Meat & Tater come for a Swim

There are some people that come into your life that at the time, you don’t realize they’ll be lifelong friends, but years later, they’re still there no matter how long you’ve been apart, or how much distance there is between your homes.

Flash back to Michigan, early 2000’s. Cindy and I were running the Red Dog Saloon and in walks this giant kid, and I’m not lying when I say ‘Kid’ who is looking for a job. I think Nick was about 15 at the time. I know he didn’t even have his drivers license yet, and when I ask him how he’s going to get to work, he explains that he’ll have his drivers license soon, and he’ll be sure and find a ride to and from work from someone else on the Football team.

Nick was the same age as our daughter who was going through the same issues of working, school and trying to save money to buy her first vehicle. We ended up giving Nick a job, and who would guess that it would turn into a lifelong friendship? He started as a dishwasher, moved up to cook, moved up to barback and ended up getting fired by Cindy when he was a full fledged bartender. Cindy always treated Nick as her son, was hard as hell on him when it came to him talking back or giving lip, and to this day, they still razz one another about it. If he got good grades, we gave him praise and a bonus, if his grades dropped, we grounded him and gave him crappy shifts. We basically treated him like our own son.

Nick went on to become a high volume bartender in bigger nightclubs and still to this day is an expert in the profession. There are few people that can make a lifelong career out of bartending. You either have it, or you dont. When you have it, you know it, as do your employers and you’ll be good no matter where you’re working.

In case you’re wondering about the title ‘Meat & Tater’, Nick always had the nickname of MEAT, because of how big and muscle bound he was. One night at our Tiki Bar as Cindy introduces him as ‘Meat’, one of the locals looks over at Kailey and said “So you must be Tater“……and just like that, a new nickname was born.

Nick Hegle, Bonish Photo, Red Dog Saloon

Nick moved to Las Vegas shortly after we sold the Red Dog and you might remember I visited him and his then, new girlfriend Kailey, crashing on their couch when I rode my motorcycle out there from San Diego to cover the Endurocross Finals. Fast forward a few years, and Nick and Kailey are getting married back in Michigan, and who is their wedding photographer??? Yep, you guessed it.

Just to show you how small this little ol’ world of ours is, both Cindy and Kailey are now Beach Body Coaches and talk to one another on a daily basis for workout planning, meal planning and encouragement when it comes to their workout goals. So when Nick and Kailey talked about taking a few days off from their busy life, they planned a get-away here in Cedar Key.

Flying into Gainesville Airport, they were only 45 minutes from us and within an hour or so of them landing, we were out on the boat toasting to good friends and old times.

There visit was a blast. Between boating, drinking, snorkeling, drinking, eating, drinking, eating, photography, drinking, eating, drinking and hanging out at the Tiki Bar, I think Cindy and Kailey have their work cut out for them when it comes to sticking to their workout goals. Needless to say, we did not follow any goals other than having a good time, eating like Kings and Queens and throwing back copious amounts of brew.

Since Cindy is spoiled and always acts as my model, sometimes willingly, sometimes forced to do so much to her demise, during this visit, she told me to use Kailey as my model for all my photos, so you’ll notice a different model with this round of images. I think I’m getting the hang of this underwater photography thing, so if you’re interested in a Underwater Photoshoot, give me a shout and we can work out the details. It would really add to a portfolio, and just ask Cindy, they make for amazing images hung on a wall very large.

Thank you Kailey for being my model and putting up with all my demands of “Swim Here!”, “Dive Here”, “Paddle Here!”- I think the images speak for themselves that it was worth it

Nick Hegle, Kailey Hegle, Cindy Bonish, Bonish Photo, Cedar Key

Cindy, Kailey and Nick out on one of the islands exploring the Tidal Pools

Underwater Photography, Black and White, Bonish Photo, Kailey Hegle

Nick Hegle, Cindy Bonish, Kailey Hegle, Cedar Key, Bikini

What is a boat ride in Cedar Key without getting stuck? We call it ‘Taking the boat for a walk’

