Sunday, March 6, 2016

18th day of our vacation - Last Day - 1-2-16

We have been home for two months now and it has taken me this long to get through my journal.  However, the last day in Kauai has arrived.  I do have more photos and I will post them intermittently.  There are many photographs I have shared already that were also taken by Gregg.  He and I had a great time documenting our vacation.   So, last day, here we go.

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

10.04 p.m.  We are in the air and on our way to Denver, where we will catch our connecting flight to Washington-Dulles Airport.

We left the condo mid-morning with a tinge of sadness, but the excitement of seeing home again helped a lot.  I have always been a bit of a homing pigeon.  When I know we have to go I am ready to get on the plane (or in the car when we are nearer home), but hopefully we will see this place again one day.  We have talked about staying longer next time.  We'll have to wait and see.

Our flight wasn't until later on in the day but we checked out early, and drove inland to do one last day of sight-seeing before heading to the airport.  

On one of the roads we found a 'river' to drive through, not one of my favorite things I did this holiday.  "Number 3 Gregg, Number 3".  You'll have to check the original list of the travel code to understand.  Scroll down that page to check it out. It wasn't really a river but to me at the time it seemed like a fast moving torrent of water and that was enough.  However, it was only a few inches deep but still very much out of my comfort zone, and the pot holes were bigger than any pot holes I remember driving over.  


I was very relieved to get through it, but when we went further along the road and drove round the curve, it became very, very steep and as it was a dirt road and pretty muddy and slide-ey, and we didn't have a four-wheel drive, Gregg felt it wise to turn back.  Doing a three-point turn on that road was a challenge also, and I was glad Gregg was driving.  So there we were and once again we had to go through the 'river', one that I thought we had safely put behind us.  "No. 3 Gregg, No. 3".

Gregg had heard about a marina he wanted to see, so we drove past the airport to get there.  It was also in an area where not only the cruise ships docked, but all the containers from overseas came in, and there were lots of tall chain link fences with very large no trespassing signs.  We took a few photos but didn't get out of the car.

We saw an old sugar plantation building.  It was huge but now looked empty.

The next place we headed for was Shipwreck Beach.  We were looking for monk seals my sister-in-law had seen frequently, but there were none to be found.   

Above are condominiums, below we are looking across at the Grand Hyatt Hotel where we had the reception the day we attended our friends' beach ceremony.  The grounds inside the complex were incredible, and beautiful at night.

On many of the beaches there are volcanic rocks, which are very interesting to look at up close.

We did see these black crabs that were scurrying all over the rocks. They were fascinating to look at but.....

there were dozens of them, fairly good sized ones, fast, so very fast.   They are called Aama.  In ancient Hawaii it was a sacred food for priests.  

The surf crashed over the rocks and I thought for sure the crabs would have been swept back into the sea, but they all hung on and as soon as the water fell away from the rock, off they went again, scurrying, scurrying, totally mesmerising.  

As much as I was interested in them, truth be told I wouldn't want them scurrying over me.  As I sat there the thought made me move on, and decided to add "No sitting next to fast scurrying crabs" to the Traveler's Code

Silly, but it was the first time I had felt uncomfortable with them being so close.  

Earlier, before I had seen any of the black crabs, I had noticed what I thought was a dead one on a rock.  I learned that rather than it being a dead crab, it was in fact the shell of one that had molted.  These empty shells are paper thin with a slit in the back.  After  reabsorbing much of the calcium from the old shell, the crab backs out and abandons it.  The roomy new shell hardens soon after.

I took my photos while Gregg was exploring another part of the beach....

and as I was eager to move away from all those scurrying little legs, I caught up with him.  

We found another large tree trunk to sit on and like the one below our condo, it looked like it had washed up long ago.  I always love to sit on the beach looking out at the ocean, and this rather large piece of driftwood provided a relatively comfortable seat.

We made our way to the airport and returned the rental car.  The flight to Oahu was half an hour but we had a three hour wait.  

I wrote a few last minute postcards last night and wanted to mail them first thing, but I forgot to ask Gregg if we could go to a post office in Kauai.  My mind was on the journey home today.

In the Oahu airport there was a very nice gentleman who worked for the airline.  He said there should be a post office in the concourse.  It was a long way to our gate but we certainly had a lot of time to spare.  We looked and looked and one young lady in a shop said that there used to be a post office but it had been taken out.  Wind out of sails I gave up the search.  By this time I was concentrating on looking for our gate number, then suddenly Gregg spotted a US Postal Service sign in a small gift shop, and the young lady behind the counter gave us the correct stamps and took our postcards.  Thank you Gregg!  I always call him Hawkeye, as he is the greatest spotter for all things.  

1.14 a.m. and we have been in the air for nearly four hours.  Always feel very cramped and stiff at this point.  If we have the sardine can plane from Denver to Washington, it is going to be a bit of a challenge.

My clock on the iPad says it is now 6.15 a.m.  I am very confused with the time change.  I also haven't slept a wink.  We are on the last leg of our journey from Denver to Washington-Dulles, and we had a two-and-a-half hour wait at Denver.  These clouds look a bit like the snow we saw on the ground as we landed.  What a shock to see it, definitely came down to earth with a bit of a bump, figurative and physically.  

