Reality almost never lives up to great expectations or formed mental impressions.
A decade ago when I came to Hawaii for the first time I was slightly disappointed: it was nothing like I imagined a tropical island would be. Waikiki Beach where we stayed looked like Las Vegas Strip but with an ocean one block away. As much as I like big cities in general and Las Vegas in particular, that felt wrong. But I should have known better when I decided to start my trip from Honolulu, the state capital with one million people population.
In three days we moved to a much more tropical (and fitting my imagination) island – Kauai – where we got to appreciate the only good thing about Waikiki Beach that we left – the beach itself where you could easily walk into water and swim.
Being a well-known favorite place for windsurfing, most of Kauai’s beaches are too rough for swimming and corals and rocks of the ocean floor make it an injury-prone activity. We got enough nature from those four days on the island where we were moving from one place to another trying in vain to find a beach where we could swim. I didn’t like Kauai much.
Whereas it’s hard to repeat a perfect experience it’s much easier to improve something that wasn’t ideal the first time around.
Ten years and several visits to other islands later, this year we decided to go to Kauai again.
We rented a house on the North shore on Anini Beach that is one of the calmest beaches in Kauai since it’s protected by a large reef. From the bedroom window I could see the ocean and during the day we heard coconuts falling down from palms. There even was an owners’ cat – Money – who visited us making sure I’d get my daily “orange cat fix” – that’s what I call “service”! I’ve experienced the first in my life real tropical rain. It was exactly like it’s usually described in books or shown in movies: a wall of rain falling vertically down and soaking everything within seconds. It was wonderful! And the wildest part of my vacation was a very spotty … WiFi connection, ceiling fans instead of an A/C and a mean wild hen who tried chasing me off the beach park a couple of times. I was scared first but stood up to her in the end and won.
It was one of the most relaxed vacations I had in a long time: since during the first visit we couldn’t swim we visited most places recommended to tourists; so this time we spent all our time swimming, reading, talking to friends who were there with us and eating tropical fruits and local fish.
Speaking of fruits, what is your most favorite fruit (including berries) to eat and as a perfume note?
My answers: mangos I ate in Hawaii (on all islands, not just during this trip) were probably the tastiest fruits I’ve ever eaten. Black currant is currently my favorite berry in perfumery.
Give me two fruits, not necessarily tropical, that you like the most (one as food and one as a note or one if it’s the same for both questions) and I’ll use your answers in belated September statistics post where I tell you which eleven perfumes I took with me on this eight-days tropical vacation.
Images: my own