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Lanai view from Inn Paradise Kauai vacation rental suites in Wailua


" ...a vacation paradise! Wonderful sunsets and waterfall views from the lanai.
Great fun listening to the parrots talk to
each other. "

The Johnson's, Chicago, Illinois

" ...wonderful, gracious hosts in such a beautiful place..."
The Curtin's, Los Gatos, California

Common lanai with pastoral and mountain views

" Your attentiveness and generosity were
4-star! The Island is beautiful but the
views we enjoyed the most were from
our lanai. "

The Coppenbarger's, Berlin, Germany



Talk Story Inn Paradise with Connie & Major Inch

Ua mau ke ea o ka `aina i ka pono.
"The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."

We hope your 2004 rang in with joy and contentment! We had a nice dinner for two at home and almost stayed up until midnight. We had to go to bed so we could be fresh for our New Year's Day excursion. Major had planned a special outing for Connie. It was a surprise trip to the beach for a sunrise breakfast, and the first surprise was that it was pouring rain, a real storm, with no let-up in sight!

On New Years Day it was still dark when we arrived at Lydgate beach to get a pavilion. No problem, no one was at the beach! Major had candles in bags to set up around a campfire, but we were going to make do with setting them up around our camp stove in the pavilion. The wind was blowing so hard that neither the candles or the camp stove would remain lit. No way to cook our romantic breakfast! We packed back up in the dark using our headlights and headed south, maybe Poipu would be clear? No, Poipu wasn't clear, still pouring rain and dark, so we continued west.

We arrived at Polihale Beach (the end of the road on the west) just as the sun was breaking through. It wasn't raining!  We set up our camp stove on the picnic table, and built a fire in the fire pit. The chickens came running thinking there would be food for them. A cat joined us as well. We had champagne, French toast and sausage. It was a spectacular breakfast on the beach with the sun coming up. We enjoyed the bags with candles in them and thoughtful sayings written on each one. Just as planned. For dessert, we had chocolate mousse torts with excellent coffee.

It was a wonderful morning in celebration of life, paradise, and love. We played in the fire so our clothes smelled of the outdoor campfire, we walked in the surf, and on the beach. Rumor has it that whatever you do on New Years is what you will be doing all year. If this were true, there would be little work and lots of joyous celebrating in 2004 for the Inchs! We also fit in a nap when we returned home. So, we expected to be rested for 2004!

January 25 we went to the Kilauea Theater for an evening of world-class jazz and homegrown blues. Scott Cossu music is a unique fusion of jazz, classical and ethnic styles that touches deep into the spirit. He was supported by Kiko Kaneali`i on percussions. A friend picked the tickets up for us and when we arrived we found out that it was a benefit for Green Values of Peace, Economic Justice, and Ecological Wisdom. Koko is a Hawaiian community activist and the Homegrown Blues were sung by a Blu Dux whom Major has followed in the letters to the editor in our Garden Isle Newspaper. The group was as left as one could get. Major did enjoy the music but when intermission came he passed on the “food for the body and the mind” and went out and got some water & junk food.

In March Connie and Major volunteered to help build the newest addition to the Lydgate Park, the Kamalani Pavilion with a stage and fire pit for outdoor fun. Our first 8-hour day consisted of getting setup. Major was assigned the task of building the temporary art working area. It was plywood walls with a plastic tarp. Connie handled the sign-ins and directed the volunteers to various work areas.

Connie could only put in one day since she had to go back to work on Monday. However, Major continued to help at the pavilion with other local volunteers. One day Major worked with Dave Camp, building the back and side of the pavilion, and as they worked you could literally take trip around the Pacific. There was a spiffily dressed Chinese couple who spoke in Chinese, accented with a little English as they wiped the thin set off the beautiful tiles that made up the coral formations surrounded by colorful ceramic fish that were made by the local children. On the other side of stone wall, there where five husky Tongan men who were skillfully setting lava rocks into place to form a round fire pit. All day long you could hear their gentle, soft-spoken voices, but every so often, one of them would break out into a Tongan song to get everyone working a little faster. At some point during the day, five teen-age girls showed up with their kumu (teacher), and they were excitedly speaking Hawaiian to each other as the kumu was instructing them in setting tiles. In the art tent Major could see the high school art teacher with his students learning the skills of wood-carving from a local wood carver, Jim Jung, who had already completed 10 beautiful wood carvings. No matter what your skill level was there was something for everyone to do. Some people brought water and juice out to the workers in the hot sun, others helped pick up and wash out tiles that got plaster on them, or picked up nails, removed scrap wood, or returned unused tools to get them out of the way. There was a job for anyone and everyone who wanted to help.

Major came home from working at the pavilion and mentioned that he had asked to put some tiles up so he could say he had done some of the art work. The next day his story was in the local paper. Carl Yotsuda wrote “One day a tall, handsome gentleman with a nametag "Mason" asked Cheryl Nickles (art coordinator) if he could stick some tiles in place on the wall because he always wanted to work in the art tent, but always ended up on the construction side of the projects. He wanted to do some art work so he could later point to it and say he had done that.” By the way, Major loved the part about “a tall, handsome gentleman”.

That is the spirit of Kamalani. Each person wants a chance to leave a mark on something that the community built together.  The art work and wood carvings look amazing! You just have to see it, and maybe Major will even show you his “art work.”

