Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hawaii ~ Building Sandcastles


Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”
― Walt Whitman

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Lagoon at KoOlina Resort - O'ahu
As they passed me on the sidewalk yesterday I overheard the little girl clad in a swim suit and sun hat, carrying her plastic bucket and shovel, say to her mother, “Today. . .I am building a sandcastle!”

Her ‘to do’ list was done for her day. She was heading to one of the four lagoons at KoOlina the resort on the west coast of O’ahu where we are living our month-long winter timeshare life. Her list was a bit longer than mine. I had nothing in mind ‘to do’ at all. And yet, we were both looking forward to our day’s activities.

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End of the road - Yokohama Beach - O'ahu
Our visits to Hawaii weren’t always like this. Back in our work-a-day world we were lucky to squeeze in a 10-day visit to this Pacific paradise. Once here we’d zip back and forth across the island trying to sample as many restaurants, walk as many beaches and see many tourist attractions as was possible. We’d go home needing a rest from the vacation.

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Slope along O'ahu's Wai'anae Mountain range
We’ve reached a point in life where we don’t need to cram as much in as we can to our days – no matter where we are. We've allowed ourselves more time in the places we travel to (an advantage of retirement and its savings) which gives a new feeling to our nomadic lifestyle. Taking a nap, reading a book, watching ocean waves. . .things we’d probably describe as ‘doing nothing’ if someone were to ask, are becoming our norm.

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Monk Seal - Kauai
Maybe as we’ve settled into these ‘boomer years’ we’ve recognized that we aren’t going to check off every destination on our travel bucket list nor will we cross off every ‘must do and see’ that we have listed for the destinations that we do visit.  We’ve slowed our pace and decided to strive for the quality instead of the quantity of our travel moments.

We’ve also gotten over the need to fill each day with planned activities. I know many of our friends prefer and are more comfortable traveling with structure – groups with leaders, itineraries and meal plans that are set months in advance.  We just don’t travel that way. Never have. And we are getting more set in our laid-back ‘where the winds blow us’ mode of travel with each passing year. And it means missing some of those 'must see' places but we can live with that. It also means we are open to everyday 'discoveries'. . .

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
― Maya Angelou


. . .such as the one we had in neighboring island Kauai two weeks ago.  The waitress pouring us a cup of afternoon coffee asked if we’d heard there was a seal on our beach. Minutes later, camera in hand, we were watching the 'little' two-year-old girl nap on the beach in front of our hotel. The Monk Seal drew quite an audience of watchers – all who delighted in doing nothing more than watch an afternoon nap in progress.

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Sleeping Beauty on the beach in Kauai
“Forever is composed of nows.”
― Emily Dickinson

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KoOlina - O'ahu

Now I have to admit that when we arrived I did slip back into that old mode by saying, “This time we really should go to Pearl Harbor.” And then I added that we ‘needed’ to drive to the North Shore and see its big waves, and then there is that Thai restaurant only a few minutes away in Kapolei town that we ‘needed’ to go back to and maybe this time we should go out on a sunset sail.. . .

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Frozen MaiTai
That ‘to do’ list like so many others has been filed away. We’ve opted to sip frozen MaiTai’s on the spur of the moment and watched the sun set as often as we can. That’s enough for our travel 'to do' list these days.

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KoOlina Sunset
“There's a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free.
Don't miss so many of them.”
-- Jo Walton

That’s it from us this week. We’ll be in Hawaii a bit longer so we may have another tale or two from here. In the meantime, tell us about your travels – are you more comfortable with an organized itinerary or a blank page with no ‘to do’ lists?  Do you need a vacation from the vacation after you get home? Where ever you go and how ever you do it, may your travels be safe and happy.

Linking this week with:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday
Photo Friday
Travel Inspiration



33 comments:

  1. Your kind of retirement is what dreams are made of...we are enjoying our retirement but funds don't allow us to travel...and, I am so not a good traveler..I love two or three day get aways, tho....lol

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    1. Oh BJ you two have so much fun at that Summer House of yours all year long, that I can see why you'd not want to be away longer than a couple of days!!! Thanks for stopping by. . . xxxx Jackie

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  2. Will be testing your approach next month near Kona. And, seeing Pearl Harbor with my Air Force guy on the way home. Definitely need to compare notes next time you head this way. Aloha! Kim and Nick

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    1. Oh have a good time!! And love the idea of comparing notes. I have an article to do in Wenatchee this year, so will definitely be in touch!

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  3. We like to do some of both---maybe an activity followed by a nap. Then, we also like to meet up with on-line friends in real life, preferably if they know where to get frozen mai tais. ��

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    1. And do we ever! Looking forward to Saturday!!

