Kona Birthday Fun...how an almost settled down family celebrates

I cannot believe it but my littlest guy, my baby boy, just turned 8 years old.  I say it every year but I do not know how this keeps happening.  My oldest is now 16, driving, and towers above me.  My middle guy is 2 inches from being my height and is growing so fast I know it's just a matter of a few months before I am the 2nd shortest in the house! And now my little baby is turning 8??!! He was just a teeny tiny guy roughing up the dogs, escaping the yard, and torturing his big brothers.

Way, way back when!
Well some things never change and the torture of the elders is one of his favorite past times still but 8, it just seems so big. I can barely stand it but alas I must because the ride of life is moving each and every day.  Every day he gains in strength and personality all the while maintaining a spirit that I have yet to see in my other 2 boys.  A tenacity and persistence that can both challenge us and inspire us at the same time.  He's an amazing little man and we are all proud and happy to have him in our lives.

So what do you do for a birthday boy of this caliber??  You take a long weekend trip to the beach and cram in as much fun as possible.

We are not big on presents but we did get him his first ever bike ( I know it seems late but when traveling or expecting to travel soon it just gets skipped) and it only took about 20 mins to get the training wheels off and figure out how it all works. What we all really love though are experiences as gifts!

To start we decided on Kona, the opposite side of this island for our little getaway.  We've stayed in places like the Sheraton Kona, and the Hilton in Waikoloa but for an extended time we really prefer to have a bigger space of our own.  It gives us all more freedom and comfort as well as saves us money on food because we can cook.  For a family of 5, with 4 growing boys,  that equals big savings!

I took to the Internet and ended up going with Roomorama.  With over 300,000 properties Roomorama is one of the largest platforms for professionally managed vacation rentals worldwide so it seemed a great place to look.  We were thrilled with both the choice and the customer service in securing the rental.  The photos were spot on and gave a great picture of what to expect when we arrived.

The apartment was perfect, priced really well, in a great location and it even came with Apple TV and a swimming pool.  Roomorama made a point of contacting us to be sure things were OK and checking in after to see what our feedback was, always a good thing for a company that cares about its clients to do.

One bummer of the weekend was that we had planned to do a boat tour and swim with wild dolphins. We've done it before on Oahu and it was amazing.  T is a bit older now so we knew he'd love it even more and we were all excited.  Hawaii is a fickle place though some times and the trip was canceled (not the first time this has happened) due to poor ocean safety.  We were disappointed but onward and upward right?!

We ended up completely chock full of fun the whole weekend anyway.  The state fair just happened to be 1 mile down the road AND our favorite local band was playing.  After getting settled in the apartment off we went to explore the fair.

A little apprehension on the first ride

We've been to loads of festivals around the world but a country USA fair is not something my little guy has ever experienced.  The joy on his face as he ran up to the gates wide eyed staring at the rides and lights was priceless. We spent a near fortune but we played games, rode all the rides, watched our band perform, and ended the night with fair food including fried Twinkies (spoiler alert..YUCK).

After a slight meltdown about not winning the unwinnable games we headed back to our apartment, cotton candy in hand of course, where game night part 1 commenced!

The following morning we went over to our favorite beach, Kua Bay, to swim and get some color.  Then dinner out and game night part 2.  The following few days we went to an arcade, went bowling, went to yet another beach where we saw dolphins and swam with giant sea turtles, and played countless games together as a family.

It was a great long weekend of no computers, work, or interruptions just family fun.  How do I know it was a success?  Because when your 8 year old looks in your eyes with tears in his eyes and tells you, "this was the best birthday WEEK ever" and that he loves his family so much, you just know.

T approved!
Happy Birthday T!  We love you!

What was your favorite memory of a birthday?  Do you like experiences or gifts?  How do you celebrate while traveling?

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