Manny's Blog

a blog for kids and kids at heart


Eyeing the Needle by Mrs. Eternal Traveler

Note from Me:  I loved this trip. Mom and Dad finally brought be on a trip, AND I got to spend time with my friends Mr. and Mrs. ET, and my really good friend, Justin Beaver. I’m posting this because I couldn’t have done a better job of describing this wonderful location myself.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.


Holiday in Hawaii #7

The rugged West Maui Mountains form a dramatic backdrop to the never-ending beaches and tropical gardens of Maui.


To get a closer view of the grandeur of the mountains, we venture inland to ʻIao Valley State Park, where ʻIao Stream has carved a deep valley between the densely forested slopes.

Most people come to the park to see Kuka‘emoku, a volcanic ridge which ends in a sharp bluff rising 370 metres from the valley floor. Also known as ʻIao Needle, this volcanic formation, sacred to Hawaiians, is best viewed from a lookout at the end of a 300 metre walking track.

We begin our ascent to the lookout up a staircase cut into the mountainside before crossing ʻIao Stream. Icy water tumbles down the steep slope over large volcanic boulders and, although there are signs warning of the dangers of flash floods, daring swimmers try their luck.




We continue upwards, stopping along the way to read about the historic Battle of Kepaniwai, which took place here in 1790 when the invading forces of King Kamehameha I defeated the army of Maui.

ʻIao Needle and the surrounding mountain peaks are often enveloped by cloud; ʻIao means “cloud supreme” in Hawaiian. Today is no exception; when we reach the lookout the needle is clear while the mountains are obscured. But as we admire the scenery the cloud lifts, and we have a perfect view of the needle and the mountains set against the deepening blue of the afternoon sky.



On our return journey, a detour off the main path leads us on a circuit into the rainforest, along the bank of ʻIao stream and up the side of the mountain again. Looking down we spot the bright orange flowers of African Tulip Trees high in the canopy.



Another detour takes us further down the valley to the Ethnobotanical Garden, featuring plants brought by the native Hawaiians when they first settled these islands. Just as they would have been 1700 years ago, banana trees and taro plants are watered by ʻIao Stream.


It’s the heart of the valley, giving life and creating the spectacular scenery we’ve enjoyed on our walk today.


ʻIao Valley State Park is open daily. Entry costs $1 for walk-ins and $5 per car. There is no fee for Hawaiian residents.


Acrobatics On Land and Sea

Normally I would never jump off an eight story building. This beaver named Justin Beaver is one of my best friends, but sometimes… Justin Beaver always manages to get me in trouble. He reminds me of Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver. Remember that show? Eddie always acted so innocent and the kid, Beaver, got in trouble. Mom and I like to watch old TV shows together. Of course, in this case, I AM always innocent. Justin looks so smart in his hat, and he’s always spouting off about learning how to do all kinds of jobs. Who wants to work? Especially when we’re on vacation in Maui Hawaii. Yep, even in Maui Justin insisted that we learn how to drive a whale watching cruise ship, but that’s another story.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

For me, Manny, I like to have fun. I hope I never have to grow up and work like Justin.



Our hotel is an old flamingo-pink Empress Hotel, built in the 1960s. It was one of the first hotels on this side, the west side, of the island of Maui. KBC stands for Ka’anapali Beach Club. Ka’anapali means rolling cliffs. I love cliffs. Back in the old days they used to run water down the front of the hotel.



One of my favorite things about KBC is riding to our room in the glass elevator. I can see the little birds that fly into the restaurant down there.  It’s cool. All the doors open out to the beach. I’m just waiting for the day when a whale swims into KBC. Is that girl checking her cell phone while she’s walking? Hawaii 2016 KBC20 2448x3264

Trust me, you don’t want to do that in this hotel. You might walk right into a bird or a statue, Oprah Winfrey, Woody Harrelson, Jim Neighbors, or one of the other famous person that lives here. Worse yet, she might walk off the bridge into a stream of koi. Dad fell into the pool once and wrecked his iPhone. He said Mom pushed him, but she says she didn’t. I don’t know, but Dad WAS NOT happy.

Hawaii 2016 KBC21 2448x3264

Justin got dizzy the higher we got. Dad offered him a Dramamine, but Mr. ET had a better idea. Don’t get the wrong idea. Bears and beavers who are 12 are almost adults.

Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny 6 2048x1536

This bottle kind of tipped over, and a bear’s gotta do what a bear’s gotta do. My tongue stuck to the can. Mr. ET forgot and left it in the freezer too long. Mom made me come home. She didn’t know about it until after Mr. ET posted it on Facebook and one of her friends worried her that the animal protection people were coming to get us. She made me lie low for a while and drink a bunch of coffee. Blah! Justin still felt dizzy. Mrs. ET held him on her lap.

Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny8 2157x1618For me hanging from a railing is as easy as sitting down in a chair. I’m twelve now. I know I told you that, but it IS important. Some people still think I look like a cub, but I have some pretty good moves. For years I’ve trained all over the world to be a world-famous acrobat bear.  Yeah, sometimes Justin makes me do things I love to do, too.  So I don’t know why my parents and other adults get so jittery when I start climbing. The railing was only eight stories up, and right on the ocean. At low tide, too.

Hawaii 2016 KBC 22 2448x3264

You can see how calm and beautiful it is – at least somewhere over the rainbow. It almost always rains here in places like Hana or in the mountains. It rained on Mom when she exercised. They can get 300 inches of rain a year. We only get ten inches during a wet year in Woodlake, CA where I live.

Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny 2448x3264

So I climbed up to get a better look. Actually I had a bit more trouble climbing than normal. Mom wasn’t fussed about me climbing, but like I said, I’ve had lots of training. By the way, Mr. and Mrs. ET say really fun things. Mrs. ET is not fussed about POKE Ahi tuna. Mom hates it too.

Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny 3264x2448

But really climbing is so easy a beaver could do it. But you don’t see Justin out here do you. No. I just use my lei as a rope, and up I go.

Woah, it's farther down there than I thought.

Woah, it’s farther down there than I thought.

Easy as… OK that looks a bit far down there. Those little chaise lounges look like they are for Barbie dolls. You have to admit the view is gorgeous. I don’t see any whales. Oh wait, there is one way out there.

Hawaii 2016 V Whalewatching2crt

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a real whale. IMG_5261

There’s two of them. Love is in the air. I wish I was on that boat.

Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny4 3264x2448



Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny 9 2311x1544


I’m Fed Up With Sitting At Home So I Ran Away

I know you adults out there are not going to like this, but I finally did it.

Manny at Hal's

Mom has not taken me anywhere for a long time, but she had some airline points.  So I went on the computer and booked a trip to Cousin Hal’s House.  This race car is so cool.  Hal and Ling entered a Pine Box Derby.  I wanted to ride in the car, but Hal wouldn’t let me.  He’s already getting just like Mom.  They still won third place, but if they’d let me drive, we would have won first place.  Ling is coming over tonight.  Cousin Hal, I call him Grandpa Hal, better let me do stuff….

Manny's friend Ling

Her name is Ling, and she was going to China.  Isn’t she pretty?  Grandpa Hal doesn’t know this yet, but….

Manny in China

Yup, you guessed it.  I’m in a plane.  And we are on our way to Shenzhen and Hong Kong, China.  Danny, ole’ friend, I’m sorry I didn’t wait for you, but you gotta jump at opportunities when they’re opened up to you.  And Ling’s purse was open, so…..

I love you everyone!  See you in China!  🙂  Love, Manny  🙂


Summer Vacation Games

If it wasn’t for grandpas, I think summer vacations would be boring.  Grandpa Hal takes time to play games with me.  Did you know that in England the game of Checkers is called Draughts?  Boys like me started playing Draughts way back in the 1100s in France.  Just like then we call the big round pieces “men”  The darkest color gets to go first.  Darn, Grandpa Hal got to go before me.

Hal and Manny checkers 2rht

I love Grandpas because they make me think.  Grandpa Hal is really smart.  He would not let me beat him, but his man was on top of mine, so I told him, “I won!”  He was not happy with me.  In 1532 someone added the rule that if your man CAN jump, he MUST jump.  That’s not fair because then the opponent sometimes can do a double or triple jump and capture lots of your men.

Hal and Manny checkers1rt

Grandpas make Mom pay attention to me, and take my picture.  I don’t mind posing.  Grandpa Hal winked at me.

Manny at CB 1rt

We played Hide-N-Seek.  I hid in the tulips.  They couldn’t find me!  They kept calling and calling for 100 minutes.  I laughed and laughed, then they heard me.

Manny at CB2rt

Summer is for eating.  When Mom and I travel back east we love to go to Cracker Barrel.  Grandpa Hal took Mom and me to Cracker Barrel.  

manny at CB4

If you go to Cracker Barrel, games are everywhere.  I found a friend, Mr. Toucan.  He repeats everything you say.  Mom played with his brother at Grandpa Hal’s house, so she had to buy one.  I hate that we stuffeds are “bought.”  Anyway Mr. Toucan still sits in his box on the floor in my room.  We never play with him now that we are not on vacation.  I’m ready to take another vacation!

Manny at CB3rt

Vacations are fun because even Mom stops to play games with me.  What do you do on vacations.  Write and tell me.  You can even send stories with pictures, if you want!  My friends would love to hear your vacation stories, too.  




