Friday, October 10, 2008

Brett Favre Interception Watch: Weeks Three, Four, and Five? Oh, Who Cares!

I just got back from Hawaii! I've been far too busy to think about Brett. I had very important things to do, like hike, swim, eat, and drink. (He's doing great, by the way -- 12 TDs and only 4 INTs!, and he's sporting his best QB rating ever. I'm being proven wrong week by week, and that's okay with me.)

Back to my trip! I landed on Thursday evening, September 25, and was pretty much a goner. I think I was in bed sometime just after 8:00. The next day, Friday the 26th, I also took it pretty easy. I went with my aunt to the beach at the Sheraton Kauai (it's one of my favorite beaches anywhere) and we had lunch and drinks there. Exhausting! That night we took in the Kauai Mokihana Festival's hula competition. Most of the rest of the days were more exciting and deserve their own posts, which will come in due time as I'm spending the next 5 days packing up my apartment for my move home. Regression is a good thing!

(I'm in full-swing Elective Unemployment mode. I called to change my address with T-Mobile and the overly-perky customer service agent asked me if I was getting ready for the weekend. Honestly, I didn't even know what day it was. I think my silence made her uncomfortable. I seem to be getting worse at coming up with something to say on the spot.)

Usually when I visit Hawaii I'll go to more than one island, but this trip was only Kauai, just like I needed it. Kauai is a very special place for me and I inevitably suffer while there from nostalgic fits of Why-Don't-I-Live-Here-ness. So what exactly is so special about Kauai, you ask? Here's a very brief listing:

1. The wildlife. There actually isn't very much that's native to Hawaii, compared to other places. A lot of wildlife (and especially a lot of flora and fauna) was introduced both by the Polynesians who settled the Islands and the nasty Westerners who conquered them. The two introduced creatures that thrive on Kauai today are the wild chicken and the wild pig. Yup, very exotic, I know. Here are our barnyard friends:

My how their crowing is a bother at 2:30 am.

The big one is actually chasing the little one to get his food.

There are also Hawaiian monk seals in abundance sunning on local beaches and green sea turtles ("honu" in Hawaiian) in droves off the south shore of the island in Poipu. These guys are probably a little more special but somehow less novel to tourists.

A sea turtle! I swear he's there!

2. The buildings. Kauai's law mandates that no building can be taller than the height of a mature coconut tree (approximately 48 feet). We noticed when we spent some time at the Marriott that it was obviously built before this law took effect as even the tallest trees were shorter than the Marriott's towers. Anyway, an example of a Kauai building of typical height (but atypical message):

Soon, hopefully, is relative.

3. The terrain. Kauai is home to Waimea Canyon (the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"), Kokee State Park (which houses the world's highest-elevated swamp, called Alakai, and several giant Redwood forests among other natural wonders and indigenous bird species), Mount Waialeale (alternately called "The Wettest Spot on Earth" and "One of the Wettest Spots on Earth" depending on who's fact-checking), and the Na Pali coast with its rugged cliffs and famous Kalalau Trail (which I did, and which conquered me). I'm always blown away by the diversity of the terrain. Where else can you get arid landscapes, barking sands, tropical rainforests, lazy freshwater rivers, dramatic sea cliffs, a painted canyon, all the tropical flowers you'd ever want to see or smell, huge waves for surfing, acres and acres of rich farmland, tower-like waterfalls, pristine beaches, and over 400 inches of rain per year all on one island?

Mahaulepu, on the dry south shore

Waimea Canyon

A ginger grove in the forest

Redwoods in the tropics!

Poipu sunset

Lumahai beach on a turbulent day

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