Well, I’m fried. There are positives and negatives to this.
Positives: It will turn to tan overnight and won’t peel for about a week, which means I should be able to survive the weekend (and more importantly, Julie’s wedding) without looking like I have a skin disease.
Negatives: I have massive burn lines that will DEFINITELY show with the bridesmaids dress. Fail. Looks like I’ll be using large amounts of makeup to cover them up—unless someone has a better idea.
So how did I get so burned? Mostly from my adventure yesterday (Monday), but I’ll start from where I left off and recap my weekend.
Saturday I went shopping in Hanalei (the largest town on the North Shore), which had a cute little shopping village with a live reggae band performing in the center court. I randomly ran into my friend Dylan, so we walked to Hanalei Pier to admire the view. We watched a bunch of local kids doing flips off the pier and had an interesting chat with a very talkative guy who had inadvertently moved to Kauai from Maryland (angrily quit his job on a cruise ship and got dropped off on the island)… he had a lot of tips to offer about how to catch fish, how to avoid getting beat up by locals, and where to find the best weed (he used to be a drug dealer.) He reminded me of a slightly less creepy Steve what’s-his-face… the guy who graduated from West Branch and got arrested on a California Army base with a truck full of guns and a diary detailing how he was going to murder everyone. He used to come into Scrapbooking by Lisa (where I worked, at the time) and talk nonsense. He always called my Lieutenant. Not sure why. Anyway. Here are some pictures of where I shopped in Hanalei—there were some beautiful murals—and of the view from the pier. The last picture is a shot of some people paddle-boarding, which is a popular activity in Kauai.
I gave Dylan a ride to Tunnels Beach, where he was headed to spend the night (when I found him he was shirtless and shoeless with a folded tent and a backpack full of food.) I then drove into Kapaa to do some more shopping at Coconut Marketplace, just another of the ten dozen touristy shopping plazas. I ate at Aloha Kauai Pizza—ordered the Big Man, which was loaded with Canadian bacon, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, onions, peppers, and more toppings that I’m probably forgetting. Oh, and a purple flower.
Sunday was a lazy day. Attendance was low at church because the memorial service for Andy Irons was being held in Hanalei. For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), Irons was a very famous professional surfer (won three world titles) who lived on Kauai until he died (possibly of dengue fever—still being investigated) a few weeks ago. From what I hear, all of the Kauai hotels and flights were completely booked for this weekend, and they closed the roads in Hanalei because of all the commotion accompanying the memorial service, paddle-out, and scattering of ashes by Irons’ pregnant wife. I took a long nap after church, then went to Anini beach for a few hours. It was slightly chilly, especially when the sun was behind the clouds, so I just laid out on my towel and zoned out to my iPod.
Sunday night, my employer commended me on being dependable and efficient, and told me that he’d like to give me a gift for being such a hard worker—he booked me a spot on a snorkeling tour of the Na Pali Coast with the sailing charter Captain Andy’s. :) So yesterday I woke up at 4:45 a.m. and made the one and a quarter hour drive to Port Allen Harbor in Ele’ele. I checked in for the tour and was disappointed to learn that the swell was too high to sail the Na Pali Coast, but the tour was rerouted to sail the southern shore of the island, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
The tour was beautiful. I wish that I had dozens of impressive, colorful, majestic pictures to share… but I spent the first half of the tour determined to enjoy the views without a camera in my face and the second half of the tour too seasick to focus through a lens. More on that later.
The sailing tour started off grandly—breakfast of fresh fruit and gourmet breads, the crew hoisting the massive red and white striped sail, and tropical music blaring from the speakers. We had just motored out of the arena when the captain came on the intercom to apologized for the rerouting and for the fact that whale season was still a couple of months away, and less than thirty seconds later a humpback whale breached about a mile away. We sped up to follow it, and for a good twenty minutes we followed the path of it and another young whale who each breached every few minutes—a few times they leapt entirely out of the water, once simultaneously. According to the captain, they were “teenage” whales who had gotten ahead of the herd and were practicing their jumps for mating season. Though the rest of the tour was wonderful, the whales were definitely a difficult act to follow.
We boated by motor for a while, sailed for a while, then tried to round the corner of the southern tip—but the swells were monstrous. Those of us who had taken our places on the trampolines in the front of the boat got drenched by 10-20 foot waves. We turned back and sailed the way we had come. We came across a pod of dolphins and sailed alongside them for several minutes, watching them leap in and out of the water—four or five at a time in perfect synchronization—while a baby dolphin performed acrobatics.
After sailing a while longer, we anchored in a cove to snorkel above a tropical reef. The reef was magical… all sorts of colorful, twisting corals and exotic fish. But evidently I’m a wuss, because I only lasted about twenty minutes before looking down into the water and floating over the rolling swells made me completely seasick. So while the rest of the tourists (20-30) finished snorkeling, ate a catered brunch, and sunned on the deck, I knelt on the cobbled deck prepared to puke off the side of the boat. :) And when I finally sat back, I discovered that the cobbled concrete had dug into my knees and sent currents of blood gushing from my knees to my ankles. Haha.
The (attractive and young) captain was making rounds right about then, and he’s evidently dealt with his share of seasick passengers… so he brought me some Sierra Mist and soda crackers. He gave me all sorts of tips like “don’t look down or at the water” (I had been staring straight down into the waves) and made conversation to try to get my mind off being queasy. At one point, I was so preoccupied with trying to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth that I wasn’t even really paying attention to the fact that he was cleaning out my knees with rubbing alcohol and applying bandages, which I was completely capable of doing on my own. What a nice guy. Haha. After that, I laid down and let my body sway with the motion of the boat. By then, everyone was doing their own thing—snorkeling, eating, sunning on the deck… I’m hoping I passed as “sunning on the deck.” At that point, in case you're wondering, is when I managed to become fried.
From then on all was good. We sailed back to the arena, gathered out things, and I left the boat without having taken a single picture. Whales and dolphins would ordinarily be of top photographical priority… but hey, I live in Kauai… I’m sure I’ll see more. :)
On my way back, I stopped in the historic district of Hanapepe, which is a cute little art town that resembles the old west (reminded me a bit of Jerome, Arizona.) I browsed through the galleries and specialty shops, and found my absolute favorite place on the island—a used bookstore WITH CATS! I spent quite a while sifting through the shelves and petting the kitties, then had a nice conversation with the owner while I made my purchases. I snapped a couple shots of the town on the walk back to my car.
After Hanapepe, I stopped at Harbor Mall (yet another shopping plaza) in Lihue, then walked across the street to eat at JJ’s Broiler, where I scored outside seating with a great view of Kalapaki Bay. As I was waiting for my food, I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything since the pineapple breakfast and the two bites of soda cracker I’d had for lunch, so when my salmon and cheesy potatoes arrived, I scarfed them. And they were delicious.
I was supposed to go surfing with Mark today, but after a full day of activities yesterday, I needed to stay in and work. We’re going to try to surf tomorrow, possibly, but I have a lot to do tomorrow and Thursday to get things squared away before I come home. I’ll be working remotely throughout my return to Ohio, but there’s a few things to wrap up before my flight on Thursday. I’m looking forward to seeing you all and spending some time at home. :) Aloha!