For all of its flaws and hassles, there is one aspect of living in Hawaii that I cannot deny is fabulous: being in such close proximity to so many lovely beaches. There are perfectly manicured resort beaches; wide-open beaches with an endless, wide swath of sand; wild beaches with rocky shorelines and coral bottoms, perfect for exploring with a snorkel; tiny alcoves of sand tucked back into the cliffs, where the water gently laps the shore; and steep shorelines with massive waves crashing against the sand.
I recently decided to swing by a beach just a few minutes from our home. Nimitz Beach will never make the tourist guide: it is a bit rocky, there are abandoned WWII pillboxes littering the shore, and the surf break is lousy, but it is quiet and still and lovely. Generally, I have this beach to myself, occasionally running into a lone fisherman or a photographer with a family clad in matching outfits. On this day, I wasn't wanting to swim--I just wanted to walk the shore, enjoying the sound of the surf crashing against the beach, and take in the sights and textures.