An interesting fact about the Lydgate area is that it contains the ruins of what is believed to have been a place of refuge for ancient Hawaiians. It is located at the north end of Lydgate Park in Wailua. The heiau is called Hau'ola, the structure was referred to as a pu'uhonua (place of refuge) by the Hawaiians. Like the Israelites of the Old Testament, the Hawaiians of old allowed those in serious trouble to flee to enclosures where they would be safe from persecution. Major tends to spend his free time at Lydgate, hummm!  Located just across the Wailua River before turning into Lydgate is Hikina'akala. It is an ancient Hawaiian temple, still sacred to the Hawaiian people. The temple is a huge rectangular walled site about an acre in size, its walls are said to have once been 6 feet high and 11 feet wide.

In April we had our annual Easter Party and the weather was perfect. As Major told Connie, “The nice thing about being senile is that I can hide my own Easter eggs.”  As always, the food that everyone brought ranged from smoked fish to boiled peanuts, with some traditional Hawaiian Lau Lau tossed in to make it a memorable day.

For over a year Major had been working with the Kauai Lions Clubs to sponsor an International Youth Camp on Kauai and in July the event finally came to fruition. Some of the students arrived early and we were fortunate to have Alex Francis from Southampton, England stay with us. During the week we tried to keep Alex busy with hiking, kayaking, sailing, surfing, bike riding and a little windsurfing with some free time at the beach. The following week Alex and 37 other foreign exchange students toured the island as a group. Connie and Major, with the help of Rusty & Yvonne Fachner, prepared an international dinner for the group and the camp counselors on Friday night in Hanalei. After dinner was over and Major could relax, we went to Tahiti Nui’s for a few drinks. We can say we closed the place down…. not easy for people our age. (Truth is they closed at 9:30 PM because the water main broke and they could no longer stay open.)

When Connie started back for the new school year in July, Major joined her to help in the classroom. No sooner had Connie started to get things under control when she was called to jury duty for a Federal case in Oahu. When they questioned the prospective jurors, each question it seemed applied to her, Have you ever been sued, have you ever fired anyone, have you been an employer, etc. They started calling Connie by name she raised her hand so much. Everyone thought she would be excused, nope! Connie ended up flying back and forth the first few days because they couldn’t find a hotel room for her. Up early to catch the 6:30 AM flight and then home late, not the type of commute one likes. Once they found housing she would fly back on the weekend and then return the next week. This went on for four weeks, almost all of August. Major continued to go to school everyday to help the substitute teacher and keep the kids in line. They all knew Mr. Inch would tell Mrs. Inch if they misbehaved!

Connie was able to get away for a quick visit to the mainland this October to visit her mother. Unfortunately Major had commitments and couldn’t go. This allowed Connie to spend all her time with her mom.  While Connie was off island, Major worked with the Lions Club at the annual Kauai Coconut Festival in honor of the coconut trees that provided so much for the early Hawaiian’s daily needs, Major was watching/listening to this incredible drumming by the scariest Tongan you will ever see on Kauai. Just for a moment Major thought those carved coconuts around his waist were shrunken heads, no Major didn’t ask his name! Rumor had it that he was the volleyball mascot for the University of Hawaii before he dispatched a few visiting teams. (Maybe those aren’t carved coconuts.)  For those that didn’t know, the groves of coconut trees along Kuhio Highway were cultivated back in Queen Emma’s reign to supply building material, clothing, food and drink for the royal family, thus the name Royal Coconut Coast. Coconut trees produce fruit for 75 years……..that means Major will spend the rest of his life cutting the coconuts out of the trees on our property to keep them from falling on his head when he mows the yard.  Major might even try carving a few coconut trees this coming year down in our garden area.

Speaking of gardens, the National Tropical Botanical Garden operates three botanical gardens on Kaua'i, all dedicated to the conservation of tropical plant diversity, particularly rare and endangered species. The gardens, two on the South Shore and one on the North Shore, are open for public tours. We enjoy the Limahuli gardens, laid out in the North Shore valley protected on three sides by craggy, mossy-green mountains and overlooking the ocean.  Here, rare native species are being nurtured in a 1015-acre garden, 17-acres are open to the public. We prefer the self-guided tour over the guided tour because we can move at our own pace. If you opt for the self-guided tour, you’ll be handed a very informative booklet with which to navigate the path that meanders along a three-quarter mile loop trail and up a 200-foot climb to a stunning viewpoint overlooking the ocean. The guidebook not only describes the origin and uses of these native plants, it also contains stories about the history and legends of this valley, which may have been one of the earliest settlements in Hawaii. You’ll walk through ancient taro patches with 700-year-old walls, and along the way, you’ll come across an arrangement of rocks thought to be remnants of home sites built by ancient Hawaiians. You’ll learn about the plants brought to Hawai’i on the Polynesian sailing canoes to provide food, clothing and medicine. Don't expect to see a lot of showy, blooming flower beds. Native plants are much less splashy and far more utilitarian in nature.

To all of our family, friends and honored guests we send our warmest aloha to all of you for a healthy and prosperous year. May your travels take you to interesting places and give you wonderful memories.

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6381 Makana Road Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii 96746
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