Thursday, January 27, 2011

Greetings from the Galapagos Islands

Yes! Yes! I traveled to Galapagos off the west coast of Ecuador with two of my dear friends, Bob and Gina. They took me on their adventure to "Tortoise Land"!
Follow along........

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

There goes Bob trying to outrace the tortoise. Who do you think won?
Remember Aesop, that slave from Greece who lived about 2,000 years ago and wrote fables to teach lessons---pretty smart guy. Google him and read:
The Tortose and the Hare.

Lucky Me!

I feel so fortunate to have such great friends like Gina and Bob who take me traveling with them. I guess I'm not too much trouble; I sleep a lot and never bark! Most importantly, I always have a very postive attitude. Guess that makes me a good companion. What do you think?

A Famous Resident and her Booby Baby

The blue-footed bubi/booby is one of the most well-known birds on the Galapagos Islands. This three pound seafarer is clumsy on land and was named the "bubi" because it means "clown" or "stupid" in Spanish. I think a kinder word would have been a nicer name for this unusual bird. Do you agree? I like kind words!

Looking Cosy as Can Be

Now what's really cool about being in the Galapagos Islands is the fearlessness of the animals. They are not hunted or hurt, so humans can get very close, dogs too! See how close Gina is these seals and not one is budging.

Mail Call!!

This is the Postmistress of the Galapagos Islands. Do you see that mailbox behind her? Well, long ago, residents put letters in the box hoping that when sailing ships stopped here, the vessel would be heading in the direction of the addressee. That's how the mail would get delivered, a sailor would take the letter to its destination.

Happy Birthday to You!

This little girl, Angie, a resident of the Galapagos, was all dressed up in her party clothes because her grandmother was taking her to lunch in the village. She was happy to meet me and really wanted to keep me, but I had to move on. Did you notice the loom for weaving in the background?

Heading Out to the Boat

Bob and Gina were part of a group touring the Galapagos. The whole gang is hopping into the Zodiac and motoring back to the National Geographic research vessel on which they spent the nights. But, uh oh, they had better be careful-----that's a marine iguana in the water. Hold me tightly, Gina, I don't want to be that reptile's dinner!

......And Back on the Mainland

Well, what an adventure I had on the Galapagos. We put out from Ecuador and now we're back.
This is a group of girls just getting out of school. They sure look a lot different from the students in my neighborhood who wear surf gear!
I just love traveling and looking for adventure and learning new things! Thanks to Bob and Gina for taking me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All Smiles on Opening Day

Welcome our new Legislator----Senator Donovan Dela Cruz. He represents District 22 which includes the North Shore!
This public servant was on the City Council for years and is now working at the State Capital for my neighborhood. I loved the leis-- necklaces of flowers for celebrations. Isn't Hawaii wonderful! Donovan's smelled heavenly; the white ropes of pikake and the green maile leaves perfumed the air! Heaven to my little doggie nose!
That's Dane Wicker in the suit who is Sen. Dela Cruz's Clerk and Albert, a volunteer. They were passing out granola brownies to the many visitors at the 2011 Hawaii Legislative Opening.

A View from the Top

I'm on the fourth floor of the State Capital. I love this building-----with an atrium in the middle, it's gives the building such a feeling of openness---hopefully, open minds and open hearts, too. I'm wishing the Legislators well this session.

Where You Want to Be to Be in the Know

Now, if you want to know what's going on-----who's who and what's what------this is your destination. This room provides you with all the information about the status of bills, Legislator's calendars, hearing schedules, etc.
Come on in.........

May I Help You?

This is Jim Manke, a former newscaster and host at Hawaii Public Radio. He'll be working in the Public Access Room at the Capital to answer all questions, assist in testimony preparation, access documents, and so much more. Just look at the computers that are available to the public to keep track of what's going on. Drop in during the session and make yourself at home. Get involved!
Exercise your rights as a citizen in a democracy! I would if I could, but remember, I'm just a little dog!

Watch the Opening Day on T.V.

Edgar is the ESL and media teacher at Waipahu Intermediate. He brought his students to the State Capital to interview their legislators and get to know the individuals who represent their neighborhood. The kids were having lots of fun!
So I interviewed Edgar, and one of his students interviewed me!! Watch for the show on FOCUS, Channel 49 on 2/2/11 at 8 am, 2/4/11 at 1:00 pm, and 2/11/11 at 11:00 am. It will play on VIEWS, Channel 54 on 2/4/11 at 6:00 pm. I'll be watching, will you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Big Cruise--Come on Aboard!

Yippie! Yippie! Yippie!
I'm going on a "ship trip" around the Hawaiian Islands on the Pride of America, a Norwegian Cruise Line vessel.
Grab your life jacket and follow along.......

Just in Case!

As I was touring the ship, getting ready to depart, I noticed this life ring on the railing.
So......I'd better be careful and stay on the boat or one of the other passengers will be tossing this to me!

One of my Traveling Companions

Here is Lyn who accompanied me while on my cruise. She likes to laugh and make jokes, so we had a swell time together. That's the Aloha Tower at Honolulu Harbor in the background. This port is famous---it's where all the ships from around the world have been coming since the first vessels sailed into Oahu.

In the Lap of Luxury

Now one of the best things about a cruise ship is all the fussing the staff does to make sure you are happy. These are my towels in the shape of an elephant-----every day the housekeeping staff would make my bed and create a new animal! Now isn't that fun!
I wonder if they'll be making "Surf Dogs" for passengers in the future?

