10 Nov 2011
The middle of November seems like the right time to be reminiscing about tropical travels (and daydreaming about trips to come!), so here is the first installment of a series of posts on our lovely honeymoon in Kauai.
They say you should expect the unexpected at weddings, and that something is guranteed to go wrong. We were actually amazed by how smoothly our wedding and reception went: a few hiccups here and there, but nothing that really mattered. The real trouble came before and after the wedding. This is almost comical to me now, but about two weeks before our wedding, on the day before I was flying home to finalize the rest of the wedding details, I threw my back out. Now, I have a long and storied history of trouble with my back, and I’ve hurt it many times by doing dumb things like moving bookcases and couches (never again!) But this time, it was nothing of the sort. We were kneeling on the floor, opening a wedding present, and as I moved to get up, something went wrong, and I couldn’t move my back. It was ridiculous, like something you would see on tv. Except that it was very, very real. I changed my flight, and Eric spent the next few days buying me groceries, taking me to the doctor, and eating standing up with me because I couldn’t sit down. He missed a whole morning of work to take me to the doctor, and I was apologizing to him for needing him so much, and, without a moment’s hesitation, he looked at me and said, “Baby, you are my everything.” I could have just melted away, right there in the doctor’s office (except that melting implies movement, of which I was not capable). Thankfully, with the help of many muscle relaxants, I recovered and was able to walk down the aisle and dance away at our wedding. The story continues a few days after our wedding, when we were leaving my apartment in Oakland to fly off to our honeymoon. Because I had hurt my back, Eric was carrying both of our suitcases, and he was racing out to the cab with them when he stepped off the curb somehow at an angle. I didn’t see it happen, but I did hear him yell louder than I have ever heard before, and I was terrified. We both were, I think.
He hobbled into the cab, upset but certain it was just a bad sprain. I asked him if he wanted to go straight to the doctor, and he said that he didn’t want to miss our flight, as he was sure they would just tell him to ice it and elevate his foot. I was worried, but agreed to take our flight. At the airport I turned into a hilarious medical-assistant version of a diva: snatching bandage wraps from the gate agents and demanding ice from the restaurant near our gate. I did all of this without even thinking about it, of course, because he is my everything. Eric was a trooper, and the flight attendants were so kind to us. When we landed, we dropped off our luggage at the hotel and took a cab to the hospital, where the doctor told us that his ankle was, in fact, broken, but that it was a tiny fracture. We were both sad to hear it, but we had such a positive experience in the ER there. I honestly think it was still faster for us to fly to Hawaii and go to the ER than it would have been for us to go straight to the ER in Oakland! This changed our plans some, of course, but after a few days of adjusting to it, we really had a marvelous time. By the time we made it back from the ER, with Eric freshly outfitted with a boot cast and crutches, we were exhausted and so ready to get into our room and relax. But first we had lunch by the pool, and I grabbed the nearest flower and stuck it in my hair. I was still in a honeymoon state of mind. 🙂
During the time we were in Lihue, we stayed at the Kauai Marriott, which is insanely pretty. We spent a lot of time out on our little balcony, reading and watching the kids play in the waterfall pool. Our room was lovely and bright, and we spent the first day or so relaxing and getting used to the time change. And eating lots of pineapple! I had no idea I even liked pineapple, but when it is fresh, it is so good!
There is a two-hour time difference between California and Hawaii, but we were actually coming from Memphis, where we were married, and which is another two hours off. For the first few days, I woke up at 5am, made coffee in our little pot, read a novel, and watched the sun come up over the ocean. It was so beautiful. I liked seeing the hotel waking up too, the lights coming on slowly around me.
The Marriott has this ridiculous pool, where we spent some lovely lazy afternoons. It creates in you a feeling of pure luxury, and I am sure that is what they were going for!
Lihue is one of the bigger towns on Kauai, and once we got our rental car, we headed out to explore. Our first stop was Fish Express, where we had some of the best meals of our trip. It is a modest shop front with no seating, so you have to take your food to go. It was raining that day, and we had nowhere to go, so we devoured our scrumptious fish in the car, listening to Hawaiian music. It was perfect. 🙂
I had blackened ono in guava-basil sauce, and Eric had macadamia nut encrusted mahi mahi. These were, of course, served with macaroni salad and rice, in the Hawaiian plate lunch style. I am drooling just remembering it…we definitely ate here more than once!
In the course of our peregrinations, we became very accustomed to a singular sound: roosters crowing. A friend of ours had told us before we left that chickens roam wild and free all over the place, since there are no mongooses (mongeese?) on the island to eat them. They were really beautiful, but sometimes they crowed a little too early in the morning!
Lihue was a lovely little place to start our honeymoon in, and we dropped back in a few times on our way to other parts of the island (we always tried to make these trips coincide with lunchtime!) We had a lot of fun exploring the areas around our hotel, and I will write more about our adventures soon!