Saturday, July 30, 2011

Get Out Your Paddle!

This is Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. I'm thinking about riding these Youghiogheny River rapids with Erinn, a whitewater rafting guide. Well.....on second thought, I'll pass and just go for a bike ride or, maybe, I'll take one of the many hikes in the 20,500 acres of wilderness. Or maybe camping, hmm? Horseback riding, hmmm? Rock climbing, hmmm? Lots to do here!

Yikes, Those Rocks Look Scary!

Yes, I'm definately staying on shore. These rapids can be dangerous and if I changed my mind and wanted to go out, I'd have to find an expert to take me. There are four "outfitters" at Ohiopyle who provide guidance. If you are in the area and are interested in whitewater rafting, go to: and google "Ohiopyle".

If Change My Mind

Well, since Erinn IS an expert and knows the river, I'm going to be brave and ride the rapids, someday!

Safety First

You can see from this slew of lifevests that whitewater rafting is a big sport at Ohiopyle State Park. I always make sure that I'm doing everything to be safe when there is danger involved! I hope you do too!

This is More My Speed

Looking down from the rapids, I've decided I'll just get my paws a little wet and join the kids playing in the quiet pools of the Youghiogheny River. (Click on the photo and see if you can find the kids.) Maybe I'll do a little fishing. Where's my pole?

.....And in the Neighborhood

Near Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, is a famous home called Fallingwater. And guess what, it has a waterfall and stream flowing right through it! (Lots of streams, creeks, rivers, and waterfalls in this neck of the woods.)
Fallingwater is a concrete/stone house designed by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and is very modern. You might enjoy this cool spot in the woods on a hot summer day. It's fun to visit. What to know more? See more? Go to:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Calling All Surfers!! Calling All Surfers!!

I'm at Hawaii's biggest surfing event of the summer, Randy Rarick's Vintage Surf Auction, and boy was it a buzzin'!
Matt Eagle, publisher of the surf magazine, Aloha Surf Guide, met up with me at the entrance to the auction and we checked out the scene. There were lots of vintage surfboards and lots of vintage surfers!
Look at Matt's magazine, a visitor publication which focuses on the fundamentals of surfing and staying safe in the ocean at:

Catch a Wave and You're Sittin' on Top.....

Early surfboards were very, very heavy and were ridden pretty much straight to shore. Nowadays, board are so light, the rider can do cutbacks and spins and airs and lots of tricks. Cowabunga! Dude!

Ready to Bid? Ready to Buy?

Matt Maletta, senior art consultant for Wyland Gallery in Haleiwa, was in charge of rounding up local surf artists and bringing them to the Vintage Surf Auction at the Neal Blaisdal Center (the NBC) in Honolulu. The boards behind him will be up for sale to the highest bidder on Saturday, July 23. Hurry down!

"I'm Crazy Busy"

I made friends with Heather Brown a couple of years ago when she made a huge mural, which I loved, for a surfing contest at Pipeline! Her art is everywhere! She's becoming so popular, especially in Japan; she even has a gallery there. Heather always has a smile for me and I always appreciate the aloha she radiates! Check out her website and blog at:

With Brush in Hand

Hilton Alves is another painter who was at the Vintage Surf Auction. He was making the most of his time and painting during the preauction viewing! He painted a mural on a building at Mom's school, Sunset Beach Elementary. See Hilton's art at:

Lots of Surf Stuff for Sale

The Vintage Surf Auction had more than surfboards and art, there were also collectibles. This is Billy's stuff. He's a former teacher from Laguna, California, who traveled to Honolulu to be part of the event. I loved seeing all the surfing memorabilia!

More Surf Stuff for Sale!

A Very Vintage Camera was for Sale, Too

Yes, a camera was for sale, but this was no ordinary camera. In 1978 Australian George Greenough filmed the famous surf movie, Big Wednesday, with this dinosaur! Are you interested?

My Rideable Sculpture---What's She Worth?

One of the best features of Randy Rarick's Vintage Surf Auction was finding out the value (for free) of old surfboards! Just like Antiques Road Show, but better! Tim, on the right, was estimating Matty's board, an 8'10" Phil Edwards production model shaped in 1969. Matty has owned this board for just a couple of months. He traded a brake job for the board! He got the better deal--his cost was about $100 and his board is worth between $700 to $1,000. Good job, Matty!

A Surf Hero was There

Yes, Ken Bradshaw, my neighbor at Sunset Beach, is a hero and legend! Orignially from Texas and a resident of the North Shore since 1972, Ken has the distinction of riding the biggest wave in the world, so far! (I am sure he will have his challengers! Winter's comin'!)
Movies have been made about Ken and he was a featured surfer in the magazine, Vanity Fair, this summer, the one with Justin Beiber on the cover with kisses all over his face. Check out Ken---Google: YouTube BBC Ken Bradshaw to see him in action!!

Interested? Find out More? Live Webcast!

The Vintage Surf Auction is held every other year. If you want to see Legends and talk with them, buy surf memorabilia, watch surf artists in action, tune into the surfing buzz, listen to the passion, then make sure you join us next time. Go to: and keep yourself posted! These are events of a lifetime!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ready for Waves on Lake Erie

Yes, there is surf on a Great Lake, and windsurfing too! This young surfer, Mario, just graduated from high school and was celebrating at a beachside barbeque. He told me, "There was no way I was having a graduation party in the backyard; I knew there would be waves!" And there they were. He told me the best season for surf is in the fall, so if you are ever in northwestern Pennysylvania where the leaves are turning golden red and orange bring your wetsuit.