Spikin’ Stats

Hi Mom,

Wow, I got a huge spike in my stats today.  I don’t know why.  I wonder if any kids are looking at my website.  Right now I’m having fun in Oklahoma.  Oklahoma looks like a hand with a finger pointing towards California.  You’ll be glad to know I’m doing a bit of community service.  Gardening without getting dirt under my claws was pretty easy.

Manny Gardening

I also had to babysit the cat.  I got wet, and kitty found a huge bug under that rock.  It tried to eat me, but Kitty ate it first.

here Kitty

Comforting the sick is my specialty.  Sadly, Darla’s father-in-law is in the hospital, but I think he liked me visiting him.  Turns out my heart rate is a little low.  I think that means I get a lot of exercise.

visiting the sick

Wind blows hard here in OK.  I saw this horsey toy fly through the air.  When it landed, I thought it would take me for a ride, but when I said, “Giddy up,” it sat there on the ground.  I kicked it, and it stayed right where it landed.  I left my Spanish cowboy hat at home.  I need you to send it.  Maybe it can help me get this horsey off the ground again.

Giddy Up

Everybody can do community service.  It’s easy ’cause it’s fun, and I’ve made lots of new friends.

new friends in ok


Well, I’ll see you later, Mom.


Party Down in Delaware with Manny, a Talking Toucan, and International Students

I slept in after my train trip with Hal.  I can’t wait to be 89 like my mom’s cousin, Hal.  He parties.

Party down0

I couldn’t hear strangers talking.

Anselmo and his wife Vera came from Brazil.  Karen teaches in PA, and Meow lived in China.

Anselmo and his wife Vera came from Brazil. Karen teaches in PA, and Meow lived in China.

After they finished desert, Mom woke me up.

Party down0.5

I climbed on the table.  Mr. Toucan flew over, and landed at my feet.  Silly bird.  He repeated every word everyone said in his high-pitched baby voice.


Suddenly everyone talked at once, including Mr. Toucan, flapping his wings as he talked.  They talked in French.  They talked in Portuguese.  Everyone laughed.  No one noticed me.

party down3

Mr. Toucan’s chicks dropped by, and started dancing on the table.   Meow spoke Chinese to Mr. Toucan.  He repeated every word.  Everyone laughed.  The chicks kept dancing.  No one noticed me.


Weird stuffeds came to the table.  They smelled like they just came out of a box.  Anselmo took my picture with them.  Their mouths moved and made noises.  WOWEEE BLA BLA WHOAWEE!  They sounded excited.  I couldn’t understand their language, but I smiled.  Anselmo and Vera laughed and laughed.  The more they laughed, the more the WOWEEEs WOWEEEd.  I felt like I ate too many hot dogs on the train.

party down6

Christmas dogs bounded to the table, their tongues dripping apple cider.  They knocked over the apple cider as they landed on the table next to Hal.  They sang Christmas carols.  Big deal.  No one noticed me.  No one noticed monkey, either.  He couldn’t talk.  He didn’t move. He listened to the dogs sing.

party down 8

I sat on Monkey’s legs. The dogs sang again.  The room smelled like bananas.  Maybe monkey had banana legs.  Did I bust them open?  The dogs didn’t miss a note as they sniffed the air.

The dogs quit singing.  The banana smell went away.

party down 9

Suddenly someone noticed me.

“Hal?  Am I in trouble?  I didn’t mean to sit on monkey’s legs.”

“it’s ok Manny.  Monkey always smells like that.  His legs are fine.  You seemed sad.  Are you ok?”

“Hal. I can’t do fancy tricks.”

“Manny, everyone has their own special talent.  You blog.  People all over the world love you.  Let’s go get your blog and show people.”

party down7

Suddenly everyone noticed me.  The dining room smelled like honey, the way a dining room should smell.





Hold On To That Train Of Thought, Manny

Manny no sooner finished eating his clam chowder when the whistle blew, and he felt like an earthquake hit.

“Hey, Hal, slow this train down!  I’m getting sick, but I think I can jump down, and make it outside if you just slow down!”

Bumpy ride2

Manny slid off the table in a heap, and crawled to the opening at the end of the caboose.

“I’m outside, Manny.  I’m not driving!” Hal answered

“Who’s driving this thing?  Did we get rear ended?  It’s a little better out here.  At least the air is fresher.”

Bumpy ride

Hal yelled in from outside over the bump, bump, bump of the train thumping down the track.  “Maybe your mother is driving.  She has a lead foot.” Hal said.

“What are these holes in the floor?  I smell smoke, dust, and cows.  Maybe we ran over a cow.  I’ll drive.”

Caboosebear Manny

Manny thought he took control of the situation.  Little did he know what drove the train.

Lead foot

“There is a serious crisis up here at the station, Manny.  You need to get out and hide!” Hal shouted.

