Madison Visits the Best Playground Ever

I had a softball game at 9:30 yesterday morning and got home in time to ask the best question one can utter on a weekend: What do you want to do today? Often times – like Saturday- we’ve got a specific itinerary to follow, or some kind of commitment that one or all of us have to attend to. Since my parents are in Las Vegas (hopefully winning millions of dollars), we had Sunday afternoon free. An adventure. Cue the Staind. It’s been a while!

Drinking out of a jar! Just like Uncle Sy!

Drinking out of a jar! Just like Uncle Sy!

Lynnette’s first plan for our Sunday Adventure was a trip to the urban garden in Pearl City, but we quickly discovered it was closed. “I want to do something fun!” Madison shouted. While this might seem like an innocuous request, it isn’t. The implication, of course, is that some of the things we do during the weekends do not meet Mad’s definition of fun. Lynnette and I decided to make for the supposed best playground on the island at Aikahi Elementary.

Our first stop was lunch. We decided on Uahi Island Grill in Kailua after Facebook suggestions and a Yelp search. We were not disappointed. Madison and Lynnette split Belgian Waffles with fruit. I had a waffle and garlic chicken. Since Uahi only serves a brunch menu on Sundays, we’ll have to go back when we can order from the entire list. It was reasonably priced and the food was delicious. We recommend it.

I think this was Mad's favorite part of the playground.

I think this was Mad’s favorite part of the playground.

Since Madison is a notoriously slow eater, we used the playground as leverage to get her to pick up her dining pace. Lynnette pointed out the graying skies outside of the restaurant and said “If we don’t beat the rain, we can’t go to the playground.” This was enough to up Madison’s pace from “glacial” to “tortoise-like.” We drove across Kailua on our way to the playground. With each turn, Madison asked “Are we there yet?” Her repeated inquiries became quite grating, and I can only imagine how soul-crushing they’ll be when she has to spend over an hour in a car for the first time in her life when we drive to Sea World. I suppose I could always slap her with the “no candy” threat, which may as well be named negadesserto, an Unforgivable Curse.

She skipped along this bridge as if it were a running trampoline.

She skipped along this bridge as if it were a running trampoline.

Madison was kind enough to pose for a few pictures in between her exploration of the playground. It really is a great place for kids to play. As I followed Madison around with the camera, I wondered why Mililani hadn’t yet tried to one-up Kailua by building an uber-playground of its own. It’s exactly the kind of thing Mililani would do. I mean, hey, they just built a basketball court in Mililani Mauka District Park (without lights so no one can play after dark), why not a playground? It’s for kids!

Sadly, a slight drizzle grew into a “passing shower.” Eventually, large drops began to fall, and our car pulled away from the curb just as the heavens opened. “Why did God make it rain today?” Madison asked. I had nothing. “He just did,” I said. “We’ll come back on a sunnier day,” Lynnette added. I looked back at my daughter. She wore a look of disappointment beneath beads of sweat on her nose and upper lip.

Q: Phil, your daughter is quite a character. Is she the type of girl who would

Q: Phil, your daughter is quite a character. Is she the type of girl who would push a mini-shopping cart through a store while using an umbrella as a microphone to sing “Ho Hey?” A: Yeah.

Since Lynnette cannot make a trip out to Kailua or Kahala and not visit Whole Foods, we doubled back across Kailua. On our way back, I mentioned one of my girlfriends who was needy and clingy. I told Lynnette that although I didn’t care for that behavior at the time, everything is relative because in our relationship, I’m the needy and clingy one.” “Sexually needy,” she said. I wasn’t ready for such a comment and laughed. I can neither confirm nor deny Lynnette’s claim. I snorted, though. This made Lynnette laugh. That made Madison ask “What are you guys laughing about?” That made us go silent. “Nudding,” Lynnette and I said simultaneously. For the Madison-impaired, this translate to “Nothing.”

I am at the point in my life where this is considered a snack.

Thank God for sushi, but more importantly, a wife who drives while I eat sushi in the car.

Ironically, Madison and I were the ones who picked up snacks. Lynnette bought some sale lemonade. Madison went with gummy candy. No negadesserto yesterday. I hoped to bump into Evangeline Lilly. Does she still live here? While I generally don’t care for going to Whole Foods because we can’t afford to shop there, since I have to be there, the first thing I do is go to the seafood and meats counters.

There’s something about how delicious the fresh fish looks packed in ice. The way the poke is self-serve, not held hostage behind glass. There’s some kind of genetic behavior that’s unlocked as I pass by the displays of red meat, stacks on stacks on stacks of it, that makes me want to take ferocious bites of off raw rib eyes.

I am not Caucasian and I am not a tourist, so I feel like an outsider in Kailua. Add the fact that I am not traveling by bike, and it is clear that I don’t belong. I can only imagine how rolling around in the meat cases would look to native Kailua-ians. I feel I would be frowned upon. At least. “When in Rome,”  they say, so I picked up a roll of sushi instead.

Lynnette drove back home through heavy rain, but I was asleep before Halawa Valley. There’s something about Sundays that take it all out of me. I don’t think we’ll be so adventuresome next weekend. Baccalaureate on Saturday, Graduation on Sunday. But the weekend after that?

SUMMER!

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