Monday, August 4, 2014

Blogging Block

We have now been on the road for almost 5 weeks and I am still working on my first blog post.  With limited internet access and just being busy having fun I have been putting this off, but here we go...

Starting the 27th of July, Pierce and I hit the road to head North, final destination, Vancouver, BC.  Our first adventure on this journey was a camping trip with my family at Arroyo Seco Campgrounds near Soladad.  Getting a late start we pulled into camp after dark, set up camp, ate and fell asleep.

A lack of cell service is a great reminder and inspiration to 'unplug' with the family.  Our first full day at the site was spent cleaning up the camp area (unfortunately people were very disrespectful and unhygenic), playing games and swimming in the nearby river.

Day two we drove into Soledad and up to Pinnacles National Park and did a 2.4 mile hike loop, up hillsides and through caves (completely mind blowing, but I do recommend going in the cooler months).

The third day we had a slow start having hiked in over 100 degree heat the day before, but once up and going we headed back into town to visit our first mission of the trip, Mission Soladad.  The entire family enjoyed the cool breezes of the valley and the ingenious engineering on the part of those who created the missions.

Leaving camp that Thursday we caravaned with some family North West to Carmel via Carmel Valley Road, a gorgeous cut through from Soladad to Carmel through the hills.

Once arriving in Carmel we split ways with my dad and continued into Mission Carmel with my sister, brother-in-law and nieces.  One of the last missions Father Junipero Serra was a part of, Carmel, had many important people not only buried there, but have visited there.  At Father Serra's request he was entombed at this Mission.  With tons of history and lots of care this has been one of the best to visit.

To leave Carmel and continue up the coast we hit the '17 Mile Drive' for all of the scenic overlooks and a great potential picnic spot :)

Finally pulling into Santa Cruz with the kiddos, we decided to take a walk on the pier after a quick lap through the Marine Santuary exhibit.  Unfortunately for us the kids noticed the rides on the Boardwalk in a matter of moments, this is when our nieces showed us how they are master negotiators.  Luckily for them, on Wednesdays and Thursdays the park had a pay one price deal, so for just $2 more (than paying for 2 rides) per kid they could ride an unlimited number of rides.

After closing down the park Rosie, Adam and the kids headed home to Santa Rosa and Pierce and I spent the night in Santa Cruz with my Uncle Jon (which was a godsend after camping for 4 days, the hot shower was incredible).

Continuing up the coast we stopped at our favorite place, Swanton Farms, and cut our own Sunflowers and tasted jam.

Arriving in Pacifica late in the afternoon we met up with our dear friends Steven and Tracy Baker and spent the next two days enjoying surf comps on the computer, delicious dinners and lots of laughs.

For some reason or another we thought this would be the quickest part of the trip, but we some how managed to take another 3 days to make it up to Eureka (via San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Napa).

Lucky for us this slow roll allowed us to spend two nights with my sister Rosie and her family.  It also gave us a chance to meet up with a friend who happen to have to come into town from Colorado.

Me and Father Serra hanging out at the San Francisco Mission (Dolores).

Golden Gate bridge crossing.

It is very rare to find anything with my name on it, let alone a street sign.

Our trusty steed, Pepe.

Pierce and I were greeted by smiling faces once we finally made it to The Beard's house in Eureka.  After a few moments to catch up and we celebrated Pierce's birthday and Amie and Matt's Anniversary 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Gathering Place

Pierce and I have been enjoying the warm water and fun waves.  I am not much of a bodysurfer or womper, but I love splashing around, being silly and floating in the waves.

It was a funky day and we just needed to get wet, so we hopped in at a place we call 'Dang-ers'.

My mom and dad came to visit and we had a great time showing them around the island.  Some of the highlights were La Mariana, Ko' Olina Lagoons, Waialua, Haleiwa and Kaena Point (well as close as we could get).

Dad, mom and myself at the park by Kaena Point (it's in the background).

Before my mom had to get on the plane and head home, we made sure to make time to hit up the lagoons at Ko' Olina.  We spent the morning floating in the calm waters, looking at fishies and swimming around.  It was a great way to send her off.

Panoramic view of one of the Ko'Olina Lagoons.

After dropping off mom (dad stayed on for another week) at the airport we headed into Kaka'ako to check out the POW WOW Hawaii artwork.  Each year a group of street artists are invited to create large murals, pieces of art during the week long festival.  We stopped by a few days later for the closing night party and to see the finished pieces.  Absolutely incredible.

