Friday, August 24, 2007

The Rest

(p.s. I did this post and the one below on the same day, so if you haven't checked out "The Tattoo" you definitely don't want to miss that.)

Are you Hawaii'ed out yet? I promise, after this post we'll go back to real life. I finally got all the pictures uploaded even though we've been back for a couple of weeks! Here are some of our favorites. If you really want to see all million of them, the rest of the photos are here.

The Big Island

Mokuaikaua Church (pron. moe-kooay-kow-a) - the first Christian church in the Hawaiian islands built in 1820.

The Kilauea crater from a helicopter. An earthquake on Father's Day 2007 caused the crater to become more active which resulted in a complete reversal in the direction the lava flows from the volcanic vents. When Jon and I were here for our honeymoon in 2005, lava was flowing toward and into the ocean. This time, the area leading up to the ocean shelf was completely cooled and lava was flowing away from the ocean.

Flowing lava from Kilauea.

Torch Ginger flower in a rainforest near Hilo.

Suppose you want to see a picture of us?

Our private lanai (patio).

Coconut creme brulee anyone?


Check back in a day or so and I'll have a photo from our trip to the USS Arizona Memorial up here.

Awesome view of Waikiki Beach from our hotel room on the 31st floor. Can you tell Jon is not that excited about chilling on this lanai?

The jumping rock at Waimea Bay on the North Shore.

Us at the bronze statue commemorating Duke Kahanamoku on Waikiki Beach.

Surfboards for rent on Waikiki Beach.

The Tattoo

After waiting two long years for us to return to Oahu, Jon finally got the tattoo he's been wanting. I documented the process while Jon stuck it out for four hours in the chair.

The tattoo artist was Sherri at the Hawaiian Tattoo Company in Honolulu, HI.

The first step is to make a stencil of the design. Jon knew he wanted the center to be the image of Maohi, the Tahitian god of paddling, but wasn't sure what he wanted around it. Sherri took the center image and designed the outer band around it.

The first couple of needle jabs.

As the outline was getting done, it became clear that Jon is what tattoo artists refer to as "a bleeder." This means that his skin would bleed after just one pass of the needle. Most people apparently don't bleed until the second or third pass.

Halfway filled in...

...and the finished product!

And just so you can get the full sound effect, here's a short video:

See, it's like you were right there with Jon - for four hours - getting a really painful tattoo. Only you weren't there, and I think if you ask Jon, he will agree that you were having a lot better time right at this moment.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Sharks

We're back from Hawaii! We're tan but tired. It was fun to be there again, but it's great to be home too. So far the only pictures I've had a chance to upload are from the shark cage dive (ok, really a snorkel) that we did on the north shore of Oahu.

We did this same dive on our honeymoon two years ago, and it was so much fun we decided to do it again. It's a good thing we did, because it was a completely different experience this time around. Two years ago, we were surrounded by about 30 galapagos sharks. These are medium-sized, generally non-aggressive open water sharks. This time, we had an opportunity to see three large-sized, generally very aggressive tiger sharks. Tiger sharks are notorious for causing most of the shark attacks in Hawaiian waters when they do happen (it's actually pretty rare out there). It just so happened that we timed the shark dive with the beginning of the tiger shark migration season.

Here are a few of the shark pictures. If you want to see all of them, click here.

This is the largest shark we saw - about 14 feet long. All three sharks were females.

They get pretty close, and they will often bump or bite on the cage to test it out and see if it tastes good. This is also a good photo of the tiger sharks' identifiable stripes.

I never want to see this view OUTSIDE of a cage.

This one is a little hazy, but it shows how large the shark is (14 ft) compared to the boat we took to get out there (32 ft).