Saturday, October 30, 2004
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
I have a bias in my memories towards the good times rather than the bad, but I can't remember anything bad about the 5 days I spent with m in Hawaii. It was my first trip to a tropical location, and we spent all 5 days in Kauai, exploring the island and relaxing.
There's a vibe to the place that I can still feel when Iz's "Somewhere over the rainbow" comes on. Driving around with the windows down, snacking on tuna poke which they sold *everywhere*, the chickens and roosters which ran freely around the island, all brought a smile to my face.
We did some tourist things, like visiting the Alberton botanical gardens. The garden was built on what was originally the site of Queen Emma's estatees, and there were well kept examples of much of the native plants which grew wild in Kauai, as well as beautiful specimens of plants from various other climates and regions. Scattered throughout the grounds were charming sculptures of children which added a whimsical quality to the tour.
We also tried some adventurous activities which I'd never done before, but both of which I loved. Ziplining reminded me of the fun I used to have as a kid, playing around on my neighbors pulley system growing up in Sudbury. The course we took was a serious of 8 zips which led gradually down to a grotto between two mountains at which you could swim. Since each person was strapped into a harness which was then clipped onto each zip line, there was an illusion of control and safety; still the course had only been open for 3 months so who knows! It took some grace getting on and off the ziplines, but once you got the hang of it, it was so cool flying through the air, and if you had the guts, looking down hundreds of feet into the valleys.
We also went around the island in a sea raft. This took two tries because the first time we tried, we had to turn back because of a storm which suddenly hit the island. I have a tendency towards seasickness, but did not have a problem with the sea raft because it was a smaller craft with plenty of fresh air. I'll never forget the school of dolphins which came to play around our raft just a few minutes into the trip! They were close enough to touch, although they were so fast that you never quite could. There were even baby dolphins among the school which were still learning how to jump through the air. It was my first time snorkeling which admittedly I didn't completely get the hang of (kept on breathing through the nose which messes things up). It was cool to go snorkeling off a boat though, no coral to bump into and the fish swarm around and bump into you. I fed them potato chips crumbs from my lunch. :)
Hawaii also had abundant things to eat and buy. Plenty of the cuisine in Hawaii involves raw tuna, which is a positive in my book. We had some good meals everywhere along the culinary spectrum, from Kalua pork at a hole in the wall local lace (we also tried poi at this place which despite being made from taro--I did NOT like) to a delicious new cuisine/hawaiian meal at A Pacific Cafe. m and I also discovered yummy kona coffee glazed macadamia nuts (which we searched out to bring home with us to the "mainland") and drank plenty of Hawaiian Sun iced tea.
Hawaii is indeed paradise. I bought that Iz CD before I left the island, and sometimes play it when I need a pick me up. It brings me right back to those blissful days and I feel better no matter what's going on. See why.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Despite the fact that I don't gamble hard, drink hard, or party hard, I actually love las vegas. Which is good because given its proximity to the bay area, a group of friends typically make an annual weekend long trip there. This trip included a tasty trip to Samba, the brazilian barbecue place and a trip to the ghost bar. In case you've never been, the ghost bar is on the top floor of the palms casino, and the balcony has a glass floor. You know the glass is really thick but it's a trip to walk on! As usual, I also spent a lot of time in front of the bellagio fountains. those fountains take my breath away, and every time I see them, I'm impressed with how thoroughly we Americans understand entertainment. Want to see more pictures? And, the bellagio fountains.