Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Traveling to the other side

Before we left Kona to head to the other side of the island, we went back to Matthew’s favorite beach, Magic Sands Beach. The waves were huge and there were lots of people there. The boys actually walked out with their boogie boards, but thought better of that and brought them back in. Body surfing seemed a little safer. They had some fun until Dave cut his foot on a rock. It was pretty bloody. He tried to put pressure on it, but every time he stood up, it would start gushing. Luckily, I had a swim diaper with me. I wrapped it around his foot for a makeshift bandage to get him to the car.  I wish I had taken a picture. He looked so cute! 

The Kona side of the island is full of volcanic rock - just rock fields everywhere. I didn’t think to take a picture because it wasn’t exactly great scenery. But, it was interesting to drive across the Island. It only took a couple hours, but we passed out of the volcanic rock to a desert with cacti to a rainforest. It was amazing the difference. 

We stopped at the very popular, Akaka Falls. It was raining on us, but the flora was so incredible. 

We went into town to shop a little and stopped at the candy store - yum yum!! 

We checked into our new digs. It was 2 miles up a windy road. We stayed in the first floor of a farm house. The family there had two boys, ages 4 and 6. They had goats, chickens and cows. It also had a waterfall on the property. Charlie and Matthew really loved the animals. They fed the goats banana peels every morning. 

We played in the waterfall. It was a little slippery and a little cold, but it was neat. The kids wanted to find a way to jump in but we could not figure out how to get to the top. One day, Dave took the kids downstream for awhile to explore. I stayed at the house with Charlie (blogging actually). It was funny because Zack came home saying he quit when he was going to have to get all the way in, Matthew came home when he was going to have to wade through a lot of yuck debris. And then Alex came home when he got bored. Finally, Dave and Rachel made it back. 

The kids in the family, Lucas and Logan, were interesting. They had a lot of freedom. The younger one would come in our house and turn on the TV. Usually my kids were ok with that, but it was weird. One day the older kid was leading Charlie around the property with his box cutter in his hand. He was slashing at weeds. The mom came looking for the younger kid and went to check the flowing river for him  - turns out he was in our house. Then, they bought some fireworks. The older kid had stink bombs and was setting them off everywhere. It was so nasty. They had sparklers and the younger kid was chasing his brother with one. He eventually threw it at him, but luckily missed. The day before we left, apparently the younger boy slashed the older one in the leg with a machete - on purpose. He had to get 7 stitches. Quite a pair! 

Manta Rays

Manta Ray Dive 
Matthew gets up close to Jolene, one of the two manta Rays we watched. Lulu was the other one. Jolene would come right up to the guide’s flashlight and do a few flips. It was a little scary but pretty awesome. This was a very light night for us, but it was definitely an experience worth doing. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Kona Day 2

Note: I already wrote about this day, but it seems to have disappeared.

Dave and Rachel went Scuba diving last night. They took a boat ride in the afternoon for one dive and then rested before heading back down to see the manta rays at night. They said it was an amazing experience. Apparently they saw a white-tipped reef shark on the first dive, which I guess is a very rare occurrence. They were actually asked by one of the guides if they were on their honeymoon - haha!

While they were gone, the boys and I headed to town to see what we could see.  While there, we got their picture taken with some parrots. I don't think they were too keen on this plan. It was worth every penny I paid for the picture to see their faces as the parrots were nibbling at them. It was hysterical to me.

On day 2, we headed up to Kohala Coast - further north.  This is supposedly the sunniest place in all of Hawaii, but it was cloudy on this day. A storm seemed to be threatening, but it never materialized. The boys didn't love this beach as much because it did not have huge waves. They were OK, but not as great as the day before. The beach was more beautiful, though, and a lot bigger - which gave us more room to move around.

We stopped at a petroglyph trail. The petroglyphs were interesting, but the trail was really cool.  There was lots of volcanic rock, interesting trees, and even a little cave. The boys all went through the cave on their bellies. I decided to walk up and around - seemed like the easier option.

Alex was doing pull-ups on any tree branch that would work and challenging the rest of us to follow suit.

Afterwards, we had a wonderful dinner outside by the water. The sunset was beautiful.  Then, the boys and I headed to go night diving with the manta rays. Charlie, Dave and Rachel stayed in town for some shopping and posing with statues.

Exploring Kona - Day 1

We splurged a little on our condo in Kona. We figured it was only for a couple days and our first introduction to Hawaii.  The view was absolutely amazing from the balcony. Every morning, we watched surfers as we ate our breakfast. And, I love the sound of the waves as I sleep.

