Monday, February 26, 2018

Dancing Carolyn!

My little sister Carolyn watched the SUU (Southern Utah University) dancers at her weekly Special Needs Mutual activity, and then she joined in the fun after the performance!
Ooo-la-la, Carolyn, is that even legal to do in church?!
 Look at that skirt twirl!
 Uh oh, I think I see an ankle.
 Oh, where is the propriety? Now I see 2 ankles!
 That skirt's swishing higher and higher! Change the dance step, girl!
 You can dance anything!
 I'd be falling-down-dizzy after a spin like that! 
 Everyone else is talking... Carolyn's still dancing.
Way to go, li'l sis.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Dog Who Loved Me

Note: Dogs are really supposed to be referred to as "that's," not "who's," (as in "The Dog That Loved Me) but then the heading wouldn't have the familiar ring of "The Spy Who Loved Me." (Did that adventure story even enter your mind?)
Whether you know it or not, I made an instant up close and personal friend when I opened my car door one day. 

He was so enamored with my presence that he didn't even ask before he put both paws on my leg and checked out the steering wheel, as if offering to drive me to the park for a picnic. (I would provide the picnic basket, of course. He didn't watch Yogi Bear for nothing.)

"Look into my eyes," he seemed to whisper, rather moistly, into my ear. "You want to share your food with me. You want to give me all your food. And pet me. And scratch behind my ears... for hours."

"Come with me to the casbah... bring doggy biscuits. Lots and lots of doggy biscuits."
Do you believe in the power of suggestion?
(Do you have a dog that loves you?)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Happy Fake Hawaiians

Because I don't want to use my time picking through them to line up chronologically, they are in no particular order.
I tried making the captions amusing or interesting, but that is purely subjective.
Read and view as you wish.