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  4. Your quote by Emily Dickinson is perfect, Jackie and I love your photo of the basking seal! It's hard to shuck off our Type-A habits of a lifetime and our reverence for keeping busy and toting up our accomplishments. And really, when it comes down to the point of it all, enjoying all the "trivial" moments that make up a perfect day is more important than crossing the next item off the bucket list... Anita

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    1. We have caught ourselves talking about 'to do' lists for when we get back home which I think is okay if not taken to the extreme. But we've certainly been perfecting the 'Polynesian paralysis' that can strike quite easily over here.

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  5. Nice to be able to take the time to slow down. I used to plan too much and need a vacation from the vacation. Now I still plan too much but gladly accept I won't do it all. Life is good.

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    1. Gaelyn, I've slowed so much that I am even late responding to comments. But as you so aptly summarized, Life is Good! Thanks for stopping by!!

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  6. I tend to start with a short to do list then add as I go along. By the end of the trip, yes, I'm ready for the rest and relaxation of the normal work week!

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    1. Oh Jim, you two have what seems to be limitless energy and enthusiasm! Keep those lists going as I so enjoy reading about your adventures!

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  7. I travel in cycles. Sometimes, it's go - go - go followed by breathing time where I relax for a bit before starting up again. This usually happens on longer trips. Shorter travel is either one or the other.

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    1. We do have our bursts of energy but this time around we've opted for copying that monk seal pictured above (I probably weigh about the same as she does now as well :-) ) Thanks for stopping by!!

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  8. You've described our mode of travel exactly lol. We still manage to tick off some sights but instead of doing them in 2 days we do them in 2 weeks. :) Cheers.

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    1. Isn't that a lovely thing about traveling at this point in our lives? We not only can travel but don't need (or want in our case) to rush through the experience. Thanks for stopping by Jan!

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  9. I am one of those who like to plan activities for the day but have to admit I have relaxed with the years. There is certain anxiety that comes from not meeting your quota of sight seeing for the day. That is not how you wan to feel while on vacation. #TPThursday

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    1. Yes, I so agree. The day I quit giving myself quotas was the day our travels got more enjoyable! We've two days left here and didn't make it to Pearl Harbor. . .maybe next year I keep saying. . .

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  11. Love all your quotes today, Jackie; they are all so true. Your photos so beautifully illustrate your words.

    Living on a Mediterranean island, as you can attest to, is a permanent holiday in itself. Simply waking up to beautiful sunshine, birdsong outside my window and church bells in the distance, drives to the mountains, walks through the meadows and swims in the sea relax and rejuvenate me. Living in the grandeur of nature inspires me and humbles me.

    Have a wonderful week!
    xx
    Poppy

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    1. Oh Poppy, I do think our time in Greece has helped us get to this point in travel. I make it a point each morning in Hawaii, just as I do in Greece, to take my cup of coffee out to the deck and listen to the birdsong and ocean waves. There is a magic about it, as one song here says, 'sounds of the ocean, sooth my restless soul ~ sounds of the ocean, rock me all night long'. I love that. Thanks for the comment, it took me back to Greece. Hugs, Jackie

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  12. Love the picture of the monk seal. Your post was a great reminder to "slow down". My last trip was WAY too busy and I really didn't enjoy it as much as when I've just taken my time.

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    1. Glad you liked the mon seal, Janice. I suspect you liked it for the same reason I did - it reminds me of a cat face! :-) Thanks for taking time to comment!

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  13. Thanks for the reminder that travel is at best a state of mind, filled with everyday observances.

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    1. So true - a state of mind to be sure! Thanks for stopping by Kristin!

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  14. I love your new friend. He was certainly on the relax. My favorite shot here besides Mr. Seal is your sunset. I like to see the sites, but I am also a slow traveler. If I miss something along the way, I don't stress about it. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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    1. I always reason out that whatever I didn't see was replaced by something I did see, so it all is good. We too have decided the slow lane is a good one to use for travel. #TPThursday

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  15. Like you, we have slowed our pace and increased timeshare points to get us a month here and a month there. Our sandcastles are now what they are supposed to be, built on shifting sands.

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    1. Love this comment, Carol as it sounds so much like our thinking and approach to both life and travel. Thanks for being here ~

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  16. I like that Maya Angelou quote. I will admit that I don't relax that much on vacations. I chalk it up to all the research that I do, and then the impulse that I must do something if I took the time to research it. I think that's why I like cruises, though. It forces me to relax and just take it easy. Great photo of that little monk seal!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Michele. I am with you on the research but now I try to find a good novel set in the place we are visiting so I can reason that a few hours spent doing nothing more than reading while in a place is a good use of time. :-)

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  17. I like your relaxed travel attitude, Jackie. I long for the day that I could be like that seal and just pass out on a beach. But as almost all of my travel is sponsored, I almost always find I am rushed.

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    1. I guess that is the trade off, Doreen and I've experienced those sponsored or hosted travel experiences and while most educational, they do run you ragged. Thanks for stopping by!

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