“Do You Have Your Vouchers?” (Angel Falls – November 18, 2007 to November 23, 2007)

It wasn’t long after when the small plane’s engine sputtered and then stopped. The plane then started to descend. Everyone in the plane except the pilot looked around wondering if this was it…

“La Catarata Loca” (Iguazu Falls – August 30, 2007 to September 3, 2007)

Screams were heard all around us as if we were in some rollercoaster ride. The Kiwi guy sitting behind me kept yelling to no one in particular, “To the extreme!”

“Á Leiðinni Heim” (Thjorsadalur and Southwestern Iceland – July 8, 2007 to July 9, 2007)

Julie and I thought he wanted to talk to us because he might have been the parking enforcement guy. After some futile attempts at communication beyond a sentence or two, I eventually asked…

“Mired in the Sights of the South” (Southern Iceland – June 5, 2007 to June 7, 2007)

I was determined to try to see the falls past the short narrow slot canyon with boulders wedged above. So I took off my socks, wore my chacos, and started wading…

“Jökuls and Sandurs” (Southern Iceland – June 2, 2007 to June 4, 2007)

By this time, passengers from both buses were watching like paying spectators. Our driver tried to help the other driver, who was a strikingly-dressed Madonna-lookalike female driver…

“Surprises Out East” (Egilsstadir, Seydisfjordur, and Eastern Iceland – June 30, 2007 to July 1, 2007)

…we went inside and checked out the displays. A guy eventually came out to us and guilted us into paying for museum admission, which we weren’t aware of until I noticed a sign…

“The Grand Canyon of the North” (Akureyri and Northern Iceland – June 27, 2007 to June 29, 2007)

In one stretch of road at Mývatn, we heard things hitting the windshield as if there was a gravel rain or something. It turned out that we had driven through a cloud of midges!

“Into The West” (Snaefellsnes and the Westfjords, Iceland – June 23, 2007 to June 26, 2007)

The receptionist was named Claus and he was an interesting guy in that he was German and it seemed that he was in the middle of learning Icelandic. Claus sensed that I was also…

“Three Days at the Smoking Bay” (Reykjavik and the Golden Circle, Iceland – June 20, 2007 to June 22, 2007)

…we walked around the center of town aimlessly looking for places to eat for dinner. We had to look long and hard because we struggled with sticker shock as every place offering…

“Picking Waterfalls at the Finger Lakes” (Upstate New York – June 15, 2007 to June 18, 2007)

I felt strange carrying around a tripod and DSLR camera in hiking clothes in the urban jungle, but my mind left this awkwardness when we saw the impressive…

“Niagara Falls Every Which Way” (Niagara Falls – June 13, 2007 to June 14, 2007)

As the boat pulled away from the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, I suddenly felt something warm hit me in the face. It didn’t take long to figure out what had just happened…

“Go Waipi’o!” (Waipi’o Valley, Big Island – March 11, 2007)

The pounding waves to the left were always threatening to pluck me from the coastal rocks and out into sea. And at the same time, the rugged cliffs that produced these coastal rocks also…

“Madame Pele’s Afterglow” (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – March 10, 2007)

So we were faced with the decision of whether to do the difficult trek right up to the lava flow or returning to the car wondering what if. It was now 5:30pm and the daylight was fading fast…

“Unfinished Business on O’ahu” (Honolulu and La’ie – March 7, 2007 to March 8, 2007)

The relentless climb up the trail seemed like it was never ending. I was starting to get worried that I might not find the waterfall as it had started to reach the two-hour point…

“A BLUE Hawaiian Helicopter Experience” (West Maui – February 25, 2007 to February 26, 2007)

Trying to kill time for the next flight I saw a picture book about the Big Island, which was the last major Hawaiian Island we had yet to visit. While I was busy flipping through the pages…

“Almost on the Wrong End of a Flash Flood” (Hana Highway – February 24, 2007)

This time however, the submerged rocks weren’t visible. I thought this was kind of strange and it immediately became apparent to me that the wide stream had risen…

“Raging Waters in East Maui” (Hana Highway – February 23, 2007)

Having been to the ‘Ohe’o Gulch (or the so-called Seven Sacred Pools) nearly four years ago, it was strange seeing the churning, brownish raging whitewater…

“Surprise Down the Pipeline” (Oahu, Hawaii – January 20, 2007 to January 22, 2007)

a black SUV passed by us as I was looking down to make sure no sand had gotten into the camera bag. Apparently Julie was paying attention because she immediately said, “Honey, that was Cameron Diaz!”

“A’ole La’au” (Molokai – January 19, 2007)

We returned to the car and headed back to the town of Kaunakakai. While we were there, we picked up some smoothies and pastries before filling up on…

“As Different As Night And Day” (Waimea, Kauai – December 27, 2006 to December 28, 2006)

I was already appreciating this pilot and the experience here was as different as night and day. This just reaffirmed my hunch that it’s the helicopter pilot that makes all the difference in the…