• I love capturing that moment.
    That moment when fleeting light attaches itself to an object in a magical way.
    That moment when surprise turns to tears or smiles turn to laughter.
    That moment when you feel you have the world in the palm of your hand.
    That moment when you realize you don’t.
    That moment when you delight in your youthful
    spirit no matter what age you are.

  • It might be a moment I’ve intently planned and
    choreographed or one that I stumble upon as it
    unfolds in front of me. It can be when I am surrounded
    by a world of people or when I am alone with my
    thoughts and wandering camera in hand. I love seeing
    those moments through my lens and hearing the shutter click.

    In that moment I know I have captured something wonderful.

  • LET’S GET SOCIAL!

Ok, as if this school year wasn’t already eventful enough with a solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey followed by a snowfall a couple of weeks ago (with real accumulation)…today, south Texas was brought to it’s knees again with more snow and ice. Alright, a little tongue in cheek here, but we really did have icy conditions. People were out covering their plants and wrapping their pipes and school was cancelled. Looks like the cold temps forecasted tonight have bested us again as we have already been notified that the kids are home again tomorrow.

I thought I would give you a glimpse into our wintry conditions. I also am including some pics I grabbed from a snow day we had up in Syracuse a few years back. A little trip down memory lane.

 

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Christmas day found us up early for another sunrise. This time we headed to Kilaeua Lighthouse. Unfortunately,  the grounds weren’t open on the holiday so we didn’t get to wait for the sunrise with the local nene (geese), but we did have a fine view of the lighthouse and lots of other birds to watch while we waited. After we got our fill of the sunrise we packed up and headed south to explore Waimea Canyon. It’s quite a drive to the other side of the island but well worth it. Waimea canyon is nicknamed “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and you’ll see why. It’s a single lane road up to the top with lots of switchbacks. The drive has many lookout stops to see the 800 ft Waipoo Falls. Our plans to hike to the falls were smashed as we watched the clouds descend slowly upon us. We had to settle for views from the lookouts, but they were spectacular! The red clay cliffs and gorges jutting out from the lush green tropical vegetation took your breath away.

After winding our way back down to the Kaumualii highway, we drove out to Polihale State Park. One of the tubing guides told us it was his favorite beach with views of the Napali coast to the north and the island of Niihau to the west. It’s also considered the most westward point of the US (although if Niihau is included in the islands we thought that would have to be the most westward point?!?). Regardless, we took his advice and despite not having two 4 wheel drive vehicles, we decided to brave the pothole-ridden dirt road. It’s was only 4.7 miles in a remote part of the island–no worries! Again, we weren’t disappointed. The turquoise waves were quite high and the gorgeous beach stretched for miles.

We headed back toward Poipu after our lunch at the food trucks in Koloa. The kids just missed seeing Santa (he must have headed back to the North Pole since his Hale was empty;) Not too much was open because of the holiday so we couldn’t get our shave ice fix. Instead we stopped at Sea Glass Beach near Eleele to see what the fuss was about. The sea glass wasn’t as impressive as we’d hoped but the secluded little beach was pretty. On our way home we stopped at the Spouting Horn blowhole. The ocean wasn’t in the mood to entertain us but we certainly  enjoyed the views.

Back up north at the Westin  we enjoyed the sunset and then cleaned up for dinner at the Kauai Grill next door at the St. Regis hotel. Since it was dark when we arrived, I couldn’t tell you about the view, but the food and service at the Kauai Grill was delightful. J and I had the 5 course tasting menu and every course somehow outdid the one before it. I will say however that Kaia’s black pepper octopus was the best thing at the table that night. Definitely should try it if you visit.

We missed not seeing the extended family for holiday but it was certainly a full day of fun and was a Christmas not soon to be forgotten! Mele Kalikimaka!

 

 

 

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The adventures in Kauai started off with a tubing excursion with Kauai Backcountry Adventures. They are based out of Lihue but for the tubing they drive you out to the Lihue Sugar Cane Plantation. Their company has exclusive access to 17,000 acres of the plantation. The tubing runs through the old irrigation system, including the tunnels, that once brought water from Mount Wai’ale’ale down to the sugar cane fields. The tour guides were lots of fun and gave us plenty of historical info and general facts on our drive out to the plantation. They also had great recommendations for local beaches to hit and places to eat. We actually ran into one of the guides, Malachi and his family, at Street Burger in Wailea a couple of days later. The food was as good as he said and the portions of fries are Texas-sized so be ready to share. I recommend the joint’s namesake burger–the Street Burger. It’s got cured pork belly, fried egg, arugula, blue cheese, and fizzled onions. Seriously ono!

