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aloha! in case you were wondering, ohana means family. our ohana is made up of david, kim, april, rain, and kona the dog. welcome to our blog! we are san diego wedding photographers, but we put everything in here. san diego weddings, orange county weddings, hawaii weddings, destination weddings, road trips, and even friends with beach balls. come on in and share a little aloha. please leave comments as often as possible. we love hearing from our extended ohana. mahalo for stopping by!
if you'd like to contact us, here are all the deets:
our website:
cell: 858-663-3283

Friday, December 28, 2007

Disneyland Christmas / Year of a Million Dreams

when i was a kid my mom and dad would load up the ol' family truckster about once a year and head up to Disneyland. never did we go during christmas. sure, Disneyland in summer was nice and all but (fast forward to adulthood) man was i gettin' jipped! little did i know back then that disneyland busts out all the best decorations & shows for the holiday season. now that i am older, somewhat wiser, and have an ohana of my own we have made it a family tradition to go every year in december (as well as any other time we can get up there). if you're not going to Disneyland during the holidays you are missing out on the (albeit tiny) bonus for the millions of dollars you spend just to get in the park. kim will tell you, i am all about getting my nickles worth. when we go to Disneyland we get there when the gates open and don't leave until the Disney po po's boot us out at about 1:15am.
without further delay, here's some stuff we shot on our trip last week.

this Year of a Million Dreams promotion is awesome. on a previous trip we all won "dream fast passes" that let us park hop back and forth all day between Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure (very cool if you're not from California, but only marginally cool if you're from here) and it got us past all the crazy lines on every major ride in both parks. it was sweet. this trip we all won Disney pins "that aren't sold in stores." not quite as sweet as the fast passes, but very nice just the same.

while i was stowing all our extra gear in a locker kim, rain, and noah took a ride down main street u.s.a. in an antique fire truck. we always see all the early 1900's modes of transportation go by while walking down main street but had never gone on one. i still haven't, but at least these 3 can check it off their list.

the driver, not knowing what he was in for, asked noah to ring the bell to alert people walking in front of the firetruck that the truck was coming. noah, being wise beyond his years, knew that with great power comes great responsibility, so he rang the bell as loud as he could for the entire length of main street.

at the end of the trip the driver had maintained his perfect safety record and the kids were... well... um... ok i guess.

the driver rewarded the kids for their hard work with some cool stickers.
(note to self. kids will work for stickers.)

after joining back up with everyone we headed over to my nemesis...
the tea cups.
when i was just a wee lad i had an uncle that spun me in one of these so fast that my head, literally, flew off. ever since the successful retrieval and re-attaching of my noggin i had never gone on the tea cups again until this trip. this time, there would be no evil uncle. the cup still turned, but not nearly at the break-neck speed i recalled from my youth. while still being FAR from my favorite ride, i can now say that i have confronted my foe and walked away (slightly dizzy) to ride another day.

now this is more like it. Pirates of the Caribbean has always been my favorite ride.

the Indiana Jones Adventure is also an awesome ride. if you haven't been on it (for reasons other than health and/or those recommended by Disney safety officials) you should brave the lines and check it out. when you do finally get into the temple, whatever you do, don't look into the eye!

the one drawback to going during the holiday season is there are a few billion other people that like it there too. more on that later.
ever vigilant with my canon, i snagged this shot of the girls waiting in line behind me. (that's kim's arm between rain and april btw).

now we've reached one of the coolest things in Disneyland during the holidays. the Disneyland website says Jack Skellington and his friends from "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" give the Haunted Mansion an ex-SCREAM makeover! love that Disney humor.
anywho, they convert the whole place and it really is worth the price of admission to see.

don't forget to look up once you get in.

we had a couple tasty hitch-hikers in our "buggy"

are you feelin' the love? how 'bout now?

here's april with her new boyfriend. aren't they a cute couple?

