Part of me is sad they don’t remember some of the fun things they liked doing when they were younger and we lived on Oahu, but it’s also pretty cool to see their excitement when they find out they actually get to drink out of a real coconut and it was one of their favorite things to get when we went to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet!
Another cool and refreshing treat is Hawaiian Shave Ice!
Too busy to Shaka 🤣🤣 When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts , shave ice was called a snow cone. The roller rink was the only place that sold it and it didn’t come with amazing toppings! My favorite toppings are vanilla ice cream, condensed milk, adzuki beans & boba. Hawaii’s Shaved Ice game is on point! 👊🏼
What’s your favorite Hawaiian Shaved Ice toppings?
Yesterday I booked the boys & I a last minute Snorkeling Cruise with Diamond Head Cruises of Hawaii.
I had sent Diamond Head Cruises an email over the weekend, after we arrived into Hawaii. I wanted to see if the boys were old enough to do a snorkeling cruise with them and when would be a best time to book. They were running a special on their cruises so I defiantly wanted to take advantage of their great sale!
We had just gotten to my favorite lunch spot, Nico’s on Pier 38., when Jerry called me. They had a last minute cancelation and he wanted to see if we were interested. I loved that they called me back vs just responding by email. He let me know it was a small group going out and their was another child in the other party so it would be a perfect fit for us. We quickly finished our lunch and ran back to the house for our suits, sunscreen and towels!
We arrived at the pier and were welcomed aboard the Maori Warrior II by Our Boat Capt Lance & Snorkeling Guide Augustina. After a brief safety briefing and information on where we were going we headed out.
It was beautiful and sunny when we left but that cloud was chasing us! You defiantly can NOT bet the views of Waikiki and Diamond Head on the way out to the reef! The boys were so excited that they could see the bottom of the ocean and were impressed how deep it was! (at least 30ft)
They loved the big lounging sofa, and ate a ton of pineapple that Augustina had set out for us to snack on.
Keanu switched seats to get a sneak peak ahead to see where we were driving to. He liked getting splashed every so often too!
Once we got to the spot and anchored we got ready to get in the water. I could tell the current was strong and the wind had picked up as that cloud had finally started to pass over us. Living in Hawaii for over 10 years I got used to reading the wind and waves pretty good. Augustina had told us all the current was very strong and what areas we needed to stay in.
My boys a pretty strong swimmers but ocean swimming is a whole different ball game when it comes to current. I was planning on letting them jump in and taking some photos as they swam but I decided I needed to be in the water with them incase it was too much for them. Safety first! Needless to say there are no photos of them in snorkel gear, but they sure were cute!
Of course they were the first ones in the water! They were just too excited! The boys were doing great, especially Kai but Keanu is a bit smaller and was having trouble with his snorkel at first. I then noticed he was trying to dive down under the water! So a quick explanation of floating on top and just looking in the water and telling him to hold the snorkel up a bit helped since the waves were getting a bit bigger and splashing in his snorkel.
“SHARK! SHARK! MOM I SEEEE A SHARK!”
I started laughing as all the people in the water from the other boats gasped! Hawaii has lots of small sand and reef sharks around, which are harmless, but when you yell SHARK people only think of JAWS! I told Kai not to yell next time, and he laughed! Although he popped out of the water about 15mins latter yelling “Mom I see a SNAKE!” Laughing I told him it was an eel. Latter he asked if I was sure it was an eel “because there ARE water snakes” he said. This became the perfect time for a science discussion! He had only seen a big green eel at the aquarium so this one was smaller and more brown making him think it was a snake. I love these real life experiences they get to have, learning about nature that is right in front of you is so much different then studying it in a book!
The current got a bit stronger and I was so grateful for Augustina, she had eyes on the kid that wasn’t with me and really helped them enjoy their time in the water helping them find turtles!
I wish I got better photos but with the current I didn’t let the little guy in the water by himself!
Once we were all done we enjoyed chatting about all the cool stuff we saw in the water and eating some sandwiches and drinks they provided.
Diamond Head Cruises has a few different types of cruises, they boys think we need to go on the Friday Night Fireworks cruise next!
Well we were FINALLY able to make plans once all the RV repairs were done! If you ever need RV service or parts and you are in PA, I highly recommend John’s RV & Trailer Center in Jacobus, PA.
Leaving was a bit hard. The only times I’ve seen my dad cry is when I leave and oh man it breaks my heart, but it was even harder because he enjoyed the boys so much! I am so grateful for our time in PA and although it was RV issues that kept us there for so long, I know God had his hand in the mix and knew we all needed the time together!
I decided to leave on a Thursday night after my dad got off work and we had dinner together. I figured it would be easier to say bye at night & I could beat the morning traffic, thankfully I did that because it snowed overnight! Not a lot but enough to of made me nervous driving in the snow. My husband flew into BWI and I found a Crackle Barrel to park at overnight right outside of the airport. He landed at 6am & took an UBER to the RV. We went right back to sleep and the boys didn’t even wake up!
