Browsed by
Author: Stone House Rock

Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip

Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip

I am so, so behind! This year has become quite busy and I haven’t had time to keep up with everything. It’s been so hectic! Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • I’ve gone on a couple of different short trips including: a trip to visit friends in San Francisco and a work conference
  • I got a promotion at work (yay!), which comes with more work
  • I’m volunteering with four different groups (Baha’i children’s classes, the team that plans the Baha’i holy day activities, and with two non-profits in the community)
  • I plan and host a monthly devotional and craft night with a friend
  • I have a fairly intense exercise regimen and, at the same time, am trying to be more calm and meditative
  • Lastly, I’m trying to keep up with all of our friends and, take some time for me!

Anyways, here’s the last of the recipes I plan to share back from our game night in November. (It’s May now and I’m recapping from November?! Whoops…)

Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip

This was so easy to prepare and so, so, so delectable! I absolutely love dips and I love finding ones that are easy to make at home. It didn’t take long to make – probably about 45 minutes including chopping  and oven time. First I mixed the garlic powder, BBQ sauce, and softened cream cheese. (Low-carb/keto tip: Buy or make your own sugar free BBQ sauce!)

Cheesy Chicken Dip | Stone House Rock

Then I mixed in my shredded chicken. (Preparation tip: Cook a large quantity of chicken and shred it. Freeze it in smaller quantities for use in recipes. I thawed this overnight.)

Cheesy Chicken Dip | Stone House Rock

Below is a picture of the other ingredients, plus a can of black beans that isn’t pictured. I mixed these all in to the chicken mixture, transferred it into an oven-safe lasagna pan, and cooked it at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes – until it was golden on top and the cheese was bubbly.

Cheesy Chicken Dip | Stone House Rock

Lastly, I sprinkled the dip with the remaining onion, cilantro and BBQ sauce and served with chips! (Low-carb/keto tip: Serve with sliced vegetables like carrots or celery instead of chips.)

Cheesy Chicken Dip | Stone House Rock

Here is the link to the Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip recipe that I used. (Low-carb/keto tip: Cut out the black beans to keep this very low carb!)

Please subscribe below if you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to receive notification of new posts!

Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers

I made these yummy caprese skewers back in November at the game night. They were so simple to make!Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockYou only need four ingredients:

  1. Cherry tomatoes or another small variety
  2. Fresh basil
  3. Small mozzarella balls
  4. Balsamic reduction – this means the balsamic is thick and less runny than your run of the mill balsamic vinegar. You can buy this in stores or make it yourself. I got mine from a lovely coworker. 🙂

Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockThe first thing you do is slice the ends off your tomatoes so you can sit them upright without falling over. I put the toothpicks in first but quickly found out that that made everything harder… though it did make for a pretty picture!Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockThe reason it made it harder was that it took longer to put on the basil and the mozzarella balls. In the future, I’d put the tomatoes on the plate after cutting them, tear up bits of basil into a pile and then while holding the basil and mozzarella on top of the tomato – spear all of them at once with the toothpick. It would save so much time and effort!Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockThis is what it should look like when done – whether you use the toothpicks the most efficient way or not. Ha!Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockLastly, you drizzle all the caprese skewers with the balsamic reduction for a pretty and sweet result!

Please subscribe below if you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to receive notification of new posts!

Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño Poppers

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year! I took a much needed 11 days off from work during the holidays and slept, crafted, played games, and saw friends and family. Now that we’re well into the new year though, I’m making plans and goals and trying to be productive.

A few of my goals are to write blog posts and post on Instagram more regularly, finish P90X3 (which I started last week), craft at least two nights a week and get more sleep!

Today’s post is about: jalapeño poppers!!

I made these for my husband’s birthday party/game night in November. It was my first time making them and they turned out soooooo goood! They were eaten up fairly quickly out of all the treats that I made. If you want the full recipe, please visit this blog.

Jalapeno Poppers | Stone House Rock

I didn’t think far enough in advance, so I had to heat the cream cheese in the microwave a little to bring it to room temperature. After that, I mixed it up with chopped jalapeño (de-seeded). Instead of wonton wrappers, I found egg roll wrappers at the store. Those worked great! I cut each piece into 4 and used 3 of them per popper to form the nice crispy shell.

