August 22, 2017-Hawaii Adventure

No one stirred in my room until the alarm went off this morning. Keaton and Whitman were sleeping really well-so well that we hated to wake them up. I had already had a shower and was dressed by the time they started to stir. Whitman asked to play with their balloon swords from Pirate night so they did that until it was time to put on their clothes.

Everyone else from our crew had already been to breakfast when we left but it was still super crowded this morning. Not only did we notice the crowds but we also noticed the rain pouring down. Yuck! We did later find out that Hilo receives 22 days of rain each month and this was one of those days.

Keaton and Whitman are a bit bored of the many choices of breakfast items and have been opting for boxed cereal each day. They get one to eat for breakfast and then one to eat later during the day for a snack. I have plenty of ziplock baggies with me so I could make some bacon and sausage sandwiches for everyone but Robby has encouraged me not to do this!

Robby did some work this morning while we ate so when we left, he grabbed a few things to eat on the way back to the room. Pops and Robby took off to pick up the rental cars. They just missed the shuttle bus so used an uber to get there. It took them longer than I thought so we had to wait for a bit on them. I should have left the rooms later but my phone doesn’t have a signal inside and down low on the boat so I didn’t know that they were slower than they expected until we were already off of the boat.
The rain stopped as we walked to the cars but as soon as we climbed in, it started again. The rain was between a fine to heavy mist the entire day long. It would clear occasionally so we never were drenched or uncomfortable.

About 30 minutes from the boat, we arrived at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There were tons of people at the visitor’s center but we found seats for the movie and had a good rest…I mean we learned a lot. (Keaton, Whitman and I might have closed our eyes for a few minutes but I know the gist of the story-the islands of Hawaii was formed by volcanoes.)
After the Visitor’s Center, we drove to the steam vents. It really reminded us of Yellowstone with the spooky steam coming up from the ground. We then walked to the overlook and saw a huge caldron spewing steam.

Then we made it to the stop that I had been waiting on-the Thurston Lava Tube. After finding a parking spot, we trekked through a rain forest to the start of the lava tube. The lights were out in the tube but we had our phone flashlights. It just a long cylindrical cave that we walked through. It was hard to imagine if being filled with lava but was pretty amazing to see.

The lava tube was our last stop in the park and then we headed back towards to Hilo to stop at the Mauna Loa macadamia nut factory. The nut factory was basically just a gift shop along with a little cafĂ©. We didn’t eat anything there but some macadamia nut cookies sure sounded good (so I had one when we got back to the room-we may or may not have a stash of cookies smuggled back from the buffet in our room.)

Keaton, Campbell and Whitman all found a key chain that they wanted. Reagan bought key chains for her birthday party favors and both boys picked a can of macadamia nuts. The key chains were just a buck but the cans of nuts were a good bit more! After spending money at the gift shop, we walked around the tour which was windows that you could peer into and see the people working. Keaton said that she wanted to work in the chocolate room. I am so glad that she has high ambitions. She added that she wanted to work in that room with no gloves on. It was interesting to watch and while we watched the ladies put the chocolate macadamia nut candies in the boxes, all we could think about was Ethel and Lucy working in a chocolate factory.

From there we drove back into Hilo and stopped at Rainbow falls. The water was gushing down the falls today and since there was no sun we weren’t able to see a rainbow. It was still a pretty awesome sight though. Then up just a bit further was another falls. They were called Boiling Pot falls but we all noticed that they were located on Peepee Falls Street. My boys got a really good kick out of that! Of course, in Hawaiian it isn’t pronounced the same as it would be in our English. This could have been the upper portion of the falls that we had just seen and gracious, the water was just pouring out over the falls.

We stopped to get gas and then drove a loop around Banyan tree drive marveling at the huge Banyan trees. Afterwards, Robby and Pops dropped us off at the boat and they went to drop off the cars. We all changed into our supper attire quickly and then ran upstairs to watch a strawberry shortcake making demonstration.

Campbell, Whitman and Keaton snagged seats on the front row. All three of them just sat there so intently. They took in everything that was happening. A pastry chef, the cruise director and an audience member were all cooking. The pastry chef’s cake was perfect and the cruise director was just slopping the whip cream on the cake. It was all pretty entertaining and when it was over, we were all able to try some strawberry shortcake.

Some of the kids went downstairs to the rooms for a bit and Robby and I went upstairs to call our business partners. We soon were sailing away and had to run to supper. Tonight, we ate in the Liberty dining room and I am not sure where everyone else was but the crowd was super light in there. This helped us tremendously because our supper didn’t take 3 hours!

Reagan did get steak tonight and she was pleased with it. I think she enjoys the fine dining more than any of the other kiddos. Now, Anderson might just enjoy the dining as well-he has chosen the lasagna two nights in a row.

After we ate, the kids ran downstairs to change their clothes for the kids’ club. It is funny how excited they are about all of this. Reagan said that they just have really good games and Campbell was so excited last night about getting their quickly that she didn’t even want dessert at dinner. I dropped the kids off at the club and headed back down to our room to work on the blog for a few minutes.

Not only did I work on the blog, but I also had to fix Campbell’s pineapple bag. One of her straps fell off this morning and she was pretty upset. I told Robby that I could have fixed it in seconds on the sewing machine but instead it took me a good 15 minutes to hand sew it. (Most of that time was spent trying to thread the needle!)

A bit before 8:30, we went to the kids’ area to pick up Anderson. He wanted to go with us to see the magic show tonight. We were on the second row and he really enjoyed it. Robby and I spent the entire time trying to figure out how he did the magic tricks.

After the show, we ran back upstairs to the kids’ area to pick up everyone else because it was lava viewing time. We hurried outside along with everyone else on the boat. The lava was already in sight and we climbed two flights of stairs so we could see it. We kind of had to push our way to the front but with Keaton and Campbell standing on a deck chair and Whitman on Robby’s head, everyone could see it.

I barely remember the lava flow from last time that we were here. I think that it seemed to be much more spew-y and brighter this time though. The kids were very impressed at this “once in a lifetime opportunity.” Earlier in the day, I was telling everyone the plans and Campbell said that she didn’t want me to pick her up from the kids’ club early to see the lava. I explained that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and she quickly shot back to me, “you’ve been here twice now.”

Watching lava pass by the boat for a good 5 minutes makes you hungry. So, we went to the buffet for a bite to eat. We mostly ate ice cream and cookies though I did try a baguette slice with a tomato slice and some mozzarella cheese on top. The amount of food served on the boat blows my mind. I would love to take a behind the scenes tour of the kitchens.

After our snacks, everyone headed to their rooms and it was bedtime. After Whitman, had changed into his pjs, he was looking at a magazine. He had about 9 warning signs on it and he asked me to please read him the warning signs. I read them all a few times and we watched about 5 minutes of some show on tv before it was lights out. I was hearing both Keaton and Whitman snoring by the time that I had turned on the computer and started the blog.

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