Around and Round

This is my other traveling companion, Carolyn, and doesn't it look like she's having fun! This contraption is called a "Gyroscope" and it's just like an amusement park ride. There is always someone from the cruise staff monitoring the gyroscope just to make sure you don't overdo it!
Did you notice the giant pool in the background? Now this is what I call "livin' in style"! Toys everywhere! Playtime all the time!

Can You Guess What's Going On?

Look very, very carefully. I had to studying what was happening on that big, blue boat in Kahalui Harbor on Maui, for a little while.
Gravel is being offloaded from the bottom of the boat by a crane and then put into that orange funnel-like structure.
Then a truck drives underneath the funnel and the load is released into the bed and carried off. Yes, this port is for cruise ships, and for working ships, too.

Who Wants to Play?

I'm going to have to get a little better at playing Chess. For my small doggie brain, this boardgame is somewhat complicated.
I'll just have to play more, or maybe I'll head to the deck across the way and play Checkers instead. Hmmmmm. Which one shall I choose?

Command Central

Here I am with the men who steer the Pride of America. Yikes, that's a lot of colored buttons! You must have to be very, very smart to navigate a cruise ship like this one. This vessel is HUGE! It holds 2,450 guests and they eat 18,330 lbs. of eggs each week (that includes the ship staff too)! It's like a small town!

.....And if You Want to Read a Book

Jasper was the Activities Director for the cruise. He took great care of us! He took me down to the library to show me the collection. Isn't that cool, a library on a boat! This ship has everything, even a model of itself.

Vroom! Vroom! Vroom!

There are many restaurants on the Pride of America. I had fun sharing lunch with Lyn and Carolyn in this old-fashioned diner riding in a big, red Cadillac!
I enjoyed their jovial personalities the whole time we traveled.
Now, I'm ready to go for another spin around the Hawaiian Islands anytime they want to go. Or maybe it will be the Greek Islands next time. We'll see. I'm keeping my paws crossed!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I hiked to the top of the mountain behind Mom's school, Sunset Beach Elementary. This is the 1,100 acre parcel of land that the North Shore community fought hard to put in a land trust-----and succeeded! Isn't the view heaven!! Go to to learn more.

Am I Going the Right Way?

Mark Munden builds homes with his son, Jed, on the North Shore and has lived in my neighborhood for many, many years. We're good pals. He came on the hike and showed me the right path to take! I like having friends who look after my well being. Thanks, Mark.

Clowning Around, as Usual

Steve Albert is another one of my good friends at Sunset Beach. He likes being silly and making me laugh. He has a big heart too.
Hiking with friends is one of my favorite things to do, especially in Hawaii, and especially in my neighborhood! Hope you'll be able to join me some day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy to Be in Hawaii at the HIO

Mahina and Summer, in the cap, were all smiles at the Haleiwa International Open Surfing Contest. This event in the oldest amateur competition in the state. Mahina was a contestant and Summer's dad competed.
Now, remember, it's the second day of January and look at the weather!! Lucky we live Hawaii!! Wouldn't you agree!

Here's All About It

I loved the banner for the contest!! The design is cool, in my little doggie opinion, of course!

Longtime Sponsor---20 Years and Counting

Joe Green has owned Surf and Sea, a giant surf shop in Haleiwa, since 1981, the year Hurricane Iwa ripped off the roof! Yikes! Luckily he recycled the roof off of a Dole Plantation heavy equipment shed which had blown over in the same storm. Joe has put up the money for this contest for the past two decades. He has incredible "blow out" sales at his shop! Find out more at:

Making his Way to the Top

The Kowalski Brothers grew up surfing with their dad, Peter. Dylan, in the white t-shirt, competed in the HIO and took 4th place in the Men's Division. I asked him what his goal is for 2011. His reply, "I want to be in the top 5 of the Junior Pro so I can go on to surf in Bali and Australia next year!" Good luck, Dylan.
Taylor just graduated from college back East and was rooting his brother on at the Haleiwa contest.

Haleiwa--Ali'i Beach--His Favorite Spot

Michael Smith has been surfing this wave since his dad, Mitchell, took him out on a board when he was four years old. He loves this spot because, "When the swell hits just right, the wave peels to the right and makes a perfect bowl, just like a point break".
Michael will be competing again next year in the 15 and under class. (Did you notice the bikes leaning against the palm tree behind him---smart move---exercising and saving gas money, and the planet, at the same time!)

Did Anyone See my Party Hat?

John, with the short board, and Jason are old high school buddies. John flew in from the Mainland to attend Jason's son, Maddox's, 4-year-old birthday party at Ali'i Beach Park. Isn't it fabulous to have a summertime event in the middle of winter! Did you notice the little surfer, also called a "Grom", in the background in wetsuit? Looks like he's charging for a wave.

From the Land of the Rising Sun

Yes, that's a trophy Sayuri is holding in her hand. She just won First Place in the Women's Division of the Haliewa International Open.
Bravo to this beautiful 20-year old from Hokkaido, Japan. (The waves were pretty big, 8-10 feet Hawaiian, so she was very brave to ride them.)

And the Winners Are.......

The crowd gathered around the grandstand as the winners were being called up to receive their trophies. As I was standing and listening and watching, I happened upon another photographer, Philippe L. Gross. He's been taking pictures since he was eight, just like Mom! We got to chatting and I discovered Philippe is a professor of Psychology at Kapiolani Community College and wrote a book called THE TAO OF PHOTOGRAPHY. Sounds interesting, is interesting....find out more at: