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Our Summer Vacation – Boy Paradise – and Trapped By Skunks

August 25, 2013 | By | 3 Comments

We just got back from a most wonderful family vacation. Vacations are so much more fun when everybody is old enough to walk and talk!

Our boys were in Boy Paradise. They got to spend day after day on the beach, hanging with their best friends, riding waves, digging sand castles, catching crabs and sand crabs, running through the woods, riding bikes, building big fires, telling ghost stories, jokes and riddles, being with family, and (unconfirmed) maybe even sipping an adult beverage or two. Except for mommy, no one got an allergic reaction to poison oak, even though it was everywhere. We got to see skunks and raccoons and foxes very up close and personal.

Here’s me and my favorite people in the whole world, our first night on the coast, in our secret location, a place so awesome that it shall remain nameless :-). If you want to guess where, though, think beach, forest, perfect temperature, breeze, no mosquitoes, seclusion, easy access to all services, Spanish and English spoken widely.

TRAPPED BY SKUNKS. I learned that raccoons are afraid of skunks (or at least I think they are!) I say this because one night, when nature called at 2:00 am, I found myself trapped in my tent by two skunks. Just three feet away from our tent, nibbling on cookies (oops! we didn’t button up camp so good that one night) I tried to shoo them by shining a light on them. Light didn’t faze them a bit – Skunk don’t care. I then figured my giant body lumbering out of the tent would scare them once I unzipped the tent door. Oops again – that only caused them to call my bluff – when they raised their tails and turned their business end directly at our tent. If I’d tried to throw a shoe or something I’m pretty sure they’d have skunked all six of us, ending our night of sleep and possibly ending our whole trip early.

How did I make the skunks go away without getting sprayed?!?! The answer is below.

Did I say Boy Paradise?! Girl, too. This is the Fogarty Family, the McLaughlin kids, and their cousins, too. The boys had so much fun they actually *thanked* us for making it happen. No problemo hijos!!

A rare Fogarty Family photo with Daddy in the picture 🙂

Another rare Fogarty Family photo with Daddy in the picture 🙂My sexy wife back from leading a teeth-brushing expedition.What’s so fascinating that it can stop a boy gang in their tracks on the way to the beach? (A fearless bird has their attention).The trek to the beach continues.SPF 40 sprayed on cold. Yikes! In my day it lathered from a tube.Our pretty cousin / niece Nani gathering avocados from the farm.Our handsome little cousin / nephew Tonsin helping gather aguacates.Taller than his mommy at 13 years old. He’s gonna be a big one!A very rare photo of me and my baby alone.The WAVE.Can I have my morning hot chocolate before you put that lens in my face, dad?First waves!Did I say Boy Paradise?!My little tribe.Another rare photo of the Fogarty family with daddy in the picture.

Did I say I’d reveal how I shoo’d away two skunks who had us trapped in our tent? Why yes I did!

Well, while lying in my tent @ 2:00am, I Googled “what eats skunks?” Turns out that dogs & coyotes & foxes eat skunks but only when desperate, because they usually get sprayed. However, OWLS can’t smell! So, I found an Owl Soundboard up on Google Play, downloaded it (excellent 4G coverage in our secret location), and played the haunting beautiful Barn Owl hoot from within our 6-person tent. My wife woke up and thought the sound from my Android was coming from 20 or 30 feet away. I got up, shined my light and the skunks were gone! But, a couple of raccoons had taken their place! I guess raccoons are afraid of being sprayed by skunks, too, and swooped in as soon as the skunks fled.

So, back to Google with the search “what eats raccoons?” Back up to Google Play to download a Cougar soundboard 🙂 A couple minutes of cougar growls and the campsite was clear! Yay!

I did my bidness, put away any food and stuff lying around, and got a great night’s sleep.

Best vacation in a long time!

Mexican soda is awesomer than American soda.Hecho en Mexico. Glass bottles. Cane sugar.Andrew with hints of his daddy’s beard?Yes, I am up to trouble.Peak boy moment.Three Amigos.Nuestro cunada, hosting us at the secret location. Thanks Yenelli!My brother-in-law with his little popito T-man!Mini reunion with concuna Shay.Eric & Yenelli micro reunion.Super quickie family portrait.El Cute One T-Man!My posse.JJ gets along with everybody.Girls don’t like guns, I’m told.Mason is great with his little primos.Deep into a complex boy game.Buddies.Luke insisted on the chair. He’s a man of leisure.Brothers.Crab hunting.


Nora and Shannel @ TPC Las Vegas

August 8, 2013 | By | No Comments

Going through photos, I found this oldee but goodee -Nora and Shannel. I never blogged this! and I just love these photos from their May 2010 wedding out at TPC Las Vegas. Enjoy!



Family Portraits at the Wedding? Yes!

August 2, 2013 | By | No Comments

When your photographer brings studio-quality lighting to your wedding, it’s actually a really good opportunity to get all kinds of family portraits, the kind and quality you’ll be proud to hand on your walls. Check out these gorgeous family portraits, full of feelings, filled with beautiful subdued professional lighting.

4th of July Family Portraits – StreetStyle

July 8, 2013 | By | No Comments

I love these casual yet professionally lighted portraits of my family & friends enjoying this past 4th of July. I love how they’re informal, yet gorgeous. I wish some creative family would hire me to take photos like these of their next gathering. I promise they’ll become more precious with every passing day, to the point of becoming priceless. 🙂

For the tech geeks, it’s kinda cool that all of these shots are hand-held at between 0.6 seconds and 1.2 seconds, which is an eternity in camera terms. The Speedlite IS the shutter.


Water Wars in Las Vegas – How Do You Stand the Heat? Here’s How.

June 28, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

It’s 112º in Vegas as I write this. Folks sometimes ask us, how can you stand the heat? Aside from the fact that the weather is perfect 9 months of the year, we also have pools everywhere. Friends have pools. Community pools & “splash parks” are everywhere. These shots are from a Memorial Day BBQ at our friend’s Rob & Saiko. We had a blast. And our kids LOVED IT. Thanks Saiko & Rob!

Our little boobaloo Lucas. Getting him to wear a life vest takes every trick I know as a parent of 4 boys. He’s even more STUBBORN than he is cute.

The girls holding their own.Cash Dylan in his element.Best buddies, Luke and Cash Dylan, big entrance.Our oldest boy Mason, already 13.Brothers Mason and Andrew.Only 13, already taller than his mom.Walking on water. That’s a pretty special kid you got there Rob & Saiko!Mexican standoff unleashed.