Saturday, December 31, 2011

On the Slopes

Tori took me took me skiing in Alaska. It was her first time, and mine, too! Isn't she just the picture of confidence!

First Stop---the Bunny Hill

Tori, who is only 5, spent 3 to 4 hours on the Magic Carpet. This conveyor takes you to the top of the beginner's slope and it's up to you to ski down. We had lots of fun!! I'm glad I have a fur coat, it was a little chilly. I'm more used to surf than snow!

Moving on Up!

So......Tori and I graduated to the bigger ski slope and got to ride the lift up the mountain. We're riding with Tori's mom, Sonja. I was a little spooked because I was so high up. Lucky for me, it wasn't windy!

A Bird's Eye View

Yes, I was pretty high up. Tori was having the time of her life as we rode the lift with her mom. You notice she's wearing a helmet and goggles----always remember, safety first. I'm getting excited, skiing is fun! It's good exercise too--I'm going to stay fit if I keep this up!

Off We Go!

Wow---Mt. Alyeska was spectacular! It was just a short ride south of Anchorage and a perfect place to have my first ski lessons.
Did you notice those mountains in the background? They took my breath away!

Heading to the Lodge

Tori sure had all the right gear for her first day on the slopes! She's going to become a pretty fabulous skiier if she keeps it up--remember, as Mom says, "Practice Makes Perfect Sense". Clever, don't you think? We're comtemplating making t-shirts that say that!

And Now to Warm Up

We stayed at the Mt. Alyeska Resort and, boy, was it special! A heated pool took the chill out of my little doggie bones after our long day on the slopes. I felt like a fancy poodle! Tori is here with her mom and little brother, Jaden. I'm on the side of the pool just relaxing!

Ready to Celebrate

Yes, Tori and I had fun on the slopes----it was her first time, even though she actually lives in Alaska. She has a very generous grandmother, Gena, who gave her a three-day stay at the Alyeska Resort as a birthday present. I'm happy I was included! We're just heading to the dining room to have a 5th birthday party! Yipeeee--I love parties!

Happy Birthday to You!

I wonder what Tori was wishing for as she blew out her candles. I know what I'd wish--------to come back to the slopes and have another exciting day of skiing. Thank you so much, Grandma Gena, for taking us!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to All and to All..........

Wishing everyone peace, love, and goodwill. Spread the joy!
(This is my friend, Jan Olson's, traditional German Christmas tree. White lights only, and all the ornaments are memories!!)

Please..... Build Me a Snowman

I would love for anyone who reads my blog and lives in a snowy climate to please, pretty please, build me a snowman, snowwoman, snow animal, etc. I just love doing that activity with Mom. She's always such a good sport---I drag her outside and we have so much fun creating.....I heard it was good for longevity, too!! Once you have it built, send a photo to my Facebook page or notify me that you want to be friends. Lots of love at Chrismastime. Rex the Surf Dog and Mom, of course!

Mele Kalikimaka from Paradise

Drink a cup of hot chocolate for me!! Remember, dogs can't eat chocolate or they get sick. Be careful with plates or boxes of holiday treats that are at doggie level. Aloha and love. Your friend, Rex the Surf Dog

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Last Jewel in the Triple Crown

The Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park on Oahu's North Shore is one of the most dangerous and exciting waves in the world. Called "The Pipe", it's a barrel that thrusts the rider through a tube of white water---a ride that exhilarates and has a surfer's heart pumping with excitement for days. The Pipe Masters challenges the world's best surfers and closes the Association of Surfing Professionals yearly tour. See for yourself in next dozen photos.

The Circus is in Town

Most locals on the North Shore welcome the surfing contests, even though the roads are crowded, and so are the surf breaks. The Hawaiian spirit of "Aloha" is to share.
Nancy is holding me just below the lifeguard tower where her husband, Rick, was on duty. The beach at Pipeline has a great view of the competitors because the break is so close to the shore.

What a Production!

When the Triple Crown of Surfing comes to town, there is so much hub bub on the beach!! The judging towers, the spectator bleachers, the tourists, the surf phtographers, the surfers, the sponsors, the writers, the locals, and so many more. Spending the day at Pipeline, watching the best surfers from around the globe tackle the most demanding wave in the world, is a once in a lifetime experience!

Standing Room Only

All eyes are fixated on the waves and the riders. I'm leaning up against Glenn, a famous potter, who flew all the way from his home in New Zealand to see the Pipe Masters. He's a surfer too, of course.

Everyone was There

Yes, this contest draws lots of famous people. Heather Brown is a well known surf artist. She and her husband, Chris, and I chatted for a little while between sets. Being at a surfing contest is kind of like being at a baseball game, there are plenty of times to talk and eat and people watch. See Heather's art at

The Best of the Best

Peter Joli Wilson, an Australian, has been taking surfing photographs for many years. Accompanied by his wife, Jan, he's a regular on the North Shore every autumn during the surf season. See his work at:

It's Time to Play

This little pooch nibbling on my ear was one of the many dogs at the Pipeline Masters. Although dogs aren't allowed at the beach, I made lots of friends with lots of them. Mom just always has to stop to pet the friendly ones. She can't help herself. She loves dogs, but I'm her favorite, of course!! Did you notice those two youngs boys wrestling in the sand behind me? They were having lots of fun!

