My house was in the path of the 2017 solar eclipse across the United States of America. I have never experienced a total solar eclipse so this was a first for me and most of my family.

My immediate family came out to ser this once in a lifetime event and it was totally worth it! The light began to fim but there were still shadows. At the point of totality the sky above was dark. The birds went quiet. A couple bright stars shown in the sky and it was a 360 degree view of dusk on the horizon.

Simply amazing! The patio turnedout to be the perfect spot for viewing it. The sun was just above the tree line and we had an unobstructed view of the event without the hassle of having to go anywhere!

The below two photos are from our old neighbor, Mike McClelland. I didn’t see this much blue but the effect was the same!

Family Vacation 2017

Tomorrow begins day one of a long family vacation. My sisters and Brian arrive tomorrow and I pick them up at the airport.

We are planning to go to Trilium Lake for a short, easy hike with views of Mt Hood. Then head home and get settled in.

Saturday my parents, Jeremy and his family arrive. They are renting a 15 passenger van and driving down. The current plan is to visit a winery and then head back to the house to prepare for Sunday!

The house is clean, the patio is ready and our friend Jason, loaned us a bunch of chairs and a grill! We’re set!

I hope.

Hawaii Day 9!

Saturday May 8, 2016.

Today we got up at normal hours to head south to South Point and the green sand beach.

South Point was neat because we got to take the rental Jeep into some back roads and barely trails areas which was fun. It was hot, sunny, windy and very dry.

This is the kind of area we drove through. Scrub land with dirt “roads” throughout. Some were so rutted you had to choose other paths. Not sure I would take a personally owned vehicle out there. 😉


We headed to green sands beach which is a small beach without easy access. There are locals that will give you a lift for $15 a person. I think the jeep could have made it but we would have gotten lost on the way! There were so many new paths because old ones got too rutted and had to be abandoned. So even had we tried, we might have been driving around for a while.

Kris got in the surf but I deemed it too rough for me. He did get beat up a bit and a wave took out his knee so he is feeling a bit gimpy this evening.

There were a couple kids body board surfing that were pretty amazing. I got some cool video of them jumping waves. 

All in all I probably wouldn’t go back there because the beach is small, the surf rough and the sand not that cool to see. It was a neat cove but not worth the trouble to get to IMO.

We went back to the hotel and got drinks and hung out by the pool. Kris planned this romantic dinner for two on a secluded patio for us at the hotel. A four course meal, drinks and the surf in front of us.

A lovely end to a fantastic week!

Hawaii Day 8

Friday May 7, 2016.

Today we got up before the sun to get ready and head out to Waimea for a horse back trip through Waipio Valley. The road down into the valley is a 25% grade and 4 wheel drive only.

The ranch took us all down in a 4 wheel drive van. It was steep, single lane most of the way and slow. The valley is pretty amazing though!

The ride was fun. We got to splash through creeks and try various plants growing along the road.

There was a tsunami in the valley several years ago and it destroyed much of the holdings down there. One thing that did remain were wild horses!

The folks moved back and they grow taro and other plants. Avocados, limes and various other fruits grow wild all over the place. Our guide kept plucking things from berries to flowers for us to eat. It was amusing. 🙂

The views were pretty spectacular too!

Then we went chasing waterfalls down the Hilo coast after a lunch at Grammie’s Diner in Honoka’a.

We stopped at Muamua Falls, Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls. Then went to the Boiling Pots location above Rainbow Falls.

Akaka Falls.

Rainbow Falls.

 At Rainbow Falls was this most magical glen. 

Then we went into Hilo and visited their street fair before heading off to a restaurant for food.

Kris did a fantastic job of driving us the hour and a half back to our hotel after a long day. I crashed out, which is why I don’t drive in the evenings.



Hawaii Day 7

Thursday May 5, 2016.

Today we had big plans to hit the road and head down south to the green and black sand beaches after hitting the Place of Refuge. After a couple returns to the room and loading the car with our snorkel gear we headed off to find breakfast. We stopped at this little cafe called Caffe Florian. It was quite tasty and we had geckos and a pretty bird as guests. 🙂

Then we stopped at Pu’uhonua O Hanaunau National Park, or the Place of Refuge. 


We walked the tour of the park via the pamphlet they gave us and walked some tide pools. 

 We saw some sea cucumbers and a baby eel! 

As well as lots of various fish. Then we drove over to Two Step next door to do some snorkeling. The small bay has a large area covered in coral and marine life. We saw a large eel and lots of different types of fish, Parrot fish, trigger fish and Moorish Idol fish. Some puffer fish and too many others to remember! It was lots of fun and it was the type of snorkeling I like to do, swim around and see stuff versus just float. There were lots of thermoclines where the water was warm and then all of a sudden cold. Weird but pretty neat.

We decided after having lunch when we were done snorkeling, to head back to the hotel versus trek down to the south tip when it was already 2pm.

We came back to the hotel and got cleaned up then took a walk around the hotel grounds.

We headed out to the Thurston lava tube we visited the other day and I made an offering of my lei.

Then it was dinner at a Mexican restaurant for Cinco de Mayo and back to the hotel for an early night.