Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Scuba Froggie

On my second day here in Hawaii I decided I really wanted to get in touch with my water bound friends, so Daddy was nice enough to hire some people to take me out on a boat so I could go and meet them.  Apparently Mommy and Daddy wanted to come along too, so we took the opportunity to do a little scuba diving.
We had to get up very early to get on the boat and travel out into the ocean.

Even froggies like me need to have scuba gear so I got my gear all put together.

Then Daddy helped me figure out how to use my regulator.

Then Mommy helped me get all my gear on and I was ready to go!
Scuba diving is quite a natural thing for us little froggies. We do live under water some times, after all!  I decided to take a dive where there happened to be sea turtles and clown fish. It made me think of my little boys who love Nemo and Crush from the Finding Nemo movie.  Being such a small guy it was nice to have Daddy and Mommy with me because some of the turtles we saw were as big as Mommy was. The water was very blue and I could see forever it seemed.

After a full day of scuba diving and then visiting with Mommy and Daddy's friend I was quite ready for a spot of something good to eat. I decided to hop over to a place called the Top of Waikiki for supper. It is a big round restaurant that sits on top of a build and spins around so you can see all of Waikiki while you eat dinner.  Daddy had a delicious steak and lobster cakes and Mommy had Hawaiian Snapper Sous-vide.

Polynesian Cultural Center

Aloha my friends for paradise!
As I said yesterday today I would tell you about my adventures at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
On our first full day here on O'ahu (mommy and daddy spent Sunday after we got off the plane getting settled at the hotel and then playing at the beach) we hopped on over to Cultural Center.  Before we did that though, we made a detour along the way the top of the volcano crater that is part of what formed the island. It's called Diamond Head.  It was  super long hike for a little froggie like me, but thankfully I've travelled the world enough to know how it's done. Mommy and daddy stopped with me to take a picture about half way up, but didn't want me to fly away at the top so I just had to peek out of mommy's purse.

Our next stop was the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was first opened in 1963 by the Mormon Church as a way to help keep the cultural traditions of the island countries alive and as a way to help young adults  from these countries afford a college education.  The kids who work at the center are almost all students at BYU Hawaii and in exchange for working at the center, they are able to go to school for free and have the school pay for their food and house. That's pretty neat, because as FP knows from his friend in Fiji, a lot of the island people are quite poor by our standards here in America and would not be able to go to college any other way.

This is a picture of Tina. Mommy and Daddy must have thought I needed to learn a lot about Polynesian culture because they got me my very own tour guide for the whole day. Tina was super nice and made sure I saw all the things a froggie needs to see. She was Samoan but was born in New Zealand (maybe she knows some Hobbits?) and then moved to Australia before come to school in Hawaii. Did you get all that?
Our first stop was to visit Tina's home land of New Zealand. Aotearoa is what the native Maori call it. When we got there they got a little confused and thought that Daddy was a special chief or something because he had to be part of a ceremony where he approached the tribe leader  and was accepted into the village as a friend instead of a bad guy. Mom has a movie for when we get home.We also learned  two fun games: one is a stick tossing game, and the other is a game that involves swinging balls around on rope.

Next we went to visit the land of Fiji!  I looked everywhere for Brother and Sister Sherry, but then Mommy reminded me that we weren't really in Fiji. We learned about music and how they were the last country to stop eating other people! Good thing I'm a frog instead of a person!

In Tahiti we learned how they solve fights. Instead of actually fight each other they had to play a game of sorts. If two people were having a fight over something, like a husband and wife, or brothers, the chief would make them grab two spears and try to throw them into a circle. Kind of like horse shoes. Who ever got their stick closest to the circle was the winner of the fight. Maybe that's what mommy will start doing with my little boys!
In Samoa there are three very important things that all little boys HAVE to know how to do by the time they are 8. So pay attention because my boys need to learn! First is climbing to the top of a coconut tree, second is how to cook (men do all the cooking in Samoa), and third is twirl fire knives.
 I wanted to learn to climb a tree so after we watched the Samoans demonstrate it, I gave it a try myself!
 As much as I wanted to learn to twirl a fire knife Mommy and Daddy reminded me that I am made of paper and plastic, both of which are things that are not good around fire.

After that we stopped in to visit Easter Island or Rapa Nui as it is natively called. These little models of their ancient homes were just the perfect size for a little froggie, so I perhaps I'll just move in here and stay in Hawaii for a while.


I got to meet a lot of really nice people all over who wanted to take a picture with me.
Soon it was time for some supper and Daddy got us seats right up from to watch the Luau super and show. These men helped pull the big pig out of the pit where it is cooked.

While we ate supper there was a show full of music and dancing. This little boy danced a lot and was even one of the stars of a show later that night. He reminded me a lot of my boys back home!

After dinner Tina took us on a very special back stage tour of where all the performers get ready for the day and for their super big show that is put on at night.  We met even more friends there who were getting ready to put on the big show.

These are some of the dancing props for the show.