Our hostess Genna, Bob, and Carolyn watching a magnificent sea turtle flipper its way up onto the beach.
 Waterfall climbing Carolyn, helped by Genna and our host, Alex Arnell.
 After an interesting night trying to sleep on the plane, it was an exciting early morning outside the airport on our arrival day.
 Bob sometimes retrieved Carolyn, who occasionally wandered off in the wondrous tropical landscape. 
This is an ancient site where fire kindled in a high tower could be seen from a neighboring island. 
(Sorry, I don't remember what it's called, but it's a cool concept, right?) 
 Genna knows a lot about Hawaii, Oahu in particular, having lived there for five years. We appreciated her taking us off the beaten path!
 You can't have too much fun. You just can't!
 We made it to the top of Diamond Head! (Even though you only see Bob, Carolyn, and some random photo bomber, I'm there, too. Who do you think took the picture?)
 There's that awesome sea turtle again.
 Brave Bob stands at the Diamond Head railing. As far as we know, the guys who manned the pillbox at the top during WWII had to climb the same two mile trail we did, probably with less huffing and puffing, but we made it! That's all that counts.
 Bob bravely posing at breathtaking Lanai Lookout Point. He subsequently stood in the path of huge breaking waves at the edge of land and water, waiting to get wet, but the waves held back, knowing they were no match for him. 
 Bob lookin' good in shades. Give him a mustache, and he'd do a Magnum PI impression without even trying. 
  Bob thought of gathering bamboo walking sticks for our waterfall hike BEFORE the trail even got steep. (That's when I would have thought of it... at the point when there was no handy fallen bamboo at the side of the trail.)
Thanks, Bob.
I don't know about this one...when I looked up "tiki" (an example pictured below) I read that it can be an image of a diefied ancestor, god, or supernatural power.
I couldn't help it. This one made me think of something else. 
 This Polynesian Cultural Center waterfall is the perfect backdrop for Bob and Carolyn to flash their shakas! (Shaka: a gesture of friendly intent. "Hang loose, bruddah!")
 The Dole Plantation train! (Rather than pay $30.00 for a picture of us standing next to the engine, we opted for a free selfie in the train car.)
 At the first beach we visited, I spotted a blond lifeguard, old enough to be an extra from an Elvis beach movie, yet still fit and tanned.
 The Polynesian Cultural Center boat ride through all the "villages" saw us in a rowdy crowd with the three senior citizens on the bench ahead of us. We all liked to shout "Wahoo!" and laugh at the boatman's jokes.
 We were instructed to touch the bottom of the first bridge for luck...the next for love...another for riches...and the last for (everyone's eager hands raised, brushing fingertips on the rough surface) bad luck!
(HANDS WENT DOWN so fast, I could feel the breeze!)
 Big Bob did not get much leg room on the plane.
 Stand up paddle boarding! (Or in Carolyn's case, sit down paddle boarding.)
Holding Bob's hand while snorkeling kept me from being pulled away in the current. (Have you ever tried walking through the sand in those flipper things? Going backward seems best...but then you don't see the wild waves rolling in to knock you over!)
 Bob fighting his way through a bamboo jungle!
 Bob made it to King Kamehameha III's ruined summer home. (Without a roof, at least he didn't have to worry about bumping his head.)
 Nephew Brian Pierce's "gazing off into the sunset" pose.
 I laughed at the name on the men's potty room door at the Cultural Center!
 A vine climbing up a tree. Three of the five people in our group tried swinging on jungle vines. Really. Surprisingly enough, I wasn't one of them. 
I had the camera.
 Bob and Shirley at the Diamond Head overlook.
(I can just see it in our faces...we'll never grow old!)
 At Carolyn's first sight of the ocean, she RAN to the water! Then she almost lost her footing as the water pulled the sand out from under her feet. 
(It does feel weird.)
 Okay, water, it's you or me.
 I can take anything you can dish out.
 No funny stuff.
 That's not funny!
 Hah! You can't knock me down.
Winner: Carolyn!
 Carolyn loved spending time with her nephew, Brian Pierce.
 Niece Genna Arnell and Brian Pierce were very considerate of Carolyn. 
 Carolyn considering changing her name to "Jane."
(You know? Tarzan and Jane? Oh, you already got it.)
 Brian made Carolyn's day when he stayed back from snorkeling to help Carolyn boogie board on the beach. 
(Carolyn had all the gear, but was too afraid to go out past the breakers. Brian to the rescue!)
 Brian made Carolyn laugh. (I hope she didn't have food in her mouth.)
 This is Carolyn striding through the airport on her way home from Hawaii.
 Carolyn ducking through branches in search of a waterfall.
 Carolyn drinking a whole pineapple full of pina colada!
 Flexible Carolyn topping out at Diamond Head.
 Fluid Carolyn's hula lesson. (She could have almost taught it herself.) 
 These plants were purple. (Enough said.)
 Here we are, back at King Kamehaha III's summer palace ruin with Carolyn framed in the doorway.
 Carolyn was so excited that Genna greeted us with Hawaiian leis!
It made her feel like a real "Hawaii Girl."
 Carolyn checking out our plane for departure.
(I told you these pix weren't in order! But they're exciting. You never know what you're going to get next.)
 Carolyn's happy to ride the Dole Plantation Pineapple Train!
 She was equally happy to eat a famous Dole Whip pineapple confection, sort of like a smoothie sherbet. She opted for the pineapple pieces on top version.
 Carolyn running through the waves!
 Carolyn's first sight of the ocean made her race toward it as fast as she could go!
 Carolyn and Shirley thought this twisty tree trunk was amazing.
 Tarzan's girlfriend.
 Hiking up to Diamond Head was so hard...
 ...but so worth it!
 The manmade waterfall was nearly as pretty as the natural one... 
 ...but not as exciting to get to.
