Garden Isle Getaway

Squeezed July 19, 2005

There’s probably an unwritten state law somewhere that says that all Hawaii residents must visit each of the four largest islands in their lifetimes. Of course, I live here on Oahu, and I have a large part of my family on Maui. And like many people my age, I’ve visited the Big Island in fourth grade.

But the one island that eluded me was Kauai. The Garden Isle was always the island to the west that I had only heard about and seen in pictures, but never experienced firsthand.

That is, until Saturday, when I decided to play the role of tourist and with a minimum of luggage, hop a plane and spend a day on Kauai.

My day started very early, when with overnight bag packed, I headed to the airport to catch the the first flight out to Lihue. Following the advice of the guidebooks, I sat on the left side of the plane, and was rewarded with a wonderful view of dramatic cliffs on the final approach.

What an introduction to a great island.

Although it is good to have a companion, one good thing about traveling alone is that you’re not tied to a schedule, that you can see what you want, when you want. With one day on the island, I set out to see the major sights. After having breakfast in Lihue, I headed out west to pass through the small towns on the west coast…Kalaheo, Hanapepe (where I had some Lappert’s Ice Cream at the place where it all started), and Waimea, on the way up to Waimea Canyon.

I’ve been to the American southwest, but never to the Grand Canyon. But until I can get there, I’ll settle for the Grand Canyon of the Pacific…reds, oranges, whites and greens all in one place.

The afternoon found me going to the north shore, visiting such places as Kilauea Lighthouse and Hanalei. Hanalei, in particular, is the beauty of the islands realized…looking at it reminded me of scenes straight out of Lilo & Stitch. Passing through and looking up toward the mountains, I saw clouds and fog reminiscent of San Francisco, and houses painted bright colors…almost like watercolor art.

Spent the night at the Aloha Beach Resort in Wailua, checking in shortly after 3:00 and spending some time relaxing in front of the pool…recharging the batteries before flying home Sunday morning.

All in all, it was a wonderful excursion and great getaway. And now I can truly say that I’ve seen why people rave about Kauai. Now all I have to do is visit Molokai and Lanai and I can say that I’ve visited all the islands in my lifetime. But what’s the rush?

This post meets the requirements of the Alchera Project, Project 35, Option 7. Four of the six listed words were used.

2 Responses to “Garden Isle Getaway”

  1. Lynn Vasquez Says:

    Aloha Keith! I’m glad you enjoyed and seen the beauty of the garden isle. I have family there and on Maui too. I had my choice of where to spend summers. My favorite was Kauai! Poipu, Koloa, Kalaheo (MAMA was born) and Omao where family lives until today. Awww…I jealous! Make me feel like going! Shucks.

    Take care,

  2. Sarah Dylan Breuer Says:


    I have a huge favor to ask. I’m interviewing for a job in Honolulu this week. I grew up in Los Angeles (loved it — especially when I could surf often), and now live in Maryland. If you’d like to tell me as much as you feel like saying about the positive and the negative of living in Honolulu, I’d be very grateful. I visited Hawaii as a tourist once years ago; I loved what I saw of Maui and Kauai, but I wasn’t all that impressed with Honolulu. Admittedly, at the time I was twelve years old, and it was mostly about not liking Waikiki Beach so much. Nowadays, I’m sure I’d be grateful for the cultural life of a large multicultural city.

    Many thanks for any wisdom you feel like sharing!

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