By Stewart Grant
Life is busy. I’m sure that most of us feel this way. As well, it seems like each year goes by faster than the one before it.
I’m 44, and it’s so hard to imagine that soon I’ll be closer to 50 than 40. How did this happen so quickly?
At the same time though, I’m not sure that there’s a better age to be. My wife Laurie and I have been blessed with two great kids (Jake 13, Sydney 11) and two wonderful sets of parents, all four of them in their seventies and in good health.
With all this in mind, we decided that it was a perfect time for all 8 of us to take a vacation together. Our kids are old enough to remember this for a lifetime, and our parents are young and healthy enough to make the most of the trip as well. For Laurie and I as the middle generation, we’re sandwiched by the love of family young and old.
There’s many different ideas for the perfect family vacation but in our case, we chose a Hawaiian Cruise (nice suggestion, Sydney!). Norwegian Cruise Lines offers a 7-day cruise that starts in Honolulu (Oahu), then sails to Maui, then the Big Island (stops in both Hilo and Kona), then Kauai, before returning to Honolulu.
For our family, the cruise vacation allowed us to experience so many different things while giving everyone the right balance of personal space and togetherness.
Laurie and I did some things just with the kids, such as stand-up paddle-boarding in the Pacific, taking a Mountain Tubing Adventure in Kauai, and snorkeling with fish and sea turtles at Molokini.
We took a helicopter ride over the recent lava flows in Hawaii with Laurie’s parents. With my parents, we took in the history at Pearl Harbor. And with all 8 of us, we rented an SUV and drove to the 10,000-foot summit of Maui’s Mt. Haleakala during the day before feasting at a traditional Hawaiian luau at night.
Whatever we did during the day, whether we were together or separate, the evening was when we would all meet at our balcony for a cold drink before heading to supper together to continue swapping stories and making new ones.
Ultimately, life is all about making memories.
Time goes by quickly, so make sure that you take the time to keep making great memories with family and friends doing whatever it is that you like to do.
Stewart Grant is part-owner of Stonetown Travel Ltd., who recently celebrated 30 years in business. To contact Stonetown Travel about helping plan your next great vacation, please contact Louise, Darlene, Darcy or Kathy at 519-284-2332 or visit their office at 150 Queen Street East in downtown St. Marys.