At 9am the next morning, we board a flight to Kauai, the country livin’ of the Hawaiin islands. We are greeted by chickens and roosters upon our arrival, and a beautiful view of the mountainside and ocean, on our drive to the north shore.
En route to our hotel, Mjam and I spot a sign for a lighthouse, and decide a detour is in order. Not having any cash on hand to enter the lighthouse, I see a group ahead of me, that had just finished paying. Monica and I saunter up to them, and glide past the entrance fee counter, as part of the touring group. A few minutes later, Monica sees a sign that says “Bird enter only” and makes the oh so clever quip: “Let’s just find a group of birds…we’ll walk in with them! No one will know the difference”. Touche.
Eight mile hike; two miles in leads to a beach with dangerous undertows, four miles in leads to a gorgeous waterfall cascading down into a frigid pool.
Following the hike, we hit what we thought was the sole hot tub at the resort. We met a couple there who, upon exiting the hot tub, said “we’re spa hopping”, to which I replied “Huh? There are others?!”. They responded “Yep, there is one to the right, which is small, and one to the left, which is much more fun, and has a beautiful view of the ocean. Excited, Monica and I head to the “fun” jacuzzi, while the other couple veers to the right, to the “less fun hot tub”. Possibly trying to get rid of us…?
The next day, while Monica finishes up her scuba certification, I join a scuba diving company in the south shore, to once again find some sharks.
I don’t find sharks (except for the 40yo dude trying to pick me up), but do find octupus, turtles, a viper moray eel, and Gil from Finding Nemo!
Also, I got a major nose bleed on both of my dives, effectively filling up my mask with blood. An unpleasant thing to find upon returning to the water’s surface. Ahhhhh I’m bleeding! I’ve been BITTEN….by….something. Not a shark, but something.
*Side note: I’ve never gotten a nose bleed. Kylie made me feel better by informing me the last time her dive buddy got a nose bleed, it was a result of his eardrum bursting on descent. It’s cool guys, I’m fairly certain my eardrum is intact.
Partying, Kauai style
After scuba diving, I meet up with Monica, her HS buddy, and a few of his friends for a good ‘ol BBQ. After chowing down on some burgers, we decide to head to Shipwrecks Beach.
Once at the beach, Clint, Monica’s HS friend, challenges me to a midnight showdown. There is a nearby cliff that hangs about 35 feet over the ocean’s edge.
Jumping 35 feet off a cliff, into the ocean? Peace of cake! Climbing up said cliff in the dark of the night, and then jumping 35 feet into the shark-infested ocean, during tiger shark mating season? Slight hesitation. Clint notices my hesitation, and right as he is about to say “We’re not jumping”, I say “Let’s DO this.” To all who think I’m crazy stupid, let me just say, I didn’t know it was tiger shark mating season until afterwards. I also didn’t know a fourteen- foot tiger shark was seen patrolling the waters below the cliff, until afterwards. The undertow? Didn’t know about that until afterwards. The bit about shark-infested waters? I thought I had made that up. The last question I asked atop the cliff was “Are there sharks down there?”, to which Clint replies “I can’t promise you there aren’t. It is, afterall, the ocean.”
I hear nothing for 1…2….3…..3.5 seconds. Splash goes Clint into the water, followed by a “I’m OKAY! Come down”.
I wait a few more seconds, to ensure Clint doesn’t get eaten by a shark, then a few more seconds to decide if I really want to do this, and then I launch myself off the side. I jump. I fall. I continue falling…..IMPACT. Holy goodness, I have not jumped in the correct fashion. The pencil dive was out, the butt landing was in. Completely shocked, I thank my lucky stars for my god-given cushion, and then promptly think “Holy batman, OUCH”.
I take a few seconds to catch my breathe, find Clint, and we proceed to swim in to shore together. As we’re swimming, I see a dark shape to the right of Clint. Right as I’m about to scream “SHARK!!!! Save yourself!!”, the shark shouts out “Nice jump, guys!” Phew, it’s just our friend Chris, on a body board. Mission Accomplished.
After chilling on the beach for a while, a group of teenagers join the party, and this is where I learn about tiger shark mating season, the previous presence of the fourteen-foot tiger shark, undertows and swells in the current…..all good things to learn after doing something stupid.
Illegal hot tubbing–how else do you end a night? We eventually get kicked out of the Sheraton hot tub, and then proceed to make the 1.5 hour drive back to North Shore.
Allerton’s Beach–Surf & Turf!
A secluded beach behind a bunch of fences and “Warning, Do Not Enter” signs. This is when I knew it was going to be a good day.
We make the little trek through the backwoods, and Chris, our fearless leader, begins the hopeless task of teaching myself (and less hopeless task of teaching Monica), to surf. Monica goes first, and almost makes it up, and definitely surfs on her stomach to the beach. I settle for a surf on my stomach, and spend the rest of the afternoon lounging on the beach. Chris eventually has to remind us we have a flight out in a few hours (UGH. Do we have to go?), and Monica and I begin the sad, sad journey to the airport.
Should I stay or should I go?
Once at the airport, I have a very emo moment, where I get totally sad about leaving Hawaii and rejoining reality. Work? Huh, what’s that? Computer, whhhaat do you need that for? All you need in life is sunscreen and coconuts!
I debate jumping ship, and staying in Hawaii FOREVA. Then, I decide to be semi-responsible and ask the AA ticket lady if I can change my flight to a few days later. She begins describing the hoops and fire rings I will have to jump through, and I spend the next couple of minutes pacing the airport like a schizo, determining if my parents would disown me if I never came home, quit my job, and became a beach bum. They probably wouldn’t, but then I realized I missed CBW (best restaurant in all of the WORLD, in St. Louis), so I boarded the flight for St. Louis. Real world, you win. But one day, mark my words, you will be beaten!!