Mail Order Manny1

Manny couldn’t imagine what Hal saw that made him shout, but he hopped off before the train stopped and ran over to the Post Office to hide.  Soon he was swept off his feet and onto another train.

Bye bye Manny

“Whee, whee, whee.”  Manny was gone.  But soon the mail sacks opened and workers began sorting the mail.

Fugitive Manny

The workers were busy talking, and soon went off to another area to take a break.  Hal rescued Manny, and they went to find the next train departing.

Conductor Hal

This big machine let out a welcoming burp.  Manny stopped to swing a minute before crawling inside.

Manny on Board2

“This is fun, Hal.  You should try it.”

“Just get inside quickly, Manny.  You never know when your luck will run out!  You may be working on a chain gang, if you don’t get off there.”  Hal threw Manny inside an engine just as the guards walked by.

“You need to move on, Sir.  There’s a dangerous fugitive loose in these parts.”

“I’d better get on my way then.”  Hal answered.

Engineer Manny2

Manny scrambled into the seat next to the engineer.  “What’s this knob?”

“The brake.”

“What do these numbers mean?”

Engineer Manny4



“You ask too many questions, Bear.  You look kind of familiar.  Haven’t I seen your face somewhere?”

Engineer Manny

Manny jumped onto another train as it passed by, and waved good-bye.   “I just got here from California.  I don’t know how you could know my face.  I must look like some other bear you know.”

Manny_Marsha Penn Railroad

Manny, I’ve looked all over for you.  What have you been doing all this time?

Manny Wanted;)

“Nothing, Mom.  Just prowling around with Hal at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.”







Manny on Delaware Duty

A duty is a tour, staying in one place for a period of time.  Mom and I toured Delaware for one week.

Delaware Duty

Did you know Delaware joined the United States before any other state, but they drug their feet signing the Constitution?  I don’t know if that means anything now, but Delawareans must think it does.  All their license plates say “First State” like it’s a big deal.

Historic New Castle

I can’t tell the difference between Delaware and Pennsylvania.  One minute we are in one state, and then there is a sign by the road and we are in a different state.  I’m very confused.  All the towns look pretty and most of them look really old.  This town is New Castle.  I didn’t see any new castles or old ones either, just big brick houses.

ddays tavern3

Hal let me eat at a tavern, but he made me drink coffee and eat soup – no beer.  The soup was too hot, so I blew on it real hard.  I got some pieces on Hal’s sweater, but he wiped them off, and didn’t get mad at me.  He squirted me with a lemon, so we’re even.

Mannys first bite


Inside the tavern the servers looked old – really old, like 300 years old or so.  Mr. Day, the tavern owner, said they brought history to life.  I wonder if someone will pretend to be me when I die.

jessups tavern2

I wanted to go talk to this re-enactor, but  Mom said he was just himself.  He looked like a character to me.  Do you think he was real?

old character

I think it would be hard to ride bicycles here.  Look at this rocky road.  Is that where rocky road ice cream came from?

Newcastle DE1


Mom, Hal, and I had a great time touring New Castle, DE.  The Courthouse is going to become a National Park.  This town looks like Colonial Williamsburg, but Hal doesn’t want it to become famous, so please don’t go visit it.

Mom and Manny

Writing stories when you travel is really easy.  I wish you would send me a story you wrote.  Here is the way I write a story.

Step One –  Look at a picture.  Tell what you think about it.

Step Two – Look at another picture.  Tell what you think about it.

Step Three – Look at what you wrote and see how it starts to become a story or narrative.

Step Four – Go back to the beginning of the page.  Write a topic sentence.

Step Five – Put some more pictures that finish telling the story, and save the rest of the pictures for another story.

Step Six –  Write a conclusion, and then press publish.  The proof reader makes you fix your spelling.  Press publish again.



We’re In Boston

I’m not taking any chances today. There’s so much to do.

Manny's determined

So much to do, and I can’t get Mom out of bed.  She has more trouble adjusting than I do.  If she wouldn’t stay up until 4:00 a.m. blogging and stuff, it might be easier.

Our hotel

We are right on the bay, not as close to everything as Mom thought, but we took a great walk along the Bay.

Flight path

My favorite thing about this bay is that it is right on the flight path.

Manny by the Bay

Tomorrow we are going to JFK Library and then we’re going to meet Eunice, mom’s blogging friend from Nutsfortreatsure.   She has a big dog.  I wonder if I am going to get to ride him.  I hope she puts a picture of me on her blog.  She’s a professional photographer.  I can’t wait!

Manny's doggie friend

Then we are either going to the Mapparium or the Freedom walk.  Mom says it depends on the weather.  It’s beautiful here today, 43 degrees F, 6 degrees C, with lots of sunshine.  At home it’s 61 degrees F or 16 degrees C.