Archive for the 'Shadow Portraits' Category

Hello, Summer!

Hello, summer! May you be as long as our shadows were tonight!

With a name like Maha’ulepu, we just called it Silky Sand Beach with the Roaring Trail.

I took a picture of this sign so that we could remember how to spell the name of our favorite beach: Maha ‘ulepu.

This beach area is on the map of Kauai, but we’d never ventured there before. The last time my husband and I were on the island, back in 2010, we did a lot of exploring for a week, but for some reason, we never checked out this part of the south shore.

It was fantastic!

The roads to get there were a bit tricky, but nothing we were nervous about…especially in a rental car. 😉

The sand on this beach felt like silk. Seriously…it was incredible. We had fun renaming various beaches around Kauai. This one was Silky Beach (with the Roaring Trail), and another was Brown Sugar Beach. You get the picture.

Wait. There was a roaring trail? Yes, there was, and it scared us half to death!

We followed the well-worn hiking trail along the coast line, and the views were just incredible.

In one part, you can take in all the colors of the ocean, and as you’re gazing breathlessly out to sea, little do you know there is a blowhole of sorts behind you, off the trail on the opposite side. It would scream with a hissing roar at intervals. It was so shocking!

As I mentioned, the sand was the softest we’ve ever felt (hence our nickname for it being silky), yet the rocks were sharp and craggy.

It was such a contrast of soft and jagged, dangerous and beautiful.

We spent hours exploring here, playing in the sand with our shadows while hiking the dunes…

Shadow Portraits

…frolicking in the pools left by the lowering tide and then watching the waves rise to reclaim our playground.

Yes, this is real. Unaltered.

These are the pools from the above photo.

…and taking it all in, the peace of the island seeping into every pore.


It was hard to leave.*

*Needless to say, that was a recurring theme of our Kauai Vacation.

Fall Break has been a-MAZE-ing so far!

On the way to our destination, I got the feeling someone was watching me. I was right!

Where were we headed? The Corn Maze at Anderson Farms. (This isn’t an official review, and we paid for our entrance tickets.  If you look at their link, you’ll see an arial shot of the mazes.  We walked through the big maze to do the maze at the top of the picture.) It was fantastic. We weren’t sure how busy it would be, and the line to get tickets was HUGE.

Before we left, I’d remembered seeing online that if you purchased tickets online, you could skip to the front of the line. We hadn’t thought it necessary to do that…until we saw the line. So, I got out my phone, and in less than 5 minutes, we were able to skip to the front of the line with our “online tickets!” BONUS.

You know how much we LOVE doing shadow portraits. This windmill was just BEGGING to be a backdrop.

We found our first stop! The maze was really tricky, but we mastered it!  (There were different numbered stations to find, and the kids had a mystery to solve based on the clues listed at each one.)  Fun!

There is a platform bridge in one of the mazes, and from it, you can see the maze we did in the distance.

Claire and Daddy tried their hand at using the slingshot to shoot gourds at targets. They did a great job! See the “Punkin’ Chunkin’ Cannon” in the distance? We watched a guy shoot that, too!

*Yes, that’s my shadow taking their photo! 😉

As we were leaving, we saw this guy. Bet he has the best view of the maze!

It really was an a-MAZE-ing day!

The Great Roadtrip of July 2012 – Second Stop: Craters of the Moon

I’m recapping our adventures from The Great Roadtrip of July 2012! Be sure to check out all the recap posts by clicking here!

From Utah, we headed to Idaho!

The Obligatory Sideview Mirror Shot

In talking with our friends in Utah, we discovered that we’d be going right by the First Nuclear Power Plant in the world. It’s decommissioned now (or so they say) 😉 …so we were able to check it out on a self-guided tour. It was really cool!!

A doorway that is just her size, with a MASSIVELY THICK door to go with it. See it to the left?

I have no idea what these are, but they sure were cool. (Click to see more detail.)

My husband could tell you all about the above contraptions, and he was so excited to see these things up-close and personal.  If this were his blog, he’d tell you all kinds of things about them, but it’s not.  So there.  Despite my ignorance, they are intriguing.  They were massive, and this photo does not do them justice.  Honestly, I thought they’d make the perfect location to hide a magnetic letterbox, but I’m pretty sure the entire place is being surveilled, and that type of shenanigans is frowned upon.  Party poopers.

Oddly enough, though, the stop here also led us right by a tiny little town that was home to our very first letterbox find in Idaho! Even better!

Our main destination on this leg of the trip, though, was to check out Craters of the Moon. This is an incredible park in Idaho boasting lava fields and an inactive volcano. Who knew? Honestly, I had no idea this place existed, and now it’s one of the best parks we’ve ever explored!  Kudos to Daddy for stumbling upon this find in all his research.

I highly recommend Craters of the Moon!

It reminded me of Hawaii! Granted, it was sadly devoid of beaches, but seeing the pahoehoe and aa again warmed my soul.

This explains the difference between Pahoehoe and Aa. (Click to enlarge.)

This campsite was one of the first come, first serve sites on our agenda. (We reserved spots in other destinations.)  We weren’t too worried about finding a spot midweek, and to our utter delight, we found the best spot in the whole area.

Sue loved it.

Claire loved it. (This is one of my favorite photos from the trip!)

