Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bathing like a queen....

So I left you yesterday morning when it was dumping rain; roof pounding, can hardly step outside without getting drenched kind of rain. After a couple of hours of that, the clouds moved on and we were left with an amazingly nice (and not too hot) day. How cool is that!

But before the rain stopped completely we decided snorkeling in the rain could be just as much fun as snorkeling in the sunshine. We lathered up the sunscreen as Aidan and I are living testaments to how badly a person can burn on a cloudy day, grabbed our snorkel gear, threw on our flip flops and headed out the door to our own little beach. (I like how after 2 days it is now MINE!) Click here to see a picture of MY beach! We walked down the beach to the little rope swing and shoved our raincoats and clothes under the roots of a tree__yea, you read that right UNDER the roots of a tree. then donning our mask and flippers walked backwards out into the sea. If you only knew how glamorous we can make that look. ; )

Unfortunately the water was only knee deep there for a very, very long time. So Aidan and Steve came back to shore and walked our stuff down to another protected spot and I swam--or shall I say held my breath and tried to swim. Seriously, it was about as shallow as it could be and me still be able to float and navigate. I bottomed out once but not with my bottom. Funny. Sort of. Made me realize if I was ever going to have reconstructive (deconstructive?) surgery of that area of my body I would like a good surgeon to do it, not a wad of coral. Ouch.

Anyway, once we were all back in the water, we snorkeled around for a couple of hours looking at all kinds of cool coral formations and tons and tons of fish. I am sure this beach is not known for its snorkeling but it was cool anyway. And it was still raining on and off so it was surely more fun than sitting inside waiting for the rain to stop. What's the point in that?

After a couple of hours we came home and made lunch...hmm, maybe we were out there longer than that because it was 12:30 by now. How did it get so late?

Regardless, we munched on boring things like guacamole made from fresh, very local avocados and tomatoes from a farm down the road a bit (Steve and Aidan) and peanut butter sandwiches (me, because clearly nobody else is going to eat what I thought would be good lunch stuff) and then we jumped back into the car and headed to the queen's bath. There is a lot of history to that spot but I forget it and was more interested in swimming than history so I didn't reread it yesterday.

The Queen's bath was my favorite part of Kauai when we came here in 1999. Well, at least tied for first. Kauai is really nice. Hard to pick, ya know. It is a beautiful pool of frequently refreshed ocean water (waves come splashing over the edge) complete with fish and interesting underwater things to look at. It is a nice (bit tricky) walk out from a subdivision in Princeville which is only 5 minutes away from MY beach.To get to the Queen's Bath, you walk down a hill, past a waterfall, across the lava flow and then down into the pool. The views are amazing. Seriously, amazing.

I saw on whale spouting yesterday, but the last time we went we watched whales swimming by for nearly an hour. And saw oodles of turtles swimming right off shore. Yesterday though, we concentrated on swimming and more swimming. We had the place all to ourselves (which apparently was kind of a miracle because after about an hour 30 or more people showed up and we saw almost that many walking out when we were walking in). We had plenty of time to swim and swim in completely comfort..warm water, no dangers. Very nice. (The queen's bath can be dangerous if the surf is high, but yesterday it was perfect.)

After watching the fish swim in so many different ways--with their whole bodies, with lots of fins, with just a couple fins, with their back fins...etc. etc. I decided I would try to emulate them and see how well I could get around. It was the kind of thing that embarrasses my children, so it was lucky that Aidan wasn't watching me and nobody else was around. Apparently, that while I am a great swimmer, I am not a good fish. I couldn't do any of their moves and still move forward. Actually, a lot of the moves I tried made me go backwards or worse, absolutely nowhere. I am sure I looked ridiculous, so I am very glad nobody noticed what I was doing and took pictures. The ones they have been taking are bad enough.

We swam until we were done (maybe 1.5-2 hours) and then walked back up the rocks and to the car. During the last half hour when all the people came we got to talking to the other non-locals about possible things to do. What we had scheduled from Thursday (a boat ride up the Na Pali coast starting in the south of the island 1.5 hours away from here) was apparently better scheduled from our end of the island. We had meant to pick a tour boat from here but somehow messed that up, We were definitely not keen on the drive, nor the time we would be doing the drive (leaving at 5:20 am) so we hurried home to cancel and reschedule. With just a few minutes to spare before they closed we were able to cancel with the southern company (with no fees--whereas, if we had waited until today it would have cost 50%) and then reschedule with one that takes off from OUR beach and will require no driving at all. Score. And supposedly, according to the guidebook of all guidebooks Kauai Revealed this is the best trip on the island. How did we miss this one to begin with? The rain must have addled our brains this morning and caused us to read an advertising magazine instead of the bible!

With that little mistake corrected we headed back out for our daily dose of Banana Joe's. Things have changed there since we were here in the 90's. No longer do you get to choose your flavor from a variety of choices. They make one kind a day and you suffer through their choice, like it or not. It was pineapple again, and poor us, it was delicious. Every time I eat these things it makes me want a champion juicer. How can just plain frozen fruit taste this good. Oh my, better stop talking about it or we will have to go twice today. yummy. We do have a few hours to fill before the boat ride.

While at Banana Joe's, we bought some more fresh produce and then wandered down the road to a little roadside stand selling ice cold coconuts. Since coconuts have been promoted to a real live superfood, how could we not stop and get one. Umm, fresh young coconuts are so delicious...Steve and I drank the water (Aidan tried it but didn't no likey) and then handed back our coconut to watch it be smacked with the back side of a machete. Amazingly, it cracked in half (I guess the right tool is everything). and with a little plastic spoon we scooped out bits of the inside. It was so soft and creamy, not at all like other coconut I have had. Guess i have never had one that young before. Yummy again.

We came home again and had some kind of taco/tostada concoction with tons of local, delicious produce and a beautiful pineapple, coconut, papaya salad for dinner. yumm. Even Aidan was full after this. An hour or so later, he resumed his grazing habits and found the local ice cream we had stashed in the freezer. yum on that too. Tonight we will try the guava and the pineapple gelato we found at the health food store. Made in Kauai, no dairy. Sounds good.

After all that swimming, we went right to sleep and I at least slept for a long, long time. Those two lumps are getting an extra long attached to their sleep since here it is after 7 and they are still sound asleep! Maybe I will go jump on their beds and wake them up. It's BEACHTIME.

ps Since it is beachtime, I am not going to take the time to redo the formatting to get those pictures in the right spots. They WERE there and then it changed. The top one is the Queen's bath...and the other two are sel-explanatory.

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