That afternoon I met up with Brian and his boss/friend, Michael Fox and his guest, Sammy for lunch. It continued to rain, so it didn't leave us with much to do but sit by the bar with others. That evening we were invited to a cocktail hour on one of the many terraces of the hotel, and then dinner at a local tapas place, BarAcuda. Once again, I was exhausted by 11pm, so I returned to the room.
Thursday we finally awoke to a sunny day, and wow what a difference a little sun can make! That morning we went horseback riding, then hiked to a waterfall where we were able to swim in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall and have lunch. We then hiked back up to our horses and rode them back to the stable. Since it was finally sunny, we put on our suits and headed to pool. We swam for several hours, and it was awesome to feel the sun on my shoulders! That night we were invited to have dinner with a Lincoln board member. We were expecting it to be a stuffy night, but he ended up being a lot of fun.
Friday I awoke to lots of emails, text messages and facebook postings wishing me a happy birthday (thank you everyone)! It was a great way to start the day, and my new decade of life! It is hard to believe I am 40 years old, but I feel healthy, and happy with where I am in life, so how can I complain? I started the day with breakfast, and then Brian and I took a helicopter tour around the island. We fortunately got the only two front row seats by the pilot, so we had a great view of everything. It was a sunny, clear day, but when we traveled to the middle of the island to the second highest place on the island, Mount Waialeale, it began raining. I wasn't shocked though, since it is the wettest place on earth, raining an average of 450 inches of rain a year!!
|Na Pali Coastline|
|Famed "Fantasy Island" double waterfalls|
|Ariel of Queen's Bath|
Following the tour, we changed clothes and met up with some folks to walk to Queen's Bath. It is a unique area that forms several pools of water by the way the lava rock has settled. The waves crash into the rock and the water swirls around. There are several different ones, and is described by many to be a very dangerous place to take a dip. In fact, the concierge and hotel staff wouldn't even give us directions there because people have died. We were unsure if we would swim there when we initially set off to explore it, but after arriving and seeing the more gentle
|Chilling in Queen's Bath|
|Turning our back on the ocean...a BIG no no!|
|Yes, we're stupid enough to do it again, but quickly!|
Though I don't have any video, hopefully my words and these photos can help you see the stupidity of these kids, and how dangerous it really is!
|hanging on for dear life!|
After lunch and a short nap, we attended Lincoln's final party of the week...a traditional Hawaiian Luau. They went all out decorating the lawn of the St. Regis into a beautiful area, with the ocean as the backdrop. Though I was not a fan of the food that night (in fact I only ate fruit and a tart for dessert), I was thoroughly entertained by all of the dancers. They did several different dances, and even the guys danced with fire!
|Brian, me, Sammy and Fox|
|My Birthday Sunset (on our last night)|
After the luau, Lincoln treated everyone to more entertainment at the hotel bar, with an open bar and dueling pianos. They sang all of the popular sing-along tunes. When they quit treating, I headed back. Celebrating my 40th was not the same without Steve and my friends. :(
On our last day, I awoke with one mission....I wanted fresh fish tacos! I had heard about several great places, and needed my fix before departing. Our only problem was getting there to eat them and back to the hotel by 11:30 when our shuttle for the airport was leaving. This wouldn't have been a big deal in any other place, but in Kauai, there are NO STINKING TAXIS, especially on the northwest side of the island where we were staying. However, Brian wasn' t worried, so we headed out. As we were walking out, Fox called and said he was picking us up in a jeep. I was like "seriously, could this get any better?" So, though we didn't have a ride back (he was only driving us into town), we went ahead and ate probably the best fish tacos I have had. They were fresh, and spicy! Spicy enough where by upper lip, nose and eyebrows were sweating (Steve always makes fun of how those areas on my face can sweat). The owner of the place called all 3 cab services on the island, and none of them could return us to our hotel, but she quickly said that she would be more than happy to drive us back to our hotel. Again, I couldn't believe our luck. What a NICE woman!!
On top of the ride, she filled us in on little random facts about Kauai, as she is a true native (born and raised). It was a great way to end our trip, and it left a good impression on me.
However, the first question many people ask me is "would you return?"....and my answer is probably not. I now feel that I have been there, done that. That is not to say I wouldn't return to a different island of Hawaii though....maybe sometime in the future with Steve. But I did have a wonderful time with my brother. Traveling with just Brian as adults is a rare opportunity, and one that I am sure we won't be able to duplicate. I thank you Brian for thinking of me, and bringing me along.