Swimming with Sharks at Kekaha Kai State Park

Be prepared for a bumpy ride if you plan on going to Kekaha Kai beach! The road consists of broken up lava rock and is one hell of a ride down to the beautiful long shores with perfect sands. It took us a while to get down the actual road in our rental van, I recommend a 4×4 vehicle; it’ll be much more fun. 😉

The moment we were out of the car Gryphen was on her way to the beach and ready to swim and play in the sand. Devon, Morgan, Kana & I had other plans! We were excited to go snorkelling and after speaking someone else in the area we spotted another sea turtle and snapped some great shots and were back to exploring what else the reef had to offer.
0033 Swimming with Sharks

0039 Swimming with Sharks

Then it happened. Kana spotted a shark. A White Tipped Reef Shark! It’s head was HUGE and the body was around 5 to 6 feet long, right there sitting in front of us! We had been looking for a shark for a while and finally came across one. haha but Kana had forgotten to put the SD card in her GoPro and quickly swam back to shore while Morgan & I stayed behind marking the spot. Some poor man seen Devon & Kana booking it to shore and after finding out they seen a shark he was on his way next to them! He didn’t want to be in the water knowing there was a shark around. Meanwhile Morgan & I were swimming right next time him during all this! Seeing a shark up close was very emotional for myself, hammerhead sharks are my favorite animal and catching a glimpse of the white tip reef shark. WOW.
0038 Swimming with Sharks After that amazing experience I decided to go relax and play with Gryphen on the beach. She wasn’t interested in my playing with her! Such a diva. Instead I wandered around the beach snapping some photos of the perfect beach and enjoying the scenery.

0034 Swimming with Sharks REVISION

0035 Swimming with Sharks 0036 Swimming with Sharks 0037 Swimming with Sharks

This was another perfect beach to watch whales swim and have fun. Great family find! Below is the video of the White Tip Reef Shark was came across.

Roadtrip to Kilauea Volcano

We decided to pile in to the van and head toward Hilo to experience the beautiful the Coast of Hawai’i, oh and to see one of the worlds most active volcanoes; Kilauea Volcano. We stopped at the Southernmost Point of the Island to enjoy lunch, watch the waves crash and people take the huge leap into the water!

0020 Volcano

0021 Volcano

0022 Volcano

After a lot of driving we stopped at Panalu’u Black Sand Beach Park, it was truly unbelievable to see how different everything looks when the sand is replaced with finely crushed volcanic rock. Gryphen has been watching the movie “A Turtle Tale’s” for over a year now and being able to see Sea Turtle’s first hand for her was inspiring. When we came close to the turtle’s we explained to her once that for the safety of the turtles a distance needed to be kept, she understood and went on chatting to the Sea Turtle’s and asking why one had a stick on his back! We can’t wait until our next visit when Gryphen is more comfortable in the water and can snorkel with us and be able to see turtle’s swimming. 0023 Volcano

0024 Volcano

0025 Volcano

Can you believe that Kilauea has created over 490 acres since 1994 on Hawai’i Island? This active Volcano may stop tomorrow or continue on producing lava for another 100 years. Unfortunately you’re no longer to get close to the volcano so if you’re interested in getting a better sight spend the extra money and view it from a helicopter. On our way out of the park, Devon, Gryphen, Morgan, Sandy & I stopped by to run through the Lava Tube! Hard to believe that at one point there was lava running through and what it’s left behind is breathtaking. If you’d like to learn more about the National Parks please go to their website {here}.

0026 Volcano

0027 VolcanoNOTE: Unfortunately we had some technical difficulties and lost all of my personal footage from that day. 🙁 Very disappointing I tell ya! 

 

Boogie Boarding in the Pacific

When the surf is perfect for boogie boarding you grab a board and run for it! We all had a blast catching the waves and riding them in. We did this until we spotted some whales close by and decided to see if we could hear them under the water. Yes, yes we did hear them! So much so I lost track of how close I was getting to the rocks and was slammed into them when the next set came! But not to worry I saved Morgan’s mask I was borrowing. haha And Devon saved me 😉 .

