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.
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 response to Sunday Stills # Pink color challenge, I took a look at my photos from the first year following retirement. I was surprised at the number of places I’d been in a year and the number of photos that represented those memories in a “pinkish” way.
We love spending time visiting Coachella Valley in December, visiting friends and family. Only no one was going in 2020. We had to get out, so we packed up the car and headed west for a two week road trip anyway. In our planning for the trip, we knew some of the things we normally do would not be open. However, our favorite thing to do wherever we vacation, is visit National and State parks. This was still an option.
We stopped in West Texas and Arizona for rest and to visit friends, but our ultimate destination was a vacation rental in Indio central to several parks. Shortly after we arrived, California went on a serious lock-down. We even got an emergency alert on our first hike. That night, we had a nice dinner at one of our favorite outdoor dining spots, then stocked up on groceries. We would spend the rest of our time hiking and picnicking during the day, then cooking meals hunkered down at “home” each night.
In response to Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge Views in Violet, I’m scrolling through my photo log recalling experiences where our photography brought variations of the color violet.
The following photos are from Orkas Island, Washington….an absolute dream land. We love the Pacific Northwest and are missing it so much. Here are lavender plants near a harbor restaurant and my favorite pottery place, Orkas Island Pottery (now reopened!)
We’ve been contemplating a move to Washington State for the last year and a half. In January 2020, we took a vacation/house hunting trip to North Kitsap County to see if we could tolerate the wet winter. We expected it to rain, and it did….every day for 10 days. We challenged ourselves to find things to do and to not get in a funk (mainly me) over the weather. We figured if we could have fun and stay busy, we might survive a move there. In addition to house hunting, we went to parks, trails, beaches, museums, restaurants and even grocery stores in every town where we looked at houses. Here are a few photos of how we passed the time in the rain.
Kingston, where I have family, is where we started with a short hike at North Kitsap Heritage Park and a long visit in a local museum of nostalgia. There is so much to see at “My Girl Drive In Museum,” which is good because the rain never let up that day.
Some times we just need a little inspiration from an unexpected source. Thanks to Terri at Second Wind Leisure for the much needed writing prompt. Pandemic + Texas Winter Storm = Pioneer Life…..and serious cabin fever. Now that the power is back, I decided to write a little more about travel, using Terri’s “Rosy Red” theme to help me select a few photographs that I’ve not used in previous blog pieces. Here are a few of my favorites.
While my husband and I were still dating, he spent two years on a project in France. I was still working full time and very involved with aging parents, but I did get to take two glorious trips over there:
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