Friday, April 16, 2010

Fun Friday: Watch a Sunset

Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard

THE IDEA
Watch a sunset with your kids.

Okay, I admit my inspiration for this one is pretty spectacular: A sunset on the beach at Waikiki. But the truth is, we’ve watched the sun set from tons of different locations. That’s half the fun – comparing one day’s sunset with another’s.


OUR NOTES FROM THE FIELD
It wasn’t until our final day in Hawaii that the big explorer and I were finally able to catch a sunset. Dad and the little explorer had already headed back to Los Angeles, so this one was just for the two of us.

My friends were sweet enough to appease my need to catch a Hawaiian sunset by taking us to dinner on Waikiki beach. This, they thought, was the place to see a sunset.

The irony is, our entire trip had been filled with off-the-beaten path activities where few (if any) people were around. And yet here, on Waikiki beach, we had to share this amazing display of nature with what felt like hoards of tourists frolicking in the waves seemingly unaware of the magic going on around them.

Granted, the big explorer didn’t really realize that. He was more curious as to why I’d pulled him away from his delectable dessert to head outside to the beach.

It was a little breezy out and he was pining for his ice creamy, chocolaty treat, but he stayed with me. When I told him that we should take a few minutes to watch the sun bid its farewell on yet another dreamy day, he seemed to understand.


“Doesn’t it look different than it does back home?” I asked.

He nodded. But mostly he just stayed quiet. He looked lost in thought. It was one of those moments where I would have given a million bucks to know what he was thinking.

Instead, I savored the quiet and we sat together soaking it all in for the few remaining minutes it took for the sun to dip below the horizon.

When the big show was over, we headed back inside to rejoin our friends. But how thankful I was to have taken a few moments to slow down, appreciate the moment and share it with someone I love.

And how glad I am that there will be always be a sunset waiting for us wherever we may be.

TAKE-HOME TIPS
The great thing about sunsets is that there’s one every day. No vacation to Hawaii needed! To make the most of it:
  • Seek out a quiet spot. Waikiki may have been picturesque, but we had to share the moment with others far less interested. Quiet spaces make it easier to clear your thoughts and connect with your surroundings.

  • Bring along a blanket. Spring may have arrived, but temperatures are still cool enough to warrant a little added warmth. And what kid doesn’t like to cozy up under a warm blanket?

MORE IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR FUN
My fellow outdoor bloggers have been busy this week! Which means more awesome ideas to help you get your kids outside exploring nature this weekend. Here are a few things that look especially fun:
There’s a world waiting for you outside, people! Take your kids and get out there!

12 comments:

  1. Leaves me feeling sunny. Thanks, Debi. Happy Friday!

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  2. Kelly, I hope you make sure to catch a sunset yourself this weekend! :)

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  3. Great idea - I haven't done this with my kids for ages. Thanks for the mention.

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  4. Love it! :-)What a great round up of #playoutdoors fun! Cheers- Bethe @balmeras

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  5. My "big explorer" and I have a tradition of "dust hikes" (his 'K' sound is often replaced w/ a 'T'). We walk, watch the sun set over the mountains, and then hike home in the gathering darkness--watching how the colors seem to vanish--almost sucked away with the glow of the sunset. Thank you for the lovely post--I think a dust walk (and a sunset) is just what we need this weekend...Fondly--Ariella @sanborncamps

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  6. Catherine, loved your post & was more than happy to share it. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    Bethe, glad you liked the #playoutdoors roundup. I love sharing all the great ideas. Happy weekend!

    Ariella, thanks for stopping by! Love your idea for a dusk hike. I wanna try that later this summer when we visit our cabin in Yosemite. Have a great weekend!

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  7. Great post, Debi! Love sharing sunsets with my "big explorer" too. So jealous you have a cabin in Yosemite!!! The hub and I were married at the Chapel in the Valley. Hoping to make it back again this year. We'd LOVE to have a cabin there. Lucky duck! LOL! How neat for you boys. :)

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  8. Leslie, yes, we are supremely lucky to have a cabin in Yosemite. I grew up spending much time there every summer & want my kiddos to do the same. Can't believe you were married in the Valley! I wanted to do that, too, but we settled for Paradise Cove in Malibu instead.

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  9. So jealous. I enjoy the sunset during my drive home and I'm just alone in the car. I completely enjoy those quiet bonding moments with my son. There's something just so special about them.

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  10. Eric, sounds like it's time to plan a sunset walk with your boy! :)

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  11. I love to watch the sunset. Sometimes when we're driving home from my parents we'll see it. Sometimes the colors are so beautiful! My mom is the reason why I love them so much. She used to always bring us outside when there was one she thought was worth dragging us outside for. She would oooh and ahhh over it until it was gone. I can't wait to pass that on to my son.

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  12. Jana, it is special to be able to pass along a childhood memory or activity with your kids, isn't it? Now that my oldest is 5 1/2, a lot more of that is happening. Special stuff!

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