After a hardy breakfast to “pay” back our over night stay we hit the road to Virginia Beach to visit some old Navy friends. It was a quick overnight stop, but we had a great meal,
snuck in a quick ER trip before breakfast and had some yummy pancakes before we left in the morning.
I was REALLY bad about taking photos, we were just too busy chatting it up!
The next day we headed out towards Charleston, SC! We were all so excited to go back to our old hood and visit all of our friends! I think we all feel like Charleston is our home, especially our kids because they remember it the more then Hawaii but it’s truly because of our amazing friend in our old neighborhood!
The drive was SOOOOO long! We all just wanted to get there! We were a few hours latter then we had anticipated pulling in about 9pm at night. We were staving so we had to stop for food. We were craving wings from Voodoo Tiki Bar. I had pulled over so my husband could jump out and go pick up our togo order. I told him I would pull through the neighborhood behind the bar and pick him up on the other side. Well I turned a bit too soon and ended going through the back ally of the parking lot. It was a tight fit but thankfully the RV handles like a boss! We were planing on just sleeping in the RV outside of our friends house, but ended up staying inside, who can turn down a big bed you don’t have to pull out! lol
The next day was filled with hanging out, walks around the park, potluck with friends, kids having a blast together again, RV tours, being reminded how bad the bugs suck , lots of drinks and laughs late into the night.
We had a great visit in Charleston, it defiantly wasn’t long enough but we are on a time line to get my husband back to the ship! We decided to drive straight to San Antonio, TX so we could have a day to sight see, so that meant 2 very long days of driving! The first day was good and we pulled off before Biloxi, MS at a rest stop for the night.
Longest day ever!
We left at 7:30 am
Hit traffic at 5pm so pulled over for few hours to eat, take a shower & relax.
8pm back on road but after 2 hrs I was DONE driving! It took me 3 rest stops to finally find a spot to pull over at for the night. We didn’t quite make it, but we only have 133 miles left to go!
San Antonio TX !! I booked us at a KOA. We stayed 1 night, and its a very nice RV park! We had an upgraded camp sight with patio, table, fire pit and grill. Every camp sight should have those amenities! The boys enjoyed the playground, playing hockey with dad and diner and S’mores over the fire pit!
After we checked in we took an UBER to the Riverwalk, found a TexMex restaurant… where I could enjoy a margarita of course!
We walked around and went to the Alamo. It was the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo which I had not been aware of when I planned our trip. I wish they had some sort of Jr Ranger booklet like the National Parks do but I didn’t see anything.
We decided to do the Riverboat cruise which was great & very informative! We defiantly learned more on the cruise then we did walking around the Alamo!
Long Drive day with a over night stop at a rest area. I am so grateful I chose a Class A RV to travel in. It makes traveling so much more comfortable and easy to just pull over and stop. If we had a trailer or 5th wheel it’s still doable but a bit harder, especially if you have slides or are not set up to boon-dock!
White Sands National Monument, NM
Bucket list items!!!
Way cooler then I expected! Loved we could drive the RV right in and hang out! They had these great little picnic tables with shelter over them, which would be perfect for hot days! Since we got there in time to enjoy lunch we took full advantage of them! We got some sledding in before the winds made us run back to RV! That sand hurts!
The boys worked on their Jr Ranger booklets in the RV and we went to the visitors center to finish them up, They then turned them in & received their Jr Ranger Badges!
We decided to skip our next stop after I realized it would be a few hour round trip off the highway and just drive straight into San Diego. We were doing good on the mountain climbs but I made the mistake of pulling off for gas before a BIG climb, like literally right at the base of the hill. Once I started to pull onto the highway I knew it was going to be hard to get up to speed with such a climb!
Before that it was easy sailing at 70mph but I was only pulling 55 up the hill, Big Betsy was doing pretty good. Unfortunately I was watching the heat gauge creep up when I found out I actually have a heat alarm! Devils pass on I8 into CA almost got us, but thankfully they have places to pull over for overheating vehicles. We only needed 5 mins of cooling off the engine. It was 40 degrees outside so that helped! I had pulled over almost at the top so restarting wasn’t to bad! Then it was back to normal speeds for us!
We pulled into our RV spot just after the office closed so the night host showed us to our spot. We got all set up and the next morning we woke up to water views! I am defiantly going to enjoy this beach front living!
People keep asking me what my travel plans are and honestly I am not trying to make any anymore! Which is so hard for me, the planer and organizer! I have had more delays or issues that have come up then I had ever imagined.
But everything is in God’s greater plan and although frustrating it has giving us more time with my family then I had planed on, and that I am grateful for!