One of the walls being worked on.

The evening of the closing night party we met up with our friend Gui and his lovely fiance Andressa at the best Indian restaurant on the island (if not the United States), Cafe Maharani.  There was already a line out front when we pulled up at 4:50pm (they open at 5).  If you're not the first ones there, you will be waiting quite a while for a seat.

This place is no joke.  Well worth any wait :)

This past Sunday we headed to Haleiwa to check out the farmers market, but unfortunately for us it was not going on this particular week (not sure if it was rain related, or just bad luck).
The good news was, Ray's was up and running, so we grabbed a whole chicken, rice and pineapple slaw and found a table out of the rain to enjoy the tasty goodness.  Ray's is a must eat on the North Shore.  It is the moistest chicken ever, with perfect crispy skin.

Ray's rotisseries working double time.

The thing I have been into lately is collecting seaglass.  I guess that swirling vortex of garbage out in the Pacific is good for one thing, gorgeous seaglass.
My hopes are to pass the goodies along to my friends who can use it.  It's a lot of fun and it gives me something to do while Pierce is getting barreled.

This is one trip worth.  I am working on filling a ziploc sandwich bag :)

The weather has been amazing the past few days, so we have been taking advantage of it.  We have been out bike riding and breathing in the island.  With only a month left, we are trying to make each day count.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Rain or Shine

In the last two weeks we have experienced 40 foot waves, pouring rain and the usual gorgeous sunsets.

Sunset at Sunset Beach (properly named).

Around sunset time we are usually out biking or taking a walk on the beach, just trying to take in all of the beauty that the island has to offer.

Short walk back to our place.

When the waves were really big this last week we were unable to take our beach walks or get in the water at most places. While regulated to the sidewalks and overlooks we enjoyed the chaos along with everyone else on the island.  Tons of tourists and news programs showed up from town to join in on the fun.

Unfortunately, the 'SUPER SWELL' didn't have enough consistency to run The Eddie (big wave competition), so we will wait in hopes.  Still 3+ weeks left in the waiting period.  Fingers crossed.

John John Florence filming at Sharks Cove during the 'SUPER SWELL'.

Pierce and I, along with tons of others, enjoying the large waves crashing into the reef.  We ended up having to run away from this area when a huge set came through.

One of the best and possibly worst things about where we are staying is its proximity to Ted's Bakery.  We have enjoyed many meals from this fine establishment.  We haven't found one item on the menu that we wouldn't eat again.  On the top of the list; fried chicken, donuts, cornbread and shoyu chicken plate lunch.

First slice of Haupia pie.  Looking forward to our next one.

As a result of this large swell many of the beaches lost a lot of sand, leaving reef and rock exposed in places where it normally is not, leaving some breaks vulnerable to change.

Looking north of Keiki Beach.  The stairs were ripped out by the force of the waves.

The weekend before last we had the great pleasure of hanging out at some of the West side beaches.  Since conditions were not ideal for bodysurfing at the rendezvous spot (Makaha) this particular morning we all decided to move on to another locale, but before that occurred the SUP Squatches showed up.  Pierce and I happily sat back and watched the show unfold before us.  It was a riot to watch and we were guaranteed not to get a paddle to the face.

The SUP Squatch crew.

Once the SUPing concluded we went around the corner to Yokohama Bay, where conditions weren't much better, but it was nice to be able to experience another new beach.  Once we were all set up it was straight into cooking; chicken katsu, garlic shrimp, fried rice and much, much more.
I ended up eating so much pork fried rice that I went into a food coma on the sand right next to the rice wok.

Although Ted's has gotten it's grip on us we are trying to eat healthy and enjoy the goodies the island can provide.  The fresh bananas and green papaya salad have been two of my favorites.

Granola, yogurt and banana.

Our bunch of bananas.  Cut down by Pierce, provided by our friends tree.

Exposed petroglyphs at Keiki Beach.

The rain is tricky here.  Sometimes it will be sunny and no wind and you get a nice drizzle, other times it turns dark and the skies open up, and the trick is it can change from one to the other in a blink of an eye.

Post-rain and pre-rain.

Green Papaya, with tomatoes and sweet chili sauce, and organic romaine lettuce.  Both from the Waimea Valley Farmers Market.