Jalapeno Poppers | Stone House Rock

After loading the top with cheese, bacon and one slice of jalapeño, I baked the poppers for about 10 minutes until the edges were crispy and the cheese was fully melted. Looks so good doesn’t it!? By the way, if you’re vegetarian, you can easily just not add the bacon – like I did on the the right half of the picture below.

Jalapeno Poppers | Stone House Rock

Just thinking about these makes me want to make them again… such a cheesy, gooey, delicious treat!

Jalapeno Poppers | Stone House Rock

Please subscribe below if you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to receive notification of new posts!

Preparing an Appetizer Dinner for 25 Guests at Game Night

Preparing an Appetizer Dinner for 25 Guests at Game Night

My husband had a birthday last month! We have a habit of throwing a game night to celebrate. We love having people over, and most of the time we have everyone brings an appetizer while I provide an entree dish. This time, however, I decided to do it all myself! I had an idea in my head and wanted it to be perfect.

I spent much of the week preparing for it and this was the state of the fridge the day of the party:Preparing for 25 Guests at Game Night | Stone House Rock
Phew! That’s a full fridge! As you can tell from all the prepared food, my theme for dinner was:

Appetizers and Bites

The easiest appetizer to prepare was the cheese. I bought some crackers and cheese from Fred Meyer and set it out on my cute cheese plate.
Preparing for 25 Guests at Game Night | Stone House Rock
I also had a fruit salad with strawberry, pineapple and melon; chips and a cheesy BBQ chicken dip, caprese skewers, veggies and dip, bacon asparagus skewers, and jalapeno poppers. A good friend also brought some banana bread to share!
Preparing for 25 Guests at Game Night | Stone House Rock
Over the next few posts, I’ll share some of the recipes that I found for these various appetizers. They were SOOOO good! (Especially the jalapeno poppers.)

For dessert, I made a giant cookie in a cast iron pan. The ingredients were simply 2 of the pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough packs and 8 oz of chocolate in-between the two packs! It turned out so gooey and delicious.
Preparing for 25 Guests at Game Night | Stone House Rock
Both the cookie and the bacon wrapped asparagus recipes are part of this three-course Tuscan meal that I found here. Try it out and let me know what you think! By the way, the entree dish in the three-course meal was incredible too, though I made it on a different day that same week.

Please subscribe below if you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to receive notification of new posts!

21 Day Fix Extreme Results

21 Day Fix Extreme Results

I totally fail at this remembering to write thing! I can’t believe it’s been six weeks since my last post. A lot has been happening!

We went to a wonderful wedding in San Antonio at the end of October, and then spent a week in San Diego for my husband’s conference. It was lovely working from the hotel and then exploring the city in the afternoon! I also really enjoyed getting to see my sister some.

It seems like life has taken over since getting back to Seattle: I’ve been cooking and cleaning a lot, we’ve been hosting and going to parties and gatherings every week, and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. One thing I’ve been making sure to make time for every day is exercise.

Read More Read More

Cheesy Onion and Eggs Recipe

Cheesy Onion and Eggs Recipe

The recipe I’m sharing today is seriously so, so, so good! I can’t take credit for these cheesy onions and eggs. My husband cooked dinner last week and created it from scratch. (Well, something like it may exist in the world… I’ve just never had it!) This was so delicious! So delicious that I had to make it this week for some of our friends, and I added a few items to the recipe because we had them and needed to use them.

Basically, this recipe is a delicious breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner recipe that fills all your cravings. It is low-carb… so if you need carbs, toast a slice or two of your favorite whole grain bread!

Seriously, this cheesy, eggy, sauteed onion dish is just divine! I think it comes down to the fact that it’s all cooked in butter and the spices include saffron. YUM! (Though you could cook in coconut oil instead.)

