kaua’i – 2015

March 13, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

the cold canadian1st entry – kaua’i 2015
To read this series in chronological order,
click on the category title: kaua’i – 2015.

Fri-13 009We got here yesterday, late afternoon. And this year Daniel is with us. We spent the time after we landed food shopping and getting situated in the condo. We all headed to bed by 9:00, because our bodies were still on Eastern Standard Time. (It’s a 7 hour flight from Phoenix and it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The pilot reminded us that it was winter and the flight crew was dealing with the winds and the turbulence. I also don’t know why the route isn’t considered a high-end destination. The plane was old, there were no individual screens, the seats were jammed and the service was minimal. The flight from Pittsburgh to Phoenix was on a newer and roomier aircraft.)

We woke to cold and winds. Daniel was so cold he huddled on the lanai as we ate breakfast. I had brought no long-sleeve shirts, and wore my LL Bean sweater to keep from shivering. (It is winter even here in Kaua’i.) After lunch, we drove down to Hanalei and I bought a long-sleeve T and a long-sleeve hoodie.

Spent most of the afternoon in the hot-tub, but left for half-hour to go back down to Hanalei to return one of the items, because it had a rip. Did get some sun, but that was in between cloud cover and the cold winds off the ocean.

Dinner was broiled mahi-mahi, rice and salad. (The trip marks the beginning of switching over from winter-available foods to fresh vegetables.)


March 14, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

Fri-13 084

in the war of magic and religion, is magic ultimately the victor2nd entry – kaua’i 2015

Every year, I take a pic in this mirror on the ground-floor of the St. Regis. We come in from the beach and use the elevators to get back up to the top of the ridge. The mirror is in the elevator lobby.

When I told Daniel that no one wears their hats backwards anymore, Uncle Derrick piped up with, “If you’re wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs hat you want to make sure no one sees the logo.” (I claim immunity, because I have to be able to see through the view-finder.)

The title is a quote from Patti Smith’s book Just Kids.


March 15, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

Sun-15 027B

perhaps priest and magician were once one3rd entry – kaua’i 2015

We’re on a beach on the other side of Hanalei Bay. (The path down is cement, extremely steep and through one of the ritziest condo developments.) Daniel decided that he had to walk into the surf, regardless of the slippery or jagged rocks. It’s fun having Daniel here, we can make fun of him all day. He does get some come-backs, but the old folks are so better at the gibes.

In the above image, I told Daniel that he’s inconsequential, that what I liked were the black trunks matching the rocks and the red shirt in contrast to and in opposition with the rocks and sky. He just laughed.

Again, I’m using a quote from Patti Smith’s Just Kids in the title.


March 16, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

but priest discarded the spell for prayer4th entry – kaua’i 2015

Mon-16 010On our way up to Waimea Canyon, we stopped at the stream. The color of the earthen mounds is true.

Sunday was a full day. We left Princeville and drove south hoping to get to the canyon before the hordes. We were one of six cars in the parking lot, but on our way down, the tour buses were making their way up the mountain.

From there, we headed to our favorite taco place for lunch. As we made our way south, we had to stop at the farmers-market in Koloa and Rose and Derrick promised to just get a few things. Daniel and I laughed, because there’s no way Uncle Derrick and Zi-Zi Rose can only get a few things at a farmers-marker. It’s not in their DNA to pass up fresh food, regardless what state or country they are in. (In Fossombrone one year, we went to the market after having been there the previous day. They claimed to only need some herbs. By the time they were done, they had spent over $100.)

We spent most of the afternoon in Po’ipu on the lawn of a fancy restaurant. The beach is great for snorkeling and the lawn is best for sunning. The South attracts the move conventional tourist – white, old and over-weights. The clientele here reads from their Kindles and tables while shrouded in floppy hats, Hawaiian shirts or skin-tight tops.

After the beach, we headed back to COSTCO for coffee, taro-chips and cookies.

The title will be the last quote from the Patti Smith book.


