COVID-19/Part 2 – Tennessee

March 27, 2020 – The Ehrenheims (our family who we visited a few blog posts ago) came over to stay in a cabin in our RV park for a few days.  We had fun with them, eating, fishing, and roasting marshmallows and Peeps over a campfire.

I got my first tick ever.  Since it had gotten hotter recently, the bugs and insects had started to come out.  The tick I got was a female lone star tick.  It had a white dot on its back.  I have to admit, I was totally freaked out, and I got my oldest brother to pull it out for me.

April 4, 2020 – We drove on the Natchez Trace Parkway and stopped at a few places.  There were a few trails, waterfalls, lookouts, rivers, and pretty forests.  We also got to see a historic brick house, the site of where an iron works used to be, and a historic tabacco farm.

Note that the trees are green now in the pictures, and flowers are blooming.

May 4, 2020 – We went to stay with the Ehrenheims again, because our RV was getting some repairs done on it.  During our stay, we sewed cloth masks to wear because of COVID-19, watched The Secret Life of Pets 2, and ate food.

May 11, 2020 – We got a new kitten.  Daddy and Mommy found her in our trucks engine.  She was only a few weeks old, and she had round worms, mites, ticks, and other parasites.  We started with the name Meri for her, then we changed it to Tennessee, then we updated that to Tennessee (aka Meowzy-D).  Check out the YouTube video that I made about her here.

And now, here is a funny story about my second encounter with a tick:

I woke up from a very nice dream to what I thought was a scab in my bellybutton.  Still half asleep, I tried to pick it out, and it wouldn’t budge.  Then, I realized that it was pinching and burning.  On second thought, I decided that it was a black widow spider (crazy mind), then I remembered that I’d gone into the forest recently and that it could be a tick.  At that thought, I suddenly woke up fully and looked to make sure.  It was a small female lone star tick.  I freaked out just like the last time and woke up Aiden to pull it out, because I was too scared to (sorry, Aiden).  In the end, Aiden could only pull off the tick’s body.  The head was still inside my bellybutton.  Legend has it that the tick head is still there to this day.

I Got a KNWBOOKS Shirt Made by a Relative

KNWBOOKS

March 2020 – My aunt, Kristy Ehrenheim, made me a unique, custom shirt with the KNWBOOKS logo on it.  She created the sticker of my logo using a Silhouette machine, and I got to help.  First, we downloaded my logo.  Then, we got the machine to cut the logo out on heat transfer vinyl.  Finally, we ironed it onto the back of a white shirt (which happened to fit me perfectly).

Aunty Kristy was really fun to be with because she is creative and enjoys doing a lot of things that I do, such as crafts and music.  Thank you, Aunty Kristy, for making this shirt for me.

Caving and Visiting My Cousins – Alabama

On March 1, Sunday, we went caving in a cave on a privately owned property.  The cave was called Tumbling Rock Cave.  Inside the cave, we saw a lot of small, brown bats sleeping.  The cave was a little difficult to travel through, as there were no maintained trails or lighting.  It seemed very natural,  and there were rivers, stalagmites, stalactites, slopes, drop-offs, mud, and ledges.  That made it very fun to explore.  We stayed for about three hours, and we traveled up to a formation called Elephant’s Feet, which were big, thick pillars of calcite.  

On March 6, we moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where we stayed at Daddy’s brother’s family’s house for two days.  This is where Aunty Kristy (see this blog post) made me my personalized T-shirt.  I also played with my two younger cousins.  During those two days, we went to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and Hellen Keller’s Birthplace with them.

At Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, we took a hike and looked at the swamp.  We also attended a presentation in the visitor center’s theater about different birds.  The presenters carried and flew the birds around the room so that everyone could see them.  Some birds that were included were a screech owl, vulture, and bald eagle.

We got to tour the place where Helen Keller was born and taught by Annie Sullivan.  Helen Keller was born in 1880 with both sight and hearing, but at a young age, she lost both to a severe illness.  At age six, Helen met Annie Sullivan, who eventually taught Helen to communicate through the fingertip alphabet, behave (she was spoiled), and read braille.  Helen eventually grew up and graduated, and she helped to improve education for other blind students.  

On March 8, we moved to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s RV park and went inside the place.  There was a planetarium, displays, rides, actual missiles and aircraft, rock wall climbing, a fake mini space station, and more

After, to celebrate Mason’s 12th birthday (which happened on March 7), we went bowling.  We ate dinner there, had cake, and enjoyed ourselves.

