Living in a Small Town
I grew up in Riverside, Connecticut which was part of Greenwich -- as was Old Greenwich which bordered our small town. Riverside had no town, so the town we "hung around at" was Old Greenwich. The main thing about Old Greenwich was the beach, and you had to be a resident of the township of Greenwich to get on the beach, which is called Greenwich Point (even though it is in Old Greenwich). In the summer, the beach was packed, and the greyish sand and not so blue Long Island Sound were a real treat for us. In the winter, the beach was a great place to walk your dog (who was not allowed in the summer).
In 1971 I moved to Hawai'i and while I loved the beach on the Sound, I could never go back there and consider it a treat. Now I live in the small town of Kailua -- our beach is even closer to my home than the Old Greenwich beach was to my house in Riverside -- and it is three times as long, beautiful white sand bordering on a blue green ocean that still knocks me out every time I see it.
You don't have to be a resident of anywhere in particular to go to Kailua or Lanikai beaches (or any other beach in Hawaii for that matter) because the beaches are wisely protected to the high water mark for the general public.
The other day I was driving through Kailua to do my banking, get an orange juice at Lanikai Juice, and mail some of our wonderful Lanikai products at the post offices to some lucky folks in Massachusetts. It struck me that Kailua was a bit like Old Greenwich in its small townish-ness, not because of the way it looks but because of the way it felt on an early morning with not a lot of traffic. It's easy for me to get around, I feel like I belong here and I really don't want to go anywhere else. That's the thing about small towns. Kailua is and always has been one of Hawaii's only real "small towns." I hope it stays that way.