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Have you ever tried goat milk soap? If not, you should!

My brother, sister-in-law, and eight of their ten kids live on Sheldon Family Farm & Dairy where they manage their many goats, cows, ponies, pigs, bees, chickens, cats, dogs, as well as a goose (or maybe it’s a duck?) and a rabbit.  I think I’m still forgetting something.  Anyway, using the milk from their goats, they’ve created a fantastic line of goat milk soap available here and various stores in the low country of South Carolina.  As I alluded to in a previous post, I had some run-ins with the goats when I tried to capture some photos of their products last week, which is documented in some photos below.  You can check out some of the beauty of the farm in my post about the farm after a rainstorm.  Here are some photos to entice you to check out their great smelling, high-quality (i.e. leave your hands feeling amazingly soft) soaps.  🙂

 

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I thought photos of the goats by the soap would be cute, like this one. 🙂

 

... then this happened.  Goats really will eat anything!

… then this happened. Goats really will eat anything!

This was the best I could do to get the babies to pose for me.  :)

This was the best I could do to get the babies to pose for me. 🙂

 

So many options and scents available!

So many options and scents available!

 

Available in downtown Beaufort at Greenfish.

Available in downtown Beaufort at Greenfish.

 

At the local feed store.

At the local feed store.

 

Also available at the local cider store.

Also available at the local cider store.

 

Special gift wrap also available.

Special gift wrap also available.

 

Some new residents on the front porch.

Some new residents on the front porch.

 

The bees whose wax/honey is used is some of their products.

The bees whose wax/honey is used is some of their products.

 

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If those photos aren't enough to make you want to check out their great soap products, check out the adorable kids who help make them!  :)

If those photos aren’t enough to make you want to check out their great soap products, maybe these adorable kids who help make them will help! 🙂


Sheldon Family Farm & Dairy after a rainstorm

As I mentioned in my trip preview post, I was able to visit my brother’s farm last week  in South Carolina.  It was so fun to have family time and to get a glimpse of the farm in action.  I got some photos after a rainstorm and also tried to capture some of the great things they have going on with their Sheldon Family Farm & Dairy projects, like the bees and goat milk soap.  I absolutely love the soap and can attest to how great the scents are and the great feeling on your skin after using it.  If you’d like to order some for yourself, check out their website.  I’ll post more photos of the soap business in another blog post soon.

Such a great description of my brother's family.

Such a great description of my brother’s family.

Here's my brother, sister-in-law, and their eight youngest children (two others aren't at home anymore).  I'll post more of this photo shoot soon.

Here’s my brother, sister-in-law, and their eight youngest children (two others aren’t at home anymore). I’ll post more of this photo shoot soon.

 

Here are the photos I got after a rainstorm one evening:

 

After a rainstorm

After a rainstorm

 

 

 

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It started raining when I was out there.  Love the glistening raindrops!

It started raining when I was out there. Love the glistening raindrops!

 

Love the chickens through the window.

Love the chickens through the window.

 

How I love evening shadows.

How I love evening shadows.

 

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Evening light is one of my favorite things.

Evening light is one of my favorite things.

 

Rainbow!

Rainbow!

 

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Sneak Peek: My Trip Down South

Hey ya’ll!  (I know, it just doesn’t work coming from me, but I like to try to fit in with local vernacular when I can.)  🙂 I’ve been hanging out with my brother’s family in South Carolina this week.  It’s a beautiful area here in the low country.  Here are a few sneak peeks of a post or two I’ll try to share soon of the great things I’ve seen and photographed.  Enjoy!

Some of my favorite kids with whom I've gotten to spend the week.  They also happen to be my nieces and nephews.  :)

Some of my favorite kids with whom I’ve gotten to spend the week. They also happen to be my nieces and nephews. 🙂

 

A rainbow AND ponies!  Childhood dreams coming true!

A rainbow AND ponies! Childhood dreams coming true!

 

Fun on the farm with Charlotte the goat.

Fun on the farm with Charlotte the goat.

One of my favorite things ever- a tree-lined path.  :)  This was taken at a local plantation near my brother's.

One of my favorite things ever- a tree-lined path. 🙂 I took this at a local plantation near my brother’s.

 

Took a quick trip to Charleston.

Took a quick trip to Charleston to visit my nephew and his wife.

