As you have undoubtedly heard, Hawaiians sometime say upon awaking, "Ah, another day in paradise." That surely has been the case for Mary Lou and me. We consider our trip to Israel in February as being life changing, a once-in-a-life time pilgrimage, but utterly exhausting. This trip to Kauai is keeping us busy, but we are calling the pace and the activities. I have not felt so rested in years.
First yesterday's helicopter ride over the island. I can cross this off my bucket list for Kauai, but I think I want to take helicopters everywhere I go now. What an experience!
Here are just a few photos taken from the Black Beauty's window. Our pilot, who was born here, was Bogart (big long Hawaiian name), who has been flying here for 30 years. He was trained in the military and flew in Viet Nam. I got very teary when I learned that. He has six siblings and his parents named them all after movie stars. He said he was glad his name is Bogart and not Humphrey.
Shooting through the windows didn't give as much clarity as I would have liked and my photos inside of Waimea Canyon, where I've hiked before, weren't that great. I did like this one of three waterfalls, however.
Seeing the Napali coast from the air was an absolutely breathtaking experience. Though whale season is largely past, we did see a few breachings. A bird hit the helicopter with a sickening thud in this area and we all just held our breath until Bogart assured us that this happens occasionally. A bird once cracked the windshield.
This is a bird's eye view of the Hanalei Bay area near where South Pacific was filmed. Bogart also said part of the Pirates of the Caribbean were also filmed on the Napali coast. Our hotel is near this area.
When we were done, we went immediately to the Limahuli Botanic Garden for a 1 1/2 hour tour. It's near Haena and close to where the road ends at the Kalalau Trailhead. I once sprained my ankle on that trail many years ago and sure wouldn't try it today.
Then we went to early dinner at the Kalypso in Hanalei, a very local-style restaurant and bar where we found out that Wednesday night is considered an unlimited happy hour. We had mai tas and split a seafood platter. Later at home I had a piece of coconut pie. So much for diets!
We ended our perfect day watching an outdoor movie under the stars with lots of other folks and kids on the main lawn of the Westin. It was a biopic called Princess Kaiulani. It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, but it was well worth the watch and I learned so much about Hawaii's late 1800s/early 1900s when the U.S.A. annexed Hawaii.
It's so hard to believe that we only have another day left before we return to Los Angeles. Again, all I can say as I did in the last entry, mahalo. So grateful!