Lynnette and I spent the last few minute before bed last night trying to come up with a plan for Kuhio Day. We decided on a hike that would have lasted no more than 30 minutes, round trip. In most cases, this would not qualify as a “hike,” but that’s kind of the point. When we took Madison on her first hike on the Makapu’u Lighthouse trail, she decided she did not like hiking and boldly stated “I’m never going hiking again.” Well, all of that was made moot by the heavy rains that arrived in stealth overnight. Lynnette and I were both awoken by the sound of the rain hitting our home. “Is that rain?” I heard Lynnette’s voice cut through the darkness. “Yeah,” I said. “So much for hiking.”
It’s not often that the stars align. Lynnette had the day off, Madison didn’t have school, and I didn’t have work or baseball practice. These are the kinds of cosmic coincidences that the Mayans mistook for the end of the world. The point is, I wasn’t about to be defeated by rain. We made the adjustment. The weather report claimed the skies would clear at about mid-day. Our plan was simple: check out the new breakfast menu at Taco Bell, start driving to the North Shore, hope weather clears up.
I think it’s cool that Taco Bell is getting into the breakfast fast food marketplace, but it’s nothing special. I still prefer the Jack-in-the-Box breakfast foods to McDonald’s and Burger King, and now Taco Bell. But I guess we’ll all have to wait for Matty to try the Taco Bell Breakfast because Matty is the preeminent Taco Bell Guru.
It poured on our way through Wahiawa. Our original destination for today was Shark’s Cove. The rain let up as we started to pass the beaches along the North Shore, but right before we hit Waimea, cats and dogs began falling out of the sky. I turned around in the Waimea Bay parking lot and headed back toward Haleiwa. We killed time by running errands at Longs. It was still drizzling as we walked back to the car. “What do we do?” I asked Lynnette. “Let’s just go home, already,” Madison said from the back seat. “Do you want to just drive to the beach where we took our Christmas photos and hope for the best?” Lynnette asked. Yes. Yes, I did.
We were headed in the direction of faint blue skies and they sparked a kind of hope in me: Maybe we’d have our adventure after all. It was still overcast as we passed Dillingham Air Field, so I kept driving to the end of the paved road at Kaena Point. “Let’s give the sun a chance to warm up a little,” I said. Lynnette agreed.
They aren’t really tide pools so much as area of rugged rock. There were many shells, rocks, and pieces of sea glass on the shore for Madison to collect (she’s still adding pieces to the bathroom all the time) and that’s how we started. Eventually, the sun Hulked up and cleaned house of those gray clouds. It got hot and we started messing around in and around the water. We scooped up a few fish, took a bunch of pictures, and continued to mention how gorgeous the day had become. Since the terrain was too rocky for true water play, we hopped back into the car and headed back down the road until we saw what looked like a relatively shallow and calm area. We pulled over and made our way to the water.
The only beach toy to find its way out of the car was Madison’s water noodle. We didn’t bring the inflatable tube, and it was the only flotation device available. We also quickly learned that the water was deeper and more violent than it had appeared from the roadside. None of that seemed to bother Madison, though.
For reasons unknown to me, she decided she was going to ride the shore break up the shore. I have never seen her even attempt this before. I have never really provided her an example of such a thing, so I don’t know where she got the idea or the courage to try it.
During her first few tries, she was too far up the beach for the water to move her very much. She was also still hilariously trying to get the hang of the noodle. It’s like she kept forgetting it wasn’t and endless loop like the tube. She’d let one end creep out from under her arm and the noodle would straighten out, so she’d reach to pull it back, but she would slightly turn her torso in the other direction to do it, so she couldn’t reach it. It was funny but also not funny. She’s my daughter, I like to see some semblance of coordination.
I tried to have her stand, then start running before diving forward with the wave, but I should have known that would require too much timing. The first time she tried to do it, she fell straight forward the way Ric Flair used to when punched in the face. She just pancaked right there in the sand. “Okay, just take a knee,” I said. Things got better from there. In a few minutes, she didn’t need me to point out the incoming waves anymore. She jogged down to the shore break, got on her tummy, then rode the wave in. Then she’d get up, sprint back down to the shore break, and do it again. Unless she needed a sip of Sierra Mist.