Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kolekole Beach Park.

On our way to Akaka Falls, Bill noticed a small sign on the side of the road for Kolekole Park. "Let's check it out," he said as he pulled off the main highway and onto a much smaller road.

As we made our way slowly down the unknown road, it felt like we might be swallowed up by the jungle. We had no idea where we were going but I didn't really care. To me, feeling dwarfed by nature is always worth the trip.

When we emerged at the park, we knew we had found a treasure.

On one side of the park (under the highway) is the ocean which feeds into Kolekole Stream. The fresh water stream is shallow and rocky in some places (great for climbing around and exploring) but deep enough in other places for swimming (or jumping in with the rope swing!). There were even a few people fishing. On the far side of the main stream, Ka Ľahakini Stream feeds in with a beautiful little waterfall. Throughout the day we saw people exploring the waterfall (climbing all over and even behind it!) but since only the boys had swimsuits (go figure), we'll have to go back for that another day.

My favorite thing about Kolekole Beach Park was that it instantly turned Liam into a fearless explorer. As soon as he saw the stream, he tore off his shirt and started jumping on rocks, determined to get across to the other side.   

You remember Liam, right? My easily intimidated, indoor kid who would just as soon wait in the car and do NOTHING than jump in some random stream. Even if the stream was filled with chocolate milk I still imagine him just taking a pass like, "Nah, I'm good. I'll be in the car doing nothing if you need me..." But that Liam is looooong gone. 

New Liam doesn't even stop to find out if anyone has noticed he's in the stream. He's just IN THE STREAM swimming across to see if he can reach the vine he spotted hanging off a tree.

New Liam freaks me out a little. We finally found a way to drag him out of the stream and got on with our trip to Akaka Falls. But as soon as we were done he was begging to go back. "Please!? It's my favorite place in the WHOLE WORLD!!!" How could we argue with that?

The tide had risen since we had left so the rocks in the stream were underwater and the current was much stronger. Thankfully Liam found something new to challenge himself with so he wasn't too disappointed that I wouldn't let him swim to the waterfall by himself (what?!).

The waves were intense. I had no desire to get any closer than I had to and since Finn perfectly happy to watch from the sidelines (phew!), we hung out on the rocks that were still dry. But not Liam. Even when the tide started coming in and Bill and I got nervous, he refused to budge. And since it was his FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD, we did what we had to do.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I can't wait to see this kid climb that waterfall...

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