On our way back to Waikiki from the Polynesian Cultural Center, my travel companion and I stopped at Kokololio Beach Park, 30 miles and a world away from the most famous beach on the planet.
Though we could see a couple of other people on the beach, they were hundreds of feet from us, and the park felt nearly undiscovered. Trees separate it from the sight and sounds of King Kamehameha Highway a few yards away.
Not a ship spoils the intimacy of the nose-rub between the indigo waters and the periwinkle sky.
No snack shacks and sundry shops salt the boardwalk it doesn’t have.
No lotion bottles and pastel blankets blemish its sand.
No beach balls or rubber rafts litter its waters.
Unburdened by the people and plastics that pepper what usually passes for paradise, the beach felt like she welcomed her visitors. As my feet sank into the soft sand, her incoming waves tugged at my ankles, like warm mittened fingers.
Since we faced eastward, we couldn’t see it, but we knew that the sun was setting on our last day in Hawaii. And though the beach felt ante-lapsarian, staying till dark in an unknown area didn’t seem smart for two tourists alone, and so we left, more sated than sorrowful.
All in all we had only about 15 minutes at Kokololio, but they made one of the best quarter-hours of our five-day trip. In these days of facebook, twitter, and YouTube, it’s easy to get one’s promised 15 minutes of fame many times over. Fifteen minutes alone is much more rare, and much more rewarding.
Leslie Carbone is a former Cabinet speechwriter who’s having much more fun as a lifestyle blogger.