Tag Archives: Bar

Kauai: Day 5

kauai-day-5-1

Every morning of our time in Kauai has begun around 6:00 a.m. I get up, put the coffee on, and then we walk out the patio to watch the sunrise. The sunrise is a daily event here. People line the ocean path and the various patios and balconies to watch God paint a new sunrise. There are always a lot of cameras. It is different every morning. Cloud formations change. The hues of pink, gold, orange and red are mixed differently against the backdrop of blue. It’s a wonderfully peaceful way to start the day.

The next few hours after sunrise are generally lazy. Drink coffee, have a bite to eat, and ease into the day. This morning Wendy and I ended up back in our bed just lying around. Lydia came in and climbed into bed with us. It was fun cuddling and playing with her.

On our first day in Kauai we had attended an orientation here at the resort in which different tourist vendors described things that you can do. They also held a raffle. Becky and Court won a two-for-one deal on a plantation train ride and walking tour and gifted it to Wendy and me. It happened to be the same plantation where we had eaten brunch on Sunday morning. So, the five of us returned to the Kilohana plantation on Monday morning.

At one time the sugar can plantation consumed some 40,000 acres of the area, but now takes up a very small foot-print. While sugar cane is still grown there, it is mostly a large orchard in which many varieties of fresh fruit are grown, along with some small barnyard animals for tourists to feed as part of the train tour.

The figure eight train route took us along side the orchards as our guide described the various varieties of fruits and herbs that are grown on the grounds. We stopped about half-way through to feed the animals. Wendy and I kind of stood back and watched. When you grow up in Iowa, the experience of feeding a goat, chickens and pigs is not a novel concept.

At that point our tour guide, Josh, met those of us who had signed up for the walking tour. He led us down into a deep valley on the back side of the property that had become a tropical canopy supporting a large variety of native plants. Josh took us down the narrow dirt trail, stopping to point out various exotic looking plants.

One of the cooler plants Josh introduced us to was the Hila Hila plant, which in Hawaiian means “bashful.” When you touch it, the plant closes up in an instant. We had a lot of fun finding the plant on the ground and then making it close-up. Josh also shared the homeopathic remedies that different plants were used for and would regularly reach out, pull a leaf off a plant and eat it as he described what it tasted like. He would also tell us what plants not to eat, like the one that was like Habanero pepper on steroids, which his friend once tried and spent two days in the hospital.

At the bottom of the valley was a stream by which we saw a giant mango tree that was 150 years old as well as a large banyan tree. We then made our way back up the valley. They fed us a sack lunch under a canopy while we let the regular mid-day rain shower pass over us. Desert was a fresh pineapple that Josh cut up and served to us. Wow. Talk about sweet. Josh was a native of the island and, as we ate lunch, he shared about growing up on Kauai, answered questions about Hawaiian culture and history, and kept us entertained with stories.

After lunch Josh led us into the orchards where he pointed out different exotic fruits they grow, as well as some of the regular. We got to pick fruit right off the trees and taste it. The train picked us up at the orchard and took us back to the station. We stopped at the sweet shop for a treat before heading back to the resort.

Everyone was pretty tuckered out, so we took naps in the afternoon. After getting up from our nap, Wendy and I decided to walk up the beach to a local restaurant and watering hole called Sam’s Ocean View. Our concierge had given us a 2-for-1 happy hour drink special coupon, so we decided to check it out. The restaurant is a house on the beach, but the ocean-side of the house has two giant garage doors that open so that the entire side of the house opens onto the beach and the incoming surf.

 

Wendy and I enjoyed a happy hour drink and made friends with the bartender who was absolutely fabulous. A local musician set up to play live music and I thought I recognized him as the guy playing at the Hanalei Farmer’s Market on Saturday. I asked him, and I was right. He played solo guitar and a mix of coffee-house standards. Wendy and I would have joyfully had dinner there and stayed all night. Our bartender told us they were closed every Tuesday and Wednesday but we promised to go back for a visit (or two) before we leave the island.

We walked back to the room. Dinner was homemade pizza while we watched a late replay of Monday Night Football. We enjoyed playing with Lydia and chatting before heading to bed.

Chapter-a-Day Isaiah 25

Divine appointment at the airport bar. "And here on this mountain, God will banish the pall of doom hanging over all peoples, The shadow of doom darkening all nations. Yes, he'll banish death forever." Isaiah 25:7 (MSG)

Flying through Denver International airport last night, I sat and had dinner at the bar of a restaurant on the B Concourse where I could watch the Cubs get pounded by the Mets (being a Cubs fan requires a lot of faith). It was there that I met Joe, who was quite drunk and sitting to my immediate left. I instantly liked Joe. He seemed like a nice enough guy, even in his inebriated state. He was friendly and charismatic. Joe had been at the bar a long time. He'd missed two flights already according to the lengthy description of his day.

Joe talked a lot, and I got to know him quite well as I ate my caesar salad. He made his first million in Iowa. Joe had everything, it would seem. He was healthy and looked much younger than his early fifties (He thought we were the same age, and told me I looked much older than my age. Sometimes drunk people just can't filter things the way they should.). Joe was good looking. He clearly had a ton of money and all that it could buy. There were, however, two things Joe clearly did not have. He did not have a friend (I was it), and he did not have peace. Joe was alone. Joe had "the pall of doom hanging over all peoples." His spirit was tortured. I could see it in his eyes. It was in his posture. I heard it in his slurred words.

I listened to Joe's story. I learned of his many broken relationships. He told me about his inability to perform sexually with his young girlfriend. His life was a total mess. All the money and success were worthless to provide that which he truly needed. He was an empty shell of a man medicating himself from the pain of his soul. I tried to be a good friend and love Joe well in the few minutes that our lives touched.

Today, I'm praying for my friend Joe. I'm grateful for God's amazing grace in my own life, which I do not deserve. I'm thankful that Jesus came to banish death and it's morbid pall. I'm praying that I will be an instrument of God's peace, that where there is despair I can sow hope, and where there is darkness I can shed light.

Even at the bar on Concourse B.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and drh