Sunday, February 19, 2012


Back in January, we had the pleasure of welcoming my old friends Heather Ellis and Jamie Lane to our humble home. Heather and I were pretty much inseparable from the day we met freshman year in college. And I met Jamie when visiting Heather in Austin. They traveled from the windswept plains of Omaha, NE where temps typically fall well below zero this time of year. Needless to say, they were thrilled to be on Maui. They had planned this trip about a year ago, which was before I had a full-time job so I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I originally planned. (pouting sad face here). The first day was clear so we headed upcountry to see some sights, on the way down we stopped into the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center to see the installation by environmental sculptor Patrick Dougherty. For more info on that visit this page on the Hui's website.

It suddenly dawned on me as we approached this environmental sculpture that Heather must be having kittens over it because it's kind of what she did for her senior installation project in college. Well, the idea of it anyway. She had created a beautiful bed headboard and foot board, of maple wood I think. And she managed to get a small room all to herself in our senior show. I helped her gather up what seemed like tons of sticks and vines from the wilds of Westchester in early spring. For the installation she had taken all the sticks and vines and recreated a woodland scene laced with winter decay and drama with the bed pieces being enveloped by nature. Ok, so, maybe my comparison is a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea.

I took Jamie and Heather by Baby Beach just to check out the unusual landscape there and we spotted a Sea Cucumber undulating and seemingly desperate to get back to the old blue. We debated as to whether to try to help it along. But after some Google via smart phone research we decided not to. Too many potentially disgusting defense mechanisms such as "inverting it's innards out of it anus to appear dead" dissuaded us from interfering with what fate had in store.

Here's H & J at La Perouse Bay where the landscape inspired many photo snaps. Dessert at Cafe O'Lei afterwards. During the week they stayed over on the west side of the island and took part in many activities. Snorkelling trips and whale watches, stargazing cruise and lots of beach time.

Heather and I at the moonscape of Haleakala Summit. It was dang cold!! Then we checked out the upper summit with all the telescopes. Heather and Jamie were both stunned by Maui's night sky as seen from our house. It was early in the moon's cycle, so they were treated to some prime star-gazing. Anyway, the summit scopes reminded me of a trip we took up to a solar telescope in Taos, New Mexico once a long time ago. And where we also visited the home of D.H. Lawrence and sat under a giant pine tree Georgia O'Keefe had painted when she visited him.

I forgot how Heather likes to pretend she's falling off the edge for pictures. So I let out a laugh and snapped this shot.  It had been 5 years since we saw each other. She looks just like she did when we were teenagers.

Yes, the sun shines out of our behinds! ; )
Before boarding the plane home, we took Jamie and Heather to Kanaha Beach Park by the airport to take some deep breaths of island air and say goodbye to Maui. It was extremely windy that day. Lots of windsufers and kite-boarders were out slicing the surf.

Hopefully they'll be back sometime soon!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I recently had the chance to work on a new logo for MAHALO VILLAS here on Maui. Our goal was to make something that said vacation - surf, sun, sand - and had a bit of a vintage/old Hawaiiana feel, yet still look clean and modern.

I also made several round seals that resemble post marks that could be used in other applications as well as the website banner image and the BOOK NOW button for their website and business cards.

If you are planning a trip to Maui and are looking for a quiet place to stay on the west side in Kapalua with spectacular views of Lana'i and Molokai, check it out.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Early December of 2011 had us playing host to an ex-Funny Garbage coworker and good friend Agnieszka Gasparska of Kiss Me I'm Polish. She showed up with many gifts in tow proving her to be a house guest to be reckoned with. All visitor's post Agnieszka will have a lot to live up to! Seriously y'all. She was the sweetest, most easy-going guest who after some rental car snafu's made her way over to the west side by herself, three days in a row to go surf the waves at Launiupoko.

Graced with two comp days after a long and hectic closing of the magazine, I was free to join her and Conn to see the sights passed Kapalua into the northwestern areas of the island where the terrain is Planet of the Apes meets Land of the Lost. After a hearty lunch at Teddy's Burger's in Lahaina we hit the road to the blowhole and tidepools... and what appeared to be a very clear heart-shaped hole in the rock. The heart is a favorite symbol of Agnieszka's and her business.

We ended our first day at DT Fleming Beach Park to watch the sunset and touch the Pacific. Then headed over to Star Noodle for a deliciously memorable meal.

Day two had us climbing the mountain for big upcountry views and Haleakala crater. Not to be outdone, down country produced a rainbow to say "hey, look at me!"

Teeny tiny flowers growing in an inhospitable environment.

Conn put his fancy telephoto lens to good use when we stumbled upon an ‘ohi‘a lehua tree thick with blossoms and buzzing with native bird activity. The i‘iwi (above, bright red and curved beak) and ‘apapane (below, darker red) But you have to be lightening fast to catch them, thus the slightly blurry shots. We've been to Hosmer's Grove before but were never able to spot these elusive birds, we quickly realized this was a poignant moment for all of us to savour.

Once down the mountain, we made a hard left and headed to La Perouse to show Agnieszka the last big lava flow that happened some 250 years ago. After sunset we made our way to Sansei in Kihei.

While I had to go back to work, Conn made it out to Launiupoko a few days to snap our guest surfing the waves. Here she is hangin' out, waiting... and her patience paid off. She caught a few good rides!