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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Solitude in Paradise

Dear Mom,

Oh, boy! So much to share since I last posted. I could write a whole blog post on my "deep thoughts" while hiking alone in Kauai. But it's LA's birthday, and she is out jogging before we head to breakfast, so let me see if I can speed through this, while adding a little color commentary to the photos you would already have seen on Facebook.

Wednesday I just lounged around the St. Regis, which was AMAZING! I had a delicious brunch of eggs benedict with Kalua pork on the to-die-for terrace of the hotel. I never managed to get a pic that did it justice, but here's one from the website.

While I'm lifting photos from the's another great one, which is basically just like the room I was in, with a slightly different view: of the many delightful features of this hotel is a "privacy window" in the bathroom, which lets you enjoy the view while you shower! Again, I can't say how glad I am I splurged on this hotel. I've already recommended it as a honeymoon destination for two of our favorite people who aren't even engaged yet!

Tuesday night I watched the sunset from the lobby bar and enjoyed some absolutely scrumptious sushi.

Wednesday morning I was up and at 'em early. Since it was raining a bit, I headed south and drove to Waimea Canyon. En route, I stopped at a waterfall. (The woman at the Hertz counter let me upgrade to a convertible for $100 -- money well spent!)

 I took a few feet photos for the collection in my bathroom.
From the canyon, I kept driving toward several lookout points until the road ended. I hiked a bit on the last lookout. It was a bit drizzly, but the whole experience was a ton of fun, and there were plenty of people around, so I didn't feel unsafe wandering in the wilderness on my own or anything. 

It was about 2 p.m. by the time I finished. I was ravenous and stopped for fish tacos in Waimea. I couldn't decide between a wasabi fish and a shrimp papaya. The lady told me they were pretty sizable, and one would probably suffice, but I was so hungry I just inhaled them both. Both were EXCELLENT!!! 
I wanted to check out more of the south end of the island, but I was jet lagged and just exhausted, so I drove back to the hotel. It was raining, so I ended up just turning out the lights and going to bed around 7:30. The benefit of traveling solo -- keeping your own schedule! 

Thursday morning, I drove around Hanalei Bay toward the Kalalau Trail. I knew it would be strenuous, and it definitely was. But there were still a lot of people out enjoying it. I got tickled when kids would scamper around me like little billy goats! 

It was a two-mile hike to a beach...and then another two miles to a waterfall. I just did the beach leg, as that still ended up being four miles and about four hours round trip. Back at the hotel, I showered and enjoyed a signature St. Regis bloody Mary. (Fun fact: that cocktail was invented in the bar at the St. Regis in NYC, so they have a special one at each resort. I can't remember what was in this one, but it was pure perfection!) And, since I'd enjoyed my fish tacos so much the day before, I continued the trend.

I tried to get a photo, since I'd showered and put on a decent outfit, but I settled for a crappy selfie.

Then I enjoyed the pool and hot tub and watched another gorgeous sunset.

Friday morning, I made the most of my final hours. I got up early and explored a beach on my own. I'd noticed cars parked every time I'd driven around a certain bend in the road, so I figured there must be a good spot nearby. Sure enough, after a short walk down a quiet path, I found it. It was almost magical. I was the only person there, and there was a rainbow when I arrived!

I just sat there listening to the waves for a while. When I left, it was drizzling, and there was a road race underway into Hanalei. I walked around that little town and explored the bay a bit.

After that, I had a late breakfast, checked out, and headed to the airport to meet Leigh Ann. By that point, I was ready for some company! But I am SO GLAD I had those days on my own. I really loved every minute of it. And even though I'd rather be in paradise with a fun husband, I'd certainly rather go solo than not go at all! I'm very grateful you raised us not to be afraid of doing things on our own.

Time to get ready for Leigh Ann's birthday dinner. More on the "sistermoon" in the next entry!