My Favorite Mode of Transportation

Yes, Mom and I love to bike and we love to see bikes on the beach. It's good for the planet and it's good for the body. Go ahead and get on your bike today! Pedal to the market, to the beach, to your friend's house, or just for the fun of it!

All Around the World

The Triple Crown of Surfing is televised and livestreamed everywhere. There were reporters and cameras from Brazil, Japan, Australia, France, the Mainland, everywhere! And it all started in the early 70's (the contests, that is). The sport of surfing just continues to explode!

Ready for Action

This water photographer just emerged from the ocean. He had been out in the pounding 10 foot high surf shooting the competitiors taking off and riding the waves, and hopefully, getting barreled. If you want to see a great movie about the Pipeline and the relationship between the photographers and the surfers, rent or buy, FIBERGLASS AND MEGAPIXELS by Derek and Craig Hofmann.

In Case Your Board Breaks

Citus, a surfer from Spain, is holding me next to a surfboard rack. This set up on the beach is for a surfer whose boards breaks while he's competing. It happens, especially at Pipeline. See what I mean in the next three photos.

Looking for the Surfer

This board caddy is watching the waves as one of the Pipe competitors swims in with his broken board.

Racing Up the Beach

Dashing to the board caddy to get a new board, this surfer just swam in after he broke his board at the Pipeline during the Masters, the last contest of the Triple Crown, the last competition of the ASP World Tour.

Leashing Up

With a new board under his arm, this surfer is heading back out into the waves to finish his heat. Hopefully, he didn't lose too much time and will still have a chance of racking up points and moving forward in the Pipe Masters.

And the Winner Is......KP

Keiran Perrow, a surfer from Australia, won the Pipeline Masters 2011. It was a tough race!
To find out more about KP and the contest, google

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Biggest Indoor Surfing Event Ever

"Surfer" is a surfing magazine that is celebrating 50 years in print. Every December the publication holds a gala party and awards ceremony, Surfer Poll, highlighting the best of the best of that year---best wipeout, best documentary, best surfer, best barrel, best, best, best. The readers of "Surfer" vote for their favorites. Look at the next 17 photographs and you'll be there! (You could have watched it on t.v., too)

Ready to Make History

Kalani David is climbing or should I say, "skating" and "surfing", his way to the top of the ladder. He's kind and humble and a great athlete who rides for the Hawaii Junior Surf Team. Being at the Surfer Poll is the highlight of the surf season. If you are "on the list", you are somebody in the surfing world.
We ran into each other outside the Turtle Bay Resort and had a quick, happy chat. Google Kalani and see his accomplishments.

Everyone was There

Because Surfer Poll is the ultimate surfer event, there is a lot of media coverage. Bryce Lowe-White is the Associate Photo Editor of Surfer Magazine and was there on assignment. He just joined the staff on April 1st. See his work at

The Inner Sanctum--a Sneak Peek

This is where it all happens, the ballroom. Each table is reserved for the echelon of the surfing world, oldtimers and the up and coming. I'm propped up at the Irons Family table. The Triple Crown was dedicated to Andy Irons this year.

.....And Behind the Scenes

These are two of the men who make the worldwide televised Surfer Poll happen. Brian, giving me the "shaka" sign, is in charge of staging and Rick is the lighting specialist. Moments before, the lectern had been spray painted black. As Rick expressed, "There is always a lot of last minute stuff to do with these big productions!"

Ready for the Big Game

This huddle of young surfers is the Hawaii Junior Surf Team headed by Raynos Hayes. He's giving them the lowdown.
The other coach, Kehea Hart, is right there with the event details, how to behave, and proper interviewee etiquette. (Did you notice Kalani is his spiffy outfit? He's the one is the red sneakers.)

My Favorites at Surfer Poll

These young surfers are former third graders of Mom's. Noho makes the best Christmas cookies ever because they are baked with lots of love. Dax, the blonde, is one of the top NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Association) competitiors in the U.S., and Mahina is a rising star. Look for them all in the future issues of Surfer Magazine. They'll be there!

Documenting Surfing History

Betty Depolito is a former professional surfer and one of the first women who went on tour to surf in contests. She runs the media trailer with Jodi Wilmot for the Triple Crown and took me to New York City for the surfing contest in September where she ran the media trailer in the Big Apple with Jodi, too. "Banzai Betty" produces a t.v. show and puts on a women's surfing contest at Pipeline. Whew---she's a mover and a shaker on the North Shore. Check her out at

The Producer

C.J. Olivares was busy, busy, busy. He's the one in charge of the whole event. A consultant to Surfer Magazine, C.J. makes Surfer Poll happen! We only talked for a few moments because he had to run off and get changed. This awards ceremony is the fanciest party in the surfing industry----there were collared shirts everywhere, and lots of men had on real shoes. They left their slippers at home!