1. To get started, grab all your spices: salt, cardamom, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, paprika, tumeric and saffron. I made a mix that had about an eight teaspoon of each, but 1 tsp of saffron and used a mortar and pestle to grind it all up since the saffron and rosemary were not ground. I didn’t use the entire spice mixture on this recipe, but I liked the amount of saffron to the others. This is just the spices that my husband used and I copied this time around… but be creative! There are many options that would taste great!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs - spices | Stone House Rock

2. Chop up 1.5 small onions and saute them in 1 tbsp butter on medium heat. You can substitute coconut oil if you are avoiding cooking with butter. I LOVE the smell of onions being cooked but HATE chopping them. They always make me cry! The only time they don’t is when I think about it ahead of time and put on some science goggles prior to chopping.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

3. Once all the onions are soft (about 5 minutes), put in about a quarter of the spice mixture so that the onions are super flavorful!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

4. Spread your onions nicely across the pan and add the eggs. Roll the pan around a little to make sure you have evenly spread the white part throughout all the onion. (Note: I only added 7 eggs here but if you want to follow the recipe with the nutrition below, add 8 eggs for 4 servings total.)

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

5. Add another quarter of the spice mixture on top of the eggs and cover with a lid. This leaves half the spice mixture for another meal. Turn down the heat a little so that the onions don’t burn. The covered lid will help your eggs cook through quicker.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

6. Check the eggs every couple of minutes. When the eggs are no longer runny, they are ready for the next part. First, spread the bacon evenly across the pan.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

7. Spread the avocado evenly across the pan.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

8. Spread your cubed or shredded, pepper jack cheese across the pan.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

9. Cover with the lid again to let the cheese melt. This should only take a minute or two.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

10. When the cheese is melted, it’s done! Serve and enjoy!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

I love all things cheesy, and just look at this! So good!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

If you are doing the 21 Day Fix: sub the butter out and use coconut oil instead. Each serving would be 3/4 blue, 1/2 green, 1 red, 1 tsp.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

The eggs weren’t super runny by the end of this but still soft in the middle. If you want them runny, you could throw the cheese on a few minutes earlier, and it would be super tasty as well!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1.5 small onions
  • 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp bacon
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 ounces pepper jack cheese, cubed or shredded
  • Spices:
    • 1/4 tsp: salt, cardamom, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, paprika, tumeric
    • 1 tsp: saffron

Recipe:

  1. Put all your spices in a mortar and grind up the spices.
  2. Chop up 1.5 small onions and saute them in 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil on medium heat.
  3. Once all the onions are soft (about 5 minutes), put in about a quarter of the spice mixture.
  4. Spread your onions nicely across the pan and add the eggs. Roll the pan around a little to make sure you have evenly spread the white part throughout all the onion.
  5. Add another quarter of the spice mixture on top of the eggs and cover with a lid. Turn down the heat a little so that the onions don’t burn.
  6. Check the eggs every couple of minutes. When the eggs are no longer runny, they are ready for the next part. First, spread the bacon evenly across the pan.
  7. Spread the avocado evenly across the pan.
  8. Spread your cubed or shredded, pepper jack cheese across the pan.
  9. Cover with the lid again to let the cheese melt. This should only take a minute or two.
  10. When the cheese is melted, it’s done! Serve and enjoy!

Cheesy Onions and Egg Nutrition Label

Please subscribe below if you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to receive notification of new posts!

My Hobbit Menu

My Hobbit Menu

During the Weekend Surprise Getaway that I planned for my husband, I created an entire hobbit menu complete with all the important meal times:

  1. Breakfast
  2. Second Breakfast
  3. Elevensies
  4. Lunch
  5. Afternoon Tea
  6. Dinner
  7. Supper

Here was the menu I created, with help from a little Google to know what hobbits like to eat:

A Hobbit Menu

If you missed the post about how I created the crisped edges on the parchment paper in the picture above, please click here.

My husband really got a kick out of having an entire hobbit meal plan, so much so that I plan to reuse this for a Hobbit movie marathon sometime with our friends. I spent 3-4 evenings before our getaway cooking everything on this menu, except for the meat pie and the dinner rolls.

Without further ado, here is the meal plan!

Breakfast (9AM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - First Breakfast

Breakfast was Lavender Lemon Muffins with coffee. The lavender lemon muffins were easy to make, other than finding cooking lavender, which I eventually ordered off of Amazon. 

Also, I just love the atmosphere in the hobbit hole! A small fireplace, a chess table/dining table, all the coffee and tea you could want and a “barrel” of water up on the wall. So cute. So quaint. So much craftsmanship and love.

