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Friday, October 4, 2013

Hawaii: Turning 35 Mission Failed

I woke on my birthday excited for the day. Today we were going to a few birding sanctuaries on the island and I was so looking forward to capturing some of the more elusive birds of Kauai. We had our whole day planned and we set off bright and early for our first destination. It was an hour and a half drive to Kilauea Point a national wildlife refudge known for their Long tailed Tropicbirds and Red Footed Boobies!!!! But when we pulled up there were signs posted everywhere.

Because we were on vacation we haven’t been keeping up with the news, apparently the government has screwed up the budget and all parks were closed indefinitely. I was so sad I almost cried. Here was a large lock on the gates to the place I wanted to get to most on the island. We made the best of it because really what could we do. Thankfully there was a lookout point that wasn’t closed and we at least got to take photos of the beautiful lighthouse in the distance. I also was able to take photos of several of the birds that were hunting and hanging out on the cliffs in the cove.

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Needless to say our bird sanctuary set my well planned timeline into disarray but we muscled on. Our next stop was a short hike to a natural pool called Queens Bath. The parking lot was super small and we had to wait a good 20 minutes for someone to leave so we could park. By now it was HOT out and the hike was a little harder than I had been lead to believe. We hiked through the jungle over uneven boulders. My Little Cricket was strapped onto daddy’s chest and I lugged the snorkeling gear.

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Along the way we stopped a few times to see some of the waterfalls. They were beautiful and Mr. Rogue had brought some filters so he could try out some slow motion photography. Of course we should have practiced with the new filters beforehand, trying to do it hot and sweaty with the baby strapped to him was difficult but in the end he managed to get one that came out fantastic.

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When we got to the cliffs overlooking the ocean and finally got to see the natural bath like structure I was saddened because the water looked too rough. During my research I was told that unless you can see the rocks at the ocean side of the bath clearly, aka the waves do not crash over them, then do not under any circumstances go in. A skull and crossbones sits at the top of the trailhead keeping the number of how many people drowned here, right now it is at 39 people killed because they swam when they shouldn’t have. Although I really really really wanted to snorkel here, because of the numerous sea turtles and the awesome sealife in the bath it wasn’t worth the risk. Queens’s bath is considered off the charts dangerous. I was still bummed that would couldn’t go in but it was for the best. I offered to sit with my Little Cricket and give him a break from the carrier while Mr. Rogue climbed over the cliffs to get a few landscape photos. And while waiting is when I realized that I was covered with mosquito bites… AWESOME!

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By the time we got to the car we were hot and sweaty. But I was determined to push on. Our next stop in the plan was to have lunch at the sushi place at the St. Regis, a fancy hotel and cool restaurant with sweeping views of the bay. Of course we almost get there and going to the restaurant seems less and less likely. First of all it is fancy and we didn’t come with another change of clothes, we are literally dripping with sweat, so not classy. And then just as we were about to pull in anyways My Little Cricket started having a meltdown. That sealed the deal; we pulled right through the St Regis circle drive and instead found a small cafĂ©. It was the right choice, even though it wasn’t what I wanted. I barely got to scarf down my meal before my Little Cricket lost it. I ended up leaving Mr. Rogue at the table to pay the bill while I hustled the baby back to the car. Not exactly my perfect birthday lunch.

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We drove to a few other lookouts with views of waterfalls and I did manage to see some birds and then we just decided to head home. It wasn’t the day I planned at all. By the time we got back to the hotel room and grabbed a shower I was beat. It was my own fault for having high expectations of the day but all I wanted to do was go to bed. Because both of us weren’t really hungry instead of going out to our fancy dinner we all went to bed at 8:30pm. At least I got some sleep tonight!

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