"We Have Met the Enemy and They are Ours", Oliver Hazard Perry

Admiral Perry was a famous U.S. Naval Officer during the War of 1812. Perry's Monument is a 101 foot structure on Presque Isle built to honor him for contributing to the defeat of the British. This hero also built 6 of the 9 boats in his fleet on this lake at Misery Bay (named by his sailors). It's a great place to visit, but be sure to bring a sweatshirt, even in the summer. It's cool there!!

Vroom, Vroom, Vroom

Soap Box Derbies are a big deal in Erie, Pennsylvania, and in the surrounding states. It's an expensive hobby---these cars cost about $1,000 each. Yikes!!

Ready, Get Set, Go!!!!!

The kids that participate in the Soap Box Derby races become part of the car. They hunker down real, real low and zoom down the street going as fast as they can. (There is no engine.) The race last about 2 minutes! They trade sides of the street and race all over again just to make sure one driver doesn't have an advantage over the other driver. Whoever has the best time, moves up.

Ready to Roll......

I picked this car out just for me!!
I think we match perfectly!
Do you?

It's a Family Affair

Mom Angie and her son, John, were at the Soap Box Derby in Erie. Angie was once a racer and John is following in her footsteps.
If John wins his division today, he's on to the Nationals in Akron, Ohio. Good luck!!

WICU Channel 12--Erie, PA

Yes, Mom and I made our local t.v. news debut in Erie, Pennsylvania. Vince Slomsky of Channel 12 (CBS and NBC are affiliates) interviewed us and we were on Saturday night at 6 and 11. We were spotted later at Hank's Frozen Custard Stand---someone saw us and said, "Didn't I just see you on t.v."? It was funny!! We're becoming celebrities!

Spotted in the Parking Lot

So......while we were buying a frozen custard, a lady recognized Mom me from our t.v. appearance earlier in the evening. That's Mom's college buddy, Peggy, holding me.
Hank's is world business since 1952 and making tasty, tasty soft ice cream cones. The stand is located in Conneaut Lake, PA. You can Facebook them and make a new friend. I did!!

Yes, Stop In!!

If every you are up in northwestern Pennsylvania near Lake Erie, make a special trip to Hank's Frozen Custard at Conneaut Lake. You may be greeted by this fine gentelmen, Ryan, the grandson of the original owner!! And, please, let the him know Rex the Surf Dog sent you!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Step Back into the Past

I'm in northwestern Pennsylvania near Lake Erie in a town called Meadville. I just had breakfast at the oldest continuously running farmer's market in the state. While visiting the gift shop (mom always drags me there), I came across this poster advertising a l00 year-old amuesment park--Conneaut Lake and an art fair there. Looks like fun, maybe I'll head on over after I shop.

A Bumper Crop of Tomatoes

Jared and Abby are at Spring Harvest Farm and are two of the many farmers who live in this fertile area of northwestern Pennsylvania. The soil is great for growing, although the summer isn't too long, unlike Hawaii, which is year round. They have local tomatoes early in the season because their operaton is hydroponic---these beauties were grown in water!

The Shy Farmer

Well, Nathan, who has been farming since he was eight, didn't quite know what to make of me. He kept smiling and looking very curious as he told me about his farm called Tender Acres. I asked him what he likes best about farming. His response, "I never go hungry"!

It's a Family Affair

Sharna and her 4-year old daughter, Lydia, were selling beautiful bouquets of herbs at the Meadville Farmer's Market. They grow over 100 different kinds on their farm, Abundant Hillside Gardens. Mom bought some sweet-smelling lavender.
Sharna's sister makes soap from the milk of goats. She has a herd of 20!! Now that's sourcing locally!

And Look What I Found at the Park

Conneaut Lake Park was in its heyday in the early 1900's and well into the 60's. Built on the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania, it was a summer destination for residents of Pittsburgh, 2 hours south. Now it's pretty quiet, but the local townsfolk are trying to revive the Park.
This carousel horse was hand carved using no electric tools and it was also hand painted.
At the art opening/benefit, I made friends with this fiery red steed which will travel to numerous cities in U.S. promoting the Park. I hope it comes to Hawaii!! I hope the Conneaut Lake Park is revived!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day USA!!

New England is where the the American Revolution began!! I'm in a small fishing village called Rockport on Cape Ann in Massachusetts (north of Boston). The folks here celebrate the 4th of July very seriously. These "Colonists" are gathering to hear the "Declaration of Independence" read aloud at Dock Square.

Supporting the Cause

Jonas is an exchange student from Germany who attends Rockport High. He came out in full colonial garb to participate in reading of the Declaration of Independence!!
So.....there were men living in the 13 Original Colonies who only had pitchforks to defend themselves from the British soldiers in the 1770's. You know the story......many new residents of America wanted to start a new country and not be citizens of England because the king wasn't treating them fairly. Thus, a war ensued, we won, and now we have picnics and fireworks every 4th of July to celebrate our freedom.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

In Colonial Times, the Towncrier, went street to street ringing his bell and announcing the news! This gentleman Patriot read the Declaration of Independence to the visitors and residents of Rockport, Massachusetts, at 10:00 am on the 4th of July. I was touched! It's the first time I have ever heard it read aloud and it has very powerful words. The American Colonists were brave to make such a declaration! Of course the English King got mad and sent soldiers to change their minds, but the Americans prevailed.

Can You Find Dock Square?

Click on this photo, look at the map closely, and see where the "Colonists" gathered to read the Declaration of Independence. I'll give you a hint--
it's kind of in the center, but slightly northeast!! Rockport, Massachusetts, is a great little New England seaport/fishing village/tourist destination because it's so beautiful and filled with history. Visit it sometime!

The Star Spangled Banner

There were American flags flying everywere in Rockport and in every other town across the United States. This is one of the most special holidays for us and it's just for us.
Sniff, sniff, sniff there's something cookin' on the barbeque, so I'll see you at the fireworks!
Happy 4th of July!!