Friday, November 9, 2012

It's Been a While...

School caught up with me so I haven't really had a breather until now. I've had some pretty interesting adventures but I figured I start with one of my favorites: The San Diego Safari Park.

As the name suggests, the Safari Park is located in San Diego, California. This park focuses more on breeding and educational programs than entertainment. Even so, this park provides some amazing opportunities for visitors.

There are many types of "safaris" visitors can take when they come to this park. I was fortunate enough to be able to take the V.I.P. tour. We were all put in the back of a truck and driven through the animal enclosures.

It allows us to be up close to the animals...

And I mean really up close.
The rhinos were goofing off so much they actually ran into our truck.

We also had the opportunity to feed both rhinos and giraffes.  It was an amazing experience to be up close and personal with these awesome creatures.

We even were lucky enough to see rhino courtship. Our guide told us that it has been over two years since he has been able to see this behavior.

Also, because the Safari park is a breeding facility, babies can be born at any time.

This baby is only a few days old.

Can you see this baby hidden in the rocks? This baby was born about an hour before we arrived.

Along with seeing new life, we were also forced to see sad endings.

One of eight Northern White Rhinos left in the world. Unfortunately reproduction is impossible so within a decade, this species will be extinct.

It was sad to realize that this beautiful creature is doomed to extinction; but, at the same time, I felt blessed to have seen this animal while it was still alive. Conservation is important and this experience made me appreciate the people who try to protect the many animals that live in this world.

Some interesting facts I learned:

~The only way rhinos can mate is for the male to chase a female. This allows the female to determine if the male is suitable. It also the only way for the rhino to get in the mood, so to speak.

~Rhinos footfalls are silent. Despite how big they are they don't make much noise.

~When wild animals wag their tails, it doesn't mean they're happy or that they're swatting away flies. It's to let you know that they see you and that they aren't worth attacking.

To end on a happy note, here's two pictures of an ostrich being silly.

What are you looking at?

Oh, just kidding. You're bigger than me.  

~A.E. Keener

San Diego Safari Park Website:

Monday, August 27, 2012


Have you ever been on a sailboat? It is one of the most exciting and liberating experiences. You feel one with the sea as you roll across the waves. With only the wind for power, you can hear all the sounds the ocean has to offer.

About a week ago, I was able to go sailing with my family. We were able to see familiar sites from a completely different perspective.


Oak Island Lighthouse

Bald Head Island

A Ship Coming In


A Dolphin swam around our boat for a little bit.

It's nice to see sights that I normally can't view from land. 

~A.E. Keener

Monday, August 13, 2012

Latch Hook

An adventure is an unusual or exciting experience. With this in mind, some adventures aren't big. In fact, for some adventures, you don't even have to leave your home.

Latch hooking is a fun, relatively easy art. Using a special hook, you tie knots. Following diagrams, you can make interesting designs. It's as simple as it sounds.  This is great for some one who can barely draw stick people like me.

You can make:

Unicorn Rug

Wolf Wall Hanging

Future Pillow

I find latch hooking fun and relaxing. The sense of completing a piece is exhilarating. I definitely recommend latch hooking for anyone who likes to craft or who want to create a work of art.  

~A.E. Keener

Monday, August 6, 2012

Going Somewhere in Time...

Now a days, when we travel, we believe that we have to go abroad to experience something new and exciting. We forget though, how great our own country can be.  

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Mackinac Island, Michigan. Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron just off of Michigan.

In order to reach Mackinac Island, I had to fly from Detroit to a small airport in Pellston, Michigan. The airport is reminiscent of the television show Wings. 

Baggage Claim

The airport felt more like a cabin in the woods.

From Pellston, we drove 30 minutes to Mackinac City where we boarded a ferry to Mackinac Island.

Stepping on Mackinac Island, you feel as if you have traveled back in time. 

A Street in downtown Mackinac Island

The houses are Victorian style and cars are not allowed on the island. In fact, you only have two options in transportation.

Either By Bicycle...

Or By Carriage

Also, there is the beautiful Grand Hotel. 
The Grand Hotel

Carriage Topiary in the Gardens

To call it elegant would be an understatement. The Grand Hotel is a piece of art and history of times long past. When you step inside, you feel as if you have stepped into a different era. A time when tea was held daily and five course meals were a must. 

  Afternoon Tea

Five Course Meal Place Setting

What the Grand Hotel has become known for in modern times is the set of the famous cult romance, Somewhere in Time.

A Wall Dedicated to Somewhere in Time

It was fun to relive scenes of the movie as we explored the hotel. 

Of course the hotel, wasn't the only attraction. While there, we also visited Fort Mackinac. 

Fort Mackinac was built during the American Revolution.

West Blockhouse

Through a Peephole in West Blockhouse

The fort sits overlooking the entire island. It also has a tea room and live reenactments of rifle and cannon firings. 

I've always had a fascination with history so being able to glimpse inside this fort and seeing how people lived during such hard times was an eye opener.

Another favorite attraction is Wings over Mackinac, a butterfly conservatory. Butterflies from all over the world are brought to live there.

These little butterflies are friendly. In fact, they'll actually land on you given the chance.

 Just make sure to watch where you are walking. 

Although my experience on Mackinac Island was short, it was an eye opening experience for me. I saw  people horse back riding, playing lawn games, and dancing till late in the night. Even though I didn't have a laptop or other modern devices, I was never bored.  

Mackinac Island is wonderful island and I didn't even have to leave the country to experience it.  

For more information on Mackinac Island:

~A.E. Keener

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Summer Safe Haven

Oak Island and Southport have become a "safe haven" in more ways than one. It had three movies film there this summer. From parachuters performing stunts for Iron Man to Mary and Martha and Safe Haven being filmed a block from each other, Oak Island and Southport have been filled with excitement.  It seems I'm not the only one who has realized how special Southport and Oak Island are.

I had the opportunity to see the set of Safe Haven. It is amazing the amount of detail crew members have put in to make this Nicholas Sparks' book come to life.

Ryan's Port Market
This is the place where Alex, the love interest, works.

Another angle of Ryan's Port Market

The place where Katie, the main character, works.

It was really cool to see these sets. They actually built Ryan's Port Market just for the movie. It's a shame that they're going to tear it down once the filming is done.

Seeing this filming, it's makes me love screenwriting even more. If one day my characters could come to life on the screen like Nicholas Spark's characters, I'd be a happy writer.

If you'd like to know more about Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, here's a link to a summary written by

It's a little different than his other books, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

~A.E. Keener

Hello world!

I've tried on multiple occasions to write a blog. I'd start one, but life would become busy and or I'd simply have nothing to talk about. I figured I'd try one more time just for fun.

So, there are probably two important questions running through your mind. First, who is this person? I'm A.E. Keener. I' using my pen name because it's entertaining and most people like to call me by my last name anyway. I am currently a 2nd year grad student at Chapman University seeking a masters in screenwriting.  I am also an author with two novels, a picture book, and a collection of stories. If you are interested in my work, you can check it out here:

Now, the next important question. What is this blog about? It's about anything and everything. It will mainly be about my adventures but I may add recipes, and random facts I come across. I will try to make it as entertaining as possible. 

As for updates for this blog, I can't guarantee anything. Grad school does take up most of my life at the moment. I will though update when I can.

Now let the stories begin!