Hawaii Feb-Mar 2004 Archives

March 24, 2004

Leaving Hawaii

We were supposed to leave March 1, but now it is March 24. We changed our leaving day THREE TIMES! A new personal best!

How can we do this? I had to use double miles to get these free Hawaii tickets because the free tickets with single miles are gone as soon as they are available. We wanted to fly first class because it is an overnight flight back and it was very expensive to buy upgradeable tickets, so I used miles. And lots of them.

So I can change our flights back at no charge and with a couple of days notice there are flight available (except on weekends).

February was a perfect month weather-wise. The best weather we have had on Kauai in the winter. It was hot (in the 80s), perhaps a bit too humid and hot, but perfect for swimming. The afternoon swim in the ocean was the only thing that cooled us off.

The cottage we were in was booked for all of March (the Little Grass Shack - LGS), but we found another similarly priced cottage that was free for all March because of a last minute cancellation (Omao Hideaway Cottage). It is not right near the ocean, but is an 8 minute drive away. So we added on 6 nights, and the weather was great, so we added on 5 more, and the weather was great, so we added on two more weeks, and the weather turned on us!! More rain and colder.

It was still pretty good up until about three days ago. It has been on and off pouring rain since. Sunny one minute, rain the next. We have still managed a swim on most days and a long walk.

Leaving for home tomorrow.

March 25, 2004

Staying in Hawaii

As I was writing that earlier blog entry, Steve was in bed after having been up (and sick) most of the night with a stomach flu. I thought he would sleep it off in the morning and be fine. But it has hit him hard, so for the fourth time I have cancelled all our flights, called the housesitter, cancelled my chiropracter appointment, and we are staying another few days so he can recover.

I was able to convince Delta to let us fly back on a daytime flight through LA, with a stopover in LA, instead of the night flight to Salt Lake and then on to Albuquerque. We already had one stopover on this flight and were not supposed to get another, but I did the "but my husband is sick" whine and it worked. I would have booked that flight originally, having vowed to never do overnight from Hawaii again, but they had removed it from the schedule. Then it magically reappeared, but I was already booked.

It has been raining since Monday - three days. Little bits of sun break through and we went swimming on Monday and Tuesday. We could have gone today, but Steve could barely move.

He seems to be recovering now, so maybe the sun will come back out? I got nothing done today because I was so tired from being up all night worrying about Steve. It would have been the perfect day to get a bunch of work done on my new client site or at least some SlowTrav stuff. I don't know what I did today. Well, I did get this blog organized.

Now I need to work more on the template and make it pretty.

March 27, 2004

The Perfect Swim

We come to Hawaii for the swimming. We always come to Kauai, to Poipu on the south shore. The south shore gets the best weather in the winter and has the calmest water. We always swim on the same beach - in front of the Sheraton Hotel. This sounds boring, but it isn't. This is the best swimming beach in Poipu.

These are the reasons that I love this beach.

The beach is a long and curves gently around a good sized cove.
The sand is good.
There are usually lots of people, but it is not too crowded. None of the beaches on Kauai get too crowded. I like to watch all the people: the local guys who boogie board on the incoming waves; the tourists pale and happy beyond belief to be at the beach; the regulars who have their whole routine of beach chairs, umbrellas and beach toys.
There are always people in swimming, close to the shore or a bit farther out.
There are people snorkling in the more rocky areas.
There are surfers farther out where the waves are breaking.
Twice there have been big sea turtles swimming in the water.
The waves are a bit rough, which makes the swimming fun.
The sand drops off suddenly and the water gets deep, so you can walk in through the breaking waves and then dive into the water.
The water is cold and crystal clear and is that tropical blue-green color.
You can swim forever - back and forth or straight out past the surfers.
When you look back at the shore, you see the perfect beach and rows of palm trees, and big clounds gathered over the inland mountains.
When you look out, you see only ocean.

I love swimming in the ocean. I do not swim in swimming pools because I do not want to immerse my body in chemicals. The ocean is a whole different story, especially the ocean around Poipu. There are no big rivers on this part of the island, so no agricultural run off in the water.

You dive in the water and it is so salty that it leaves a reside of salt on you after. I love the feeling of diving in and swimming underwater with my eyes open. I love the feeling of stretching your back and arms and legs when swimming. I like to flip over and float on my back until a wave crashes on top of me and sends water shooting up my nose. I like just paddling up and down on the waves as they come it - it feels like a rollar coaster.

In the water on the beach in front of the Sheraton, in Poipu, on Kauai, in Hawaii, you can have the perfect swim.

The only one that I have found that compares is on the beach under the Hotel Torre di Calla Piccola on Monte Argentario, Tuscany, Italy - and only in the height of summer.

I couldn't live here

I like to say that I could not live on Kauai. We lived here for three months in 1988 and I was happy to leave. We have been here for 8 weeks now and I am looking forward to leaving. I do not like being inland where there are bugs and it is like a tropical rain forest. I like being at the edge of the ocean and that is where all the tourists stay.

I would not want to live in a place this much run for tourists. No one really lives in Poipu anymore - nearly all the houses on Hoona Road where we stay are for rent now. Only a few remain with permanent residents.

There is a new development going in, that will probably encourage full time residents, but it is going to change the nature of Poipu. It will be 1000+ monster homes along the road to Spouting Horn. More people, more traffic. It is not like Poipu is not developed - there is a line of hotels along the shore - but there are also condos and houses. Koloa, a few miles inland, has lots of t-shirt shops, but is still a cute and charming town. It will change with this new development.

And the prices here are insane. They have always been insane, but now they are more insane. $500,000+ for a run down cottage near the ocean - not on the ocean.

But if I could afford it, which I can't, I probably could live here. With a computer and high speed access and a way of making a living, I could probably live anywhere.

There is no NPR (radio), but I could listen to it online like I do at home now. There are no bookstores, except the big and boring Borders in Lihue, but I could shop online. I think I would be frustrated with travel from here - crowded small planes from Kauai to Honlulu. Then the long flight to the mainland. Because of all the tourists, these planes are booked way ahead - so no last minute trips! But we don't have it that easy flying from Albuquerque to Europe.

Too many pesticides on the hotel grounds. They bag houses to get rid of termites; cover the whole house in a plastic tent, then pump in pesticides. But if we move anywhere other than Santa Fe (and we are thinking of leaving), we will have to live in a place more full of pesticides. Santa Fe does not have many bugs and we pay for our water, so people do not have grassy yards, resulting in fewer pesticides.

The time change here makes it almost impossible for us to get any business done. Our first few hours of the day can be frantic as we try to get everything done before business closes on the east coast. Being in Europe is actually better for us business-wise. It is even there when it is business time on the east coast.

On other trips, I resented all the time taken out of the day by swimming. When you could in getting ready for the beach, being at the beach, changing and showering after, it is about three hours out of your day. But this trip, I never tired of the swimming. I want to swim all the time.

Maybe I just need the salt.

About Hawaii Feb-Mar 2004

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Pauline's Slow Travels in the Hawaii Feb-Mar 2004 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Hawaii 2005 is the previous category.

Italy Sept-Oct 2003 is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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