Sunday, May 24, 2009

Amy goes to work with Mike... in Hawaii

I travel a lot for my job. Rarely do I travel to exotic locales though. Rarely is not never though.

I cashed in some frequent flier miles and Amy and I travelled first class to a conference at the Fairmount Orchid on the big island of Hawaii.

And of course I took some pictures. If I don't photoblog it, it might as well not have happened.

The flight took about six hours. Amy went to the bathroom about 11,748 times. Good thing first class has its own bathroom.

After landing, we encountered a particularly amazing naturally occurring phenomenon in the rock.

We smiled a bit bigger as we drove toward our hotel.

Once we got there, we spent some time at the pool.

Later that evening we had a our first reception. The host of the convention flew in Kenny Rogers to play traditional Hawaiian music.

Okay, that wasn't Kenny Rogers. But whoever that was performed on a very cool grass stage.

There would be many more receptions. I think that these "meet n' greets" filled with people she didn't know had to be Amy's favorite part. Especially the cool name tag she got to wear.

Not being able to take advantage of the hosted bar probably grated on her a bit.

Actually her being there was very strategic from a business perspective. People tend to like Amy. Since my job is essentially to get people to like me and thus want to do business with me, having her there is like an unspoken endorsement. People get to know her and figure that if I was able to get her to like me enough to be carrying my fifth child, I can't be all that bad.

The hotel also had this amazing naturally occurring waterfall.

Okay, not naturally occurring, but nice backdrops nonetheless.

The second to last day we took a Catamaran trip out into the ocean to snorkel with sea turtles, fish, hermit crabs and other things. Snorkeling is great, especially if you are trying to give your skin a nice, red hue.

My favorite part of the trip had to be the scenery. There was beauty everywhere I looked.

Oh, and there were a lot of pretty flowers too.

The last night we attended the "Meeting of Kings". It was a beautiful show that traced the history of all the islands of the South Pacific.

Amy impressed me by knowing a lot of this stuff already. Leave it to the homeschooling mom to have a handle on the obscure details.

The highlight of the show for me was the "fire knife" dance. First, because it's cool and dangerous, but also because I thought it would provide an opportunity to play with my camera.

The dance did not disappoint. Can't say the same thing about my camera skills. Taking pictures in low light is hard. Taking pictures in rapidly changing light is even harder. Especially when the autofocus keeps hunting. I took over a hundred shots and got very few keepers.

But I lucked out and got a couple really nice ones just as he was getting ready to eat the fire.

First he just tried a taste.

(I love this picture. They should put it on their brochure.)

That little taste must have suited him well because he went for a much bigger bite after that.

Sadly, our 5 days in paradise came to a close. It's okay though. By this time we were really missing our kids. We knew they were in good hands, but we still were imagining them with us while we considered which activities they would like best.

But it was nice to spend time with just the two of us.

Even so; next time, we bring the kids.

Here are the pics I didn't post...

Just more of our friends. They said it was okay.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

some pictures from the park

I'm still going through the pictures from the Hawaii trip, so y'all are just gonna have to wait for that.

But here are some pictures from our time in the park with some friends. It was really sunny but we got a few nice shots. Some really good ones of some other people's kids but Amy thinks that we shouldn't put other folks' kids on the internet without their permission. Which is a shame cause they were great pictures.

Monday, May 11, 2009

carpe photoshoot

The other day, in between seeing our friends dedicate their precious kiddos, we seized a rare moment where (1) everyone was dressed relatively nice, (2) the weather was nice, (3) we were near a very scenic location and (4) I happened to have my camera and the right lenses.

And we captured evidence of this phenomenon on that aforementioned camera.

The cherry blossoms made for great background for my pretty girls.

Then I turned the camera loose on some goofball boys.

I did not direct these poses. Getting them to all look right for a picture is a lot like herding cats.

Except for my Lukers. He is happy to strike a pose. He likes the camera.

And I think the camera likes him too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mother's day

We celebrated all the moms today. An expectant mother and I prepared some grub. For the curious, it was fruit salad, crustless quiche, and a failed attempt at Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls.

We all put on our Sunday best. Well I guess we already had them on. We'll delegate Ava as the representative for "Sunday best" for obvious reasons.

My mom and me.

Both Grandmas and Ava.

See if you can spot the resemblance in this triple generation picture. Honestly I'm too close to these people and I can't see the resemblance at all.

Grandma D brings 62 years of life experience to her trampoline moves. That's some pretty decent air.

Monday, May 4, 2009

chelan vacation

Our good friends were kind enough to invite us to spend a few days east of the mountains with them. The drive over was beautiful, with this cloud foreshadowing the great weather we would enjoy.

We aren't strangers to long car trips. When it's more than a couple hours, we bust out the opiates, er... screens. While some of us have simpler needs that can be met by the comfortable and familiar odor of drool-soaked "nigh-night", it's nice to have a bright, engaging adventure lighting up ones countenance.

We spent the first morning getting reacquainted with our friends. There is commonality in caring for another, whether it's a fuzzy tigger, dingy baby doll, or a chicken. Who am I to judge the object of ones affections?

The water was still too cold for a swim, but not unlike the mystery of Stonehenge, some vacationing family or tribe or ? had fashioned a fort from driftwood.

Very soon the fort became the Millennium Falcon.

Also, Bob has a cool goatee.

There's plenty to do on the beach though. We pretty much had it all to ourselves.

This little guy didn't eat any sand. Picky eater I guess.

Or perhaps he secretly noted that you just never know where that sand had been. Or what's been in that sand.

We had a competitive round of mini-golf. Some took it seriously, some not so much.

Going off by yourself and vacationing with your family certainly is fun, but we all think doing this kinda thing with good friends who are at a similar stage in life is even better.