Monday, July 29, 2019

Kauai Day #7: Last Things

I feel like I have a habit, on practically every trip, of barely taking photos on our last day. And so it continued for this trip. For some reason, I took a photo of our condo TV, because although I'd never actually pay for cable (that's a lie, because we bought cable one year during football season, but now that I'm thinking of it that was probably, like, a decade ago, so do with it what you will), whenever we're on vacation the kids and I can watch the snot out of Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, and the one that's always showing those ridiculous home improvement or nonsensical house hunting shows.

I'm guessing this is Animal Planet, since Will is completely immersed in a rerun of the Westminster Dog Show:

We didn't have anything really pressing on our to-do list for our last day on Kauai. One of the places that I'd been wanting to look at was Queen's Bath, which was practically in our neighborhood, but when we drove by it the neighborhood association had the gate access to it closed and locked. The neighborhood ostensibly put the gate up to keep people from endangering themselves at Queen's Bath in dangerous conditions, but even the guidebook that I used as my bible insisted that the neighborhood made it a habit of keeping the gate locked almost all of the time, regardless of conditions at Queen's Bath. The kind of obvious speculation is that they just want to keep people out of their neighborhood and away from the water access, leaving them with an unofficially private coastline. So then people just trespass around the gate, and it's turned into a Thing.

Interestingly, while we were on Kauai a story blew up in the local newspaper about a church youth group that had all gone to Queen's Bath that week, WHILE THE GATE WAS LOCKED--GASP! The plot thickens when you find out that the group actually entered the path to Queen's Bath through a friend's property that is part of the neighborhood and that abuts the path, so technically they didn't "go around" the locked gate, AND it highlights the fact that when the gate is indefinitely locked, apparently the only people who can legally access what's supposed to legally be a public right-of-way are the adjacent property owners. AND it's apparently a wealthy neighborhood, so the whole thing just gets more culturally charged.

AND the church youth group? It's the one made famous by its portrayal in Soul Surfer, the biopic about the girl whose arm got bitten off by a shark while she surfed near her home on Kauai. She's apparently super religious and the movie was more about religious stuff than shark stuff (Syd and I watched it through the shark attack, and then kind of fast-forwarded through the religious parts to get to the interesting parts about her recovery and further adventures), and her super religious youth group leader--I just have to tell you that there's this whole part of the movie in which the kid bails on a youth mission trip because she wants to get more competitive with surfing and wants to practice more, her youth group leader totally makes her feel like crap for making that choice, and then, you guys, the shark attack happens DURING THE TIME PERIOD OF THAT MISSION TRIP. I swear, the movie absolutely makes it seem like this kid got bitten by a shark as Jesus karma for not engaging in missionary tourism.

Okay, I got distracted. The kid's youth group leader from Soul Surfer is the same youth group leader who took these kids to Queen's Bath. So it was interesting to follow the story in the newspaper because of that connection, too.

ANYWAY... no Queen's Bath for us, so instead we spent the morning at Anahola Beach Park. It's part of the designated Hawaiian Homelands and while there were a lot of people camping, there weren't any other tourists:

The above photo is somehow the only one that I took of Syd at this beach. If you zoom in, you can see that she's wearing her expensive Snorkel Bob rented goggles perched carelessly on the top of her head.

Now speak to yourself, in an ominous voice, "...And those goggles were never seen again."


I didn't get any photos of our spectacular sand fortress, or the last of the boogie boarding, or the shave ice place that we went to afterwards, or the open-air church nearby where the entire congregation was singing hymns and it was awesome, or the beach with the giant playground next to it, or the man-made ocean pool where you could swim right next to pounding waves without getting pounded yourself, or the beach where it wasn't safe to swim but was full of driftwood just above the high tide line.

Instead, I just have these last two photos of Will in the water--

--so we have to just remember the rest of it all by ourselves.

As also seems to be typical of my trips, the way back home was pure misery--over 16 hours of travel time, with everyone getting progressively crankier, and I don't know what it is about Matt+Will but they cannot get through more than 12 hours of airport travel without being at each other's throats, although at least this time no kind stranger approached me and offered to call the police for me, but if that same kind stranger had seen Will not once, but TWICE just completely leave our family and walk away without a word to anyone so that when we notice she's gone we have no idea where she is until she saunters back several minutes later and offhands that she'd just gone to the bathroom and has no idea why we're upset, and one of the times that she did this she was actually supposed to be WATCHING OUR LUGGAGE while Matt was getting food and Syd and I were in the bathroom, ourselves, so that Matt came back who knows how much time later to find our entire pile of luggage completely unattended and Will nowhere to be found... well, the stranger would probably offer to call an ambulance, instead, because I have never seen Matt so close to having a stroke.

Anyway, I *think* we came home with all of our luggage regardless, although all of my clothes look the same so who can tell, and the dog and cats were glad to see us, and I'm finally over the jet lag, so yay!

And tonight we're actually cooking an authentic Hawaiian luau menu, consisting of crock pot pork, coconut pudding, and white cake covered in shredded coconut. And mai tais, of course, although probably the locals don't actually drink mai tais that much, but the fact that a local told us what type of rum to use is good enough for me!

P.S. Want to follow along with all of our weird and wonderful trips, big and small? Check out my Craft Knife Facebook page, where in a couple of weeks it'll be a few days of Cincinnati Zoo, fossil collecting, wildflower walks, bison, and Kentucky Horse Park!

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