March 4 traveling to Kauai

Traveling to Hawaii isn’t what it used to be. I remember the 5 day crossing as a 5 year old on a gray Navy ship, my mother and baby sister sick below deck for most of the crossing, and me watching the horizon with the two Navy nurses who offered to help, above deck was the only way I got through it, even at 5. Returning from Hawaii was a 12 hour flight on the Mars seaplane, watching the ocean below as if it were right there, but confused because there were clouds between us and the water.

Traveling by air now is so much more mundane, been in the sky too many times. I think I get more excited about toodling down the road in the MoHo than I do thinking about getting on a plane. Too bad. The price of old age and lots of travels. Still, waiting in the Seattle airport for our flight was nice, and not too long, and everything was on perfect schedule. Our flight on Alaska was comfortable, and even the ordinary class seats weren’t too tight. Especially nice since Mo and I managed an aisle and a window seat with no one in between. Space enough for a rousing card game and still have room for our drinks. The flight was just about 6 hours, and they gave us Mai Tai’s and Macadamia nuts in the beginning, to make up for the fact that all food now is “available for purchase”. Not a bad flight though, and we arrived ahead of schedule at 8:30 PM Kauai time,

Once landed, the disorientation of a new place in the dark is always a bit challenging. We found the shuttle to the car rental, managed to get all our luggage without anything lost and found the last economy car on the lot. I guess 4×4’s and convertibles are the big deal here, but we had other things to spend out money on this time around. Mo drove and we followed the directions to our vacation rental, north on HWY 51 to HWY 56 and then on to Aliomanu Road to the last culdesac and up the hill. Now all this sounds so simple, unless it’s dark and the roads are dark and it’s a brand new world. And the car feels something like a roller skate scooting along the ground. Mo looked like some kind of low rider behind the wheel. Took her another day to actually find the button that would let her lower the steering wheel enough to see over it! Most everything was closed as we drove through Kapaa toward Anahola, but we found a quick fast food bite to get us through to morning, realizing that of course, we had no supplies for our vacation home stay.

The directions were clear, the door was open, the key on the table with a vase of fresh flowers and a bottle of champagne in the fridge. Ahh, Kauai. I am here.

The adventure of arriving at a new destination in the dark is worth the disorientation I think. I could smell everything and hear the ocean and the night sounds, but it all was a mystery waiting to unfold with the morning light.

Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

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