Get Out of the House


Shhh… Don’t Tell the Girls


By Rebecca Meekma

I’m trying something new this week: I’m asking you for advice on where to go. I admit it: there are two islands near and dear to many Lagunans’ hearts that we have never visited. One we look at almost every day, atmospheric conditions permitting. The other is quite a distance away, and is actually a chain of islands that became our 49th (or is it, 50th?) state. Yes, that’s right, my name is Rebecca and I’ve never been to Catalina or Hawaii.

So I’ve begun planning. And I’m asking for your help. Let me in on your favorites: where to stay, what to do, what to bring. I trust you more than I trust random internet reviews. And, please don’t tell the girls as I’m trying to surprise them.

Catalina is up first, as it’s the easier of the two trips. Izzy, especially, has been asking about going there ever since she inquired about that island in the ocean that she could see from our old living room window. She was 3 and we blithely told her that it was the Island of Sodor, where Thomas and his friends lived. Need I say that piqued her interest in visiting? And now she just wants to make it there before the sixth grade Thurston science trip so that she’s not a first-timer then. I’ve sent visiting friends and family to Catalina, but somehow never made it over myself. So now we’re going. Soon.

The bigger trip, Hawaii, still sounds unbelievably exotic. I grew up in New York, and Hawaii was literally half way around the world, remote and tropical, and way more complicated to get to than the Caribbean for vacation. The Bradys went and had troubles with an angry tiki and a spider; Greg almost drowned in a surfing competition; Alice hurt her back hula-ing. Oh, how exciting! It has been way too long since the Meekmas went to a lovely resort for longer than a weekend, and had the opportunity to relax and enjoy, so I’m going to make it happen. And I have no idea where to start…picking an island let alone a hotel should keep me occupied until at least July.

So, Laguna, please let me hear it: your island favs, please. Email me. I’ll keep the dialogue open in the column and share with everyone. Hopefully, we can all get away to one or two great islands this year.

On another note, mark your calendars now: Laguna Art Museum is having a Family Day on Sunday, March 11, and I encourage everyone to go over to the museum and support this effort. Our local museum has been struggling to find its footing regarding educational programming so let’s get out and show them that we want and need their art offerings for the family. The museum’s Univision Family Day is free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features a kids’ art workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as well as the opportunity to meet artist Victor Hugo Zayas when he gives a tour of the newly installed exhibit. His his work includes sculptures created from destroyed guns. (“Solo Show Aims for Arts’ Transformative Power,” Feb. 17 edition). He sees the sculptures as symbols of peace. Should be really interesting for all ages. Props to Univision for sponsoring the day.

And, while we’re talking about supporting our local arts organizations, sign up for one of LOCA’s (Laguna Outreach Community Art) kids art classes, taught by local artists. Coming up on Saturday, March 10, is Marine Life Oil Pastel Class taught by September McGee at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The class includes a docent tour as well as art. $15 per child, ages 6 and older please. Adults welcome, too ($20 for you.)


Rebecca Meekma is that friend who always knows something fun to do, and the Calendar Editor at Parenting OC magazine. Reach her at [email protected].



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  1. Rebecca, our family went to Oahu at the end of the year and had a marvelous time at the Kahala Resort. Kids stay and eat free- that was the special we took advantage of – so it was a great deal and there were lots of families. Plenty to do at this spot just east of Honolulu – great hikes, snorkeling, nice pools and grounds, good places to relax while kids swam in pools, and dare I say, a nearby mall. In Waikiki, there’s a sweet little aquarium. And of course, if you can stand, you can surf there. Pearl Harbor is a must-see – pick one or two sites to tour, the mighty Mo (USS Missouri) and the Bowfin sub were great for our kids. Booked it through my ravel agent friend in SoLag and she negotiated us a great deal – we got three breakfasts included, which was a great way to save since the breakfast buffet was immense – we could eat large in the morning and go until mid or late afternoon and then have early dinner. Check it out – if you want travel agent’s name write back. There are less touristy, bustling places but with kids you have to keep the activities coming or they get bored and drive ya nuts, just like home.


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