Have I pulled you in? There’s more! Fresh air and exercise, beautiful grounds, flowers and fruit, family history and enthusiastic guides. We love Kauai’s North Shore and each time we go, we try to find at least one thing we haven’t done before. This time it was touring a botanical garden.
Hiking the Property
Kauai Botanical Gardens is nestled within a neighborhood of Princeville. The warnings on the website are cautionary, but with good reason. There are inclines, natural trails and bridges that get slippery when it rains. Fortunately, the weather was perfect. Sunny, not too hot, and no mosquitos…..yet. On a good day, unless you have mobility challenges, I would consider this an easy hike. For the physically fit, it’s more of a stroll. The gardens are on private property, developed by the Robertson family as a hobby over 20 years ago, and later expanded into public tours (see preceding link.) The owners and guides are prepared for the unprepared visitor, offering safety tips, walking sticks, umbrellas, bug repellent, restrooms and cool water. Billed as a three hour tour, there are plenty of opportunities to pause and rest in this beautiful setting. We ended up not needing the walking sticks, but I still posed for this shot. Along side of me is one of several red sealing wax palms along the way.
I’ve been trying to generate some energy for writing, so I’ve been reading more and writing a few reviews. Here’s one I thought I’d share, not just for the unapologetic double entendre of it’s title, but its cover art and overall positivity:
DRY HUMPING A Guide to Dating, Relating, and Hooking Up Without the Booze
“If you don’t think this title applies to you, read it anyway. Judge it by its cover; bright, humorous, and contemporary. You won’t be disappointed.
We live on a heavily wooded peninsula. It is nearly surrounded by the sea except for a small land mass on the South/Central end. We are connected to “modern times” by ferries and bridges. It’s a different, but special, life style that we have chosen for retirement. We enjoy the geography and wildlife here. We look for a new trail to hike each week. Sometimes the trails are recommended by friends or guide books, other times we find them by poking around on our own.
After nearly three years (pandemic, cancer, moving), we are enjoying the fun of planning and anticipating travel and being tourists! Since moving to Washington State in January, we’ve had many local ferry rides but recently took one over the border into Canada. This was a special trip, planned entirely by my husband as a birthday treat for me.
We weren’t planning to do the whole thing. It was 5-1/2 miles to the lighthouse and 5-1/2 back, hiking over rocks, driftwood and whatever else a low tide reveals on Dungeness Spit .
It had been a couple years since doing any long distance walking, and a year since I’d done anything over 3 miles. Slowly regaining my endurance following cancer, I agreed to try half of it. It would be a challenge and a nice way to spend time with friends.
In my mind, we “spent our summers” in Puget Sound. In reality, it was a few small trips and one big summer.
Before that summer, we lived on the edge of a one mile canyon filled with succulents. My brother and I used to slide down the ice plants on makeshift “sleds” while our Mother gardened. One day, as we climbed back into the yard, we heard bees humming over the flower beds as our Mother silently read a letter.
San Diego didn’t feel like home. Our Father was gone most of the time. It was the late 60’s and the Vietnam war was ongoing. I remember Mom crying as she scrubbed the tub one morning. When I asked her why, she replied “one of the damned ‘flower power’ slip proof stickers is peeling up,” then admitted she was missing our Father. Little things blew up into big things and sometimes we took major life events in stride.
We weren’t from anywhere. We were from moving vans and packing stickers, going coast to coast and overseas, always making new friends but really knowing no one. We were a military family that moved often, yet every place felt like home when we were together.
We left our natural gas grill in Texas because our new house is on propane. We said goodbye to HEB, (best grocery store ever) because they only operate in Texas. We sacrificed fresh grilled gulf seafood and the conveniences of a 100,000+ Houston suburb to live in a town of 2500 with milder weather, great views and no HOA. In other words, we love it. However, the move created meal planning dilemmas. The first time we went grocery shopping we went to 3 stores in 2 towns to get the things we needed for meals through the weekend. In the “main stream” grocery store, there was very little fresh fish and the produce was outrageously priced ($9 for 1-1/2 pints of blueberries?) Now into our third week, I’ve accepted this may be the norm until farmers’ markets open in the spring. Meanwhile, I’ve found several local gems that have taken the pressure off of meal planning:
This month’s “What’s on Your Plate” blog challenge was restaurant inspired. Since we still eat mostly at home, I’ll say this blog was inspired by HEB grocery store and their “Texas sized” shrimp.
One of the meals my husband and I discovered is Baked Shrimp Scampi by Ina Garten. In addition to the HEB shrimp, another inspiring factor of this recipe is the substitution of one of the ingredients. Read on to find out….
I haven’t felt much like blogging, but I’m feeling overdue. I’m thankful for blogger challenges such as “What’s on Your Plate?” and “What’s on Your Book Shelf?” I’m going to slip under the November deadline with a belated Thanksgiving post right now! I’m also grateful for my talented and attentive husband, whose been doing more than his share of the cooking this year. What’s on my book shelf? My husband’s collection of old cook books. What’s on my plate? Meals cooked by my husband using those old cook books.
My husband and I live on a 2 acre wooded lot that backs up to a large section of undeveloped land. When we moved in last summer, we heard a lot of wild life stories from our neighbor. He boasted of raccoons lounging in his pool, possums nesting in the hole of one our trees, and deer giving birth in our very yard. Some of the stories were so comical, I thought he was kidding.
Then one day about six weeks ago, I was looking out our bedroom window and watched a doe give birth to twin fawns right before my eyes. I’ve been wondering what to do with some of these photos, so I’m sharing them now via Terri at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives photo challenge on “The Great Outdoors.”
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