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“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.”  Elbert Hubbard

We’ve had so much rain lately, it was pure pleasure to see such a stunningly gorgeous sunset tonight!  Every year on our visits to Kauai, we make it a point to have dinner at a wonderful restaurant in Poipu called Beach House Restaurant.  They have the best seafood that I’ve eaten just about anywhere.  I particularly love their Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi.  Yum!  We were fortunate enough to get a “front row seat” with an unobstructed view of the sunset.  I set the camera on our table on self timer and took this shot of us looking in to the sunset.  Just a beautiful memorable moment for us.  And a great way to round out this really wonderful trip.  We head back to San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday so our time here is quickly winding down.  

Aloha!

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“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”  Audrey Hepburn

We hiked a few more beaches today finding a few more spots that we’d never been to before.  Some of the trails are quite steep and slippery as we’ve had more rain the last few days.  We did a little  geo-caching along the way, dropping a couple of trackables that my son sent over with me.  Geo-caching is how we’ve discovered quite a few out-of the way places on the Island that are not traveled by the average tourist.  

It’s a fun activity that can be done all over the world.  I highly recommend it.  It’s a wonderful activity for kids as well.  They love the excitement of “the hunt” and it gets them outside in the fresh air, getting exercise and quality time with Mom and Dad.  It’s a GREAT family activity any time of the year.  

These days all you really need is a cel phone with GPS tracking on it – or for the more serious Geo-Cache’r purchase an actual GPS unit.  We haven’t done that yet – but after this trip when we’ve had a few times without 3G access . . . I’m seriously considering purchasing one.  

Check out Geo-Caching.com for information on cache’s all over the world.  You’ll find many in your area!

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“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.”  Nikos Kasantzakis

I have heard about Polihale Beach on the south west side of the Island – at the end of the road.   Everything I read held so many warnings about driving on the road out there – that it was very dangerous and rough and not to attempt it unless you had a good 4WD, or with a Local with good transportaion.   Despite all the warnings however, we had to attempt the drive because of all the positive things we’ve heard about the beach at the end of the road.  It just sounded too spectacular to pass up.  So off we went – on a day of exploring.  

We were detoured with a stop at Glass Beach in Port Allan where we found an old Cemetery on a hill above the beach – very old with what looks like old Chinese headstones and very neglected and overgrown.  

We ate lunch at a spot we found last year called The Grind – excellent food!  

We then drove out to where the pavement ends just past the Missile Base and started the drive on the five mile dirt road out to Polihale Beach State Park.  Another car (similar to our Rental) was coming from that direction so we stopped them to ask how the road was.  They indicated that it was no worse than what we were on – so off we went.  Sure enough – the road was not bad at all and we arrived at this amazing sand beach that was surprisingly busy!  You can even take your 4WD vehicle out on the beach and drive for miles – so we’ll save that for our next trip to Kauai.  In fact, there were several people camping right on the beach – very tempting indeed!  We wandered on the beach most of the afternoon and didn’t head back out until after sunset.  Amazing Sunset shots let me tell you!  I would love to have stayed even longer to get some good star trails and night sky shots but it was a 2+ hour drive back to our Condo on the North Shore.  

We have decided that we’ll come back next time prepared to spend a few nights out on the beach, and with a 4WD vehicle.  

Yet one more amazing discovery for us on this truly amazing Island! 

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“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”  Ansel Adams

I’ve become fascinated by the whole concept of long exposure photography.  We’ve bought some ND filters, so now I can explore this medium in daylight whereas before I could only do it at night.  It’s a whole new learning curve, and is teaching me even more about the requirements of a good photograph and about how light affects everything – whether there is lack of it or not.  Today I played around with creating a silky effect of the ocean waves washing ashore over the lava rocks on the beach.  Longer exposures (2 seconds up to 30 seconds seem to create a whispy, dreamy effect while faster shutter speeds (1/4 or 1/2 second) create the long, silky ribbon effect.  These are all done with a .4 and .8 ND filter stacked on my 70-200mm VRII lens).  I even stacked a polarizer for the longer exposures.  

