Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Vacation: Day Six

Friday, our last full day of vacation, was largely spent driving around the island, and not for particularly fun reasons. I rose with the kid, and we took a morning constitutional once the sun actually came up. We rode the hotel’s trains around, and did some “exploring,” riding random elevators, etc. Then we reconnected with my wife for an exciting morning of doctor visits. We drove an hour to a clinic for her appointment. The kid fell asleep in the car on the way, so I stayed in the parking lot while my wife saw the doctor. The boy woke up soon after she went inside, and so I entertained him by showing him how cars work. He was fascinated, though he did want to know how the musicians fit behind the radio. The car was especially entertaining because it’s a convertible, so he was able to push the button to put the top up and down.

My wife came out in slightly less than an hour, armed with a prescription… that she had to pick up in another clinic across town. Sigh. Another long stretch of driving, then another wait at a doctor’s office. After that… we had to return the snorkel gear (which of course we hardly got to use). River was well and truly annoyed by then, so we grabbed some drive-thru food and hit the nearest beach for a picnic. My wife was fairly wiped out from the long day out, and the beach was too rocky for playing, so we headed back home.

After laying on the bed and moaning for a while — the kid got me up around 5 a.m., and I hate driving at the best of times, let alone on the last day of my vacation, so I was grumpy and exhausted — I forced myself to embrace life and all that. I took the boy and his inflatable dragon float over to the kiddie pool for more playing while my wife napped.

There was a little girl at the pool he’d played with the day before (not the 4-year-old, but a sweet 2.5-year-old), and they remembered each other. So they played together a ton, and I chatted with their parents, who were disappointed that we were leaving so soon, since the kids got together along so well. (We’d kept running into them in various places around the resort all day too.) They told me about a Christmas program in the lobby at 5:30, with a tree lighting, Christmas carols, and Santa, so River became suitably frantically excited about that.

We got him dried off and changed, and Heather decided to venture forth into the world. The little Christmas show was cute. Hawai’ian Xmas carols, little girl hula dancers, a ballerina doing the dance of the sugarplum fairies, and a quite Hawai’ian Santa. Very Mele Kalikimaka. We got pictures (including some of River and his little friend), and had a pretty good time, though it wiped Heather out again.

Dinner was a picnic on the floor of the room, since we had to use up our groceries. Hummus and sandwiches and chips and macaroni salad, oh boy! (My wife, of course, did not eat, really, beyond a few crackers. Vicious strep throat is a great recipe for weight loss.) We put the boy to bed, for his last overnight in Hawai’i. I considered going out for the evening… but I was wiped from such a long day. No final evening at the bar for me. I played a little Skyrim and went to bed.

But, you know, I sort of embraced the suck. The vacation wasn’t going to be perfect, or even necessarily good, but I tried to make the best of it, and enjoy the weather, and the conversation, and my son’s happiness, which is, in fact, pretty extreme — he’s had a fantastic time, and says he never wants to leave Hawai’i. I could learn something from him about finding joy in the moment.

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