Well, the blog is Periodically Peregrine, the periodicity has just changed a bit… for a while.
One of Janet’s sisters generously invited us to celebrate Christmas in a villa in Po’ipu, Kauai. Who could say “no” to that? All told, there were eight of us. Three sisters, our niece and four husbands …eight appetites in all.
Logistically, it went like this. Drive Vero Beach to NW of Houston — Fly to LAX — overnight in LA — Fly to Honolulu, then Kauai — (Eat, Shop, Vegge, Sightsee) x 7 — Fly to LAX (too soon) — overnight — Fly to Houston — Linger in Houston — Drive to San Antonio to see my Mom’s husband — overnight at the Hyatt Hill Country — Drive to Houston — Linger — Drive to Arlington to see my father and his wife — overnight in Mansfield — Drive to Sam Rayburn Reservoir — Linger with family — Drive to Slidell, LA to visit sailing friends — Linger in Slidell — Drive to Vero Beach — recuperate.
We all shared the cooking when we weren’t sampling the local restaurants. Po’ipu’s Red Salt, 1849 Eating House, Merriman’s, and the Olympic Cafe in Kapa’a all lived up to or exceeded expectations. I’m told Bubba Burger in Hanalei did too, but I came to Kauai for the Ono, Ahi, Hapu’upu’u, and Onaga!
The Christmas celebration included Janet’s Kalua Pork and many appetizers, sides and desserts from the others. Gift exchanges were small and thoughtful, as we drew recipients names from a basket (it took four tries) and shopped locally with a spending limit. Another gift was the older husbands got reacquainted after quite a few years. For eight folks pretty set in their ways, the dynamic was delightful.
Kauai didn’t disappoint either. It has been 19 years since Janet and I were there last. Hurricane Iniki had just ransacked the island four years prior (rebuilding is slow on an island this isolated). The island has gone from 57,000 folks then to 69,000 now. It has new infrastructure, and goods and services only imagined back then. Fortunately these are largely constrained to Lihue, and the rest of the island has benefited. We went all the way up to Haʻena State Park beyond Hanalei and back over to Waimea canyon (on different days). It all remains Wow. Even though we arrived with 35-40 knot winds offshore and rain squalls, the weather moderated once we had adjusted for the time zone change, and it became classic tropical — temperate and intermittently showery. What’s not to love? Leaving, that’s what.
Although our peregrination home took us through some down right cold places, we returned to weather that matched Kauai’s for that day and time. Not bad.
Now we are looking at 25-35 mph winds gusting to 50 mph and 35 degrees tonight! At least it’s not snow.