With about 5 weeks left in our island adventure we look forward to continuing our daily walks, bike rides and dips in the ocean.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Our first 3 weeks...

From the moment Pierce and I stepped off the plane in Honolulu on New Years Day we have felt welcomed by the island.  It started with Pierce's friend Ron picking us up from the airport and driving us to where we were staying on the North Shore (which is no short drive, over a hour).

Sunset at Keiki Beach

Once we arrived in the North it was straight to Shark's Cove Cafe for ono grinds (good food) before hitting up some of Ron's favorite beach spots.  After a short tour around our new hood, we headed up to where we were staying in Pupukea.

Waimea overlook from Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument.

Our new and dear friends Chris and Heather were nice enough to let us stay with them for the first 2 weeks of our trip.  This was super gracious, period, even more so since they were in the midst of moving out of state.

Left to right: Gui Alves, Pierce, Dennis Kavanagh and me.

The first weekend we were here Heather and Chris had a joint art show in Waikiki and we tagged along for the ride.  Pierce and I had a great time meeting up with friends on the island, meeting new people and just having an overall good time.

Heather and Chris having fun at the Greenroom show in Waikiki.

Sunset from Chris and Heather's lanai.

While at Chris and Heather's we were fortunate enough to be surrounded by delicious fruit trees.  Each morning Pierce and I would pick tangerines and make fresh juice.  In addition to the juice, we were spoiled with gigantic avocados that made massive amounts of guacamole.

Yard Tiki.

We spent a lot of our time in Pupukea listening to the rain, feeling the winds and just enjoying the indoor/outdoor lifestyle of Hawaii.  Life is calm and glorious when you look out over beautiful trees, plants and scenery.

Horseback ride through Kualoa Ranch.

The day before Chris and Heather shipped off for the mainland the four of us went on a two hour horseback riding tour of Kualoa Ranch.  Neither Pierce or I had been on a horse since we were in elementary school, so I'm glad that we ended up pulling it off without injury.  The views were incredible but our butts were super sore by the end.  That is definitely something that your body gets use to.

Pierce taking some shots of the Wolf Pack (from Oceanside) at the Pyramid Rock Bodysurfing Championship.

This past Saturday we were fortunate enough to be invited to go down to Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base and watch the Pyramid Rock Bodysurfing Championship.  We had an incredible time cheering on the contestants, making tons of new friends and eating all kinds of new and delicious dishes.

It was hot and sunny down at Pyramid Rock, so we are super thankful for our friends over at Headhunter who supported our trip with some amazing sunscreen.

New friends :)

When the competition was over, that's when the real fun began.  Although we had been up since 5am, we were all super excited to keep the fun going and just hangout together and shoot the shit.  Pierce and I were super stoked to have the opportunity to try opihi straight from the ocean, this in addition to freshly made chicken katsu, lobster stew, grilled shrimp and much, much more.  The best part about the day was finding out that they were going to do it all again this next Saturday at Makaha and we are invited.

Ideas for next blog entry; gigantic waves and Makaha experience.  Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hitting The Reset Button

So, we are officially down to the last couple of weeks in Southern California.  With some of the best sunrises and sunsets in recent history, at least as far as we are concerned, we are cherishing the last days in our hometown of San Diego.

 Sunset at San Elijo State Beach Campgrounds (Northern end).  Photo by: Petra Kavanagh

 Sunset compilation, one December evening at the reefs of La Jolla.  Photos by: Petra Kavanagh.
My Batman silhouette in La Jolla.  Photo by: Pierce Michael Kavanagh

Pierce and I have both spent some time away from this amazing and beautiful town of ours, but for me personally, this will be the longest I have stayed away from home (over 3 months), and I am looking forward to this opportunity.

Over lunch yesterday afternoon, Pierce and I discussed all that we hope to accomplish and experience while on the islands.  Although there are lots of areas we want to cover while in Hawaii, we will be spending most of out time on the island of Oahu and our biggest priorities while there, are hiking Waimea Valley, Diamond Head State Monument, Makapu Lighthouse, and Manoa Falls.  Also, while visiting, these spots, we hope to be able to swim in most areas on the island, in addition to traveling amongst the Island chain.

We look forward to sharing our experiences and milestones with everyone, so please stay tuned to our blog to learn more about what we are up to and what's coming next.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Learning never ends...

