Kauai: Getting Our Marriage License in Hanalei

May 18, 2015

Early risers again, as was the trend. We decided to just let ourselves submit to it and enjoy the extra moments pre-morning light…prepare ourselves for it, even. You see the sunrise on our little farm was just magical. The sounds of the animals, the cool breeze, the perfect pink skies. We would pour coffee, assemble a breakfast of fruit and macadamia nuts and sit on the porch and soak it all up.

This day, May 18, we had a bit of business to take care of. First, however, we were intent on visiting a roadside honor stand on the other side of the highway. Eggs, fruits, and vegetables are put in a cabinet with a thin metal netting and prices are labeled with a small sign or tape. There was a bucket for your payment. I insisted we check for avocados, but no luck. Never mind, these stands are everywhere.

We continued on, allowing ourselves an hour or so to scope out two beaches, Moloa’a Bay and Rock Quarry Beach, as possible ceremony spots. Moloa’a was just minutes away, so we headed there first. Down the quiet road, we descended until we came upon the small parking area. As we approached the beach, we just knew. It sounds silly but there really wasn’t any question…we’d found our spot. The beach was spectacular and almost empty. It was a calm  that morning, and it reminded L of our favorite spot in Greece. We walked along the water’s edge and settled at a spot near a tree with a bit of shade. This is where we’ll be married.

Driving along the north shore is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It is absolutely spectacular and the views are other-worldly. Trust me, you want to be the passenger. As we drove, we gawked at the soaring mountains and the indescribable ranch that ended up being none other than Jurassic Ranch. As we neared Hanalei, I noticed an unbelievable overlook on the right, immediately before the downhill drive to the bridge. Don’t stop here. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to, though.

The bridge-one lane and equally adorable and confusing. The rule is you follow the car in front of you so long as you’re within the limit of cars going that direction (i.e: 5-7 oftentimes). We crossed and immediately happened upon the taro fields on our left (don’t miss them!). We’d return, we promised. We continued on and were in the town of Hanalei in moments. It’s charming with its slow movement of cars, shops, and those killer views. We parked and found our way to the salon where we were to sign the final papers for our license.

We entered the salon and waited a few moments until the agent arrived. At that time, one other couple entered waiting for the same person. It was all very quick and anti-climactic, truthfully. We agreed the information was correct, paid $5 and that was it! License received! We wandered a bit afterwards, finally settling at one of the picnic benches and taking out our packed lunch. I’m going to tell you something, packing your lunch on a daily basis while on vacation is the best thing you can do. Honestly. Especially when jet-lagged.

After lunch, we headed over to Hanalei Bay, a few blocks away. We parked easily and approached the beach near the pier. This place. Those mountains. I lathered on sunscreen (PSA: Wear sunscreen. A lot of it. Especially here.) and within moments was in the water. Oh, one of my greatest indulgences must be floating on my back in a calm body of water and savoring the view. That, or going under water and opening my eyes while looking up at the sky. Almost like a mermaid…a very lucky mermaid.

We went on a long walk down the beach as far as we could. We arrived at this perfect inlet sort of thing where the water was rushing in and creating these perfect pools. I splashed about, not too dissimilar to the dog nearby, and could have basked in that sun for the rest of my life.

We made our way back, collecting our belongings then headed over to Lumahai Beach for a quick peek. We made the fortunate mistake of stopping where all of the cars were, assuming it was the correct place. It was, in fact, what most call “Tourist Lumahai”. Whatever it’s called, it’s absolutely stunning and I was sour that I’d already changed into real clothes before the hike down because the water looked sublime.

Heavy with exhaustion, we made our way home. En route we stumbled upon the Hanalei Valley Lookout and figured why not! Another stunning vista, this one absolutely special and one you could gaze at afternoon. But the crowds combined with my jet-lagged mood called us home.

Once back, L made perhaps the most thrilling discovery as of yet…a banana tree bursting with ripe bananas on their way to falling to the ground. We were beside ourselves! We grabbed a box and approached the tree. We analyzed the situation. ah ha! of course! I would get on his shoulders. Perfect until mosquitoes swarmed my head (now that I think about it, it was one mosquito, but a swarm makes for better writing) and I jammed bananas in his face to speed up the process, almost falling probably 8+ feet in the process. I got over it and continued to grab what I could, trying not to waste. Oh, sweet success!

Another evening on the porch enjoying another homemade meal, this time paired with a fine (Costco) Rioja. Another 8pm bedtime.

Savoring this life with every piece of me, I’ll tell you what.

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