People close to me know how much I love staycations. A staycation which simply means “to stay and enjoy a vacation in one’s home country or at home to enjoy day trips to local attractions,” is cheaper, stress-free, and can be done for just a couple of days. I find it truly refreshing.
We have gone to a few staycations in Japan. We usually do so on special occasions. The special occasions give us a reason to splurge a little bit (and not feel too guilty about it.) And since I am bad at organizing big parties, I always look forward to every birthday, anniversary, Christmas, spent in town.
That’s me and the little girl enjoying Odaiba at night from the outdoor jacuzzi at Hotel Nikko in Odaiba (a surprise and generous upgrade on our wedding anniversary).
One of our favorite places to do staycation is Odaiba. Aside from all the beautiful memories of living there for 2 years when I was a student (and memories of Pido, commuting all the way, just to see me for a while), and of being married there, there are so many things for families to do in Odaiba. There are also many hotels to choose from. And you would love the view of Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge anytime of the day.
On Adana’s 5th birthday though, we became accidental staycationers in Chiba. After a few dinner and lunch celebrations with some of our family friends, we wanted her to enjoy her fifth at her happy place. We intended to take her to Disneyland and just stay overnight at Sheraton Hotel, a stone’s throw away from the Disney Resorts.
But because of bad weather, our one night turned into two nights and three whole days of staycation. It was an unexpected, much needed fun, rest and family bonding for all of us. It was great to see Adana graciously accepting the bad news of not enjoying Disney as planned. As parents, we were delighted to being sitting on the floor explaining the change of plans and seeing the sadness that quickly turned into a jolly response,”that’s ok, Nanay and Tatay.”
I highly recommend the Tokyo Bay Sheraton Grande Hotel for a few good reasons. Aside from its good location, it is cheaper than the more popular Disney Hotels; it is family-friendly. The breakfast on the 12th floor offered a great view of Tokyo Bay on one side and Disney Resort on the other. It has a club lounge that we thoroughly enjoyed from breakfast to late night drinks. It has ample facilities for young children and the rooms are cozy and big enough. The staff are all friendly and customer-service is superb. It has a swimming pool that allows young children (many big hotels in Tokyo don’t allow small children). It has a spa, gym, outdoor pool (in summer), putter golf area, a big garden, table tennis area, photo studio, an arcade, many restaurants that offer late night buffet. And the hotel has a shuttle to Disney and Maihama JR station. Our room on the 11th floor had 2 queen size beds, a lot of extra pillows, a big bathroom and a good supply of coffee and many kinds of tea. Wifi is freely available too.
I told Pido that it was one of the best staycations we had recently. It is not really much about the place, but the amount of quality time we spent over breakfast, while just sitting on a rocking chair, while swimming, while holding each other’s hand watching our little girl enjoying a big garden.
I love staycations because we get to slow down and not really make the trip weigh more than being around each other. We don’t need to rush to take a train or catch a flight. We don’t need to spend a lot of time analyzing a map or checking the Internet for the best ways to go around. And while I still dream of traveling overseas with Pido and the little girl, I am always thankful to God for moments like these. We stay and take things slowly. And we get to spend time thanking God for the 5 precious years of entrusting us with the joy of having, raising and discipling Miki Daniela. My heart is full and swelling with grateful memories of God’s sweet goodness in our lives. And I will forever be grateful for the precious chance to do all these with Pido.