I loved our pool.
Michael and I were a little anxious because we had two kids who couldn't swim on their own, but I had arranged to rent an area gate (meant to make a little pen) and we used that to form a little barrier around the pool. (Along with most of the lounge chairs.) So, while we never left the kids outside alone, the gate at least kept Bennett from constantly having access to the pool. We could still sit around and let him wander with little concern.
As for June, she LOVED being in the water, but wasn't really interested in venturing past the first two steps. All she wanted to do was chill there and pretend to be a mermaid. We didn't know what to do...try to push her to practice swimming more? Or just let her stay in her comfort zone? But I wanted this trip to have happy memories, nothing but happy ones, not ones where she was crying and constantly being forced to push her limit, so we just let her do her thing.
We all spent lots of time around the pool, enjoying drinks and the sound of the ocean.
JusJust down the sea wall path was our little lagoon. It was perfect for our family. It was calm water, protected from big waves and currents by a natural wall of lava rocks.
We all wore water shoes because the sand was very coarse and there were bits of shell and rock everywhere, and in the lagoon there were plenty of large rocks under the water. They worked out so well, and now I'm wishing I had gotten a picture of all of our little water shoes, including Bennett's tiny ones.
The water was warm and comfortable
The Tide Pools
Of course, in the ideal world, we would have found a house to rent right on a white, sandy beach. But white, sandy beaches are a little rare on the Big Island (though not altogether missing! There are a few that are considered some of the nicest in the US!), so we picked a house right on a lava rock beach that was a short walk down to a little lagoon.
The lava rocks right behind our house were a source of entertainment on their own, though. There were little tide pools we checked out, with all sorts of sea creatures living there and the water washing in and out.
Just a short walk down the sea wall path gave us an awesome view of the sunset - and a really cool little blowhole-like structure.