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No. of Recommendations: 12
Just got back from ten days in Kauai. It was an impulse trip -- we were going to drive around OR but decided on Hawaii on a Saturday, made all the arrangements and took off on the following Thursday. DW found a nice cottage online but they were booked the first three nights we wanted to be there so we stayed in a typical condo across the street for those nights.

It rained a bit, probably more than it did at home during the trip. But it felt good because it's a dry rain there. The tropical heat is OK for the short duration of a vacation but it was nice when we got home to go outside without the sun beating down relentlessly and cooking our hair.

We stayed in Kapa'a, one of the less scenic areas but strategically located about midway between more glamorous (and expensive) Princeville/Hanalei to the north and Poipu to the south. Although distances are short, it takes a while to get anywhere because the offical island tree is the "Road Work Ahead" sign.

We flew economy but upgraded to economy plus for the longer stretches (Frisco to Kauai and back) for the extra legroom. It was very much worth it. We rented a Chevy Cruze, which had much better handling and power than the Corolla I'd rented a year before but wasn't all that comfortable and couldn't hold a candle to my 1996 Acura. Lots of people rent feeps but with the recent recall news, I wasn't comfortable doing that:

http://news.yahoo.com/video/chrysler-wont-recall-2-7-1225236...

The condo was OK -- not a place you'd want to spend a lot of time in, but it did have a balcony with an ocean view. And visitations by many birds, including lots of these cute fellows:

http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/yellow-billed-cardinal-paroaria...

Speaking of birds, here's a comic for arrete:

http://www.seattlepi.com/comics-and-games/fun/Bizarro/2013-0...

The birds are apparently used to getting handouts from the residents as one little dove ate right out of my hand. Too bad the units weren't equipped with barbecues, although there couldn't have been too much dark meat on the guy. The cottage had no view but it was quiet, spacious and attractive, being owned by a gay couple with stereotypically good taste in decoration. And it featured fresh mangoes right off the trees in the garden.

Trip highlights: Hiking the Waimea Canyon and a boat trip with snorkelling along the Napali coast. Some of the best scenic wonders we've ever seen, although the snorkelling was hohum. When you've rubbed the belly of a 15-foot giant manta as it coasted overhead, been brought up short by a huge school of barracuda and found yourself immersed in seas of colorful coral and fish like you see in documentaries, a few fish among the rocks just aren't that exciting. Odd thing was, when I first put my face in the water I had a sense of panic and had to force myself to relax -- something that never happened when I was 120 feet down on those scuba dives. And I didn't get a single bug bite, in contrast to DW's dozen or so, in spite of her use of bug spray and my failure to use it.

Since my own photos sucked (I just can't do scenery), below are some links to the photos of others, depicting exactly what we saw. The first batch is from Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NsbqhPslqTE/TFp93QVPEHI/AAAAAAAAAK...

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2738/5806834838_d8750ffffe_z.j...

And the Napali coast from the boat:

http://www.summitpacificinc.com/Images/napali-coast.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Ad3ylNXyxBE/TK_t51QIOVI/AAAAAAAACN...

It's been most tranquil ignoring politics. Say, can anyone tell me when the Burr-Hamilton duel is scheduled to take place? But once in a while something catches my eye, like this:

Quote of the day:

"...the multiculturalists' frequent insistence that 'only white people can be racist.' In this view, racism is perhaps the greatest moral failing of which human beings are capable -- but nonwhites are absolved of moral responsibility for their racial prejudices. But moral responsibility is the essence of humanity. It is what sets Homo sapiens apart from other animals. Assigning moral responsibility to whites while denying it to nonwhites is therefore a way of dehumanizing the latter. Multiculturalism turns out to be a disguised form of white supremacy." --James Taranto

Then there was this, excerpted in post #684426 from my own newspaper:

Gov. John Kitzhaber warned Monday that he could be forced to mobilize the National Guard to police financially troubled timber counties if legislators and local officials can't agree on a rescue plan to provide basic law enforcement... Kitzhaber urged lawmakers to pass an unprecedented measure that would allow him -- with the approval of legislative leaders and local county commissioners -- to impose a temporary local income tax in counties that have slashed patrol, jail and prosecutorial services.... The two counties, which have lost the federal timber payments that once paid for most of their local operations, have largely halted their sheriff's patrols and cut the number of jail beds in use.

Those are counties in which the federal government owns most of the land and won't permit any income-producing activities that could generate jobs and tax revenue. A lot of that has to do with protecting the spotted owl, of course. I think the state should slap a tax on the Sierra Club, not on the already impoverished residents of the counties.

--fleg

P.S. It was good to read that BHM has discovered that there is life after Folgers. And I hope his tragus is feeling better.
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