There was a sign up that said :
"Overthinking Ruins you...ruins the situation, twists things around, makes you worry and just makes everything much worse than it actually is.....Leave it to God" That was really encouraging. The worship music made me cry and Kevin thought it was the friendliest place yet.
We had a nice day on a pretty touristy beach. We drove all over looking for a place to sleep. Finally we found a wonderful place called "Salt Pond" with families all over visiting and eating late into the night. It just felt right. I made fresh "ahi" steak, which is tuna, which I've never had fresh before (except for the raw tacos). It was delicious with a tossed salad. Then we had a romantic night along the ocean. It was wonderful. Even washing dishes here, laundry and taking cold morning showers was wonderful. This may have been my favorite place yet. Crazy roosters all over the place. Cats yowling randomly in the night. Its just right. Palm trees swaying in the wind. I'm finally relaxing and having fun. AND i'm starting to look tan :-) Thankful i have a week to go!!
*The morning was just as wonderful as the night and we had a romantic breakfast of fresh pineapple, bacon, eggs and potatoes. Took showers and washed everything in the outdoor showers and sink and were on to more supplies at Wallie world. We ate at Pizza Hut (yum) and then went deep into the jungle down crazy roads that I didn't think our van could go. The plants and vines and strangeness of it all almost mesmerized us. After driving a long time, we stopped at a hiking trail. We weren't prepared for what we were about to see. Nothing could have prepared me. It was just like the movies! We hiked for hours through crazy viney trails, through mud, over mountains, through creeks, around big stumps full of vegetation and even some death defying capers which scared the crap out of me. After 2 hours of hiking, I didn't care what we did or didn't find, I was ready to turn around. The steep slippery cliff hangers eventually got to me..... that and that we were hiking the whole 2 hours mostly through mud. I was nervous about trying to navigate this in the dark. By the time we got to the car, my heel was bleeding and we were COVERED in mud. But it did feel just like the movies. Here we are on the slow drive out with plans to camp somewhere along the way.
*It WAS a very romantic evening along a beautiful creek. We watched a movie and went to sleep listening to its musical water flowing along with the light rain. In the morning a truck full of men pulled up to take rocks out of it. I fried up a Hawaiian sweet potato, eggs and bacon after sharing succulent pineapple. On the way out, people smiled incredulously that my husband had gotten the mpv back there and we laughed every time they smiled.
Then it was on to the other side of the island. That was a lot of fun too. We had fish tacos and bought a gigantic tuna (the smallest one the guy had) from a man with an "Ahi" sign. We drove until I thought I was going to go bananas seeing beautiful beaches so close to us. We spent the rest of the day on a quiet beach. It had a coral reef and you could see all kinds of beautiful fish and creatures swimming around. In the evening we went for a romantic walk and saw beautiful trees growing along the beach. We slept in a parking lot and Kevin cleaned the monster tuna up and I cooked it.
Today we hiked into a beautiful waterfall. It was 8 miles total of rocky, hilly terrain, crossing through creeks and lots of climbing up and down. When at last we saw the waterfall, I was glad not to have to hike anymore. When some wild looking hippie men showed up nearby, Kevin protectively pulled me close. He's been doing things like that all along in the trip - which is really really sweet..... After we sat for a long time, I was shocked that Kevin jumped in with me. He couldn't stand the winey boys thinking they would get hypothermia, so he had to show them what a Northern white boy was made of :-) We swam out to the waterfall and back in the COLD water, but it was A LOT of fun. I was very proud of him!! We were sore and tired after that :-) We went to the market and found out that a generous benefactor is going to give us our last 2 nights here in a motel!! That sounded wonderful!! I wandered through little shops and back to the parking lot for our inconspicuous nights rest :-) Inconspicuous, except for my husband chasing chickens around trying to spear one for our next meal ;-) We bathed that night in a quiet, secluded creek that met the ocean. It was idyllic bathing there at dusk... and we saw a cruise ship on the ocean off in the distance....
