Sunday… a day of rest. It was, at least for the most part. Mike had promised Casey breakfast at a restaurant instead of at the condo so we all threw our suits on just in case we felt like heading to the beach afterwards. We had an awesome breakfast at Hanalei Bread Co. and of course went up the road a bit further to see another beach. Lumahai Beach is yet another beach one would hike to, but this slice of heaven was much easier to get to on foot than yesterday’s. That’s because this small hike had some man made steps that were put in by the crew of the famous 1958 film South Pacific. In fact, Lumahai Beach is where Mitzi Gaynor “washed that man right of her hair!!” I know that movie reference now because we watched the iconic movie just the other night. We have been fascinated with how many movies have been filmed here on Kauai, including Jurassic Park, The Descendants, Blue Hawaii, and Lord of the Flies, just to name a few. We are slowly trying to work our way through them during our stay.
Anyway, it’s easy to see why movie directors choose places like Lumahai Beach. It really is a fantastic and gorgeous beach. Water that’s clear as a bell. Lots of sand. Not crowded. Beautiful cliffs to jump off of. Yes, I just said that. After seeing her brother and dad jump off a 15 foot cliff into a churning well of Pacific waves, she decided she had to do it too. She hiked her little tail to the top and even though she was really scared, I could tell she wasn’t leaving without jumping off. I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack. I was terrified for her and still can’t believe I let her jump. The original plan was for her to jump with Mike while Dan stayed in the water close by with fins on for support. Before the 1-2-3 count, she asked Mike for a hug, and I thought to myself, this is it. This will be the last sweet thing she does before plunging to her death. They started to jump, but she got scared and backed away, just as I feared she would. Meanwhile, Michael was already committed and had to go for it. I grabbed her and pulled her back while he went in, sure that I could get her back to the sand after that. But no… she whined again and would not budge. Fortunately, a very kind and strong stranger offered to jump with her. This was just what she needed. She walked right up to the edge holding his hand, then he grabbed her and quickly said “Let’s Go” before she could even think about changing her mind. I think the whole experience took about three years off my life. But I sure am proud of that little stinker. She is tough as nails.
The one who started it all.
Of course, I had to jump once Casey did.
Actually, that is not the first time I have been terrified on this trip. Back in Waikiki, Dan and I snuck away to the beach one afternoon so that he could snorkel. It was too crowded and therefore too cloudy in the water so he took his fins off and said he was just going in to play around in the water. I told him to check back in with me in about 20 minutes, since it was pretty much impossible for me to keep an eye on him with all the other people around. He is almost 16 and an excellent swimmer, so I wasn’t too worried, but you never know what can happen in an ocean. Of course, 20 minutes came and went with no Dan checking in. I stop reading my book and start heading out into the water looking for him. There are some man made breakers in the water basically making a box around the shore and I search every head within the breakers (thinking there is no way he would have gone beyond them or on either side.) No sign of him. 30 minutes have now gone by. 40 minutes, 20 of those were spent searching for him. Nothing. I look back on the shore and see that the lifeguards have gone home. Now I’m starting to panic. I am literally in tears thinking he has drowned when I see him running up to our towel along the shore to “check in”. “Sorry, Mom. I am over on the other side of that breaker behind that big catamaran along the shore. I forgot to check in so I’m doing it now.” It’s ok, honey. I’ve only been thinking you were dead for twenty minutes or so. (No, I did not say that. I just smiled and acted cool. But another 3 years of my life were taken off and now I need a drink.)
I was also full of fear navigating Casey down the harrowing hike yesterday to Hideaway Beach. And a little nervous yet again waiting for Mike to come down after he had dropped us off. (He ended up parking far away so it took quite a while for him to get down to the beach.) This seems to be a trend on this trip. We get into a situation and my imagination starts going into overdrive, capable of coming up with an infinite number of potential disasters that could be unfolding at that very moment. I really need to work on that. Of course, it doesn’t help that we are new to an island chock full of dangerous nooks and crannies surrounded by an immense ocean, and I have two kids who are adventurous and somewhat fearless. I know that can be a really good thing. But this mama’s heart can only take so much.
Tomorrow, we pack up and head South to Poipu. We are excited to see what the other side of the island is like. But I have to admit, I am starting to see what all the buzz is about the North Shore of Kauai. We thought this trip might quench our thirst for beach life. It has only made us want to spend more time here exploring. We absolutely will have to find a way to come back here.