Underwater Couple, Underwater Photography, Nick Hegle, Kailey Hegle, Bonish Photo

Cuddle Fish

SUP, Stand Up Paddle Board, Paddling, Cedar Key, Bikini, Kailey Hegle, Bonish Photo

Paddling into the Sunset

Bonish Photo, Underwater Photography, Kailey Hegle, Black and White

Diving into the Darkness

Nick Hegle, Drinking, underwater Photography, Bonish Photo

Nick showing them Michigan Boy’s how us Florida boys drink our beers

Kailey Hegle, Snake Key, Model, Bikini, Bonish Photo

Walking on Water

Dolphin, Cedar Key, Bonish Photo

No visit to Cedar Key is complete without seeing the Dolphins

Underwater photography, Bonish Photo, B&W

SUP Yoga, Nick Hegle, Bonish Photo, Paddle Board

Nick showing us how it’s done on the Paddle Board

Underwater Photography, Bonish Photo, Bikini

Kailey Hegle, SUP, TripleX, Bonish Photo,

For only her 2nd time on the TripleX SUP, Kailey was able to show some serious core strength

Underwater Photography, Kailey Hegle, Bonish Photo

TripleX, SUP, Underwater Photography, Florida, Bonish Photo

SUP, Kailey Hegle, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Bonish Photo

Sunset, Stand Up Paddle, SUP, Bonish Photo, Cedar Key

It doesn’t get much better than a Sunset Stand Up Paddle

SUP Yoga, Stand Up Paddle Board, Triple X, Cindy Bonish, Bonish Photo

Cindy pulling it off

Splitshot, underwater Photography, Bonish Photo

I would normally never post a photo that is blurry like this, but for some reason I thought this just looked cool

Paddle Board, Surf, Bonish Photo

Kailey getting a shoulder workout on the Paddle Board

Swimming, Underwater Photography, Bonish Photo, Kailey Hegle

Alone in the Darkness

Kailey Hegle, Underwater Photography, Bonish Photo

Piggyback Ride, Bonish Photo, Cedar Key

After something touched her foot, she refused to walk through the water

SUP, Paddling, Stand Up Paddle, Kailey Hegle, Bonish Photo

Splitshot of Kailey paddling through the springs

Underwater Photography, Bonish Photo, Black and White, Kailey Hegle,

Underwater Photography, Kailey Hegle, Bikini, Bonish Photo

Splitshot, underwater phtography, Bonish Photo, Kailey Hegle,

I’m obsessed with the Splitshots, I can never get enough of them

Kailey Hegle, Cindy Bonish, Bonish Photo

The girls worn out after a LONG day in the water

Triple X Paddle Board, Surf, Bonish Photo, Underwater Photography

Wait till you see our newest TripleX Paddle Board we just got – Hint, it’s not this one

Underwater Photography, Bonish Photo, Black and White, Kailey Hegle

Up to this point, this is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken

Yoga, SUP, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kailey Hegle, Bonish Photo

Yoga on the SUP

Kailey Hegle, B&W, Bonish Photo, Underwater Photography

Kailey Hegle, SUP Yoga, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Bonish Photo


Triple X Surf and Skim, Paddle Board, SUP Yoga, Bonish Photo, Split Shot

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5 Responses to “Meat & Tater come for a Swim”

  1. Kevin and SherylOctober 5, 2014 at 3:36 am #

    Those B&W shots are really nice!!!

    • Pat BonishOctober 5, 2014 at 9:47 am #

      Thanks you guys!!

  2. Jodee GravelOctober 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Nick may be “your kid” (I love that he got bad shifts for bad grades), but Cindy and Kailey could be sisters! Amazing pics as always, the black whites with the bubbles are especially great. Blown up on the wall, they would be the focal point of any room šŸ™‚

    • Pat BonishOctober 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      You should see our house Jodee, there are large prints covering most of the walls. Seeing a image enlarged really big is so much more satisfying than seeing it on a computer screen! Cindy thanks you for the comment!!

    • Pat BonishOctober 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

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