Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Are You Twiddling Your Thumbs For?

Hawaiian Airlines just announced seductive airfare deals to Hawaii for travel this winter. Roundtrip fares from the west coast start at $300+. Especially if your travel dates are flexible, you can jet from San Jose, CA to Maui, HI for about $325 a pop. The flights are usually non-stop and on time, and they feed you on the plane (just don't expect gourmet hot food). For Hawaii virgins (like I was, until recently), your phones will work there without roaming - which is both a good and a bad thing. Although peppered with cliche' honeymooners and Hawaiian-shirt-wearing septuagenarians, take it all in stride. After all, you're in the tropics when it's freezing pretty much elsewhere in the mainland. For a tropical escape which is so close you couldn't believe you traveled so little to get the feel of being in Asia, Hawaii is a no-brainer holiday destination, even for quick jaunts. The window to close on this irresistible deal is on November 21st, so if you feel that compelling itch and if you are financially capable, please, I urge you. Go on holiday. Life is not going to wait for you.

If you are looking for a little bit of inspiration on what the possibilities are, here are some pictures taken about three weeks ago from a six day trip to Kauai. If you must know, yes, I didn't pay full price for my ticket. From Sacramento, CA, roundtrip to Lihue, HI, the damage was about $500 for airfare, and about $50 per person per night for beachfront accommodations at the Marriott Courtyard, AND a rental car. People always scare you and say that Hawaii is ridiculously expensive, but I tell you that some my best meals on the island hardly cost under $10.

The Napali Coast as seen from the tail (the most comfortable part of an otherwise intense bumpy pump boat ride that lasted six hours) of a Zodiac

A stretch of beach on the fifteen-mile uninhabited, pristine, Napali Coast

The Napali Coast was stunning.

We spotted a pod of spinner dolphins! Easily 30 of them showing off with air spins and flips. I have a video of it somewhere... Here's a spinner dolphin cavorting underwater.

Gorgeous Taro Fields

Very lively farmer's markets...

.. and live traditional Hawaiian music..

Where there appears no other kind of living other than The Good Life..

I can't believe how reminiscent it was of Asia, of home..

Pretty beaches at every turn...

Hanalei Bay

Surf's up!

Best souvenir shopping: handmade soaps and candles with essential oils proudly made in Kauai, at the Island Soap Co. in Kilauea

The train at the Kilohana Plantation

The Waimea Canyon

I am watching a friend go through preparing for the loss of a loved one. It is just gut wrenching. I know that we are all going to get there eventually and when my time is up and if I or anyone else were to cry tears, I don't want it to be out of sadness because I didn't have the courage to live the life that I wanted to live. I want to be able to say that I did not live behind the shadow of who I could have been and what my life could have been like.

It might have been The Dutch who told me that somebody wise once said that in life, there would be a phase where you can't afford anything but you have the energy to do so much. Then there will be a phase where you can afford anything, but won't have the energy to do much. But then, there is that short window in between where you can afford some and have the energy to do some. When those two things intersect, get out there, for it won't last long.

If you are in that sweet spot right now, what are you twiddling your thumbs for?

Love and Aloha,

P.S. A little shameless plug - If you happen to find yourself in Kapaa on the east side of Kauai, do not miss Verde for a sumptuously brilliant Mexican meal.

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