Second Breakfast (10 AM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Second Breakfast

We moved outside to continue drinking our coffee while I used the camp stove to heat up the sausage. Second breakfast included the coffee, sausage and nonfat Greek yogurt with blueberries. There wasn’t a lot to prep here, but I wanted to make sure we got some good protein for the day, since it seems that hobbits love baked goods!

Elevensies (11 AM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Elevensies

Of course elevensies is at 11 AM. Our elevensies snack was Elven Lembas Bread. While this is an Elvish snack and not 100% perfect for a hobbit menu… I couldn’t resist! I found many different recipes online and tried the one that looked the most appealing. In reality, Elven Lembas Bread is supposed to be a food that a single bit will sustain you for an entire day. In our world, we can’t quite match that with a baked good! Instead, I went for a sweet option. 

My husband LOVED these, so I know I’ll be making them again sometime soon… but perhaps a no sugar version, since these are full of sugar!

Lunch (1 PM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Lunch

Again, since we were having a lot of sugary/baked goods, I wanted to make sure that we had a balanced, nutritional meal plan for the day. I made a “Forest Salad” with a lot of different ingredients. This was our main source of veggies for the day, so we ate quite a bit!

Afternoon Tea (3 PM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Afternoon Tea

For afternoon tea, I baked Bilbo’s Tea Cake. I cut two slices off of this and wrapped them up to take with us into the town of Chelan. We got some chai tea lattes at a coffee shop and sat outside on a bench to munch on the tea cake.

Definitely delicious, but also super dense food. A single slice is more than filling, especially when you feel like you’ve been eating nonstop all day long!

Dinner (6 PM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Dinner

I sauteed green beans with garlic for dinner along with “Rosie’s Shire Pie.” I didn’t make this pie. Instead, I bought it from a local pie shop that delivers on Amazon Fresh. It was a lamb pie. I did have to cook it before leaving for this getaway, or else it would have taken forever to cook while here. It still took nearly 30 minutes to heat up in a dutch oven!

Supper (8 PM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Supper

I wanted to keep things light for supper, so I made a homemade cream of mushroom soup and paired it with a dinner roll. Hobbits apparently love mushrooms, so I had to put something with mushrooms on the hobbit menu. It was a great end to a full day. Ha!

What would you put on the menu for your hobbit menu? 


Please subscribe below if you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to receive notification of new posts!

Create Your Own Scavenger Hunt Clues

Create Your Own Scavenger Hunt Clues

As I mentioned in my Weekend Surprise post about the surprise trip to a hobbit hole, I took my husband on a scavenger hunt to find our destination.

I created a set of around 30 scavenger hunt clues and printed them out on parchment paper. I then crisped the edges to make them seems more like a “treasure hunt.” Here’s one of the finished papers with a riddle straight from the book The Hobbit. I had to add a few riddles from the book… just to make sure he picked up on the weekend’s theme!

Scavenger Hunt Clues

This craft is awesome for a lot of different things: clues for scavenger hunts, treasure maps, and notes in a bottle are some of the many ideas you could use it for.

Supplies:

  • parchment paper
  • printer or pens
  • candle
  • lighter or matches
  • sink and water (just in case – be safe!)

How to Make Your Own Scavenger Hunt Clues

  1. Create your clues ahead of time or sketch out your treasure map.
  2. Print it or handwrite it on parchment paper.
  3. Cut the parchment paper to the size you want it to be. I created 4 clues on a single 8.5”x11” piece of parchment.
  4. Set up your “crisping zone.” MAKE SURE that this area is next to your kitchen or bathroom sink, that the water works, and is away from other flammable items like towels, paper napkins, hair aerosol sprays, etc. I set my candle up right next to the sink and lit it. I double checked that the water worked and the sink was clear. If a paper catches on fire too much, then you can drop it into the sink and turn on the water.Scavenger Hunt Clues
  5. Now for the crisping: hold the paper above the candle flame as seen in the picture below. Slowly lower it toward the flame. You’ll start to see how close you have to get in order for your paper to start browning. If you get just a smidge closer than that, the paper will start to crisp and crinkle. At this point it will likely LIGHT ON FIRE. Take it out of the flame area and blow the paper out. The reason you go slow is so that only a tiny bit of paper catches on fire at a time, so you can put the fire out before it takes over all of the paper.
  6. Continue rotating the paper to crisp the edges as much as you’d like.
  7. Once you’re done crisping, lightly run your finger over the edge of the paper and help the charred spots to fall off into the sink. This will leave the nice, uneven edge that you want, but get rid of some of the charred mess that will fall off the paper over time.
  8. Repeat for each of the pieces you’d like to crisp.

