Whew! Just got home from a week’s vacation and I’m absolutely worn out. Our family vacations like running a marathon: get an early start, stay on the move all day, then collapse into bed at night in a body wrung out like a dishrag. I’m not sure whether we’re cheap and want to get our “money’s worth” out of a vacation, or we’re afraid that we’ll strangle each other over petty disagreements if we don’t schedule up every second with body-draining activity.
Here’s an example. My husband and I get up around 6. Kelly wakes up about the same time and goes for a run while we get breakfast started, attend to our morning constitutionals, etc. A half hour later she comes back for iced coffee, and we wake Chris up. We have a quick breakfast, grab our swim gear, put on a thick coating of sunscreen and are out the door by 7:30.
We drive a half hour to the Place of Refuge, a protected bay south of Kona, and walk down the road, a single file of humans with beach bags hanging off of each shoulder stuffed with giant towels, water bottles, cameras, several tubes of sunscreen, snacks, water shoes, etc. and/or backpacks containing everything we might need if we got lost in the wilderness for a week. In one hand we have the mesh bag of Snorkel Bob’s snorkel gear, the other arm wraps around a big styrofoam boogie board. We pick our way across the lava rocks and hear that there are dolphins swimming way out in the ocean, so we ease into the water, slip on our fins and snorkel masks, and race each other to the dolphin area.
There are a lot of dolphins! They’re swimming under us and on both sides, in groups of three and four, the moms with babies that swim like they’re glued to their momma’s sides. They’re all talking to each other in their high-pitched dolphin squeaks. Four teenage dolphins (or so I imagine) start hollering back and forth to each other as they pick up speed and launch straight up and out of the water, doing flips and twists. I’m sure they are yelling: “Hey Flipper, I can jump higher than you!” “Can not.” “Can too.” “Oh yeah, well watch this!” It all happens in just a few seconds, but they are definitely egging each other on. It’s so much entertainment that we stay out there way past the eighty minutes the sunscreen says we can be in the water, and we’re cold and tired and our fingers look like shriveled brains.