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Hawaii Vacation Highlights Part 1

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hi Everyone

As I mentioned in my last update (www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6613279, this summer we took an 11-night vacation to Kauai, one of the Hawaiian islands.

We planned this vacation a long time ago as a celebration for everyone making it through my surgery since it was stressful for everyone. It was fun to look forward to this for months.

Here are some highlights if you are interested:

Kauai Overview
This was our 5th time to Kauai over the past 18 years. I like to say that one of the best parts about living in California (after living in Ohio the rest of my earlier life) is that it's a "normal" 4-5 hour flight to Hawaii, which makes this a fairly normal vacation destination. Though I know that is all relative since we typically couldn't afford to go on vacation when I was younger.

An interesting fact you might not know is that the Hawaiian islands are the most isolated islands in the world. Take a look at a map and see just how far away they are from anything else.

Kauai is the smallest and least populated of the main islands people usually visit. People typically visit Kauai for vacation if they are interested in either outdoor adventures or incredible natural beauty. Kauai has both at world-class levels.

The north shore of Kauai is one of the wettest and lushest places in the world. About 18 months ago, the north shore had a rainstorm that dropped 50 inches in a 24-hour time period. The most amount of rain in a 24-hour time period in the history of the United States (on record). A good amount of the movie Jurassic Park was filmed on the north shore of Kauai. It really does feel like you are living in Jurassic Park there.

Grueling Vacation
We rented a house on the north shore. The house was amazing and overall we had a spectacular time, but it was probably our most grueling vacation for two main reasons:

1) It was unseasonably hot (and it's always humid there to amplify the heat) and our house had no air conditioning. Overall, Kauai is a bit "roughing it" and most homes don't have AC. This made it challenging to fall asleep at night because we'd end up soaked in sweat.

2) Every morning we were awakened by the "Official Kauai Alarm Clocks -- roosters! -- in the range of 3:30-5:30am. This would go on for about 90 minutes typically. One morning I watched a rooster walk down our driveway, do his thing, and then left. One theory is that Hurricane Iniki in the 90s caused a bunch of chickens to get loose and ever since there are now wild chickens all over the island. I'm not exaggerating, they are everywhere! Here is an example:



Direct link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd2eR-Jorjw

So, we were hot and tired much of the time :).

Highlights

There is one specific highlight that was very meaningful to me, I'll save that for a next blog. But, here are some other highlights:

* Snorkeling -- it was fun to snorkel with my two boys and see turtles and a bunch of great fish. What a great workout!

* Hiking -- we did a really fun hike to a place on the ocean called Queen's Bath, which is a protected pool that forms at the edge of the ocean that you can swim in (very dangerous if surf is high or during winter months). You can skim through this video if you are interested in seeing the muddy trail, waterfalls, and rock formations:



Direct link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhGbRnc_bbw

* Fun family time -- we brought my mother-in-law and had lots of home-cooked meals.

* Cycling -- this was a true highlight and treat. For the weekend we were there, a bridge was being repaired, so we were "stranded" on arguably the prettiest 5-mile stretch of road in the US. So, we rented bikes and just used the road as a bike path that weekend. The road dead-ends at a park with a trail I'll write about in my next blog! Here is a quick drone video that shows this area from the beach:



Direct link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIjGYmR3Rz8

It was tough, but overall the north shore of Kauai is an amazing place!

Chris
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