Even being the amazing frog that I am, I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the show that night, but it was very neat and Mommy and Daddy have a DVD about it for when we get home. After the show Mommy and Daddy got to bring me up on stage to meet the performers and they all wanted to make sure we had a great time and that a little frog like me could get a picture with them.

After that it was time to head home from a long day. I now feel like I could move to Polynesia and blend right in. Ta ta for now!

Hopping off the mainland

Hi ho friends! As many of you know I decided that it was time to dust off my suit cases again and take a little holiday. It's been a while since the open road has called to me, and I was itching to go a new adventure. When I heard that Mommy and Daddy were heading to Hawaii for a week, I thought it would be quite the perfect chance for some fun. We drove up to Portland to spend the night since our flight was so early, and I was quite surprised to find that Dr. Doofenschmirtz had visited my hotel room with his "ators" Maybe you know what it does?

The next morning we left super duper early on a little plan that took us to San Fransico. Mommy wasn't a big fan of the small plane. I bet she would have liked it better if they had let me fly the plane. Frogs know all about flying planes
Daddy and I listened to the radio on the big plane once we started flying over the Ocean.
That's all for now. It's quite late, now that Mommy is helping me write this and we have lots more to do tomorrow. So tomorrow I will post about my advetnures at the Polyneasian Cultural center, where I learned to twirl fire sticks, and then about how I went scuba diving today.
Ta Ta!
Travel Froggie.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Well, I am travelling again. Emergency travel to a remote little place in Canada called Penticton. It was a blast. I had a new travelling companion this time. Mr. Fred is a great guy!

The trip up was two rather short flights, with a long layover in between. Still, the countryside was beautiful.

It was the first time I've flown on a propeller driven plane. I have to say I quite enjoyed the cozy little cabin.

We finally arrived. Turns out we had gotten the car rental from the wrong location. Had to make a last-minute adjustment. Thankfully they had cars available.

Ah, the view out of the window is lovely. Its nice to finally have arrived.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Loafing Some Cheese in Utah

This Saturday, I had quite the pleasure of coming across a bit of Oregon, as it were, as I was off on another adventure in the great state of Utah. While in Oregon, travelling along their coastline, I happened across the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where it so happens that the Worlds Best Cheddar is made. Despite being a frog, I found I've become quite partial to the stuff, as well as their ice cream and other cheeses. So imagine my surprise when, taking a day adventure with my dear friends the Carleski Boys, we happen to encounter the good people of Tillamook in Utah.

Being from Oregon, the Carleski boys are huge fans of the cheese factory, and as you can see from my friend's face, they were indeed excited to meet Loafy. Loafy, I am told is the official spokesman for their cheese, of course. I, personally, was quite impressed that such a large loaf of cheese would not melt in such hot conditions.

I was also rather impressed with Loafy's mode of transportation. It make sense that such a large loaf would need such a stylish and sporting car, what with being so famous. Perhaps next time I'm travelling through Oregon, I will have to inquire about getting one for myself. Couldn't you see me motoring about in a nice loaf mobile?

And finally, here I am showing the youngest of my friends how to smile and take a picture with Loafy. As you can see, he was perhaps not as certain about the large friendly cheese as his elder brothers; but yet,as ever, my example paid off, because right after this picture he was more than happy to hug the orange fellow and pose for more pictures.

After a few samples of Cheese and some conversations about my travels with the Loaf Ladies, I bid them all a cheerio, and set off, imaging myself continuing my travels in a bright orange loaf bus.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Utah State Capitol

The State of Utah, founded in 1896, was originally conceived as the State of Deseret. The original state covered Utah and Nevada and parts of Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. It was a nation state unto itself.

The term deseret is from an ancient language, and means beehive. Those who wanted this state saw this as a term of their industry and dedication to hard work. While neither the name nor the scale of the state was as they planned, the association of the beehive with the State of Utah remains today.

The interior of the capitol was as you would expect. A grand dome, sweeping murals, an enormous chandelier, and statues of the great men who helped to found the state.

Outside the capitol were tributes to those who had sacrificed so much to make the state possible, both past and present.

The real treasure trove though was right across the street. There, outside the old city hall, were these two finds. It was a place that a laminated frog like myself could feel right at home.

Ensign Peak

When members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were forced out of Illinois in 1845, their leader, Brigham Young, received a vision of where they were to go. He said that the Prophet Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the church in this dispensation, showed him a peak with an ensign on it, and told him that if he settled under that peak he would prosper.

Upon entering the Salk Lake Valley, Brigham saw this peak and exclaimed "This is the right place". Two days later, he, and a few others, hiked to the top of the peak. They erected a small flag, and called it Ensign Peak.

In honor of the vision and sacrifice that had brought them there, they erected a stone monument at the top of Ensign Peak.

It was a grueling climb for this small frog. My legs are not very long, and I had to stop more than once or twice. I even found a cave that was just my size, and was tempted to stay for the night, but as the saints of old, I faithfully pressed on.