Good morning and greetings, Labor Day fans. For some, the first Monday in September celebrates the American labor movement, a tribute to the contributions American workers have made to the prosperity of our nation. For others, it symbolizes the end of our summer dreams, when life is good and the living is easy.
But for the rest, it’s just another three-day holiday weekend, because as soon as Tuesday rolls in, it’s like we never skipped a beat. I believe it was either the Reverend Al Sharpton or Aristotle who said, “The end of labor is to gain leisure.” But I prefer to quote from the Talmud, where it is written, “No labor, however humble, is dishonoring, with the exception of blogging.”
So when we left off last week, I had just arrived at our oceanfront rental in Anahola. I knew we were going to a place of extreme beauty, but I was still overwhelmed when we entered the premises. The color of the water looked fantastic, and there wasn’t a drop of kelp or seaweed for thousands of miles.
I thought to myself, “Hemolele i ka mâlie,maika`i nô Kaua`i,” which means, so perfect is the calm, so beautiful is Kaua’i. I was ready for a week in paradise, to be surrounded by the ocean, the trade winds and the gentle sounds of my neighbors partying from the house next store.
Yes, lo and behold, there was some festivities going on, as preparations were in place for some impending nuptials the following day.
It turned out being a beautiful ceremony, and afterwards I congratulated the happy couple and left them with this thought. The only dreams that matter are the ones you have when you’re awake, so recycle your damn beer cans and get the hell out of here.
And just like the gigantic butterfly tattoo on the bride’s shoulder, they flew off, never to be seen again.
So the first couple of days we just hung around our Hawaiian hacienda, enjoying the beachfront experience. Fortunately, we had all brought water shoes with us, as the beach out in front is on a coral reef, which is a little rough on the feet. But with the water temperature a delicious 81 degrees, it was all good, as I spent time trying to perfect my dead man’s float.
The next day my daughter wanted to go to her favorite beach, so we drove west through Princeville and Hanalei before reaching Lumahai Beach. There are no signs marking this spot, you just park on the road and hike down through an exotic tropical jungle. There’s no lifeguards, just signs warning you about strong rip tides, powerful backwash, and treacherous shorebreak waves. Perfect for families with young children.
This beach is exotically beautiful, as when you enter you see black lava rock along with crystal clear blue water and golden sand. The beach is very swimmable in the summer time, and if you get their early, you can have a slice of tropical paradise all to yourself.
Kauai gets a lot of precipitation, as these frequent rain showers make the north shore is as lush as on any island on the planet. Fragrant plumeria flowers bloom all year round, and walking through a tropical rain forest after a liquid shower is a frenzy of excitement for the olfactory senses.
We stopped for lunch in the lovely little town of Hanalei on the way back. When off the mainland, we only dine in the finest establishments, so we hit L & L Hawaiian Barbecue for the traditional plate lunch of two scoops of rice, one scoop of macaroni salad and a hot entree, which included teriyaki chicken, barbecued beef, short ribs and enough chicken katsu to feed Detective Steve McGarrett and cast and crew of the new “Hawaii Five-O.”
A couple of days later, we hit the road again, this time to Tunnels Beach on the north shore. We arrived at 10 o’clock and the parking lot was overflowing. When on vacation, I need to be quarantined from other tourists, so although the beach is snorkel gorgeous, it was not a memorable trip, except for this shot of a local holding his board while checking out the surf. I spoke to him briefly and he said he was due for a light trim.
On the way home we stopped at the magnificent St. Regis Princeville Resort, where the rock lobster entree will run you $63 in the Terrace Restaurant. It comes a la carte, but with a tremendous view of Hanalei Bay.
Overlooking the majestic Hanalei mountains, the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. The St. Regis introduces an unparalleled level of sophistication and serene luxury to one of the most remarkable destinations in the world. And that’s the way I roll.
Now one afternoon, my daughter’s friend came running in yelling,”Geoff, get your camera, there are turtles hatching down the beach.” Well, before you could say “Jacques Cousteau,” I was watching baby sea turtles crack out of their shells, hit the water, and then take their first strokes before heading out to sea.
It was an amazing sight, as there must have been sixty eggs shells scattered around. There were another thirty eggs buried in the sand, but they were just empty shells the following morning. It was one of those Animal Planet/National Geographic moments, but with no commercial interruptions.
So our week in paradise went by quickly. One of our neighbors on Aliomanu Road gave me a bunch of mangos plucked right off her trees, along with papayas and lychee fruit, which I hadn’t sampled before. The downing of those juicy mangos was a religious experience, something I wished at I had at my bar mitzvah alongside the gefilte fish.
Mount Waialeale on Kauai is the second rainiest spot on Earth, averaging 440 inches per year. It’s where umbrellas go to die. The constant rain showers on this Garden Island produce fantastic waterfalls. So on the way back to the airport we dropped in to see Wailua Falls. On the way there we ran across a wild boar and her piglets, which made me feel a lot better about not ordering the baby back ribs special the night before.
Moving on to the photos. The first shot is Lumahai Beach, where they filmed “South Pacific”, and then on to Tunnels Beach, where I ran into my dreadlocked friend. Then it’s the view of Hanalei Bay from the St. Regis Resort.
The next photo is one of our neighbor’s papaya trees, before moving on to the baby sea turtle exiting his shell, and then what this bad boy is going to look like when he’s a bit older. We then finish up with the majestic Wailua Falls, where you can just drive up and shoot from the roadside. Now that’s the aloha spirit.
Next week, sunrises and more, so stay tuned.
Now here is comedian David Cross’ favorite joke. So a guy’s walking down the street. He sees a friend approaching him, and his friend has a Band-Aid on his forehead. And the guy says, “What happened?” The friend says, Oh, my God, this was f**king nuts, man!
I was at this rooftop party on the 12th floor, sitting on the edge, and a gust of wind blows me off the building. Twelve stories up. Unbelievably, there are these to clotheslines about three stories down that break my fall. I sort of bounce over them, and end up hitting this awing, and then I bounce off the awning into the pile of mattresses.
And then I bounce off the pile of mattresses and get flung up another 20 feet in the air, ‘I’m dead,” but then I land on this open truck hauling marshmallows. And you know, I scratched my forehead with my finger at one point.
And the guy’s like, “Holy sh**t! You must be the luckiest man alive.” And his friend says, “No, no, no. That’s Jim Belushi.”
So that’s part two of my Kauai adventure. Next week you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know and more about this lovely Garden Isle.
We’ll catch you two making the sequel to one of the great comedy movies of my generation. Aloha, mahalo and later, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels fans.