Hawaii: Captain Cook

We snorkeled many times while in Hawaii, but nowhere had clearer waters than Captain Cook. A fun day of kayaking and swimming with all the beautiful tropical fish.. and I even found Totoro!!!

LotsaSmiles Photography

One can’t really visit Hawaii and not go snorkeling, so we were sure to get out as much as we could.  While Two Step had some amazing fish (and sea turtles), we found the water clarity simply couldn’t be beat at the secluded Captain Cook point.

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A Weekend in Seattle

As I’ve divulged before, I love surprises.  And fortunately enough for me, Aaron loves to dole them out (when he can keep it secret long enough to actually surprise me).  He particularly loves to plan surprise trips.  So this year, for my birthday, he packed us into the car and just started driving north.  And for me the destination was a mystery.

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Hawaii: The Volcano

This was something we missed on our first visit to Hawaii. I’m glad we were able to make it a priority this time around. So much geology to examine and explore!

LotsaSmiles Photography

Hawaii is a series of islands created through volcanic activity.  However, when we honeymooned there seven years ago, it was the one major thing we didn’t fit into our itinerary, despite Aaron’s affinity for geology.  Therefore, we were determined to explore it this time.

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Hawaii: Mauna Kea

The view from atop Mauna Kea is always awe-inspiring. It’s one of the few places one can go from sea level to 14,000′ in an hour or two (without an airplane). Here, you can be on top of the world.

LotsaSmiles Photography

If you’re going to the Big Island, and if you have any fascination with the night sky, you won’t want to miss Mauna Kea.  Home to the world’s largest observatory and nearly 14,000 feet above sea level (and above most cloud layers), you won’t see more beautiful stars, especially if you live anywhere near a metropolitan area.  And for a photographer?  Just, wow.

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Miami – The Expense-free Redux

About a year after we vacationed in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, Florida, we had an opportunity to return through a last-minute vacancy in a business-organized trip.  Aaron’s company offered him the suddenly open spot, and much like the last time we were offered a free trip, we jumped on it!

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Of course our agenda was much different, given we weren’t really planning this trip, but it was still just as fun as the previous.  And the obligatory seminar was worth getting the airfare and per diem on someone else’s dime.

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Hawaii: South Point

Come explore the southernmost point in Hawaii and (debatably) the U.S. Take the plunge off the 40-foot cliff if you dare…

LotsaSmiles Photography

We couldn’t visit Hawaii without hitting the southernmost tip of the United States.  We had, of course, already been to Florida’s Southernmost Point (though this isn’t even accurate), but this is markedly less touristy and clearly more south.  

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Hawaii: Waipio Valley

We’ll keep the posts to Hawaii for a little bit, then we’ll switch it up again. It’s hard to decide what to post; we do so much!

This trek down to the beach was quite exciting, but we got some cool pictures and some fun memories!

LotsaSmiles Photography

“Waipi’o” means “curved water,” and this can be seen in the concave shoreline and the arcing twin waterfalls visible from the beach nearly a thousand feet below the viewpoint.  Images primarily feature the lofty view.  Most don’t dare brave the 25% grade, 4-wheel-drive-only road down to the bottom, but we aren’t “most people.”

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Photostory: Seagull Attack at Kyrping | LotsaSmiles Photography

We’re taking a small break this week, as we were crazy busy preparing for and running our home anime convention, Kumoricon (did you know we’re in charge of the convention’s official video and photography?).  That’s one event we’ll both actually miss considerably next year.  I’ve always said I wouldn’t miss Kumoricon for the world… but that’s precisely what we’ll be doing!

Anyway, we’ll be back next week with some more Florida stories, but in the meantime, enjoy this fun photostory from one of our campgrounds in Norway, Kyrping!


We saw plenty of fauna in Norway (though certainly not as much as in Costa Rica).  And while the species didn’t really surprise us, their behaviors did.  We passed lounging yaks, curious goats, and baying sheep (were we in Norway or Scotland?).  And I was attacked by a seagull.

A seagull attacking another on a rocky island in Kyrping, Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

Read the full article: Photostory: Seagull Attack at Kyrping | LotsaSmiles Photography

Hawaii: Two Step

We’ve been posting a lot for Japan, and we have more we’d like to share with you, but we do travel to other places! We thought we’d give you a bit of variety with some other locations.

This was an impromptu photography trip to Hawaii, and it was quite the adventure!

LotsaSmiles Photography

It’s been too long since we’ve travelled (Japan feels so long ago!), and we’ve been itching.  So when a photographer friend invited us to Hawaii for a week of photos, how could I resist?

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A Taste of Japan: Old Meets New

I loved the mix of old and new in Japan!

LotsaSmiles Photography

Japan is full of some of the most amazing culture and fascinating history.  With a civilization many centuries old, Japan has had a lot of time to evolve.  However, they staunchly retain the rich past that defines their architecture, shrines, attitudes, and traditions.  They respect each other and have an incredible work ethic.  They impress the world every year with their technology, yet they loyally maintain structures that have been in existence for over 1300 years.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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