Friday




























Saturday

Koh Samui, Thailand (second batch)





We are now on Koh Samui and have been here for a couple days. Samui is an island on the west side of southern Thailand and is absolutely stunning. Although it is a bit touristy on the upper west side in ways that I have not seen anywhere else in the world, it remains relatively calm and non-developed elsewhere on the island. Rie and I went to get Thai massages yesterday, which was a massage experience unlike anything I have ever had. It was only $10 for an hour of very good massage. We were in heaven. Drove around the island on a scooter yesterday and visited some beaches. Got abolutely torched by the sun. We hiked out about a mile across the low tide flats and by the time we got out there we were as red as a lobsters, well I was anyway, Rie was smart enough to wear sunscrean. This put us into survival mode and we headed back to the shade of the shore as quickly as possible. Great place though and I highly recommend visiting if any of you get the chance. I am already dreaming of returning soon, would love to visit Koh Toa, which is supposed to be even less developed.

Pictures from Chiang Mai (first batch)






This is the first batch of photos from Thailand. I have been trying to get on my Blog but it is like driving with a blindfold. Everything is in Thai on the internet and so I can't read anything and have to try and load these without really knowing what I am doing. Thailand has been amazing. We spent the first few days in Chaing Mai which is is the northern part of Thailand and though it's a busy little city (2nd largest in Thailand) it has the feel of a small city. The people are just amazingly friendly and will invite you into their home for dinner. Rie and I hiked up the Doi Suthep mountain, which was the hardest hike I have ever experienced for such a short hike. In total, it was only 4 miles or so long but steep and slippery is an understatement. The Kaualau Trail in Hawaii doesn't even come close. The jungle is so dense here that you get the impression that if you were to stay in one place too long you would be over run by plants and fungai. Apparently there was a 5.something earthquake while Rie and I hiked but we didn't even feel it. I have more photos and will post them soon now that I know how to do this. sawadeekap, from Thailand, Eddy

Graduation BBQ







Above are some scenes from the graduation BBQ. What an amazing day this was, to share such a special occassion with those closest in our lives comes too rarely it seems. I want to say thanks to those that attended. For those that didn't make it, you were missed and were in our thoughts: Jack & Pam, Aunt Deorlene, Aunt Marsha and all, Rie, Ted, Amy and Rianne, Clint, Liz, Zander and his baby sister, Michelle and James...Wow, this list could go on indefinately. **Click on the group photo to enlarge.



Sunday

Is it moving? No, it's just the memory imbedded in your eyes!

A woman looks at an optical illusion at the Optikpark in Rathenow, Germany. Photo: Michael Urban

Kauai, Hawaii (August 2006)



















Last August I had the pleasure of going to Kauai, which is one of the more undeveloped Hawaiian Islands. It boasts as being the wettest place on earth, receiving 180 inches of rain annually on the peaks of its mountains. The second day of our trip we hiked the Kaualua Trail up to the waterfalls, an 8 mile hike that is almost impossible to complete during the wet season. Fortunately, August is the dry season so we were blessed with warm temps and very little rain (but when it did rain, wow!, unlike anything I have ever seen). We stopped at Hanakapiai Beach which has claimed more lives than any other Hawaiian Beach (see photo of sign, this isn't a joke). I can see how people could die hear. The beach is narrow, maybe 100 meters, and has a very steep shoreline with steep cliffs on either side. I can almost picture an innocent tourist standing on the edge of the beach as a rogue wave comes crashing in on the fun and sweeps the unsuspecting tourist into the sea. Once in the ocean the rip currents move quickly because of the steepness of the shore and a person would be quickly dragged parallel to the beach until they reached the cliffs, at which point they would no longer be able to climb to safety and would eventually drown. What a hellish way to go out. Anyway, Kauai is a magical place. We snorkeled with green sea turtles who would come within inches of my face at times. Ate some very strange fruit that was impossible to chew, much like bubble gum, it never quite broke down. Mixed with some of the local surfers who demanded that I give them my savored "electricity" shirt in exchange for one of their hand painted t-shirts, which apparently gave entry into their coveted circle of rough edged surfers. Kauai was a trip I'll not forget soon.
Note: click on images to enlarge, it's worth it!