Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hanalei Wrapup

Our final day in Hanalei isn't until tomorrow (Monday doesn't count, we're leaving early), but I'll probably be packing and enjoying the day. It's amazing how quickly two weeks can pass.

We have a Tropical Depression in our neighborhood, but it is still sunny in long spurts. We'll go swimming in a bit, but as a soccer fan, I have to watch Beckham's American debut so I figured I'd knock out a blog entry.

It's been a great few days. It was my niece's birthday on Monday, so we got to celebrate again when they came to visit us on Tuesday. They live over on Oahu, so it was a short flight. (Apparently, they missed Nick Nolte by a day!) We are looking forward to spending the next week or so with them. As great as it is to have a place to stay in Hawaii, we don't get to see them enough. Unfortunately, we found out yesterday that there was a shark attack just off one of our favorite beaches. Apparently the victim was an attorney which puts an end to that joke about professional courtesy!

While my brother, niece and I were swimming in Hanalei, a guy walked by who looked like David Crosby. As Graham Nash owns (used to own?) the house a few doors down and Martin Sheen was here a few summers ago, it wasn't out of the question, but I didn't really think it was him. However, two days ago, on the way back from the store, we drove by him again and my wife was convinced it was him. When we got home, we mentioned this to my in-laws. My mother-in-law said, "Oh, yes, we saw him on the porch at the Nash house the other day when we went for a walk on the beach." So, there you have it. Apparently he is now on his upper porch watching the GICRA Championship in Hanalei Bay.

We've been eating a lot of leftovers recently, but one meal bears mentioning. We picked up some monchong and made this tomato and mango vinaigrette. Mmmm....

Yesterday, we had a phenomenal trip to Waimea Canyon, famously called "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific" by Mark Twain. (While I am thinking about it, I read Letters From Hawaii recently after my brother gave it to me. I quite enjoyed it and thought it would make a great movie). The sights were astonishing, but so was the presence of roosters at 4,000ft!

The air was immaculate and wonderfully cool. I wouldn't have minded just sitting up there and reading for a while, but we had a nice picnic before heading home.

On a side note, my first article for DevX recently went live. I am excited about the new association and opportunity to talk about SemWeb-related things and occasionally some of the work we are doing at Zepheira.

Ok, as expected, Beckham's first game was all hype, but it is exciting the amount of attention it is bringing to soccer. Now, if only my team can get a freaking stadium deal done, I'll be happy.

Sun's out, time to swim.

Dinner update: We decided not to create new leftovers, so we got takeout from Pizza Hanalei. *WOW*! It was excellent. Expensive, but excellent. Give 'em a try if you come back. Jason (and David Crosby) also recommends Bubba's Burgers, but we haven't had the pleasure yet.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Getting a Better Idea of What I Am Seeing

"I think a future flight should include a poet, a priest and a philosopher . . . we might get a much better idea of what we saw."
-- Michael Collins, NASA Astronaut

The title of this entry is directed at me, not you. I am trying to find words to explain the peace and beauty found on the north shore of Kaua'i. I have been here once before, but perhaps I needed this vacation more this time. I'm not going to tell you exactly where; my in-laws would kill me for revealing this little gem to the world!

I feel the shortcomings of not being a real poet. Words so rarely convey the full bandwidth of human experience. Our brains compress things because they simply can't store everything. Our poets compress things into tropes like metaphors and similes as a shorthand for the vibrancy of life. We relate by relating, not by imagining from Dickensian detail (he simply got paid by the word, duh!).

As many of you who are hassling me about being on the computer know, this is a working vacation for me... the joys of self-employment, but I don't mind. It's a good life. I wake up early to interact with folks on the East Coast, have some breakfast (usually fruit, artisanal bread, Peet's coffee(we brought, but you can buy here!), pineapple, papaya; today included oatmeal and some local goat cheese infused with herbs picked up at the farmer's market first thing) and then either go for a swim, run some errands or get about my business. Today I worked on a press release, but other days I've done things for clients or some writing.

In the afternoon, I'll swim again or take a nap. Before dinner we'll have drinks and some spicy ahi or tako poke. For dinner we've had scallops proven├žal, some rockin' burgers, fish kebabs and grilled chicken.

At night, the mosquitos come out, but honestly, to complain about that would paint me as an ingrate. Better to keep my mouth shut and whip out the Muhi or Mopiko.

It rains a bit and then it shines. The colors are really almost caricatures of themselves; life is not this vibrant. Waterfalls in the nearby mountains seem to come and go. We've had several rainbows in just the past few days. The house we are staying in has a huge, immaculately kempt lawn, freshly green from all of the recent rain.

This is an exceptionally remote part of the world, but here I am, posting a blog entry over a WiFi connection. In between breakfast and swimming we got to watch the Giants lose to the Dodgers (Boo!). It is amazing how normal life can be in this abnormally beautiful and unique location.

It also highlights the fact that I probably don't really need to live in Northern Virginia. I need to be able to travel easily (which is not possible from Hawai'i), but I can probably be more proactive about where we choose to live.