Wednesday, February 1, 2006

The Home of Rainbows

"I have always loved the beach. The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace and calm." ~ Anonymous

So I'm back from the beautiful garden isle of Kauai. I knew the moment the sun rose on our first day there that it was heaven on earth. I have never been to a place so beautiful, so pristine. The sights, the sounds, the smells -- not too mention the amazing food. My friends and I feasted on some of the best seafood of our lives -- wahoo, hapu'upu'u, crab cakes, crabbed stuffed mushrooms, mai tais and lava flows. My body is now going through pineapple withdraws, too.
Cruising around in my silver convertible, I witnessed rainbow upon rainbow dancing across the lush mountains. It's easy to see why natives call Kauai the home of rainbows! The island is soo free -- not too commercialized or over run by tourists. Endless beaches flow up the east side, with water bluer than the sky.

We found incredible snorkeling on the south shore, with fish of all colors and sizes swirling around us. Urchins filled the tide pools made by protruding lava rocks. And, no joke, even the wild roosters enjoy trekking across the whitesand beaches.

We found a local fishing spot on the west side of the island, Saltpond Park, where we were told was awesome snorkeling. Fifteen minutes in the chilly water, barely able to see 2 feet in front of us due to the incoming tide and setting sun, my friend and I decided we'd take their word for it. Especially when the locals began describing the types of creatures they caught out there.

The fact that we were on vacation didn't seem to phase the weather -- it rained almost everyday, though the clouds would part for awhile in the afternoon. Needless to say, the rain made our Zipline Safari Tour quite the adventure! We kayaked, hiked and ziplined in some of the worst weather possible, making it feel like we were part of the show Lost or Survivor. Our young tour guides pointed out berries and nuts that we could eat, as well as a small purple flower that tasted like mushroom.
And it was amazing the number of stars you could see at night. Thousands of tiny bright lights glowed against the dark sky -- it was simply breathtaking. The whole experience was so incredible that a few of us looked up job openings, toying with the idea of staying through the end of summer, living the life of Blue Crush. Somewhere between eating pineapple cheeseburgers and boarding the cold plane, reality set in.
And now I'm back at the office, bikini and flip flops traded in for pants and heels. Soon the tan will fade and the winter chill will once again take its toll. Ohwell, it was all nice while it lasted ...

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