Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sun, Fun, and Surf

So I apologize for disappearing for a month, but things were getting a bit dreary there for me in the dog days of summer. However, I now have two full weeks of vacation under my belt, and I have really had an opportunity to recharge, reconfigure my thinking patterns, and completely get off my sleep schedule. Basically, I spent two weeks in beautiful Hawaii, where I acquired Kona coffee, numerous mental and actual snapshots of amazing scenery, a brand new faded bathing suit, and a sunburn.

My parents, in an display of complete sponaeity, bought a time share in Kauai two years ago when they were partaking of my uncle's hospitality at their time share. So they saved it for two years so we could get two weeks in a row, and invited my entire nuclear family. After much dancing around about "well, maybe we'll go for one week and then spend the other week doing other stuff," from both me (myself and I) and my brother's family, it came about that I was the only one who actually got off the stick and booked flights and hotels and car for myself on the big island. Thus, I'm the only one who got bona fide genuine alone time (of course, I was also the only one, in a two bedroom condo containing eight people, who was sleeping on the floor, so you do the math).

Most awesome things about Hawaii, in no particular order:

- I got to take my long coveted surfing lessons
- The discovery of shave ice, which is about the tastiest treat ever, especially the li ming hui and coconut over macnut ice cream
- The accessibility of the wild world. I saw nenes, monk seals, and sea turtles, and most of them were fairly close.
- The outstanding scenery
- The weather, which was beautiful 98.9% of the time
- Being pretty much right at the beach
- Even at its worst, the traffic is nothing compared to DC

So let's start off by showing you the place I was staying, the Marriott Waiohai:

This is a shot going toward the Pacific from the middle of the resort complex.

Sunset on Poipu beach

Where I did the majority of my pool time (and right outside our patio door)

Kauai, also called the Garden Island, really is beautiful. In fact, most of the time I was there, I would look into the distance and not really believe that what I was seeing was real, because it looked like a matte painting. Like this:

We took a great drive early in the first week up to the Waimea canyon, which Twain described as the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. It is hugely impressive and beautiful. One of the coolest thing about Hawaii is that you'll start driving and you'll be at sea level, and twenty minutes later you're at two thousand feet and the temperature has dropped by about fifteen degrees. when you drive up the canyon road, that's basically what happens.

I decamped to the Big Island, as I said, and spent two days in Volcano National Park and two days in Kilauea on the Kona Coast. The Big Island is pretty barren, actually, and it has a desert in the middle of it. Everywhere I went there were big rock fields from eruptions. The volcanos are pretty amazing, but they don't really make for great images, so here are some petrogylphs that are one of the stops on the Chain of Craters road.

Also: Nenes!

Oh, okay. I'll give you a couple volcano pictures. Here's a giant crater:

Here are some steam vents:

And here's the plume from the volcano that has been in constant eruption for the last twenty-three years:

And I'll leave you with this:


Blogger stalebREAD said...

AMAZING. i hate you.

1:05 PM  
Blogger CultureMaven said...

Heh. And yet I don't feel any regret.

7:34 PM  

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