Christmas in Paradise – Day 7

Today was a day ups and downs. We drove across the island to the Hilo-side to get a little of the greenery and rain – both experienced in full measure. We spent some time at Boiling Pots, Rainbow Falls, and then made our way over to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where we hiked around and through Kilaweai Iki crater. Unfortunately, 1/2 way through a delightful high-energy trip, Sam took a spill and hurt his hand which cast a pall on the remainder of the day. We finished the hike, spent a little time at the black sand beach to prove to his school friends that such a thing exists, and finished up with an incredible chocolate chip cookie pie at Kona Brewery. I’d say that we finished well!

Mostly pictures taken OF Sam today as he was high-energy early and kinda bummed out later.


Christmas in Paradise – Day 6

Today Emily participated in a duathalon. Meanwhile Sam and I enjoyed YUMMY belgian waffles with pineapple, mac nuts, whipped cream and my newest obsession: coconut syrup. We then went to a beach with extensive tide pools where Sam was overwhelmed by an incoming wave, knocked down, tossed against lava rocks, and decided that we should do something else (very reasonably so!). We then drove to Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau, a place of refuge which we all agreed was a highlight of the trip. Sam completed some activities and earned a Junior Ranger badge. Part of the ceremony was to take an oath to protect wildlife and also to respect his parents. We plan on referencing the last clause extensively.

The shots below all come from our last stop of the day as well as our driveway when a flock of wild turkeys wandered through.

Christmas In Paradise – Day 5

Today we went on an underwater submarine, spent some time playing at the beach, and visited a coffee plantation. Sam was only interested in taking pictures on the submarine. The coffee plantation, in particular, was of no interest to him.

Christmas in Paradise – Days 2 & 3

More entries from Sam’s photographic endeavours!

Christmas in Paradise – Day 1

Recently, Sam has been asking to take pictures of things he sees. Last month he saw a tree that stretched across the path with pretty yellow leaves and asked to take a picture. Unfortunately, the leaves fell before we could find my camera to take the requested picture. So that Sam could always have something to take pictures with, he received an early Christmas present in the form of a water-proof / shock-proof camera. What follows below are the first day’s set! Clearly he has a long career ahead of him!

Santa visit 2015


We visited Santa today at Gilman Village. Either no one else goes there or everyone else visits Santa earlier in the month because we didn’t even have to wait in line!

Last year, Sam was really nervous to talk with Santa. This time he hopped right into the sleigh and started talking about our upcoming trip to Hawaii.

You can’t see the shirt well in this picture, but you should know that it’s a great white shark in a Santa hat. I think Santa liked it.

2015 Santa Letter

Sam wrote his own letter to Santa this year:


From Sam to Santa


XD85 monster truck


These are some very specific designs for a remote control monster truck that Sam has named the XD85. The orange one is a special Halloween monster truck. We hope Santa brings one small enough to ship home from Hawaii!

I told Sam that Santa might like him to be a toy designer in his workshop, so he and Dave are now busily running around the house as Santa and elf, making toys, repairing the sleigh, and delivering toys.