Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hawaii Day 9 - Aloha and Mahalo

Well our dream escape has come to an end. It was a trip of a lifetime and a wonderful adventure.
We had a great last day. As you may recall I had a surfing lesson at 8am. Turns out I am the only person wanting to take a lesson this early in the morning. So Jeremy gave me a private lesson. It was nice to have the one on one attention but also exhausting. I didn't expect quite so tiring but you know how it is when you keep getting knocked down. John took a couple videos of me and the best one is below. Unfortunately the two times that I actually stood on the board and rode the wave to the beach John wasn't there. There was an endangered monk seal on the beach that was competing for my attention. Overall the surfing was a great experience. I never actually paddled into a wave myself (Jeremy pushed me each time) so my nephew Justin won't have any real surfing competition when we go on the Macauley family beach trip.

Surfer chick.
Mother and baby Monk Seal on the beach.

Here is when I thought surfing was easy.

After surfing, we rested a bit. I was really wiped out. Then we decided to head off to the Spouting Horn area of the island. First there was a good snorkeling site nearby and second there was a craft market. (If you are ever in Kauai wait to shop for your jewelry gifts and other trinkets until you go to Spouting Horn.) Spouting Horn is actually a large blow hole even though a lot of people described it as a geyser.

Spouting Horn blow hole

We snorkeled a bit and then headed back to the resort for some lunch and a couple of last hours on the beach. This resort is really in a great setting. After driving around this portion of the island, we realize how rare it is to have such a long stretch of sand. Also this resort unlike others has a large amount of open space in the large great lawn and the many gardens. I don't think the newer resorts make such an investment.
Here is a picture of me trying to get the image from the brochure.
Before leaving for the airport we decided to have our last dinner in Hawaii at the resort's Plantation Garden's restaurant. This may have been the best meal we had on the entire trip. Everything about the whole experience was just right.

One of the large beautiful trees on the resort property.

Happy couple getting ready for one last delicious meal - this time at the resort's Plantation Gardens.
As we finished our meal, the sun was starting to set. We drove back to the Spouting Horn to catch the sunset and then it was off to the airport. All of the tranquility of the evening was lost as soon as we arrived. The airport was jammed and when flying back to the mainland you have to go through a bit more security. I made it almost all the way to the gate with an apple I had put in my bag for the beach when it was found by the agricultural agents. I was a bit embarassed because I had told them a couple of times that I didn't have any fruit. I had completely forgot about it but they must have a secret sense about that sort of thing.

Final sunset from Spouting Horn.
We got on the 5 hour flight to Los Angeles and I am sitting in LAX now as I blog. We are happy to be heading home to our children but sad to be leaving these beautiful islands. We want to say to Outrigger Hawaii that everyone has been so wonderful to us. We received the best of care at every location and can never repay the generousity that was shown to us. Thank you also to Conde Nast Traveler for joining with Outrigger to sponsor this contest. It was an amazing experience to draft a dream trip and have it come true.

Mahalo ya'll!
Bonus welcome home video of our Little Kahuna and Hula Princess

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