We heard from a reliable source, confirmed by guidebooks, that Lanikai Beach, on the windward side of Oahu, was an ideal place to take kids swimming because the water is extremely calm. And it’s beautiful (although I didn’t find a beach in Hawaii that wasn’t). So one day we headed there, probably later than we should have because everything we do takes longer than we think it’s going to, and on vacation is no exception.

We weren’t sure exactly where it was except that it is near Kailua Beach, which has changing facilities (and Lanikai doesn’t). So we went to Kailua and suited up and set out in search of Lanikai. It turns out that Lanikai is only accessible through tiny paths between people’s houses in a residential neighborhood. It’s not technically a park, just an expanse of sand that is so narrow as to be completely underwater in some places. We ventured down one path. It led to rocks, no beach. We ventured down another path. There was a concrete barrier of sorts and two kids banging coconuts on rocks. We thought we must be in the wrong place. It turns out that there are many such little paths and I guess you have to find the right one that leads to the expanse of beach you can actually walk and swim on. But we didn’t.

At this point it was late afternoon, so we were closing in on sunset and desperately wanted a little playtime somewhere. So we headed back toward Kailua and stopped at the first parking lot we could find and raced down to the shore. We decided it was a little too overcast and chilly to swim, but we played in the sand and dipped our toes in the water.

I was disappointed that we hadn’t been able to play at the magical beach, but Zoe was having so much fun she absolutely didn’t care. I am working hard to model my attitude after hers in this way. She is very flexible. She’s often saying to me, “It’s ok, Mommy. Don’t worry about it.”

So I was taking pictures of the scenery and asking Zoe to act out various emotions, as in, “pretend it’s your birthday and someone just gave you the best present ever,” or “pretend you are trying to sneak away from someone.” Then she gave Randy similar instructions. We laughed and played until it was so dark we couldn’t see the ocean at all.