Today I woke up with a challenge in mind- – to make the ordinary extraordinary.
We started our day with a surf session celebrating the fact that papa is all healed and has the green light to surf once again. Anxiously we suited up, applying sunscreen in between sips of coffee and steaming Lipton tea. Our little man was excited as evidenced by his “Surf” pose and sound effects; squatting while throwing both hands out to the sides as if mimicking his best surf pose. As his jazz hands fly outward he rustles up a great big “Ufff” translation: “Surf”!
We raced down the stairwell chasing our own shadows and landed on cool cement passing the early risers as we headed down to the water. With Harper propped up on my shoulders and papa in front carrying both our boards atop his head, I grinned knowing that today was going to be a good day- – an extraordinary day.
The water was cool, the waves were welcoming and turtles swam within sight. We surfed side by side laughing as Harper grows braver with each wave, testing his balance and beginning to stand up on his own. He laughs as he looks over at me and smiles as he waves his hands out to the side for stability. At the end of the wave he wants to give high fives and “knuckles” to anyone who passes by. He claps for fellow surfers and dances to his own music perched on papa’s back as if riding a bull.
Sufficiently salty and famished we headed back in for breakfast. Pesto eggs, french toast and sliced strawberries. A “weekend” meal on a Wednesday…something a little special, a little extraordinary. After breakfast it was time to head back out and with no plan other than make it memorable I loaded up the stroller and hit the streets.
Following the flurry of tourists bustling down the sidewalk we made our way to our favorite pier. As we walked the sandy pavement, the stroller slipping and turning against the grit, we stopped to admire a school of fish swimming close to the surface. Excited by our presence, expecting a meal they bobbed their heads up and down, greeting us and luring us into the water. Harper squealed with delight as one of the bigger fish grew impatient and lurched out of the water up towards our empty hands.
We sat and watched at the edge of the pier as bodyboarders caught waves and raced towards us. It’s exciting to watch these dare devils brave the rushing waves crashing right below us against a rocky pier. They dodge impalement by what seems like seconds and Harper offers an encouraging clap for each wave that passes.
After all that hard work playing spectator we decided it was time for a snack and then an idea was born. How many snacks could we get for free on the streets of Waikiki?
Our first stop was the Honolulu Cookie Company. As if the giant displays and banners of chocolate dipped short bread cookies wasn’t enough to lure you in, the free samples almost always seal the deal. I’ve been known to stop in on my way home from work and sample a few of the “new” flavors. Of course they aren’t new when you stop in almost every single day but that’s what you get for putting free cookies in front of your glass windows.
And so we sampled, and sampled and then sampled some more. Normally it isn’t so awkward stuffing your face with free cookie bits because there are a dozen other tourists alongside you…today it was just me and Harper. He’s cute though so we got away with it. We tried every bin I think twice, and the coconut dipped in white chocolate…well that one I hit up three times and might have snuck an extra in my pocket for an emergency. *Hint they are my FAVORITE!!! DROOL NOM NOM OMG*
Well that adventure was pretty awesome so we continued to roll with the free sample challenge. As we crossed the street I saw yet another beacon of temptation- – Yogurtland.
The mecca of flavored yogurts and self toppings, my holy grail of desserts! What’s even more special is the fact that each person gets up to three sample cups each time they walk in. Three cups each, two people…6 flavors to try!
We hit up Mango, Pinacolada/Mango, Strawberry Lemonade, Salted Caramel, Coconut and Dark Chocolate.
It was delicious. So delicious Harper tried to eat his cup.
Feeling pretty sugar loaded and successful at our free snacks challenge we decided to go a different route and stop at everything we usually pass right by. Our first stop was a good one.
We stayed for nearly 20 minutes flipping through pages of artwork. We talked about colors, flowers, stars and the moon, boats and tiny shacks built at the foot of water falls. It was fun, it was educational and we even got to meet the artist. Sticky, plump baby hands joined with the skilled, wrinkled and kind hands behind all this fence art. He was funny, he talked colors and technique and told me I had a smart boy. I smiled, agreed and asked about his work. We left feeling silly we had never stopped to chat before.
Headed home we were chased inside by “monkeys in trees” and into one of our favorite stops – -the Pacific Beach where a large aquarium looms over a stinky, fish smelling restaurant. Obviously we don’t stop to sample the alluring fragrance (gag) but more for the floor to ceiling display of fish, stingrays and if we’re lucky mermaid divers!
Follow the fish carpet and you will find…
Your own private aquarium (between dining hours).
We come here quite a bit and are starting to recognize some of the same hostesses and wait staff. Everyone is always friendly and excited as if Harper’s enthusiasm for the FISH FISH ignites some youthful reminder that this is really cool.
And it is. And today was. It was extraordinary. Mission accomplished.