A good friend of mine Robert wrote in his travel posts from New Zealand about a family travel tradition of Big Day, Little Day. I had never really intentionally thought about how it was I planned my time. On every trip we have taken, I have always wanted to jam in every little bit of fun possible. I mean, if I have gone all the way to _______, I want to see everything I can, right? Well it turns out that particular philosophy often leads to sleep deprivation, and burn out and can actually take away from a trip. So the Big Day, Little Day thing is actually brilliant. It’s very simple and I highly recommend it. Here’s how it goes: Plan a big day. Jam packed, see a whole bunch of things back to back exciting, can’t believe I’m here, looking forward to it kind of day. Then the following day plan something simple. This could include one leisurely activity, sleeping in, a long meal, staying close to home and just taking it a little easier. It doesn’t mean doing nothing. It means that 5 days of back-to-back driving, touring, and adventuring may not be in your best interest.
Yesterday was a Big Day. Mauna Kea was brilliant. From the time we left until when we got home was about 7 hours. We drove up 9200 feet up some not so tourist friendly roads, half of which was in the pitch dark with no street lights. We hiked, we photographed, we stargazed, all with limited oxygen, leaving it to be a big, fun and exhausting evening. And worth every moment.
Today was more of a little day. It is Chris’ 30th birthday. As per his birthday request, he and Ray spent 4 hours playing golf at a very fancy golf course on the Mauna Lani property (Francis Brown something or other) + 1 hour on the 19th hole waiting me for me pick them up. While they were out in the sun losing golf balls to the lava, driving around their golf cart and playing with their fancy rented clubs ($2000/set or something insane like that), Sarah and I drove in to Kona for some fruit from the farmers market and to stock up on a few groceries. We also stopped by the Kona International Marketplace and wandered through a few stalls. I got Ray a great bright Red floral Hawaiian shirt that his students are going to love (and a matching dress for Amelia – picture to come in the future, I’m sure). We grabbed lunch at a small coffee shop and watched the surf roll in and wandered through a local gallery from Wyland (celebrating his 100 whaling walls, one of which can be found in White Rock). There were these canvas paintings by local artist Heather Brown that I fell in love with – and one day, when I have enough money, I will order a few (do check her out – her stuff is beautiful). Sarah and I both LOVED her work (and were VERY tempted to buy some prints).
After picking up the guys from golf, I curled up with a good book, then fell asleep for a well-earned 90 minute nap before an evening at home hanging with Amelia and doing homework (while Chris and Sarah got to enjoy a date night). It was nice to get some sleep, stay in and take it easy. I can see while little days are necessary.
Tomorrow Sarah is going horseback riding, and Chris and I are venturing around Waipo Valley to a variety of look out points to take photos (yay for self made photo scavenger hunts!) Ray and I are also trekking out to our date night (Merriman’s – home of James Beard nominee for best chef, and all locally grown ingredients!) So Big day awaits! Tomorrow should bring more photos and adventures!