I went to Bellows Air Force Base for the first time in my life today. “Really?” Lynnette asked when I told her. At this point, I don’t understand how she can ever be surprised when I tell her I’ve never been some place before. I lived a very plain and routine life which basically stretched from Aiea to Kalihi, but then to Los Angeles. And that’s it. “I think the last time I came here was in high school,” Lynnette said. “I’ve never been here before, either,” Madison said from the backseat as we moved along the windy road leading to the base.
We were invited to Bellows for a birthday party and Madison could see that it was going to be a good day from the parking lot. “I can see the playground!” she shouted. Since we arrived somewhat early, we let her loose on the playground. According to Madison, the playground was a “really good one” because it “looks like a castle” and it’s “surrounded by sand” but most of all, there’s a “secret monkey bars” under one of the raised walkways. I agree with everything she said, but as an adult, I would like to point out two key drawbacks to this playground: 1) It’s on base. 2) That base is in Waimanalo.
It was overcast all day, but we got lucky. It was pouring in Kaneohe on the drive home and all the cars on H3 were moving extra slow due to the wetness and also to look at and possibly take pictures of the waterfalls coming off the mountains. I’ll take cloudy and muggy over rainy any summer day. The shore break was bigger than we’re accustomed to, but not violent. The three of us spent time dodging, riding, and being blindsided by the waves. Madison might have swallowed a gallon of sea water, but every time she came up she said she was OK. Whenever we asked if it was time to go, she screamed in the negative. Well, then.
I took advantage of these unusual conditions to try for pictures of the waves drilling any or all of us. This is one of my favorites from the day. One of the waves was so large that it completely blew up Madison and Lynnette. Sadly, I didn’t get this on camera. When the wave passed, I went for Madison and propped her up. Once I did that, I turned my head to find Lynnette. She popped out from the water and took a big gasp of air. “Are you alright?” I asked. “Oh, no!” she said. “What?” I asked. “They got my eyebrows!” she said. They were still on fleek or whatever, though.