March 16, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

great things – not accomplished by popular opinion5th entry – kaua’i 2015

Mon-16 048I believe it’s a Jack Kerouac rule that at seventeen you have to show disdain, detachment and boredom otherwise your teenage ID gets revoked. No worry Daniel, you have the anti-establishment attitude down to an art. And still we love you and are glad you are here with us old folks. (The seventeen-year-old insists on referring to my shorts as capris. I remind him that in Italy, I am very stylish. He reminds me we are not in Italy. His attempt at mockery is endearing.)

Waimea Canyon is in the background. The woman who took the pic actually knew what she was doing. When I told her it was a fixed lens, she knew what that was and she actually took several pics and all came really well. (At the Queen’s Bath, I asked the woman with the Canon to take our pic, she was confused that there was no zoom, even though I told her it was a fixed lens, and all the pictures she took had our faces in shadow. So much for thinking that a decent camera equates with knowing what you’re doing.)

One year, I didn’t bring the D90 with its Auto feature and didn’t get any pics of us. After that, I always bring one camera that I can hand to someone and make taking our picture an easy step.

The title is a quote from Kerouac.


March 17, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

beautiful insane in the rain6th entry – kaua’i 2015

aniniAnini Beach is this amazing place; it’s a giant shallow pool. The coral reef keeps out the mighty Pacific and for miles the water is glass-still and knee-high. The beach is sand and long and curvy.

We walk down the cliff by the Hilton and then along the beach. There a stream at the bottom of the cliff that you have to cross in order to continue down the beach and every year we’re tried different methods. This year, I gave in, took my shoes off and walked across. Derrick used a rope swing, but got all wet. Daniel too used the rope swing and almost dropped his iPhone in the water.

In the above image, the dark line is waves crashing on the coral reef. Anini tends to attract strange people. This morning we again saw two women searching for the tiny shells that they will make into jewelry. (Crouching in the sand picking up tiny items looks strange. We know what they’re doing, because one year our curiosity got the better of us and we asked.) Further down, the public beach is full of young people camping. OMG, I never camped and the modern conveniences don’t make it any more appealing. And then there are the multi-million dollar homes. Many have a Japanese motif with pagoda-like roofs. One of the band-members from R.E.M. has a house on Anini Beach.

The title is Jack Kerouac.


March 17, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

the wicked witch of the west7th entry – kaua’i 2015

Mon-16 110The condo complex is on the Makai Golf Course and it’s not uncommon for people to walk the cart-paths. We do that without thinking, but yesterday we ran into true bitch. She was in her 50’s, skinny and well groomed and she reminded us in her belligerent voice that it was dangerous to walk on the cart-paths. There was no way I was gonna let some tight-ass, Republican snot-nose talk to us that way and I had to answer. (I was so surprised by her attitude that I didn’t use my best stuff. I really wanted to tell her about herself. I consoled myself with the fact that she must have a husband and children that she talks that way to.)

The plant/flower on the left, I found on the pavement in the parking lot of a resort in the south. The first image in the slide-show is the Shaving-brush tree that the plant/flower fell from. The real name for the tree is – Pseudobombax ellipticum.

Also, we went to the golf course to watch the sunset and this time an employee came out to tell all the trespassers that we were allowed to stay tonight, but we were not to come back again. We were on private property.


March 18, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

the warm breath of spring8th entry – kaua’i 2015

mountainsToday was the first day that the sky was clear and the sun was out. The image is of the mountains behind us. Throughout the week the sky was shrouded in mist and the mountain peak was topped by grey clouds. (I keep forgetting that it’s still winter.)

I’m gonna spend the afternoon by the pool, in the sun, with a gin-and-tonic on the small table beside me. Everyone else is seeking refuge on Anini Beach. (I told Daniel I no longer do beach, sand, and salt-water. I’m perfectly happy coming here to enjoy the warm weather, the walking, the fresh fruit and vegetables and the eating on the lanai.)

This morning we went searching for a path down to a snorkeling spot below the Cliffs condo complex. After following the path for a bit, I turned around and went back to shoot the flowering plumeria on the Cliff complex. On my way back to the condo, I had to be cheerful and say hello to everyone I passed. Normally Rose and Derrick do the friendly and I can ignore all the well-wishers. Well not this walk.

