Saturday, June 6, 2015

Aloha, Hello and Goodbye

In Hawaiian language, as I understand it, Aloha can be both hello and goodbye. So this is my second Aloha post, finishing up my trip as I had to say goodbye to Kauai and return home. I attended the University of Hawaii for undergrad and feel a special connection to the islands. It was so special to visit and see the island of Kauai the way I did, and also gave me a bit of the blues to leave. But no gloom here, I want to tell you about the rest of my awesome trip!

My last full day in Kauai my friend Heidi and I had a very relaxing morning (during which I wrote my last blog post). We eventually got moving, heading out to the Waimea Canyon (also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) to take in the natural beauty of it all. I have been to Kauai twice before and am embarrassed to say, I'd never been to the Waimea Canyon.

Look at that waterfall!
I stopped at the fruit stand and purchased some fresh coconut, so yummy.

So the drive-up vista lookouts were breathtaking, but that's not how we roll. Heidi had a plan for us to hike the Nualolo Trail out to Lolo Vista, a roughly 7.5-mile trek round trip.

The first portion of the trail was wet and misty with lots of large ferns and other greenery. Just beautiful.

Heidi on the trail
It was mostly downhill on the way out, which was tedious given my calves were sore from the other hike we did. After a mile or so the trail became more dry and dusty, but still lots of downhill, some fairly steep.

After about 3.5 miles and 2 hours we neared the vista point.

And then the trail and views started to take my breath away.

The sight of that trail above made me nervous to hike on, I get vertigo sometimes when I can see a drop in my peripheral vision while hiking and, also, I don't want to fall off the side of a cliff and die. But I just kept my eyes on the trail and Heidi distracted me so I made it just fine.

And then we were standing on what felt like the edge of the world, looking down the Na Pali coastline, and I was totally overcome with the beauty of it. And so grateful that I can do something like this. I was so taken away that I filmed a short cellphone video to share it.


Heidi and I enjoyed a snack, a Clif Bar and a pear, before heading back. Check out the Garmin info from our hike.

Believe it or not, we were faster on the hike out (and up) then on the way in, even with the (very welcome) light rain that started falling on us. We made it back to the car muddy and soaking wet for a total hike time of 3 hours, 52 minutes. And of course, we were starving! So back to her house to clean up and head out for a nice dinner at Eating House 1849, a restaurant by famed Hawaii chef Roy Yamaguchi.

I was very happy to have a martini and we started our meal with a crispy fried cauliflower and brussells sprouts appetizer. Another martini and then I had the "kamameshi" entree, a hot pot rice bowl which I ordered with salmon. It was a very clean entree choice and I felt so good enjoying it. Of course we had to have dessert...the chocolate souffle was an easy sell on us.

And then, sleep, sweet sleep. The next day, my final day on the island, started with breakfast. I had an egg-white veggie omelet with hash brown and toast.

Then some gift-buying and another meal. I wasn't actually hungry yet, but I really wanted a bowl of Saimin, a Hawaii noodle soup dish that, when I was at UH, I practically lived on.

your basic Saimin w/ hot mustard.
And then to the airport to wait for my flight home. The return flight was, well, I was seated next to a couple with an 18 month old. Such is life. At least the baby helped me to stay awake so I could sleep well when I got home near midnight.

Back at home and up in the morning for my last day of vacation. I rode the ferry into SF for a Giants baseball game. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed the game. What an entirely huge change of pace, though, from the surrounds in Hawaii.

On the Larkspur to SF ferry

Go Giants!
Unfortunately the Giants didn't win, but I did. The weather was gorgeous and I was happy to sit on my duff for a few hours, also enjoying an IPA and a sheboygan hot dog for lunch. Yum.

Well, that's the end of my vacation. The welcome home hugs and kisses from the kids were so appreciated. I missed those little buggers. But the trip was so needed, I felt refreshed, revived, re-everything and ready to take on life, feeling a little less weight on my shoulders (no pun intended). Well, maybe not if I'm speaking literally. I think I'm up by a couple pounds. Yes, even with all that hiking. But I'm not too worried about it, I know I'll manage to get them off. I'm a maintainer, that's what I do.

I'll close with one more pic from my trip.

The Na Pali coastline and I taking a selfie together


  1. Absolutely gorgeous! So glad that you had the chance to go to visit your friend and recharge and reconnect with yourself!

  2. what an awesome hike! so glad you got this well needed and deserved vacation

  3. Wow, what an amazing trip! It sounds like you really got to take some time to just have fun and enjoy yourself.

  4. Kauai, it looks so pristine and beautiful, wish i could go there. The closest I've seen was in Thailand, great hiking trails and fantastic sea too.


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