My family celebrated America’s birthday by contributing mightily to its economy. We spent the whole day like we were on vacation, throwing money at just about everything (except transportation, as you will soon discover).
So, the plan was:
1. Park the car at the top of the Ward Warehouse parking structure.
2. Browse and shop through Ward Warehouse and Ward Centre.
3. Hit Inside Out at 3:15
4. WALK to Ala Moana to make with even more browsing and shopping.
5. WALK back to Ward Warehouse for the fireworks show
6. Eat dinner at Kincaid’s while simultaneously waiting out traffic.
We did a splendid job of tackling #1 and #2. Lynnette used a gift certificate at Eden in Love buying a top and one of those pseudo-bras that go under loose-fitting tops. Look, I never had a chance of naming the articles of clothing in my 20’s and I have no shot in hell now. All I know is she walked out of the store with a smile on her face and thoughts of when she’d be able to wear her new stuff.
I purchased a t-shirt from the Rainbow-tique because A) it was on sale, and B) it is a retroprint in kelly green and orange that reminds me of the the UH baseball teams I grew up cheering for. Todd Takayoshi, Jeff Ball, and them. Madison found a $17 pair of Toms ballet flats in snakeskin print that matches a pair Lynnette once owned and makes me shake my damn head. We finished the first leg of our Fourth of July with lunch at Kaka’ako Kitchen. Today was an especially bad day for my stomach. I hit for the cycle. I added Ward Warehouse, Ward Center, Ward Theaters, and Nordstrom Rack to the list in a single afternoon. If I found a magic lamp with a genie it and he/she/it would grant me three wishes, “fixing my stomach” would be right up there with the money and the Mets winning the World Series.
Inside Out was Lynnette call and it was money. The heat was hot, the ground was dry, but the air was full of even more heat. When we got into the theater, it took between five and ten minutes for my body to achieve homeostasis and stop sweating. When the lights dimmed for the world’s longest-running hula show, my eyes closed juuuust a little. But I got up and watched the movie.
I don’t want to spoil the movie, so I’ll just say that I enjoyed it. In a lot of ways, it’s for adults – specifically parents – more than children. It didn’t just tug at my heartstrings, it pulled them, stretched them taut, then started fingering away at the bassline for “Billie Jean” on them. It teaches a couple of really good lessons. The only thing it failed to do was lodge the score for the film into our heads. Jurassic World still leading that category.
I spent the ride home trying to think decide whether Steps #4 and #5 were foolish or regrettable. It took me about 11 seconds to decide they were both. Of all the things we didn’t spend money on – bus fare – Lynnette threw it out there as a half-joke, but I knew she meant it more as like an 1/8 joke. We just walked it anyway. The three of us headed toward Ala Moana with a nice sheen of sweat that had crystalized in the air conditioning of the theater, but thawed in the renewed onslaught of the setting sun. Walking to the mall was like walking to a casino in Las Vegas. It looks close because it’s so huge, then you realize you’ve been walking for 15 minutes since you thought that, but the casino doesn’t look any closer. When we finally got to the mall we were saddened to find the air conditioning in the food court was either out or turning in a sub-par performance. Mad and I picked up a few sale items at Gap, but the real find was a cup of mini-chocolate chip cookies from The Cookie Corner. It is a real plastic cup with a lid! No more plastic bag! No more twist tie! THE DAMN GAME HAS CHANGED, SON.
We did not know that Ala Moana would close at 7 PM. Once we found out, we made an adjustment to our schedule and ate before the fireworks show. The walk back was much easier because the sun had vanished in the west. Our feet were sore, our bellies noisy, and by when I set foot inside of Ward Warehouse’s parking lot, I turned to high-five my wife and daughter. We won. Kincaid’s was busy, but we made it to the top of the structure with about 5 minutes to spare. What can I say about the fireworks show that hasn’t already been said, Vined, Instagrammed, YouTubed, Tweeted, or Facebooked? Nothing.
I am not the most patriotic man, but I am truly grateful to live in a country where I can do as I please and live my life as I decide, so long as I respect the rights of others to do the same. This day is my favorite kind: spent with those I love doing things we love. Thank you to all those who serve our country and make that possible.