Kauai: The Garden Island

When people say, ‘Hawai’i’,  it’s a general term referring to all of the Hawaiian islands and their paradises of sun and sand. However, I think that Kauai, the Garden Island, is the most beautiful and relaxing. The stunning views, wonderful aromas, and kind, happy people harmonize with the humid, comfortable air and innumerable gorgeous flowers to create one of my favorite places.

As I exit the airport, the first thing I notice is the warmth of the day followed immediately by the pungent smell of plumerias. The background chatter noise is much less than Seattle, whereas the bird calls increase. The green grass in accompanied by people in shorts who either smile or say, “Aloha”. When we get to our condo, we’re greeted by palm trees, fruit and flower plants, and fleeting glimpses of geckos. A I stand on the warm lanai, I reminisce about past memories here.

Right as we place our bags in our cool rooms, we think ‘pool!’ Quickly, we change into our swimsuits, grab our goggles and the pool key, and head out the door. Thirty seconds later, we arrive in front of the cold water, ready to gradually enter, or dive! The water is just cold enough to surprise us – and discourage more tentative swimmers – but it’s awesome. While we swim around and play, I am ecstatic to be back in Kauai.

Next comes the beach! Before we leave the condo, we get our sandy boogie boards plus a couple towels. The five minute walk warms us up, so by the time we get to the beach, we are met with the prospect of cold water again. Then we think of how much fun it will be, and we splash our way into the sea. I keep my eyes open for giant, terrifying waves. While I walk deeper, my legs become entangled by minimal amounts of seaweed. When a desirable wave approaches, I turn my back and prepare to be pulled in with the tide. I can’t help but laugh and relax!

As we walk home, the superfluous sand dries and we brush it off. The scent of flowers and fruit along the walkway mix with the smell of saltwater. When we reach the condo with damp, stiff hair and dripping boogie boards, we smell the amazing fumes of dinner. While I’m washing my hair and getting dressed, I can guess based on the smell what’s on the menu. Fish, meat, or grandma’s special dinner entertain our noses and entrance us to the dining room. Once the tasty supper has finished, we’ll look at our dessert options. Ice cream, shave ice – we walk down to the beach side cafe for that – and various types of fruit, such as mangoes, papayas, guavas – which are my favorite – starfruit, oranges, or bananas. Each is accompanied by a tangy/sweet flavor that leaves me craving more.

The next few days are spent relaxing in the tranquil water and sunshine, followed by outings to Waimea Canyon, Salt Pond Beach, errands, or other touristy attractions. In addition to that, we’ll go on nice walks throughout the condo area, biking to our favorite gelato shop, and playing our ukuleles. The whole time, we’re having family time or making friends, which is one of the best parts of the trip.

Out of the eight Hawaiian islands, I’ve been to two, but my favorite – so far – is Kauai, because I can relax. The beautiful landscapes, humid air, and content people definitely influence my good spirits. I have a sense of peace when I smell the flowers and hear the birds. Because people are full of pleasure, they are easy-going, which is certainly an upgrade. The Garden Island is positively my most desired vacation destination.

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