Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kiwiland...................Here I Come!

What a big welcome this little Maori girl gave me when I landed in New Zealand. Little did I know that the big soccer star, David Beckham, was going through customs the same time as I! She was actually there for him. Oh, well, I felt pretty special, anyway!

In the Southwestern Pacific

New Zealand is a country southeast of the continent of Australia. It's made up of two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. On this trip I spent my time on the South Island with Tara and her friend, Jo.

Breathtaking Views all Around

Tara has me on her knee at the Little Paradise Inn, and was it ever a paradise! We were north of Queensland, an international resort town that caters to skiiers and adventure seekers. And guess what, it's their summertime and our wintertime-----the seasons are opposite on either side of the equator.

Shall I Become an Artist too?

Jo kept me company, or maybe I kept her company, while she was sketching!
That's the Tasman Sea in the background.
Maybe I should take art classes from my neighbor, Ilona Hemperly. Hmmmmmm, I'm going to hold on to that thought.

Land Ho! Land Ho!

I'm on the bow of a big motor vessel cruising around Milford Sound on the West Coast of the South Island. What do you think the captain is thinking about me as he's holding my paw?

The photo above shows a Chinese family on vacation enjoying the cruise, too, and having fun playing cards!
Did you notice the waterfall in the background? Reminds me of Hawaii.

Ba, Ba, Black Sheep, Have You Any ______

New Zealand is famous for its wool. Here are two animals that supply that wool-----the sheep and alpaca. Baaaaaaaa. Did I fool you?

On a Road Trip from Australia

This family was having an exciting time traveling around in a camper van. They are from England and staying in "the Land Down Under" for a year. They flew over to the South Island for a holiday. That's what lots of Europeans do------they tour around in a van and get to know their vacation destinations better---up close and personal. Sounds like a plan!
I sure had a good time on my trip to Kiwiland----thanks Tara and Jo for taking me!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mike Stewart Wins Pipeline Again!

Here I am at the annual Pipeline Bodysurfing Contest sponsored by the North Shore Lifeguard Association. That's the first place winner on the right, Mike Stewart, the dad with the son on his shoulders. Mike has won many, many bodysurfing and bodyboarding contests in his career. Look on for more photos from this event.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go.............

This event, the Rescue Relay, was at the water's edge. The contestants had to run to a flag, round the corner, and swim out to a waiting "victim". Then the runner and the "victim" swam in and ran back to the starting line. Keep looking -----

..............Charging in the Sand at Pipe

And they're off...................

..............Going All Out

And the sand was flying!!
(Remember "click" to enlarge.)

.......................Breaking Out

Almost to the water!! Fins in hand!

...................Rounding the Bend

And the Winners Are......................

Todd, in the towel, and Dawson, one of Mom's former students, won the Rescue Relay. They were beaming.
This Contest is a "fun day at the beach," stated Kyle, one of the two lifeguards who organized the event. (Mark is the other one.)

Many businesses supported the cause-----Haliewa Joe's, Quiksilver, Da Fin, Rockstar. The $50 entrance fee from each of the 60 competitors was donated to the "Food Bank".

A lot of bodysurfers flew in. One entrant came from the Basque country in Europe. There were three women in the contest who had a ball in the waves----------- no boards in the water.

One of the Women, One of the Competitors

Judith had just finished after competing all day long.
Look at her big smile-------she's in heaven!
She's going to be in a documentary. Watch for it!
Look at all the bicycles-----we're such a green neighborhood.

Traveling Up from the Land Down Under

I'm with Lifeguard Rick standing in the middle. Richard and Heidi (pronounced Hay Dee) are visiting the North Shore for a month.
They are scuba divers out of Port Douglas, Australia, in the Great Barrier Reef.
Wow------what a good job, in my opinion, of course.

Another Friend

That's Lani and Pepper leaving the Pipeline Bodysurfing Contest.
It had been a long day for Pepper.

Aloha From the Pipeline

The residents and visitors deeply appreciate the North Shore Lifeguards-------saving lives and supporting the community in so many ways.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunset Beach is a Destination

The North Shore of Oahu is the second most visited place on this island.

Above is Simran from New Delhi in India. She's in Hawaii to become a teacher. She visited Mom's classroom and spoke to the children about her culture and homeland.
Simran is holding a picture of Ghandi, a leader of her country who advocated "Peace." Did you know there is a statue of him in Kapiolani Park near the zoo entrance. Be a detective. Find it.
Her turquoise wrap is the color of the Pacific on a hot summer morning.

From High in the Himalayas

Lhatso is from a country called Tibet. She's a friend of Shayla (in the purple pants). Lhatso is in America to see how our schools are designed and run. She visited mom's classroom and talked with her students.
This photograph was taken in the school garden at Sunset Beach Elementary.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Plants for Sale, Plants for Sale!

Harald, an astronomy professor at the University of Hawaii, and his two children, Fiona and Sebastian, joined him at Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden on the windward side of Oahu in Kaneohe. There was a plant sale, sponsored by the Friends of Honolulu Botanical Gardens going on, and this family (Mom was working) bought a few to ship to their home on the Big Island. Yea, Dad, for teaching your children to plant-----keep going green!!

Everyone Loves a Garden

Jean was at Ho'olumaluhia, which means to "make a place of peace and tranquility", to buy some plants too. She's a retired school teacher who first came to the Islands in l950 with her military husband and always came back. She's putting these daisy-like flowers into her home garden.

Now, Remember, It's February

This is undoubtedly my favorite time to be in Hawaii. Everything's green! After the plant sale, I wandered in the gardens of Ho'omaluhia, which is one of the five City & County of Honolulu Botanical Gardens on Oahu. It has 400 acres!

I got my little paw wet in this rock pool. That reminds me, Mom keeps saying it's time for my first bath. Yikes! Doesn't she know, dogs don't usually like baths! Please spare me!!
Surf, yes! Bath, no!

A Gallery in the Garden

Ho'olomaluhia also has an art gallery which profiles locals artists. There is a new exhibit every month. The next two photographs show some of the pieces on display. There's an education center, too. Go to: to know more about all five botanical gardens on Oahu. It's free. The tea pot is by Dagmar Kau.
Sue Roach has the painting that looks like a piece of stained glass.
See her work at

............And if Gardening Isn't Your Thing

These Boy Scouts just went fishing in Moku Mo'o Pond. So.........if that's your bag, then head on over to Ho'omaluhia on the weekends from 10 am to 2 pm for some "catch and release" angling. But, whatever you choose to do in this botanical garden, appreciate the beauty and serenity that it offers for free!