 

Visiting my nephew and his wife's alma mater- The College of Charleston

Visiting my nephew and his wife’s alma mater- The College of Charleston

 

My brother's family makes goat milk soap.  I was taking photos to go on their website and thought it would be cute to try to get some goats in the photos.  Big mistake.  Big.  Huge.  Stay tuned for another blog post detailing that experience.  :)

My brother’s family makes goat milk soap. I was taking photos to go on their website and thought it would be cute to try to get some goats in the photos. Big mistake. Big. Huge. Stay tuned for another blog post detailing that experience. 🙂


Hawaii Revisited- Last Days in Maui

My last post about the Road to Hana wasn’t my final experience in Hawaii and even though it’s taken a long time, I wouldn’t feel ok until I closed up the Hawaii posts with this wrap-up.  🙂  Here are photos from the various places we explored on the last two days Samantha and I spent visiting with Shara and Mike before we returned to the mainland.

 

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Ka’anapali Beach

 

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A view of the island of Lana’i. Shara told me there’s a ferry that you can take over to it. It has one little town and a couple of really nice resorts. It’s owned by Larry Ellison, who owns 98% of the island.

 

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A very scenic walk to Honolua Bay

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A very scenic walk to Honolua Bay

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Honolua Bay

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A very scenic walk at Honolua Bay

 

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A banyan tree in Lahaina

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This was some good stuff! Shara and I enjoying Ululani’s Shave Ice, Front Street, Lahaina

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The waterfront in Lahaina. This photo just screams America to me. 🙂

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Lahaina

 

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Sunset from Lahaina

 

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Lahaina

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Maipoina ‘Oe la’u Beach Park (aka Veterans Park in Kihei)- Hanging out with Bandit and cooking out. A great way to spend our last night on Maui!

 

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The West Maui Mountains

The West Maui Mountains view from Maui Lani Pkwy in Wailuku

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Iao Valley

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Iao Valley

Shara, Samantha, and I enjoying our last day together in Maui.

Shara, Samantha, and I enjoying our last day together in Maui, hiking in Iao Valley before flying out that evening.

 

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Iao Valley

 


The Road to Hana, Maui

If you’re just tuning in, I’m finishing up posts of the beauty I experienced on my spring break trip to Maui with my high school friends Samantha and Shara.  Near the end of our trip, Samantha and I took a day to explore the Road to Hana on Maui (Shara and Mike have done that trip quite a few times, so they sat this one out).  Sadly, the weather didn’t cooperate with us for spectacular blue sky photos, but it was still a memorable day exploring such a gorgeous area.

The Road to Hana is a remarkable road full of twists and turns and over 45 one-lane bridges (which usually coincided with a beautiful waterfall right next to it) that leads to the town of Hana on the east side of Maui.  It took a few hours to get to our destination, Kipahulu in Haleakala National Park, with many stops along the way to enjoy the gorgeous beaches, waterfalls, and other unique sights.

The end of our trip (before we took the road back in the evening) included a four mile hike through the National Park (and a breathtaking bamboo forest) in POURING rain (hence the lack of amazing bamboo and waterfall photos since I wanted my camera to survive) to Waimoku Falls.  They were pretty spectacular, especially with all the recent rain to make them more powerful… totally worth the rainstorm hike.  As Sam and I lamented the weather initially, we decided to embrace the day we were given and the chance to make so many memories.  Check out the sights below!

 

Taro fields

Taro fields

 

The Three Bears falls

The Three Bears falls

 

Three Bears Falls

Three Bears Falls

 

Just a random waterfall seen on the side of the road during our drive.  I almost got tired of them!

Just a random waterfall seen on the side of the road during our drive. I almost got tired of them!

An entrance into some lava tubes that we explored.  We were thankful to run into people with flashlights... it was dark in there!

An entrance into some lava tubes that we explored. We were thankful to run into people with flashlights… it was dark in there!

 

Inside the lava tubes.

Inside the lava tubes.

 

Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach

Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach

 

Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach

Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach

 

A different perspective of Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach

A different perspective of Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach

 

Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach

Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach

 

A blow hole in action at Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach

A blow hole in action at Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach

 

I sort of enjoyed taking photos here.  :)

I sort of enjoyed taking photos here. 🙂

 

Near Hana- this was the non-treacherous part of the hike to the red sand beach.

Near Hana- this was the non-treacherous part of the hike to the red sand beach.

 

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay

 

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay

 

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay

 

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay

 

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay- I love the red and turquoise.

Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay- I love the red and turquoise.

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With one of many waterfalls along the road.

With one of many waterfalls along the road.

 

Pools of ‘Ohe’o (aka Seven Sacred Pools) inside the National Park

Pools of ‘Ohe’o (aka Seven Sacred Pools) inside the National Park

 

On the hike on Pipiwai Trail

On the hike on Pipiwai Trail

 

The best pic I could get of the bamboo forest on Pipiwai Trail- if it wasn't for the rain, I'd have some really gorgeous pics from there.

The best pic I could get of the bamboo forest on Pipiwai Trail- if it wasn’t for the rain, I’d have some really gorgeous pics from there.

 

After a two mile hike in the pounding rain, this was our reward- Waimoku Falls.

After a two mile hike in the pounding rain, this was our reward- Waimoku Falls.

 

Proof that we made it.

Proof that we made it (taken with the camera I’m less attached to).

 

The actual trail on the way back.  There was a lot of rain that day.

The “trail” on the way back. There was a lot of rain that day (taken with the camera I was ok with drenching) .

 

 

On the hike back

On the hike back

 

After our four mile hike in pouring rain, the sky finally decided to do this before the sunset.  :)

After our four mile hike in pouring rain, the sky finally decided to do this before the sunset. 🙂

 

 


Sunrise to Sunset in Maui

Welcome to another day from my trip in Maui.  This one happened to be a very long and full day.  We work up around 3:30 A.M. to head up to the Haleakala summit to watch the sunrise.  My friends who live there have seen much more spectacular displays of the sun rising over the clouds, but I was content to see the sun break through a few times.  I was amazed at how different the landscape is up by the Haleakala Crater… it eerily felt a bit like Mars up there!  On the way down the mountain we saw a rainbow… there’s a reason Hawaii is known as the Rainbow State!

Since we were already on that side of the island, we decided to explore a couple of the early stops on the Road to Hana (I’ll be doing a separate post on our Road to Hana journey which happened the day after this one).  We stopped to see the rainbow bark on some eucalyptus trees and then we explored a bamboo forest.  Both sites were really beautiful.

That evening, Shara and I decided to go to a beach not too far from their place in hopes that there would be a pretty sunset.  God didn’t disappoint us at Keawakapu Beach near Wailea.  Check out His beautiful creation as seen on this great day in Maui back in March!

Shara, Mike and I waiting for the sun to rise on the Haleakala Summit.  It was cold at 10,000 feet (hence the reason Sam was staying warm in the overlook shelter).

Shara, Mike and I waiting for the sun to rise on the Haleakala Summit. It was cold at 10,000 feet (hence the reason Sam was staying warm in the overlook shelter).

 

The sunlight starting to peek through over the Haleakala crater.

The sunlight starting to peek through over the Haleakala crater.

 

Good morning!

Good morning!

 

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Standing on top of the world!

Standing on top of the world!

Here I am near the Haleakala Crater

Here I am near near the summit with the rest of Maui below.

 

The Haleakala Observatory

The Haleakala Observatory

 

A Haleakala Silversword plant

A Haleakala Silversword plant

 

It’s a really unique plant- check out more info on Wikipedia.

 

On the way down from the summit.

On the way down from the summit.

 

Rainbow State!

Rainbow State!

 

The Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta)

The Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta)

 

This was on the other side of the hill by the rainbow eucalyptus trees... the coast was everywhere.  Got to love islands!

This was on the other side of the hill by the rainbow eucalyptus trees… the coast was everywhere. Got to love islands! (Thanks for this shot of me, Mike!)

 

A closeup of the bark

A closeup of the bark

 

Entering the bamboo forest off of the  Hana highway.

Entering the bamboo forest off of the Hana highway.

 

Exploring with Samantha and Mike ahead.

Exploring with Samantha and Mike ahead.

 

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I love this.

I love this.

 

We happened upon this little waterfall in the bamboo forest.  It had been raining a lot recently.  :)

We happened upon this little waterfall in the bamboo forest. It had been raining a lot recently. 🙂

 

The view from the road

The view from the road

 

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

 

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

 

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

 

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

 

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

 

Shara let me borrow her tripod for this shot- The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

Shara let me borrow her tripod for this shot- The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

 

Shara let me borrow her tripod for this shot- The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

Shara let me borrow her tripod for this shot- The sunset at Keawakapu Beach

 

Such a great evening hanging out with Shara.  Can't believe we've been friends for twenty-two years now!