 Carolyn was delighted to be chosen as the model for the traditional Tongan wedding dress at the Cultural Center, .
 Carolyn was as good as a mermaid at spotting whale spouts and shiny black tails as the whales dove back underwater.
 We love the beach!
 Fake waterfalls are fun.
 Warning fellow claustrophobes - the hike to Diamond Head includes walking through a tunnel that you can't see the end of. (I had to stare at Genna's feet in front of me instead of the oncoming darkness with no promise of future oxygen.)
 Bob found an angel in Hawaii. (Awww!)
 Hawaiian feral chickens. (Yes, they are a thing.)
 There is a strangely crackle-surfaced giant rabbit in the Las Vegas airport. 
 Genna helped Carolyn rappel down some rocks on her way to the natural waterfall.
 Then Genna helped Carolyn climb up some rocks toward the same destination.
 Aloha salad, anyone?
 Genna with her and Alex's four handsome, energetic, and entertaining sons.
 Genna is really a fly. (Spiderman's got nothin' on her.)
 Genna and Carolyn in the water at the bottom of the waterfall. (She said we'd get wet! So I changed out of my long dress. It's good to have a "native" along.)
 We are about halfway up the Diamond Head trail. Carolyn looks as if she's trying to see how much farther we have to go.
 A pretty Hawaiian view from the pineapple train.
(Who ever thought this was good gift shop decor?)
 This is like no mountain I've seen in Utah.
 When Carolyn's suit was falling off her shoulders, I picked up a bit of native vine and tied it tight. Guess what? The vine held all day long.
I think I should start my own reality show.
 Genna and I went looking for cute clothes.
This wasn't one of them.
 LOOK AT THOSE CRAZY COOL TROPICAL PLANTS on the walkway to the front door of King Kamehamaha's Summer Palace!
 Bob making do with a palm leaf broom.
 I won't see a puddle like this after a Utah rain.
The Cultural Center boat show is coming!
 Bob and Carolyn learned the shaka symbol from Genna.
 Pineapples don't grow on trees!
 The obligatory tourist photo of the Dole Pineapple place.
 Since we didn't miss our flight home, (more's the pity), Bob is loading our carryons in the plane's overhead luggage compartments to head out of Hawaii.
 Once upon a time, the Hawaiians were so hungry, they caught fish and ate it. Raw. So I tried this poke bowl of cold raw fish piled on top of warm seasoned rice.
It's not the same as cold ice cream on top of warm sweet cake.
Carolyn helped me eat it.
 Yes, it's true! Bob and Carolyn got tribal tattoos.
 Three tikis! (Our friend, mentioned earlier, is on the far left. What is he supposed to be doing?)
 Our photo bombed Cultural Center bathroom selfie.
 I don't even remember where this was, but I look like I have a pink flower in my hair.
 I didn't.
It's all part of the Hawaiian magic.
 It really rained one day at the Cultural Center.
 It's a good thing people are waterproof!
 Genna thoughtfully kept a large umbrella in her car.
 Yeah, well. I like the wings.
 Genna photo bombed my "I made it to the top of Diamond Head!" photo.
(She's allowed to, though. She made it, too!)
 An edible flower that I believe is an orchid.
(I said edible, not delectable.)
 This is where I fell on the hike to the natural waterfall, making my hand bleed, scraping my arms, and bruising my ribs. 
(I had to take a picture after the fact, since no one thought to take one before helping me up.)
 When you volunteer, you get presents, like a coconut leaf flower headband.
 It was more impressive when bloody, but what did I tell you? Helping hands wait for no camera, and Genna had me patched up with her well-prepared backpack in just a minute!
 I liked the king's 1847 summer palace.
(I look like I'm hypnotized.)
King Kamehaha III's Summer Palace, built in 1847, was made to look like an Irish cottage.
 I don't think I look Irish.
I also think that maybe they should have stuck with lava rock. It sounds as if it may have been more enduring.
 But it's fun to try new things.
 Hence, a previously 100% mainlander trying the new experience of living in the Hawaiian Islands!
 So why can't a Hawaiian King pretend he's Irish if he wants to?i
Does it look like I'm wearing a tutu?
(Surprise! It's a sarong whipping around in the powerful wind at Laie Point.)
I see a sea turtle!
 In spite of falling down, I made it to the waterfall in one piece.
(Except for the flesh that was torn from my body and left on the trail behind me.)
 Just SOME of the sand from my swimsuit after I was ground into the beach by relentless boogie boarding waves.
(But boogie boarding was fun!)
 This camouflage tree suits Bob. (When I said we should take a picture by the camouflage tree, he said, "Shirley, they're ALL camouflage trees.")
 What do you know? A sunny gap in the trees just big enough for my head.
 Lars, our shuttle driver who talked to me all the way from St. George to the Las Vegas airport.
 Tourists teasing the "shy" bush that curls up when touched.
 Of course you smile when you find the bathroom, but it's doubly fun with a memorable name like "Sistahs."
It was very sobering the see the Pearl Harbor attack wreckage, such as the ship USS Utah. (Visible just at the top of the uppermost white railing that I'm leaning on.)
Carolyn was overwhelmed at the power of the ocean and majestic scope of Laie Point.
Feral chickens don't even scatter from a fierce Genna stomp. They remind me a bit of velociraptors.
I should create a calendar. I really should.
Here we are at the Hawaii Temple!
Here we are again at the Hawaii Temple!
Inside the Hawaii Temple Visitor's Center.
Polynesians thought it was fun to throw sticks at coconuts.
(Or maybe it was for survival.) I forgot to take notes.
Hawaiian pine tree! Genna says they look like child's drawings.
A palm and a pine.
(That's you, Carolyn.)
At the beginning of our journey, I thought I found an islander photo to pose with.
It was a sign for ALASKAN Airlines.
Carolyn likes airplane food.
I got the Warrior tattoo. (It suits my 'tude.)
Waterfall Princess.
Ze plane, ze plane!
Thanks for sharing our journey with us!
May you have joyous journeys, too.i