Halloween Pictures

7:07 PM Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Now that's a handsome boy!
When I got home on Monday night, Mr. William was having a tough time. He got a bottle and then he chilled next to his mom on the bed. Well, mom wasn't staying there, she had things to do. When she moved, he rolled over into this position. Why do we love babies when they are sleeping? :)

Halloween Portraits

12:41 PM Sunday, October 28, 2007

Never intented for it to become a portrait session, but it was fun anyway. Good times picking up the pumpkins.

Oahu was nice. I think everyone should try to see Pearl Harbor at least once in their lifetime. Walking within the U.S.S. Arizona memorial is tranquil. There, you witness the "shrine wall" where the names of the 1200 sailors and marines who died aboard the ship are engraved. You can see the oil that trickles out a rate of approximately 2 quarts per day... the survivors called it the tears of the dead who are entombed in her hull. The distance between the memorial and the visitors center provides a unique perspective... to view at a distance what was once called Battleship Row.
I'm deeply grateful for the many men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who put on a uniform everyday. They stand on walls, man ships, and keep our skies safe so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms we have.
The Latter-day Saint Temple in Laie is immaculate. There's no other way to describe it. The grounds are beautifully maintained and the pathway up to the temple is very spiritual.
Finally, the very famous beaches at Waikiki. Blue, and full of people. What else can you say? Unfortunately, this was not Hawaii to us. What was Hawaii to us, was Kauai, where we would spend the rest of our trip.

Our first morning on Kauai we knew what we were in for... relaxation, and unbelievable sights. These are some shots from our hotel on the first day. The resort was awesome!

Check our Jill and I doing the "Shaka" with leis on! Nice.

Mark Twain called Waimea Canyon the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Waimea means Red Water and when the rains come hard, the water rushes from the canyon into the Pacific and literally turn the ocean red.

During hurricane Iniki in 1992 all the chicken coops on the island, and there are no natural predators on the island (snakes, predator birds, etc.) so the chickens have thrived. They are EVERYWHERE. Truely the county bird of Kauai.

The beaches of Poipu are pristine and welcoming. They are the primary home of the Monk Seal, an endangered species that comes ashore often. When they do, the lifeguards immediately place caution tape around their area. They are well respected animals in Hawaii.

Sea Turtles (called Honu in Hawaian). They weigh 65 lbs on average. No, I never did see one snorkeling. Yes, I really wanted to and am angry that I didn't (all the more reason to return in a couple years?). Yes, they really are friendly. Yes, we now called them Honu in our house. Yes, when sea turtles talk, they really do talk like Crush from Finding Nemo. :)

One of my favorite pictures from the trip was taken at Poipu, near Spoting Horn (like Old Faithful with a much prettier backdrop - the Pacific Ocean). The sunset near Poipu was gorgeous and I got to spend it with this hottie that I am lucky enough to call my wife.

The helicopter ride was amazing! We took a tour that was recommended to us in a guide we receveived as a gift. The guide was awesome and if you ever make it to Kauai, make sure you pick up the book called "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook," it really is geared toward a "local" experience. So much so that the locals hate the book because it ruins all their favorite spots with tourists!
Anyway, the chopper was cool... kind of felt like you were in a really fun episode of Airwolf (for those that don't remember that show, look it up... it was awesome).
We flew the hour long tour with the doors off and let me tell you, that's the way to do it... you really feel everything, the height, the wind, the fragility of the chopper, everything. The Na Pali coast HAS TO BE SEEN FROM THE AIR, to fully appreciate majesty of it. Well worth the small fortune that you have to pay to ride one, but Kauai is considered helicopter island, because there's about 60% of the island that you can't see from any place, but the air.


I've been asked several times now... "Which was your favorite part of the trip?" Unequivocally... the boat ride. Here are the reasons: 1) Dolphins: I don't care who you are, that's cool. 2) Snorkeling: While it wasn't the best snorkeling we did while we were in Hawaii, it was cool to be no where near shore and to watch scuba divers go into caves. 3) Two words: Na Pali. It's magnificent. The cliffs are immaculate, the valleys are breath taking, the ocean is captivating. The royalty of Hawaii is buried in the Valley of The Kings... once you've seen it, you know why. 4) Dramamine (took it and was glad I did)... 5) Mai Tai... didn't have it, but was fun to see people who loved the open bar.

All in all, I don't have a single complaint about the trip, but the boat ride tops it for me... followed in a close 2nd with Hannalei and the Chopper.

The Luau

11:55 PM Saturday, October 27, 2007

Everyone has to see a Luau at least once. If you ever make it to Kauai, make sure you go to Smith's at the Fern Grotto... best Luau on the Island. These pictures are not from Smith's, because we didn't make it to that one. The fire dancer was the best... very, very cool to watch a dude swinging two lit up knives around and not roast any coconuts... if you know what I mean. Phenomenal.

There's something magical about the shores of Hannalei. We snorkeled at Tunnels beach... the far end of the world for all intents and purposes. The coral is a mere 7 inches below the surface at some points. In fact, there were some that stood on the coral and it might appear to some that they were walking on the water.
The town of Hanalei is quaint and the outskirts of town are full of lavish homes owned by some of Hollywood's most elite stars. All that being siad, the view I captured here seems to speak of the place best to me... serene, farming still occupying most of the inhabitants time (poi is made from the Taro Root, grown in the fields of Hannalei seen here). We miss the peace of "The Garden Isle."

Unfortunately, our days on Kauai were numbered. As we awoke on our last day, we set out for Hanalei, on the North Shore... we truly saved the best for last. The waterfall pictured here is Wailua Falls, the most sacred of all falls on Kauai... you can clearly see why. We saw the Kilauea Lighthouse (was the main light guiding ships from the Orient away from Hawaii until 1970 when the light was turned off), drove through Princeville, and onto the beautiful shores of Hanalei.

On our return to the hotel we stopped at the eastern shore and watched the waves crash against the Kauai shoreline. We ate in a little place near our hotel which is where Jill snapped this the shot of me - the beach behind me was the beach that was outside our hotel window from Day 1.