The composite below is of my walking shoe impression in the sand (can’t climb the lava rocks in bare feet), and one of the long exposure shots I did.  This one was at 3 seconds.

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“Be miserable.  Or motivate yourself.  Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”  Wayne Dyer

I choose to motivate myself.  There’s no fun in being miserable!  

Today we went hiking down one of the local beaches that we’d not explored before.  We happened upon this awesome tree that obviously has been rooted in this spot for awhile!  I enjoyed crawling though the huge root system to see what I could find.  No surprises . . . so I enjoyed the view of the ocean from the safety and shade of it’s arms.  

Processed in LR4 and Photoshop CS6.

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“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.”  Denis Waitley

I took this shot from the beach at Hanalei Pier as the sun was setting over the Bali Hai Mountains (taken from the movie South Pacific which was filmed just north of here).  Such a beautiful and serene shot.  I had been playing around most of the afternoon with slow shutter speed shots under the pier.  When I finally popped out to see what Glen was up to – this is the scene I captured.  

Kind of takes your breath away eh?  And gives a person pause to think about where you are in life, where you’ve come from, where you are going . . . I have huge respect for the fact that the answer to those questions is different for each and every one of us.  For me what I know for sure is that every experience I’ve had in my life has created the person I am today.  

I am grateful for every one of those moments, good or bad.  I am determined going forward that in my experience of life . . . I am leaving positive footprints for others to follow, and leaving a trail of positive energy for others to be inspired as well.  

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“Sensual pleasures have the fleeting brilliance of a comet; a happy marriage has the tranquility of a lovely sunset.”

I love this particular photo because, as the above quote states, a happy marriage has the tranquility of a lovely sunset.  I feel like that is where we are in our relationship these days – tranquil and happy.  Not to say that we don’t have a few issues crop up now and then, but we know it’s safe to work through the issues without worry that one of us is going to walk away.  

I love the feeling of walking hand in hand, side by side, with my best friend – exploring, adventuring, loving, living and sharing.  

This photo was taken at sunset on Ke’e Beach at The End of The Road, Kauai, HI.

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“Lumahai Beach, or South Pacific Beach . . . This beach was made famous by the movie South Pacific where Mitzi Gaynor “washed that man right out of her hair”!” www.hawaiianweb,com

We’ve arrived at our vacation destination for the next 25 days – Kauai, Hi.  The next few days will be settle in time . . . taking it easy and getting adjusted to the two hour time change.  (We’re two hours behind the West Coast).  This beach is one of our favorite hangouts on the North Shore – one of many!  We will be visiting and discovering many more I hope!  

Ahhhh . . . time for a Mai Tai! 

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“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.”  Walt Disney

I drove out to the beach today as I thought it would be cooler than staying here where it’s getting in to the 90’s this weekend.  Of course, everybody and their neighbor thought it was a great idea too!  It was a challenge to find a beach with close enough parking for me and the little one to walk.  I did finally find good parking at San Gregorio Beach just south of Half Moon Bay.  It was actually the perfect beach because of the little bay with a sand spit between it and the ocean.  Baby girl was elated at the opportunity to play in the sand, get her feet wet, then venture further out where she could actually dunk herself completely.  This little doll is not afraid of the water!  

I had to finally drag her back to shore as she was getting a bit too far out for my comfort.  As it was just the two of us, and there were tons of people at the beach, I wasn’t very confident in leaving my camera and purse on the beach while I went in to play with her.  So . . . sadly her fun had to end.  She cried all the way back to the car!  I felt so bad . . . however as soon as I got a bottle of water out to wash her down and change her in to dry clothes, she was happy again.  

If only we could just stay young and not have to worry about responsibility and just live life as we see fit.  She was having so much fun . . . screeching for joy every time she dunked herself in the water.  Truly, it was precious.

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