Summer staycation

September 25th, 2013
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Summer's come and gone, and we did not take any family trips. We decided to take a mini vacation in Waikiki one weekend.

I really enjoy staycations. I know it doesn't sound that interesting to vacation where you live, but it really can be.

For one, it's nice to be at a place where you're forced to be together and not tempted to do chores or other tasks. When I spend time at home on a weekend, I try to clean up, cook, pay bills, and do all the domestic things I ignore over the week.

Olivia will go outside and play with the neighbor kids, and Claus will go do some exercise.

But on a vacation, we all have to do the same thing. The forced togetherness is nice. Well, at least for now. I hear it's a whole different story when they're teens.

The adults also felt we got to rest our brains. I love that the hardest decision was were to eat at night.

At night, we walked the streets of Waikiki, taking in a different flavor of the town. We finally got to try Japengo in Hyatt Regency (thumbs up!) on the first night. On the next, we walked to King's Village for dinner and to stroll around the shops on one night. Did you know there's a farmer's market on Saturday nights? I haven't walked around King's Village since I was a kid.

By day, we swam in the ocean, towing Olivia out on a boogie board while we got in a little exercise and fish-viewing. I was lucky enough to swim over a huge turtle. (Which is always panic-making for the first second, particularly when there's been all these reports of shark attacks in Hawaii.)

I love when I can see the fish. The ocean floor looks pretty bad just offshore of Waikiki, but there are still a few spots here and there around half-dead coral heads where a dozen or so fish will gather for safety.

Closer to shore, there is a school of akule that I like to find and swim among. They're all silvery and skittish and beautiful, and it reminds me of the cartoon Finding Nemo.

I consider it a great day if I can see sea life in its natural habitat. We would spend an hour in the water, and by the end of this quick vacation, Olivia's ocean confidence had increased to where she enjoyed swimming on her own (instead of on the board or clinging to us.)

I like that she also got to see the way fish really live - not artificially populated in an aquarium. Perhaps it might inspire the budding environmentalist in her.

To think: people save up their entire lives to have their dream vacation in Hawaii, and we live right here. How lucky is that?!

4 Responses to “Summer staycation”

  1. M:

    Hello Diane,

    That is just what I need, a staycation!


  2. Gale:

    Glad you all had a lovely time! There was a photo of an akule school called a bait ball, yesterday! Wow, if you saw one of those, as you mention so casually, it is supposed to be one of the most beautiful sights in the ocean!

    I like your perspective about people saving up their entire lives to come here for a dream vacation, and we already live here! When we honeymooned on the Big Island, it was pretty darn special! We started out at Volcano House, and oh to wake up and be right there looking at the caldera was really something. So beautiful! The Royal Waikoloan had just opened, and was all alone in Waikoloa, and Anaehoomalu Bay was so pristine and incredible. And I was the only person swimming in it! i don't know where my husband was as he used to love the water then too. Maybe warming up in the sun first. We went to walk the petroglyph trails both there and elsewhere. Then, moved to Kona and went to eat at my then favorite restaurants there. Seafood at Huggo's sitting looking into the water. I remember that we did not look out, but down, where it was lit beneath us. The Kona air can feel heavenly.

    Among my friends, I was one of the few who never lost touch with Waikiki. My daughter and I went there often. Near daily to eat and play, until late 2011. It was really a part of our Hawaii. But, on Saturday, 2 years later, hunting for a new phone cover, our friend steered us to a store in Waikiki so we went there, only to find that our $1 parking secret was now $8, and on Beachwalk, all the tourists were hurrying along walking with determination, and it felt so alien, like I could have been anywhere else in the World. So, I am happy to hear that you had a great time and that it is still Olivia's playground. There is hope!


  3. kuunakanaka:

    aloha Diane:

    nothing wrong w/ staycations. we do it all the time during fall and spring breaks. we have not gone to the mainland yet.


  4. sandy:

    Enjoyed reading about your staycation as we do it as often as possible here on the Big Island; visitors coming here give us every reason to explore our own island/state and you are correct in saying that we are lucky to live here. Definitely, everyone does the same thing; "forced togetherness" which I find helps to build memorable experiences for the entire family. Believe me, your kids will remember these times spent with you and also try to carry out that legacy with their own families. We are just glad that we have the means to do it with them!


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