My BIRTHDAY!! It was such a special and fun day. I am very happy. In the morning I was antsy to leave the parking lot and begin our adventure. First we happened by a thrift store where I found a great book to read and shoes that fit better than the ones I had for only $3.50!! Oh i was psyched. Then I got to go to a farmers market with all kinds of organic fruits, veggies and baked goods. There were samples galore of all kinds of things to try. I LOVED trying all that neat stuff. Tantalizing tastes of amazing things I'd never seen before. I was just thrilled. The people were all nice and offered me samples of things that weren't even samples.
Then it was on to a little town called "Kapaa". I had really really wanted to rent bikes and ride all over. That was so much fun. We went from one end of the trail all the way to the other end. On the far end was a beautiful meadow of wildflowers overlooking the ocean. It was breathtaking!! Then we shopped at a "Kauai products trade fair" and Kevin let me pick out a beautiful black pearl necklace for my birthday present. I was really really happy with it. After that we had a shave ice called "lava flow" with strawberry, coconut, pineapple, cream top and mac-nut ice cream bottom - yum :-)
After we'd exhausted biking opportunities it was looking like rain so we looked for a place to camp. I talked to my family on the phone too. Everybody is good. We stopped at a remote beach "Larsens" and found shells galore that filled my pockets to almost capacity. It was a great day to turn 40. I love my husband :-)
*Today was just as wonderful as yesterday. Of course I miss the kiddos, but if there's one thing I've learned in my life, its to enjoy where I'm at TODAY. Today I'm in Hawaii, Hub and I are getting along marvelously, and I'm really really living out a dream. I miss them, but I will see them soon. Now is time to focus on living out the last few days well spent.
I woke up in a whispering grove of Norfolk pine. It was a romantic place to sleep. In the morning it was pouring, I mean POURING rain. Right after breakfast we took off in torrential rains. I told Kevin I would happily take a shower in the rain, so he pulled over for me. He'd said "I don't want to show up stinky at church". Hilarious as it was, we had pulled over right across from a church. There we were, showering in the rain storm, changing, and voila' - church was starting in 15 min. Turns out it was the BEST service we'd been to in a very long time. The pastor preached on Jonah like I'd never heard before. It hit home for both of us. The people were nice and really sincere. They had a "fundraiser" meal of the most delicious spaghetti with fresh mushrooms and tomatoes and yummy meat in it, salad, desserts, Hawaiian drinks, and more. It was all for $5 a plate - cheaper than we'd ate anywhere, but the most delicious. People even visited with us during the meal. It was soo nice. The church was in a tent with a straw looking type of alter. It was just an amazing spiritual experience.
Since it was pouring all day, we went to Walmart for souvenirs, and then looked around some stores for other stuff for the kids. A jewelry shop lady had us pick out an oyster shell for a prize. Inside of it were 2 beautiful matching pink fresh water pearls. It was amazing to see! We did laundry and then found a great secluded beach to sleep at. It was another day of living well in Kauai.
**What a finalle' to end our days in "the love machine" aka the MPV minivan :-) We parked at another remote beach with waves crashing on the shores and a full moon over head during a tropical storm. It was an incredible night listening to the storm, rains and waves. In the morning we went for a long, romantic walk on the beach.
After that we did some top secret souvenir shopping and ate at the best place ever to eat - "island taco". We had some amazing papaya seed shrimp tacos. Then we checked into the motel.......
After almost 2 weeks on the road, living inside of a minivan, here we were suddenly finding ourselves in a lap of luxury. God bless the generous person who graciously gave us this gift. The Sheridan, one of the nicest resorts on the island, "upgraded" us to an ocean view room and kicked in a bottle of champagne. There are gardens and pools of fish and swimming pools and luxuries too numerous to mention. From living like hippies in the love machine, finding places to discreetly park and washing dishes from a jug of walmart drinking water to sudden pampered living. Its been incredible. I will forever treasure those days - all of them. Not every mother of 5 at age 40 gets to live so free and crazy for a spell ;-)
Under the cover of night..... filthy dirty bedding found its way to the dumpster along with an assortment of "necessities" no longer necessary.... it was a bitter sweet experience :-)