Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunsets, Wistfulness and Erik Breaking a Tradition.

Karen got really, really obsessed with taking shots of the "perfect sunset" while in Hawaii . . . Look at those crazy eyes!
In her defense, it did kinda look like a fake backdrop or a Hawaiian Tropic ad campaign circa 1985.

These are all REAL photos, weird, right? No bad tourist trap paintings here.
Again, sorry, but she did get some pretty crazy shots.
Last sunset while on vacation.
Sigh . . . (For those of you wondering, below is the deck from the hotel that showed you an almost 180 degree view of the ocean, and under it the tide pool that allowed us to watch turtles playing every morning and eels hunting every night. So basically like 80% of our time on the hotel property you could see Karen in this exact position.)
Look at those angles!
The first time Erik ever allowed ANYONE to use his camera to take a picture, this is what happened. Now he can blame his fear of theft AND shoddy camera work as his two reasons for not allowing shared use of his camera. (Thanks for nothing, very well meaning waitress).

The Burgs Host an Imaginary Nature Show, Part II

We've never been snorkeling . . . mainly because a) the ocean in LA is SO COLD! b) the weather in NY is colder. Also, until we moved away from places with warmth and palm trees, going on vacation somewhere tropical just seemed silly. Now it seems like the only logical way to make it through the winter.

Despite Karen's best efforts at trying to freak herself out, she was too excited about seeing all the cool fish to let the Jaws soundtrack roll around in her brain.  Not that nature didn't try to scare her a few times . . . (Is this not like a scene 5 seconds before a shark starts swimming in focus?)
Erik as seen on our first snorkeling boat, amused at Karen's desire to remain in the water well past healthy prune hand development.
It was pretty gorgeous. And we realized we really, really need to learn to scuba dive. (Fun fact: that's a trumpet fish below and Karen got to see him go from bright yellow to his "stealth" camo color so he could go hunting. Nature is really, really cool.)
More pretty fish, but less weird trivia.
Look at the next photos ONLY after cuing up "Ping Island/Lighting Strike Rescue Op" from the Life Aquatic soundtrack. Did you turn it out? Ok. Now you can scroll down.

(Trumpet fish NOT in his hunting camo and from a better angle. He looks much fatter here.)

I hope the music is still playing!

Ok, you can turn it off. (Not that I would, ever, but that's just me.) We saw roughly 35 spinner dolphins on day two of our snorkeling excursions. Sadly, we were too excited by being like 4 feet from a pod of dolphins that we never remembered to take photos when they were all jumping around.

Whales! We saw a plethora of Humpback whales.  Sometimes from the sky.
Other times from the side of a boat.
Sometimes we even saw baby whales jumping in the water (top left corner of the water. It was pretty amazing.) Again, every time we were really, really close to the whales, we were too busy saying "Oh wow! That's a whale, right there!" to remember to take a photo.

The Burgs Host an Imaginary Nature Show, Part I

We land in Hawaii. This is our view. New York apartments "with a view" seem rather silly now.

And did we mention there were sea turtles? Sea turtles! Look at them!

They lived right off of our hotel. The hotel lounge overlooked this tide pool and sea turtle home. Amazing!

There were black crabs crawling around all the walls in town. They were smart enough to run away from Erik every time. They sensed a predator in their midst.

Karen saved Erik's life one morning while taking a walk around the property. He almost backed into this:

It was really, really big, we were too scared to hold a pen up to it for scale, but trust us, it was big enough that we heard the Brady Bunch cursed Tiki idol noise the second we saw it.

Shortly after Karen's "holy soles" rooted around on some lava rocks looking for seashells and other goodies. Where can't these shoes go?

The Burgs Host an Imaginary Adventure Show

We doubt most of you realize that Erik is a licensed helicopter pilot*.  This trip he decided to help our amazing tour guide by copiloting us around the Big Island.

*Coolhandburg would like to acknowledge that Erik does not currently possess a pilot's license and cannot actually fly a helicopter, per se.

Look how much fun Erik was having taking shots with his super neato Harinezumi camera! (Those are the helicopter blades, pretty cool, eh?)

Since like 80% of the island is privately owned and inaccessible by car or foot, this was really the only way to see the amazing gorgeousness that is the Big Island. (Also, cloud shadows have always been a quiet obsession of Mrs. Burg's. )

A lava tube shooting out some hot molten magma . . . it was a little camera shy and stopped spurting as soon as we pulled out our cameras, but you can see its glowing red center if you look closely.

Jack lives alone, in a house. The only house that wasn't destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the 70's . . .
Yeah, it's like a 3 hr. hike just to get to the road that takes him into a "town" for provisions. We sort of idolize Jack.
There are apparently 2 kinds of lava: fast and slow. This was some of the slow stuff, we were still a little intimidated. I mean, slowly moving melted rock burning everything in its path is still MELTED ROCK, moving towards you . . . I'm just sayin'.
Karen got some pretty decent zoom shots, look how HOT that is!
Erik's feet showing off his cockpit view of the world! (This is a "Life Aquatic" reference. Bonus points if you got it!)

Some pretty sky and more helicopter blade action.
Volcanic crater . . . had we been cheapskates and gone on the road tour, we have a feeling we might have missed all the cool angles. One thing we wouldn't have missed? The sulfur smell and heat that made us all a little airsick. (Thankfully none of the passengers needed an air sickness bag, especially since Karen was seated right next the bags and really, really didn't want to hand them out.)

Why does the stupid ocean have to be so pretty and warm in Hawaii?

A rare shot of one of the other passengers. She asked a lot of random questions and wore a lot of rings. Alright, it was Zsa Zsa Gabor (don't tell anyone).

Karen tried to get some shots of her own shadow, proving she was in the helicopter . . . and hoping for a shorter winter at home.

A downed WWI plane. It crashed during some training maneuvers, no one was hurt, but almost 100 yrs later it still sits down there looking like something out of a Spielberg film.

Karen kept feeling like she was going to meet Indiana Jones at any minute . . . Alas, she did not.

This looks like an arrow? Right? Right.

And these are stitches, right? (Erik isn't convinced of either, back me up here!)

Proof we were BOTH on the helicopter.

I just want to JUMP in!

Don't you? (I wouldn't though, we were pretty high up there.)