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Moorea, 2012
In Tahiti, when you hide cell towers in fake trees they have to be fake palm trees.

Whitney, 2016
Reef off Bazaruto Island, Mozambique.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Danau Maninjau, Indonesia.

Whitney, 2011
Moonlit evening on a beach in Ecuador, with Southern Cross setting beyond the cliff.


The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 crossed the continent, from Oregon to South Carolina, and gave millions of people the chance to witness one of the most awe-inspiring events in the natural world.

Nik's photo of the August 21 eclipse, photographed from Glendo, Wyoming. The star, Regulus, is barely visible to the lower left of the solar corona.
But you had to be within the "path of totality", a narrow band across the earth's surface several thousand miles long but only about 70 miles wide. Outside that band you would only see a partial eclipse, not a total eclipse.

And there is no such thing as a "partial total eclipse", despite the impression blogs and the news media might give. I honestly think that's why so many people misunderstand the utter beauty of the spectacle; they may have seen a partial eclipse in the past that was total somewhere else, and even though they weren't in the path the news kept gushing about it being a total eclipse, so they assume they must have seen a total eclipse and just didn't find it all that impressive.

Posted by Dan 08/29/2017, revised 09/06/2017

(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here. Here now, below, are some highlights from past posts.)

More Triathlons for Kim

Kim has moved to Chicago, where she works, plays, and hangs out with assorted groups of art and theatre folks. She began competing in triathlons about a year ago, and has taken to it quite seriously! She finished fifth in her age group at the 2005 Chicago Triathlon, and second overall at the 2006 Elkhart Triathlon. Here are some photos and videos of her at the 2006 Napa Valley Triathlon, where she finished second in her age group. Way to go, Kim!!

Posted by Dan 06/15/2006

Cambodia to Malaysia, Via Thailand

Well, I was gonna write all about the rest of Laos and Cambodia but I've fallen dreadfully behind so let's take up from our reentry into Thailand.

This time through Thailand began with a 24 hour trip from Siem Reap, in Cambodia, all the way to Krabi, with a brief stopover in Bangkok long enough to arrange the next leg. Krabi is well known for its world class climbing. The small beaches in Krabi are isolated from the mainland by towering Limestone cliffs.

Rock climbers paradise

The main beaches are Aow Nang, the busy primary stop accessible from the mainland, Railey East and Railey West, two beaches on the peninsula and accessible by boat, and Ton Sai, a tiny cove that can be accessed by boat or from Railey at low tide. Aow Nang is used as a jumping off point for the islands in the area or to catch boats to the other beaches. Railey's beaches have excellent climbing but are dominated by expensive family resorts and the families that go with them. Ton Sai is wonderfully removed from the resort beaches and far cheaper. The result: Ton Sai abounds with rock climbers from around the world; it is to rock climbing what Koh Tao is to diving.

The first day we were able to rent gear and enjoy some of Krabi's epic climbing at Ton Sai, a short walk from our bungalow. By the end of the day we could feel the effects through our unconditioned arms and opted to make the next day a day of rest.

Posted by nik 12/03/2008, revised 02/06/2009

Mi primer fin de semana en Ecuador

This grand experience of mine is off to a good start.
This past weekend, I was invited to go on a trip with a group of Ecuadorians (and one German) to camp on the rim of a volcanic crater lake a few hours from Quito. So jumping in with both feet, off I went to spend a weekend hiking a great ridge trail around an incredibly blue, beautiful lake, and essentially completely immersing myself in the Spanish language.

This is the lake, high in the Andes under the beautiful sun! Our camping spot was at the highest point on the ridge, at the left of the photo.

I came to this country with barely a handful of Spanish to my name, but it's about time I learn to speak in a language other than English! The entire weekend was an opportunity for me to listen listen listen. I don't know enough yet to be able to follow what was being thrown back and forth in the fast-paced, slang-heavy conversations, but nevertheless, it was great to be surrounded by Spanish for two straight days. Most of the people in the group knew some English, so when it was necessary to communicate with one another, it was possible. But for the most part, I was a silent observer, asking "Como se dice ___?" and "Que significa ___?" in the times that I would break into conversation and attempt to practice speaking en espanol.

Posted by Whitney 01/18/2011, revised 01/18/2011