This Is My Kauai: Wainui, December 30, 2007

Wainui BayView of Wainui BayMouth of Akaroa Harbour

The thing I have missed and still miss from my old life is my house in Kauai. As much as it was hard work and as much as we had to periodically deal with noisy neighbors, I loved that house and loved that island. It was my sanctuary, my place of respite from my busy urban life in San Francisco. I’m fortunate I had five good years with the property – lots of good memories with the family and friends we hosted there and lots of local friends made. I look forward to going back someday.

When Bruce & I started our property search, we were advised to set our intentions in writing, so on our big white board we put down our list. The very first item on the list was ‘we want something as beautiful as Hale Makeleha, our house in Kauai’ and we had drawn a picture of the mountains with the stream running down it that we so often watched for hours from the back deck. The white board was placed in a spare room which we called The Room of Intention and periodically over the months we went in to glance at it. And slowly it was forgotten as we became busy with other things.
So, a few weeks back out in Wainui, on a warm summer’s day, some visiting friends got us down to the beach for the first time. It was a glorious day with blue skies, small waves lapping into shore, and a few folks snorkeling around the kelp beds. Verdant green volcanic hills surrounded us. As we were taking some photographs, it occurred to us that this was our Kauai. The beach scene totally reminded us of being at Hanalei Bay.

Wainui beach viewWainui beach

We’ve recreated it, improved on it. The property and location we have secured for ourselves in Wainui Valley has much in common with Hale Makeleha (hawaiian for ‘eyes looking about in astonishment and wonder’); even the name is appropriate. It’s actually quite uncanny.

The Similarities:

  • Located on an English speaking island in the Pacific
  • House is at the end of the road
  • Large house-wrapping veranda with a view of the mountains
  • Easy beach access (Wainui Bay is about 2 km or a 30 min walk versus a 3 min walk to Tunnels Beach in Kauai)
  • Lush bird life (here we have the Bellbird with its beautiful song and a lot of Kereru – large, fat wood pigeons)
  • Often lulled (ha) by domesticated animal sounds (traded up from continuously baying hounds to occasionally bleating sheep and mooing cows)
  • Open space living plan with french doors onto the decks
  • Separate studio (only one instead of two)
  • Flowers everywhere (traded the sweet smelling plumeria for sweet smelling roses)
  • Ceiling fans in every room (very unusual for NZ)
  • House on septic system
  • No snakes

The improvements:

  • No neighbors close by
  • Off the main road (we may have one car a day come up our road)
  • A whole lot more land (room to build, space for food gardens)
  • Our own fresh water source (stream and a spring)
  • Have a sea view in addition to a mountain view
  • Minimal biting insects

And only a few, few negatives:

  • Little bit farther from the equator so bathing suit attire is not a year-round option
  • No blue room or queen’s bath or tropical fish

This is my Kauai. This is going to be the sanctuary I set out to find so many years ago. For all of you who made it to Kauai and enjoyed yourselves, I guarantee you’ll like it here even more. Come to my Kauai.