December in Kauai
2013-12-19, 10:34 p.m.
I always say that the only reason I want to be awake at the ass crack of dawn is if I am going to Hawaii. Well, true enough, I suppose....but that doesn't meant that after 4 hours of sleep (and even less on Mom's end because hoo boy, she's a worse last minute packer than anyone), I wasn't totally in a fog. It was pitch black and both my car and Mom's were totally covered in condensation. Mom wanted me to pack the car in the driveway and I couldn't really see with all the wet and ah, kinda hit some things or something. And yet, if you leave the house on a weekday in the Bay Area before dawn...580 is still crazy. Yuck. It was 37 degrees and I was wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants and sneakers over my Hawaiian shirt and tank top and pants that turn into shorts. I left my warm winter coat and scarf and hat behind because I am not carrying those around.
But we managed to arrive on time, and the flights were very nice. Hawaiian Airlines is apparently the only airline left that still gives you a free meal--in this case a continental breakfast of 3 melons, 4 crackers, 1 piece of cheese and a chocolate covered macadamia nut. Followed by a bag of chips for lunch. Heh.
They also still do a free movie for everyone--this one being Man of Steel. Lord, it wasn't good. It's a very dark (literally, everything in it is dingy dark blue) movie in which you can count on one hand the amount of times anyone gets to smile. Poor Clark and Lois really just don't get any romance in until the mandatory clinch has to occur. The plot itself....well, I suppose it's a little different from the usual Superman stuff I've watched, but what with all of the damn flashbacks and fast forwards(?), and the fact that it seems to take a third of the movie to kill off Krypton, and somehow Jor-El is alive-ish inside a computer(?)....it's confusing. And was kind of even worse when Mom woke up and started asking questions about what was going on. Beats me. But hey, free movie.
Much to my surprise, our first flight was to Maui and then we had an hour-ish to catch a connecting flight to Kauai. This pleased me greatly because Maui was the only one of the big four islands I haven't been to. Okay, so I saw the airport, but it's a very nice airport! It's freaking open walls and WARM and I was delighted to start stripping off those sweatpants. And hit the gift shops, of course. I stocked up on flower jewelry I don't own yet and Mom got candy of all sorts and I got some keychains and a pretty much naked Santa in a wreath ornament. It amuses me. We also got to see three other islands on the way to Kauai, sweet.
Much to my surprise, there are a lot less chickens since I was last in Kauai. I've only seen five all day, you guys! In 2007 you'd see fifteen chickens in five minutes! I made some crack about how I'd been on Kauai five minutes and hadn't seen a chicken yet, which amused the rental car van driver. I point this out because the last time we were here, the rental car joints were overrun with chickens, but only two were seen and one rooster was heard.
Mom got the rental car--some kind of Chevy-- and frankly, she was reminding me of ME while driving a new car. The key fob had a key that goes in and out and she couldn't figure out how to start the car (they told her to push a button for the key, what?). Then she couldn't figure out how to get it in the right gear to go fast enough. Or how to get the AC working--and it was hot here! I kept working on the radio. We nearly ended up going back to the rental car place to ask them how to run the car since they had no manual for it in there, but she eventually figured it out, and we drove the almost-an-hour it took to get to Princeville.
Boy, is the weather different here! On the one hand, VERY NICELY WARM AT ALL TIMES, EVEN AT NIGHT. Seventies at night here is vaguely slightly chilly compared to the day, but you don't even need the damn jacket like you would in the same temperatures in California. On the other hand...SUDDEN DRENCHING RAINSTORMS OUTTA NOWHERE. It was raining all crazy like during one portion of our drive, and while we were dealing with hotel stuff--we kind of lagged at it to avoid unpacking crap in the rain. I was glad I wasn't driving in it--bad enough Mom was, she was also starting to weave a little bit from tired. Eeek. The weather report is all "50/50 odds of rain, who knows?"
We are staying here. It is lovely. We arrived before the condo/apartment(?) we are in was ready, so we went to the concierge to talk about booking tours and other events. We were in there quite a while.
The current plans, I think, are:
Tomorrow: 3 hour chocolate tour... somewhere, I forget.... and eventually ending back in Lihue for a giant bling house tour.
Saturday: drive out to Waimea area all day so we can get parking to see the Christmas parade that night. Two hour drive home in the dark after that...whee, eh?
Sunday: Hopefully will be attending a concert?
I'm not sure what will happen in between driving to all of those places...god knows neither of us is super good at "just lounging on the beach," which is not so much Mom's thing anyway. We picked up fifty billion free brochures to look at stuff...
Anyway, we eventually got into our FREAKING HUGE APARTMENT CONDO, which has a huge living room, two TV's, two lanais with roofs (convenient with the rain) and even plugs outside--I hope I get the time to write an entry outside, but probably not. Big kitchen area, big bedroom, two bathrooms. It's soooooo fancy, it makes me wish we spent more time indoors.
We ended up going to the nearest shopping center to here and getting tasty orange chicken and rice and wontons for dinner, then wandering around the stores that were still open. We hit Lappert's Ice Cream, then found a guy who makes suncatchers out of shells, which were beautiful. Of course we got some--I got some little ones, at least. Then we hit the nearby grocery store for extremely cheap ($1) calendars and some car decals and Mom wanted a towel--just in case, I guess. I think we're just buying each other's gifts here this year.
After that, Mom wanted to come home and collapse. I should probably do so as well, considering that all of the dang plans seem to require us to get up at the ass crack of dawn, but especially tomorrow's....Well, here's it's nearing 9 p.m., but I've been up since 4:45.... I do like that "gaining two hours and then it gets darker later" thing here.
Oh yeah, and the weather! Did I mention I AM WEARING A SHORT SLEEVED SHIRT AND TANK TOP AND SORT OF SHORTS right now? In December? Except for the rain and the Christmas bling, you'd never freaking know it's December here, and that is just the way I like it. I love the tropics so very much.
You know what I wish I could do? I wish I could do Eat, Pray, Love: Hawaii. Okay, so I'd skip the praying and the loving and substitute in shopping. I'd like to spend a few months on every one of the main Hawaiian islands, just living life in the warm and seeing which one I liked best. Yeah, I know, how am I getting the money for that....but I wish.