Hello Friends and Family,

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Scratch That Itch!

Early last week I saw a friend at the gym who had just returned from Kaua`i. He loves Hawai`i like I do and goes three or four times a year, usually for a week at a time. Ah, Kaua`i! Not as populated nor as many tourists as Maui — many people love it for that reason. The scenery just becomes a bonus, I guess. Kaua`i is known as "The Garden Isle" because it is so lush and green. This is largely the result of the amount of rainfall that the island receives. In fact, the wettest spot on Earth is located on Kaua`i — Mount Wai`ale`ale, which receives some 460 inches of rain each year. All that water has to go somewhere — waterfalls, underground aquifers and much of it into the ocean. Before humans came to these island, the rain had carved Waimea Canyon in much the same way that the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon. In fact, Waimea Canyon is often called "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific".

Kaua`i is a popular spot for film companies because of the beautiful scenery and the plentiful waterfalls as well as the deep blue ocean. A few of the famous titles include Lost, Jurassic Park, King Kong, Fantasy Island, Blue Hawaii and South Pacific. A quick Google search will provide a more extensive list.

Later in the week I received a call from my friend whose condo I stay in on Maui. He was calling from Maui. The weather was beautiful. And I was envious.

Our weather so far this year in Arizona has been very pleasant — but it's not Maui. Ah Maui. I can feel the gentle trade winds and see the coconut palm trees swaying as if they were dancing. I can smell the plumeria and taste the salt air. I can hear the waves crashing on the rocks at Napili. I am there.

If you've never been, what are you waiting for? This is one place you have to visit at least once in your life.

Then I saw the notice in the paper that a Regatta for outrigger canoes was being held on Saturday at Tempe Town Lake. Wow, just what I needed to scratch that Hawaii itch.

First, an aside for those who don't live in the Phoenix area. Tempe Town Lake is actually a stretch of the normally dry Salt River (which used to have water flowing in it prior to dams being built upstream). Tempe installed two sets of inflatable rubber dams (one upstream, one downstream) then flooded in between. The result? An artificial lake where you can sail or canoe — and where property values have skyrocketed.

The Regatta was scheduled for 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. I know that nothing involving Hawai`i ever starts on time so I figured that I could show up in the early afternoon and still catch two or three hours of canoe racing. Would you believe that as I arrived at 1:30, the very last race was just concluding? I did get to see the metals being awarded but that was not what I needed to scratch that Hawai`i itch.

Then another idea popped into my head — Aloha Kitchen, our local Hawaiian restaurant — the Hawai`ian plate! Kalua pork, lomi lomi salmon, chicken long rice and the requisite two scoop rice (note, if you say "two scoops of rice", you are instantly identified as a haole — so it's "two scoop rice"). Ah, now I am satisfied.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com