There were a lot of really good things that happened the day we went up to the North Shore. The first thing was that we actually got in for a new tour time for Pearl Harbor even though they were already sold out.
The next good thing that happened to us was the swap meet at the Aloha Stadium. I kinda dig those places.You're right, it doesn't take long to realize that almost all of the booths sell the same 10 things and they are mostly kinda cheap trinkets that won't last long and have a little sticker on the bottom that says made in China. There are always millions of generic T-shirt booths, but I have to admit, I have been known to buy one or two on occasion. But really, I love those places because hidden in the midst of all the stalls that start to blur together, there are usually a few gems. It's kinda like a little treasure hunt, and I always get a thrill out of finding the good stuff. The gem we found that day was the ukulele booth. Not the warped hot pink ones with plastic strings and flowers painted on the front, but real ones. Beautiful ones.
Garrett has always wanted to learn to play the guitar, and in fact had just started lessons before he broke his collar bone and couldn't even hold a guitar up, but Wes was the one who ended up with his heart set on acquiring one of these little guys. He listened to the sounds of several of them hanging out at the booth for what seemed like forever until he finally had the right one. He's never played one before and hasn't even played the guitar, but Wes is pretty musically inclined. Like how he taught himself to play the piano before ever having lessons. The way he can pick out any song from the radio and figure out what the notes are. So naturally he once the ukulele was his, he began teaching himself how to play. I bet you're thinking that you feel kinda sorry for me being stuck in a car or hotel room with a kid learning to play an instrument, and I'll admit that can be kind of a brutal experience. But this was a ukulele, the sound of all things tropical, and it was my son who happens to be a very fast learner.
So back to my super long intro to this post. The ukulele purchase was one of the other good things that happened to us this day. Somehow having a ukulele playing in the background of your Hawaiian vacation, makes everything seem a lot more fun!
Making it up to Matsumotos for some of the best shave ice on the island is a good thing, but sitting outside eating it with a uke playing in the background, well, that's even better.
Spending a gorgeous sunny day on the beautiful Wiamea beach was a double good thing. Good that the weather had been nice two days in a row when the forecast had predicted otherwise, and double good because there really aren't very many many places that are better to spend a sunny day than on a beach with fine golden sand, and water that shade of blue.
And then if you're going to spend a perfect day on the beach, who's going to be mad about spending that time in the company of beautiful people. Like this gorgeous leggy blond. This is another double good because she's just as lovely on the inside as the out.
Okay so here's another little backstory. When we were trying to come up with names for a 3rd little boy, my mind was drawing a blank. Jeff's mind was drawing up names like Schnitzel, Adolph, Schnatterwank, and Fitzwagen. Clearly we were in trouble. And then I remembered that 3 years prior my sweet friend Carie had named her son Andrew and called him Drew. We had always liked the same things. In fact once when we went to visit them for the first time in a new apartment complex we couldn't remember which number was theirs. We kinda looked around a bit, and then when I spotted the same door mat as the one I currently had at home, I knew we had found them. I was right. So whether it's door mats or naming our children, clearly Carie and I are often on the exact same page. The good thing here is that my little Drew and the older Drew actually really enjoyed hanging out together. Another good thing was that little Avery who shares a birthday with Brynne and is one year older, well she and Brynne hit it off right away. So just one more good thing about this day at the beach is that the kids were hanging out with people that they had a LOT in common with AND they really liked them. And they're all super cute. All these good things, and then...you're enjoying them WITH a ukulele playing in the background. Even better!
Another good thing was that while it was sunny and beautiful outside, it wasn't so hot that you had to take your shirt off. I mean not that everyone COULD take their shirts off because, well we just wouldn't, but for my sons with crispy sunburned shoulders, this was definitely a super good thing.
Another good thing this day was digging. How awesome is it that whenever you go to the beach some crazy instinct kicks in in all children that gives them an unquenchable desire to dig holes?! Bonus that the sand was so soft that it was totally fine that nobody even needed a shovel. Tiny little kid hands completely did the trick!
Another good thing was that there were enough kids to delegate other important jobs to. Jobs like making a third and fourth barrier walls and little moats, so that when the tides came in, it took longer for the water to get to the said hole. Brilliant.
The third great thing about all this digging and planning and wall and moat building was that it totally worked, because before too long the hole was big enough for the bigger Drew to actually stand in and it went up to his waist. Super good right? But now, imagine all this not too hot, shirt wearing, sun shining, perfectly diggable sandy day, and you're totally loving it right? Well, not only are you doing all of this but you're doing it while listening to the waves crashing AND a ukulele softly strumming in the background. Amazing.