Leaving Hawaii – Texas

At 6:00 PM in Hawaii (10:00 PM Texas), we boarded a plane and flew back to Texas.  Granny and Grandpa met us at the airport to say goodbye to us.  On the airplane, I didn’t sleep, even though it was a night flight, and instead watched four movies.  We arrived at the DFW airport at 5:30 AM in Texas (1:30 AM Hawaii) and our friends, the Pattons picked us up.  They had been watching our three pets while we were gone.

The Pattons let us stay over at their house for a few days, some of which they spent at their church’s campout.  We went there as well, except we didn’t stay overnight.  There was food, worship on Sunday, canoeing, and fishing.  In some of the pictures below, you can see me and Shelby (Patton) in a hammock.  She is about a couple of years older than me and one of my best friends.  I also made another friend while at the campout.

Food – Hawaii

In Hawaii, we did a lot of eating.  We ate with family, ate at the house, and tried lots of foods.  We had shave ice quite a few times, as well as malasadas (fried donuts coated in sugar and cinnamon, and sometimes filled with cream).

Spending Time with Grandma and Grandpa – Hawaii

Hawaii beach

We ate out with Grandma and Grandpa (Daddy’s parents), went to a craft fair once, hung out at their house, visited beaches, and drove around the island.  When we drove around the island, we stopped at lots of food places and a pineapple maze.  It was a very complicated one, and they also had Dole Whips.

On the days that we went to the beach, we would sometimes go back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and shower and eat.  One of our favorite things to do was use their massaging chair.

At the beach, us kids usually stayed near the shore and tried to ride the incoming waves with bodyboards, while the adults relaxed on the sand or used Grandma’s paddleboards (she is really good at it).

Halloween, Go Kart Racing, and More – Hawaii

Halloween

For Halloween, we did three things:

1. We went to a “trunk-or-treat” event with Grandma and Grandpa at Kailua Shopping Center, where there was free candy, popcorn, and cotton candy for anyone.

2.  We went to Daddy’s work place, where all his co-workers were dressed up.  Each department had a different theme of dress-up.  Daddy was his own department, so we wore whatever we wanted.  Daddy dressed up as Anonymous, Mommy wore cat ears, I wore Mommy’s graduation dress and leis, and Aiden, Mason, and Tanner dressed up as people from Avengers.  At the office, I got to meet some of the people working there, who were very friendly, and we ate snacks and lunch there.  Some departments were dressed as Princesses (with a twist), characters from the movie Inside Out, and old ladies.

3.  We went trick-or-treating (and gave out candy) in Grandma and Grandpa’s neighborhood.  We got four small buckets overflowing with candy.  It was so much, that, before leaving Hawaii, we had to choose a small portion of candy to take home, because we couldn’t fit it all in our suitcases.

More with Grandma and Grandpa

At Grandma’s house, we made glitter ornaments with her, and she made us stickers for our water bottles.

On another day, we went to Manoa Chocolate Hawaii,  a chocolate factory (that isn’t actually in Manoa).  We got to taste a lot of different chocolates and drink chocolate tea for free, then we bought some chocolate bars.  They were kind of expensive, but they were good quality ones.  Being me, I chose the lavender chocolate bar (lavender is a favorite of mine).

On November 5, we went Go Kart racing at K1 Speed.  It was my first time, and we had lots of fun.  That same day, we also looked around at Aulani (a Disney Resort and Spa), which is very fancy.  There was cool landscaping, as well as shops, entertainment, and decor.

Spending Time with Family – Hawaii

During our time in Hawaii, we spent most of our time doing things with our family.  With “the aunties,” as we affectionately call them, we spent time at their house often and also went to a bazaar at one of their churches, where we looked around and I got a big bag of clothes for only $10.  Since we were pretty nearby to them, while Daddy was at work (his office is in Hawaii, but he mainly works over the computer), we would go eat lunch with the aunties and spend time with them.  We also went to Kalihi Union Church a few times with two of the aunties.

When Daddy came over with us, we saw other family as well, and a friend, Uncle Leon (Williams), who is a very talented singer and has a great voice.  When we lived in Hawaii, we children referred to all adults as either aunty or uncle.  That is why, though not related to Uncle Leon, we call him “uncle” instead of “mister.”  I remember when we moved to Texas, I thought it was so weird that no one called everyone by those terms.

