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In a sunburned state

Ah, two more days down in paradise. Yesterday I went to the Grand Hyatt spa for a massage and mani/pedi. I felt like a new person when I left -- the massage was very expensive, but totally worth it, very relaxing and gentle and fragrant. Every once in a while she would spray this citrusy mist over me and it felt like heaven -- you're in these private rooms they describe as cabanas, that are open air with your own prive little courtyard in the room full of flowers and plants and birds chirping away. The whole spa is full of open-air things, with different kinds of showers all over, and table where you can have lunch brought in, or drinks, and a small spa pool and whirlpools that are clothing optional if you're in the spa area. I opted for a volcanic rock shower, because it's a lot like the open air showers they have around the island. There's a reason this spa is world famous. But between my shredded fingers and my mess of a back, I couldn't see going anywhere else, and I'm so glad I did. Once you sign in, too, you get access to all the areas for the whole day, even if you're not a guest. You can use the fitness room, the pools, and have rooms service bring lunch to you.

I opted instead to head out to Hanapepe, an artist's community these days, but I missed it because it was tucked behind the highway and no one told me that. Since I couldn't turn around easily for a while, I just decided to head straight out to Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), even though I had to pee something awful. But I knew there'd be a restroom at the end of the road at the lookout point...I just didn't quite realize how loooong those 11 miles would be going up that twisty turny road. It was worth it though -- holy smoke is that place humbling. It makes you realize how insignificant we are, and yet how much damage we do this place that's so majestic we live on.

By the time I got back, I needed some more caffeine, and I went to the nearby Starbucks and shopped in the little mallish place there. Then I drove a bit farther and got some fish tacos, came back home, and read and drank lots of Bailey's and just relaxed inside and out -- I also watched a movie I'd brought with me, The Big Year, which was quite charming. How great it is to have a Blu-Ray player here!

Today I slept a little longer and then went to Poipu Cemetery, which I'd seen the other day as I drove by. It's amazing, just amazing, and I got some fabulous pictures of the lava rock headstones and ti-planted graves. There was a field next to it, where I met a bunch of lovely horsies grazing, and they came over and single file kind of walked next to the fence and let me scritch them -- they were dubious about me at first, but once they realized I knew just where to scritch horsies, they were like, "OK, you're cool." Unfortunately I was all the way across the cemetery when the best shot occurred -- one of the cattle egrets riding on one of the horses as he moseyed along. It was delightful.

After that I went to the National Botanical Gardens -- quite possibly one of the most beautiful places on the face of this planet. They are endeavoring to save and revive nearly extinct species, and there's just some truly amazing things there. They divide it into sections of native plants, "canoe" plants that were brought by the Polynesians and other islanders millennia ago, and introduced plants since the time of Capt. Cook.

While I was there, I spotted a wetlands bird as I was taking a movie of a little rock waterfall, and I think I was the only person on the grounds who even noticed the little guy. Turns out he is a highly endangered bird and I was beside myself with joy to see him. I took soooo many pictures of him. So far I've seen about a dozen birds I've never heard of before, among them the nene, which was nearly extinct a few years ago but is showing signs of recovery through management programs. I'm completely enchanted with the red-crested cardinal (so vibrant!), and those chickens I mentioned.

I should say, though, that they are apparently NOT chickens, nay, they are jungle fowl don'tcha know. I guess they've been here for quite a long time. The hens are not too vibrant, but they are cute as hell, with their little babies, but the, er, cocks, are quite stunning with a lot of different colors and "styles" of feather markings.

After that I went to Laffert's ice cream place, which everyone had told me I HAD to try, and it was indeed good, then I picked up a burger from Bubba's, quite the popular local place, and went back home and took myself a nice long bath (every part of me aches now from hiking through 250 acres of park). The backs of my knees are sunburned -- WTF? And two small spots above my kneecaps. I have absolutely no idea.

I'm not planning too much for tomorrow, I think maybe swimming on Poipu beach and the pool here again, and then on Friday I have to get up far too early to go take a helicopter tour of the island. Holy shit. I'm going to ride in a helicopter! It's gonna be just like Jurassic Park! Only, you know, without dinosaurs.

Comments

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trepkos
May. 10th, 2012 07:20 am (UTC)
This sounds absolutely wonderful.
amnisias
May. 10th, 2012 07:55 am (UTC)
I wouldn't count out the dinosaurs just yet!

Love reading about that beautiful place, hopefully there'll be some prictures, too, when you are back?
ixchel55
May. 10th, 2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Everything sounds absolutely heavenly, and you're describing my favorite type of vacation - equal parts activity and sloth. ;)

Like I said, can't wait to see the pics.
slavelabour
May. 10th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Ah my god, it sounds perfect! WANT.
the_shoshanna
May. 10th, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
My god, that sounds like paradise indeed.
mackiemesser
May. 11th, 2012 06:04 am (UTC)
"Only, you know, without dinosaurs."

I feel this is a very important vacation criteria.

It all sounds delightful!
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