A day at the beach…Cloudy, yet fun and fulfilling…A year ago, an ironic visitor on Christmas Day!


Yesterday, Tracy took this underwater photo using their GoPro camera. She said he was much larger than appears in this photo.

Christmas is over. Santa came and went. Laughter wafted through the air as the grandkids played with the items Santa had placed in their stockings, in our case Santa hats, when the evacuating store in Pahoa was out of stockings.

I put their names on the hats by making block letter cutouts using the cards from a box of $.60 Christmas cards and glue. We attached the hats with the contents stuffed inside with a variety of interesting rocks, shells, and stones in various packages we’d purchased at the Lyman Library.

Tide pools Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo where we spent the day on Christmas.

We included the usual grandparent requisite gift, a Visa gift card so when bored, they can begin looking on their tablets what they’d like to purchase when they return to Minnesota.

Making and packing enough food for 14 for a full day was definitely challenging, to ensure we had everything everyone would like. We did our best and it ultimately turned out well which included.

Burgers, brats, hotdogs, and buns with sliced cheeses
Foil packs with diced potatoes (Tom peeled)
Bacon, Almond, and Raisin Broccoli Salad
Roasted Vegetables
Cut up cantaloupe and pineapple
Sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce

Tom on Christmas Day at the park.

Then, of course, we hauled paper products, beach towels, lawn chairs (Tammy and Tracy purchased two folding chairs for Tom and me), two small grills, water toys and it goes on and on. Three vehicles were loaded to the gills with people and “stuff.”

It rained off and on all day. Luckily, Sarah kept her eye on an available covered pavilion and shortly after we arrived we were in luck. Being undercover all day made it possible to enjoy ourselves chatting and watching the kids.

We were in good spirits and ended up sharing food with a man sitting near us as, apparently alone on Christmas. He had a boom box playing Hawaii rap music but later changed it to a more mellow variety, adding to the festivities of the day.

With the flurry of activities at the beach, it was tough to get a photo of everyone together.

All of us cooked in shifts for each family. Tom and I usually don’t eat until early evening but the smell of the meat on the grill put us right on track with the others, wolfing down the good food. TJ said he’d never had a burger on Christmas Day. How true it was for all of us.

Many spent hours in the water snorkeling, reveling in the fish, eels, and sea turtles.  Vincent didn’t get out of the shallow tide pools until long after we had lunch. Maisie, Miles, and Madighan, new to snorkeling, couldn’t get enough. Nik and Jayden now with us for three weeks, couldn’t get enough.

Birds at the beach peeking on beach-goers leftovers.

And, of course, Tammy, Tracy, Greg, and Camille, spent time with the kids in the tide pools while TJ and Sarah hung out with us under the pavilion. All of us were in awe as to what they could see, excited to share it with the grandkids.

Home by 5:00 pm to whale watch, nibble on leftovers and snacks, it was a laid back evening befitting all of us.

A rainbow, a perfect finish to the day..

I spoke to my sister on Skype and later chatted with son Richard on Facebook. There were many others I’d have like to speak with to wish Merry Christmas. Time somehow slipped away as it often does.

Last night’s crescent moon.

Today, the kids are leaving for beach activities and a few staying behind with us. We have no doubt it will be another good day.

May all of you have a stupendous day after Christmas. We plan to do the same.

                                          Photo from one year ago today, December 26, 2013:

Mr. Kudu was standing near our carport in Marloth Park on Christmas morning last year. Tom teased me stating, “Here’s your Christmas gift, Sweetie.” That was all I needed!  For details from that date, please click here.