We spent a few days with Granny and Grandpa (Mommy’s parents).  Most of the time it was either in our borrowed house or their home.  Once, we went with Granny to a place that taught about Honuliuli NHS, which is still being developed for people to come look at.  It is where many Japanese people were rounded up and kept, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, which made the U.S. suspect many Japanese Americans, even though they weren’t guilty of helping the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor.

Uncle Mat and Family – Hawaii

Uncle Mat (Mathew Sgan) is my biggest supporter.  He has provided me with author resources and encouragement, and he says that he is very enthusiastic about me becoming an outstanding conversationalist and writer.  He is currently writing a book, and he has written others, and he loves to dance.  Uncle Mat is one of the authors in my family, but there are others.   Here are the links to his books (on Amazon):

In Hawaii, since he lives very near to the aunties (on the same property), we got to see him a lot.  The boys really enjoyed playing Scrabble with Uncle Mat.  We also got to see his two children (my first cousins once removed).  The first is Laurel, who was visiting from the mainland, and the other is David and his wife, Maile, and their two beautiful girls named Aulani and Anuhea.  David and his family live in Hawaii near Uncle Mat.

 

Pearl Harbor – Hawaii

Pearl Har

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”– Franklin D. Roosevelt

December 7, 1941 is a very infamous day which just about all Americans know about.  It was the day that the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base, killing over two thousand people and destroying many ships.  It was the day that began America’s decision to enter World War II.

We went to the Pearl Harbor National memorial and took an audio tour, walked around, and got to go on the USS Arizona, USS Missouri, and USS Bowfin Submarine.  We also tried out virtual reality headsets where we could watch a video of the pearl harbor attack and explore the park.

The USS Arizona was sunk during the attack, killing many people onboard, but in 1955, a memorial was constructed over the sunken hull.  We had to take a boat to get to the memorial, and once inside. we were able to look around and view the names of many of the people killed and the ones who survived.

The USS Missouri is where World War II formally ended.  High-ranking officials of the Allied Powers came aboard to sign the Instrument of Surrender onboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.  We were given a tour of the huge ship, and were able to view copies of the important document.

The USS Bowfin conducted nine war patrols (for enemy ships of boats) during World War II.  We were able to go inside and take an audio tour of the submarine.

Since a lot of our relatives are in Hawaii, and some of our older ones were there as children during the attack on Pearl Harbor, I got to ask some of them about what it was like.  From what I heard, they were a very safe distance from the actual attack, but some of them could still hear it and/or see the planes or signs of the bombing going on.

Ebey’s Landing – Washington

Aunty Lorraine and Cousin Kirk
us, Aunty Lorraine and her son, Kirk

Here are pictures of when we went to Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve with Aunty Lorraine, as well as to some other parks.  Ebey’s Landing is on Whidbey Island, and is where the Ebey family lived in the 1800’s.  We walked Bluff Trail to get to their house and blockhouse, which was build to defend themselves against Indians, with whom they had conflict.  The day was warm and windy, and the island had forests, prairies, woods, and coastal shores, and we had a fun time with Aunty Lorraine.

We did some sightseeing in the area and went to Fort Casey, which was constructed to defend the Puget Sound.

Enjoying Nature with Family – Washington

Evergreen Coho SKP RV ParkOn Friday, we moved to Chimacum, Washington.  We stayed in another SKP RV park called Evergreen Coho.  The next day, we met up with Opa and Oma (German for “Grandfather” and “Grandmother”) and visited Point Defiance Park and Fort Nisqually.  Point Disappointment began as a military reservation, while Fort Nisqually used to be an important fur trading post.

Fort Nisqually

We also went on 5 Mile Drive and saw lots of beautiful scenery.

Washington is one of my favorite states so far because of the waterfalls, mountains, and lush vegetation of some areas.

Point Defiance and Scenery

Saguaro Cacti – Arizona

Saguaro Cactus

On Monday we moved to an RV park in Benson, called SKP Saguaro Co-op.  Since it is right above the Sonoran desert, we got to see a lot of different cacti and desert flowers.

SKP Saguaro Co-op

The RV park was super friendly and had beautiful landscaping.  They gave us a free tour of the park, and there was a clubhouse that had lots to do inside.

Tumacácori NHP

Saguaro NP

The next day we went to Saguaro National Park, preserved because of the desert plants and especially saguaros.  We hiked Mica View Trail, part of the Shantz Trail, and the Desert Ecology Trail.