Back to the tubing, the water was pretty dang cold! But once you were in, it wasn’t a major problem and it was nice and clean. My husband especially liked the fact that there were no lurking gators or snakes–a nice change from tubing in Texas! You’ll see that they give you helmets with headlamps and gloves to wear as precautions. The water level in the tunnels wasn’t a concern for hitting your head, but you do have to be ready to push away from walls at times. Each tunnel was different and some were so long that when you were in them without the lamps on, it was pitch black. One tunnel especially was covered with lichens that glowed irredescently. Gorgeous! After the tubing, they drive you to a quaint little spot for an al fresco lunch and to soak in some sun. All in all, it was a really fun trip and everyone, big and little, agreed.

We ended the day snorkeling near Anini beach. The tubing guides echoed what some other locals said, that Anini beach was perfect for calm waters and snorkeling. We passed by Anini Beach just a bit and drove the pot-holed filled dirt road until it ended and then hung out there. No sea turtles there but lots of fish and it was a good place to try out the new masks.

Here’s the video:

 

 

 

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My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this year and decided to take a big trip to mark the milestone. We’d been tossing around ideas for a while but kept coming back to the idea of Hawaii. It has been far too long since our family has been to Hawaii. I say that because Jason’s family is from Hawaii and we had been going fairly often at the beginning of our marriage. Life gets busy and you add some kids to the mix, and trips and vacations sometimes get set based on where you lay your head currently and what your calendar holds. Anyway, we thought this was the year to head back for a little Aloha and to make it all the more special, we thought why not enjoy our visit over Christmas and ring in the New Year while we were at it! The big change for this trip aside from the kids being old enough to really remember it all, was our decision to check out Kauai and Maui. We normally head to Oahu where most of the family resides and while we would miss catching up with them, we thought it would be interesting to see what wonders the other islands held. Some good friends who have fallen in love with Hawaii in recent years were making a trip there again and would be celebrating their 25th anniversary wedding anniversary January 2nd. With two big anniversaries to commemorate it sounded like we’d be able to score some free slices of chocolate macadamia nut pie or maybe a glass or two of pineapple champagne!! It was set–we’d combine forces and have ourselves a big adventure!

I spent a lot of time packing and unpacking camera bags while we were gone. Man, keeping cameras clean on vacation is a lot of work!!  On and off of beaches, horses, boats, in and out of rain showers, hiking up and down muddy trails, snorkeling with underwater cases–it takes some preparation and clean up! I captured lots of pictures and video as we explored the islands. I also decided way ahead of time that I would wait to post most of it until we got back. Maybe it’s me or my age, but it’s hard for me to really enjoy a trip if I’m tied to my computer or phone editing and updating.  Aside from backing up my media cards and sending some “proof of life” shots to family, I just enjoyed our time together and captured some of the fun. You’ll all have to make do with my #latergrams and #theposthadtowait follow ups.

Well, we are back and it’s been fun going through everything. I’m making a few short videos combining the footage and adding some labels (more to help my memory than anything). I hope they help us remember all the ono food, wonderful music, inspiring sunrises, fragrant breezes, silky sand under our toes, crazy adventures, but mostly, I hope these videos help us remember the feeling of “aloha” that pervaded it all. That feeling that is so hard to put into words–many greater souls before me have tried. I’ll just say for me it’s a kind of calmness that settles in my spirit and all is good. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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This year we had two new additions at the Meyer family session. Baby brother Hank and labradoodle pup Reno joined the gang. Just two more reasons to love this family. I so enjoy taking their photos–there is always so much happening and so many interactions going on. We chose an outdoor location that had plenty of grass and open space for the kids to run around and also had a swing set for them. To add a little more fun, we threw in a classic Chevy farm truck for the kids to climb around on. It turned out to be a perfect spot for everyone to relax and explore. The smiles below seem proof enough.

 

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