Thursday, August 18, 2016

Volcano Road Trip

While in Hawaii we did a road trip down to the Volcano so that we could hike out and see the lava flowing into the ocean in the dark.  Since it is a 2+ hour drive from Kona, we booked rooms at the Volcano House, the historic hotel in the Volcanoes National Park.

When we got to the park, we did some site seeing - steam vents, Jagger Museum and the Thurston lava tube.  

Then we checked into our hotel and had some lunch before having a quick rest before our hike.

Volcano House - our rooms were far left on the ground floor

Our view from our room

Snack time on the lanai!

The hike to reach the lava was 4.25 miles one way.  But because we had to park so far away, it was about a 10 mile round trip hike.

We started at about 5:30 pm and hike a 16 minute mile on the way in.   We did about a 17 mile on the way out....we decided to take it easy.

Most of the hike was down a gravel road.  It was pretty flat and easy but we made it challenging by keeping our speed up.

We got there before it got dark.  So we checked it out and sat down to have sandwiches while we waited for it to get dark.

We were so close that you could feel the heat and the steam.

Picnic time!

We stayed until it was completely dark and checked it out some more and then hiked out.  We had headlamps with us so we could see on our way out.  It was one of the most incredible sites I have ever seen!

This was the view the next morning from the Volcano House.  It looked right out into the crater.  We had a big breakfast and then headed to Hilo where we visited the Tsunami Museum.  We were all fascinated by all that we had learned!

Hawaii August 2016

First morning - right after we arrived
View from our lanai

We were lucky enough to take an eleven day trip to Kona Hawaii.  Kona is one of my favorite places to travel to because it is easy and relaxing.

Keahaha Kai
We spent most days lounging on one of our three favorite beaches:  Keahaha Kai, Hapuna or Magic Sands.  Our routine was as follows:

Wake up
Watch some olympics and eat breakfast
Laze around
Pack the coolers
Head to the beach
Stay there til dinner time
Head home and make dinner or go out to dinner
Play nibs
Watch olympics
Go to bed
At the snorkeling spot - Puako

We did do one road trip to the volcano that I will cover in another blog post.

Selfie at Puako

Coming out of the water at Puako

Boogie boarding at Hapuna

Happiness on the beach

Unfortunately, Amanda stepped on banded longspined urchin (commonly called Vana by Hawaiians) at Hapuna.  Luckily Drew saved her by pulling out the spines....while almost drowning her with his zest for helping.  We talked to the lifeguards who said she would get better by herself so we ignored it!  And it got better!

See the banded longspined urchin, above the crawfish looking thing

Sunset from the cabin

In front of Original Thai - yum!

It was such a great trip that when we talked about it, we had a hard time pinpointing our favorite event.  But we narrowed down on the top 5:

1.  Hiking to see the lava flow at the volcano
2.  Swimming with the manta rays (which Grace insisted on calling manatees!)
3.  Eating the yummiest Thai food we ever had
4.  Playing nibs
5.  Hanging on the beach for hours and hours each day

At Two Step

We also did quite a bit of snorkeling, including at Two Step and a new spot call Puako.

At Two Step

Waiting for our boat to the manta rays

Swimming with the manta rays was AMAZING.  I had not really thought about what it might be like so I had no preconceived notions.  But Jim's cousin Susan told us they loved it and they have never steered us wrong -- so we blindly went!  We had manta rays that are up to 1600 pounds swimming within a foot of us.  It was crazy cool!

From the condo - this is where I drank tea each morning

Road trip!

Sushi lunch - note the boogie board table

We had some great picnics on the beach - sushi, bagel sandwiches and cheese and crackers!  Plus we had one pineapple each day we were there!

Shaved ice

Grace left two days early so she could go to her first day of school.  So she took a red eye on Sunday nite, got picked up at the airport on Monday at 9:19 am and went straight to her first day as a Junior.   Her choice of the day for her last day was to get shaved ice.  So we stopped after the beach, got them and sat on the sea wall in Kona and ate them up!  YUM!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Pup

Check out this pillow (on the left) that I had made of Hops and Camo.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Daisy Mae's boo boo

Daisy Mae spent the last 14 days licking a spot on her foot that started as a tiny skin tag.   We were so distracted with the pups that we were not as "on it" as normal.  So today, we started making her stop!  Underneath the sock the sore is covered with a band aid and sports tape.  She was pretty bitter about it this morning, but after awhile, she got used to it!

Hops is Home!


We picked up Hops and left her puppies behind!  And she has not even looked back.  The pups are still so cute and starting to really be busy!

Cash and Cosette's tiny pup who was born at 7 ounces (Cash was 16 ounces at birth)

She was actually an amazing mom and was still super happy to be around them and seemed to really enjoy playing with them.

She was with another mama dog, Cosette, who had 8 pups, and they had a great time together.  Cosette was already "over" her pups and tried to avoid them if possible.  The pic above shows Cash on top of Cosette's pups. Hops and Cosette became fast friends and would play together and take care of each others pups!


On the way to bring Hops and the pups back to the breeder, Hops was agitated.  She wouldn't settle down at all.  She did not have that problem when she came home with us and left the pups behind.  She fell asleep immediately and slept the whole way.  

Check out her lip!

Once we got home, she didn't seem to miss the pups at all.  She just slipped right back into the routine of the house and seemed SUPER happy to come up and sleep in our room at bedtime - instead of being downstairs with the puppies.

We are not sure where the pups will end up living but if they are close, I hope to be able to visit with them.

Sewing Camp

Grace went to a sewing camp last week and loved it!  She was a natural at it and made all the stuff below - a pillow case, pajama shorts, a t-shirt, two bags and a stuffed bear holding a ukulele.

She ordered a sewing machine from amazon and it comes tomorrow.  We went out today and bought a bunch of fabric to start some projects.  She is going to start with making a dress and a tank top.  I want her to make dog toys and a dog bed.  Stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Drew had his first accident. 

He was hit in his truck five days after he finished lifting it!  He was driving down a residential street and a woman parked along the curb pulled right out into him as he drove by.  It was totally her fault.

He was bummed out but I told him any accident where no one is hurt is ok.  Insurance will fix it!

Back to the breeders

The pups went back to the breeders to be started on real food, weaned from mama and potty trained.  We put them in the back of the truck for the trip.  They both got really upset at first, so I held them until they fell asleep and then put them down in the back.  They slept for an hour or so and then got up and wandered around a little.  Cash even chewed on their stuffed turtle. Hops was a little unsettled but I got her to get into the back and lay down for a little while.

I had told the breeder that Cash was a fatty and told her to prepare herself!  When we drove up and she came out to get him....she said he was the size of a 7 week old puppy NOT a 4 week old puppy!

Then she sent us these pics of our pups next to pups that are 4 days younger!  The big ones are Cash and Camo!

The next day she sent this pic of Camo asleep in the food bowl and Cash still eating!  I laughed so hard that I drooled.

Hops is with the pups for a week while she weans them.  She is such a committed mom that I bet it is hard for her.  Luckily she will be distracted by Uncle Dewey and the swimming pool.