Saturday was by far the best day of this young summer, and that was due almost entirely to the simple fact that Lynnette was riding shotgun.
It was Lynnette’s idea to attempt the Lanikai Pillboxes trail, but I can’t blame her because it’s not like I did anything to stop it. In fact, I thought it was a splendid idea, right up until I stated walking on an incline. Due to questionable life choices, I have some pretty limited lung capacity. I got light-headed within the first 15 minutes and sitting only made it worse. I stood up, faced the wind, and tried to suck as much air into my meager lungs as I possibly could. In an amazing turn of events, this was the worst I would feel all day. Thank God.
Madison began the hike tentatively, likely because of her first miserable experience hiking. After our initial climb on loose dirt which evoked several groans and squeals from my princess, she slowly became more confident in her hiking skills. Immediately after that first break, she started scaling the rocks by herself and zoomed out in front of us. “Watch out for that cactus, dad,” she said, pointing to the side of the cliff. “Well, I gotta be honest,” I said, pausing to take a deep breath. “If I’m hitting that cactus, getting poked is the least of my worries,” I finished. “Yeah, you’ll hit the house!” she exclaimed. Yes, Mad. Yes, I would.
Our small family took several breaks on the way up to the first bunker. “Is my face as red as yours?” I asked Lynnette about halfway up. She nodded wordlessly. When we finally got to the first pillbox, we were able to get on top of it by hoisting ourselves up on a lower ledge, then taking a small step up to the roof. Having just freaking walked up a mountain, I set myself at the ledge and thought Whatever f*cking effort you think you need to put into this, double it. There are people here. I got there. We took pictures, we ate snacks. We took a long break. We would have ordered pizza if we thought for a second someone would deliver it. Lynnette and I got a huge laugh when she admitted that she thought the same thing about trying to get on the pillbox. We sat there and looked at the second bunker. It was close, but screw that. It was close the way all the casinos look if you’re walking the Strip.
The real highlight, thought, is pictured above. We were something like 50 yards from the start of the trail. To that point, none of us had slipped or fallen severely enough to mention. I was checking something on my phone when I heard Lynnette shout. I looked up just in time to catch Madison belly laughing while helping to hold Lynnette up. I wish I got this from the front because, man, I would have crudely Photoshopped the hell out this thing into two separate photos called Paint Me Like One of Your French Girls and Lynnette Higa in The Matrix.
Earlier in the week at Ko’olina, Madison practiced surfing on a nearly powerless shore break. Today at Kailua Beach, the shore break was pretty strong, but it didn’t intimidate Madison at all. She brought the board out and Lynnette suggested she catch some waves. Lynnette and I took turns riding waves in with Madison before realizing Mad would move much better if she went on her own. It took some convincing, but the Goob finally agreed to go it alone. Lynnette and I lost sight of her beyond the wave’s crest. Then we saw legs go vertical. Then we saw the board pop into the air. Well, that was fun while it lasted. Madison got up and laughed! For the rest of the day, all she did was catch waves, get up, rush right back into the shore break with her board dragging behind her, and get on again. Lynnette and I were shocked with how gusty she seemed. She did this for something like 40 minutes. Where the hell did she get the energy? I was so tired from the hike that all I wanted to do was sit in the water and order pizza if I thought for a second someone would deliver it.