Such a great evening hanging out with Shara. Can’t believe we’ve been friends for twenty-two years now!

 


Paddle Boarding and a Luau

I had hoped to combine events so I wouldn’t bombard you with Hawaii posts, but I’m having trouble because it was such a beautiful trip.  I have way too many fun things to show you here, so bear with me.  🙂  Today I’m going to show you pics from the day that epitomizes a Hawaiian vacation- adventures at the beach and a luau.

We went to Ukumehame Park in Lahaina on a gorgeous afternoon for some water adventures.  I decided to attempt paddle boarding because it looked a little easier than surfing.  Unfortunately it wasn’t quite easy enough for me to master in a mere 20 minutes on the water, but it was fun to try it!  Shara’s husband, Mike, was incredibly patient with me and my meager attempt to balance on that large board.  And Shara and Samantha did a great job cheering me on from shore and capturing a few photos that made me look relatively skilled at staying up on the board!  They also captured my failed attempt to stay up on the board for any prolonged amount of time.   (See photos below).

After the paddle boarding/sitting on the beautiful beach adventure, Sam and I went to the quintessential Hawaiian tourist experience- the Old Lahaina Luau.  They have that thing down to a science- complete with a mid-meal light rain shower with a double rainbow for our enjoyment!  😉  It was a fun, educational experience with some delicious Hawaiian food, leis, a pig roast, hula dancing lessons, cultural demonstrations and hula show topped off with a beautiful beach sunset.  Sometimes you just got to embrace the whole tourist thing and go all out!  It was a fun time and gave me all sorts of flashbacks to TV shows that filmed Hawaii episodes like The Brady Bunch and Saved by the Bell.  🙂

Here is the photographic evidence of all the fun!

Ukumehame Park- the view from the paddle board of the West Maui mountains was seriously spectacular.

Ukumehame Park- the view from the paddle board of the West Maui mountains was seriously spectacular.

I'm doing it!

I’m doing it!

 

... and then this happened.

… and then this happened.

Ukumehame Park, Maui

Ukumehame Park, Maui

 

Luau time!

Luau time!

 

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Coconut being shaved, Hawaiian food to try, cultural demonstrations, and the pig roast (that buried thing)

 

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Do any of you also think of the Brady Bunch when you see these?

Do any of you also think of the Brady Bunch when you see these?

 

Our double rainbow present!

Our double rainbow present!

 

Samantha and I embracing tourism.  :)

Samantha and I embracing tourism. 🙂

 

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Hula dancing and dessert (passion fruit cake and lavender-iced cookies were my favorite)

Hula dancing and dessert (passion fruit cake and lavender-iced cookies were my favorite)

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There's just something about palm trees and a sunset.  Felt like I was in a postcard.  :)

There’s just something about palm trees and a sunset. Felt like I was in a postcard. 🙂

 

 


Farmland in Hawaii

When I was on my way to Maui, walking around farmland wasn’t the first thing I thought about doing.  I think that was one of the most surprising things about my trip- Maui has so many different types of land and sites… there was so much more to see than just beaches!

On one of our first days there, Shara, Samantha, and I explored a few different areas of eastern Maui.  We started out with a visit to the Upcountry Farmers Market in Pukalani.  It was definitely the most picturesque farmers market I’ve ever seen!  We tried some Kombucha tea and lilikoi (passion fruit) butter while picking up some avocados and veggies.  We followed that with a delicious brunch at a french restaurant.  Then we visited the farmlands off of Thompson Road… farmlands that happen to belong to Oprah!  I had no idea she owned so much farmland on Maui.  It was a beautiful road with great sites going uphill and looking out at the coast below.

From there we went to the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm and got to explore a bit before the downpour.  See the photo below taken after we made it back to the car… should’ve brought a raincoat!

We finished off the adventure by stopping at a couple picturesque spots on the journey home- the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center in Makawao and the Makawao Union Church.  Check out the photos below!

 

 

Visiting the Upcountry Farmers Market in Pukalani. http://www.upcountryfarmersmarket.com/index.html

Visiting the Upcountry Farmers Market in Pukalani.
http://www.upcountryfarmersmarket.com/index.html

 

La Provence french restaurant in Kula for brunch- eggs benedict and a lilikoi (passion fruit) crepe... fantastic!