The camp chef loved it.

My shadow loved it enough to photo-bomb this shot! (See me in the bottom left-hand corner?)

We set up camp and then explored one of the lava fields at dusk. This was the perfect plan, because 1) it wasn’t too hot, and 2) most all of the people had left for the day. Perfect!

The next day, we spent exploring the grounds. Anything less than two nights at this park would do a disservice to your adventure, so plan accordingly.

We drove the 7-mile loop and hiked different paths along the way. One stop was the chance to climb to the top of a volcano!

It's steep. (No, I have no idea who these other people are. Hello, random volcano visitors! Good luck making it to the top!) Speaking of the top, see the tiny people up there? (Click to enlarge.)

We made it! The view was absolutely incredible.

I was struck again by the fact that I had no idea there were lava fields in the middle of Idaho.  All of the memories I have from the lava fields in Hawaii came tumbling back into my mind, and it enhanced my experience here.  Seeing Claire experience the lava fields for the first time was amazing, too.

...and we made it back down, too. (You can't even see the top from here!)

After exploring the volcano, we went on some other hiking trails.

Claire likes to lead.

She and I took a break in the shade of a tree. (She's taking a swig from her camelback.)

Daddy and Claire forge ahead.

Our little Junior Ranger in the making is using Daddy's binoculars and scoping out the people wayyyy out on the lava fields. They were tiny specks from this vantage point.

You know we love our Shadow Portraits

Some of the lava here looks like it's scales from a blue dragon, hence the reason it's called Blue Dragon.

The lava creates caves all over the area. Some of them we could explore!

Because of the problems they’re having with the health of their little brown bats, we had to be granted a permit to explore the caves.  The photos from the caves were taken with Eva, my phone.  We’d used our camera in the lava tubes (caves) in Hawaii, so it wasn’t allowed in these caves, which wasn’t a problem.  Oddly enough, none of the other gear we had with us (bags, shoes) were ones we used in Hawaii!  Whew…

Above the surface, it was hot, hot, hot. In the cave, it was barely 50 degrees, and in some places, there was ice! Amazing.

Claire's very first lava tube.

Claire's best memory of this part of the trip? She completed her training and became an Official Junior Ranger! (Spying on unsuspecting visitors wasn't even part of the criteria!)

Needless to say, she’s planning on putting this on her résumé.

On this particular roadtrip, we went through Idaho twice.  On the way out, we explored the southern part.  On the way back, we explored the northern part.  We’ll talk about that part of the trip later, because I totally dig chronological order, AND because these different parts of Idaho are so vastly different from each other.

Next stop?  Oregon!  …and a shower! …the welcomed AND unwelcomed kind.

Stay tuned!

Shadow Swinging & a Canopy of Blossoms

We had so much fun taking photos today on our Letterboxing Adventure! I love this time of year!

Shadow Portraits Cozumel

It’s no surprise that we love taking shadow portraits. We’ve been doing this for years, in all different kinds of locations. Just check out the Shadow Portrait Category to see what I mean.

I couldn’t wait to play around with this in Cozumel!

Claire and I played with the morning sun on the beach in front of our condo the first morning we were there.


The three of us played with the waves and shadows.

Here comes the wave!

As I was sorting through all the images on the photo card, look what I discovered!

I think this one looks like...

...this one from California!

Granted, that was a couple years ago, and almost half a world away…


We'll see you after Labor Day! Have a great holiday!

Let’s go to the beach!

Did you notice the new blog header?  Here’s the full version:

Three Shadows on the Beach

Three Shadows on the Beach

If you’re in a FeedReader, click on over and check it out.

This is a photo from The Great Road Trip of May 2009.  I love the expression on Claire’s face.  You can barely see it beneath her blowing hair, caught by the ocean breezes.  This moment was captured by the camera and melded with our shadows.  This was our first experience dipping our toes in the Pacific Ocean as a family, and it was awesome.  Was our big 12-day adventure really back in May?  Was May really that long ago?

Well, not today, it isn’t.  I was tired of looking at the snow, as beautiful and sunny as it is here, I want to go to the beach…

…so let’s go!
Grab your sunscreen.
Grab your swimsuit.
Grab your flip-flops.

Meet me at the beach…if only in our minds.

I wrote about Shadow Portraits at Mile High Mamas today!

If you’ve spent any time at all here at The Casual Perfectionist, you know that I love shadow portraits. I’m writing about that today at Mile High Mamas, the Denver Post‘s parenting blog!

Go check it out!

Shadow Portraits

The comments are closed here, but I’d love to hear from you over there!

Shadow Portraits in the Grand Canyon

Back when I was writing about our trip to the Grand Canyon and beyond, I mentioned that we took other shadow portraits there in addition to the one I shared at the time.

The one I’ve had on the header of the blog since then is this one:

Shadows on the edge

Shadows on the edge

I love it. I even made my business cards out of it, and I use it for my Twitter ID photo.

Well, you may have noticed that I just changed the blog header to another shadow portrait we took that same day. (If you’re reading this in a feed reader, click on over!)  I may switch back and forth between the two every now and then…just to keep you on your toes!

See the three of us in the tree?

See the three of us in the tree?

I love it!

The colors make me think of fall yet remind me of the summer. It’s the best of both worlds.