I’m back! Since early November I’ve been off- getting married and honeymooning- not blogging. While many of my v/c colleagues were in Indianapolis, I was in Kauai, Hawaii! I have to say work didn’t cross my mind that often, but there were a couple times when it popped into my head. My husband and I didn’t schedule too many things to do- we tried to go with the flow- there were two places we had to be at a certain time- one was a luau (awesome) and the other was a visit to a place called the Allerton Garden. It is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden-and we have to make reservations in advance, and get there at a certain time, or we’d miss out. I was a bit curious, since St. Louis has a pretty nice botanical garden itself, where a time table isn’t a factor. I learned why in laid back Kauai we had to be there when we were! We pulled up to a lovely garden- manicured lawn, plumeria everywhere, lush and beautiful. We were advised to wear bug repellent, which also piqued my interest, and to bring plenty of water. When we first got there, I thought- why?? This looks like the typical botanical garden, but I didn’t see bugs and I could definitely see a soda machine next to the gift shop.
Well, of course, we learned why- we hopped on a tram- and drive 15 minutes down to the Allerton Gardens (the pic of me is “above” the garden). The picture next to it, of the palm trees and river, is after we got down- you can see hints of it past my right shoulder. The place where my picture was taken wasn’t even visible once we got down to the garden- too many trees blocked the view up. The garden, once owned by the Allerton family (of Chicago), is on the south shore of the island, and down down down. (Kauai is covered in green mountains- they filmed the Jurassic Park films here, as well as parts of King Kong and South Pacific). We had a guided tour that lasted about two hours- and there were plenty of mosquitoes and no drinking fountains along the way. (Luckily, we listened to the advice and we were covered and carrying bottles). The Allerton family owned the land and starting in the 1930s started to develop it- maybe that’s not the right word- but they created these various “rooms” with plants and trees, and added these lovely statues, fountains and waterfalls. It was a amazing. (I wasn’t really thinking about work at this point, but I’m coming to that). Our guide told all about the history of the family, the gardens, and how at one point the Queen of Hawaii lived on the land (well before the Allertons).
One of our fellow tour mates then asked the guide if there was a book on the Allerton Garden. Answer: no. The National Botanical Garden (several locations) had a book the featured the Allerton Garden, but there wasn’t anything published about the Allerton Garden itself, solely. Then the lady asked the guide, what about a video? The guide said, well, no, nothing had been produced. That’s when I began to think about work- I thought how cool would it be to have a videoconference from here? From this beach where sea turtles come to nest? Where this one tree- which had been discovered in Hawaii not long ago- lived? There was so much about the place- architecture, history, botany, engineering- that would be perfect for an educational videoconference! But then… I put the thought out of my mind- I was on my honeymoon, after all! (By the way, the third photo isn’t us at the garden, but on a hike the day before- I threw that photo in because it was another time I thought of work- my husband dutifully hitched the METC bag on his back that carried our bottle waters and towels).