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Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday Funday!

The entrance where you pay the sweet lady.
Oh what a treat yesterday was! I am a sucker for a good hike, but it's so funny how sometimes you're so set on getting "away", that you forget to explore and appreciate the places that are close to your home.  "Swinging Bridges" as it is locally called at the Waihe'e Valley Plantation is just a ten minute drive from our home.  We packed up our camelbaks, some peanut butter sandwiches, and of course our pooch, and arrived just as they opened at 9:00am. The woman at the booth was sweet and bubbly, but spoke strong "pigeon"... which even after all this time here, can still seem like a language all it's own. $3 each at the kama'aina rate, (WOOHOO), and the adventure began... 

 We had no expectations except that there would be "swinging bridges"... and there definitely were.  Two swinging bridges actually, and upon arriving at the second one, Tommy casually mentioned the fact that he had to sign something at the entrance, and us both then realizing that we had possibly just signed our lives away.  I'd call this bridge homemade, and a good drop should a nail come loose.  In the words of the highly intelligent Forest Gump, "We made it this far... might as well keep going."  And so across we went and for once, we were very happy to have health insurance. 

In flops and gypsy pants, crossing Swinging Bridge #1 ;-)
Besides the swinging bridges, the highlights kept coming.  Almost the whole hike we were intoxicated by fresh ginger growing wildly. Traveling off the beaten path, (as we always do), we found enormous banyan trees, guava fruit, mountain apples, avocados, waterfall pools, ti leaf forests, secluded stone walls and tunnels, and a narrow path with stunning views from high up the mountain, (where one misstep could have proved fatal).  I'm getting a new fear of heights in my old age, and that one actually had me starting to tunnel and fade out a bit... (So not cool!).

Bridge #2 (Happy to have insurance here.)


Such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday... and even though we already live on a rock, it was nice to take even more of a "staycation" by exploring so close to home.  Lono had the time of his life, and our bounty of fruit and fresh awapuhi for shampooing my grimy hair had us all stoked from our endeavors.  Kabobs on the grill and a glass of wine to end a beautiful adventure filled day....

                *** CLICK on pictures to enlarge***

Enchanted Ti Tree Forest

Intoxicating Ginger

My guys at the end of the trail =)

I hope you all had an adventurous, beautiful, relaxing, productive, and absolutely spectacular weekend! =]

~Danielle~ (Queen B.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Lahaina Bungalow!

Last week, I had the pleasure of photographing an array of cool creatures and critters at The Lahaina Bungalow.  Arriving at the "house", I didn't hear a peep or see a single person and became concerned that I'd come to the wrong place. 

"Just come on in the gate when you get here; it stays unlocked," said the owner Aimee over the phone earlier in the day.  A sign hung on the gate door, (Keep closed, Don't let the pig out!), and that's when I began to get excited about my picture adventure at hand!  The small, yellow, one story home turned budget lodge became a lovely and green animal oasis as soon as I entered the backyard.  Animals started appearing and disappearing out of nowhere.  First chickens, then turtles, dogs, cats, fish, and even their pig "LuLu"!  Aimee hadn't arrived yet and I was already crawling around on hands and knees, working on grass stains and eagerly snapping away.  I was all smiles and laughing uncontrollably, (as I do most all the time because I find animals outrageously cute and hilarious), when I realized a guest at the bungalow was watching me. I suddenly realized that they probably think I'm some "crazy pet lady" who had wandered in off the streets... and then after pondering that thought some more, I realized that the first part is true, and the second part might need some clearing up. There was nothing left to do but introduce and attempt to explain myself. 

Soon Aimee arrived and I spent the morning following around her and her kids at the bungalow, and then to the beach.  I thought we'd be taking just the dogs, but got a really big kick out of the fact that the animals just follow her, no leashes and cats included!  And now it is my pleasure to introduce to you some of her family...

Aimee and the kids playing at the beach. 

Rosebud is less than delighted about her "big" brothers idea of playing in the sand.

I witnessed this chicken eat an egg, "Bad chicken, bad... Now go to your pen!"

In their homemade aquaponics pond, you can find this "little guy".  Don't let him fool you, he'll grow to 300 lbs!

And meet Motor...
What? Never seen a kitty in the ocean before?  Me either!

Lulu the piggy, "Oink Oink!"

And this is prego Angie just a couple days before giving birth to her puppies!

This was one big happy furry, feathery, fuzzy, flippery family.  What fun!  What to know more about The Lahaina Bungalow?  You can find Aimee here:

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Woman's Best Friend

What to bark about on my first post...
I think it is only appropriate that I introduce you to my inspiration, my number one model, and my best friend... Lono.  Born June 9th, 2009 and adopted from the Maui Humane Society only 8 weeks later, Lono is the eternal sunshine of my life.  When I'm feeling happy, his tail is guaranteed to be waggin' in circles like a helicopter preparing to take off... when I feel sad, he knows, and he goes to endless measures to cheer me up... when I'm gone, he misses me and patiently waits by the door for my return... when I need a hug, I say, "Give me a hug" and he jumps in my lap with his booted white paws around my waist and seems to smile before he sneaks a kiss.  He's loyal, he's a great listener, he's kind, he's patient (most of the time), he's obedient, he's playful, he's mellow, and he's the world's best cuddler.  Fully trained in German commands and hand signals, my boy draws crowds at the beaches with his good manners. 

I realized that I loved animals when I was just old enough to say "Dog".  I realized I loved pet photography when I plugged in my SD card out of my camera and 80% of the images on it involved Lono or other animals.  Once I got my Nikon D90, there was no stopping me.  Here are some of my very first pictures of Lono boy with my Nikon...

Doing what he does best, playing fetch at the beach by our house. :)

How could anyone resist this face?

Lono loves camping trips in the van!

"Lono"- The Hawaiian God of Agriculture, Music, Peace, and Rainfall

Favorite Things- His tennis ball, husking coconuts, sticks, swimming, being spooned, rear end scratches, going "bye byes", playing vacuum when I cook, hikes, frisbees, pulling us around on our longboard skateboards with his harness on, and getting amped up on the words "kitty kitty", "doggies", "horsies", "moo moo's", and "birdies".

Quirks- He always sleeps on the couch, paws to the sky, with the absolute dumbest, (yet cutest), look on his face... He has more tattoos than me (SERIOUSLY!)... He NEVER barks unless he's told too, (so weird, yet wonderful!)... And he can pop out a window screen like it's nobody's business if we're not home and he wants to go looking for us, (needless to say a couple times of that and we now keep our windows shut.).
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