The Great Aloha Run, a Jurassic Return, and an Onyx Panther

Earlier this year I traveled with my mother to Hawaii as part of a (very long overdue) planned vacation for the two of us. We had a great time doing new things and revisiting locations we'd last toured some ten-plus years ago!

Custom Great Aloha Run 2014 T-Shirt - Completed on February 6th, 2014

Custom Great Aloha Run 2014 T-Shirt - Completed on February 6th, 2014

Some time ago, I'd plotted and schemed to make a set of custom t-shirts as a sort of surprise/Birthday present for my mother, who had been training to take part in the 2014 Great Aloha Run. While life got busy and I ended up working on the design much, much closer to the deadline than I would have liked, I'm still somewhat pleased with how it turned out, all things considered. Originally, I'd aimed to do it totally in greyscale, but at the last few hours before the printing deadline, I felt compelled to add in just a bit of color to help make it pop. The tigers were meant to represent my mother and I, and I added the hibiscus alongside the ears of the tigresses to help make them just a "bit" anthro.

Special thanks to

Cynthia Reep

for helping me out with the vectors for the islands at the last minute!

It was awesome completing the 8.15 run/walk alongside my mother, and it meant a lot to me that to help show support, my uncle and one of my dear friends had their t-shirts at the ready as well! I’m still not in quite the shape I want to be in, but I’m hoping that I can continue to pursue an even healthier lifestyle in earnest. The "Finishers" medal I received for the 2014 Great Aloha Run may not be even close to 1st, but it means a lot to me that my mom and I both completed the run!

One of my dear friends sent my mom and I flowers for the occasion as well!

A Jurassic Return

As part of our adventure to Oahu and Maui back in February of this year, I had the opportunity to revisit the location of my favorite photo of myself for a follow-up 10+ years later! The location was one of the sites for the original Jurassic Park, and I always thought it really captured "me" embracing life for all it was worth.

You can find out more about the Kualoa Ranch

here

. Thank you,

Cynthia Reep

for the remote Photoshop montage, and to my mother for such a wonderful adventure then and now!

An Onyx Panther

During our adventures I also took quite a few photos of the truly gorgeous scenery, and some of these images included a small clay onyx panther that was once my forum avatar when I was a Community Manager for World of Warcraft. She’s gone on quite a few adventures over the last two and a half years, and I had a blast sharing photos of her while I was in Hawaii earlier this year.

While on vacation, I actually got quite a bit of writing and brainstorming done as well, and I’m absolutely chomping at the bit to let some of the ideas percolate so that I can act on them, and hopefully share some new short stories from the world of my original stories!

While I did a bit of sketching and a boatload of brainstorming while in Hawaii, I didn’t do much in the way of formal “art” pieces, but I did snag some feather-light, air-drying children’s clay for the fun of it one night. While the gryphon and jackalope aren't much to look at (and the stickiness and general lack-of-detail possible with the material was certainly working against me), they were a fun experiment!

On the whole, the trip was quite relaxing and after a few days of "vacation time" sinking in, I felt able to disconnect from incessantly checking my work email and just... relax. It was a wonderfully freeing experience, and I can only hope that future vacations can be just as peaceful.

Have you had a chance to take a vacation recently, or even a day trip to just relax? What do

you

do to disconnect from it all?