More family has arrived...Moved in next door...Great to see them...

Sunrise this morning.
Yesterday, around 5 pm, Tammy, Tracy and Vincent arrived from Maui where they'd spent an action packed last week, snorkeling, scuba diving and zip lining.

More views from the master bedroom lanai.
Last night we sat around computer watching videos of their adventures and we couldn't wipe the smiles off of our faces.  Nothing brings more joy to us parents than seeing our children and grandchildren living fulfilling lives.

Today, the remaining arrive.  Its hard to believe they'll all be here.  We're making dinner to enjoy together at the first house tonight as the last of them get unpacked and settled in. 

The sea, the pool, the morning doesn't come soon enough.
Tom refers to the first house, as the "bird house," since from the aerial photo online reminds him of a cute birdhouse.  Henceforth, for the purposes of explanation here, I'll will also refer to it as the birdhouse.

Last night, at 11:30 I made the announcement that I was turning in for the night, hoping everyone else would do so. Off I went and Tom followed shortly.  By midnight, we were all tucked in, hoping for a great night's sleep.

The neighbor's pool on the left is drained.
Alas, a good night's sleep was not in the cards for me last night when fitfully I tossed and turned.  Having spent hours cooking yesterday's meal, something I hadn't done since the dinner party in South Africa last February, my legs and back were tired from hours on my feet.

Even my carefully executed way of eating is no insurance against wearing out from overuse.  But, the excitement of seeing everyone made sleeping almost impossible and this morning I was in the shower before 6:00 am, ready to start the day.

The shoreline on a drive on the Red Road.
The Kona coffee has been the first order of the day since arriving on the Big Island where we've purchased no less than 12 packages of 100% pure Kona, making it each morning with considerable enthusiasm.  The price of a 12 ounce bag of 100% Kona ranges from a modest $7.95 (on sale) to a high of $20 here in the islands.

We tried a few different price ranges finding no difference in the mid range coffee than the higher priced options.  Once we discovered which we liked, "safari luck" kicked in and when the Long's Drugs was preparing to evacuate due to the impending lava flow, we were able to purchase the 12 bags at $7.95 at half the usual price.

The rocky shoreline.
Stocking both houses with an equal supply, our family members that drink coffer (only about five of us) will enjoy the fine taste of Kona coffee while here.
Back in Minnesota, I always purchased a Kona Blend at $7.95 a bag.  At that time 100% Kona was $24.95 for a 12 ounce bag prohibiting me from ever making the purchase other than on a few special occasions.

Other less pricey items on the island is pineapples.  In Maui, they were $.99 each.  Here on the Big Island they are $.69 a pound averaging at about $3.69 each.  Other than those two items, the Hawaiian islands offer few bargains.

The ocean spray.
They're all taking off for the day, leaving us to prepare tonight's meal and if we're lucky spend a few hours outside by the pool, lounging for the first time in days.  The kids are worried about leaving us behind but we're content to stay behind after many days of riding in the car in these past weeks and more upcoming when everyone is here. 

Once the others arrive, most likely we'll all be gone most days exploring together as a family; visiting the tide pools, the community pool and the beauty of this gorgeous island. 

Leaves growing on a tree trunk.
Tomorrow, is Tom's birthday and the plan is to head to Volcanoes National Park to see the source of the lava, Mount Kilauea and it amazing surroundings and then out to dinner for his party at the Hilo Burger Joint. 

Typing right now is cumbersome and challenging especially when it requires that I use the laptop's mouse pad and also the external keyboard.  Where to place the keyboard present an issue in itself.  Oh well, the digital and electronic issues will always be a apart of our lives.

Hawaii Snake Plant.

It's Monday.  TJ and family leave in six days.  It's hard to believe their time is coming to an end.  No doubt the departure of the others will come more quickly than we'd prefer.  But, for now, we'll live in the moment cherishing every aspect of our time together.

Have a meaningful Monday, only days away from the holiday festivities.
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Photo from one year ago today, December 22, 2013:

Catching this kudu with his mouth open while munching on leaves was quite a sight!  For details from that date, please click here.































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