Blog Archives

Remembering Holidays in Paradise

stray dog in Hawaii

A wayward dog in paradise.

Believe it or not, my favorite holiday memories have nothing to do with dogs.

In fact, these moments occurred in a tropical paradise where visiting dogs are required to undergo a lengthy quarantine before they are free to run on the beach with their people.

My favorite holiday memories happened during my childhood, in Hawaii. My family was incredibly lucky that my mother worked as a travel agent. She could lock in on good deals early and take advantage of some professional discounts so that we could hop a plane to heaven at least once a year.

Often, this escape coincided with Thanksgiving or Christmas and New Year’s. Because I didn’t grow up in a house with brothers or sisters, several times I was permitted to invite a friend or my cousin along for the beachcombing, hiking and “hanging loose.”

The vibe in my family wasn’t perfect in those days long before my parents’ divorce. But I will always cherish those family vacations as some of the happiest moments – and the most mele kalikimakas – of my childhood.

Who could have a bad time in a place like this, anyway?


Maui, 2008

The pictures above come from a more recent trip, when I was the guest of my best friend Kenton‘s family on an excursion to Maui. Somewhere, there is a little tape full of video footage of that vacation, too, which includes the first time I ever saw whales in Hawaii.

Spread between my parents’ homes are also boxes and boxes of photographs from those earlier trips, plus clunky VHS tapes of preteen me shakin’ my thang in a grass skirt at a luau and, I’m pretty sure, clips of my oldest bestie Stacy and me on stage at a concert by the world’s youngest Elvis impersonator (aka the young Bruno Mars).

Having all of my Hawaiian memory footage collected in one place sure would be nice.

Fortunately, technology is making that easier.


This post is sponsored by YesVideo, a service that specializes in transferring photos, videos and almost any type of media, including VHS, to DVD.


Once you have everything together that you want YesVideo to transfer, you can either mail it straight to the company or drop your media off at four major retailers, including the photo counter at Sam’s Club.

Sadly, the deadline has passed to receive a DVD by Christmas this year, but this kind of commemorative gift would be ideal for any family holiday or birthday.

To learn more about YesVideo, check out these links:

YesVideo website

@yesvideo on Twitter

YesVideo on Facebook


What’s your favorite holiday memory that you’d like to preserve on video?

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Mele Kalikimaka for the dogs


Although I didn’t go all out buying a bunch of Christmas presents for the pups this year, I did pick up a special treat for them that I had been eyeing for months.

I am obsessed with all things Hawaiian, so I have been looking for a reason to buy Tiki Dog canned food since I noticed Brookside Barkery had begun stocking it. I sprung for a few cans of Tiki Cat back when Luxor still lived with us and was very sick. But I could never justify adding canned food to the dogs’ diet. Grain-free Innova and Evo dry kibble is already a budgetary stretch given the size of our pack. (Oh, Charlie Machete‘s forever family, where are you?)

However, on Christmas Eve, as I was picking out an assortment of locally made baked treats for the dogs, I noticed that several cans of Tiki Dog were on clearance, marked down to $1 each because they expire in January. Finally, I had a reason to spring for the fancy food — doggie Christmas dinner!

Dinner turned out to be dinners. So as not to upset anyone’s stomach through the introduction of new food, we’ve been splitting each of the two cans I bought between all four dogs over the past few days, mixed with the kibble. Just like the cat, the canines seem uber-pleased by the moist, whole food.

Tiki products do not consist of meat-like mush but rather actual chunks of fish, poultry, eggs and vegetables. In fact, the food looks and smells appetizing enough that I would even taste it if I weren’t a fairly strict vegetarian. (Dog food just doesn’t seem like a good enough reason to cheat.)

I wish I could afford to incorporate wet food into the dogs’ diet full-time, but right now that just doesn’t make sense for us. We try to vary their diets by giving them appropriate garden and table scraps. Someday, I would like to do more home cooking for the dogs, but lately we haven’t had time for that. I would also like to find high-quality dog food — wet or dry — that doesn’t have to be shipped from several states away.

So far, I haven’t had much luck digging up locally-made edibles for dogs other than treats.

Do you know of grain-free, organic and/or natural dog food — that’s local to your area or mine?

%d bloggers like this: