rosaw: (plumeria1)
Yesterday I went to Kualoa Ranch for a horse ride tour of the ranch. It was fantastic. The view was awesome, and while I didn't see any of the sites for Lost or Jurassic Park I did see some incredible foliage. The horse -- her name is Babydoll -- was quite tired and bit depressed, I think. She trudged along, half-heartedly trying to grab a bit of grass along the path as we moseyed along, and basically ignored my presence in the saddle. We had horses when I was a kid, I have fallen off, been thrown off, been knocked off deliberately by horse malice-aforethought on a gallop through low tree branches -- I have experienced a variety of ways to be dismounted without my consent. So, with that history, I was possibly a bit more "bring it on" than the horse was actually used to from tourists. She just strolled along, flicking her tail occasionally and needing no real interaction from me (or anyone else for that matter).

I was one of the only people who wasn't part of a tour. The majority of my companions were from Japan. One of the guides spoke Japanese and led the conversation monolingually, when she talked at all. It didn't really bother me not to understand a word of the tour, I was enjoying the view and the ride and I didn't really want to talk to anyone. Because of my lack of Japanese skills, I was unable to follow all the intricacies of the tour but you know, following a pointed finger to a beautiful view and responding "ooooh" and "ahhhh" is fairly universal. I had a great time and managed to dismount only voluntarily, to Babydoll's seeming indifference.

Hell will probably freeze before Rwr gets on a horse and I haven't helped that what with tales of my father shouting at me "don't a wuss, show the horse who's boss" as I went flying off the horse on a collision course with the less than welcoming earth. My dad was also a determined person and so his attitude was if I was still conscious, I could get back on the horse and try to learn who was boss (2,000 lbs of horse wins every time, I think, but what do I know?). With that in mind, I hope to convince Rwr to go on an ATV tour, which will go to the Lost sites. It's so beautiful that I simply lack the words to describe the greens and the lush varieties of plants. There's a succulent that grows on the branches of other trees. There were egrets everywhere, pretty white birds with bits of orange on their heads and backs.

There are no pictures of me on the horse. First, the pictures cost $20 and my horse looked about as animated as the bronze of the horse in the famous Trail of Tears statue. Sorry to disappoint. However, I put up some my pics of Kualoa Ranch here on flickr. The pictures just can't convey the beauty of the place, they don't do it justice at all.

I did wind up talking to a woman who works at the Ranch. She was riding at the very end of our long line of horses on the path, closing the gates behind us. It was her first day and she was quite excited and enthusiastically chatted with me whenever I was in earshot. Also, as I noted above, I was one of the only English speakers on this tour and that meant there was no one else who could chat with her (pressure!). She was very animated and, when she learned what I do for a living, wanted to talk about Holy Blood, Holy Grail and the DaVinci code in great detail. I tried to give her some amount of attention as I gawked at the landscape, but I was in another place really from work and religion/work related conversations (see above not-really-wanting-to-talk sentiment). I mostly just nodded and made encouraging noises. She did give me a little gift after the ride was over -- demonstrating that while I believe I am an introvert (I am!) and I feel like I wasn't a particular good conversation partner, I seem to make friends pretty easily. She runs a business out of her home, sugarshackhawaii.com, in addition to her new job at the Ranch. So, I have some rainbow sugarshack sugar as a memento of my day.

Ah, Hawaii, land of magical landscapes and very friendly people. Off for some more adventures today -- Rwr lands tonight and I have some exploring to do before he gets here!

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rosaw

December 2016

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