Monday, April 27, 2009

Seattle part II

Here are the rest of the pictures from our Seattle trip, taken at Pike Place Market.  Click here for all the pictures.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Seattle part I

Julie and I spent last Sunday/Monday down in Seattle; first at a concert, (the Seattle Baroque Orchestra), then on Monday, Pike Place Market. This first batch of pictures are shots of the city...coming next, shots of Pike Place.

Click here for all the pictures.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter 2009

Fun at the "Lake House" (wish it were ours).  I uploaded a bunch of pictures which can all be seen by clicking here.  I think this first picture of Leon is begging for a caption...

Easter 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Happy Easter...but never forget...

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand
double for all her sins...

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.

For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

New Camera

So, I made the splurge and got a new camera. Here are the first shots from it...(click here for more)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Maui, Day 9, 10 - last post

Day 9 and 10; see all the pictures here.  Our last day and finally, a blue sky with no clouds in sight.  I woke up not knowing whether to laugh or cry...?  I kept telling myself, "at least we have this one day" and we made the most of it!  We took an early morning walk and had a very nice breakfast, and were on the beach by about 9:00.  That would be the theme of the day - BEACH!  In fact, we spent so much time on the beach that my first photo from this day isn't taken until after dinner.

As you might guess, our activities were as follows;
- put on sunscreen
- spread out towels
- lay down
- read a book (yes, even me, Mike spent a lot of the day reading)
- snorkel (see below for our secret)
- more sunscreen
- lay down
- snorkel
- more sunscreen
- eat lunch
- snorkel
- lay down

It was that kind of day and we did NOT want to leave the sun.  Our little snorkel secret?  Well everyone's heard of Black Rock; the famed snorkeling spot a few minutes walk from our hotel.  What we didn't know is that the entire area to the south of black rock also is good snorkeling - you just go out about 100' and swim parallel to the shore, letting the wind carry you.  The bonus?  Nobody was doing it but us so we had that stretch all to ourselves.

We blitzed into Lahaina to grab some Maui Fish Tacos "to-go" and made it back for sunset on the beach.  After dinner, I was concentrating taking some sunset pictures of Black Rock when we heard some people shouting behind us; we both turned and saw a huge whale in full breech, just off the shore.  It turned out that there were a few whales swimming right in front of our beaching putting on a huge show for about 45 minutes, right as the sun was going was magical, and a perfect cap to the day.

Following sunset we walked down to Whalers Village where I enjoyed a scrumptous pineapple dessert of some kind (can't even remember what it was called, but it was good...and a "sugar bomb").

Our last day, day 10, travel day, we woke up super early to catch the moon-setting - it was a full moon and we were fortunate to see it setting over the water just as the sun was coming up behind us.  Then, on our way to breakfast, I had a blast shooting (with my camera) the beautiful red cardinal that you see here.  Another nice breakfast, a memorable stop for a "sugar cane juice smoothie," and reluctantly, we boarded our plane to head the snow.

One last note: on the flight home, there was this contest.  At first I thought the pilot was kind of acting like a geek, but what the heck, it's a long flight.  The rules were simple - at about the halfway point he (the pilot) would come on the radio and tell us some details of the flight;
- total miles
- current miles travelled (so far)
- current air speed, and current ground speed
- number of miles left in our trip
- travel time so far

The winner of the contest would be the one who most closely guessed the hours and minutes remaining in the flight, and would recieve a complimentary bottle of wine.  I decided to do some simple math; instead of all the dumb equations, I simply GUESSED - I guessed based on the total estimated flight time.  I handed Julie a piece of paper and she decided to give it a try to - she thought for a moment, and then wrote down her answer too.  A guy behind us walked up to our seat-partner and asked him to do some calculations for him (our seat-mate had a computer).  He even asked the pilot if it was "nautical miles" or "regular miles."  Well wouldn't you know it - Julie and this guy TIED.  They both guessed 2 hours, 46 minutes and the correct answer was 2:47.  I was very proud of my brilliant wife at that moment!  The tie-breaker question was "what is the combined number of years of service of the 7 member flight crew?" (both pilots and stewards/stewardesses)...the guy guessed 40-something, Julie guessed about 115, and the answer was 165+ - JULIE WON!

We're saving that bottle for something special...

See all the pictures here

MAHALO - thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Maui, Day 8

Ah, day 8. See all the pictures here -

Day 8 was a glorious day! Why? Because finally, the sun kind of came out, as witnessed by my first sunset picture of the entire trip.  Granted; it wasn't a full day of sunshine by any stretch (which we didn't get until Day 9); but it was better than what we'd been getting.  This is a shorter post because basically, we woke up, hit the beach, boogie-boarded, had lunch, and went on our Whale Trip.

We finally did get in the water for some boogie boarding; actually catching a few waves on the south end of Ka'anapali Beach; (the point where the surf lessons were). They weren't the best waves, but they were all we had and we were returning our boards later that day; so we went for it! The best thing that happened while boogie boarding was flipping hard once, which proceeded to clear out my sinuses and in effect, kicked the rest of my cold.

The Whale Trip: for those who have done the Pacific Whale Foundation Trip, here's what we did...
- we picked the evening trip which meant leaving at 2:30 PM, back at 4:30 PM
- we left from Lahaina, not from Ma'alaea harbour; although there also is a trip that still leaves from the harbour. We chose the Lahaina simply because it made dinner a lot easier.
- having said that, we preferred the Ma'alaea harbour trip as the Lahaina trip seemed to just go straight out from shore and then back in.
- we did see whales, it was fun, however, it wasn't quite the show we'd seen in the past. Part of it, AGAIN, was the weather; flat light (grey) makes it hard to see and also makes for bad pictures. Still, we did have fun.

We followed up the trip with a nice dinner at Kimo's - a great value for what you get. We had a very nice waiter who accomodated all of our needs; even splitting our plate at no extra charge. Our entree? Opakapaka - our favorite type of fish in Maui.

After dinner we went back to our beach where we ordered a "flourless" chocolate cake...accept only one problem - it wasn't flourless. Idiots. I enjoyed the cake while Julie had some ice-cream. Ugh.

See all the pictures here