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Tired I was. So tired. In preparing for the Kauai trip, I found there just wasn't time for sleep, so I stayed awake all evening getting ready. And around 5:20AM, the van pulled up and Terry knocked on the door. I was ready. Let the trip begin!
It was still dark outside. We loaded up my stuff and then went to pick Misty up. She was all set to go. Next was the long drive to SFO. Traffic wasn't bad. As things slowed down for me, I began to get drowsy. But I didn't sleep yet. There would be plenty of time for that on the plane.
We checked our bags and waited for the plane get fueled up and find out why the #2 and #3 engines kept making all those popping noises (kidding - it was just engine #2). The plane pulled up and we left on it. I didn't bother getting a drink this time. I knew I'd be sleeping just fine on this flight. And besides, it was only 6:30 in the morning.
Flying over was nice. Misty was let me have the aisle seat, which I really, really enjoy. We landed in Honolulu, traded a few passengers and then landed somewhere else. I forget which isle. But we got off the plane and boarded a smaller plane. This plane would take us to the island of Kauai. Boy, it would seem like they were going to lose our luggage since we were doing so much shifting around. Boy, yeah, it sure would seem like that would happen. Yeah, it sure would.
Once we were on the smaller plane, we discovered that our seats were far apart. Not wanting to be separated, Terry and Lesly told us to move up closer and switch seats. Hmmm... well, I guess that wouldn't hurt anything. We moved up. It would only be a problem if the plane was full. Of course, the plane was full. Suddenly, chaos slowly crept upon us. At first it was no big deal, the people who needed their proper seats just found nearby ones. Then everything gradually went to pieces, and people were scampering left and right to find a way to sit down. Families were separated. Children were lost. And two stewardesses had synchronized nervous breakdowns. Well, maybe it wasn't that bad, but trust me, it was pretty bad.
If reminded me of the story where a man went back in time and did nothing more than step on an insect. That small action caused a chain reaction that altered the entire future. I don't think we altered anyone's future much. But maybe a few people got their Kauai trip off to a somewhat rocky start. Anyway, after everyone finally got seats, we left for Kauai. Misty had the window, so I didn't get to see the island from the plane much. We touched down in Lihue airport. It was small but nice.
At the baggage claim, I noticed something very interesting - it was outdoors. This was odd. It was covered with a roof, but there weren't any solid walls. This was wild. The weather must be so nice that they never worry about it getting too cold. Wow. That amazed me. You can tell that I was going to be amazed by many things on this "Garden Island."
Around 20 minutes had passed since the baggage carousel had started moving. Most people had gotten their bags and left. Not us. We were among the unlucky. They lost our bags. Fortunately, I had counted on something like this happening and I wore my special pants. The legs zip off and they become shorts. If it got cold, I could zip the legs back on again. My amazement for my special pants was long gone though. It left a few weeks after Christmas did. However, if I was going to be on an island with no luggage and only one pair of pants, THESE were the pants I'd want! I was a happy camper. We filed a complaint and then got the rental car. I got to drive it a little bit while Terry took care of a few things. It was splendid. The sunroof was open as well as the windows and the warm (but not hot) island breeze just blew by me as I did circles around the airport parking lot. Never in my life had I enjoyed airport parking lot circling so much.
We drove to the hotel. It was nice. The lobby was again OUTDOORS! Wahoo! This island was wild indeed. The clerk gave us our key cards to our rooms and we went to check them out. Terry and Lesly got a cool room with a view of the tennis courts. Us? I guess we were a bit more fortunate. Ours had an awesome view of the Pacific Ocean. Yeah, this was gonna be great. Alas, it wasn't a perfect view though. In order to see the ocean from one of the beds, you'd have to painstakingly turn your head the direction of the sliding glass door. Agony, misery.
Since the luggage was still MIA, we trolled down to the beach. It wasn't far away. The water was cool. I think I was expecting warm water everywhere, but it was closer to just plain cool. Not cold, mild you, just cool. And cool is easy to get used to. A swimming pool in early summer can be cold. The ocean off Northern California is chilly. So, I could deal with cool.
We took some pictures on the beach. And then we returned to the hotel. Drat! Still no luggage. But hey, I had my cool special pants so I was okay. We went down south to Lihue for dinner. The place was one that my guidebook recommended. The place was an ONO recommendation. That meant "tasty." And it was tasty all right. I had the mahi-mahi stuffed fish with mashed potatoes. It also came with miso soup, a small salad, and coffee. Not a bad deal. Too much for me to eat, but I didn't complain. When dinner was completed, we returned to the hotel. Our luggage had arrived and was eager to see us. I wasn't sure where my suitcase had gone off to, but the important thing was, it came back to me. We then decided to head to the spa (we, being, Terry, Misty, and me - not my suitcase).
The spa was great. It overlooked the ocean. But it was dark out now, so it overlooked the dark. We enjoyed the hot spa and chatted with fellow tourists around us. Over the next few days, we would visit that spa many times. And I was pretty sure I was going to go home with permanent wrinkles in my fingertips from all the soaking.
Soon, we became land creatures once again and Misty and I traveled up north to visit a waterfall. This was 'Opaeka'a Falls. The challenge of reaching it wasn't exactly at maximum. You drove up a 2-mile road and parked the car. Voila. The falls. I did get some good pictures of it though. Five minutes later, we were heading back again.
Our next pilgrimage was over to the bar. This too would become a nightly meeting place for us. Heck, it was the only place open at night. Though they stopped serving drinks around 9:30 - 10:30. We would meet in the outside bar area and just kick back and relax. Those were some of the best moments. No work, no computers, no worries. Just relaxation. After that, we crashed for the evening. It was only around 9:30, but we were dead tired. Kauai is noted for not having much nightlife, but for a good reason -- everyone is wiped out by the time late evening rolls around.