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Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park

September 4, 2008

Gather round, kiddies, and I’ll tell yas what it used to be like back in my day. My grandparents had an old beachhouse in central Myrtle Beach that was built by my great grandfather, the savings and loan tycoon of Lancaster, SC. It was a pretty modest affair, a one-story, three bedroom cottage with sandy tile floors and a rickety wooden screened in porch. No ac. Across the road from the beach. That is, until the cancerous growth of beachfront hotels and condos rendered the ocean view and the beachhouse itself (demolished for a parking lot) obsolete. The grandparents received a newer, larger, more modern beachhouse further up the beach, in a more secluded area. We went there a few times later in our childhood, but it just wasn’t the same. In the aftermath of cleaning up from Hurricane Hugo, the grandparents decided the beachhouse wasn’t worth the maintenance hassle, and sold it.

There were quite a few happy rituals for us kiddies that were tied up with the summer trips to the beach. One of which was a trip to the local water slide park. I’m sure that place is a Walmart or something now, but at the time it was five slides of sheer awesomeness. The slides all had the same basic layout: winding halfpipes of varying degrees of speed and excitement. You went down on a rubbery blue mat. Simple stuff, a joke by today’s standards. Not much more than a glorified slip-n-slide. But I couldn’t get enough.

Since then, the only water park I had been to was Toshima-en, in Tokyo. Which was pretty decent, for a crowded Japanese theme park.

A few weeks ago, I took Taiyo to Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. I had a met a guy in our local park who claimed to take his boy there once every two weeks. I found that ludicrous at the time, and after our day trip, I still found it ludicrous. However, I could see maybe once a month. It is a very well-designed park (and not just for Hawaii). A couple of keiki zones for the smaller kids like Taiyo. And a slew of slippery sluices for the bigger kids. Made the mistake of trying one of those with Taiyo (who doesn’t swim) and took a dive underwater in the landing pool. Taiyo wasn’t happy about that. But two minutes later he was back in the keiki zone with a big grin on his face. Maybe next time we’ll spring for the year pass.

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