IMR: Entries: 2001: June: 12 — Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Good Things

My office is usually conservative with holidays, but I did get Monday off for Kamehameha Day.

 [ Click thumbnail for full-size image. ]
Katie on her favorite zoo landmark, the concrete hippos. I love this photo.
[ Click thumbnail for full-size image. ]
The potbellied pig in the children's petting zoo.
[ Click thumbnail for full-size image. ]
Katie gets to know a guinea pig named "Kiwi."
[ Click thumbnail for full-size image. ]
At Stadium Park, Katie braved the hot sand for fun.
[ Click thumbnail for full-size image. ]
Katie digs in the sand at Magic Island.
[ Click thumbnail for full-size image. ]
Building "sandcastles" (sand bumps) and digging holes.
[ Click thumbnail for full-size image. ]
Mauka showers bring a rainbow over Honolulu.
Even though, as usual, Jen worked on Saturday and Sunday, the long weekend provided another great opportunity to do the family thing. I specifically want to maximize Katie-brand fun. Since the day ended with Katie snoring and with me mildy achy and lightly sunburned, I have to claim success.

Since I was up until 3 a.m. the night before thinking heavy thoughts, I slept in. Miraculously, so did the girls, and not one of us stirred until nearly 9 a.m. We lounged around, nibbled on a poor excuse for breakfast, and mused about the day to come. Katie was to control the itinerary, and her first wish was to go to the zoo.

So we did. We braved the swarm of humanity that was Waikiki, found a parking space within half an hour, renewed our "Family Pass" ($25 a year for unlimited admission for three), and let Katie loose at the gate.

After greeting the flamingoes, she headed instinctively for the climbable concrete sculpture of hippopotami (yes, it's a real word) in the Diamond Head corner of the grounds. (Of all the world's magnificent creatures that were on display, it only figured that my daughter's favorites weren't even alive.) She would have climbed on them all day, if we didn't eventually pull her off.

We checked in with the baby spider monkeys, listened to a snippet of a guide presentation on the huge orangutang, walked through the herpetorium twice, saw the girraffes up close and personal, and soon arrived at the children's zoo.

It was the first time Katie had been there when they weren't in the process of closing it down, and it was bustling with activity. Kids everywhere, and the odd roaming animal. Katie got to pet a goat, a potbellied pig, and a guinea pig named "Kiwi." There were friendly zoo guides there with many tales to tell (stopping occasionally to keep kids from molesting the pig, or feeding him leaves). Katie was especially entertained by the frequent exclaimations coming from the rooster pen.

We walked around some more, generally at random, and soon found ourselves back at the gate. We asked Katie what else she wanted to do — hinting strongly that the correct answer would be "lunch" — but she decisively chose going to the park.

So we did. Well, after bumping into my calabash cousin Joy and her new husband Darrin, whose wedding the day before we didn't attend, in the parking lot. (Note to self: Send nice gift.)

We went to Stadium Park, which Katie hadn't visited for a while. She insisted on taking off her shoes, then found herself dancing here and there because of the hot sand and hot playground equipment. She tried every slide, and climbed everything she could (including some we didn't think she could), and laughed at the antics of the other children around.

Her favorite part of this particular stop was playing with the old cotton hat my mom had given her over the weekend. She'd throw it down the tall spiral slide, then go after it, then climb the ladder with it in hand to repeat indefinitely.

Eventually, hunger got the best of all of us — almost suddenly Katie was starving, and her next command was to hit McDonald's.

So we did. Katie snarfed down an entire cheeseburger inside of ten minutes.

Jen and I took over the itinerary for the next leg, declaring that we would stop at home for a nap. Katie wasn't thrilled, but conceded, and we all bundled into bed.

Only Jen passed out. Getting perhaps too much sun, she got a headache, and sadly passed on the rest of the day's adventures.

So it was just Katie and I. And there was only one thing left that would cap off the perfect Katie day: the beach. While Jen's original suggestion was that we hit the shore at Waimanalo, given our smaller party we settled for good ol' Magic Island.

Even though I turned too sharply in pulling out of my parking stall — lightly scraping the wheelwell of my new van on a concrete pillar — and even though we had to circle for ages in the packed parking lot, we were almost instantly having fun. Katie ran the whole way across the park, chasing birds along the way, and stripped down to her bathing suit the instant we reached the beach. No hesitation this time... she was in the water in a blink, demanding that I join her.

So I did. And we played. We splashed, played chase, collected rocks, and dug holes and built lumps (i.e. sandcastles) in the sand. She shuttled water in her bucket for no good reason, stumbling once and ending up with a faceful of sand, but she barely missed a beat.

Before I knew it, it was almost seven. The sun was going down, and we'd been at the beach for almost two hours. With rain clouds looming over the mountains (bringing a beautiful sunset rainbow), we reluctantly headed home, stopping along the way at the grocery store to pick up stuff for dinner.

I cooked beef tofu for Katie and a well-rested Jen, we feasted, bathed, read a few books, tickled each other for a while, then drifted off to sleep. A busy but wonderful, simple but life-affirming day.


We've had some magnificent rainbows lately, but I always seem to be driving. Argh! Anyway -- two beautiful shots in one. A rainbow and Katie, the cutie.
Denise (June 13, 2001 11:26 AM)

She's growing up fast it must seem, she's very cute, I always liked that spot at the zoo to ;) ~ Sheets ~
Sheets (June 26, 2001 10:58 PM)

E kala mai! Comments have been disabled due to overwhelming abuse by spammers. Please click through to any of the video hosting services linked above to leave a public response, or feel free to send an e-mail. Mahalo!

© 1997-2008 Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: [ PGP ] · Created: 13 November 1997 · Last Modified: 14 January 2008