Dianne and I feel fortunate to spend some time each year in Hawaii. We like the island of Kauai. It’s not as big or glamorous as some other islands, but that’s okay with us. Kauai is called “The Garden Island” because it is mostly rural and enjoys an abundance of rich vegetation.
The secret of our ability to spend so much time on Kauai - we like to winter there from January through March - is that Dianne has a sister and a brother-in-law who live on the island. Because of their generosity with living space, our expenses while on the island are no greater than living at home in Oklahoma.
During the year, we use a credit card that accumulates travel points, and much of our travel expense to and from the island is paid by the points we accrue through the year.
One of the popular attractions on all the islands of Hawaii is sunset. Its schedule is inflexible, and the best views are from a western facing beach. The view is usually quite spectacular with vivid colors and reflections off clouds.
Another feature of sunsets on western beaches is the gathering of the giant turtles called Green Sea Turtles. Year after year, these turtles gather on the beach at Poipu on the southern side of the island. They come to the beach to rest for the night. As you can see, they are quite sizeable.
One day we decided to take a trip up Waimea Canyon on the western side of Kauai. This canyon is often called the "Grand Canyon" of the Hawaiian Islands. It is spectacular with its deep valleys and waterfalls, but it is often cloudy or rainy there, so visitation must be planned according to the weather.
There are great vistas around each bend as the road climbs in elevation heading towards Waimea Canyon.
You may have heard of the occasion, a few years back, when the sirens on the islands sounded. Instruction was given by radio and on all cell phones for the population to take cover immediately because there was an incoming missile, and it was not a drill. Explanations vary as to whether it was a drill, the missile was shot down, or someone simply pushed the wrong button, for it was 38 minutes before the alert was cancelled. Dianne was on Kauai at the time, and there were tense moments during that alert.
We were fortunate, while at a cresting the top of the canyon, to catch the presentation of an original Hawaiian giving a history of the islands, including earlier centuries when they were governed by four different nations, Great Britain, France, Spain, and the US. He is only present on Thursdays.
While we’ve been here, the temperature has plummeted to nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit, while at home in Oklahoma, the temperature has dropped to zero degrees or even lower. During this last week, Oklahoma has been hit with ice and snow. We, of course, are grateful to be enjoying a "tropical heatwave", so to speak.
The Garden Isle has been blessed recently with heavy rains and lots of wind. While that has limited our outdoor activity, we know that Kauai needs its rain to remain beautiful, so we do our best to endure the liquid sunshine–as the locals call it. The high temperature here on Kauai has been about 80 degrees. Very doable.
As you are probably already aware, the islands of Hawaii are well-suited to meet the needs of seniors. The pace, at least on Kauai, is more relaxed than on much of the mainland.
For example, the speed limit on much of the island here in Kauai is 50 miles per hour or less. The good news is, it doesn’t feel like you are needlessly forced to crawl along the road.
Exceeding the speed limit feels, at least to me, uncomfortable and dangerous. Then again, maybe that’s a function of my age of seven decades, plus.
Kauai is a special place and we remain grateful to be able to spend our winters there.
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