Snorkeling Cruise Hawaii

Yesterday I booked the boys & I a last minute Snorkeling Cruise with Diamond Head Cruises of Hawaii.

Our Boat Capt & Snorkel Guide

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!

Ahi Furikake plate lunch

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!

Diamond Head Cruises

Kaka’ako Marina

Honolulu, HI

808-351-2335

Cross Country Crunch

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!

3/1

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!

3/2/19

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

3/3

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.

3/4

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.

3/5

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!

3/6

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!

3/7

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!

3/8

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!

3/9

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!

 

The Maryland Science Center

The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore

We have been to the The Maryland Science Center  a few times, once a few years ago when we visited the area and shortly after we got to PA at the end of 2018.

Since my daughter was in town for winter break the boys asked if we could take her. Last time we went we didn’t do all the areas because it was a busy field trip day for the center. We got there early so we could beat the school groups and be done by lunch.

The kids had a great time exploring the different hands on exhibits.

The workshop was the most fun for them and where we spent the most amount of time. They created a few buildings out of cardboard for a group project of building a city. They decided to build a Hydro electrical plant since there was a river running through the city.

 

The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore is located right on the water at the Inner Harbor. Its the perfect spot to walk around and grab some lunch near by.

New Freedom Rail Trail, PA

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

New Freedom Rail Trail & Cafe

117 N Front Street
New Freedom, PA 17349

North Museum of Nature and Science

Coding!

North Museum of Nature and Science
400 College Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603-3393

ASTC Reciprocal Member!

I love Zoos and Aquariums but Natural History Museums don’t really excite me, or my kids. But they are valuable and a great road schooling tool! So we go… BUT…

The North Museum of Nature and Science is actually a fantastic place! 

We were all pleasantly surprised! They had so many hands on actives, wide open space, but still small that you can let your kids explore on their own in the area. They were actually so excited that they were running back and forth saying “Come Here! Come Here! You have to see this!” Pulling each other across the room and to new things they found. 

The new exhibit ( we were the first ones to get to use it) was the coding  area. I went to the front and checked out the iPads and robot ball. There are 2 programs to choose from. One is easier for younger kids to use, but for non readers there are task you need to read to them so they know what to do. The task are to teach them how to control the robot. The other program is the actual programing one. My older son enjoyed it! He was able to change lights, add spoken words and music, tell it how to move and how long. The options are endless! I would totally buy one of those for the kids to play with,  I did make the suggestion to have them available in the gift store, if they weren’t to expensive!  But off to amazon to search! Luckily I found this one, which looks even cooler!

Hey Mom look! Quick take my photo…..


Wind!… Mom you try!…

“OK”…

OMG! I didn’t realize it was that strong! lol There was a toddler there and I totally made him laugh!

The bottom level was the area I though my kids would spend 2 seconds in but instead they LOVED it! My boys have always loved rocks and man do they have a cool collection! I was even saying “oh cool look at this guys! I love this one!” Ha who knew rocks could be so fascinating! The animal collection was also a big hit, especially the birds as my mom has been sharing her love of birds with the boys while we are visiting them in PA. They picked out many of the birds they have seen in the yard! how cool! 

If you are in York county PA this little gem is worth the stop! They also had a toddler area, craft section, live animals you could touch and a 3rd floor gallery walk. 

The museum is a Participant  of the ASTC Passport Program.