Tag Archives: Sunset

Live Large Takes Kauai

13 Aug

IMG_8771“A life-changing week of experiences.”

“Pushing me outside my comfort zone.”

“Getting to know amazing new friends.”

This is what I heard from the incredibly impressive group of intrepid explorers that joined me in Kauai for a week of adventure. A Live Large trip to Hawaii is a little different than your typical tropical beach vacation. We journeyed beyond the edges way out in nature.

IMG_8900The experience left me both exhausted and exhilarated (and a little sore.) The week was action packed including spending the day on a secluded beach with a beautiful fresh water waterfall, enjoying an amazing variety of local cuisine (including poi and mass quantities of poke and pina coladas), learning to do the hukilau hula at a luau, climbing mountains, swimming in a queen’s bath, and picking fruit, flowers and avocados right off the trees in the yard.

IMG_9154We even got to go surfing with a pro and everyone in the group caught on easily. There is no risk that any of us are going to be asked to star in a sequel to Blue Crush, but we all now understand what it means to feel “stoked.” The surfing high lasted all afternoon.

The highlight of the trip was a three-day backpacking and camping excursion into one of the remote uninhabited valleys on the Na Pali coast. Some members of the team spent weeks dreading the eleven-mile hike along a treacherous trail that hugs the coast with 800-foot drop-offs. For those with a fear of heights, this was the “pushing way outside the comfort zone” part of the trip. The 4,000 feet of total elevation gain made the trek arduous but the reward was something out of a fantastic dream.IMG_9658

The Kalalau Valley was settled by Hawaiians close to 1,000 years ago and was finally abandoned in the late nineteenth century. The evidence of this early civilization remains in the form of terraces, heiaus (ancient Hawaiian places of worship), and fruit trees.

IMG_9542We hiked all over the valley, tried an old swing we found tied high up in a tree, played and showered in waterfalls, explored sea caves, ate exotic fruit off the trees, practiced yoga on a heiau at dusk, watched one of the most unbelievable sunsets of our lives, and learned a lot about the island, its history and its culture. We also learned a lot about each other.IMG_9626

It was a magical few days I will never forget with a group of people that I am proud to call new friends – my growing Live Large family. The hike out of the valley was tough, but our packs were lighter and we had a bottle of homemade passion fruit champagne waiting for us at the end of the trail.

It has been a couple of weeks now and the valley is still tugging at my subconscious – calling me back. Kalalau is a spiritual place with a powerful force. You cannot truly experience it without being affected in some way.

The Live Large Manifesto encourages us to “say yes and go.” I am so glad that I did. My time on island with this group is a true highlight of my life. We did it right and we can’t wait to do it again. This is a life experience worthy of a place in anyone’s collection.IMG_9734

 

Sunset

11 Mar

The first star appeared well before sundown. A big, bright mama star with a toddler tight at her heels. Two stars and a washed out light blue sky that faded toward the horizon to almost white. Dragonflies darted about on the breeze. The ever present surf pounded the timeless reef with waves that had begun their journey in a far-off land. The man thought of his time in the Far East, far to the west where the waves had started their trip. It was nearing the socially acceptable time for end-of-day cocktails, but the heat created a preference for chilled white wine. “That is what she will want,” thought the man to himself. Moving from the lounge chair to open the bottle required more energy than he currently possessed. The heat had overstayed its welcome and intensified in defiance of its imminent eviction.

The man heard the first grackle before he saw it. A loud inelegant squawk. The bird landed in the palm trees that ringed the pool and lined the path to the beach. And then came another and started an argument with the first. The sun quickened its pace as it headed for a swim. The man heard the waves, the buzzing of the dragonflies, and the harsh cry of the grackles. Soon the sky was filled with the big, black birds and their shrilly protests. There seemed to be some giant quarrel among them as to the proper social order and their relative position in the trees. The uninvited happy hour guests created a cacophonous commotion. Nothing else could be heard. Even thoughts in the man’s head could not compete with the raucous cries of this unwelcome crowd. Time to get the wine.

He returned to the patio and the clamor with a chilled bottle wrapped in a towel. It was time to toast the end of day. The woman joined him just in time to see the sun extinguish itself in the ocean. “Did you see the green flash?” she asked. He thought briefly about lying to her once again, but chose to merely shake his head slowly from side to side as he sipped his chardonnay. The setting of the sun marked the beginning of the end of the grackle’s riot. They each appeared to recognize that they had been rude and intrusive and settled quietly into their perches among the palm trees. Quiet returned to the yard and the sound of the surf once more reached the man’s ears. He thought again of the waves and sipped his wine. More stars appeared as the evening breeze chased away the heat. He had a good life and a good woman next to him and he was content.

It was a good day.

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