Our first stop was Kahalu'u Beach Park. The snorkeling here was awesome. You could see the fish even without a snorkel. We even saw a few turtles. It was very cool to swim with one of the turtles. They are so graceful. Dave forced Charlie to use the full face snorkel to see the fish. He was able to do it no problem and liked seeing the fish, but he is not interested in doing it again.  : )

Next, we headed to Magic Sands Beach to check out the big waves we saw as we drove by. Boy, were these big waves. The waves were crashing very close to the shore, so it seemed very dangerous.  But, the boys loved it. They caught some good waves.  Charlie had a great time jumping the waves. I think we could have just come here over and over and the boys would have been happy,

Friday, June 29, 2018


I don’t know what we were thinking when deciding it was a good idea to have Rachel’s graduation party 3 days after Italy and the day before leaving for 6 weeks. We had so much rain the days before that Dave had to shuttle kids back and forth to Brentsville Park. That worked, but Dave ended up missing a lot of time visiting with the few adults that came. I was trying to go light on food, so we actually ran out. It started pouring half way through and everyone got moved to the basement. Rachel left her phone in the rain, so it had to get packed in a bag of rice. But, overall, it worked. It was stressful, but she appreciated it and the kids all had fun. I wouldn’t recommend it. And, sadly, no pictures. 

Sunday, we cleaned up, finished packing and got ready to go. We made it to Baltimore around dinner time. We are at Ruby Tuesday’s and had a horribly slow waitress. The 7-top that got sat after us was leaving before we even had food. Luckily we had nowhere to actually be. When I went to check into the hotel, they did not have our reservation. We did a Park Sleep Fly deal where they keep the car for the time we are gone. It meant it wasn’t easy to just get a room. But, they took care of it. A little bit scary for me, as I was embarking on six weeks worth of reservations. Hopefully this is the only real hiccup. We also couldn’t all fit on true right shuttle so we decided to have Dave drive me, the kids and our stuff to the airport and then back. He could fit in the shuttle himself. This actually worked really well. 

3:50AM came very early but we were on a mission. Since Dave dropped us off at the airport, I had to manage us for check-in and we went through security. It was chaotic but we made it. Here we are grabbing breakfast before the flight. 

We definitely brought too much luggage. I keep forgetting to take a picture of it all together. I tried to limit everyone, but we have a lot of stuff. SCUBA and snorkeling stuff takes up quite a lot, but we have discovered we have too many clothes. Oh well. Luckily we have lots of helpers...

To clear up overhead space, they offered to check bags to the destination from the gate.  We were thrilled to take them up on that offer - relieve us of the 6 carry-on bags we had. 

The plane rides were long but uneventful. On the long route, they had in flight entertainment with movies and games. Pretty advanced, so Charlie and the boys were pretty entertained. Some of us didn’t sleep much though. 

We made it to the Big Island!  2:30 Hawaiian time, 8:30 Eastern time. Got a car and drove to our condo. 

We had a little trouble finding a good place here in Kona, so we splurged a little on this place. We figured it was our introduction to Hawaii and only for a few days, so we should pick a place with a few. Boy, did it. It was beautiful. We had a quick dip in the ocean followed by a snippy trip to the grocery store. Dave was making steak-um sandwiches while I tried to keep the kids from falling asleep (an enormous task). We finally alll crashed after almost 24 hours awake. Thankfully we are here for a month. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

For Gramma

Here's a song that Rachel was working on for Gramma and Paka's 40th anniversary.   She never finished it, but I just found it and wanted to post it for Gramma to see.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My "baby" turns 6!

I really don't know how it is possible that Matthew could be 6.  Has it really been six years since I've had a little baby in this house?  Weird to me, but it is true!  He is such a cutie.  He has a very strong personality, but we love him bunches.  

It was a busy birthday weekend.  We had a couple basketball games, and then we had our good friends, Abby and Matt, here for a night.  Matthew loves Matt.  He feels this strong connection to him because they share the same name.  Despite the fact that we all call him Matt, Matthew calls him Matthew.  And, he barely leaves his side.  It's super cute.

I had Dave get a bunch (17 to be exact) of balloons at the Dollar store.  So, we placed them around the house for him.  He thought that was pretty fun.

We met the Lauderdales at Red Robin (a very favorite of our family) and they all came back to our house to make cupcake monsters.  They were super cute!