More time has passed and it seemed in no time at all we were landing at Washington-Dulles.  It felt good to be home after the long journey.  Our son met us at the baggage claim and what a welcome sight he was, already looking for our luggage, which was delivered quickly.  Way to go to those people I see loading and unloading all the suitcases when looking out of the plane window.  They do their job in all kinds of weather and I am always grateful to them, and everyone in between.

We were home in just over half an hour, not living too far from the airport and the traffic was light. Still in the early part of the afternoon, we did not have to deal with rush hour.  We chatted to our son all the way home.  He and Gregg took our baggage inside and he stayed for a good time after that.  When he left I made a quick tour of the house and everything looked great.  The lady who takes care of our house when we are gone did a wonderful job.  The mail was stacked neatly in a box which we enjoyed looking through later, especially the Christmas Cards.

And we were home.

It seemed surreal that only a short while ago we were on a small, beautiful island in the middle of the Pacific, and now I am sitting on the floor taking everything out of the suitcases.

Mahalo Hawaii, Aloha!  A hui hou kakou, until we meet again.

If you missed any of my daily journals and would like to catch up, I am sharing their links below.


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  1. Looks like you had an amazing time in Hawaii. Sure enjoyed the photos of those Black Crabs. You did an awesome job photographing them.

  2. Hello, I know you were sad to leave Kauai and Hawaii. But, it nice coming home. I often wish I could blink my eyes and skip the long plane rides. Wonderful collection of photos and memories. Happy Sunday, enjoy your week ahead!

  3. Wonderful photos and post , Quiet the adventure driving in the videos , loved the way you did the sounds as you were going over the bumps that took me back to when we were kids in the back seat doing that driving our parents bonkers lol ! I can imagine all the wonderful photos you still have from this amazing trip , thanks for sharing it all with us . Have a good day !

  4. You really did have a fabulous holiday, and I really hope you can go back.

  5. That rocky shore looks very inviting. I am sure I could happily spend weeks making discoveries there.

  6. Oh, Denise, that could have been Roger and I...he always wants to go ahead and I am always are you sure. BTW, I LOVE your voice. It is just so pleasant to listen to.

    I would not have liked those black crabs either...

  7. Those crabs look like such alien critters, don't they?

  8. You have taken such beautiful photos of your wonderful trip. You really packed a lot into your stay in the islands. I'm now really looking forward to our trip back to Kauai. We haven't been back there since 1994!

  9. wonderful Pictures f your holiday. Such a nice marina, and i love the pictures of the water.
    Best regards

  10. The best trips are the ones that have strange happenings and unknowns like skittering black crabs, wrong turns, and watery roads along the way. You never know how deep the water actually is or if the crabs will take a bite out of your toes. When I get back home from wherever I travel, it seems as if it was all a dream. Thank goodness for pictures. :)

  11. What a wonderful trip you had! Thanks for sharing it.

  12. These are all fantastic shots. As a big fan of clouds they blew me away.

  13. What a great trip you had and I've really enjoyed your commentary!

  14. I liked Kauii. I remember wreck beach. I don't envy your long trip home. We get a direct flight home and then have 140 km to get home.

  15. Looks like you had a fabulous trip. Lovely photos. Those crabs would give me the creeps~

  16. I would not like those black crabs!

  17. I'm not surprised you want to go back there, it looks lovely. Mind you, I know what you mean about getting back home.

  18. In a heart beat I'd want to return to the islands!!!

  19. This is part of the world I would like to see.

    I know what you mean about how long it takes to catch up holiday shots!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  20. That was fun and funny being with the crabs. I've been to Oahu, Big Island and a bit of Maui but not Kawai. But everything in Hawaii i found lovely. Mahalo.

  21. i truly enjoyed the two videos of driving through the river. i loved to hear your voice and you were so calm when driving through the water. i would have been yelling at bob saying do not drive through that. you were both brave to do it. all of your photos are magnifcent.

  22. There is a direct flight from HNL to Dulles on United Air Lines. No stops on the way. That would have been easier for you, I think.

    Next time, you should see the Akaka Falls on the Big Island. I have posted photos today of the falls.

  23. What a wonderful array of photos! Glad you took your time over them!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  24. Your journals have been lovely to read and look at ... something for you to treasure.

    I'm a bit like you "I have always been a bit of a homing pigeon."

    All the best Jan

  25. Nice to have read these journals of your holiday trip, Denise. I know you have been home awhile now, but busy getting all these posts put together for fellow bloggers to enjoy. Thanks for sharing. And those road rivers did to look like much fun to suddenly come upon while driving

  26. Wow, Denise, such beauty -my daughter has been there several times (her in-laws have a time share there, and brought me lovely presents. She couldn't get over how beautiful it is there. I can see from your pics why!
    Am not sure who tried to link this morning, but the link list did not work for several hours, so I'm contacting everyone who participated before. It works now! Hope you can join in before Wed. 7 pm Pacific time:) Have a great week.

  27. looks like a wonderful place to visit!

  28. That was such a great trip for you two and not too traumatic getting home (as those things go). I can tell you were glad to get home and yet I predict you will be going back someday in the not too distant future!!

  29. Wow! What a trip! Those little black crabs? They kind of gave me the willies! XO


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