“You live in Hawaii? So you’re on vacation all the time. Lucky you.”
Friends assume we go to the beach all day, every day and listen to the surf while sitting under palm trees and eating pineapple and coconuts. Okay, maybe not that stereotypical, but life here is like anywhere else. We have jobs, commitments, social obligations, chores, you know, real lives, just like you.
Our past few weeks have been so busy we haven’t seen the ocean other than from our car while sitting in traffic on the H-1 freeway. We haven’t spent a day at the beach since last summer. We have a life. A good one, but it still has the same time commitments as everyone else.
Are you planning on visiting a friend who lives in a tourist destination? If so, remember that while you are on vacation, they are not. We’d love to take a day and show you the North Shore or go to the beach, but that would count against our vacation time. And while staying at our home, remember that we go to bed early because we to go to work in the morning. Or in my case, I work from home. Quiet, please.
In the evenings, we host book club at our homes. We have the boss over for dinner. We wait for the plumber who’s coming over at the end of his day as a favor to fix our water heater. We go to the grocery store. We pay our bills. We answer e-mails and phone calls, some personal or confidential. Sometimes we want to plop in front of the TV in our pajamas and relax. We do the same things you do at night at home.
And as much as we love our friends, we have a lot of them. If they all stayed at our place, we’d never have a night to ourselves. And, again, we love seeing you, but we probably have family or other friends coming to stay with us after you leave. When staying with friends, ask yourself, “What will I do while the boss is over for dinner?” or “Where will I go when my friends leave for writer’s group or another commitment?” or “How long will I have to be out of the guest room that doubles as an office?” or “How much clean-up is there after I leave and the next person comes in?”
Staying at a friend’s house isn’t the same as staying at a hotel. Plan your adventures as if we weren’t here. You’ll need a rental car if you stay with us. There is no room service or late night cocktail on the beach here. There’s no shuttle to Waikiki. You are housekeeping in a home. (And be warned, sand gets everywhere!)
Let us know ahead of time when you are vacationing on Oahu. We’ll help you find a hotel and we’ll make time to see you. You’ll have a great vacation.
Note: If you are one of our teenaged nieces, nephews or godsons, none of this pertains to you. We know how honored to be should you grace us with your teenaged presence.