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Our own oasis: Reconnecting on family vacation

‘Tis the season for adventure taking, lazy days with lemonade and reconnecting with our inner child as the days grow longer and Valley sunsets color the sky.

This summer our family is taking a highly anticipated and much needed vacation to Hawaii. As a matter of fact as this is going to press, we are midway through having the time of our lives. At least that’s what I’m envisioning as this is being written weeks before our plane takes off.

This will not be our first trip to the island paradise, but it will be our first as a family of four (PIC – partner in crime) is joining us. It will also be the first time we have each been to the island of Maui.

Personally, I looked forward to these two simple facts: our first family vacation in uncharted territory and eight days of family bliss with no plans.

Yep! You read that right. As the Julie McCoy (aka Love Boat cruise director) of this family trip, we committed to only one pre-arranged outing, a luau. On our last trip to the Islands our luau was stormed out, so for this visit it was a must.

In fairness, the children have a short list – luau and snorkeling. They’re beach kids, so just the idea of eight days with sand at their disposal for endless hours is enough. PIC and I are equally as giddy, especially by the notion of relaxation and endless umbrella drinks. Who could ask for more than that? Not us.

While there we hope to do a number of things aside from snorkeling, including hiking to some waterfalls and a bit of fishing for the boys and just a simple drive around the island getting lost and taking in the beauty.

One thing we did decide on this trip was no electronics once we land. The idea was actually spawned by the oldest of the kids who stated he wasn’t even going to wear his watch on our trip. This followed by the youngest who said she’d leave her phone (aka old iPhone used as an iPod). It truthfully caught PIC and I a bit off guard.

I quickly prompted, what about pictures? Both children committed to taking actual cameras in lieu of phones. This upped the game of what we were committed to ‘leaving’ and in all honesty if we thought this was wise. It’s a five hour trip and lots of airport downtime.

The decision was made that electronics would be permitted for travel time and turned over once we landed on the island. Adults would only use smart phones for communication with one another when apart or for photos. As odd as some might find it, this commitment by our family made me just as excited as the actual trip.

Why? Simple.

I happen to really like my family. They’re my ‘people.’ I enjoy hearing their thoughts, I love learning what they think or ponder as they have new experiences and I miss them. We both work full time and the kids are as active as most of their peers. Weekends are our catch up time and truthfully, they go too fast.

So the notion of eight days on an island with my people and no commitments or interruptions is perhaps the most ideal vacation I could have possibly dreamed for us.

They will celebrate birthdays when we return and reach the ages of 9 and 12. They’re growing, so PIC and I … We savor the moments they continue to want to share with us. We’re grateful they would rather engage with us than cyber space.

So this is the ‘Beyond’ part of the ‘Fitness and Beyond’ column space. Take the time to reconnect with those you love. Think beyond the obvious and make the most of the sunsets. In the end it’s the moments, not the things, that memories are made of.