(Important: If you are under 18, please ask for the help of an adult before undertaking this project!)

Here are how some of the clues turned out! What do you think?Scavenger Hunt Clues

Weekend Surprise Getaway: Hobbit Style

Weekend Surprise Getaway: Hobbit Style

In September, I set up a surprise getaway for my husband. All he knew was that he needed to take the Friday off of work because it would be a three-day adventure. On the Friday of the trip, I woke my husband up with a clue. The clue read:

“You have been chosen to participate in a special quest where you will encounter mystery, surprises, and maybe a dragon or two. There are many riddles you must solve, they lead you to our vacation. Think long and hard to solve the clues, or you’ll never find the location.

First we must get our strength up… with an easy one, I pray. What is the first meal of the day?”

Of course, he guessed the answer right away: Breakfast. The next clue brought us up to Alderwood Mall where I got coffee and he got Jamba Juice for our drive. See the clue in his hand? You can kind of tell in this picture that it’s on parchment paper and burnt around the edges. I made all of the clues in this style. 🙂Clue time!Another clue led us to Home Depot in Bothell, WA. While he had a lot of fun and spent 30 minutes browsing and talking to staff about a garage project he wants to do, he was most definitely confused as to why we were there! Home Depot is one of his favorite stores, so I figured it would put him in good mood and get us on the way towards our destination.

Home Depot

As I promised, we were going to see a dragon or two as part of this adventure! We ended up at The Reptile Zoo in Monroe, WA. There is a “dragon” in one of the enclosures, but there are also a lot of iguanas, snakes, turtles, and an alligator. Bilbo meets Smaug in The Hobbit, so we were definitely going to do something similar.

Iguana!

After the reptiles, the next clue led us across the parking lot to this BBQ bus for lunch.

BBQ Bus

The clues went on and led us towards the destination – a hobbit hole in Orondo, WA near Lake Chelan. Both of us are HUGE Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans, so when I found this Airbnb rental, I knew I had to take a weekend and surprise him. He figured out where we were going about 10 minutes before getting there, which was the plan. We listened to some Hobbit movie music to get us in the right mindset and arrived at the hobbit hole.Tiny House in the Shire, Orondo, WAThere was a bit of a hike from the parking area to the hobbit hole, but we got everything up there. I had to bring a lot of stuff for a two night stay since this rental has no kitchen. I pre-cooked everything, brought cooking supplies and a camp stove to heat it up, and a cooler to keep the food fresh. It was definitely worth it though, I felt like I was in Hobbiton!Tiny House in the Shire, Orondo, WAMy husband brought his new video quadcopter on the trip because I told him he’d want to, and he spent some time flying it around and taking video of the valley. See? He’s totally in his happy place. 🙂Tiny House in the Shire, Orondo, WAHere is the view from the hobbit hole – quite magnificent! As you can tell, no one lives around the hobbit hole so it’s very much out of the way and secluded. It’s also off-the-grid with solar electricity and a propane tank water heater. There is a jug of water hung on the wall that they refill for drinking water.Tiny House in the Shire, Orondo, WAAnd another view from within the house.
Tiny House in the Shire, Orondo, WAWe stayed at the hobbit hole for two nights and I created an entire hobbit meal plan. You know… with breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. We ate all day and spent time watching The Hobbit Trilogy on my laptop. We then went into Chelan for afternoon tea, and played some games and continued watching the movies.
Tiny House in the Shire, Orondo, WAHobbits love games and so do we. I brought a selection of games and we played a couple of them throughout the day as well as using the chess set that was provided.
Hobbits love games!The hobbit adventure was definitely a success and a surprise for my husband. I can’t believe I pulled it off without spilling the beans! I never can keep anything from him!Tiny House in the Shire, Orondo, WAIn the next few posts, I’ll show you how I created the awesome clue sheets with burnt edges and the hobbit meal plan that I created for our getaway. Please subscribe (on the right side of the page towards the top) if you’d like to see more posts like this!

