Maui, last day(s)…

On our last full day on Maui, we went birding. The guys are enthusiastic birders as is to be expected because they are biologists after all.


Even though I am not even close to being a birder, I did take a very few nice bird pictures.

beckygoldsmith-Story-A-50 beckygoldsmith-Story-A-21

Personally, I enjoyed the shape of this tree as much as I enjoyed the birds.


We went to Makena Beach Park after birding where there were dangerous shore breaks. Enough so that we did not stay in the water long. Amanda is saying hello there, not asking for rescue :-).


I was happy to catch some wave action in focus—manually!


I took a few more “story” pictures. Please do tell me what you think. I have to turn in my homework tomorrow.




PS—While walking down an alley to our hotel one night we saw this mailbox…


I stopped, and stood in front, and contemplated the message and button…


The ‘Oh try it, it won’t shock you’ pulled me in. Seriously, I’ll fall for just about anything, just ask my sons.


I got a little wet. Luckily the camera was spared a drenching. Next time I see something like this, I’ll stand to the side when I press the button :-).

Piece O’ NYC: Camp Lolanor has begun!

Camp Lolanor is underway. We have not been killed by glitter or hormones…yet ;p. So we’re all pretty happy. We’ve done many things already and still have a couple of days left! Today was a Brooklyn Bridge kind of day, so we woke up early and headed out to see the bridge. Neither Lola or Ella have seen it, so it was lots of fun!


All campers have to agree to the camp rules!


Then we parked it and had some lunch. Built NY supplied us with a few lunch bags/totes to help us keep our picnic goodies extra cold. Aren’t they cute? After testing them, I’ve gotta say – I really love the large one. It held a smaller lunch tote inside of it, three bottles of water, and various other things. After all of those things inside, I thought it would weigh a ton, but surprisingly it didn’t (super plus!). It’ll come in handy when I have to take my work lunch, laptop and books for classes to work this semester too. Ella likes using her own tote as a purse, it’s pretty cute ;p.




Yeah, a typical Camp scene… Technology wins over talking any day it seems.

Jeff is taking the girls to see a musical tonight and they’re all currently making some sort of goodies in the kitchen right now. What more could kids want from camp?! They’re being fed, we’re letting them stay up late, and we’re watching all of their favorite movies! I’ll show more pictures next week, because there are tons…and these kids are super cool.

If you’re interested in sending your kids to Camp Lolanor next year (we’ve already gotten a few of Lola’s friends who want to attend), send me a million dollar prepaid check and I’ll think about it ;p.

Kahekili Beach, Maui…

We sat on the beach today. We read—I’m reading The Martian and it is a terrific beach read! We swam and/or snorkeled. We sat and looked at the waves and the people. It was a really nice day!


I’m working on this week’s Photo Challenge which is to take a photo that tells a story. Here are some of the one’s I have accumulated… What do you see?


beckygoldsmith-Story-173 beckygoldsmith-Story-132

Haleakala, and more…

We finally found Nene, the Hawaiian goose! In fact, we came upon a gaggle of them! They waddled into the road, and then off the road. I’m not an avid birder but I was happy to see these birds.


We hiked on Haleakala. Not all of the way across the crater, but down the Sliding Sands trail for a few miles and then back up. Let me just say that down is way, way better then up. It would be great to hike uphill first and get that part over with, but it just doesn’t work that way.


With every step down, I dreaded the steps back up. My legs were fine, it’s the altitude. At 59, I feel it more than I did 10 years ago. My lungs and heart worked hard. But I did make it back to 10,000-ish feet, as did we all. Amanda and Keith smiled more.


But Steve was very happy too!

untitled-77  We did see several silver swords. They only grow here, and are relatives of sunflowers.


After the hike, we went to Paia for gelato. It was terrific and we earned it.


And the we went to Wailuku to Mele Ukulele where Amanda bought a ukulele! I play the radio, Amanda plays a viola, drums, and now a ukulele. And she sings. In a band! I hum along, and have playlists for the rental cars :-). Needless to say, I am impressed by her abilities.


Tomorrow we are going to loll on the beach. Not LOL, we are going to sit and read and take pictures, and snorkel/swim and just chill. Oh happy, happy day!

Maui, days 1 and 2…

We landed yesterday in Kahului, Maui, and had some time to kill before checking into the hotel so we visited the Iao Valley and Needle. Let me just say that you can miss this and not feel bad. It is a lovely view but there were too many people and a serious shortage of parking spaces.

IaoValley-1 IaoValley-2

We drove to Paia and had the good fortune to find nice lunch, fabulous gelato, and the Cesere Brothers gallery. We were lucky enough to have time to visit with John who told us about their (marine/nature) photography. It’s really amazing and before too long one of their prints will be hanging in our house!

We are staying in Lahaina which was a whaling town. There are many lovely beaches nearby—today we went to Kahekili Beach Park to snorkel and sit on the beach. The people watching was as good as the fish watching.


We also snorkeled off of the Mala boat ramp. This was a little more challenging. The way in and out of the water was shallow and rocky, with some coral. We had to be careful.


The boats were on the other side of the boat ramp so that wasn’t a problem. Steve almost had a problem…


But then the shark spit him out. [Really, not to worry. No sharks, that we’ve seen. That’s the Snorkel Bob shark that I photoshopped into the the photo. Our mom’s can now stop worrying :-).]

Amanda and I have been snapping lots of photos, sometimes of each other!


Tomorrow we are hiking on Haleakala. It will be a long, but satisfying day. I’ll take pictures to prove it!

From Hilo to Kona…

We left the volcano area and drove from Hilo to Kona around the long way. We stopped at Laupahoehoe Point which is scenic and was also the site of a tsunami tragedy in the 1940s. Very few people live there now, but there is a park, some campsites, and an impressive boat launch with what look like giant concrete jacks tossed around it.

beckygoldsmith-BigIsland-4-21 beckygoldsmith-BigIsland-4-27 beckygoldsmith-BigIsland-4-32

I took many photos there but it was so humid, and there was so much water in the air, that they all look out of focus.

We spent a couple of nights at the Royal Kona, which looks a little like a cruise ship.


There are nice views…


We walked around and I spied these treasures left on the seawall…. such a nice composition.IMG_4772

We went to happy hour and enjoyed live music and people watching (and MaiTais). This lady was fun to watch. She looked so staid but really perked up when the parasailers flew by.


On our full day on the Kona side we visited Pu’u Honua O’honaunau, the City of Refuge, an interesting historic site that is next to a fantastic snorkeling spot.


I had fun taking pictures….

beckygoldsmith-BigIsland-Day5-31 beckygoldsmith-BigIsland-Day5-20 beckygoldsmith-BigIsland-Day5-12

Amanda took photos too…



I don’t take pictures under water so you just have to trust me that the fish were amazing.

Today, we left the Big Island and are now on Maui, staying in Lahaina. Back to snorkeling tomorrow. Yay! Life really is very good.