Monday, April 23

Quote of the Day:  Livedalife

Which is exactly what I want to do.  This saying was on the t-shirts of the people working the rental equipment booths at the Marriott where we stayed in Kauai.  We got back today from a week long trip in Kauai.  Years ago, Joe and I went on a company trip by cruise and stopped by the island of Kauai.  We didn’t get to spend much time there so on this trip we were determined to really get to know the island.  Alex graduated from the University of Utah in December so we wanted to celebrate that milestone in his life, also we were celebrating the difference between our lives last year compared to this year, and we were fortunate to be able to get this week at our timeshare.  I’m pretty sure this was the most perfect trip I have ever been on.  First off, we got to our room and ran immediately to the balcony to look out.  Yes, we had been given the perfect room, 3rd floor, facing the pools and ocean.  How fun is it to start a vacation?  I love the mindset at the start of the trip.  You unpack as all these wonderful thoughts run through your head of all that lies ahead, all the fun that awaits you.  I always promise myself that I won’t waste anytime doing the things I can do back home like sleeping or watching TV.  That seldom works for the whole trip as those things become desirable after a hard day of play.  

What made this trip particularly fun was that Alex has been looking forward to our adventure and so has done extensive research of what activities were available on this island.  We knew that Waimea Canyon was a must.  Dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain, this beautiful canyon goes down 3,000 feet and is full of waterfalls, tropical forests and many trails.  We started on one trail, intent to reach a high plateau, only to find ourselves at the parking lot lookout point we had stopped at an hour before.  We retraced our steps and then took the correct trail out to this sheer plateau and then when we thought that was all there was to see, a couple informed us of a waterfall just down the path.  We followed that and Alex and Joe jumped into the water and then Alex scaled the falls.  Again, we thought that was all and then a woman told us about another set of falls so we continued a short way down the trail and there was this beautiful vantage point to see the canyon.  You could stand right where the falls toppled over the cliffs and dropped to the valley below.  The colors of this canyon were magnificent, the soil a deep red and then layers of rock and green foliage.  We were sufficiently tired when we got back to our car having hiked about 8 miles.  It was a lot of up and downs and you had to really watch your steps.  It wasn’t until later that night, as I thought about our closeness to the edge that I felt my breath catch.  I’m always thankful for a safe day in the wilderness.  

We had plans to reward ourselves with dinner at the Shrimp Station at the small town at the junction where the Canyon starts.  We got there at 5:15 P.M. hungry and excited for this restaurant that boasts “the best coconut shrimp in the world” only to be informed that they close at 5:00.  It seemed that almost everything closes early in this small town so we found ourselves at a pricey restaurant.  We came away having paid way too much and still desiring the shrimp.  We topped off the day by traveling to the west side of the island, going as far as any car could go, to watch the sun sink into the ocean.   

It’s not lost on me that a year ago I was sick about losing my hair and sick with the chemo medicine moving through my system.  I am overjoyed to be out in nature, with family, loving the moment.  I can’t help but think that we have to keep reminding ourselves that times will get better.  It’s so hard when you’re in the trenches of a difficult time to remember that life can be joyous in the future and we must hang on!

Alex on top of first set of waterfalls in Waimea Canyon,  Joanie on edge of “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”



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One Response to Monday, April 23

  1. Susie Beaudoin April 26, 2012 at 4:47 am #

    Joanie Girl- I am so happy you guys had a wonderful trip. It actually sounds like the perfect trip, and you my dear, deserve it! Isn’t it amazing the difference a year can make? You are such an fabulous woman and friend, and a true inspiration to me. I love you so dearly!!! xoxo Susie

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