(I am the one that looks like a boy, in pink shades...)
It is hard to believe that my first family trip to Kauai was more than 20 years ago. I remember that my sisters and I competed daily to see who could out tan the other, sun worshipping for 8 hours a day, and at that time only wearing SPF 6 sunscreen..(which my parents were still using up until a few years ago :)) I remember thinking how much I would impress my schoolmates when I returned home to the new school year, donning my new bronzed look. I remember bringing along my grandparents, who nearly burned down our hotel room when they put a rice cake in the toaster, and I remember learning how “Barking Sands” beach got that name, when my sisters and I had to cross a mile of hot sand back to the car without our shoes. I remember my parents taking us down sugar cane lined roads to show us their 'secret beach', which is Shipwreck Beach, now on the Hyatt Kauai grounds. And, I will never forget the time when I got myself and my sisters in trouble. Then, just an impressionable 15, lured by the ultra-coolness of the local surfers and their lascivious ways.
Since then, I have been back numerous times; Kauai is like a second home to me. I have gone alone, tried to surf the “good” waves and gotten pummeled by the coral and called names by the locals. Alone, I have explored the quiet side of the island and gotten my Land Cruiser stuck in the sand. I have seen my older sister marry there, and I invited my husband along, a couple of times, when we were newly dating. Some say that I was jumping the gun. 3 years later we would return to the same place, and he would propose to me, down on one knee in the sand. A year ago this week, T and I returned again with family and friends in tow, to exchange our own vows. This year, I went back, this time with my sisters, mom and nephew. A girls trip, with boy. I love that he is only 2 years old, but like his mom, grandma and aunties, he is drawn to the pounding waves and the waters edge. He too, is lured by the ocean.
When I think of Kauai, I mimic the same sentiment as my mom, as we drive down the road from town to shore, with the perfumed breeze, the rainbow trees and the blue sparkling waters near. She says with an inhale and a sigh, “I love this place.”
I too, love this place.