Sunday, July 25, 2010

Solstice Canyon Trail Hike

As part of our ongoing intiative to explore Los Angeles, Mahina found a dog-friendly hiking trail in Malibu that led up to a waterfall. So, we decided that it was high time we took the dogs in the great outdoors, Solstice Canyon.

At one with Mother Nature again, Harley immediately took to the trails and was glad to be back in the wilderness. Duke, on the other hand, was a little more weary of the whole thing and stayed close to Mahina. The trail wasn't as crowded as we had originally expected, though I think that's because we missed the morning rush. Since we were just getting our feet wet with this whole hiking thing our path was pretty well laid out in front of us. No, it wasn't a paved road and yes it did involved river crossings...when the definition of a river is two inches of water. The four of us walked our way through the mile long path to the waterfall at the top of the stream. While dogs weren't allowed to get close to the waterfall itself there was a nice little area where they could jump in the river stream and goof around for a bit.

On the way back down, Mahina was reminded that hard way that what goes around comes around. Appaled by my decision to relieve myself outdoors in the wilderness as generations of our species has before me, Mahina tried to get blackmail worth pictures of me at one with the wilderness. A few moments later karma came back to say hello when the rock she thought was a solid foothold to cross the raging stream beneath us sunk right into the marshy dirty water and soaked her shoes and socks through.

To the squishing sounds of Mahina's wet feet we made our way down the last quarter-mile of the trail until we were back in the parking lot where Mahina was finally able to get her feet out of those wet and soggy socks.

On a more somber note, our delicate fragile male dog Duke developed a slight limp on his back right leg as a result of this hike. We are glad to update you however in August that he is walking around just fine and seems to have made a marvelous recovery.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bridget and Ely's Going Away Party

We got an email one afternoon that our friends Bridget and Eli would be moving back to Hawai`i in the next couple of months. The email had come a little sooner than most people who knew Bridget and Eli expected...while it was always in their cards to move back to Hawai`i, doing so before 2011 was a surprise to a lot of people. But, such is life and when an opportunity comes your way, like it did for Bridget, you respond.

With only a few weekends left before the big move, Bridget and Eli organized a little going away shindig. Admittedly, Mahina was a little jealous that Bridget and Eli would be getting to move back to Hawai`i, but she was also really excited for the opportunity that they are pursuing. The going away party was originally intended to be a beach bonfire, but that didn't quite work out...which in the end may have been a good thing. Unbeknowst to anyone, the fire pits at Dockweiler Beach are all claimed by 10am with people coming as early as 6am to reserve the best pit on the sand. So when Bridget and Eli cruised over about 3pm to find a spot it wasn't happening. What we also didn't know what that there had recently been a couple of gang shoot-outs at Dockweiler, in broad daylight and at night, so maybe things we were working out in our favor after all.

We all ended up at Eli's college roommate, John's house in Torrance. John had a great bachelor pad which he had remodeled. A few other of Bridget and Eli's friends came over to the house and we all spent the evening watching Avatar in Blu-Ray (insane), grilling food and telling stories.

As the night came to a close, we all wished Bridget & Eli well and hoped to see them again before the big move. But hey, at least it gives us another excuse to go to Hawai`i!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Keith Urban Concert!!!

Concerts, Concerts, Concerts! I think I can officially say that I am hooked on them. This time Lucas was nice enough to give up his ticket to let one of my best friends, Jill, come with me. Since we all know how much Lucas is a fan of country music, we know that this was really hard for him to do. Hahaha. Jill and I started the night at her place getting ready and then headed over to grab dinner at Jerry's Famous Deli. Their pastrami sandwiches are AMAZING!

After dinner we decided to leave our car in Westwood and walk up to the UCLA Tennis Center where the concert was happening. This concert was a bit different because it wasn't part of Keith Urban's tour, but was a concert benefiting the Grammy Foundation. The proceeds from the concert were going to continue a summer camp that is held for high school students interested in music that don't have access to it in their school. Both of us had never seen a concert there so we were excited to experience one in such a small and intimate venue.  The opening act for Keith Urban was the Avett Brothers and their unique blend of voices and guitar did not disappoint.