0012 Hawaii 0013 HawaiiKana decided to take a fun photo in the cavern until a wave came and flushed her out!
0014 Hawaii

After nearing drowning myself by some rocks I decided maybe it would be best to take a break for a bit and came out to play with Gryphen and snap some photos! We spent a lot of our time watching the whales. It was such an amazing experience to be able to hear the whales talking to each other under the water.
0015 Hawaii 0016 Hawaii 0017 Hawaii 0019 HawaiiUp next: Our trip to the active Volcano!!

 

Exploring Hawaii

Our first day was an amazing day of fun! After spending so much time flying it was time to be in some water. At 8am we took a dip in the pool. Poor Gryphen wasn’t overly impressed with the water since she hasn’t been swimming for a few months but by the time we went to leave the pool she didn’t want to get out of the water!
First day in Hawaii After a slightly sketchy breakfast we were ready to go snorkelling and headed over to the Ironman beach. Gryphen on the other hand decided it was time to take a nap and passed right out in the car. We seen a lot of fish, the water was a bit odd! Cold on the top and warm on the bottom 😉
First day in Hawaii First day in Hawaii Our day ended with surprising Morgan at the Kona airport! He almost walked right past Gryphen when she ran to meet him.
First day in Hawaii

Up next: Bogey boarding and playing on lava rocks! 

Standby to Kona Hawaii!

When people find out  my husband is a pilot they think I get these amazing free flights around the world. I just stroll up to any gate and say “put me on this flight” and we’re off laughing in the sun. But in truth we spend a lot of time watching flights, finding different connections and sitting around airports. When we found out Joanne & Kana were going to Kona for three weeks we wanted to go! I opened up the employee travel site to see how the flights were looking for us. Not good at all! We kept checking every couple days but nothing seemed to improve. Then while Gryphen & I were driving Joanne, Kana & Sandy to the airport Kana & I decided to check again for flights and Sunday Rouge has a direct flight to Honolulu! All we’d have to do is take Hawaiian Airline in the morning over to Kona. It was settled.. we are going! Time to pack 🙂

We do not check out luggage. It’s a hassle and some places charge. After several trips I’ve devised a fool proof system of packing.

Step 1:
Take all the clothes you want to bring out and put it on the bed. Fold them.

Step 2:
Make two piles; one you NEED & one you’d like to bring.

Step 3:
Go through each pile and justify needing that item.

Step 4:
By this time you should have a lot less stuff and you’re hanging some back up!

Step 5:
Divide which things you’d like in which bag. We have 3 carry-on’s & 3 backpacks.

Step 6: (see photo below)
At this point do your first attempt at packing everything into your bags. If some stuff doesn’t work decide if you need that item or if you want to swap it for something else.

Step 7: (see photo below)
You’re all packed!

Below in the first photo is everything for Devon, Gryphen & I, you’ll see I can actually pack my fin’s in to my carry-on. Devon on the other hand straps his to his backpack. I ask Gryphen what she’d like to bring and within moderation she’s permitted but she’s the one carrying her bag so I try to make sure it’s not too heavy. If you’d like to see everything that we’ve packed click {here} for the full list!

Packing for HawaiiGryphen hasn’t been on a flight since we moved back to Ontario from Nova Scotia last year and once we got our seats and we were relaxing in the lounge she started to get VERY excited for the flight! Everyone in the lounge could hear and see her enthusiasm for her trip to Hawaii.
Amex Lounge

Finally in the air and ready for our 10 hour flight to Honolulu. One thing we do with Gryphen during flights is find an empty window seat (if we aren’t in one) and let Gryphen watch the scenery. This gobbles up about an hour of the flight each time, she hates leaving the window.
Air Canada Rouge Flight

