Playing Tourist with Grandma and Grandpa

My mom suggested taking a trip around the island earlier in the week. As you know, we usually just do lunch at their place on Sundays, but since the Okinawan Softball season ended, we have the entire day to do things. I don’t often agree with my mom’s ideas, so today was both a beautiful and rare occasion.

My mom turned our beach trip into a shopping trip, to the surprise of no one on the trip.

My mom turned our beach trip into a shopping trip, to the surprise of no one on the trip.

We drove through Haleiwa and our first stop was the Oogenesis Boutique. My father drove and my mother mentioned the store a mile or so before it would pop up. She and Lynnette praised the great products there while simultaneously lamenting the prices of said products. My dad dutifully pulled into the boutique parking lot and we hopped out.

It is a nice store, though that’s a guy’s opinion of a shop full of women’s clothing. They had chairs. Sometimes, that all you need. Lynnette and my mom stalked around the store while Madison and my dad were soulmates bound by boredom; the only difference being my dad can almost mask his boredom while Madison can’t at all.

It wasn’t a total waste, however, as my mom did find something she liked for a reasonable price. As per the usual, she regaled us with the price, the original price, and the vintage-ness of her find. “Her middle name is ‘Ross”,” Lynnette said. “She was going to name me Mark,” I said. “Middle name: Down.” So if ever you wonder where I got the shopping gene, here it is.

Uncle Bobo's: my mom's best idea of the day.

Uncle Bobo’s: my mom’s best idea of the day.

My mom spotted Uncle Bobo’s in Ka’a’awa while out on a drive for work and did her internet homework (good job, mom!) researching the place. Uncle Bobo’s makes really good food. My dad had the beef brisket plate, I had the beef brisket sandwich, my mom had the pork shoulder sandwich, Lynnette had the ribs, and Madison got a cheese quesadilla. Not a single complaint at all, even when Madison couldn’t finish her lunch and I had to finish it for her. I highly recommend Uncle Bobo’s. The next time we decide to make a trip around the island, we will be stopping at Uncle Bobo’s again.

Bummer, dude.

Bummer, dude.

The highlight and selling point of our adventure as far as Madison was concerned was the promise of going to a beach. We did not know where we’d end up, but we knew it would be some place after Uncle Bobo’s. Our first attempt came at Kualoa Beach Park.

Something you already know about my wife: she’s a hotel/motel snob. I am eternally grateful that she did apply those same standards when looking for a husband. Something you might not know about my wife, but makes perfect sense: she’s a beach snob.

As we got out of the car, Madison asked “Is this the beach we’re going to?” She was desperate. She had already endured about an hour of drive time since leaving my parents’ house. When we saw the water at Kualoa, there were people in it, but the water was murky, the area was rocky, and there was a bunch of debris floating around. That’s three strikes and Kualoa never even got the bat off its shoulders. “It looks clean to me,” Madison said. I laughed. She didn’t.

We got back in the car. I mean really, I don’t even have to tell you where we ended up. Even if you haven’t already seen the pictures, you already know.

With complete sincerity: those are mean sunglasses, dad.

With complete sincerity: those are mean sunglasses, dad.

I don't know any other way to say this: it's an amazing thing to see my mom with Madison.

I don’t know any other way to say this: it’s an amazing thing to see my mom with Madison.

Yeah, that’s right, we went to Kailua Beach! But since my mom and dad were with us this time, it was totally different!

My dad got into the water with Madison, Lynnette, and I while my mom sat under a tree under a hat under sunglasses. She’s kind of anti-sun, anti-tan. But, as I learned today, it wasn’t always this way.

On just about every occasion when we’ve spent extended time with my parents, Lynnette and I have been treated to some kind of anecdote or information that we had never been told before. Sometimes it’s about their younger days and no child ever wants to hear that kind of stuff. But today I learned that my mom was a beach bum before she married my dad. “WHAT?!” I said. “For real,” my dad said. “She was super-dark.” “How is that possible?” I said. “I can’t even imagine mom with a tan.” “Yup,” she said. “I was tanned and I used to wear dove shorts, too.” Aside: I had to Google “dove shorts.” I really wish I hadn’t. “That’s ridiculous,” I said. “Yup, and then when we got married, I turned white and started wearing bermuda shorts (I had to Google that, too). Judging from the context of the conversation, I assumed (sadly, correctly) that the length of my mom’s shorts got considerably longer. “She tricked you,” I said to dad. “It happens,” I said. “Yup,” he said.

They had a really good time with Mad. My dad was able to play catch with her in the water. He threw a ball that she caught with her face. He couldn’t stop laughing. I didn’t see it because she was on my shoulders at the time. I thought that since my mom actually put on a bathing suit and had come this far, she might get into the water. The things she does for Mad made it seem like a very real possibility. Lynnette switched off with her on guard duty. My mom came down to the shore. I walked over to her. “You coming in?” I asked. “I don’t think so,” she said. “Well, if you look around, it’s not one of those places where everyone’s in shape – if that’s what you’re worried about,” I said. She laughed. “Obviously, it’s dog-friendly and Phil and Al-friendly.” She didn’t end up in the water. Maybe she just beached herself out during those high times when she was a crispy youngster wearing shorts that no person should have to image their mother wearing.

I love this picture.

I love this picture.

We passed Island Snow on the way to the beach. “Are we getting shave ice later?” my mom asked. In the passive-aggressive language known as KarenSpeak™, this means “I would like to get shave ice later.” Yes, Lynnette is fluent in KarenSpeak™. I can understand it, but I try very hard not to speak it.

“It’s a tradition!” Lynnette said. “Yeah, it’s a tradition – in as much as doing something twice can make something a tradition,” I said. “We’ve never not gone there after the beach!” Lynnette countered. Both Lincoln and Douglass applauded in their graves.

So – because it’s tradition – we did wind up at Island Snow again for the third time in my life and the third time in eight days. But since my mom and dad were with us this time, it was totally different!


One comment on “Playing Tourist with Grandma and Grandpa

  1. […] couple weekends ago, we played tourist with my parents, traveling through through Wahiawa, the North Shore, ending at Kailua Beach. It […]

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