Okay so some people might think that the next good thing isn't really a good thing, but a bad thing. And well they're kinda right it could have been, but it wasn't. Because we decided not to let it be. I know you're dying to know what this next thing is. Maybe you already figured it out from the picture below, so fine I'll just tell you. This gorgeous beach that we drove 45 minutes to get to even though we had a perfectly perfect beach right in our back, or maybe it's our front... anyway, in our yard at the hotel, well we couldn't even swim in it! Yeah, like nobody was allowed to. Well except for the local guys who have been doing it forever, and they're pretty much pro's or maybe even wave whisperers, they were allowed in, but only if they had fins on. And they were big guys, and kinda strong. Somehow the life guards knew exactly who these people were. Me, I probably couldn't have told you who the tourists were and who the locals were if they were all laying out on their towels, but when they got out into the water, and the waves crashed, the local guys just kept popping back up, like a 20 foot wave was no big deal. And that's the only way I could tell it was okay for them to be out there. If the lifeguards had used this method, well, the ones who shouldn't have been there would be dead by the time the lifeguards figured it out, so I'm glad they were using some other method to decide who they were letting in, even if I didn't know what it was.
So how was this a good thing, this being banned from the water that we drove so long to get to? Good thing number one was that I saw some of the hugest waves I have EVER seen in my life! It was incredible! Good thing number two is that the locals who WERE allowed in the water, were only the ones who actually knew what to do with waves this big, ride them. That was also super cool to watch. The other good thing was that it gave us plenty of time to enjoy lots of other good things while on this perfect little stretch of land.
Enjoying a fun game of frisbee in a lush little paradise
Or just hanging out in a hole you dug with your own two hands, yet another good thing there was plenty of time for. But being able to soak up the sun, entertain those around you, playing a fun game and taking work calls all while a ukulele plays in the background...
While the kids dug and played frisbee, Jeff watched a few videos on his phone, Mark got in a nap, Carie, Hailey and I read our books with our toes in the sand while Wes strummed away. All perfectly good things.
We took pictures and videos of the waves, and were really grateful that we weren't stupid. Like the mom who let her 10 year old daughter go out into the water up to her knees even though the life guards were constantly letting us know through a VERY loud speaker system that all children should not only stay out of the water, but even off the wet sand. The stupid lady let her daughter go out anyways. Well a wave came in and knocked the girl right over seconds after the life guards had said for the third time that the little girl in the blue suit needed to get out of the water, and she was the only kid anywhere near the water so it was clearly her, and she was clearly not listening, Then the mom went to grab the girl and she got knocked over, and then they were both being pulled out into the water, and luckily the lifeguards could tell the lady was just plain dumb and not going to make her kid get out, so they had already sent an ATV with two guards over to where the lady and the girl were . They got there just in time to grab the lady and her daughter and drive them up out of the way just before they were dragged further out and another ginormous wave came crashing in. So yeah, another good thing this day, was that we were totally glad we aren't stupid.
I'm glad my kids like to be around me. We enjoy hanging out together and they constantly have me laughing. There was plenty of that going on at the beach, and that was another good thing. Except when Garrett decided not to hold up half of his weight with his arms, but to crush me instead, and then Brynne started bouncing, and this was right after she had burried my up almost to my nether-parts in sand, and some of it had gotten onto my back and was now digging into my skin with the weight of two kids and one of them had just quite proudly, grown taller than me...yeah, that part wasn't so good, but hey at least there was a ukulele playing in the background!
It had been such a great day filled with so many good things, even the sunset looked awesome through the clouds, but the kids were getting hungry and as much as Carie and I had tried to stall them or figure out a way to send them off to dinner all crammed into one car without us, it wasn't happening. So we finally packed it up and started heading toward home for another really good thing. Dinner at Dukes!
The clouds grew dark, heavy and low as the sun set, and we all thought it was another good thing that those clouds had held off getting all mopey like that until our perfect beach day was over. It was also nice of them to still make room for us to see that last sliver of golden sunset as we drove along H2 while still listening to the ukulele play. It made for a lovely view on our ride back.
First of all the location was a good thing. Right on the beach, and we had to come through all the shops along the road to get there and that's always a good thing in my book!
Another super duper fantastically good thing was that there was plenty of room for us in their outdoor dining. Because as wonderfully well behaved as we'd like to think our children are, the truth is that when there are 8 kids and 4 adults, the adults are seriously outnumbered and the kids know this. This is not necessarily a good thing.
But when there's outdoor dining and the waves are crashing and the music from somewhere just inside is difting out to where we sit, the noises of our children laughing and talking and teasing, kind of blend in with everything else, and we can continue to think our children are wonderfully behaved. This is a good thing.
Sure there are lots of things that aren't such good things, but if you look a little closer you can usually find the good parts of all the things in life. Today was just one of those days that didn't need a closer look. Today the good things came in abundance and with a ukulele, and those are just two more good things!