Featured writer: Kim Nicol
Kauai has everything you’d expect from a tropical island: gorgeous beaches, lush forests, craggy mountains and swaying palm trees. As my flight descended into Lihue Airport, I even saw a pod of dolphins leaping the in the ocean below.
What I didn’t expect were the chickens. I first noticed them while I was waiting to pick up my car from the rental station across from the airport terminal. A rooster, a hen, and little chick were clucking and pecking their way across the parking lot. No one else seemed to notice. Once the surprise wore off, I was completely charmed. Is this what they mean by free range chickens? I asked my family. They laughed. Kind of.
There were chickens wandering about the resort on Poipu Beach, where we had rented a condo. They clucked and strutted through the shopping plaza down the road, where we tried a different kind of ice-cream each day at Lappert’s. The chickens roamed freely about.
They also crowed at the crack of dawn. I didn’t anticipate such an early-morning wake-up call during my vacation. Yet I did come to enjoy it, in part because it was such an immediate reminder that I was, in fact, on vacation and not at home in San Francisco. If I was home, I would have been woken by the sound of car horns, as rushed commuters honked their displeasure at one another. What’s more, I could always take a nap if I became drowsy after a day of swimming, reading at the beach, and other vacation activities. In fact, taking a nap is one of the ultimate luxuries of being on vacation.
Getting up early with the chickens had the added benefit of enjoying the morning by myself. I quickly found a routine of going out for a walk while everyone was still asleep. I would explore the neighborhood, the beaches, take in the peaceful scenery before the sun had risen to its full power. Then I’d make my way home. By that time everyone else was up and there was fresh coffee in the pot and warm pancakes on the plate.
Read more from this author at kimnicol.com.