Saturday, May 14, 2016

Some more tropical island stuff...

It's been awhile since my last post and in that time I've found out that the last epidural injections into various & sundry vertebra has been unsuccessful. This is the second failure. I will see the pain doc in a few weeks and we'll discuss our options. In the meantime, life goes on.

As I've stated many times before, I have a huge collection of images. And the range of subjects is from A to Z. I simply collect them. The favorites are images of historical objects or projects, such as building Boulder Dam, The building of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the famous Denny Regrade of Seattle, building Grand Coulee Dam, the San Francisco earthquake and on and on...building railroad bridges in Alaska? Yes, I have those. Images of the early trolley system of San Francisco? Of course I have them. Billboards located in New Jersey? I've got them! 300 plus images of ash trays. True. I could go on and on as I have close to 17,000 images. I have ASD, or autism spectrum disorder and collecting is important to me. Not because of the subjects as much as it's about the collecting itself.

Anyway...I was looking through my collections this morning. (the images are located on the clouds of Amazon, Google and Flickr) I ran across some photos of our younger selves as we were vacationing on the island of Kauai. Two weeks ago, in this blog, I had talked about our getting on a plane in Oahu and departing for Kauai. I will continue...

We landed at the small airport in Lihue and found our way over to the Avis car rental counter. I began to order my usual business class vehicle, a 4 door cheap car. The salesman interrupted me and told me that I could have a Chrysler convertible for $5 a day cheaper than the one I was planning on. A convertible? A beautiful island and a convertible seemed to go together so I agreed. Did they have a red one? Yes, they did! Of course I ordered that one. When we went out to put our luggage in the car I noticed that the Avis lot was filled with Chrysler convertibles. They must must had 50 of them! No wonder it was such a bargain.

Now I had to find my way to our vacation hotel. I had ordered a room based on an ad in the Yellow pages. The ad stated that the hotel overlooked Nawiliwili Bay and that was not too far away from the airport.

The first order of business was to drop the top of the car so that we could really enjoy the tropical air. A quick look at the map and we left the airport. 15 minutes later we were pulling into the parking lot of the Garden Island Inn. If you click on the link above, you can see that it is a very nice hotel. We didn't know any of that when we went to check in. And as we were doing that, the manager wanted to know if we would be interested in renting their finest suite; the Lanai Suite? He described it and gave me a price that astonished me; just $90+ a day. That was just $10 more than the room I had reserved. I took it! The suite was located directly over the managers office and took up the whole upper floor of one wing. It had two bedrooms, a 'living' room, a kitchen and a lanai. When you opened the large sliding doors to the lanai, it felt as if the whole suite was open to the Pacific. It was magnificent. And we could see the Marriott across the way, where the guests had the same view as we did  and they were paying 3 times as tips. I had been in that particular Marriott before and knew just how sterile it felt.

For some reason, I've always had good luck when choosing the 'different' hotel when traveling. I have always tried to stay away from the big chain hotels like Marriott.

Here on Kauai we were quite free to wandering on the immaculate grounds of the Marriott and here's a photo of the harbor from the 9th hole of their golf course. No, I wasn't playing. In fact, no one was on the course and we were free to wander. The golfing guests must have been relaxing in their air conditioned rooms.

We had places to go and see but we had no guide. So we just drove and turned here and there as we felt moved to. If the road looked interesting, we turned onto it. And in this way, we found a small shopping center that had a restaurant that looked promising. And it was good! We had a wonderful brunch while sitting outside on their lanai. I can't tell you how to get there and I don't remember the name of the place.

After more exploration we decided to visit Waimea Canyon the next day; early. And so we did, driving up the twisting road ascending the mountain while in a tropical jungle. Then the vegetation seemed to thin out and change as climbed higher. I pulled over at an overlook and Laurae took this photo of me sitting in our red car.

By the way, we saw dozens upon dozens of these red cars. Avis was doing well here.

Below are more photos of the island and one of Laurae as we made our way to the top. And at the top we found fog and cold air. Up went the top of the car and we put the heater on. We found a small cafe selling coffee and we stopped there to check our map and decide on a route out of the cold.

Here Laurae is braving the cold air as we looked down on the beautiful island.  You can see the fog lurking right behind her.

Somewhere in my photo collection I have photos of Waimea canyon and it is very beautiful.

 We had four days on the island and then it was time to fly back to Oahu and then take our flight back to San Francisco and Sacramento. In those four days we ate well, slept well and relaxed while visiting all of the usual tourist spots. It's a beautiful island and we would love to come back But I would have to have the deluxe suite at the Garden Island Inn booked and waiting for us. Plus a red convertible!


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