Tsunamis, Feathered Friends and All-terrain Vehicles

What I did on spring break.

Four days before leaving for my trip to Kauai, a tsunami that was produced from the 8.8-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile was heading across the Pacific Ocean. I was praying. After producing three semesters of Cat College curriculum, I needed the mental break and I’d been looking forward to going to this garden paradise for two years.

Thankfully, the tsunami hadn’t wreaked the havoc on the Pacific islands that it could have, yet several of the locals said that the wind, rain and choppy seas hadn’t died down ever since. Nevertheless, we were still able to go on this trip and enjoy the beauty and adventure this isle offers.

Three days of sightseeing took us to the sunny beaches of the south, across the stunning northern coast, and to breathtaking Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” on the west island.

We only saw about three camera shy cats during the entire trip, but we saw (and heard) roosters everywhere! As precision time keepers, they didn’t hesitate to remind us of when it was dawn and when it was dusk. The island showed us many interesting looking birds. In fact, if I had worked on a bird magazine, I could have written this trip off.

We spent two days relaxing at the resort, followed by a day filled with adventure, involving snorkeling, a catamaran ride, and an all-terrain vehicle excursion on a former sugar plantation owned by the father of a man we met at a church.

I had never even seen an ATV before, much less driven one. The course was gorgeous, but definitely not for beginning drivers like me. I managed to get the hang of it until I inadvertently steered it into deeper water than the machine could handle. When the front of the vehicle became submerged, I knew it was time for me to swim to safety, embarrassed and apologizing profusely. Banned from driving, I spent the rest of the excursion on the back of a flatbed vehicle snapping pictures of my friends, who are much more competent drivers than I am.

If getting my mind off work was what I needed, this trip certainly did that and so much more. When the stress and deadlines of my job face me now, I just close my eyes and smile, knowing I’ve experienced such a beautiful place. 

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