When Keith Urban finally got on stage, the crowd was going nuts and our blood was pumping from all the excitement. From the first strum to the last note, every person there was taken aback by his voice, stage presence and guitar skills. I had read that he was known more for his guitar skills than his singing skills and boy were they right. You could tell how versatile he was with his instrument because after every song or so, he would switch up his guitar to get them re-tuned. My favorite part of the concert had to be when he brought up six kids from this year's summer camp to sing and play with him their favorite song. It was amazing seeing kids living their dream on stage in front of more than 1,000 fans. All in all, I can't wait for Keith Urban to come back to Los Angeles so that I can take/drag Lucas to see him perform!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Ho`olaulea comes about every third week in July and is a huge Hawaiian festival of the arts, foods and merchandise of the islands that is sponsored by the Hawaiian Inter-Club Council of Southern California. This year, after two years of attending as guests, Mahina and I went as workers. Mahina's halau volunteered with a local Hawaiian civic community to work the food booth baking Manapuas, Shoyu Chicken, Chow Mein and Wontons. As with most strenuous outings, if Mahina was "volunteered" to go, so was I. We spent most of both Saturday and Sunday serving up fresh Manapuas and lunch plates galore. Hawaiians lived up to their name and consumed their fair share and then some of the food we were serving

When we were dishing out food faster than we could make it, Mahina and I wandered around the fair grounds checking out the latest and greatest Hawaiian merchandise on display. Mahina was slowly making eyes with an ukulele and sending hints my way that she wanted to take up lessons as part of her Halau lessons and dancing. Little did I know that she was also scheming to get me to take up the ukulele and develop some musical talents.

Sunday afternoon rolled around and after being nearly buried alive in food and grease we managed to escape. After one last heavy dose of hinting and nudging we made our way over to the Styles of Hawai`i booth and purchased a Concert Ukulele by Lanikai as well as a hard shell case "to protect from the dogs." As soon as we were in the car headed home, Mahina had it busted out and was fiddling with it excited to be learning to play a new instrument.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sliding into Home

Just my luck, I got suckered into another book signing; this time though I made sure that Mahina went and got a wristband, because there was no way I waiting in the standby line again. Luckily when Mahina got there they were handing out Letter F wristbands, but someone came back to turn their Letter A wristband in because they couldn't make it. From the back to the front, things were starting to look up in our book signing life.

This time we knew what time to arrive and got there with plenty of time to spare. Even though there were already plenty of people in line Mahina's Letter A whisked us away to the top of the queue. We both had horrible flashbacks thinking of Tori's book signing and remembering how long we sat around and waited so we could empathize with all the people sitting around and waiting.

Minutes before the event was to begin you could feel the sense of excitement building as people stared at the side entrace where Kendra and her entourage would enter from, look away for a second and you could miss the first glimpse. Girls screamed and the flash bulbs buzzed as Kendra made her entrance. By this time we had only been in line for maybe 30 minutes so we were feeling really good

After a short question and answer session, the signing began. 20 minutes later we were at the front of the line as Mahina fretted over what to talk with Kendra about. As she walked up, her trust back-up topic sprang to mind; Hawai`i! Kendra and her husband Hank had just vacationed there! With a sign of relief they chatted about Hawai`i and which hotel they had stayed at comparing pools and tanning spots.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sugarland Concert... Again!!!

I know what you're thinking, "what, another concert?" Yes, 2010 has been the year of the concerts and exploring everything that Los Angeles has to offer. Lucas, being that he has his I.T. background, is always in charge of technology; whether it be our phones, our computers or our cameras.  With this in mind, what do you think could have possibly gone wrong? No, he didn't forget the camera, he just forgot the MEMORY CARD for it!  My husband; gotta love him.

Seeing Sugarland again has just solidified the fact that they are my favorite band.  I think they might also be growing on Lucas too.  William Hoge and Michelle Branch opened for Sugarland and they did not disappoint any of the fans as we all anxiously waited for Sugarland to come on stage.  Everyone sang along with Michelle when she sang Everywhere and All You Wanted, her hits.

Once Sugarland got on stage, the night flew by.  My favorite songs from them right now have to be All I Want to Do (Which is my ringtone) and Wide Open from their new CD that releases on October 19th (Yes, I know when it comes out).  I really wished that the night wouldn't end and that they would continue to sing.  I had Lucas save our less than 30 shots that we could take with our camera's memory for Sugarland. Thank gosh he got some great shots!

Can't wait to see them again!