Hawaii here we come! Since Gryphen hates eating we bring meal replacers for her during the flight and just toss them into her bottle. Keep in mind these are adult size and depending on your TSA agent they may not allow it but to this point we’ve never had any issues. Gryphen loves to sit on the trays which isn’t actually allowed so we try to keep it on the down low. We had a little girl the same age who took two 3 hour naps during the flight, we weren’t that lucky with Gryphen! She slept for the last couple hours but only when Devon was laying with her. Once he moved she was very angry and not impressed.
Air Canada Rouge Flight

After a 2.5 hour drive from Parry Sound to Pearson, 2 hours in Pearson, 10 hours on a Air Canada Rouge flight, a night in an airport hotel, and finished with a 45 minute to Kona on Hawaiian Airlines. We have finally arrived in Kona!

Welcome to Kona

Arrived in KonaStay tuned for more photos and adventures of our last minute trip to Hawaii!

HUNTSVILLE // Breakfast & Fun!

 After we had a fairly decent night sleep we decided to head over to Huntsville for breakfast at the Family Place Restaurant!
Family Place Restaurant is one of our favorite places to eat in Huntsville. The food is reasonable priced and well made. I love that you can see what’s happening in the kitchen while you’re waiting for your food. Two of my favourite dishes would be breakfast & pizza! They’ve never let me down 🙂
If you’re in the mood for a milk shake, order one! They’re very thick & delicious. Be prepared for a bit of a wait if you’re heading there on the weekend. It’s always a bit busy.
After our delicious brunch at Family Place Restaurant we headed over to Sandhill Nursery to explore their Fall Festival. Every year Sandhill has something amazing happening there. They go above and beyond what you’d expect from any landscape company. I was pretty happy when I did a quick check on their website to see that Zoo To You Reptiles was going to be there until 3pm. Parry Sound Early Years program had them previously and Gryphen LOVED the alligator.
After our up close and personal visit with the animals we took to the very giant maze! Gryphen loved exploring and finding our way to the maze, passing the goats eating and relaxing! Once arriving Gryphen started to find her way through and before we knew it we were coming out of the exit and on our way to the tent!
Thanksgiving weekend was the last weekend for the Fall Festival at Sandhill Nursery but we’re looking forward to what’s coming up next! We love free fun places for the family.

Does My Face Look Fat?

I love long hair but sometimes we need an update, a new look. I decided it was time for a change and booked an appointment with Jess at Mary-Jo’s in Parry Sound to have my hair cut! 
This is the first time I’ve ever had my hair so short 🙂 at first I have to admit I HATED it! I wanted to cry, I had no idea how to style it correctly or what I was thinking haha 
It’s now been a few days and I’m starting to like it now! It’s incredibly easy to maintain. I have some flare in my hair & I still like it to be perfectly straight! That only takes about a minute to fix up now. Yay! 
I went from long to short in 20 minutes and I’m very happy with my decision! 
Has anyone else ever just cut your hair much shorter? Tell me why you decided to do it! 

PARRY SOUND // Bearly Used Books

Who doesn’t love books! I feel like we’re always buying books for Gryphen, this month alone we’ve spent over $100 on used books from Bearly Used Books! The average cost of most books are $3.
 Whether you’re an adult or a child there’s a place for you to sit and decide on which books you want to purchase! I love that i’m able to bring Gryphen, we can sit down and read the books with her to see which ones she’d like. If you haven’t found something up stairs, go downstairs where you’ll spend HOURS ( I mean i’ve spent hours) looking not only children’s books but books that you’ll love too. 
 If you’re looking for something specific I suggest bringing the name of the author and book title, the amazing staff are always there and ready to help you search. Those women have spent on several occasions helping me search through the rows of books to find that “one” book that would be perfect for me to read. hahah I always seem to find more then one! 
If you’re in the Parry Sound area I highly suggest checking out Bearly Used Books! You’ll find some really great books for even better prices! If your child is anything like Gryphen and likes to tear pages, there’s nothing better then spending $.50 on a book instead of $10! 
Check out Bearly Used Books at 45 Seguin Street; Don’t forget to like them on Facebook & Instagram!