La Provence french restaurant in Kula for brunch- eggs benedict and a lilikoi (passion fruit) crepe… fantastic!

 

Exploring Thompson Rd. farmlands up in the hills.

Exploring Thompson Rd. farmlands up in the hills.

 

The view from Thompson Road

The view from Thompson Road

 

High school friends still having adventures together 15 years later!

High school friends (me, Shara, and Sam) still having adventures together 15 years later!

 

Thompson Road

The view from Thompson Road

 

Thompson Road

The view from Thompson Road

 

Thompson Road

The view from Thompson Road

 

Thompson Road- Hawaiian Cows!

Thompson Road- Hawaiian Cows!

 

Visiting the Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm as the rain started to come in.

Visiting the Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm as the rain started to come in.

 

Ali`i Kula Lavender farm

Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm

 

Great view from the Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm

Great view from the Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm… note the dark clouds up above.

 

Ah, lavender such great stuff.

Ah, lavender, such great stuff.

 

Some of the vegetation around the lavender farm and our next stops on the trip.

Some of the vegetation around the lavender farm and our next stops on the trip.

You could say we weren't exactly prepared for the rainy run to the car from the lavender farm.  :)

You could say we weren’t exactly prepared for the rainy run to the car from the lavender farm. 🙂

 

Some artwork outside the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center, Makawao

Some artwork outside the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center, Makawao

 

Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center, Makawao

Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center, Makawao

 

Outside the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center, Makawao

Outside the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center, Makawao

 

I love trees like this.

I love trees like this.

 

 

 

We had to stop the car to check out this beautiful church- Makawao Union Church makawaounionchurch.org

We had to stop the car to check out this beautiful church- Makawao Union Church
makawaounionchurch.org

 

Makawao Union Church

Makawao Union Church

 

Makawao Union Church

Makawao Union Church

 

 


Maui Whale Watch

I haven’t had much time since my return from spring break to get my photos posted (it’s testing season at school), but don’t worry, there are many to come!  This trip was a pseudo high school reunion for my friends Samantha, Shara and me.  Samantha and I set off from Ohio to spend a week visiting Shara and her husband who live in Maui and I couldn’t have asked for a better spring break adventure. I’ll start with our first day in Maui for this blog post, which I posted a preview of while I was there..  Our first morning there, (with jet-lag’s assistance for a somewhat early wake-up) we went to Maaelea Bay and took a whale watch cruise with the Pacific Whale Foundation.  I was very impressed with how they do tours and how informative the guides are throughout the watch.  I think my favorite part was when they put a microphone into the water below us and we were able to hear the whales singing below the surface of where we were.  I also enjoyed that we saw a brand new calf often (though he/she didn’t show off much for photos) and quite a few pairs of whales.  I just found this video someone took in February in the same area (silly me forgot my drone equipment to better capture the event!), so check this guy’s video out if you’d like to see what it looks like from above.  A big thank you goes out to Shara and Mike for loaning me their zoom lens and polarized filter so I could get optimal photos of the whales!

Here are a few highlights from the expedition.  Hope you enjoy them!

 

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Our Mode of Transport that morning

Samantha and I hanging out on the boat.

Samantha and I hanging out on the boat.

The sugar cane field burning as we left the bay.

View of the sugar cane field burning as we left the bay.

 

The only whale spout that I captured that day.

The only whale spout that I captured that day.

Oh how I love sunbeams.

Oh how I love sunbeams.

I love how her side flipper looks turquoise underwater.

I love how her white side flipper looks turquoise underwater.

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Here's a glimpse of the itty-bitty baby (that probably weighed about a ton when we saw it!).

Here’s a glimpse of the itty-bitty baby (that probably weighed about a ton when we saw it!).

 

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I loved the background of this.  The mountains in Western Maui are really beautiful.

I loved the background of this. The mountains in Western Maui are really beautiful.

 

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Love seeing the details on the tail fin.

Love seeing the details on the tail fin.

 

I already posted this one in the preview, but since it's my favorite from the day, I'm posting it again.  :)

I already posted this one in the preview, but since it’s my favorite from the day, I’m posting it again. 🙂


God does good work.

I’m still in Hawaii visiting a friend of mine from high school and we were able to enjoy this sight the other night.  I couldn’t help but think of this verse from Psalms while we soaked in the beauty of it all.  God does good work.

Wailea Beach, Maui

Wailea Beach, Maui