Saturday, November 24, 2012

Aliens Invading?

It looks like I'm under the ocean and stingrays are swimming above me, don't you think?  Well, actually, I stopped in to see my Senator at his office in Washington, D.C.  So many of the government buildings in this city have great art.  This sculptor is Alexander Calder.  I liked it!  I like abstract art.  Learn more about this artist at:

Come Visit your Elected Official

Should you want to meet your Senator and have a chat, just call his or her office and make an appointment, or drop in.  You can always leave a note with the Legislative Aide.  That's what I did.

Pretty Fancy

This is just one of the many ornate doors leading into the Senate Office Building.  Washington is full of incredible architecture-----brass doors, marble buildings and steps----and expert craftsmanship.  Make sure you put it on your list of great places to explore.  One of the added bonuses-----almost everything is free to visit----the museums, especially.  And, there are scores of them!

All Aboard!

I'm in the heart of Washington, D.C., and staring across the street at Union Station------this is where all the trains arrive and it also has a Metro, the underground rail, for the city.  It's also were Union troops were "put up" during the Civil War.  Now, that's pretty old.  I love this city because it gives me a chance to step back in time and imagine the early scenes from America's history.

A Closer Look

Yep, I'm under the Star-Spangled Banner standing at the entrance to Union Station.  Did you know that the thirteen stripes on the American flag represent the 13 original colonies?  When you venture to the Nation's Capital, make sure you schedule a train ride.  It's always one the highlights of my trip here.
What's really interesting is that so many Europeans ride the rail because that's the way they get around in their homeland.  You'll make new friends from around the world when you step into a passenger car,  play cards in the lounge car, or have a meal in the dining car.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Surf's Up-----Contest's On

Yep, Sunset Beach, the surf mecca of the world-----my neighborhood.  I'm on Mom's cruiser on the Ke Ala Pupukea Bike Path that runs 3 1/2 miles along the beach roads.  The HIC (Hawaiian Island Creations) Pro is the first contest of the season.  It's Autumn and the surf is comin' up, so is the wind.  Did you notice the roof tarps blowing?

Aloha to our Visitors

Danielle is from California.  She came to see the HIC Pro Surfing Contest with her boyfriend and celebrate his 50th birthday.  They are both learning to surf and took lessons in Haleiwa while they were here.  Thousands of tourists travel to the North Shore to watch the best riders in the world surf the best waves in the world.

Who's Winning?

Mahina, one of Mom's former third graders, obliged me and stood by the tally sheets and schedule of heats.  Sunny Garcia won the contest.  He's an older surfer from Hawaii who won the same event 20 years ago!  Bravo, Sunny!

Better Read the Fine Print

Yes, if you are competing in the HIC Pro, it's important to be very clear about the rules.  Look at the last one------Yikes!   A $1,000 fine-----that's serious!  (Remember, if you click on the photo, it enlarges.)

Getting Ready for Action

Kalani Brown, a former student at Sunset Beach Elementary and now a North Shore Lifeguard, was staking the signs for visitors to make them aware of the conditions.  The ocean can be very dangerous in the Fall and Winter when the big waves are up.  The lifeguards on the North Shore are dedicated and take their job very seriously.  Learn more about them at their website:
They are having a benefit on December 7th at Waimea Valley, 6:30 to 10:30.  Please come!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

England? France? Where in the World?

This is the original Smithsonian Museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C.  It's a very old four-story brick structure that presently houses the administrative offices of the Smithsonain Institution.  It used to be the only building with exhibits.  It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the Washington Monument at one end, to the Capitol at the other end.  Now there are many museums which line the Mall.  I do hope you will come explore this southern city some day soon--Spring and Fall are best.

First Stop----Press Tent

Yes, I am a reporter, even though I am a dog, so I needed to pick up my press pass and kit for the annual 4th of  July event on the Mall---the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.  Amy had it ready for me!

In Training

Tory, the blonde, and Rebecca were at the Folklife Festival as interns. They "work" for a public relations firm which was handling the communications and press.  They told me the best part of their job was being able to come to big events like this one.  I think I'd like that part too!  It looks pretty casual.

Art "ON" the Mall

This quilt is the longest piece of folkart in the world.  It's made of panels created by friends for friends.
Each square is 12 feet by 12 feet.  It will be on permanent display at the Smithsonian. Did you notice the two-wheelers by my ear?   I like seeing bicycles.  Those folks are shrinking their carbon footprint and making the world a cleaner planet.  Did you notice the Capitol in the background?

Santa in his Workshop?

No, that's not Santa, it's Ray Kinlock, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.  He teaches textile design.  Today, he's on the Mall to restore some of the older panels on the quilt.

All the Way from South Africa

What's really wonderful about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is all the interesting people from around the world who have an opportunity to share their cultures.  This is Beauty and she loved me.  Look at that doll and little beaded bird; it takes a lot of time and training to become so artistic and skillful.  (Remember, click on the photograph to get a better look.)

Look Familiar

I felt like I was back in Hawaii and not in Washington, D.C.  Lehua and Pualani (in the hat) were dancing hula at the Folklife Festival.  It was part of sharing the culture of land grant universities in the United States.  They were representing the University of Hawaii.  As we were "talking story", I asked them what amazed them about the Nation's Capital and they both replied, "The architecture impressed us the most!"  I concur, there are so many beautiful buildings in this city.

Always Ready to Make New Friends

I heard a talk last spring by a man named the Dalai Lama.  He said it's important to, "Extend your hand first when meeting a stranger."  I think that's a pretty good idea.  It would make the world a much friendlier place.  These are some new friends I made in the giant air-conditioned "gift shop" tent at the Folklife Festival.  If you are ever in D.C. on the 4th of July, make sure you stop in.  Go early as it tends to get pretty hot as the day wears on!