God I love sunsets!

If I can catch a boat in  the photo it is even more gorgeous to view.

Isla Mujeres holiday 12/29 – 1/15

This was a very different vacation for me. We took two trips to Cancun to get stuff for the apartment and the weather pretty much sucked most of the time. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to sit on the beach and soak up the sun. I can do that for 8 hours a day, day after day. Well not so this trip. I can count on one hand the number of really good beach days over the last  16 days that I spent on the island. Even some days when the sky was blue the wind was too fierce to go to the beach. 

For the Isleanos there was  hope that this holiday would be the high, high season to make up some for the previous really slow months. I have spent the holidays on Isla for the last six years and have never had this kind of cold weather long-term or seen it so quiet. 

There  have been very few daytrippers coming over from Cancun the last several days. Golf carts and motos are sitting unrented, restaurants and bars are suffering from lack of business, especially those along the waterfront on Medina. 
I leave tomorrow as the next cold front moves in. For a lot of visitors this is their once a year trip to Isla and they won’t be back until next year. Unfortunately some may write off Isla and not return at all after their experience. I will be back maybe as soon as March and then a couple more time this year. I am one of the lucky ones. 

Updated 1/15: 

True story… I shared a van to the airport with a couple who stayed at Privilege Aluxes. This was their first trip to Isla. They said they enjoyed themselves and did not have a bad meal or poor service anywhere. They asked me a lot of questions about Isla. When I asked them if they would return to Isla they said probably not since they didn’t feel the whole island vibe because the weather was so cold. They “didn’t get” the island so I didn’t try to persuade them otherwise to return.

Things I did that I don’t usually do: 

  • Wear long pants out to dinner
  • Wear a long sleeve sweatshirt out to dinner and during the day while driving around in the golf cart
  • Shop in Cancun and the hated Walmart twice, Telebodego and Chedarui
  • Eat breakfast in several mornings. I usually love to go eat breakfast out but I cooked eggs and bacon and had toast or bagels several mornings

Things I didn’t do that I usually do: 

  • Spend every day at the beach
  • Spend a day or two at Villa Vera enjoying the pool
  • Eat dinner out every night. We ate home cooked meals and leftovers several nights

This was sunset yesterday 1/13. It was gorgeous.

I never get tired of sunsets

A few more Kauai photos

This sunset photo was taken from the driveway of the condo complex we stayed at. It looked like a fire behind the trees. I wanted to go up to the rooftop of the parking garage, 4th floor to take a sunset photo but never did for some reason.

Hanapepe seems to be having pretty hard times. The small town is so much more run down looking than when I was last there two years ago. There are still art galleries but I think this sign is out dated as I don’t believe there are 16 of them anymore.

A nice welcome sign to Poipu where we stayed. We were just a bit down the road from this sign. Directly across the street is a huge new development with shops and restaurants. According to the concierge at the condos we stayed at the work came to an abrupt halt when the banks started to have problems. So now the buildings are sitting there unfinished with boarded up windows.

My ice tea in a coozie I bought the last time I was on the island.

A beautiful home  behind this fence across the street from Kalihiwai Bay. Look closely and you will see one of the infamous Kauai roosters

Sunset over the ridge of Waimea Canyon.

This is Lydgate Beach Park. There is a sea wall making a nice safe pool for swimming and snorkeling. It was a bit rough this day so the snorkeling was not good. But we had fun just floating in the pool. To the north is an even smaller shallow pool for the little ones. As with most state or county parks in Hawaii there is a lifeguard, outdoor showers, nice restroom facilities and picnic tables. When Tara was little we spent many days at this park on our annual Kauai vacations.

Tara’s fried ice cream at the Thai restaurant in Nawiliwili Harbor shopping plaza. It looks almost identical to the dish that my friend Ralph had at Om on Isla. The ice cream tasted like a fresh donut only better.

Tara complained about the spot I picked to sit on the beach at Salt Pond Beach Park because it was a shallow area surrounded by rocks. Another sea wall like pool like the one at Lydgate but this one is natural not man made. However once Tara got the snorkel and mask on she floated around for a really long time collecting the tiniest little perfect sea shells.

I just love the look of palms against a blue sky.

Old town Koloa from a moving jeep.

The tree tunnel on the road toward Koloa and Poipu.

Maluhia Road, South Kauai
Walter Duncan McBryde, a Scotchman who began cattle ranching in South Kauai, planted these Eucalyptus Trees over 150 years ago. The trees once formed a beautiful canopy over the highway before two hurricanes damaged the tops of the trees.

The tree tunnel was starting to nicely recover from the damage of Hurricane Iwa (1982) when Hurricane Iniki (9/11/92) hit as a cat 5  and caused major damage again.

Mt. Wai’ale the rainiest spot on the planet. Of course it can’t be seen in this photo because it was covered in clouds.

“A common question is why Mount Waiʻaleʻale is the wettest spot on earth averaging more than 460 inches of rain each year at the summit. The answer is three-fold. Its northern position relative to the main Hawaiian Islands provides more exposure to frontal systems that bring rain during the winter. It has a relatively round and regular conical shape, exposing all sides of its peak to winds and the moisture that they carry. Finally, its peak lies just below the so-called trade wind inversion layer of 6,000 feet (1,800 m), above which trade-wide-produced clouds cannot rise.”

The last photo was taken on the drive to the airport to go home. So it truly is the last photo I took this trip. I am already planning on going back to Kauai next summer.

Reflections of a Milwaukie sunset 1/25/09