As we get older sometimes we think that we know everything (or at least all we need to know in order to survive), or we may think that there's no room for any new information, or in my case, the technology in front of me freaks me out.  Well this weekend I had to come face to face with my fears, when people I usually rely on for such things were already busy with important things as well, so I took a deep breath and jumped in.

When I graduated from high school in 1999, I still had dial-up internet at home and sought out books for answers, so this time around was much simpler when all I had to do was Google "how to use iMovie".  I was excited when all sorts of YouTube videos popped up to help me in my venture.  The one at the top of the list was by a young boy, I would guess about 12 years old, and I figured if he had done it then I sure has hell could do it too.

Here's the video I watched :)

As a film producer I do a lot of work to make films be made, but in my case that usually does not involve editing, graphics, basically anything that has to do with computers or tech items.  But when push comes to shove, sometimes you have to give yourself a bit of a kick in the ass and learn new things.  So this weekend, misfit pictures (a production company run by my husband, myself and a friend) needed to get together some clips from our upcoming film, WHAT THE SEA GIVES ME, for a local news producer, and both my husband and our partner were working on other projects, so I took the bull by the horns.

First off I had to find the clips I wanted to use and the segments within them that I needed to pull out.  Secondly, I had to upload all the clips into iMovie, which took quite a while depending on the length of the clip.  Then, after all the clips were uploaded I had to cut them down into the segments I wanted, before arranging them in the order I preferred.  Lastly I added title cards.  Unfortunately for me I didn't realize that it would then take over a hour to upload the video to Vimeo, and this after I started a WeTransfer that didn't work out, then had to figure out how to convert the file to the correct type, before the final upload to Vimeo.

So after all of my hard work, I did it, I made a video!!!  I feel very proud of my accomplishment and I look forward to making more videos soon, ones that I will be able to share, because unfortunately I can't share this one with you just yet.  But I do promise to post it once the feature film has been released.

In the mean time please take a few minutes to check out what we are currently working on :)


Trailer for RESURF

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Our day started off with a family 5K walk around Fiesta Island, it was a great way to start off the holiday.  Pierce and I then did our normal routine, Thanksgiving Day with the Kavanagh clan and the rest of the weekend camping with my family.

 Family walk at Fiesta Island.

Thanksgiving Day meal with the Kavanahs, plus Geoffrey Smart.  Photo by Pierce.

This year we went to Rancho Jurupa Park in Riverside and it was a perfect place to relax and get away from the daily grind.  We spent our time talking around the camp fire, hiking up to Mount Rubidoux, playing monster trucks with our nephew Jayden and just having a grand ole time.

View from the top of Mount Rubidoux.  Photo by Maureen Gaare

 Campground backdrop.

 A walk around the lake.  Joel & Tim tried to catch some fish, but no luck.

 Joel and Pierce enjoying the campgrounds on our walk/ride.

 Sean working his magic with the popcorn as my dad (the fire master) looks on.

 Sunrise Sunday morning, what a way to start the day :)

 Blueberry, raspberry and banana pancakes for breakfast, yummy!!!  Photo by Pierce.

Warwick (the dog and newest edition to the group) being hand fed by Jayden. 

On our way home from Riverside we stopped by Fallbrook to visit with Pierce's sister Claire and her family, which is always a blast.  I'm glad we stopped too, because we were there to welcome home the latest critters to the brood, two kittens (names to come later).

As a "short cut" to our favorite food joint Daphne's, we decided to go through Vista, since we'd really been enjoying our scenic drive thus far.  In the process, we stumbled upon Pierce's old stomping grounds, the Vista Tennis Camp, which his parents owned and operated in the late 70s and early 80s.  It was quite a flashback for Pierce as he recalled all the fun (hot girls, youth shenanigans, video games and slurpees) and not-so-fun (pulling weeds, cleaning up, and not to mention, leaving the beach) things about spending each summer going to camp.

 Old River Road Bridge

Which way should we go? :)  Photo by Pierce.

 Vista Tennis Club

Panorama of the club.

Main sign from the road.  Photo by Pierce.

Daphne's California Greek for dinner, delicious.

From Daphne's we hit the coast and meandered our way down the highway, enjoying the sunset the entire way back home.

 Photo by Pierce.

 Photo by Pierce.

 Photo by Pierce.

Photo by Pierce.

We hope that you all had just as much fun this past weekend :)
Happy Holidays!!!