po`ipu and the jetted hot tub

We sure left Seattle on a cold, soggy note this morning! The water beaded up and rolled down the windows of the taxi and our breath fogged everything up and Adam wondered if the driver was going too fast. I felt really conflicted about leaving, I experienced the usual last-minute irrational anxiety about wanting to just stay home. Number one, I’m a homebody. But also, I’m not struggling with winter. As I’ve already mentioned, I need a couple rainy months so I can catch up on my reading and pictures and get better at my blog. So while I felt a certain sense of satisfaction leaving for a warm tropical paradise on such a gloomy day in the northern latitudes I also felt wistful because I love home. Adam spotted runners competing in the Seattle Marathon as we zoomed under closed-Interstate 90 (the marathon route makes it’s way through the Mt. Baker tunnel and across the water on the floating bridge).

The descent into Kauai was as enchanting as last year. Our 737 rolled past the big sea cliffs of Haupa Ridge and everyone gasped at the foamy waves crashing along that rugged coast southwest of Lihue. The greenness of the island came into view and I caught a glimpse of Kilohana Peak and my arch nemesis, Kahili Ridge. It made the 5 hours and 29 minutes being cooped up on the plane almost worth it. It was a mostly smooth flight. Adam did very well, he only came up for air from the DVD player when he needed a drink or snack. He was exceptionally loosey-goosey today. Speaking of 5 hours and 29 minutes, I only went to the bathroom twice the entire time. That’s a new personal best for Mr. Tiny Bladder. The second visit to the lavatory was tainted by horrifying turbulence during which time I nearly had to go hands-free to steady myself. That always happens to me:  As soon as I get in the lavatory and reach the point of no-return, the pilot turns the seat belt sign back on and a grandmotherly flight attendant voice announces all hell is about to break loose. I officially cut myself off liquids for the rest of the flight.

On the flight with us was the COO (Chief Ogga Ogga) of Diana’s company. Coincidentally, he and his wife are spending the week on Kauai. He’s a pleasant, friendly guy. He told us to send Adam up to them during the flight. We chatted with he and his wife at the gate before we got on the plane. He wants us to spend some time with them, I hope we can. They’re spending half their stay on the north coast, the other other half in Po`ipu just down the road from us. They have a long history of spending time in the Islands, though lately it sounds like they’ve been visiting Hawaii (the Big Island) more. Their children are all grown up. It would be interesting to hear about the things they enjoyed the most about Kauai over the years.

Before heading down the coast to Po’ipu, we picked up a few bags of groceries in Lihue. I walked around the grocery store feeling out of place in my blue jeans and long sleeve flannel shirt. I admit I looked like a real dipshit who just stepped out of a time machine, but I wasn’t wearing shorts on the plane. I like the thick layer of denim and flannel between me and the airplane seat that a thousand other people have farted and drooled on. A group of women in the produce section snickered at me.

It feels nice and strange to be back.  Kauai is so lush and green. The dirt is red and there are chickens everywhere. Palm trees actually belong here (back in Seattle, the bed-and-breakfast next to Adam’s school has several towering palm trees in the front yard- Adam and I have a running dialogue about them).

I had a splitting headache from dehydrating myself in order to not spend the entire flight in the lavatory, so I felt a little off-kilter tonight. But that didn’t prevent the three of us from immediately making our way to the beach. For the second year in a row we’re staying at the Waiohai Beach Club. It’s situated right on one of the south coast’s best protected beaches for swimming and snorkeling. I’m not naturally inclined to spend my time in a resort-y area but as Po`ipu is phenomenally located for easy access to the best hiking on the island and the hotel is appealing to Diana, who has made the entire trip possible in the first place, it’s an easy concession. Po`ipu is located in what is basically the island’s sun-belt, that’s an important consideration since it’s the “rainy” season now.

Diana reserved another amazing apartment for us. It’s open and spacious, on the top (fourth) floor with a bird’s eye view of the pools below and a filtered view of the ocean, through towering palms. There are enormous double windows in each bedroom that crank open and the living area looks out onto an enormous balcony for fun people-watching (even more fun than usual since everyone is half-naked). Waiohai is a little hard to describe: It’s part hotel, part timeshare community. I wouldn’t describe it as charming, the interior of the apartment is more McMansion than glitzy hotel. But Waiohai is undeniably pleasant if you don’t mind the feel of a quiet, medium-sized hotel where roosters wake you up every morning and then don’t shut up until sunset. From our room, we can walk barefoot to a golden sand beach. Which we did tonight. It was warm (77 degrees) but very breezy and then the sun went behind some humongous threatening clouds so we retreated to the sheltered horseshoe of the hotel and the warmth of the pool. We orbited from the pool to the little hot tub, where I found myself sitting in front of a whirlpool jet that made my shorts fill up with air. Fellow hot-tubbers’ eyebrows were raised when Adam yelled out to Diana “Mama! Papa’s shorts are bulging!”.

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