Waimea Valley

I set my alarm for 7:45 this morning because I was terrified of running into traffic heading out to the North Shore. Lynnette, Mad, Abby and I rolled around in bed for a while and when I finally looked at the clock, it read 8:20. “What the hell?” I said. “What?” Lynnette said. “It’s 8:20! What happened to my alarm?” I asked. “Oh, it went off, but you turned it off and went back to sleep,” she said. “What? Why didn’t you wake me up?” I said. “Well, I just figured you were tired,” she said. Lynnette translator: I was not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, stupid.

She's genetically predisposed to ruining pictures this way. You can blame the parent that didn't attend modeling school.

She’s genetically predisposed to ruining pictures this way. You can blame the parent that didn’t attend modeling school.

We took a trip to Waimea Valley, the erstwhile Waimea Falls Park. The place holds special meaning for Lynnette and me; we took a moon walk here as one of our very first dates way back in 2003. We hadn’t been back since. We were both happy to see the place fully illuminated by the sun. There were many plants and birds and other sights that we never saw in the cover of night and also because she was constantly pulling me into dark corners and french kissing me. She. Likes. Young guys and she cannot lie.

Fire bad!

Fire bad!

Mad loved walking around and through all of the ancient housing structures. She only had enough courage to get up close to the smaller ones, but had no problem entering this large A-Frame. There was a mock fire pit and I told her that she shouldn’t touch the fire. “I’m just pretending, dad,” she said. “Yeah, but nobody told the monster, so I’m going tell you. I’m a better father than Victor,” I said. “You’re crazy, dad,” Mad said.

Mad’s favorite activity, though, was the bird searching. Waimea Valley offers a pamphlet featuring the various birds that make the valley home. Madison clutched at the literature like a treasure map, and sure enough, we did run into a few of the birds featured on the map. Mad and I got a few pictures of the birds, but sadly, no Peegee and no peacock.

Traditionally, this isn't her best game.

Traditionally, this isn’t her best game.

Madison also enjoyed the ancient Hawaii games. The three of us were lucky as no one else seemed interested in the game area and we had the place to ourselves. For reasons unknown to me, both Lynnette and Madison both started playing the game with the round stone with releases that created backspin. That kind of defeats the purpose, so after I explained this mechanical detail to both girls, they improved and that was Coach Phil’s only appearance of the day.

Madison rolled the stone between the stakes twice, but the real treat is watching Lynnette during exercises like this. She’s never really played sports but she’s been generally fit her entire life. She approaches these things with a kind of arrogance. Sometimes – like with mini-golf – that arrogance is justified by her performance. At other times – like playing tape ball and also ancient Hawaiian games – she is a dumpster fire on a train track headed toward a chemical facility.

So cold.

So cold.

The only thing I remember about the park in daylight is some show at the falls where people would dive off the cliffs into the water below. They don’t do that anymore. Instead, they allow people to swim in the pool so long as they wear a life jacket provided by the park. For the obvious reason, this delighted me. Madison also decided she wanted to get into the water, right up until we got to the water’s edge and she realized there were rocks in the water. “I don’t know about this anymore,” she said when she felt the algae on the rocks just below the water’s surface. “We’re already here. Get in,” I said. “I don’t want to go first,” she said. So I did. Eventually we both got into the water which was very cold. But a minute in the adrenaline kicked in and Mad and I swam around for a bit. “Do you want to swim to the falls?” I asked her. “N-n-no,” she said through chattering teeth. That was okay with me to, for the obvious reason.

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