Tomorrow is Daniel and my last day. Daniel is anxious to sleep in his own bed again; I’m looking forward to being back among the real world. The Disneyland quality of the vacation compounds puts me in a foul mood. (Princeville is full of old, rich white people. And even though I fit into those categories, I live my life in a very diverse environment. The homogeneity here is stifling.)


March 19, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i

Wed-18 011

here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy

9th and last entry – kaua’i 2015


Today is our last day and we moved from the unit we were in to a two-day rental in the same complex. This has been the easiest move, because we went from one unit to a similar one without having to put everything in storage and wait for an afternoon check-in.

Daniel asked why I didn’t stay longer and I answered that I can’t take the old, rich white people for two weeks. Also, I come for the warm weather, the fruit-and-vegetables and after a week, I’ve gotten my fill.

The complex reminds me how vacationing in America has turned into a Disneyesque experience. Every morning someone wipes the bottom of the pool; every morning someone picks up any leaf, flower or stem that has fallen off a tree; every morning someone power-washes the pool area; every morning someone sweeps the cart-path of the Makai Golf Course. The complex is beautifully maintained. All workers are dressed in their Hawaiian shirts and by 9:00 AM they are no where to be seen. I suspect that the workers are told to stay out of sight. They work an 8 hour shift, and they are available throughout the day if you need more salt, a stick-free skillet, more dish-washing detergent … But they are not seen on the property other than first thing in the morning. (It could also be that the crew moves to the next condo complex to do grounds maintenance. But I like the Magic Kingdom metaphor.)


March 31, 2015 diario/journal, kaua'i, reflections

epilogue-1 – kaua’i 2015

winter’s last blastrose-snow

and a free breakfastFri-13 025

Rose sent me the image of her Michigan backyard covered in spring snow and I took the pic of her and Daniel eating the free breakfast-donuts at the Ka ‘Eo Kai condo complex. The breakfast image was taken two weeks ago.

Yes, we traveled to Kaua’i a month earlier than other years and we found cold weather in the garden island. (Why Daniel is all covered up and why I went out and bought a long-sleeve T and a left-over-hippie, VISSLA hoodie.) Finding cold weather when we got back state-side was not a surprise, but three inches of SNOW!

I’m adding to this post on April 1. The date officially puts March 2015 away. Don’t know why, but with March done, winter also feels done.



stroll around the grounds until you feel at home 


Sitting on a sofa
on a Sunday afternoon.
Going to the candidates’ debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
when you’ve got to choose
every way you look at this
you lose.
Where have you gone,
Joe DiMaggio,
our nation turns
its lonely eyes to you.
What’s that you say,
Mrs. Robinson
Jolting Joe has left
and gone away.

Easter Sunday is one of my least favorite holidays. I guess once you let go of religion, the myths go too. Christmas is more accessible, more human in its narrative. Easter requires belief in the myth of resurrection. And where its an amazing human construct, belief removes it from a sense-of-wonder and makes it an article of faith; belief removes it from its historical context and makes it a litmus test for Church membership.

For the first time ever, I am sitting on the deck with an unplugged laptop, working on this post, drinking Grey Goose and Anisette and listening to music. It’s hard to go back to mythology when modernity puts magic at my fingertips.

I downloaded Mrs. Robinson when I got back from Kaua’i, to remind me of the woman who hit on our Daniel. It was Sunday, March 15 and the employees’ families were using the pool. One of the woman tried to get Daniel into a conversation; he was polite, but gave no openings and she soon went back to her tattooed family.

     iTunes has moved on to Mick who is warning, “Don’t play with me cause you’re you’re playing with fire.”
     now, Peter Sarstedt is asking, “Where do you go to my lovely, when you’re alone in your bed?
     . . .
     Remember the back streets of Naples, two children begging in rags, both touched with a burning ambition …”

The neighborhood is full of night-light – the Mattress Factory seems to have captures two moons in its windows, the street lights on Sampsonia Way are covered in wild-grape and above it all, the beanstalk Tower looms its red, blinking lights punctuating the dark.

epilogue-2 – kaua’i 2015