Getting Ready to Tweet

Jessica is the Social Media Web Manager for the Turtle Bay Resort and was tweeting away during Surfer Poll. That's her husband, Kris, with a camera on his back. His volunteer job was to follow her around and take photos. Jessica was one of Mom's students too. (It's easy to understand why she has so many students in the neighborhood----she's taught over 500 third graders, so far, at Sunset Beach Elementary.

Ready for Some Action

Vincent, on the left, and Johnny work for Flux Magazine. They were at Surfer Poll videotaping for podcasts at Vincent is holding a copy of Aloha Surf Guide---that's the magazine for which Mom writes surfer profiles. Google it!
Behind them is a costume rack. There was a "Shutter Bug" booth were I could dress up and have my picture taken. Mom and I got our picture taken, but we didn't dress up!

Moving Outdoors---Brrrrrr!

I am so absolutely spoiled. When the temperture goes below 70 degrees, I complain. My fur just doesn't keep me warm enough.
Luckily I don't live in Alaska!! This expanse is on the backside of the Turtle Bay Resort and is a perfect place for tents full of yummy delectables. That's pretty Hawaiian style----tents outdoors filled with tables of food.

A Feast at the Beach

Surfer Poll is an extravagant affair, the food, the stars, the media, the comaraderie. I'm always so happy to be a part of it.
Look at this buffet table---Raynos and his girlfriend, Keiki, were so ready to make a plate of the delicious assortment. I know it was lovingly prepared, and, as local as possible. My friend, Turtle Bay Resort executive chef, Hector Morales, oversaw the production.

Looks Like Hollywood is Here

Sal Masakela is famous. He's is a well known television personality and had his own t.v. show. He's a surfer, too.
Sal hosted Surfer Poll with Freddy P. and made hundreds of thousands of viewers laugh at his jokes, just like he did last year!

Whew----a Little Break

Marty Thomas is the Managing Director of the Triple Crown and he was happy to have a night just to relax and celebrate the evening with his radiant wife of 20 years, Shalom. Putting on a worldclass surfing event takes months and months of planning. The day to day operation is filled with unexpected problems and headaches, sometimes. Thanks, Marty, for three great surfing contests!

Pretty in Pink!

Kahea Hart, a coach for the Hawaii Junior Surf Team, and his girlfriend, Claudia, were delighted to pose with me!! They were enjoying all the glamour of the evening on the back lawn---flaming torches, elegant buffet tables, breaking waves, and friends everywhere. Surfer Poll is a very special event!

Surfer Poll 2011

Want to see more photographs and video of the evening? Go to Surfer Magazine and search.........see if you can find that picture of Mom and me in the Shutter Bug booth!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Get Ready for Fun at Sunset Beach

The first Friday of every December is the night of Sunset Beach Elementary's biggest fundraiser---Surf Night! Started by Bev Speece over 20 years ago when she was the president of the PTCA, it's a wild event with famous surfers from all over the world signing posters, thousands of dollars worth of door prizes being given away, homecooked chili and baked goods for sale, and hundreds of excited school and community members attending. See what I mean in the next few photographs.........

Standing Guard

Jake and Craig (holding the caution tape) were keeping order and doing security duty for Surf Night. There were hundreds of surf enthusiastics who waited in line to go into the cafeteria to get posters signed and listen for their names to be called for the doorprizes!

Supporting the Cause

Lindsey and her daughter, Dax, were organizing some of the free surf stickers and posters for the crowd. Dax is an alumni of Sunset Beach Elementary and one of the top women surfers in her age group in the United States.

Pancho Sullivan Representing Rip Curl

Pancho has been on the North Shore since he was a teenager. He's surfed competively for years winning many contests around the world. Now he's the father of three and contributing his time at Surf Night to raise money for the school. He's repping Rip Curl and just riding waves in local surf contests, and being a supportive dad, of course!

Coco Ho on the Go!

Coco attended Sunset Beach Elementary and rode waves since she was a toddler. Following in the footsteps of her famous dad, Michael, and uncle, Derek, Coco is climbing the surfing ladder to success. She's charging in contests around the world...."I'm going to do two photo surf trips in the next few weeks and then start competing in the women's tour in February". Bravo, Coco, you are making our little school very proud, and you are also inspiring today's young women to strive to be their best, like you. Keep it up, we'll be rooting for you this coming surf season!

Yummy, Yum, Yum

Many of the school's parents contribute baked goods to support Surf Night. Just look at that array! These three beautiful volunteers are teachers at Sunset---from left to right---Lisa, Corinna, and Jen. So......they teach their heads off all week, week after week, and then give their time and energy to raise money to make the school a better place. Thank goodness for such a devoted trio! Many other staff and faculty members participate also, and have been for over 20 years.