What do you think of this Airbnb rental? Would you like to live like a hobbit for a weekend?

Big Island, Hawaii 2016 Part 2 – Travel Tuesday

Big Island, Hawaii 2016 Part 2 – Travel Tuesday

Welcome to part 2 of our Hawaii 2016 recap! Click here if you need to read part 1. Last week’s post was about our time spent in Hilo and the surrounding area. This week is about the next half of our trip.

Driving from Hilo to Waimea

We made a ton of stops when we traveled from Hilo to Waimea. Our agenda for the day was as follows:

  • Breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo – this was fun, but not superb by any means. The milkshake was great (because… of course you need a milkshake with breakfast – ha!)
  • Brief stop at Rainbow falls in Hilo – Don’t just stop at the waterfall – there is a great path off to the side of the waterfall viewing area that takes you to a magical tree-filled area and then further to the swimming holes above the waterfall. Note: there are signs saying it’s dangerous… but we saw people swimming anyways. Okay, I’ll share a picture with you of the forest area – it was just that cool:Hawaii 2016
  • Akaka Falls State Park – This was a fun little hike with a loop trail. It was definitely less than a mile total and all paved paths. If I recall there are some stairs.
  • Laupahoehoe Point Park – A wonderful park with some nice views, but not a thing that I’d recommend as a “must-do” when you visit the Big Island.
  • Red Water Cafe in Waimea – Once we arrived at our next Air Bnb in Waimea, we decided that we needed to get some dinner and splurge. We went out to Red Water Cafe which was so pricy, but so delicious! There was also live jazz.

The wedding was the next day, and for the sake of not sharing all my friends’ stuff on this blog, I’ll ignore the actual wedding day in this post. Let me just say that it was beautiful, fun and I’m so incredibly happy for the couple!

Kona Coast State Park/Makalawena Ahupua’a

Definitely go to Kona Coast State Park/Makalawena Ahupua’a if you get a chance. You’ll park at a little state beach park and then immediately turning to the right and walking on the dried lava beds over to a beach that you can’t get to unless you hike or have a jeep! Here’s the honey along the hiking path:Hawaii 2016

The beach you’ll be wanting to get to called Makalawena Ahupua’a and there are plenty of guides online for how to get there. Google it. But, in case you aren’t sold yet…. look at this beauty!

Hawaii 2016

Pristine sand, few people, and beautiful sea and surf.

We met up with the bride and groom and some of their friends the next day to go with Alii Ocean Tours on a snorkel adventure – we even saw dolphins! Somewhere during our time in Waimea we also went to another Baha’i event – this time a Musical Fireside with Red Grammer! He happened to be doing some school workshops and put together a nice fireside at a local Baha’is house.

Scuba Diving with Manta Rays

We went diving with Jack’s Diving Locker and I enjoyed every bit of it. Their staff are professional and funny, charismatic and trustworthy. We did a two-tank dive so we got to dive before the sunset, have dinner, and then dive again after the sun went down to see the manta rays. It was absolutely one of the most incredible and breathtaking experiences of my life!

Hawaii 2016

The mantas are huge. And one swam right over my head… like a foot above me! When you go night diving with mantas what you do is go to the bottom and sit down. We all have flashlights to help us see, but the guides have huge lights to light the area. There is also a huge light floating up top to help bring the plankton so the manta rays come to feed. We are instructed to sit still and not try anything stupid. As I mentioned: manta rays are big. They can hurt you without realizing it! Also, they have this sticky stuff on them as a protective measure. If we touch them, it can ultimately cause them harm from losing the sticky stuff. (At least… I think that’s how it works!)Hawaii 2016

We had a few days before our flight after scuba diving, so we took it easy and went to a few beaches, including returning to Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park which was where we went snorkeling with the bride and groom a few days earlier. We had previously boated into the cove, but this time we had to hike in! It’s about 2 miles each way from the highway and it’s not paved and there are some ups and downs along the way, especially at the end when you are making your way down to the beach.

In all, it was a fabulous Hawaii trip, albeit a little long… Either way, we had some great adventures. I can’t wait for my next night dive!