We spent most of the summer with my in-laws, completely taking over their house, using their space to renovate the RV but most importantly the kids enjoyed time with Grandma and Grandpa. They learned how to cook new foods, how to shoot guns, how to ride 4 wheelers, and how much they hate bugs! I truly got to know my in-laws more and have a deeper appreciation for what amazing people they truly are!
We arrived at my parents a bit earlier then expected because our Canada trip was cut short due to my generator needing work. After a short stop in MA at my sisters and a trip to Boston, my husband flew in to spend a few days with us and drive with me to my parents in PA. After my husband left we got to spend Halloween Trick or Treating with my Dad.
Thanksgiving came and our plans to head south got halted once I realized I had a leak when I went to change my oil. That put my RV back in the shop. It was going to be a few weeks so might as well stay for Christmas.
Then I decided to fly out and see my husband in CA. We needed some couples time and he was in port. 2 weeks we spent together. I don’t think I have ever had so much time with him alone in our entire marriage!
I was able to get my RV out of the shop and I don’t even want to admit how much I had to drop to do that. But at least it will get me back across the US!
But first I have an art event I decide to try and do since I was here. I have been painting a ton and unfortunately I can’t hang all the art in the Rv! ha!
Next, my Dad’s Birthday is coming up and we have got to stay and celebrate!
As of right now my husband is planing on fly out in a few weeks and he will drive with us cross country back to CA. Unfortunately, I have to do it quickly so I can get Keanu and Kai back for some testing they need to do but we should be able to hit of some good sights along Route 66!
This year has not gone as planed but I truly feel God has put me on a path of spending time with family and we have so enjoyed it, the boys have learned so much and are in a better place to start traveling and exploring! I really excited to have my husband along for part of our journey too!
To say this year has “gone as planed” would be a drastic understatement.
Between my husband not being gone as much as he was supposed to be, which was the entire point of us hitting the road. To us nowhere close to CA for this time of year, as I had planed. Not to mention all the RV issues we have had, we are defiantly feeling the distance, not just physically but emotionally.
We decided that it was time for us to reconnect and spend a full two weeks together. But most importantly my husband needed a break from the ship. He has a hard time NOT working, slowing down and relaxing. He is very good at his job and I am so proud of him for that but as his wife I know how much he needed a break even though he doesn’t think so! Even at that, he still had to go in 2 times in one day to take care of an issue. Ugh!
It was just what we needed. At times it was too long, others not long enough.
We talked about the past, and what the future holds for us. We are getting ready to select new orders soon. So we dived in and started to look at what area we want to live next. Its exciting and scary all at the same time.
We ate at all the restaurants we never got to and ones we loved.
We enjoyed drinks and sitting at the bar since we were sans kids.
We watched a lot of football
We walked on the beach
He avoided my selfies
But not for long
We sat in Balboa Park for 2 hours people watching soaking up the warm sun. I don’t think my husband has every sat still doing noting. It was great!
We saw every movie that was out. A Star is Born was my absolute favorite. See it in the theater with good speakers and recliners!
I pinned him to LCDR along with our good friends!
Leaving was so hard but we are making plans to be together before his deployment and we are all so ready for some good family time!
Took a walk down the Rail Trail by New Freedom PA. This is the route that Abraham Lincoln took to Gettysburg.
The boys enjoyed their new scooters they got for Christmas. Keanu kept hitting his ankle on the side so he got to get a ride from his pops and brother.
Kona dog was not doing very well on his leash when we first started. Ugh! Totally my fault for not keeping up with his training! But by the time we were heading back I was able to get him into a down and let go of the leas, although he was on high alert and not relaxed! Lots of work to be done with him!
On the way back to my parents, we stoped at the grocery store and my dad and Kai went in for a few items. Kona figured out Kai left the seat warmer on so he curled up and took a nap! He did not let Kai have the seat when came back either! Lol
My dad taught me everything I know about being handy. When I was younger he would set me up with a board and nails to pound while he was working in his shop. I used to be able to drive a nail in one whack in Kindergarten!
Don’t worry I am not that cool any more!
But neither are my kids! ha! They are trying, despite whacking their thumbs more then not!
The boys have been spending a lot of time in the wood shop with my dad, more Kai as he is at the perfect age for it, but both are getting some experiences which I love!
Kai’s first project was a sword! My dad showed him how to draw it out on paper and then transfer that to the wood to cut out. He learned how to use the band saw to cut it out and the sander to smooth it out. He painted it and was quite happy with his creation!
Kai’s next project was a bandsaw box and he designed a pistol that will hold a clock.
I love that my sons are learning so much from my dad. I had even started a project earlier in the day as Kai was helping me I realized he knew how to work most of the machines! Tonight my dad jumped in and helped us. Kai learned how to join & glue a board.