Postcard From Hawaii - II

On the 2nd full day in paradise, we were still not fully acclimated to the time change, but we were getting there. We woke up early & drove to the little breakfast cafe we had found just down the road from our hotel. We could have saved a little time by having breakfast in the hotel, but not having Warren Buffett or Bill Gates money, we passed on the $60+ it would have cost for the 3 of us to have pancakes and eggs and filled up very nicely on the perfectly fine cafe-down-the-road food for $20 including tip. 

With cups of coffee to go, we headed north on Hwy 93, the Farrington Highway, as it hugged the coast. The scenery was beautiful and there were a number of nicely kept beach parks. Several of them, particularly in the town of Nanakuli, seemed to be populated with people living in tents and cars. There were even what seemed to be little tent cities of beach people with a number of tents right next to each other arranged around a central meeting area with a fire pit dug out of the sand. Trails winding around and through the occupied areas had been left open for foot traffic. Laundry hung from clothes lines stretched between the tents and old bicycles and stolen grocery carts were all about. We didn't stop at these places.

One of the gorgeous, nearly deserted beaches along
Highway 93
There were other beaches though that were wonderful. The ones outside the sprawl of a town were nice, clean and inviting. I guess the tent people, not having a car, needed to live in the towns where they could get what they needed to make it through another day and night. The tourist area beaches are kept safe and immaculate by the hotels and the beyond-town beaches are uncrowded and pretty due to location. We stopped at several of these to look around, take photo's, and marvel at the beauty.

We arrived at the end of Hwy 93, literately the end of the road, in Ke'ena Point State Park. From there, the only way to go further is by foot on the Kaena Point Trail. We parked on the side of the road, the only place to park, took off our shoes and did some beach walking. Of course it was beautiful scenery and there were only a few other folks around, mostly locals and a few other visitors like us. Everyone smiled and said "Hi" as we passed. 

Youngest-daughter searching for sea shells
After a while, the Mama-woman and Youngest-daughter wanted to keep strolling the sand looking for sea shells while I needed to sit and rest my back. An old injury occasionally flares up and pinches a nerve going down my leg and it had chosen now of all times to let me know it was still around. Perhaps the sitting for so long while flying didn't do it any good. I told the girls to go on and I headed back to the car. Sitting in the passenger seat with the door open, I heard something rustling the tall grass stalks which came right up to the side of the car. Of course I was a little startled because it happened so suddenly with just the rustling noise and a very brief flash of something that kind of looked like a weasel. I grabbed my camera and spent the next 15 minutes trying to get a picture of the little creature. It stayed right there close to the car, but never showed itself. A rustle, a brief flash and then nothing. I finally gave up - no picture and no idea what it was.

A hand-made concrete memorial with flower offering for a
deceased Hawaiian surfer. The flowers had obviously been 

there a long time, yet no one had touched them. Nice.
Another 15 minutes of stretching my back and I was feeling well enough to go back to the beach.  I crossed a little sand dune and came face-to-face with the girls coming back with pockets full of shells and cool little pebbles. An empty Gatorade bottle was washed out and then served as a container for the handful of sand Mama-woman wanted to keep for a souvenir. I did a 3-point u-turn and back to the hotel we headed.

We stopped at a fast-food place for a late lunch before returning to the hotel. Unremarkable food, but one of our fellow patrons was pretty interesting. He was sitting by himself off to the side of us and he had a guitar he was strumming. As I watched him, it quickly became apparent he needed to be on meds and he had not been taking any - at least not the kind that would help him. His guitar only had 3 strings - literally 3 strings, as in 2 pieces of twine and what appeared to be 2 shoelaces tied together. He had a cup of coffee on the table in front of him and he would strum that guitar for a few seconds, sadly shake his head, take a sip of coffee and then "tune" the guitar. He would then play a few chords, sadly shake his head, and start the process all over. We were there about 30 minutes and he did the same thing the whole time. Of course I felt sad for him and actually wished I knew where to buy a set of real guitar strings to give him. For some reason, I found him and his obsession oddly compelling. It was hard to take my eyes off of him, waiting to see if he varied his routine. Mama-woman told me to stop staring, but he never looked up and paid absolutely no attention to anyone or anything except his never-ending attempt to correctly tune that guitar. When we left, I noticed his coffee cup seemed to be empty so I walked over and gave him a dollar for another cup. He looked up, shyly smiled, dipped his head back down and went right back to strumming and tuning. If you're going to be crazy and homeless, I guess Hawaii is a fine place for it.

Ka'ena Point Beach at the end of the road.
After a refreshing nap, that evening I chose to help my back by sitting in the hotel hot tub and watching the stars come out with an adult beverage in my hand. I'm sure I read somewhere that rum drinks with little umbrellas in them are good medicine for the back. The look Mama-woman gave me clearly indicated she totally wasn't buying it, but she let it slide. Rather than the hot tub or pool, the girls decided to take a walk down the beach to the Disney hotel a short ways down from us. Imagine my surprise when they returned several hours later wearing woven palm frond headband thingies and carrying opened coconuts with liquid in them! Youngest-daughter's contained an innocent punch, but I'm not so sure Mama-woman's didn't contain her own "back medicine." Seems they "accidentally" walked into a luau on the beach at the Disney resort and the Hawaiian guys working it thought they were paid guests like everyone else! A few hula dances, headbands, coconuts and stage entertainment later (all free!), and they moseyed on back to gather me up and retire to our beautiful room for a well-earned night's sleep. It was almost 10:00 PM Hawaii time and we were pretty proud of ourselves for managing to stay up so late! 
Youngest-daughter at the "free" luau.
Hmmm. Mama-woman seems to really be enjoying herself
at the luau she "accidentally" joined.

And another day in Paradise comes to a beautiful end.