I Love a Parade — and I Love Kauai

How lucky I am! When Phil and I went back to Kauai for a visit in October I got to ride a horse in the Veteran’s Day Parade. Give me a Western hat, a good horse and an admiring crowd, and I’m a Happy Cowgirl! It was an honor to pay tribute this way to our Veterans of War.



I rode with one of my favorite non-profit groups, Healing Horses Kauai. HHK provides therapeutic riding to Kauai’s youth and disabled community. Riding has been shown to improve the social, mental and emotional well-being of us humans and I can vouch for that! As Teddy Roosevelt said, “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man” or woman or child.

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I love HHK and am very pleased that our (former) horses are still working in the program, providing rides for kids. It’s something Phil and I did together with the horses when we lived on Kauai and it was very rewarding. The program operates on 15 acres of pasture land provided by Bette Midler. Please read more about this amazing program here: healinghorseskauai.com.

the best beach ride

The “horsing around” continued when my pals, HHK’s Directors Heather and Shannon, brought the horses, Billy Ray and ShyGirl, to CJM Stables for a group trail ride. It was kissy-kissy time for me and “the kids”.


Maha’ulepu Beach had never been more beautiful. The weather was spectacular and the ocean simply gorgeous. The rainbow was an added bonus. Back at the ranch, Heather did a bang-up cookout for the riders while CJM’s Jimmy and his grandson did some roping. A good ‘ole ranch time was had by all.


IRON HORSE – or a horse of a different color


The Hawaii International Film Festival coincided with our visit. One of the films that showed on the island was called “Go Grandriders” and it inspired our next fun adventure. Here’s what Yahoo said about the movie:

“A group of 17 senior citizens, many of them learning how to ride a motorcycle for the first time, embark on what may be the most daring adventures of their lives: a 13-day motorcycle tour around the island of Taiwan. Among the Grandriders, two have had cancer, four need hearing aids, five suffer from high blood pressure, eight have coronary disease, and every one of them has symptoms of joint degeneration. However, at the youthful age of 80 plus, they dare to ride on scooters and feel the land they have lived all their lives. Despite challenges and over family objections, the seniors embark on their 732-mile journey. They face poor weather and road conditions and some harrowing escapes, but also pure exhilaration along the way as they defy society’s expectations.”


Our friend, Carol Yotsuda, who wants to do everything that’s fun, spontaneously created Kauai’s own “Garden Island Grandriders.” We “not-yet-octogenarians” got ourselves some bikes and met at the Kealia bike path for our maiden ride. Senior Citizens rock – and roll if you’re on a bike!

a good way to celebrate our wedding anniversary


How about sailing out of Nawiliwili Bay? That’s what we got to do when our friend John Underwood offered to take us out on his boat Mololo.  John has spent a lot of hours getting his new boat ready for good sailing days like the one we had on our big day.


John said that the one thing he hadn’t yet accomplished on Mololo was to catch a fish. He was pretty sure that Phil was going to bring him good luck. Phil set out the trolling line behind the boat and Voila! Mahi Mahi for dinner!


It was another beautiful Kauai day and a beautiful sail – perfect for the celebration of our 19 years together.


 nani o kauai – beautiful kauai

This return trip to Kauai brought home to us how simply beautiful Kauai is. Everywhere I look on the island I see “eye-candy” – the green of the ‘aina (land), the clear blue ocean, the gorgeous mountains, and the blue and white sky. It’s hard for me to think of too many places that I find as beautiful.

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Beauty showed up in another form for us, too – in the beautiful friendships that Phil and I have made on Kauai. In our three week visit we reconnected with some of the people we feel we have deep and lasting friendships with, and we are very grateful. We missed a few special people, too, and they will be first on our list for our next visit! We will take this gift of friendship with us as we travel to the distant destinations of our upcoming travel adventures.


where are we now

After Kauai we went to LA to celebrate Phil’s mom’s 101st birthday with her. She’s going strong, thank goodness! We then went to San Francisco to be with the kids and do a little business, then packed our carry-on-only bags again. We are currently in South East Asia where we plan to spend the winter. The weather here is beautiful – in the 80’s each day with lovely warm nights and no bugs (so far).

We stopped for a terrific five day visit in Taiwan, then went on to Bangkok, Thailand. We are now up north in Chiang Mai to catch up with the elephants and enjoy a somewhat quieter area for a few days. Our plans, which we formulate day by day, include seeing Angor Wat in Cambodia, visiting Viet Nam, Malaysia, India and….who knows where else. Please come along with us! If you have any suggestions of things we should do or people we should look up, please let us know.

I look forward to sharing our tales of exotic Asia with you in my next posts on carolsuestories.com. Please leave me your comments below. They mean a lot to me, especially when we are this far away. Happy Holidays to all of you.



4 responses to “I Love a Parade — and I Love Kauai”

  1. beverly says:

    You write so all that channeling your adventures is fun – I feel like I’m there with you

  2. Diane says:

    Aloha CarolSue & Phil,
    Am enjoying the terrific photos ; the new format is fantastic!
    Very easy reading….content is always touching…
    Love the Red Boat !
    Merry Merry Christmas Season!
    Di & John

  3. Kathy says:

    Good morning darling
    Just read your blog I love it thank you for sharing your adventure with us all looks like you and Phil are having a blast love you take care and enjoy

  4. Lisa Llewellyn says:

    Oh Carol! To be here in Italy reading about your travels just warms my heart. Catching those glimpses of Kauai through your eyes does make me a little homesick, but just a little. I so look forward to your posts!
    Big hugs!

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