Disneyland is awesome after dark. i love all the lights and colors.

beware the dark side.

our absolute favorite part of being at Disneyland at Christmas time is the special firworks display followed by a lite southern california snow fall. unfortunately, conditions were not right for the fireworks but they did let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

here's the billions of people i mentioned earlier.

you know the song. don't act like you don't. now it's going to be stuck in your head all day. :)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is always a good stop after dark. according to rain, it's extra scary at night.

Fantasmic is a really cool show at night on the Rivers of America. they use "screens" of water to project Mickey's dreams during the show. there are fireworks, disney characters, a fire-breathing dragon, and lots of other cool stuff.
get there early. it's always packed.

after about 96 years waiting we finally got on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. i was super bummed when they stopped the old submarine ride years ago and was stoked to see them come back. the lines are longer than ever, but it was nice to see Disneyland's newest old attraction.

this is why we like to close the place down. it's so cool being on main street u.s.a. with only a few other people. i love feeling the cold air on my face, seeing all the lights, trying to find a few last minute gifts for friends and family...

smelling the fresh pine scent of the giant Disneyland Christmas tree (yes it's real)...

and the best of all...
having the castle all to ourselves.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do they know it's Christmas?

this is still one of our favorite Christmas songs.
click here to tell us what your favorite Christmas song is?

sweet bonus track alert!!!
our good friends ashley and jeremy parsons were so inspired by this post that they sent us this beautiful Christmas ballad. we simply had to share it with everyone. just so you know, it's starts a little slow but it keeps getting better and better. it peaks near the end in one of the most incredible vocal performances i have ever heard. it will have you in tears. honest. make sure you listen to the whole song.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Letters to Santa

as is our ohana tradition this time of year, rain and april sat down, pencil in hand, and wrote their wish list for santa. of course we know the true meaning of christmas has little to do with santa, but we believe the spirit of christmas has a lot to do with him. we are happy to say that we all still believe in santa and the good things he represents. Christmas is our favorite time of the year (summer is a very close 2nd).

without any further delay, here's rain's wish list. apparently santa's loaded. money is clearly no object in the clause household. whose kid is this? an iMac? nate, have you been talking to rain? if she gets all this stuff i'm asking for my own private island (with helicopter).
all i want is what's coming to me. all i want is my fair share. :)

april's list is somewhat more grounded.

here's our little tree that we bought earlier this month. notice the sweet decorating job that rain and april did.

this next shot shows our favorite ornaments. can you guess whose is whose?

here's some more of our favorites. we don't really do the traditional glass ball and tinsel look. one of the things we love to do every year is pick up a new hallmark ornament (or four).

this last one below is actually tied for my favorite. it makes me smile every time i see it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Kami, Mike, & Kelen at the Balboa Park Pepper Grove

lately we've been like kids sitting at the window staring through the rain drizzled glass waiting for the storm to break so we could go outside. the sun finally peeked out from behind the clouds and gave us an open invite to come out and play, so kami, mike, and kelen joined us at the Balboa Park Pepper Grove, aka the Balboa Park Playground, for a fun little session with their ohana.

kami was feeling like a kid again as soon as she hit the playground.

kelen hit the ground running, but i was able to contain him just long enough to get a couple shots in.

kami and mike were a little easier to contain. :)

kelen climbed up to the clouds. he was just a ball of energy and so fun to chase around.

kelen was caged in, but only for a moment.

mike and i got a front row seat to catch kami and kelen doing a little spiral sliding. soooo fun.

with a little sugar from mama, kelen was ready to hit the slide all on his own.

again and again and again. i'm not sure if he just really liked that slide, or if he just loved cheesing in front of the camera.

either way, he had a sweet view of the Balboa Bell Tower.

we were lucky enough to pull everyone away from the playground long enough to utilize some of the magnificent color and architecture that Balboa Park is famous for.

with everbody starving, we decided to fly on out of there, but not before one last shot. :) thank you kami, mike, and kelen for running around with us and being so easy to work with. we need to get out to playgrounds more often. take care. Merry Christmas!