I cannot seem to say the words “in summer” without singing them while imagining Olaf the snowman from the disney movie Frozen lying on a beach with sunglasses and a cocktail! Have my kids irreversibly damaged my image of summer!!!! Nah, it puts a smile on my face every time!
We have had a really – and by really I mean REEEEEEAAALLLLLY good summer so far. We went to Hawaii, pinch, yep it did actually happen, it has already been over 2 weeks since we got back! Yes I am a bit go of a blogger boob, but hey the best summer is one spent offline, isn’t it?
So Hawaii, do you really want to know what it was like? Do you? Does it live up to the paradise cliche? Is it as fantastic as those holiday brochures make it out to be! I hate to break it to you, it is! Well, let’s put it this way, it is as close to the cliched image of paradise in my head as I have ever seen! It was also my first ever holiday on American soil and I have to say, I want to come to the USA! The people are amazing, and people do make a place so they say, whoever they are.
We only went to one of the islands, the island of Oahu, which is the most densely populated of the Hawaiian islands, and is where the capital Honolulu is, as well as the famous Waikiki beach. We didn’t stay at Waikiki though cause it not my kind of thing, I am not a beachy person (I know what you are thinking Hawaii = beach crazy lady) but there is so much more to Hawaii than just lying on a beach. Of course if that type of thing floats your boat you have a slice of beach paradise for sure! We visited Waikiki and it was PACKED! We actually chose Oahu because it was a direct flight from Tokyo, which with two kids under 6 is a little bit of a blessing. I needn’t have worried though cause the kids were great on the flight, I find the more we travel with them the easier it gets. I have a habit of talking about the flight as part of the journey, I am no stranger to complaining to my better half and saying if someone put me on a plane by myself and I got to sit there and watch movies, read books and get fed I would probably not want to get off! I don’t really like flying though, I don’t think many people do to be fair, but if you are nervous your kids will be nervous so a little bit of lying to yourself here goes a long way! However, next time I go to Hawaii (yes I am already planning/daydreaming in my head) I will definitely explore another few islands cause these kiddos will be fine!
The only downside, the jet lag! I hate jet lag, but jet lag with kids can be torture! Since getting to Tokyo and having jet lag wherever I seem to go though I am getting used to it! The first two days suck and it helps to be in a hotel that has 24hr room service cause the kids without a doubt will wake up two nights in a row at around 2 am and be starving! It took us about 5 days this time to get ourselves sorted but if you keep calm and manage your own expectations it isn’t that bad, the poor little night owls cannot help it!
We rented a car while on the island, my first time ever driving a Dodge and I have to admit I felt rather cool. I don’t think we would have enjoyed the holiday as much without a car, we got to travel around the entire island and stop to take photos, have lunch, walk, swim in the sea. I always like to travel by car with the kids, I find it easier on them as you can do things at your own pace and on your own terms and nowadays its easy to rent car seats with the car. Then all you need is a limitless supply of snacks, drinks, books, stickers, patience and iPad battery power.
After our 10 days in Hawaii, we then had to fly back to Tokyo for 24hrs, yep you saw that right 24hrs! I did the washing and the re-packing, the hubbie got to fit in a 14hr work day, Lisa got to destroy Lego, Deon got to destroy plants and zombies on the xbox for way too many hours and then we were on another big airplane flying 12 and a half hours in the other direction with 8 hours time difference. I know, it was painful just to type that. This time I was nervous cause with all the jet lag and tiredness we didn’t really have an idea of what day it was or if it was night or day, but this flight went even better and when leaving the aircraft the air hostess asked me to please write a book on flying with kids cause she would buy it! So I left that flight with a big mommy head and big smile on my face, which lasted until 2am when I had to get up and cook “lunch”. In hindsight though I think it went well cause we were all just too tired to cause any trouble.
Once on english soil of course it was granny to the rescue and the immediate feeling of relaxation sunk in. One week in London and then we were off to North Devon. I am still editing the Devon photos and then I will tell ya all about that trip! It was an eye opener for me and now I want to explore more of the UK!
Happy travels everyone! May the kids sleep in, may they find new ways to keep themselves entertained, may they eat foreign foods without looking or sounding like they are being tortured, may they not complain every five minutes of every city or countryside walk, may their sense of wonder keep them smiling and full of curiosity!